Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Year of 1775

There was a certain Christmas Ball that the governor was giving. A young lady by the name of Felicity needed a new gown if she was to attend. Excitedly, she picked out a lovely royal blue taffeta, lace and trim. She managed to get the dress cut out and the skirt started; but alas there was not enough hours in a day, neigh in a month to create her new gown with all the chores and preparations that need to be done before her new brother or sister's birth. Since her mother was laid up due to the pregnancy and most of the work was up to her as the oldest. She wouldn't be able to finish her gown.
Felicity sighed, as she put the unfinished dress away, trying to be cheerful after all her family was more important then a ball! There would be other balls, this thought cheered her some. She began to sing and pray to Jesus to give her joyful attitude while she started on the morning dishes.
On the morning of the ball (Felicity tried not to think about it) the last several weeks had kept her busy enough that she almost forgot about the ball and though she had not had much time to herself she did feel joyful with Christmas almost upon her. She took breakfast to her poor mother with a smiling face, but little did she know her mother had a very spacial surprise for her. "Good morning mother" Felicity said, as she entered the room. "Good morning" her mother said, weakly but cheerfully and full of warmth. Felicity, mother said, I am so proud of the way you have cheerfully taken over the chores, look in the chest at the end of my bed there is a surprise in it for you. Opening the chest, Felicity's smile widened and she squealed with delight my gown its finished! Felicity twirled the dress around the room as tears of joy came to her eyes, Thank you, Thank you!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Regency Open Robe

I found this lovely woven in a striped purple linen/rayon blend at Joann's on clearance and I just had to get it. After waiting in a short line to get it cut or I should say measured, as there was only about 2.5 yards left! I was so glad that it was 60in. wide. I got matching thread and went home to decide what to make out of it:)
Since I haven't made an open robe in a long....time and I have been wanting to make something from my new Janet Arnold Pattern books, it became this new fabric's destiny:) I had to enlarge the pattern for the second time, since the original pattern is beyond a size 0, women were so tiny back then! It was a little tricky trying to get the pleating right so that it measured up with the lining. So I looked online to see how others were doing it and ended up just adjusting the pattern till it looked right.

 Of course after I finished this robe I discovered how the back pleats are suppose to go. The ones I had found online; though the robes were gorgeous the pleating isn't quite right on them either. O'well it turned out pretty well for the first time ever using this pattern. Now that I have a better idea of how everything goes together I plan to make my next one out of silk.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Adventures Sewing Doll Clothes

Some of you have asked me questions about making doll clothes, so I thought I would do this post on how I started to where I am now, what patterns I like to use and so on..

I actually started learning how to sew by making doll clothes. When I was younger I loved my dolls(still do infact :) I also love anything that had to do with home making. Both my mom and my older sister sewed, by watching them, along with wanting some doll clothes for my dolls, started my sewing adventures. At first, I was too scared to use the machines so I did everything by hand, I mostly made square objects at first like small pouches,little pillows etc...When I was around 8 I finally got up the nerve to try using the sewing machine, I quickly got used to it and started making doll clothes right away.
I think my first project making "people clothes" was a skirt, I had decided that I didn't really like making "people clothes" as they seemed to take longer and they just weren't as fun at the time, so I went back to doll clothes.
My first, doll dress I made from a real pattern was Butterick 5452 Dress D. I was quite excited when I discovered that there were actual patterns for doll clothes, before I was just making skirts or tube dresses. My older sister walked me through making my first real dress and then after that I was on my own, for the most part, the figuring patterns out. I wish I had some pictures of my very first doll dress, but I never thought to take any.

I used this pattern several times and I still have it, though most of the pieces are missing and the the envelope is badly torn.
My next favorite pattern was McCall's 3275. Now this pattern is in better shape and I still have all the pieces:) It only recently went out of print.

Then on ebay I found American Girl Doll Dress patterns, I decided on Kirsten's pattern set and eagerly waited to get it in the mail so that I could get started. I have been using this pattern the most along with Samantha's dress pattern set that I bought a year later.

I found a this site were you can download these patterns for Free! Click Here 
I'm not sure how good they are as I'm haven't finished downloading any yet.   

I also, went through a period of buying pattern books, but I decided that I like making historic doll clothes better and so I haven't used them in awhile.

Our library had this one, so I never bought it.

I bought this one...

....and this one I got for my birthday

I now mostly make my own patterns using different pattern pieces as a guide.

Kara had asked me If it was hard to make "tiny"doll clothes and I'm sorry I never answered you Kara. My answer is: No, not really of course I also have had loads of practice, but doll clothes are put together a little different then our clothes are. Which makes them easier to sew, plus dolls don't really have any "shapes" so they don't need a whole lot of fitting.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cecile & Marie Grace 1853

American Girl came out with 2 new historic dolls right before Christmas in 2011. So I of course had to make a dresses for them!

I'm curious, would you all like seeing every doll dress I make or would you rather I pick out the "best" ones/newest style?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Intverview with Keepers Dolly Duds!

For a few years I have followed this amazing seamstress on ebay who makes utterly stunning doll clothes. Her work has inspired me to work harder at perfecting my doll clothes. She recently opened up an etsy shop and I asked her if she would be interested in an interview, to which she replied that she would.

                                              Who or what got you interested sewing? 
 When I was very young I used to watch in awe as my mother sewed for me and my siblings on her Imperial sewing machine.  I loved my Mom's button was magical to me!

 Where did you learn to sew or who taught you? 

I learned to sew by watching my mother and experimenting with a scissors, fabric, needles and thread.   My Mom truly didn't have the time to actually teach me or my sisters to sew. She sewed out of necessity and it was just one of many chores she did in raising nine children.


                                    How old were you when you made your first project?
                                     When I was four years old I made my first doll dress.

                                                   What was your first project?
I can remember laying my doll on the floor, cutting out fabric around the doll then sewing it one her. My mother was very proud of my accomplishment. I can remember being embarrassed as she showed everyone who came to visit what I had made.

                                     What are the most beneficial resources to you?
 Presently I search the internet for historical pictures and photos, vintage pattern jackets, vintage catologues, movies etc. I am always on the look out for ideas to make realistic looking garments for dolls.

                                     What are some of your favorite sewing books?
 I have two books from Dover, one titled "Everyday Fashions 1909-1920" As pictured in the Sears Catalogs" and the other titled Children's Fashions 1900-1950 As pictured in Sears Catalogs. Another great book I enjoy is titled The Collector's Book of Dolls' Clothes, Costumes in Miniature 1700-1929...Authors Dorothy S., Elizabeth A., and Evelyn Coleman ( no relation to me, even though we have the same name).

                                       What are some of your favorite patterns?
Although I usually design and make my own patterns,I recently purchased a pattern from a fellow seamstress for an 1850's Day Dress by Thimbles and Acorns, designer Shari Fuller. Its  a wonderful pattern. I have a few of Lincoln Mold 18" doll patterns which I use from time to time.

                                               Where do you get your inspiration from?
 I've always loved historical fashion and love trying to create it in doll size outfits..maybe I was born in the wrong era...:o) I' d say the resources themselves are very inspirational.  I do my best to capture the particular style and era of every garment I make. It can be difficult at times given the scale of the doll clothes.

                                      What are some of your other hobbies/interests?
 Over the years I have enjoyed designing and creating jointed mohair teddy bears.  I love to cycle and work in the garden.

                               What would be your ultimate/dream sewing project?
 Hmmm, I kind of feel like I am doing it now... thinking up designs in my head then seeing them made up in completion on a doll is my dream job. I find it very satisfying. Someday soon, if all goes well, I may have patterns available for sale.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter Photo Shoot

I only got a few pictures of the red riding hood dress I made last fall, so when the snow came and I had the chance I grabbed my sister (she was my model:), my camera, and snap some fun pictures. It was a good thing we went out when we did too, because the snow flakes really started coming down later, like a rain drops in a down pour!

This one is my favorite!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crochet Flower Hair Clip Tutorial

My older sister has 2 little girls that got a crochet flower clip each for Christmas from a relative and they liked them so much that she asked me if I could make each girl 2 more. One pink and another purple. So I hunted up this YouTube tutorial on how to make the flower and I figured out how to attach the clip myself.

Attaching a clip.
If you click on the pictures and open them up in a new tab or window, the pictures will be bigger, if you need to see them up closer.

First stick the needle like so....
(on the back) 

Step 2
Then stick it back through part way, starting on the same end that you just pulled the needle through, and wrap one strand of yarn over the needle then pull the needle through.

Step 3
Next, stick the needle through the clip, then stick it under a piece of the flower and back through under the clip, then over clip again. Repeat this four times, moving toward the front of the clip.

Step 4
Once you have reached the front pass the needle under a few strands of the flower to the other side of the clip and repeat step 3 over again only this time work toward the back of the clip.

Step 5
When you have reached the back of the clip pass the needle under the clip, like you did at the front of the clip, and do 2 stitches around the side of the clip. Then stick the needle through the stitches you made (like pictured below) 

Step 6
Tie a slip knot and clip the excess yarn.

These are the ones that I made
The three little ones are for my nieces
and the two larger ones I made for myself. I decided to do just 2 layers instead of 3 since it was getting quite large:)