This whole doll clothes creation thing is a slippery slope. I’ve gone from having not sewn anything in 20 years to possessing a decent size fabric, lace, and trim stash in a remarkably short period of time.
Several of you asked where I am finding these patterns. The answer is — a number of different places. For the most part, I’ve been buying old patterns from the “big” pattern companies (McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick, and Vogue) on Etsy. You can get sewing patterns for a just a few dollars there and all the ones I have bought have been new and unused.
Another option for doll clothes patterns is buying them via pdf download. There are lots of pattern-makers selling doll clothing patterns via Etsy. There is also a website that has patterns from a number of different “indie” designers: PixieFaire. A nice thing about PixieFaire is their “Freebie Friday” — if you sign up for their email list, you’ll be notified each Friday of a free pattern. It changes every week and is only free for a short period of time.
So a couple of weeks ago I found a very sweet doll dress pattern on Etsy, this one:
I purchased and downloaded the pattern. And I noted the following about the pattern:
- No list of materials or any indication of how much fabric is required.
- The pattern pieces do not include any seam allowance!
- Some of the pieces are unmarked as to what they are.
- The skirt pieces are only partial and have length notations on them for cutting the pieces — some of the notations are correct and some are obviously incorrect.The written instructions are very sparse and were written in another language and translated into English using translation software (the seller is apparently Ukrainian). For “fold” she uses “bend” and for “elastic” she uses “rubber band.” Totally incomprehensible.
The only saving grace is that there are lots of pictures so I could figure the pattern out. So just to prove that I could, I made a version of the dress. I estimated the skirt pieces. After all, if my skirt has a few more or fewer gathers, it is not going to matter — it’s a doll’s dress! I had purchased off eBay a set of fat quarters in coordinating fabrics so I used those.
Please excuse that I have not yet thoroughly ironed the dress, but here it is:
There are a few obvious differences between mine and the original. We’ll call those “artistic differences. ”
Loki is not sure what to make of all this sewing but he is happy as long as I don’t attempt to dress him up!