Saturday, April 22, 2017

2011 Doll Clothes Batch One

Sewing doll clothes started when I was asked by my sister to sew some for her nieces and later for a granddaughter of one of her friends.  The more outfits I made the more I learned and progressed in my skills with sewing.  Prior to doing this type of sewing, I made quilts, baby clothes that I would gift to newborns and infants and my own clothes but didn't know and still don't know how to alter a sewing pattern.  I no longer make my own clothes.  Wish I could as I really don't like many of the styles that are available in the stores.

My sister supplied the materials and patterns for the first few set of outfits with the understanding that I was to alter the outfits in some way so the recipient could claim it as their own.  I then began to collect my own patterns, sewing notions and fabrics.

First item I did were little slips sewn out of eyelet material.  Got them cut out and only trouble area for me was the arm and neckline.  Hard to turn and get a good seam.  It turned out okay and I used different colored rosettes and matching colored buttons for the slips. Shoulders had small pieces of Velcro to open and close. 


18" Doll Slips
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #3879
Cotton Fabric With Embellishments, Velcro at Shoulders
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 08/29/11

After I got the slips done I worked on two little night dresses.  Sis had supplied a piece of adorable nursery rhyme themed cotton fabric and I changed out the lace around the neck and the ribbon used for tying it in the front. 


18" Doll Night Dresses
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #3879
Cotton Fabric With Embellishments, Ribbon for Tie Opening 
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 10/13/11


Feeling confident so far as the first two had been fairly simple, I worked on two little outfits using Cabbage Patch Doll patterns. Never again.  Learned though that there is a difference in sizing when it comes to 18" dolls.    


18" Doll Sleepers
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #3572
Cotton Fabric With Embellishments, Velcro Opening in Back 
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 10/13-14/11


I had been provided fleece to make two little hooded jackets. I laugh now, but I didn't then.  The red material shed like crazy.  I had red fuzzies all over the place.  It just fell apart.  Was easy to cut, but wow sewing it was something else. It was soft and very pretty but a doozy to work with.  First time for sewing a hood.  First time for doing pockets.  First time for doing a front placket or facing. Oh, and first time for pleating - back of jacket.  Also realized something with my sewing.  First outfit it was a trial and error run. Second outfit it turned out much better.  

My doll got an updo - hair was forever catching in the Velcro.  She's a 18" Springville doll.  Moveable arms, legs and eyes. Cloth torso. She's modeled alot of my doll clothing creations.



18" Doll Hooded Jackets
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #3572
Fleece Like Fabric, Non Working Buttons, Front Velcro Closure 
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 10/14-15/11



God is so good.  In seeing these pictures I remember the hours I spent in my former sewing room using my old singer sewing machine and serger. It was an old apartment but I loved that room.  My sewing was my emotional outlet.  Gracie would nap nearby as I worked with my machines.  The room had two windows and the sunlight would stream in and flood the room with bright light and warmth. I I am thankful for the blessings that God provided and continues to bless my life with.  

Was provided silk and corduroy fabric with the request to make two little blouse and jumper sets. It seemed simple enough.  Was another Cabbage Patch Doll design.  Didn't think it would be too difficult having learned about size difference with the previous set I did. 

With this one I learned that sleeves really do have a certain way to go into the armhole.  That silk is slippery to work with.  That Peter Pan collars are cute but there had to be a easier way to do them.  I later did a google search and found a tutorial on how to do them.  Made it much easier.   Buttons are good, just use ones that are size proportionate to the outfit.  I worked with the strap length on the second jumper - shortened it a bit.    



18" Doll Jumper and Blouse
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #3572
Silk and Corduroy Fabric, Non Working Buttons, 
Blouse - Back Velcro Closure, Jumper - Velcro on Straps 
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 10/27 and 11/04/11



Was provided cotton fabric for two sleeveless dresses. With the first dress I should have done a pink lace collar or a blue ribbon belt.  With both dresses, smaller buttons would have been better.

Lessons one learns while sewing. Perfection or more like getting better comes with practice.



18" Doll Dresses
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #2768
Cotton Fabric, Non Working Buttons, Embellishments, Velcro Closures
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 11/05-07/11



Was provided more cotton fabric.  Next two dresses weren't so difficult.  Skirt was endless.  Very wide, lots of gathering like as with the above two dresses. Used the same fabric for both dresses, changing out the embellishment at the waist and around the neck.  Also used different style buttons in the back.  



18" Doll Dresses
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #2668
Cotton Fabric, Non Working Buttons, Embellishments, Velcro Closures
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 11/11/11



Had four outfits left to do.  Two coats with berets and two more dresses.  The coats were made out of very pretty mauve colored fabric. Wasn't a cotton, wasn't linen.  Don't know what it was.  Pattern called for it to be lined - something I hadn't done before.  More Peter Pan styled collars.  Looking at these two outfits, I chuckle.  I think the only thing that turned out well with these two were the hats. Loved the little berets when they were finished.  Made me smile when I put them on the doll.  



18" Doll Coat and Beret
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #2668
?? (Don't know) Fabric, Non Working Buttons, Velcro Closure
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 11/11/11



The last two outfits to be completed had challenges for me as well. Squared neckline, curved overlay, pointed waistline, neckline insets.  My sewing machine had a workout with these two.  Lots of turning, twisting, "sweet mutterings" that only Gracie knew about.  



18" Doll Dress
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #2768
Cotton Fabric, Non Working Buttons, Embellishments, Velcro Closure
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 11/11/11



When I got done with these.  I packaged them and sent them.  I turned off my sewing machine and rested until my sister called me and said, "Christmas is coming, could you do some more sewing?"  To which I said, "I'll think about it and get back to you."  

When the little girls got these outfits, their mom was thrilled.  The girls played with their dolls, hosting tea parties and dress up time with adult family members.  One of the little ones was diagnosed with an inoperable brain cancer and is now resting in the arms of a very loving Jesus.  

The little things matter the most.  I consider myself blessed to have the ability to use fabric and a needle to make pretty things. My effort comes from the heart and I enjoy it.  God is good and I thank Him for giving me my eyesight, the ability to touch and feel and the desire to create and work with color.