Friday, September 9, 2016

Tracing Doll Sewing Patterns

When I sew doll clothes, I find that occasionally I have to trace something, usually markings for darts. Holding the pattern and material up to the window technically works, but my hands usually slip at some point, so the markings don't end up perfectly accurate.

Being a girl on a budget, for the longest time I used this toy Barbie light box to do tracing.
The light it gave off wasn't as bright as I might have liked, but considering that I bought it second hand off of eBay, the price was much better than a more professional style. However, this Barbie light box finally stopped working correctly. I needed a new light box, but I'm still on a budget. I decided to poke around Amazon just to see what kind of prices I was looking at, and quickly managed to find a light box that is inexpensive, and meets my needs. Funnily enough, it's made by Darice, which is a company I just discussed in my last post. Its specialty is inexpensive crafting items, and my new light "box" fits that description! It's a sculpted piece of plastic, with a light bulb underneath, and an electrical cord to power it. It does get hot; the instructions recommend you only leave it on for two hours at a time at most. The instructions also say that you should use the light box on a heat-resistant surface. I'm using an old wooden cutting board that Mr. BTEG and the Dancer have already used for painting role playing miniatures.


For less than $9 (we have Amazon Prime), it's a great solution, considering I'm not doing artist quality tracing here, and don't need a $40 or more light box. Crayola also currently has a tracing light box for children's art projects, but it didn't suit my simple needs enough to make it worth slightly over twice the price.
So have I been sewing? Actually, yes! I think I'll have an outfit to share with you soon. I also have a backlog of things I would like to post, but now that I'm over the worst of the nasty cold that I had, I'm hoping I can get back to my 4 posts a month goal. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, are you planning crafting projects for the colder weather to come?

10 comments:

  1. That's a neat box you got from Amazon. I've never seen one shaped to be open that way. Then again I still have the one I used back in the 80's.

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    1. I'm pretty sure the sides are open in this one to keep it from getting too hot underneath. I've had that Barbie box since the 90s, but the button to turn it on doesn't work right anymore.

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  2. I have never had the need to trace doll patterns. I just cut the darts and seam allowances out of the paper pattern and write on the pattern where everything goes.
    But back in university I had to make a lot of anatomy drawings, I didn't have the time or talent to make them from scratch, so I traced them from the book. I used an upside down stool with a big piece of plexiglass resting on the stool legs. Underneath the glass I put my desk lamp with a flexible neck and made it shine upwards. I used office clamps to attach the papers to the glass.

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    1. I cut plain darts out of the paper pattern, but I prefer to trace things like the double darts, in the picture.

      Your makeshift tracing tool for university sounds very creative! When I was in college, I was still on speaking terms with my father, who is an artist. I would probably just have used his light box.

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  3. I make my own pattern so i cut them of without seam allowances and then trace on the fabric. However the lamp thing is very nice to not destroy patterns. I remember when i was little girl i used to copy some pictures on the window to colour them later:)

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    1. Sometimes I like making my own sewing patterns, but Ever After High dolls are so small, I thought it probably was worth it to save time by buying a pattern.

      My sisters and I used to love to trace things when we were young girls as well.

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  4. Replies
    1. It is fun to be able to make clothes for my dolls. Everybody has his own gifts, though. :)

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  5. That's a cool light box with very simple construction. Can't beat that price. I'm still using my old one from the 80's. So many uses for them. Now I can add pattern tracing to the list. Thanks!

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    1. I would probably still be using my Barbie one, if it hadn't broke. Although, this new box takes up a lot less space, and doesn't need batteries. This box is supposed to be for embossing stencils onto paper. But it will work just as well for my patterns.

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