Tuesday, July 31, 2012




(by Ideal)

Velvet was very dirty, when
she came here a few weeks ago.
Having had a bath
and shampoo,
she looks much better.
I think I missed a smudge,
 or two.  :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Simple Skirt from Two Rectangles

First, you'll need a doll.

You will need some fabric.
These are scraps left after
I made a new dress for
Spring, about 20 years ago.

A measuring tape is not
absolutely necessary.
It can help.
With the tape, or with
the fabric itself,
determine how long a rectangle
is need for the waistband.

The fabric for both rectangles
should be quite square.
Be sure to add seam allowances
on both ends PLUS
the overlap you want for
the fastenings.
If the waistband is too tight
it is difficult to fasten.
If the waistband is too loose,
you may not like the way it looks.

Decide how wide a waistband you
want.  Double that width and add
two seam allowances.
Here, I thought about 1/2 inch
would be good.
1/2 X 2 = 1 inch. 
I don't usually need 1/2 inch
seam allowances,
but decided to be generous.
Two half inch seam allowances
add another inch.
I cut my waist band piece
2 inches wide.

Cutting the waistband
To square the fabric I pulled
a thread out of the piece
and cut along that line.
You may not want to
be that fussy.
I like to fuss. :)
An even plaid, like a
gingham check,
makes squaring the fabric

I folded the waistband over
twice and checked that it was
long enough to go around her waist
and overlap AND
have room for seam allowances.
No problem. :)

Similarly, measure and
cut the skirt rectangle,
remembering to allow for
the back seam,
the waist seam
and a hem, if you
wish to have a hem.

Measure and cut into the seam
 allowance to mark for the placket.
The placket allows the skirt
to open up to slide over the

Here, methods diverge.
I have sewn up the back seam
to the slit that marks the placket.
You may wish to skip this
step and do it later.
That way, the piece will stay
flat a little longer.

When the back seam is sewn,
I double over the fabric
and sew it down.
I like as few raw edges
showing as possible,
so I fold it over, then over, again.

I made the waistband by folding
the rectangle in half, lengthwise.
I sewed the short edges together.
This is done with the right side
of the fabric inside.

Then I turned the waistband
right side out and
checked it for size, again.

I gathered, or shirred this skirt.
A running stitch above the line
where I will eventually sew the
waistband on is pulled until the
resulting width of the skirt matches
the length of the sewn

I pinned the ends of the
waistband to the edges of
the placket, right sides of the
fabric together, or facing each other.

Then I pinned along that edge,
arranging the gathers where
I wanted them to go.

This blurry picture is supposed to show
what it looked like from
the waistband side.

I sewed that together.
Since this is so lightly
gathered, I used a
running stitch.
When I gather more tightly,
I use a back stitch, or I use
the sewing machine.

This is what it looked
like with that seam
finished and the pins

Then, I turned the inside
edge of the waistband
under and sewed it to
the skirt on the inside.

I sewed a snap on the
I nearly sewed both
halves to the same side
of the waistband, but I
caught myself in time
and sewed one on the inside
and one on the outside,
so the waistband would

I hemmed the skirt.
This hem was a selvage
edge, so I could have
just left it unhemmed.

And, we have a skirt.
(And that skirt could use
a good press!)

I'll try to give some
tips on variations
in style, sometime.
If I forget, you remind me!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Simple Skirt - with Elastic Waist

You'll need a doll and
a scrap of fabric.

Be sure the fabric is
big enough to go around
the doll and then some.
In other words,
you'll need seam allowance.
The fabric must be
longer than you want
the skirt to be, too.
You'll need extra for
the elastic sleeve at the
waist.  You may want
to put a hem in the
skirt, too.

Square up the fabric. 
I like to pull a thread and
cut along the line it leaves.
That is a slow method.
Any way you can
achieve a piece with
four 90 degree corners
is good.  If the edges
run square with the
grain of the fabric,
the seams and the finished skirt
are less likely to warp.

Sew up the back seam.
This fabric ravels easily
and is thin. 
I sewed a "french" seam.
That is a double seam.
I sew the seam with the
wrong sides together,
then trim it, turn the skirt
inside out and sew again,
hiding the cut edges inside
the seam.
Pressing is a good idea.
I was in too much haste!

Turn down the top of the tube to
make a casing for the elastic.
Turning under the edge of the
casing to hide the cut edge makes
a nicer look and keeps that fraying down.
Stitch the casing. 
Be sure to leave a space
for stringing the elastic through.

This is what it looks like.

String the elastic through the
casing.  Baby elastic is good
for small doll clothes.
I used elastic cord. 
(This skirt is not meant to be
For methods of stringing
elastic, check other sources.
If you don't find anything,
I'll try to cover that, too.

As an alternative,
sew the elastic into a loop
and fold the skirt top
down over it, then 
stitch the fabric down. 
There are other methods
for adding elastic.
Well, I can think of one...

Be sure to fit the elastic
so that is will stretch over
the doll's hips.

Stitch the elastic firmly together.
In this case, (or casing?)
I tied the elastic cord.

Check the fit.

Turn the skirt right side out.
I left mine fringed.
Turning a hem gives a nice,
finished look.
If I do turn a hem, remembering
to do it before I put in
the elastic makes it easier to press
the hem.

Turn the seam to the center back.
This skirt sure could use a press!

Sliding the skirt up over
the bust makes it into
a simple top.  If it is
long enough, it could be
a dress.  Adding a
belt gives it some shape.

This is the first kind of skirt
I remember sewing.
We also would wrap
a piece of cloth around a
doll, then pin it or tie a strip
of cloth or a piece of yarn
around it.
The other no sew skirt we
made was a circle with a 
tiny hole cut into the center.

Now, I had intentions of 
doing a step-by-step for
my two rectangle skirt.
I made one and took the pictures.
I'm still working on the instructions.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Issue - Skirted

Bias cut skirt from
a vintage pattern

Simple knit tube - no pattern

Two rectangles, with embellishment

A littler tube, or two

Two rectangles,
no embellishment

When I need the satisfaction of
having made something
to soothe my soul,
a skirt,
simple and quickly finished,
is one of my favorites.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Clothes

Little Waif looked
uncomfortably hot
in her beautiful long
sleeved dress.
The first thing that
made her look more
comfortable was a
Today, I went to Goodwill
and found a little
porcelain doll
who has donated her
pinafore and hair bow.
(She also donated
her dress, but it is
long sleeved, as well.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Look Who Just Showed up on my Doorstep

A traveling Waif!
A dear friend I have not met
(but sure would like to)
sent me a surprise package.
I just found out she was coming,
this morning.
An hour or two later
there was a knock on the door.
I was not only surprised,
I was still in my thinnest nightgown!
This little sweetie
popped out of the bubble wrap.
She hasn't said much, yet.
She's still looking around.

(Sorry about the quality.
I took my photos in too much of a hurry.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Playing With Dolls... Without Touching Them!

It's no secret that I like to
play with dolls.

Even when I don't have
them in my hands,

I have fun

playing with their likenesses.

the background!