The Sewing Place

Building a doll's wardrobe

Marniesews

Building a doll's wardrobe
« on: May 04, 2021, 15:17:00 PM »
Well, I've got my first few outfits under my belt so it was time for the pretty dress at last! From the stash and pleased with how it looks but the pattern was frustrating. I'm enjoying learning the different approaches for constructing doll's clothes but this McCalls pattern (M7583) had a frustrating mixture of nice techniques for a good quality finish requiring a bit of skill and real beginner down and dirty ones - exposed raw edges of the skirt although the top is fully lined! I had to alter that.  The pieces to be gathered were too full as well with the underskirts creating a solid lump at the waist even though I was only using a polycotton.

Anyway, I'm pleased with how it looks, at least but will make some tweaks next time. Must improve my photography. Frustratingly I've just realised one loop of the bow is lifted so it looks off centre although it isn't.  -<



What next? Nightgown or underwear? I know! Where are my standards? Pretty dress and no knickers.  :|

Trying to coax myself back into making rather than just looking and dreaming!

Ann

Re: Building a doll's wardrobe
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 16:55:23 PM »
@Marniesews, I love the dress. I have that pattern and got it for the blouse and pants.

Here is a tutorial I did on sewing a bodice of a dress. And here is one I made for attaching the skirt.

It's frustrating when you go to add an underskirt and all looks frumpy and bumpy due to too much fullness. Some skirts I've sewn have been a full 42" and I struggle to get it onto the bodice looking nice and smooth. Such frustration when that happens.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 50 metres
So far:

Marniesews

Re: Building a doll's wardrobe
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 17:44:26 PM »
That's really helpful, thank you for the links. I'll have to make my way through your site, it looks like a good resource. I hope you keep posting tutorials.  :)  I've looked at those and your list of tools so far. I do wish there was more information on the groups about good construction techniques and design in between all the images. I'm getting there but I'm sure there are many brilliant tips on small scale sewing somewhere just waiting for me to stumble upon them.  ;)  I've sent off for a couple of books by Erin Hentzel which someone said had good technique info so we'll see.

The construction techniques I'm using now are very similar to yours. I'm also a fan of understitching the sleeveless tops and have found it easier if I do the sleeves first (sewing each side up to the shoulder seam) for a bit more easy access and then the neck. I couldn't get all around the neck but just filled the gap with hand sewn back stitches of a comparable length.

The skirt on your tutorial is very full too and it reminded me that I forgot to give it a press and steam to reduce bulk before sewing it together.  :[

As for the tools, we already share a lot. I got my extra fine long glass headed pins for sewing the dancewear but they've proved so good for the dolls too. As have the very small clips that I got for the masks in a mixed size pot. For thread snips I've become a convert to good quality (not necessarily that expensive though) curved nail scissors. Mine are Wilkinson Sword and were around £5, I think, if that. You can cut off loose threads very closely without the risk of catching the fabric and they seem to stay sharper so much longer than the thread snips - even my previous Kai ones. They're also not bad as a pusher/guide for the tiny clothes going under the presser foot as the points don't dig into the fabric.

I'm finding my new Duronic mini iron comes in handy too. It has a double ended sole plate (points both ends) which does seem to make it even more manoeuvrable than the previous one.

The only other thing I really wouldn't want to be without now is my tailor's board. I hardly used it for the first couple of years but between the masks and the doll's clothes it never gets put away these days.
  • Ann likes this
Trying to coax myself back into making rather than just looking and dreaming!

Ann

Re: Building a doll's wardrobe
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2021, 12:55:24 PM »
@Marniesews, thank you for the kind words on the blog. I want to do a tutorial on t-shirts as I've really struggled with the neckline stretching. Every time I read something to help, I try it. Some work, some don't.

I've played a lot with bodices and I have found the way I did in the tutorial the easiest. I do it with most patterns if they call for a lined top.

I forgot to add my June Tailor's Tailor Board and clapper to the list. I use them all the time. My little embroidery scissors are like curved nail scissors and they are fabulous. I have 2 pairs of them. But I will add your scissors to the list as they can be purchased and mine can't. Thanks for the tip.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 50 metres
So far: