Saturday, February 21, 2015

Honey, I Shrunk the Vogue 8379!

So, I had this crazywonderful idea. Barbie sized patterns are great and all, but I was on the hunt for a specific thing, and the 1/6 scale pattern world just wasn't doing it. What I really wanted was the Vogue 8379 wrap dress. But sized for my dolls. What is a sewist to do??
Get a little creative! That's what! This dress is exactly was I had in my head. Seriously. Exactly. And it really is Vogue 8379!!
You know those pattern piece diagrams that are printed in the instructions? Did you know that they are actually drawn to scale? They make a great starting point for a playscale pattern! I scanned the diagram into my computer, then measured the back piece at the waist. I compared it to a Barbie knit top pattern that I drafted. The math worked out well, as my Barbie pattern was 3mm across and the Vogue was 1mm. I told my printer to scale it up 300% and made a test dress.
My test dress demonstrates how much taller Barbie is than the average woman, But other than the length, the fit is really good overall! I added 1/2 inch to the bodice length, 1 inch to the skirt and 3/4 of an inch to the sleeves. If Barbie were human that would be 3 inches added to the bodice, 4 inches to the sleeve and 6 inches to the skirt. She's tall!
 On the final dress, I added the collar as well. For the sake of my sanity, I omitted the teeny weeny facings in favor of a plain hem, but I did the ties just as the pattern instructs, including the hole in the side seam for the belt to wrap through. I love the way this customizes the fit in my version of this dress, and I wanted it to work for more than one type of doll.
I really love the way it looks on Ksenia! She is a Phicen Fire Red Rose, and she is much curvier than Barbie. I love the way a wrap dress works on a busty figure. Now I can't wait to try some of my other patterns for my girls! So much variety!! SO many great details!! Squeeee!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Jungle January SWAP!

This year, as part of Jungle January, Anne was gracious enough to also host a SWAP for the participants. I was partnered with Ginny of Ginpins. I really enjoyed corresponding with her and getting a package of goodies together to send off. When my package arrived, I was literally speechless. Ginny is a mindreader!! She sent me the most fantastic poly-lycra jersey with a cobalt blue leopard print, as well as two patterns for BARBIE!! I know!!
The girls and I went right to work. I got a new Renfrew, and from the scraps I made a couple of fantastic dresses - one from each pattern. And I still have around a yard and a half left!!
Me, first! This Sewaholic Renfrew is my 8th, I think. I haven't blogged them all. But I wear a Renfrew at least once a week. It's definitely a player in my wardrobe.
This time I went with the 3/4 sleeve round neckline with a simple band. Effortless dressing, right here. And the bright blue print looks great with my newest Jalie jeans. Love that. For this one, I did shorten the neckband about an inch. I notice on my other banded ones, that the neckband doesn't lie flat, but this one does!
After I cut out my Renfrew, I had a long skinny scrap, perfect for a couple of Barbie dresses, and since Ginny had sent me two fantastic vintage Barbie patterns, I went right to work.
I started with a maxi dress for Deanna. This is from Simplicity 7737, printed in 1976. I made up view 1, and the only change I made to the style was to eliminate the bottom ruffle and lengthen the skirt to make up for it. That's quite a sassy neckline, vintage Barbie!
For the bodice, I used a scrap of lightweight denim I had leftover from some jeans. I topstiched with gold to replicate the look of jeans as well. Since Deanna has a Pop Life body, she is quite slimmer than the doll this pattern was designed for. I ended up taking about 1/2 inch out of the back closure as well as 1/4 inch off the back of the neck. I like the fit, but I think I'll stitch that neckline a little higher next time!
Kyori's outfit is actually a two piece blouse and skirt. It is made with McCalls 3880, printed in 1988. I made the top from view A with the more straight skirt from view D. Kyori is a Fashion Royalty doll, and has proportions similar to the original Barbie who this pattern was designed for, so I was hoping she wouldn't need much in the way of alterations for fit. The skirt was great, but the blouse did need a bit of taking in at the waist. The fit through the shoulders was excellent though.
The major change I made here was to use cobalt blue FOE for the waistband, rather than turning and stitching as the pattern suggests. I like the pop of color and the belt-like appearance it has. And I'm thrilled I had that tiny piece of blue FOE! It was meant to be.
The girls and I are very happy with our new things, and I'm thrilled to have those great patterns to play with. Thank you so much, Ginny!!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Patterns for Pirates Carefree Cardigan

On Thursday, Pattern for Pirates released a new pattern, which I had the opportunity to test!
And so I present the Carefree Cardigan! It is designed to be a semi-fitted, easy to wear topper that can bring some style to everyday, while remaining completely comfortable.
The pattern included several options, with 3 sleeve length and two varieties of bands, as well as a belted option. Mine is the 3/4 length sleeve with bands finishing all of the cardigan edges.
The fit is comfortable and perfect for layering. There is enough shaping through the waist for a ladylike look. The sleeves have plenty of ease to go over a long sleeve top.
The pattern is very versatile as far a fabrics go, and testers made their garments in everything from super thin sweater knits to bulky fleece. I went for a middle of the road weight with this ponte knit. It has a pretty metallic mini cheetah print, for a very subtle inclusion in Jungle January! The bands are a rayon terry from Mood. They're a bit heavier than the ponte, which gives the cardigan a nice drape.
The bands are attached with all seams enclosed in a flat felled seam, so the cardigan is very nicely finished on the inside. This is important, as the drapes do reveal the wrong side of the fabric, so take that into account when selecting your materials.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my Carefree Cardigan. It was fun and easy to sew and  it has definitely gotten a lot of wear on chilly days this winter! Pop over to Patterns for Pirates and get yours!