Sunday, August 2, 2020

Doll Clothes and More!

For my new Wee Wonderfuls dolls, I used several of the clothes pieces that came with the pattern. I also modified a few and made up a couple of my own.


I had just as much fun making the clothes as the dolls, and once I started I didn't want to stop! For the first doll I made four outfits, using the Peasant Top, Basics Top and Bottom, Wide Leg Pants, and Pinafore, all from the pattern.


I made up this skirt - it's just a 24" rectangle with an elastic waist.


I used the pattern's Basics Top for both jammies and T-shirts, but I didn't like the way the back was left completely open. For this floral version, I scooped the neckline wider and lower so the shirt could fit over the doll's head, but it ended up too loose and baggy, so I threaded a tiny elastic through it and cinched it up a bit. For the jammies I left the back half-open with a small velcro at the top.


The peasant top and wide-leg pants I made as-is.



I modified the Peasant Blouse and Pinafore combo into a dress and apron. The Peasant Blouse just needed more length.



I made the Pinafore more open in back and changed the strap configuration.


So cute!


I really wanted to make undies, first of all because they are heckin' cute, but also because my niece is learning to dress herself and potty train, so this is a fun example for her!


White cotton knit with lacy elastic at the waist. The leg openings are left unhemmed because I couldn't get them to behave.


I improvised this undies pattern. It turned out. . . okayish!


Of course she needed a bag to carry all her things in!


To make the bag, I stacked up all her clothes and measured how much space they would need, then drafted the bag pattern just a little larger.


 Everything fit perfectly!


I made a few little accessories to round out the set. A snack: bread, lettuce, and a Babybel cheese (my niece's favorite!) a toothbrush, and a little book.


I also made a book for my niece all about her new doll! My sister asked that the doll arrive with a name already (so she wouldn't have to think of one!) so I made this book titled Hello From Louise. I had such a blast taking photos all over my house!


I made a paper/doodle mockup/storyboard first, then printed this on light cardstock at home. I didn't bother to print double-sided, I just glued the pages' wrong sides together. I joined the book by sewing a thick linen thread through the fold.


With all that done, the second doll needed some clothes, too! Her first outfit was pajamas, the same fabric as the first doll's.


You can just see a little of the velcro-top closure here.


Then a t-shirt and pants from some of my super-cool remnants.


Which just so happened to match a shirt I made for F last year!


Then a blousey peasant top and some linen pants.


Which ALSO matched an outfit The Kid already had! Yay for remnants!


Both dolls got wool felt shoes. I was nervous about them fitting but the pattern was perfect! And so easy to hand-sew in front of the tv.


I love them both! So much fun to make and dress!


Everything in this pattern worked great, and it was a fantastic deal for the doll pattern and her whole wardrobe in one! You can buy this pattern as a pdf here.

See my first post about constructing the dolls here.

New Dolls and Wee Wonderfuls Pattern Review

I had such a blast making my new Wee Wonderfuls pattern, Kit, Chloe, and Louise!

I made two dolls, one as a gift for my little niece and one to keep at home for my own kid. (If you can't guess which is which I'll tell you - my kid picked out the blue hair!)


I made both dolls from a nice firm cotton broadcloth in a light skin tone. When I went to Treadle to pick this up there was a broad array of skin tones to choose from, dark brown all the way to light beige. Although this fabric wasn't specifically for dollmaking I liked all the human-colored options!

The first time around, I sewed a side body panel upside down. After that I found it helpful to mark the top of each piece with a small T.


The first doll I sewed had sort of squarish corners to her face (left). On the second doll (right) I tried to make the face rounder.


Instead of following the seam's shape exactly I rounded off the sharp corners. This meant that I was sewing at about 3/8" instead of 1/4" around the corners. You can sort of see this below. I think it made a difference!


I managed to avoid a gap at the top and bottom of the body by sewing each stitch line 1/4" shy of the edge, then having the next stitch line just meet the previous one.


When the body was together, I trimmed all the seam allowances with a pinking shear (to avoid having to cut tiny notches). I clipped into the seam at the neck.


I was not happy with the splayed legs on the first doll (left).


I used a ladder stitch to draw the front of the leg up a bit and straighten out the angle.


This made a weird fold in the leg but whatever.


After (left)! For the second doll (right) I overlapped the leg centers about 1/2" and also eased the top of the leg into the body. This also helped to straighten out the legs. If I make this again, I will shape the top of the leg pieces to create this same effect with less fuss.


Played a bit with the angle I sewed the arms on each doll.


The eyes were a bit too wide-set for my taste so I drew them in a little closer together.


I used a satin stitch for the eyes. I first outlined the eye with stem stitch, then filled it in with sort of random straight stitches. This helps pad out the satin stitch and also serves as a backup layer if the outer stitches get damaged. (I also decided later, after finishing, to add pupils.)


I saw this method here on Pinterest for making looped bangs. I sewed one side and made the loops around pins as I went, then sewed across the loops on the bottom too.


The finished bangs!


I sewed the front hair to just cover the edge of the bangs. 


I gathered the hair from the center part into pigtails and tied them up with yarn and embroidery floss, then trimmed evenly. As the directions suggested, I spent a lot of time putting tacking stitches throughout the hair. This is a great tip - DON'T SKIP! It adds so much to the feeling of the doll and keeps everything so tidy and secure!

Here she is, hair done!


Moving on to the second doll! I was a little doubtful at first that the bun hairstyle was going to work. Because of the head shape, the ends weren't all the same length. But I fiddled and played with it for a while and came up with a pretty cute shape!



Buns tied, but before tacking the hair everywhere.


After tacking.


Second dolly is done!


These were definitely more complicated patterns than I used from the Wee Wonderfuls book. The four-piece head was trickier to sew, and hard to make the front seams smooth and invisible. But I really loved the effect.

I tweaked several aspects of the pattern but the bottom line is Wee Wonderfuls patterns are amazing and I will always love using them. This was 12 bucks well spent!

Again, pattern is available here.

Clothes and accessories are in my next post here!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Playing With Dolls

I've been a bit doll crazy lately! If I haven't been making them (or their clothes!) I've been dreaming and plotting and looking at pretty pictures on pinterest. (I keep doll ideas saved here and here.)

I've just finished two new dolls from the Wee Wonderfuls Kit, Chloe, and Louise pattern (post and pattern review coming soon!).

Kit, Chloe & Louise
Image from weewonderfuls.com

I've been a little obsessed by Willowynn dolls recently. Her work is amazing. Definitely more of an arty sits-on-a-shelf doll for adults than a squishy toy for kids.

Image from willowynn.com

Unfortunately, though she does sell sewing patterns, she doesn't have any for her human dolls. Still, I am so inspired by this style! I'm going to use a pattern from a doll book I already own by Jan Horrox to create something inspired by the look of Willowynn. Still in the very early planning stages!

I've been wanting to make the Tudor Tailor doll for ages. I just bought the head and hands set and I already have the doll pattern in one of their books.

Tudor Woman Doll Kit  Brown Hair image 0
Image from The Tudor Tailor etsy shop

While I was at their etsy shop, I pre-ordered their new book, The Typical Tudor. I've been waiting years for this to come out!

I also have a ceramic head and hands set I bought on ebay ages ago. It needs painting and a body but fortunately doesn't need hair!


And finally, there's Sarah Prudence. I got her at an antique shop on my last birthday. She's a fairly mass-produced china doll from the 1980s, but in great condition and I think I can fancy her up a little.


I started by taking off her horrible hair and polyester clothes. I'm in the process of making her a c.1870 chemise and drawers. Of course, a corset, petticoats, gown, and accessories will follow!


I never really know what I'll get sewn - I'm so easily distracted! - but I've got plenty of ideas for dolly stuff for as long as this mood lasts.