What’s in your sewing box?

sewing boxI was cleaning up my mess of a work table a few days ago because I got a new cutting mat that fit the whole space. You know how that goes, it can lead to a full day of cleaning and not just the big stuff but all the little stuff too. Which made me look at my sewing box. I seldom use it except for storage. It was funny to see all the stuff that seemed to make its way into to the box unintentionally.

I keep meaning to make some new garments for my Kish Riley, so there she sits with only her shoes on. I also have most of my embroidery scissors in this box. You can see the needle book I made while trying to come up with ideas. Mostly I don’t use this box, I keep most of my tools in a rolling artist draw set. The top is always stacked with the stuff I want to get out of my way. The rest of my most used tools are in a plastic basket and pencil cup.

Paper for patternmakingMy other favorite thing is my paper holder and paper. It is small being only about 18 inches. I got that from Uline in case you want one too. They come in many other widths. This white paper is far easier to draft patterns from scratch. Later when the pattern becomes a basic block, or the pieces are so small tracing around them it hard, I will put it on manilla which I buy from AtlasLevy.

Do you use a sewing box. Are you working in a sewing room? You can see one of my industrial swing machines in the background. I really need a bigger sewing room/studio. Mine is an attic space.

I love to Illustrate!

Finished with the new pattern illustrations! I really do love the process of illustration. I enjoy painting but find more and more that I am drawing and then using Adobe Photoshop to color the drawings. I like the fact that you don’t have to worry about making a mistake emily's pink surprise cover blogbecause  you can always undo your last few strokes. On this illustration of Emily’s Pink Surprise I also imported the fabric prints, which is so much easier than trying to paint them.

I learned to paint in school but we also used markers because it was faster.  I don’t use markers much now,  they are so expensive and the colors are limited. In the long run I usually use markers when the garment colors are basic or primary. Pink and orange are always difficult to match with markers.

I did most of my designing with markers until my company got us computers. Buster was a late adopter of computer art. We had a staff of talented artists and it was so much fun,  with all the art supplies and drawing tables in the art department. So much nicer than the grey cubicles we ended up in later. Today I have a very crowded workroom with only one small window which does make painting a challenge. Natural lighting is so important, something I don’t think I realized until I didn’t have much of it.

I’m working on getting some more of the sewing photos ready to put on Pinterest.

cold days are sewing days

It was too cold outside to garden so I stayed in and worked on my new Little Darling pattern. I am making her some short-alls, like BID Elin BIElin’s Weekend outfit. It hasn’t been smooth sailing. They do not have the same shape bodies so it isn’t just a size up. I’ve had three goes at make the pattern. Something was wrong with each version.

When I think about it, none of the patterns end up being just a straight size up. I heard a long time ago that Tyler Wentworth had exactly the  same body as American Model and you could up size the patterns by printing at 138% of the original size but I’ve never tried it. Have you had any luck with just sizing a pattern up or down?

I still need to up load all this to my website. It has been a lot of work trying to get this blog working right and then tying it all together. Lucky for me I found a wonderful web designer to help me out or I would still be working on that instead of doll clothes.

Tomorrow is Easter and I am looking forward to a big dinner with friends. Hope you have a wonderful Easter too!

Venice Beach

This was a pattern I did for Marley Wentworth maybe 7 years ago. MarleyI took all my old patterns down when I rewrote my website and started over. I was more interested in my new BJD’s than my old fashion dolls. It’s taken a while but I have come around again to the fashion dolls. I reviewed a lot of the old Tyler patterns and put them up last year. I’m also working on my American Model patterns. Then I had a few requests for Marley, so I have been reviewing her old patterns and that’s when I redid Venice Beach for her. You can see her there on the right with the orange Georgette top and white linen capris.

LonnieThat was a really cute pattern but I didn’t have any cute pictures of it, so I had to remake the outfit. I don’t know what happened to the original one. This time I took the photos on Alice and not Marley. I guess I have always liked her face better. Anyway, while I was at it I made the same outfit for my Iplehouse KID, Lonnie doll. She looks precious in the blue and white stripe cotton top and denim capris. Then I thought BID also needed the outfit in her size. Well you know how it goes, BID Elin isn’t that much smaller than Leeann so she got the outfit in her size. Once I did that I realized that Narsha was almost the same size as Lonnie so why not make the pattern for her. I love how Narsha’s turned out in the red and white. She looks pretty wild in matching red hair. Narsha

So in the end, I made the pattern for 5 dolls. You’ll have to go to the website to see Leeann and BID.

I know Betsy is just giving me the cold stare  because she isn’t that much bigger than Narsha, and thinks every time I make Narsha a new outfit she gets one too!



You might be wondering about the name. I was inspired by Ralph Lauren for this look so the name seemed to make sense. I wanted to continue working with my Tonner dolls, and in particular my new Déjà Vu Julia. I love her pretty face and open mouth, she is smaller through the ribcage than Antoinette, but they do wear about the same size. Antoinette or ever Tyler’s patterns could be altered to fit her without too much effort.  Even so, I made two patterns one of Déjà Vu and the other for Antoinette. These 1920’s style town/hunt outfits include patterns for the jodhpurs, jacket, vest, shirt, tie and hat.

It was especially fun designing and sewing these. I took a lot of sewing pictures of the blouse. So you can see some of the steps which are really the same as I use for making my own shirts and blouses. It makes the process so much easier and the end product will look much more professional.

I used lightweight fabrics for all the pieces with the ties being made of a Georgette.  The jacket and jodhpurs were made in wool or a wool blend. I love sewing with wool, it is so easy to set sleeves. The vests were made in knit. On Deja Vu I used a fashion sweater knit which was extremely lightweight and lined it with an equally lightweight jersey. The open down the back which makes it easy to get the doll.