Tag Archives: Clothes

Ood Pants, Take 4

It has begun! I have sewn my first garments for fashion dolls. It has been quite a journey. Sewing for dolls was different than anything I have sewn before. I am excited to tell you all about the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, and the creamy middles.

All sewing adventures start with choosing a pattern. I decided to use pattern G from Simplicity 1242. I was drawn to this pattern because it was simple and vintage; I absolutely adore vintage style. After browsing the instructions, I realized it was a straightforward pattern. It only required two leg pieces and some elastic for construction. After rummaging through a bin of fabric scraps, I assembled everything I needed for this journey.

I began by unfolding the thin pattern paper. This is always the most nerve-wracking part for me. With a toddler at my legs, you never know when an arm will reach up and try to rip what I’m working with. Luckily, she was more interested in her blocks than what I was doing up above. Once I had found the pattern I needed, I used white copy paper to trace the pattern. I didn’t want to cut out the original because I am certain I will be making this pattern again. I don’t like to cut original patterns, and doll clothes are small enough that I can get away with this little cheat.

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Next, I ironed out a piece of scrap fabric. It was part of a fat quarter I had leftover from making a drawstring bag. I believe the fabric is 100% cotton, and it is somewhat thin. I figured it would be a good fabric to test this pattern. First, I folded the fabric over so that it had two layers. Then, I cut out the pattern twice. I wanted to make at least two pairs of pants just in case one had problems or the sewing machine decided to eat the fabric (I love my new machine, but it did that twice when I was making curtains – eek!). The first piece I cut out was exact to the pattern. The second pair had an added 1/4″ in the waist area. Bloggers Brie and barbielea suggested adding extra space in the waist to better fit modern dolls, and I figured I should listen to their experience. Once the fabric was cut, I made my way to the sewing machine.

Before I started sewing, I read the directions that came with the pattern. They were composed of two blocks of text and two pictures; they certainly didn’t spell things out to the level I prefer. Being the visual person I am, I relied way too much on the pictures when assembling the first pair of pants. The first few steps went well. I sewed the front seam, pressed and sewed the top seam, and inserted the elastic without incident. Next, I looked at the second picture where it illustrates how to stitch the leg seams. I stitched up both legs, and then I went back to the back seam and crotch. That is when I realized my mistake. Because I waited to stitch up the back, it was hard to get the fabric to sit properly. The crotch area was particularly wonky. I read the written instructions again, and I was supposed to stitch the back seam before I stitched up the legs. Oops! I made the most of it, and when I was finished it wasn’t too noticeable on the outside. The seam is uneven when you look closely, but you can’t tell anything is wrong when the doll is wearing the pants.

Once I had the pants sewn up, I realized I had made another mistake. The bottom of the pants had a raw seam! I forgot to fold over the fabric and hem the cuffs at the bottom (where the feet come out). I looked at the instructions and I didn’t see it in the written part or in the picture. Maybe patterns expect us to know to do those things? Maybe I can’t read? Maybe I’m a total noob? I’m not sure; it is probably a combination of all three possibilities. To fix this, I rolled the fabric into the pants and pressed it with the iron. Then, I hand-stitched the hem into place. It was tedious work, but I finished it quickly due to the small size of the piece.

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This first pair looks pretty good, all things considered. This was my first attempt at making doll clothes, my first time sewing with a 1/4″ seam, and my first time using this pattern. Even with the mistakes I made, the pants fit my Ood doll! It was a bit difficult to slide them over her hips, but it wasn’t impossible. The bigger challenge was making her giant feet fit through the bottom cuffs. Even with those small problems, I am very happy with how the pants turned out.

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Because the first pair of pants were a success, I decided to do something fun with the second pair. I used a decorative flower stitch on the bottom cuffs to make them more interesting. Decorative stitches are a big advantage to having a computerized sewing machine; I wanted to utilize that capability. It didn’t take long to thread the machine and sew it into the cloth.

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Before I started construction on this pair of pants, I made sure to re-read the instructions. Between what was written and what I remembered from the first pair of pants, they came together beautifully. The final seam was much easier to sew, and I didn’t have to hand-stitch anything. I am very happy with how it turned out, and I am stunned at how little time it took to make them once I knew what I was doing. It would take me over a week to knit or crochet a pair of pants, and I was able to make two of these in a little over an hour. Huzzah!

I decided to let Snow White wear these trousers. The pink detailing seems to fit her style better than it does for the Ood dolls. I also couldn’t get them to fit the Ood dolls. The first pair of pants had extra fabric in the waste. The smaller waist works great for dolls with a teenage body, but it was too small for modern Barbie dolls. Old patterns are fun! I guess I will plan on making at least two of anything I sew so that I can adjust them accordingly.

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One big problem I felt with both pieces involved the feet on my sewing machine. None of the feet that came with my machine sew a 1/4″ seam well. The feet are all better suited for a 1/2″ or larger seam, and I found myself sewing blindly on all the curves. It was easier to sew the straight area of the leg because I could guide the fabric on both sides of the foot. On every curve, I was afraid that I would sew myself out of the fabric or I would sew too far into the fabric. I don’t like gambling, so I had to find a solution. After doing a quick search online, I found a sewing foot that is designed for assembling doll clothes. I ordered it off of eBay, and I am waiting patiently for it to make it to our home. I have decided not to sew any more doll clothes until I receive the new foot. I want to make a jacket or shirt when it does arrive. I have enough scrap black fabric to make at least one shirt, and I don’t want to ruin it by using the wrong foot.

One of the jackets included in this packet of patterns may work as an Ood jacket, after a few modifications. It is pattern E from Simplicity 1242. My only hesitation is that it looks a bit too long for an Ood. There are a few other jacket and shirt options in the other Simplicity patterns I bought. I will compare them before I make a final decision. We shall see what I come up with!

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I think I can say that one Ood will have a knit outfit while the second has a sewn outfit. I have also been playing around with a few other ways that I can differentiate them. Eye color is the first thing that comes to mind, but I have a few other ideas, too. What they hold in their hand is another way to differentiate them. One will have a hindbrain while the other has a translation orb. Before I hurt my wrist, I was playing around with different ways of making the translation orb. For now, I am stuck just looking for brain patterns online so that I can get a feel for how other people approach constructing a brain. Thus far, none of the patterns look like they can easily scale down to Barbie size, so I may be making my own pattern for that, too. Stay tuned!

What is next? Well, my wrist is still on hiatus. I am doing some exercises to help build up strength, but I get pain and cramps whenever I try to knit or crochet. The way I have to bend my wrist is putting too much stress on it. I don’t want this injury to linger, but at the same time I have a lot of things I want to craft. I am trying to do one row for the Ood shoes every night just so that I can make some iota of progress. If I keep that up, the next Ood update might be the Ood shoes for the first doll. For now, I am going to focus on writing a few more posts about our summer and the cool Barbie things we found while visiting family. Thank you for reading about my first sewing adventure! I hope you have a fantastic day.

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Giant Bag of Clothes, Part 1

I am so excited! I have this awesome new find to show you all. I was at the thrift store on base yesterday. We were doing our normal shopping, and in the consignment area I saw a gallon sized bag of Barbie clothes. At first I wasn’t sure if it was worth the price, $5.00, but then I realized that some thrift stores charge $1.00 per outfit and this bag clearly has more than five outfits. I ended up buying it because the Rapunzel dress was calling to me, and I am incredibly happy that I splurged. This bag has so much cool stuff inside of it that I can’t believe I ever hesitated to buy it.

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I was so excited to open the bag when I got home that I didn’t take a picture of it until after I had cut the top off. Oops! I haphazardly put the stuff back inside of the bag and took a picture for posterity, as you can see above. After that, I started sorting through everything in the bag. I was not disappointed by the contents. It contains 23 outfits, a few miscellaneous pieces of clothing, 20 pairs of shoes, 9 brushes, 2 handbags, 5 hats, 5 Barbie hangers, 1 mirror, and 1 pair of purple glasses. This bag of clothes was able to single-handedly solve the problem of naked dolls without me having to make them all myself. Well worth five bucks!

The one bummer is something that happened to the purple glasses. They were bent, and I broke them when I tried to bend them back into place. It was my mistake; I should have warmed them up before I tried to mess with them. I may try to glue them back together, but that is a topic for another time. For now, I will go ahead and show you the most complete outfits. There were a few miscellaneous single pieces of clothing that I didn’t picture (a few pairs of shorts and a broken halter top, to be exact), and they may show up randomly another time. This is the vast majority of the contents of the bag. Because it takes time for me to upload and write about the pictures, I am breaking this up into two or three blog posts. I will work on them and get them published as quickly as possible.

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First up is an awesome cape! I love the color of it. The deep red is stunning and matches the Merida doll perfectly. It can even tame her hair. I don’t know what doll the cape is from. It doesn’t have any tags or marks, and I don’t recognize it from anywhere. It reminds me of something worn in The Lord of the Rings, but I wasn’t able to find anything online with the same color (their capes were all green). Even if it is unidentifiable, I think it is a lovely piece and I am very happy to have it as part of the collection.

**Update**
A giant thank-you to Audrey B. for telling me that this cape comes from the Star Wars Episode 1 Hidden Majesty Queen Amidala doll. You can see a picture of it here!

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This is a generic doll in an oversized sleeping shirt. For this outfit, the accessories make it awesome. She has a towel on her head (held on by a clear band) and a blow dryer in her hand. She also has a pair of cute white flats on. I’m not sure if I love the oversized pajamas, but everything else about this is a lot of fun. It certainly makes this less-than-stellar doll look as good as the real Barbies. My favorite piece from this outfit is the towel. I wan’t able to find out what doll(s) the outfit and accessories are from.

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This outfit is amazing! It is a paisley halter top bikini with a pair of red sandals. Splash n’ Color Kira pulls it off better than any other doll I own. I tried to find out what set this bikini came with, but that turned into a wild goose chase. I found a picture of a fashionista doll wearing the same top and a Ken doll wearing a pair of trunks in the same pattern, but I could not find out what this outfit was called or what doll it came with. Oh well; you win some and you lose some.

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This outfit is adorable, and it matches the doll fairly well! When I first picked her up, I thought she was a Taylor Swift doll. Once I researched her, I realized it was actually a Hannah Montana doll. I would like to think it is because the bodies for Jaaks dolls are similar, but in reality it is probably just because I need to listen to more contemporary music. But enough about the doll, we are here for the clothes. None of these pieces for this outfit had a Barbie tag, and none of them came from a set I am familiar with. Either way, I think this is an adorable outfit that is well made. The jeans have really grown on me; I may need to bleach and sew some tassels onto a pair of my jeans to match it.

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Here is Belle in a pink dress! This dress is adorable, but the clear straps on it are broken. I am not sure if I can fix it… I know that I may be able to sew it back on, but I have had terrible luck sewing these plastic bands back onto clothing. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do. It doesn’t stay up very well without the straps, so I do need to figure something out. I may end up adding a piece of lace or ribbon to the top in order to make the dress stay up properly.

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I LOVE this outfit. This outfit is the hidden gem that I found in the bottom of the bag. It is bright, beautiful colors that fits perfectly on the Fashionistas Nikki doll. I also found this awesome handbag for her to wear with it. It matches the outfit perfectly and the entire outfit has a fun attitude. I gave her a pair of tall boots and now we are ready to go out on the town!

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Just for fun, I had to dress up the Flower Power Teresa doll I used for Peri in something fun. It is a lovely and light yellow outfit. I think it is missing an under-skirt or bikini bottom because of how transparent the lace skirt is. I really like the hat. It needs to be ironed for it to fit really well, but it is adorable. I also like the cute yellow heels I found; they match the top perfectly. This is a fun spring outfit; I may use it for Easter this year.

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This is a Disney Aurora doll in a short dress. I was surprised by how well the dress fits; the fabric is stretchy and doesn’t fall down like some of the other dresses. It is a great piece that could work well with any number of dolls. This picture also shows one of the two head scarves that came in the bag. They have the Barbie tag in a really awkward place, but otherwise they are lovely scarves.

That is it for today! I had a lot of fun dressing up the dolls and being able to share them with everybody. The revised pattern for Ood trousers is taking longer than expected. I also have a few Easter commissions that have taken center stage this week, so it is hard to find time to work on them. I will do my best to carve out an hour or two each day to get the pants knocked out and the next Whovian update taken care of. Until then, have a fantastic day!

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