We have a small tree this year and so I decided that my small doll, Florabunda, would make a great angel for the top of the tree. I made her gown from my “Gown,Smock, and Two Tiered Skirt” pattern. I cut the pattern from white bridal satin and made the skirt extra long. The wings are from two layers of gold lame bonded together with low heat fusible webbing. Her halo is made from a pipe-cleaner wrapped in gold midi braid.
Here is a picture of our little tree with Florabunda perched proudly on the top.
My two new patterns, Kitty, a Soft Doll, and Kitty A-line Dress and Short Jacket, are now available to purchase and download.
Kitty is an eighteen inch (46 cm) doll. She can wear the same clothes as dolls from the American Girl Collection. I know of two very nice doll patterns available that make an American Girl size doll out of knit fabric. I wanted an eighteen inch (46 cm) doll made from woven fabric, because I like to make doll faces with colored pens and pencils. When I make dolls from knits, I must either paint or embroider the face. I have designed a head that is very easy to sew together. Sometimes a woven cloth doll head is difficult to sew. The dollmaker may need to spent a lot of time clipping and easing the fabric to construct the doll’s head correctly. The pieces of this doll head fit together without any easing. Also it is easy to attach the head to the body. The head and body are sewn together before the center-back seam is completed. The pattern offers optional ears, fingers, and needle sculpted toes. The dollmaker may use a purchased wig or use the included instructions for a yarn wig that may be styled several ways.
Kitty can wear the clothes made from patterns in my Learning to Sew for Your Doll book and my new A-line dress pattern. The Kitty A-line Dress and Jacket will fit Kitty, American Girl dolls and many other eighteen inch (46 cm) dolls. It is a good basic outfit that goes together quickly. The jacket can be used with the sundress and summer top patterns that are found in my book. You can add buttons, lace, pin tucks, appliques, or ruffles to give the A-line dress your personal touch.
Please take a moment to go go to the pattern page and look at my two new patterns.
My books, my patterns
When I am sewing a cloth doll, I like to use a template to trace the arm or leg onto fabric, and then sew on the traced line. I think that using a template for arms and legs gives me more accurately shaped doll limbs. If the arm or leg pattern includes a seam allowance, I cut along the sew line to remove the seam allowance and make a template. Sometimes a doll pattern includes a seam allowance but does not have the sew line drawn on the pattern. A sew line can be added to a pattern using a Dream Seamer.
The Dream Seamer is a one half inch (12 mm) medal circle with a small hole in the middle. To use the Dream Seamer, first make sure that the seam allowance on your pattern is one fourth inch (6 mm). I like to use a mechanical pencil with the Dream Seamer, but I have used a red pen in the photo to make the illustration clearer. If you are right handed, hold the pencil in your right hand. Put the pencil point into the hole in the middle of the circle. Hold the pencil at a ninety degree angle to the paper. The Dream Seamer should be inside the pattern. One edge of the Dream Seamer circle should always touch the cut line of the pattern. Use your free hand to keep the Dream Seamer on the cut line. Draw all the way around the arm or leg pattern, one fourth inch (6 mm) on the inside of the pattern. Cut on the sew line to remove the seam allowance and create a template.
Sometimes you may want to alter a pattern to fit another size doll. You need a sew line to shrink or grow a pattern using a photocopier. To keep the seam allowance one quarter inch (6mm) on your new pattern, you should cut away the seam allowance, shrink or grow the pattern and then add the seam allowance back on. To add a seam allowance, the Dream Seamer should be outside the pattern. When adding a seam allowance, the Dream Seamer should touch the sew line as you trace around the outside of the pattern. You can order a Dream Seamer from A Dollmaker’s Journey. Scroll down almost to the bottom of the supply page.
My current pattern project is a ball gown for young princesses. I am designing it to fit my three small dolls. It is made with a bodice that stops at the natural waist and a gathered skirt. With a shorter skirt and simpler decoration than the elaborate ornaments necessary for princesses, the pattern can make a classic little girl dress.
Here is Florabunda in her princess dress.
I am almost finished with Tender Heart and Twinkle’s dresses. I will show them to you next week. I hope to have the pattern completed in a few weeks.
Daisy Kingdom makes wonderful fabric. Simplicity Patterns offer Daisy Kingdom patterns. Most of the patterns are for girls’ clothing. Fifteen or so years ago their girls’ patterns included a matching doll dress. The doll clothes fit the daisy Kingdom doll, Daisy Dolly, which was offered for sale and ready to dress in fabric shops.
I’ve had an undressed Daisy Dolly in my closet for some time. While I was making Dutch Doll miniature quilts, I thought of an idea for finally dressing the doll.
Here is my interpretation of a dress and pinafore pattern by Susan York.
I used the large Dutch Doll on the front panel of the pinafore.
I used the small Dutch Doll Printouts on the pinafore pockets.
Coming next week: How to win a free pdf of the pattern of your choice.
doll quilts, Patterns from other designers
I have a box full of 14 inch doll clothes that I made while I was writing my book. The church I am attending is having a yard sale and I decided to look through the clothes to see if I could find something to donate. I am glad that I still have a few 14 inch dolls that I made while I was developing my patterns, because it would be hard to find a commercial doll that can wear these clothes.
This is Brenda. I think that she looks nice in a dress and pinafore that I designed for Mary Lennox. The outfit didn’t make it onto my book because of space limitations.
The pattern for the coat she is wearing is in the book. When I made this coat I was experimenting with contrasting colors for the buttons, pockets and cuffs. Her bag was purchased, but it contains her nightgown, robe, and house slippers. I hope that Brenda finds a good home. Surely it will be better than the box that she has lived in for the past five years.
my patterns, Pattern Making
Jack wanted to see the section of my blog on terriers. He couldn’t find it, because I hadn’t written one. My blog on terriers is mostly going to be about Toto. Toto is a great character who adds a lot of fun to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He doesn’t appear in all of the Oz books, but he is in several. We find an interesting secret about him in one of the later books. I can’t remember the book’s name right now. I hope that someone reading the blog will know the book’s name and help me out.
Here is Toto in the golden collar that the Winkies gave him.
Here is Toto in the green glasses that he had to wear in the Emerald City.
The Toto project in my book is one of my favorites. It is quick and easy to do. I used a set of interlocking rings to make the pompoms that construct the dogs. The rings are available in the knitting yarn sections of craft stores such as Michael’s and Jo Ann’s. There is another type of pompom maker that I have seen recently that is a little more expensive. These new gadgets make lovely pompoms, but they are too large for my Toto project. I ordered Toto’s eyes from CR Crafts. (There is a link on my home page.)
The instructions for Toto can be adapted to make other dogs. I used tan yarn to make Pollyanna’s Buffy. Someday I want to make a West Highlands White Terrier with white yarn fur and black eyes.
I made my 8 inch Tiny Betsy a dress using the gown pattern from A Small Wardrobe for a Small Doll. I added a ribbon at the waist. She is slim enough to wear a dress from this pattern while other 8 inch dolls like Ginny are not.
Here are some Easter outfits that I made with my free 6 1/2 inch doll clothing pattern. For my cloth doll’s dress I added eyelet lace to the neck and hem of the smock top. To make the pinafore I shortened the sun dress and made the front and back each an inch wider. For the mini American Girl’s sun dress I cut a rabbit’s picture from another piece of fabric and zigzagged it to the skirt. I purchased the two little dolls with braids from Target several years ago.
Here is my new Mini Ginny ready for Valentine’s Day. Because she is only 5.5 inches tall, I adapted the free patterns available on my home page slightly. For the gown I folded the pattern on the hem line and sleeve casing line before cutting the pieces. To make the dress with sash I cut the gown pattern after I folded it on the “cut here for top” line. I folded the sun dress on the hem line before cutting the dress. I used a quarter inch seam allowance on all three pieces. The pants pattern will not fit Mini Ginny without more alteration.