Friday, March 18, 2016

Sewing Progress: J-Doll and Curvy Barbie, Update

I spent a good bit of the early part of this year cleaning and organizing my doll/sewing area. While I'm thankful for the space I have, the number of dolls, and the amount of fabric, trims, etc. that I have make my storage space quite tight. I'm still working on that, but I had a strong urge to get back to sewing, too, so I'd like to show you a couple of things that I've made recently.

Melanie is wearing a purple gingham dress of homespun type fabric. I think the fabric really suits her. It looks a lot like something you might see a Momoko doll wearing. The next time I make the dress, I would like to get the bottom ruffle to hang better.

Curvy Barbie models a pink gingham dress. I guess I have a thing for gingham! I'd like to get a few more dresses like this sewn up this weekend and in my Etsy store next week. There isn't much for the Curvy Barbie to wear out there.
It's so satisfying to complete a project successfully!

New pictures below the fold.


My mouse was giving me issues last night, so I'm posting these update pictures today instead of yesterday.

Here are a few pictures to help explain how I did the neckline on Melanie's dress. First, you need a strip of fabric cut on the bias. It should be cut on the bias to enable it to curve neatly around the neckline. Sew the front and back shoulder seams of the bodice together, then sew one edge of the strip to the neckline. As I tried to show in the picture below, the neckline can be manipulated so it is closer to a straight line than a curve, to make it easier to sew on a machine, if you're using one.
Clip the seam of bodice to neckline so that the neckline lays better. Finish the raw edge of the neckline however you would like. In this case, I used Fray Check. Then, fold the neckline over far enough to cover the raw edges of the neckline seam on the inside of the bodice, and sew other side of the strip down. You can use a technique called "stitch in the ditch," where you use a machine, to sew on the outside, where the neckline strip and the bodice meet. Essentially, you'd be sewing where the hot pink line is:
That can be tricky to do neatly on clothes this small. What I chose to do was hand sew the neckline down, but hiding my stitches inside the seam. On the inside it does look a bit messy, although I'm sure there are things I could do to make it look neater, such as smaller stitches. Don't forget, that raw-looking edge has been fray checked, so it won't unravel. You can also use an overlock stitch on a serger or sewing machine to finish that raw edge. You could also turn the edge of this neckline strip under and then sew it down, but that makes the neckline a bit more bulky.
While it doesn't look fantastic on the inside, since I was careful to make my stitches inside the seam, you can barely see the stitches on the outside.
There are a couple of ways to finish the ends of the neckline. One is to make the neckline strip longer than the seam where you sewed it to the bodice, then fold the raw ends of the strip under and tack them down. Again, that makes a bit more bulk. What I did was simply leave the sides of the back bodice pieces unfinished until I sewed the neckline strip on, then finished it all at once. In this case, I used my serger. Again, people also like Fray Check for garments this small. There are several ways to keep that raw edge from coming unravelled.
Let me know if I wasn't clear on a particular point. I hope this was a good explanation!

14 comments:

  1. They both look great. Good job!And I really love this pattern:)

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  2. These both look good - nice work!

    I love how the colour of Melanie's dress matched the wall behind her - it makes me think of a we-dresses chameleon. :)

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    1. Thank you, jSarie!

      Your comment about the dress and the wall is funny, since I was thinking about putting up one of my pink pieces of scrapbook paper for Curvy Barbie, but decided to use the purple instead. :)

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  3. Great details like the neckline on the purple! I like those shoes on the curvy girl.

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    1. Thank you, The grandmommy! Those shoes came with the curvy doll; I'm glad I like them too, as there aren't other shoes out there yet to purchase!

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  4. The neckline binding on the purple dress is so neat! How did you do that?

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    1. Thank you, BlackKitty! I will put up some pictures of the inside of the neckline later today for you; I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to explain adequately how I made it by just writing it out.

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  5. Gingham is a nice fabric to work with, isn't it? Your dresses look very pretty. It's nice to see Curvy Barbie in something other than the dress she came in (which my husband thought was very unattractive for a lady with her figure).

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    1. I agree that Curvy Barbie needs some new clothes! I also want to try making shorts and pants for her to see how that looks. I'm glad that you like the dresses.

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  6. These are both great! I loooove gingham! :) I love the style of the purple dress and I also love the trim you put on the bottom of the pink one. I would love to learn how to sew dresses for my Barbies...I have the same curvy one and just love her.

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  7. I love gingham too! I'm glad that you like the dresses, and Curvy Barbie's dress trim. I love girly, ribbon-y stuff like that. I'd like to see what you come up with if you decide to try your hand at sewing.

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  8. Gingham rules! It looks really subtle and girly on your dolls. :)

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