Doll size rulers

Set of CurvesYou might think this is taking it too far, but it really does help when drafting your own doll patterns. I started using my doll sized rulers about 2 years ago. At first I just printed them on some heavy card stock, and that was pretty good but they didn’t last that long. Next I bought some quilting template material at the fabric store. It wasn’t that heavy  about the same as the card stock. I glued a paper print out of the rulers to the plastic and then cut them out. That set of rulers lasted me up until now. I realized I would be handy to have 1/4-inch marks along the hip curves and new clean set rulers.

So I set about redrawing them from a scan of my old rulers. Who knows what I did with the original file? I always wonder how I can have 15 copies of a photo I don’t need and no copy of one I do. Same goes for the ruler file, it may be somewhere on my 3 hard drives but I’ll be darned if I can find it. [Read more…]

Haute couture (high sewing)

One thing that has always bugged me is when people use to say kids clothes were so expensive and you couldn’t get cute clothes for boys. I would always  explain why something so small was expensive. Part of it was due to cost of materials, people just don’t realize that you usually pay more to buy less. You can make a lot more toddlers dresses than women’s dresses with a minimum order of 6,000 yards of fabric, and then there are the  trims, thread, buttons and the list goes on. The same would hold true for any item made that you don’t make a lot of. With Infant clothing it is even worse, because  you have a lot more detail. Mostly in the griper snaps, testing for hazards like choking and embroideries. The fact is it takes just as long to make toddler boy pants as it does men’s pants, and with the added cost of fabric you can see how it isn’t cheaper to make them. Prices are based on cost of goods and labor plus overhead.

With that being said you can imagine why doll shoes are so expensive. People who don’t know will gasp at the prices I will pay for a pair of doll shoes or a wig. I do think a lot of people that sew for dolls just don’t charge enough for their work and they use fabrics readily available to other home sewers making the only thing they are selling is their sewing abilities. If you want a better profit on your outfits then what you offer has to be special. When I design for my dolls, I know I will be selling the patterns so I don’t use trims and fabrics that I know my followers won’t be able to locate. I have lots of antique fabrics and trims that I don’t use just for that reason.

I am posting this video, to illustrate the point of just how much work goes into making custom garments. I love the fact that they are working on a 1/2 scale mannequin. This was done a lot more back before everything was just mass-produced. Do you remember how nice dresses were finished before the serger? I remember, linings and pinking, and hem tape. I also remember matched prints and plaids.