Thursday, December 4, 2014

Updates and a Photo Shoot

Hello peoples!!

I'm not dead, for the record. These last couple weeks have been just a tad crazy but schools is finally starting to wind down.  I had a craft fair a couple weeks ago and meant to take pictures but forgot the camera (of course). Then thanksgiving and all that craziness came. And then boom! It's Christmas time.

I have another craft fair in a week. It's not really that big since it's only for a co-op but I should sew a couple new dresses. After that though, I really want to explore new techniques and create new designs.  I originally wanted to enter the Doll Wardrobe Fashion Design Contest however I put it off for too long until it became too late. So I was thinking I might make some designs from games and movies and just have fun with it. I'll update you on that when I get working on it.

Somewhere in all my craziness I actually had did photo shoot. I can sum up that experience quite quickly: it was cold! So I was outside on a cold windy day and I forgot gloves so my hands were freezing and I couldn't pose the doll very well. The leaves were a bit wet so I was trying super hard to keep the doll, dress and boots from becoming dirty. Also I was a tad disappointed that the sun was so harsh because all the leaves fell from the trees leaving no barrier from the sun. And then to top it all, my camera batteries were running out so I was trying to be quick but take good photos. Oh well, at least I learned a ton from making so many mistakes. There were a couple pictures I liked so let me show them to you all. 






Thanks for reading and looking!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Making of a Corset Dress Part 2

Today I had a chemistry exam... not fun. I was really stressing out over it but in the end I thought I did decent. It's great that it is over and it feels like a burden has been taken off my shoulders. So I didn't post because I studying like crazy and unfortunately school comes before hobbies.

Also, if you follow the Doll Wardrobe Blog, you might have noticed that I won the professional category for the Summer Fashion Design contest. I just want to thank everyone for voting for me and I'm so grateful that others appreciate my work. I might enter the next contest... I'm not sure though. School has really been getting to me lately and I've been struggling to find the time. But actually I love the Winter Design contest theme so I might just make an outfit for fun and share it. What do you think?

Okay, let's continue this corset dress.

Here we have all the pieces laid out. You can see how the bodice constructed with the corset part on bottom. I just used one piece for the lining (pictured at top) because I was worried that with more seams the dress would be too bulky. And since the dolls are so small a every little bit counts.

So for the front I pined the top on but made sure that I wasn't going to sew over the eyelets.

Then I top stitched the first top piece and sewed the other. I believe this pictures shows just how important top stitching is for this fabric. Without it it puffs up but when top stitched it lies flat.


I added the lacing here. If you do, make sure you don't accidentally sew the ends of the leather cord. Also keep an eye on the tension especially when sewing the bodice to the skirt. I'll try to explain it better when I get to that step.

Sewing the back...


Then attach the shoulder seams. Do the same for the lining.


Then take the lining and place right sides together. Sew the neckline and back seams. If you've sewed doll clothes, this is just like assembling a normal bodice.

Pretty top stitching... However this fabric refused to stay flat so top stitching was a must.

Now, for the sleeves, they really were a new experience for me. That's partly why I started this blog, to try new techniques and thankfully this actually turned out nicely. Basically the sleeve is made up of three pieces.

Difference lengths and slightly difference curves at the top. I changed the curve to allow the sleeves to flare out a little but that really happen. It's just in theory.

Anyways, take each of these pieces and roll hem the bottom. If you don't have this fancy foot..... well go and buy it. Seriously, I use this foot for everything from sleeves to skirts to ruffles. It's so handy for doll clothes.

I actually had a bit of a hard time roll hemming. The fabric was slippy and since it was slightly curved at the bottom I struggled to get it completely turned over. But I manged and thinking back, if I didn't have the foot, I would have given up!

Mark the center line with a pin.

So take each of the three pieces and lay them on top each other. Here you see that the curves don't line up. That was intentional. With the slight difference it will cause the sleeves to flare out and not just lie flat on top of each other. (I have no idea what happened to the pins....)


So take two of the pieces and pin the once you line them up.

All three lined up.

Annoying my hand, you can now see how the sleeves each have a unique position and are not right on top of the other.

Then gather stitch the sleeve.

I always do a single gather for sleeves but that's just my opinion. However for the skirts (especially shinny or hard to gather fabrics) I find that using a double gather stitch works better.

That's all for now. Next post I'll talk about putting on the sleeves and the skirt. So what do you think of the sleeves? Should I use them more?

Thanks for reading

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Making of an Corset Dress Part 1

 Hello people!

When I designed this dress, I wanted to
incorporate a corset into a dress since young girls have trouble lacing up corsets. So I thought about the different ways I could  have a laced up front but with minimum seams. I ended up designing a bodice with a front pleat with eyelets down the two sides.

 So today I will be showing you how to make a doll dress with a built in corset. For this dress I chose to use a brown texture suede and a slightly shiny blue fabric. I drafted the whole outfit from
scratch and cut it out.

For now, let's focus on the corset bodice. You can see that to add pleats, I simply cut the pattern and inserted an inch or so. Here is the extra wide bodice piece.


Then you pinch it and pull it towards the center.


Once you have these two pleats laid out, pin the edges so you can top stitch it. If you are like me, you might have a fancy foot to help you with the top stitching. Otherwise, just line up the edge of the fabric with a certain spot on your foot or sewing machine and be consistent the whole way down. Top stitching can really make an outfit look professional if down right.

Now as you can see, we have two little pin tucks on our bodice.

Pinch those and bring them towards the center. And now you can see how this is actually turning out.

Now for the eyelets! Grab your supplies and your patience (you might need it).


 First, before I started, I laid it out so I could see how many eyelets I wanted without overcrowding but without looking wimpy. Some thing to keep in mind. Give yourself more than a fourth inch seam allowance. You never know if you might need more. And measure them out so you can get a even corset. Do yourself a favor, make both sides aligned with each other. It would be awful to have a
lopsided corset.

Then I took a pencil (or a pen would work fine) and marked out each one. Unfortunately I could barely see each marking so I ended up marking one than adding the eyelet and repeating that progress one by one. 


Once marked, I pierced a hole with an awl while trying to stay on the small pencil mark. It's very annoying if you don't get right on the mark since you can't redo the hole. I just had to make it look even enough.


 Thank goodness the eyelets fit on the awl, it really makes the job a lot easier.

Shove it through the hole you just made. This might take a little bit of twisting and pushing.

And the fun part, smashing it. Yippee!

Yeah, one eyelet. Nine more to go...

If you don't go insane, here are your results of your pretty corset top. I thought it was worthwhile but it is a little tedious.

Really, this was the slow part of this dress. Personally, I prefer sewing to smashing eyelets but often I find myself creating more interesting designs if I combine sewing with other aspects.

So there you have it, now you can add corsets to any dress. Or if you take this concept, you can add it to skirts, sleeves or people clothes. The options are limitless. 

I'll have the next parts up soon. But in the meantime, if you liked this tutorial, comment below! Feel free to share what I should sew next.