Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day & White Shoes - The Unofficial Start of Summer!

Here is one of my Goodreau BJD dolls (Innuendo) modeling a casual little summer outfit I designed over the weekend consisting of a lightly fitted, embroidered tee top and a slim skirt with a ruffle. The outfit also fits Ellowyne.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Instructions for Robe/Cover-up

I wanted to make another robe following my notes just to make sure I didn't forget anything before I published the directions. Modeling my little cover-up is Gene Marshall's wisecracking sidekick, Ivy Jordan. (I'm a huge fan of Eve Arden, so I had to add Ivy to my collection!) I purchased her sans outfit on Ebay but didn't want to keep her in the box until I found some clothes for her. So far, the robe fits (without any adjustments) Ellowyne, Gene, Goodreau BJD dolls, Tyler and friends and Madame Alexander Alex fashion dolls.

The directions are below. I hope you will try it - please let me know if you do or if there are any parts of the instructions that need clarification. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will answer either here or via email.

All seams are 1/4". Rummage through your stash and find two compatible pieces of fabric. Pre-wash. Cut each 14" square. One will be the robe; the other will be the lining.

With the right side up, fold robe fabric in half toward you; then fold again, left to right. Measure 2 1/2" from folded edge and cut. Repeat for lining.

Measure and mark 3/4" out from top edge and 3/4" down from top edge. Draw a slight curve to connect the marks. Mark 2 1/2" down from shoulder on each side (as a guide for sleeve placement). Cut along curve for neck opening. Cut open down the center front. Repeat for lining. Mark 1" up from bottom edge on all sides to indicate side vents.

Cut sleeves 5x4" out of both robe and lining fabrics.

Right sides together (and using marks as guide for sleeve placement), stitch the 5" width of sleeve to the body. Press seams toward sleeves. Repeat for lining.

Right sides together, stitch lining to body, beginning at the vent opening mark on the lower side edge, all the way around the front and neck and back down to the vent opening mark on the other side. Stitch the lower back together, beginning at the side went opening mark and ending at the opposite side vent opening mark. Stitch the lower sleeve edges together. DO NOT stitch side or underarm seams, yet.

Clip corners and curves. Clip side vent openings to the mark. Turn right side out and press well. Fold back the sleeve edges 1/4" so that the lining fabric looks like cuffs. Hand baste to temporarily hold in place. Press well.

With lining side out, fold robe so that side seams are aligned, Stitch side seams, including underarm seams. Reinforce the underarms (about 1" in both directions) inside the seam allowance. Carefully slash where sleeve and body intersect. Zigzag or overlock seams to neaten.

Turn right side out. Press well. Try on doll and turn back collar.

For belt, cut a strip of the lining fabric 1 1/2" wide by 15" long. Fold in half, lengthwise. Press. Mark a diagonal line on each end (from the fold to the raw edge). Leaving a 1 1/2" opening in the center, stitch a 1/4" seam along the raw edges, and down the diagonal lines. Secure threads. Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press well and stitch the opening closed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ellowyne’s New Robe

I have spent the past couple of days designing a quick and easy robe/ swimsuit cover-up for 16" fashion dolls. There is no pattern involved, just some simple measuring and cutting. As I was sewing, instead of haphazardly jotting down notes on scraps of paper (my usual modus operandi), I kept track of everything in a great program from Microsoft, called OneNote. I didn’t even know I had the program until a few weeks ago. It ships with Microsoft's Office Suite. And I don't know how I managed without it! You can assign notebooks to each of your personal and professional projects, add dividers, add or delete pages, add scans, audio and video clips - and cut and paste data from the web. The feature I like best is that you don't have to remember to save anything. It's all automatically saved.