Tag Archives: Snow White

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 3

The blog is back! I apologize for my absence these last few weeks. Due to family circumstances, travel, and illness I was unable to post anything (or get much work done, either). I will do my best to get things posted these next few weeks, but we are moving for my husband’s job in two months. For anyone who has moved on their own with kids (we’re putting all our junk in a rental truck and driving it ourselves – eek!) you know that two months isn’t much time at all to get everything in order. Much of my free time will be dedicated towards that cause. Still, I promise to do my best to have something to post during this turbulent time – hopefully something along the lines of once per week between now and when we get settled at our new home. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated during all of this craziness.

Now that I have that out of the way, I can focus on more important things. Today, we are finishing up something I started a few posts ago. I will post pictures from the last few outfits from the giant bag of clothes I purchased before my absence. I hope you enjoy it!

IMG_7346 This doll/outfit combo is one of my favorites for the entire bag! I love Taylor Swift’s music, and her doll is absolutely lovely. I like how the colors of the top and pants compliment the softness of this doll’s face and hair. I originally bought this doll to make a weeping angel craft, but luckily I never found the textured spray paint needed to complete it. I now appreciate how nice this doll is and I am happy that she gets to wear this instead of angelic shrouds.

IMG_7347 Mulan was one of the last dolls that I clothed, and finding an outfit that fit her hips was not easy. They are a bit bigger (belly-button body type) than most of the remaining pants could fit. Luckily, these black pants worked perfectly. I like how delicate the shirt is and how it compliments Mulan’s sly smile. I also like the chunky Mary-Jane shoes that match the pants. I wish that I could walk in those things! I am notoriously clumsy, and heels like that would be downright dangerous on my hooves. Oh Mulan, you’re living the dream.

IMG_7348 This outfit may win the award for most ironic doll/outfit combination. This is a Flavas P.Bo doll in a pink, flowery dress. For those who aren’t familiar, the Flavas dolls were supposed to be the hip, urban counterpart to Barbie. If Barbie was The Sims, the Flavas were The Urbs. Unfortunately, this line of dolls never caught on, so not many were produced in the line. Having unknowingly found one was lucky on my part, and having her in this decidedly yuppy attire brings a smile to my face. Sometimes, we have to appreciate the little things.

IMG_7349Varsity Barbie! Well, not quite. I’ll be honest; this outfit is from the bottom of the barrel. I was nearing the last few single pieces of clothes, and I had to figure out which pieces matched well enough to wear. This is what I came up with! I found another cute pair of slip-on shoes that match the jacket, and that pulls it all together. I feel lucky that the bag came with so many shoes.

IMG_7350 This outfit is torn quite extensively, but I did my best to put it on the doll and take a picture that minimizes the damage. The entire left side of the dress is ripped from the neck, through the arm, and into the back. I really wanted to show you this outfit because I like the pattern of the dress and the matching accessories. This hat rocks so, so much! I want to mend it just to keep the set intact, but I am not sure if it is salvageable. I will only know when I get in there with my needle. It is another project to add to the queue.

IMG_7351 This outfit confused me at first. The sleeves were folded in on each other, so at first it seemed more like a straight jacket than a dress. Once I untangled it, I realized how it fit. I like the colors and the unique design of the outfit. It works well with this doll, which I affectionately call Meg. She reminds me of Megara from that Disney Hercules movie, but she is not a Disney doll. She is a random generic doll who is missing a leg. Yep, toddlers are hard on dolls, and this one has paid the price.

**Update**
Thank-you Audrey B. for telling me that this dress comes from the Star Wars Episode 1 Hidden Majesty Queen Amidala doll. You can see a picture of it here! I had no idea it was from a Star Wars doll. Very cool, and thank you again for recognizing this dress.

IMG_7352 This is the bendy Cheer Leader Barbie in a pink bride’s maid dress. Perhaps she wants to be invited to Donna’s wedding? If she does get the invite, she’ll have to find a pair of matching shoes. I’m sure that I can help her with that, though. I still have high hopes for doing Donna after I finish the pair of Ood I am currently working on. If I don’t find the skein of white thread, I will buy a new one. The one good thing about moving is that you take inventory of everything as you pack. I’m hoping this will work to my advantage.

IMG_7353 This dress is so delightfully retro, so of course Snow White had to wear it. The colors remind me of the 60’s and all of the cool clothes we see on Mad Men. I adore it! I also like the shoes that I chose for it – a pair of chunky pumps that fit perfectly on her dainty feet. Overall, this outfit is another awesome and functional find.

That’s it! Wow, it is hard to believe that one single bag had over 23 complete outfits. I am so happy that I don’t have to keep rotating the same few outfits between my dolls when taking pictures of them – finally some variety! This is the single best thing I have bought since starting this blog. To recap, here is a picture of all the dolls wearing all the clothes from the giant bag of clothes.

IMG_7330It brings a smile to my face to see them all together, especially after being away for so long. I am currently making progress on the pair of Ood pants. It is slow going because I have been ill this last week, but I am doing my best to make a few rows of progress every day. Hopefully I will have them done for next week’s post. If I don’t finish the pants, I will do a blog post about something else – perhaps doing their hair so that it will fit under the mask. We shall see! Until then, I hope you all have a fantastic week.

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