Tutorial for Midi Wrap Skirt

Midi Wrap SkirtIMG_20180615_142254.jpg


Modified Sheath Sewing Tutorial

This tutorial runs through the construction of a simple sheath and a modified skirt using the pleated skirt from the PDF patterns. I love the classic sheath with a slightly fuller skirt through the front  adding  the retro hourglass shape and I have a quick and easy way to get this look without the bulky look of gathers. I am working with silk dupioni and  fully lining with a very fine but sturdy poly lining so you will want to double stitch your seams on the silk or main part of your sheath. Start with your Pleated Skirt pattern and recut the sides to skim down on the fullness at the hemline, edit out the top and bottom bands from your original pattern. Just use this as a guide to establish some fullness to work with across the top and cut both the main and lining the same, making your lining slightly shorter at the bottom edge to hide your hem seam.

Sew your side seams in both main and lining. Sew across the bottom hem, you can stay stitch your lining back on itself at this point.

You will use the back dart as it stands, I always add tabs either side for my back closure, a good habit to get into, you will of course cut the one side off, but this saves putting the wrong sections together when lining, as I have done a thousand times and ended up with the closure extension on the wrong side, or the side I don`t prefer. oy!

Instead of trying to make tiny fold across your front skirt this simple trick makes it easy to see the placement, adjust your fit as you go and can be used for multiple applications in miniature sewing. Mark your center, and start folding your fabric with right sides together and machine baste just along each fold, I have used eight folds to draw the front into a nicely spaced pleated look, baste across the raw edge at the top to hold, remove the threads of the basted pleats after you have the perfec fit tand spacing.

For the lining, simple gather across your front as per usual, the inside will have a full gather look instead.


Make up your bodice, sew front and back darts,  sew shoulders, right sides together, sew neckline, armholes, double stitching each seam, pull back through to front, sew side seams, leave back edges open.


At this point you will fit to the model, and press.


Sew your top bodice main section to your skirt main section matching your side seams, I always have excess on my sides because of the added extension tabs, just make sure you keep your center fronts perfect and a close as you can side seam match.


Now you can add a belt easily, make a bias tube, add your buckle and attach to the main bodice, just above your waist seam, baste into place and check your fit on the model.


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Sew the bodice lining to the skirt lining at the waist, matching center fronts and side seams.


Depending on now your close your back edges you would proceed to this step for snaps, sew down the right back edge and across at the dot about 1/4 inch, clip to the dot, double stitch this seam. Sew down the left back edge along the same line as the dot, eliminate the extension for this side, trim away your excess tabs. You have secured your side back edges and the belt is encased as well.



Sew the center back seam, bring your right sides together, main and lining to sew a back seam, leaving an inch or so for turning in the lining side by starting just down for you back extension, make sure your hem seams match, continue in one seam up the main and stopping at the dot, careful not to catch any of the main or lining and back stitch to secure. The trick here is to pin the hem seams and pin at the back dots, pin the fabric aside around this area so you don`t catch any in the back seam.


Turn inside, press the back seam toward the extension side and stitch closed by hand.


The outside should have the left back edge over lapping the right back edge slightly, press.

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Fit to your model, making sure you have enough over lapping extension for snap closure.





At the front you have created a set of nicely placed pleats for fullness and kept a tapered skirt for the perfect hourglass figure.


New Patterns on the Flash Widget

I have added new patterns to the flash widget for download, the edged blouse and long trumpet skirt in both 12 and 16 inch size. These are basic patterns and work best using a fine modal or jersey, add very little seam allowances when you cut and the edged blouse works well using a lace or organza ribbon to trim the edges. Simply sew a ruffle trim to the right side of the neck, arm, sleeve and hem edges, then turn back and top stitch, the trim keeps the edge from stretching too much when top stitching and give a nice finished look.  You could choose a preruffled trim or ruffle it yourself, also a raw circular piece of the knit sew on the same way creates a nice organic look, you can make these various widths for different results. The possibilities of trimming out this easy pattern are endless, beading, sequins, embroidered florals and ribbon flowers etc…anything goes. Happy sewing.

Scarf Turtorial

I bought myself a few of the mushy jersey scarves recently, they are fantastic for wrapping and the finest jersey fabric I have seen in a while so I thought I should hunt through my stash and see if I had anything similar to style for the dolls. I found two nice fabrics that are fine enough to create the right look and cut them into long rectangles, leaving all the edges raw just like the human size one. I wrap my scarves using this method so I did the same in miniature and I think it looks great. The scarf size is about 11 x 3 inches and make sure you cut the edges nice and clean.
Bueno is demonstrating this easy wrap technique with two types of fabric, the blue grey is a fine jersey, the pale blue is more of a fine mushy knit, both are good as they don`t ravel or fray.
Use a long rectangle piece approx. 11 x 3 inches
Start by holding the opposite corners and give a sight stretch to the piece.
Place around the neck with the shorter end on one side, giving a slight twist as you go.
Take the long end and wrap it under and around the shorter end twisting as you go.
Wrap around the neck again, more twisting.
Bring the end back through your front loop.
Voila, you have a great looking very chic scarf
And one in the blue knit
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Three Great Sources

Below are links to three great sources for ultrasuede, sold in small increments and at fair prices. One is on Etsy, one on ebay and the other is local for those who live in S Ontario. I have purchased from all of these shops and they all provide great service and quality ultrasuede. It is expensive and because we love to have all the shades it is the one supply that is worth searching out for the best prices with shipping etc…Over the years I have accumulated quite a stash of this amazing fabric, ideal for purses, hats and belts, but here are various weights and if you are looking for the thin one, search Ultrasuedelite®, but most of the shades come in regular weight and some are Ultrasuede Soft® which is a bit heavier even. Depending on where you buy from the weights can be quite different, so make sure you ask for the finest weight they have and you should be good to go. I started working with the ultrasuede about 10 years ago and learned not to be mislead by the name ultrasuede, which also refers to a type of fabric used in fashions and upholstery, so look for the term Ultrasuede Ultrasuede® and Ultralite Ultrasuede® and I believe one of the manufacturers is Toray®.
Acton600 on Ebay

Basic Skirt Tutorial

Basic Skirt Pattern (Marirose Pattern) using imported fine cotton and china silk lining fabrics.

Cut main and lining, make the lining slightly shorter, mark darts and back edge circles on lining and main sections
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WIth right sides together sew across the bottom hem
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Press seam toward the lining and sew a row of top stitching along the lining side to keep lining back.
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Sew darts in main and lining sections
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With right sides together, matching darts, sew across the top edge
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Sew back closing edges down to circle
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At this point you should fit the skirt to the model and make any adjustments
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Fold the skirt into a circle right sides together, matching the bottom hemline, pin, sew a seam starting on the lining side, leave an opening for turning, sew around and up to the back edge circles, making sure to hold back the lining so it doesn`t catch.
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Turn the skirt right side out, turn to the inside and press along the open lining, hand stitch closed.
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Fit to doll and finish with button over snaps etc…
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A Process

This Tutorial is for the construction of a fitted corset with a wide shoulder detail and portrait collar. I chose this design because is has several important design elements that can be added and subtracted relating to almost any similar style. It incorporates a few of my favorite techniques as well as illustrating how you can edit out the impossible, while adding a nice design feature.
The pattern is a descaled human pattern with I will offer on my pattern page but I have altered it as you will notice for 12 inch size dolls. This would be a fantastic style and fit for 16 inch size dolls with little or no editing..
The techniques include the corset body with armhole and wide shoulder left open at the top, the application of the bias portrait collar and finishing to the inside with hand stitching and general lining.

First I have cut out the main piece from a fine imported cotton and my version will not have a lace up back closure with eyelets as indicated so I will edit out the center back panel, which I have extended at the back edges to fit the 12 inch size doll for a snap closure.
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Sew the center front pieces to the side fronts, then sew the back to the sides, snip curves, press seams toward the back.
You can fit your main front sections to a model making sure you have a good fit before you apply the lining.
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Now you can sew your lining pieces in the exact same manner, snip seams, press toward the back. Sew around the armhole edges.
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Sew the back edges together
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Turn right side out, press, sew across the shoulder seams, after this you have the top neck opening edges left raw.
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Baste across the top neck edge from one side to the other.
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Press and fit to the model
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Cut a bias piece as wide as your preference for the portrait collar, press under along one edge.
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Sew the corset section to the bias collar right sides together along the raw neck edge
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Fold collar right sides together and stitch along the ends, snip close to the seam, turn right side out and press.
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Hand stitch the collar to the inside over the lining.
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Tutorial for Gathered Clutch Purse


This tutorial shows the pattern and construction for a simple and elegant gathered clutch purse for 12 inch size dolls. Easy to make, partially lined and can be finished with a variety of nice closures, beaded for glamor and a chain added to make it a wristlet.
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Two pattern pieces, one lining and one for the main, which is cut with a longer edge for gathering.
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Sew two rows of stitching and gather this edge to fit the matching lining edge.
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With right sides together, sew across the gathers. Remove gathering threads.
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Starting at the center point of the front flap, sew across and down, ending your seam and back stitching to just below the side edge. Repeat this on the other side, trim threads and snip on an angle close to the seam so it lays flat when turned.
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Turn right side out, with right sides together, fold the bottom edge up to the side flap and stitch on an angle, this closes the side seam, trim thread and seam, this edge will remain raw on the inside of the purse. Repeat on the other side.
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Fold out the bottom of the purse, neaten and stitch across the corners about 1/4 inch from the point, this will create the base or bottom of the purse.
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Press the front flap making sure the corners and middle point are neat and crisp.
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Fold the flap over the gathers and finish with a clasp of your choice, snaps, pearl, bead or button.
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This finished size is for 12 inch dolls, but could be made larger or smaller depending on the doll you are sewing for.

Pattern Making

If you are interested in making your own pattern, I found this great weblog that has an in-depth tutorial with comprehensive photos to guide you along. They are using a larger doll, but the techniques are the same and even though she has started from scratch, her information on the manipulation of the pattern could be applied to even slight changes you might make. Just to change up necklines are move the dart control around on the bodice, not to mention how you make a full skirt and attached the pieces together for the final pattern drafting. Very interesting, something I am sure we would learn if formally trained and a few good books to reference are
Make Your Own Dress Patterns
Adele P Margolis
This book is an invaluable tool for making small changes to styles using basic slopers and also for illustrations of almost every neckline, sleeve style and skirt known in the industry. It really covers everything we know about fashion, form and fitting. If nothing else, it is inspiring when you are looking for ideas or ways to change up your favorite patterns, and this book, along with the pictures of Tatiana`s blog, give you a better visual of how to make your basic slopers and better insight into the art of fashion designing.

New Blouse and Jacket PDF Pattern

I have added a new blouse and jacket pattern to my PDF Pattern Page.

Fitted Blouse
The blouse is fitted and calls for a knit, but at this scale a fine lawn works too, there are no bust dart control for this reason, but the shaped bodice draws in the waist perfectly. Allowing for a little more front closure, I choose to keep this blouse unlined and since lawn doesn`t fray much, I left the seams unserged for a less bulky look. There are facings but I also edited these out and attached the collar, folded back the front edges, stitched top and bottom creating a front placket and top stitched starting at the middle back bottom hem, all the way up and around the collar,r and finished back where I started in one continuous straight stitch. I added the cuffs to the sleeves and ran top stitching to hold back that hem as well. I opted for a button and loop front closure as this fabric is fine, but you could use snaps or hook and loop as well.
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Sleeveless Vest
This jacket shows as a sleeveless fur waistcoat but I love the tailoring and the bottom soft peplum so added sleeves to make it a jacket, it could be a blouse as well. I choose to line the garment and added snaps to close the front. The collar has a shaped notch that takes some careful sewing and even more carefully pressing.
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