I have been moving very slowly toward sewing my own doll clothes. I have hemmed and altered existing clothes. I have also crudely constructed simple raw-edged skirts and capes, fastened with hot glue and/or a running stitch. I have not sewn an entire garment, using a pattern, from beginning to end. Taking on such a project seemed to be the logical extension of the modifications that I had already done.
I acquired a pattern for a Tyler doll from Andrea [DollsAhoy] for a collared shirt in October, 2014. I also took advantage of the Halloween season to buy three cotton prints — dancing skeletons, bats and spiderwebs — appropriate for Isabel’s tastes. Then all of the supplies just sat on my desk for about two months.
Earlier this month, the hiatus between Zombieville chapters gave me more time for other projects. My interest in sewing reawakened. I hit Joanne Fabrics for some quilter’s packs of REALLY LOUD fabrics to supplement my Halloween prints. Armed with a high level of enthusiasm and approximately 0.5 of a clue, I set to work.
My first two attempts will not be exhibited here. They were too large and/or sloppy and/or filled with mistakes, which tends to happen when you only have 0.5 of a clue. However, I learned enough about what NOT to do from failures #1 and #2 so that I could apply my new skills to failure #3.
Behold now the glory that is failure #3! Modeled by Isabel [here and in chapter 5 of Zombieville], it’s a snugly fitting collared shirt with long sleeves, intentionally constructed with contrasting prints, fastened with snaps.
Things to fix in future iterations include the following:
Use pattern at 90% of original size, not 80%. 80% means I fight to shove Isabel’s hands through the sleeves, which results in needless swearing.
Put Fray Check on all edges before stitching. Otherwise they will unravel, which results in needless swearing.
Leave extra large allowances around the armscyes because I WILL end up needing that space. Needless swearing, etc.
Sew with smaller stitches. Larger stitches might go faster, but they don’t join the fabric well, and I’ll end up restitching the whole anyway. Needless, etc.
Sew fabric with thread of a similar color. Black thread really shows up in orange fabric!
Work harder to match hems when sewing on fasteners.