Saturday, 31 January 2015
What could be easier? I thought. Than a nice pair of dungarees over a leotard? What project could be simpler? No complicated fitting to do, just bib and pants, then bib and skirt, to make a bib-dress. I can make a really nice pattern with these.
"Cheer up. It's all going to be lovely," Says Patience, sitting down with a needle and thread. "I'm sure I can help you fix this."
"No darling.." I tell her. "It's not the dungarees that are the problem, it's the dress that needs restyling."
But she doesn't want to take the dress off tonight. Her excuse is that I need a break and if she's wearing the dress I want to fix, I'll be forced to take one.
She means well. ;)
Thursday, 29 January 2015
After a discussion on the Facebook Tonner & Wilde group recently, I've managed to draw these conclusions.
Ken dolls ( as in Barbie) can swap clothing with Patience. Ken's legs are a fraction longer than Patience's, but all my Ken clothes fit my Patience dolls.
Agnes Dreary - (Patience shares the same body)
Tonner Harry Potter kids - (Patience shares the same body)
Marley Wentworth - is apparently exactly the same size too, but her body is very slightly different. It's a bit longer, as the doll is taller.
Maudlynne Macabre. - A slightly taller doll, but with very similar measurements.
Measurements were kindly supplied by Nicolette over on Facebook.
Patience: Height 14", Bust 5 1/2, Waist 4 5/8", Hips 5 3/4"
Maudlynne: Height 15 1/4", Bust 5 1/2", Waist 4 3/8", Hips 5 3/4"
(For general Tonner/Wilde body types, this is a good comparison site. you can also see bodies of Patience and Marley there. Link provided by Aldina in the comments below.)
The only differences seem to be height and waist size. Maudlynne is just that teeny bit thinner in the waist than Patience.
As for the height, It seems to be mostly in the legs, because looking at pictures of the bodies side by side, the torso of both dolls do appear to be very similar.
Again, thanks to Nicolette for these comparison shots!
Very handy pics. It's hard to find Tonner body comparisons on the interwebs.
ADDENDUM: I couldn't find a nude dolly pic of any of the Harry Potter kids at all, annoyingly. I have seen one, that was the same body as Patience, but I can't for the life of me find it again.
But I did find one of Marley Wentworth and Agnes dreary. They're not alongside Patience, but you can get a good idea that Agnes has Patience's body, but Marley's body seems to be a bit different.
Marley x 2:
As for the dungarees pattern I'm currently fiddling about with, it's all going very nicely, but I keep getting fresh ideas that take me off in different directions. Which is an okay problem to have. I'd rather have too many ideas than not enough.
But a few other ideas have sprung from doing this, and once I've sorted them all out, should be loads of fun to sew. :)
My desk is a tip. Poor Patience will soon be buried in different jeans designs....
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Just a quickie.
I've updated all the zip files on my TUTORIAL/PATTERNS FOR SALE page, so the downloads people will get after checkout will be in BOTH U.S. Letter and European A4 formats.
No more having to email me for the A4 size. :) Just download the zip files, and use whichever page format is suitable for your country.
Monday, 26 January 2015
Well, thanks to being able to adapt my Ken tee-shirt pattern, the leotard is a success on the first try. I'll be making this short-sleeved and lower necked vaersion, along with a turtleneck version. There will be the option of long or short sleeves for both, much the same as the Ken tee.
I haven't tried it on Zane yet, because frankly it's pink, but I have swiped his jeans to see if they fit well over the leotard.
And they do!
Here she is looking tomboyish but still in girly pink.
The YO-SD boots look adorable on her too.
Next, I need to figure out some dungarees. The Ken jeans should do well as a base pattern, but I need to decide how the dungarees bib will be attached, because I'd prefer a waistband on these, rather than having the dungaree tops and legs cut as one piece.
Not sure yet. Waistbands can involve way too much bulk, especially if I'm using denim, however lightweight.
Onwards and upwards....
Sunday, 25 January 2015
I keep a small drawer full of doll clothes, both old stuff I've made myself, and factory items - just in case I get a new doll and something can be adapted to fit. Seeing as I want to make a leotard and dungarees for Patience next, I fished out a Ken tee-shirt to see how easy it would be to adapt the pattern.
Lo and behold, it's a perfect fit! I'm delighted. I can modify the tee into a nice leotard suitable for a little girl very easily now.
Here she is in my Ken tee: The sleeves could be lengthened by about 1/4", but the short sleeved version wouldn't need adjusting at all.
The Ken tee can be bought here:
So I tried some factory Ken jeans just out of curiosity, and Patience can wear these very well. They're a little long, but length is easy to adjust, or I could just turn them up. The waist of the jeans is very loose, but they do sit okay, and I think when one comes to sew on the snaps, the jeans could simply be fitted to the Patience body then.
And here's a Fashionista Ken shirt: A perfect fit with no need to alter.
I fished out a couple more bits. This is a minidress I designed for Pedigree Sindy - many years ago now. The fit is a bit tight, but the snaps fastened easily, and the pattern will need minor adjustment to the bodice. The sleeves could be adapted to any length.
Lastly, Here's a dress I made for a Moxie Teenz girls, a few years back. There needs to be more adjustment to the bodice, no darts, for example. The sleeves are long and too tight over Patience's hands, (I had to remove her hands. But I can modify that.
But the Ken thing is good news indeed. I need to try my own Ken jeans on Patience before I go around saying they'll fit. But for now, the tee pattern is perfect, and available in my Etsy store.
Saturday, 24 January 2015
I love bloomers, so I made some extra-roomy ones for Patience, and they peep out from under her skirt beautifully.
Available in my Etsy shop:
Or right here on my blog:
If you fancy the dress without the sleeves, there's a section of instructions on how to do that, as well as an extra short tutorial on how to style the bloomers by dampening them.
I bend over backwards to make these patterns excellent value, and the skirts, bodice and sleeve pieces of this set are fully interchangeable with the different components of the dress in pattern SSP-006 (Pinafore set.)
Patience is kinda fun to pose.
This was a fun project. I say that about every project I know, but if it wasn't fun, it wouldn't be worth doing I guess.
Next, I'm thinking of a teeshirt and dungarees. I've never made dungarees for a doll, so I think I'll need to do a bit of sewing research, and think about how I'm going to put them together.
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Next will come a pretty dress with a fitted bodice and romantic flouncy sleeves.
Along with bloomers.
Because I've been wanting to publish a pattern for bloomers for a while now. I'll try to do some for Ellowyne, Blythe and possibly Monster High too.
There are so many patterns for different dolls sitting in my filing system (okay, a box,) and so many ideas in my head. The days are not long enough!
I'm making this one in Lacuna cotton lawn that has been printed with my own fabric design, along with some pretty aqua cheesecloth.
Got off to a good start today. Much sewing to do, and now I feel like I have a dozen new ideas in my head for fabric prints too.
Sunday, 18 January 2015
Here it is. :)
So cute! I do love me a pinafore over a pretty dress on a little girl.
In my Etsy store:
Or here on my blog:
As per my last blog entry, this shows not only how to make the dress and the pinny, but helps you make an alternative kind of bow which is a little less bulky than just tying one. It also shows you how to turn a narrow tube of sewing if you don't own a loop turner.
Loop turning option, is - of course - included too.
Riiight, now to tidy the refuse tip... I mean my desk...
And wonder what to make next. Anyone for bloomers?
Saturday, 17 January 2015
The pinafore has been worked out and now fits perfectly, and is all finished, so all I have to do is scan in the pattern pieces and this new pattern should be available tomorrow.
If all goes well...
Here's my Patience in her new outfit, she calls it her sunshine dress, because it's golden and happy, and the flowers on the Liberty Tana lawn pinafore are just perfect for Spring. Which is on its way, honest. Just a couple of months to go.
I also figured out the mock-ties rather nicely. The pattern will show how to turn thin spaghetti straps the right side out - if you don't have a loop turner, and if you do.
It will also show how I make these particular bows. They're a tad less bulky than simply tying a straightforward bow and sewing it on.
This is so cute on the doll! I love it. Even though she's trying to tell me she's a tomboy and therefore wants dungarees....
I'm sorely tempted to buy another Patience and turn her into a boy - with a fur wig and a bit of a repaint. Hmmmm.
Thursday, 15 January 2015
I'm a sucker for cotton lawn, so whenever I can afford it, I get some printed up to my own designs from Lacuna Press. The quality is always perfect, and they're so speedy!
These four fabrics are no exception.
The floral print is one I created to mimic some cotton poplin I have. I'm not keen on poplin for doll garments at all, because it's so hard to get a needle through it when hand sewing and gathering.
The darker blue and the grape coloured fabric is very subtly mottled and I created it to tone in with a couple of my Liberty prints. I used the Lacuna Press colour map to match up the colours I wanted, and they've printed out completely true to the colours I wanted.
The pale aqua fabric is a bit of an experiment. I wanted to print out a flat colour, to see if it would work and match up to another piece of patterned fabric I have in my stash - and that worked beautifully too. :)
The photo doesn't quite do the lovely colours justice:
I really need to start sewing these pretty fabrics soon. I have a good sized stash of Lacuna cotton lawn now, but I'm probably as addicted to fabric as I am to dolls...
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
The toile in progress:
One would think making a simple pinafore would be much easier than creating the dress it's to adorn. But no. It's taken me several drafts to fit the bodice, and figure out how the skirts need to hang.
Firstly - these are my inspiration pics, found on the vast internets:
What I want is a puff-sleeve dress, with a high waistband underneath, and a tabard-style pinny that fastens at the sides with ties over the top. A tabard is meant to go over the head, and fasten at the sides. With me so far? Well, the size of Patience's head makes this virtually impossible.... (I will never be cruel to Pru about her huge bonce again.)
So the pinny will need a back opening.
Which means the sides of the bodice may as well be sewn together, and the ties will be mock-ties. I'll leave the skirt open at the back too, for ease of putting the pinny on over the dress.
Next, I want the skirts of the pinny to be open at the sides (as you can see in the pics above) so the pretty skirt shows. One of my pet hates is dirndl skirts - a straight tube gathered at the bodice end. They don't work very well on a doll's scale IMHO. A dirndl pinafore would likewise have a rectangle-cut skirt piece, gathered at the bodice end.
Usually I cut all my skirts, petticoats, pinafores, etc "A" line to give them a decent shape.
With a skirt that is not joined at the side seams however, one has to get the angle of the sides exactly right, so they hang properly on a doll. Maybe I'm being obsessive, but I want it to be perfect and right. I sell my patterns and outfits with the slogan "Fits like a dream" so that's important to me and the customer.
Any old hoo, I've managed to make the perfect bodice, and the skirts are coming along. I'm glad I made this toile, a practice garment in inexpensive fabrics, rather than trying to attempt it with my expensive Liberty lawn and have it go wrong. I'm a couple of pinafores in now and it's only beginning to shape up.
Here's the A-line skirt front, pinned to the correct angle, ready for a re-draft of the pattern and another attempt:
The bodice is lovely though, and the mock-ties will look very cute, when they're done.
We're getting there, Patience and I. Don't forget this is not the final fabric, just scraps of practice fabric I found in my stash.
Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to make the proper garment in beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn. <3
Monday, 12 January 2015
TBT, be damned. I was looking through some old designs on my hard drive and felt nostalgic. One of the items that caught my attention is this outfit I made for my Iplehouse JID girl Rachel.
Leotard, pants and overdress.... all fully lined! The work it took, I can't begin to tell you.
This outfit is in someone's private collection somewhere now, but I still love it, and it'll lend itself to Ellowyne and Patience beautifully. Probably even Blythe.
The olive green fabrics in the leotard and pants are some I hand-dyed, so they had to be lined with un-dyed light fabric to eliminate the risk of staining on the doll's body. This is why I tend to line everything I can.
Lined pants are quite fun and interesting to make, but when it comes to a lined leotard - it's no mean feat!
Friday, 9 January 2015
Pah. I totally jinxed myself in the last post. Everything went wrong with this project, so I'm going to have to start from scratch again.
It looks okay in the picture, but the lining is bad. The bodice is too tight to accommodate the skirt gathers; the waistline is too high once the seam allowance is considered; and the cuffs are a mess. I pinned it in the back to make it look better too, but it's just not up to par.
I used the professional technique for lining the bodice (including the sleeves) but with all the gathering and the bulk of the seams in the sleeve cuffs, the scale of this doll just isn't right for that method.
Ah well. If at first you don't succeed...
Go bury your head in a book for the rest of the day.
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
I've already shown how I do this on Flickr, a long old time ago, but I've added the images to my free tutorials page so people can look it up and have a go if they feel brave. It's NOT a fully comprehensive tutorial, before people go messaging me and saying so. It's just s series of photos on a creative couple of days I had at the time.
Flickr album: A creative meander.
It shows how I use the clingfilm and masking tape method of constructing a beautifully fitted dolls. bodice, In the album I use a modern Barbie body... onto which I've put a Moxie Girlz head, because I think they're so pretty, but their Moxie bodies are not poseable enough.
I used the same technique to make a fresh bodice for Patience. She seems to be a lucky dolly for me, because everything I make her, so far, has gone right first time.
Now I've gone and jinxed myself haven't I?
The first draft of the bodice is a lovely fit, I've even checked that the sizing allows for the gathered skirt to be attached. Now that I have this, I'll have a basic block that I can use for several different dresses.
Still working away at it, and will be using it for the next Patience pattern.
Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off I go to sew...
Monday, 5 January 2015
And here it is, my first Patience pattern. I'm informed she shares a body with Marley Wentworth, Agnes Dreary and the Tonner Harry Potter kids too, so this should fit those dolls.
Available now in my Etsy store:
Or here on my blog:
This was one of my nicest projects so far. A good way to start the year - everything went right! Here are some images of the ensemble:
The shoulder ruffle is nice and versatile, it does everything I wanted it to do:
Or you can have the dress without the ruffle at all:
And here's what the petticoat is like. It's mid-calf length, and has a proper waistband:
So that's that. Now I have a few more cute ideas to dress this lovely little doll. I need some coffee and then I need to clear away the debris from my desk.... it's a veritable tip.
Sunday, 4 January 2015
Whenever I make a strapless bodice dress for any dolly, I always wonder how best to make some kind of off-shoulder sash or ruffle. (I don't even know what the correct couture term is for such a thing.) I tried it back when I worked in 6" Pippa scale and had a small degree of success, but since then, I've always chickened out of trying. It's slightly more awkward than one might think to add this sort of thing once the dress is fully made, but I came up with an idea last night before going to bed, and woke up raring to try it.
It worked first time and I was so pleased. Now it's on Patience's new dress she looks a bit like a Southern belle.
Because of the way the shoulder ruffle is made, and the way it's attached to the dress, it's really versatile. It can be worn a couple of ways, and removing the detached armlets gives it another look again.
Once I've drawn out and scanned in the pattern pieces, this pattern should be ready for sale. :) Tomorrow, I hope.
Saturday, 3 January 2015
....Virtue is a grace.
Grace was a little girl who never washed her face.
I always find it very hard to get along with child, dolls, much preferring teenage types, but in Patience's case, I'm somewhat smitten. The body is a good size and shape for designing clothing, and her expression is sorta cute. She could almost be a younger sister for Ellowyne, if her head was in scale.
I'm awfully picky about doll's colourings and hair, and I couldn't quite take to my Patience's hairstyle - so, like many of my dollies, she got scalped and I put on a cute short wig I'd bought for my Pullip. It's adorable on her and gives her the sort of personality I like.
Really suits her, I think. :)
She's sat on the shelf for many months while I played with the boys and my other girl dolls. Now I've made a couple of bits and pieces for Blythe, Patience is really fun to sew for.
My only real problem with my doll is her knee joints. They're so loose that I had to splint them with some acetate just to get her to stand. I posted about it on Facebook and was recommended to write to the Tonner doll hospital for advice, which I've done, and it being the weekend, I hope they'll get back to me some time in the week.
That aside, the first Patience pattern is coming along nicely. I've one more thing to figure out and add, then I can publish. I wanted a shoulder frill, or ruffle, or something to make the top of the dress a little less 'sexy', she's supposed to be a little girl after all.
Here she is, feeling terribly grown-up in this posh new frock:
Pardon the lack of attractive background, I just took a couple of quick snaps. Love those frothy skirts with the big clumpy boots.
Patience wears YOSD sized boots very well, and stands up in them beautifully.
Hoping to finish this look over the next couple of days, and I have some really cute stuff planned for the next few sewing patterns. :)
Friday, 2 January 2015
Quick entry today. I'm working on a pattern for Patience as my first one of 2015. It's a version of the SSP-003 pattern for Blythe, and I'm making it in pale blue striped fabric.
It's a really enjoyable dress to make, and I'd like to produce one for Ell too. Perhaps a little more grown up though, not sure yet.