Thursday, December 27, 2012

Say no to patterns

I hate using patterns.
I hate transferring them to fabric.
I hate cutting them out.
I hate storing them .

I just want to sew.

So anytime I can get right to sewing and skip the boring prep time (and math skills) I do it.

This is especially true when I make the girls some American Girl doll clothes.

By the time I so all the tedious pattern process I could be almost finished a dress that I just eyeballed. And dolls are willing models so why not just wrap some fabric, pin and sew?

Right before Christmas I got the urge to cram into holiday busyness some new AG outfits.

I had some snowflake fabric leftover from my tree skirt and an Ornament fabric I grabbed from the remnant bin at Joann's.

ALWAYS check the remnant bins if you sew for dolls. You can get amazing fabric for $1 or less.

To make the skirts I first measured what I wanted to be the length. I always add a bit for seams. About a half inch should suffice. After cutting it to the proper length I wrapped it around the doll for a waist measurement.

Here you want to add a half inch on each side for turning under the raw edges and seaming. Also if you're doing Velcro take that into account .

Next cut a waist piece the same width as the over all skirt. I did two versions: one with a high waist and one with a very small one .

Honestly the reason for the difference is because the small waisted one was the first one I did that night and I just hadn't taken into account that due to it being a gathered skirt I couldn't just fold the waist down and sew as id expected to, and so I made as small of a waist piece as possible since I had cut my skirt long already and had hemmed it.

(Shorter waistband skirt)

(Close up of smaller waistband. Below is larger waistband close up. It gives a high waisted look)

To make it easier and less sewing I did a fold over waist so the only sewing involved would be sewing the raw end to the top of the skirt. So I doubled it to get the height I wanted to end up with.

You can always cut to size and just do a top seam if you prefer.

Hem your skirt bottom however you prefer.

Gather the skirt to the same size as your waist piece.

Putting right sides together sew the waist piece to the top of the skirt.

Now you have a decision to make on how your skirt will close. I chose Velcro. I decided to only do Velcro on the waist part however you could do it the whole length.

I just think its more realistic to only fasten at the waist and gives a nicer look in my opinion.

I put right sides of the skirt together matching the ends together and sewed the back of the skirt together up to the bottom of the waist.

The last thing is to add the velcro.

To do this I put the skirt on the doll and folded under open edges on each side of the waist piece until I got the dress to fit as I wanted and pinned.

You could do this before sewing the skirt closed but doing this to just the waist allows the skirt to be fuller.

You want the waist to be snug obviously but remember AG have a little booty on them and you have to be able to pull the skirt over it so don't make it too fitted.

Being that I'm just winging it I do sometimes make it too tight, but the fabric will usually give with a tug over the behind and eventually stretch a tad making subsequent dressing easier. So don't get mad and rip yours apart if its a tad snug. This skirt actually doesn't Velcro straight because its too tight. I have enough fabric in it that I can remove the seam o one side of the waist band and redo it but the kids don't mind so I'm not doing it!

I made the snowflake skirt the same way as above and added a ribbon. It's not sewn on - just tied- but if you want you could permanently attach it by sewing it in place and leaving the ends free to tie or even sewing the bow on of you want.

Change the length and fullness of skirts for different looks. I usually will just measure it to the skirt length I want and then use the whole length of fabric to gather to get a very full skirt. These skirts were remnant pieces so they probably weren't a full 44"length of fabric. Just play around for different looks.

You can also do an elastic top instead of Velcro- I just prefer Velcro. Obviously your make a channel in the waistband for elastic if you go that route.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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