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A New Edition of Sewing for Mini Dolls

September 28th, 2017

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American Girl® Dolls has recently slightly changed the body of their American Girl mini doll.  Target now has Our Generation® mini dolls and Lori® mini dolls. Because of these changes, I decided to revise my “Sewing for Mini Dolls” book.

I have changed my Twinkle doll pattern to more nearly match these commercial dolls and have revised my mini doll clothing patterns to give them a better fit on these new dolls.

Because I was revising my mini doll book anyway, I decided to add new patterns to the book to offer a more complete doll wardrobe. I have also added accessories and extras to make the book more fun.

I have simplified the shoe patterns and added new touches to patterns that were in the book’s first edition.

I have slightly changed the book’s formatting.

I hope that you will take the time to check out my new book on Amazon. Sewing for Mini Dolls: New and Updated Patterns for Mini Dolls

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Make a Mini Doll Wardrobe with Free Patterns

December 1st, 2016

There is still time to make a mini doll wardrobe before Christmas. I just recently spent all the spare time I had for a week making wardrobes for two mini dolls. The two dolls and their clothing are for a church toy drive. I used two fat quarters, two felt squares, and some scraps of knit and flannel that I had on hand. I also used two pairs of baby socks for the little sweaters. I purposely gave myself gave myself a week that was also filled with other commitments to make the doll clothes. I wanted to prove that there is time in a busy week to make a mini doll wardrobe. Here is a picture of one of the dolls and her wardrobe. Remember I made the same number of clothes for a second doll.

wardrobe

You can have almost all the patterns it takes to make the wardrobe free for a short time. My last three blogs have patterns for the jumper, vest, sweater, leggings, and tights. The summer top is a free pattern on my pattern page. Click on Small Doll Patterns in the directory at the top of the page, and it will take you to the free sundress and summer top pattern.

I am offering my down-loadable pattern: “Gown, Smock Top, and Two Tiered Skirt” free until December 15. If you would like this free PDF, please email me at sherralyn@sherralynsdolls.com  and ask for it. I’d love to send you a copy.

Unfortunately. I don’t have a finished pattern for the little robe. It’s still only a draft on graph paper.

The shoes are in my book Sewing for Mini Dolls and in the Mini Doll Shoe Cut and Sew kit. I hope that you have fun doing Christmas sewing this month.

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Free Patterns for a Mini Doll Jumper and Vest

November 27th, 2016

If you are looking for free patterns for 6.5inch (16.5 cm) mini dolls, you might want to try my easy (and free) patterns for a jumper and vest. Grace is wearing a jumper made from this pattern. She is wearing a smock top under the jumper made from a pattern in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. The pattern for her white shoes can also be found in the book. You can  make the sweater from last weeks instructions to go under the jumper instead of using the smock top pattern.

jumper

Addie is wearing a vest made from today’s pattern over the sweater made from last week’s instructions and leggings made from the patterns  found in a blog from two weeks ago. Her brown shoes were made from the same pattern as Grace’s white shoes. You can order a Mini Doll Shoe Cut and Sew kit that has the brown shoes and three other mini doll shoes to make.

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I am planning to remove this PDF from my blog at the end of March 2017, so if you want the patterns, you should down-load them soon.

Update March 31, 2017– I have removed the PDF of these patterns from this page. Look for them in a new book of mine that I hope will be available in the early fall of this year.

Free Patterns

Free Instructions for Making a Mini Doll Sweater

November 17th, 2016

If you are sewing for 6.5inch (16.5 cm) mini dolls, you might want to use my easy (and free) instructions for turning a baby sock into a mini doll sweater.

Kendra is wearing a sweater made from a baby sock.

heartsweater

The leggings she is wearing were made from the free pattern found in last week’s blog. The pattern for her brown boots can be found in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. You can also order a Mini Doll Shoe Cut and Sew kit that has the brown boots and three pairs of mini doll shoes to make.

I am planning to remove this PDF from my blog at the end of March 2017, so if you want the instructions, you should down-load it soon.

Update March 31, 2017– I have removed the PDF with the sweater instructions from this page. Look for them in a new book of mine that I hope will be available in the early fall of this year.

Free Patterns

A Free Pattern for Mini Doll Tights and Leggings

November 9th, 2016

If you are sewing for 6.5inch (16.5 cm) mini dolls, you might want to use my easy (and free) pattern for tights and leggings.

Addie is wearing the leggings with a sweater made from a baby sock. The sweater instructions will appear in my next blog. The pattern for her brown shoes can be found in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. You can also order a Mini Doll Shoe Cut and Sew kit that has the brown shoes and three other mini doll shoes to make.

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Grace is wearing the tights made from this free pattern under a sundress. You can order a Mini Doll Cut and Sew kit to make the sundress , jacket, sandals, and belt. The kit is designed for beginning sewers. The sundress pattern, but not the accessories is available free on my pattern page. Use the directory at the top of the page to select Small Dolls. The free sundress pattern is the first of the small doll patterns.

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I am planning to remove this PDF from my blog at the end of March 2017, so if you want the pattern, you should down-load it soon.

Update March 31, 2017– I have removed the PDF of these patterns from this page. Look for them in a new book of mine that I hope will be available in the early fall of this year.

Free Patterns

How the Earth and Moon Pincushion was Designed

July 10th, 2016

This blog is a continuation of tech support’s (husband’s) guest blog on the Earth and Moon pincushion. In this blog Joe explains how he designed the pincushion. -Sherralyn

Several years back I got the idea to use a globe of the Earth with attached Moon as a novelty pincushion and emery in place of the traditional tomato and strawberry. I talked to Sherralyn about the idea and she thought it might work but said that it was not obvious how to sew up a pincushion sized sphere. So I looked at some possible solutions. I considered a gore map. But Sherralyn didn’t like all the darts that approach implied.

goreMap

I looked into using approaches like those used to make tennis balls

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and soccer balls.

soccerBall
I came across dymaxion maps

dymaxionMap

and Cahill’s  maps

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and Waterman’s butterfly maps.watermanMap

Finally we settled on the Waterman butterfly projection map as perhaps the easiest to sew up on a machine. Its compact shape fit onto a 8½”x11” piece of paper better than the more elongated maps. As a sewing project, this approach has two single darts, four clusters of triple darts, and one main seam.
I drew shapes based on the Cahill/Waterman octahedrons, added seam allowances, and marked the darts. I made the shapes blue and manually placed images of land masses copied from a map where I thought they should go.

Oh, and I added a patch with Antarctica on it.

As the Moon is only about ¼ the size of the Earth, Sherralyn thought that a simpler approach was needed for the satellite. Photos of the two sides of the Moon were placed into yellow circles and a few darts were added. This allows the Moon to be sewn up like a small cushion. While the Earth and Moon are roughly to scale, the cotton pearl connecting the Earth pincushion to the Moon emery would need to be almost 7 feet long to keep to scale so you may want to compromise accurate scaling there with a more practical length.

The original pattern was scaled for US letter size paper but would fit on A4 paper as well. When I uploaded it to Spoonflower I rearranged the components to fit an 8”x8” swatch but did not change the original shapes.

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Custom, Print-on-Demand fabric and the Globe Pincushion

June 28th, 2016

Hello. Hello. Thump. Thump. Is this thing working?

Hi. It’s me, tech support (husband). Doing a guest blog for Sherralyn. I haven’t blogged here since early 2009. And that was just part of trying to get he blog software set up.

This time I’m going to blog about the globe pincushion that has been available as a free download on this site for some time and about a new version of that pattern.

CompleteG

A key aspect of the original pattern was printing the pattern on to cloth using an ink jet printer. Running a piece of cloth through an ink jet is not something everyone is comfortable with. One reader wrote Sherralyn that “my husband would have kittens if I did that”. But Sherralyn and I have been doing it for some time and I have yet to have kittens myself so we know that not all husbands necessarily have kittens if cloth is run through an ink jet printer. That’s just not the way cats, husbands or ink jet printers work. There are commercially available printable fabrics that work well and Sherralyn’s patterns have instructions for a DIY approach that has also worked for us. We use the DIY technique not only for the globe pincushion but for some of the doll patterns.

Nevertheless, we recognize that not every one is willing to give this technique a try. And, we have come across a solution! There are online services that will custom print on fabric for you. We have been trying out a site called Spoonflower that will print patterns that we have uploaded onto 8”x8” swatches, fat quarters, or yards of fabric. A swatch runs about $5 plus shipping. The cost of larger quantities varies with the type of fabric selected. Sherralyn has been very impressed with the quality of the Kona cotton fabric that we have ordered from them. The grain is unusually square and the colors are bright. On the other hand, the cost per yard is, as you would expect for custom, print-on-demand fabric, relatively high. And, delivery times can run a couple of weeks. But you may consider these disadvantages a small price to pay to avoid kittens.

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If you want to give this a try, we have updated the original pincushion instructions slightly to accommodate the print-on-demand fabric here. And a link to the globe pincushion fabric pattern on Spoonflower is here.

blog, Free Patterns

Altering My Patterns to Make Baby Doll Clothing Part 2

June 11th, 2016

Altering pants is a little trickier than altering a simple dress. I made a copy of the shorts pattern found in Learn to Sew for Your doll. Then I measured from the doll’s crotch to her waist to see where I needed to move the waist line on the pattern.

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I drew a line on the pattern at the new waist line and added a line one half inch above it for the elastic casing.

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I cut out the pattern piece. Next I measured half way around her waist. I measured half the waist at 5 inches. I added 1 inch to my 5 inch measurement to find the new width for my pattern piece.

I cut the pattern in half and taped it together again, shrinking it to a 6 inch width.

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I sewed the pants up, made casings at the waist and legs, added elastic to the casings. I adjusted the elastic to fit the waist and each leg.

Here is the doll in her diaper cover and sundress. I have pinned the dress up one half inch so that you can see how the dress would look as a top.

AltCover

my patterns

Altering My Patterns to Make Baby Doll Clothing Part I

May 28th, 2016

I receive a lot of pleasure from doll pattern making. One nice surprise has been the e-mail friends that I have made over the years. One lovely lady that I am corresponding with has a personal doll ministry. She buys, dresses, and makes dolls all year to give to various charities serving children.

She has been frustrated lately while trying to come up with a pattern for a group of cherubic baby bath dolls that she wants to dress. When I agreed to try to adapt some of my patterns to fit the doll, she generously sent me a doll to work with. I have a much easier time altering patterns, if I have the doll in front of me. Of course the doll will be donated to a Christmas toy drive.

As soon as I started working with this doll, I realized a problem with the way dolls are sized. On Amazon this doll is described as an 8 inch doll. I measured her as a 9 inch doll.

The variation in height is not only problem with trying to select a pattern to alter to fit this doll. Compare the bath doll with my 7½ inch Florabunda.

AltFlo

The two dolls may be close to the same height, but the difference in width makes them very different sizes.

I decided to look at an easy pattern for an eighteen inch doll. The Summer Top pattern from my book Learn to Sew for Your Doll,  is an easy pattern and about the right length for a dress for my bath doll.

Compare the Summer Top  to the sundress pattern for Florabunda.

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If the only factors to consider were height and width, I could choose between shrinking the width of the Summer Top or increasing the width of the smaller sundress. The arm opening of the large pattern is very different from the opening of the small one . If you compare the arm size of the bath doll to Florabunda’s arms, you can see that I need a larger arm opening for the bath doll. I decided to use the Summer Top pattern.

To determine how much to decrease the width, I measured the bath doll across the shoulders and measured 3.5 inches.

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I decided to make my pattern about 6.5 inches wide. It will be gathered at the top to fit the doll’s 3.5 inch shoulders. Because my pattern is cut on the fold, I divided 6.5 in half to alter the pattern. AltPat2

For this simple dress the back will be cut from the same pattern. The entire front or back pattern looks like this:

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Follow the directions for the sundress or summer top to use the new pattern.

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In my next blog, I will discuss making a diaper cover using the shorts pattern from Learn to Sew for Your Doll.

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A Cautionary Tale

May 15th, 2016

I have neglected my blog for over a year now. I thought I would explain how I got out of the habit of blogging. My experience has a slight connection or two with sewing.

In February of 2015 I had the flame on the large burner of my gas stove top adjusted too high and accidentally caught the back of my shirt on fire. With the help of my husband, I extinguished the blaze in a few seconds, using the flexible hose from the sink.

I had to go to the emergency room, because I had extensive burns on my back. Although I had to see a plastic surgeon to be evaluated, I did not have to have any skin grafts.

It took over six months  for my burns to heal and my energy level was lower than normal for all that time. I got out of the habit of blogging and neglected blogging longer than I needed to. I am trying to return to blogging now.

I learned something about fabric from my fiery adventure. Cotton is very flammable. The back of my shirt was in flames in a matter of seconds. Here is a picture of the shirt I was wearing that day.

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As you can see, there is a large hole in the back of the shirt. Now I understand why infants’ clothing is treated with a flame retardant. I think that fabric treatment is an excellent idea.

I also found a surprising use for my sewing skills. My husband had to apply a prescription cream to my back daily for several months. The plastic surgeon wanted the cream to be covered by bandages, but at first my back was completely covered with burns, so there was no place to tape the bandages. My doctor suggested that I buy very tight T-shirts and use the shirt to hold the bandages in place. It was hard to slip the shirt on without disturbing the bandages and the bandages didn’t stay in place very long.

I began experimenting with ways to sew the bandages to the back of the T-shirt. After trial and error, I tie-tacked the bandages onto the shirt back, using the technique that is sometimes used to hold the layers of a small quilt together. The surgeon’s assistant was very complimentary about my invention. She told the doctor that I sutured the bandages to the shirt.

I thought that her statement, using the surgical term for sewing, was a very kind analogy. I take pride and pleasure in my sewing skills, but my talent is nothing extraordinary. The really remarkable sewing in our day and age comes from the hands of a skilled surgeon. That type of sewing can heal wounds and save lives. I was glad to be able to make my own healing easier by using my sewing skill.

Please be very careful in the kitchen, especially around gas stove tops. Cooking is more dangerous than you think. Also, if you don’t know how, learn to sew. It will come in handy.

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