Thursday, January 22, 2015



Many people think that making doll clothes, especially for the Barbie sized and smaller is difficult. I tend to agree if you're only using a sewing machine or serger.
But it IS easier when hand sewing. Stitching by hand will give you more control of the garment. I tend to use both hand sewing and the machine for various stages of the dressmaking.
One of my challenges has been to make dresses for the BJD Ever After High and Monster High dolls.
 These Ever/Monster High dolls in comparison to Barbie are less than half the body mass, creating more of a challenge with the small details. Not to mention, the hard plastic body is not very forgiving. Unlike a soft body that allows the fabric to contour or to make allowances (like the American Girl dolls.)
Here's a few tricks I've learned along the way in piecing together a tiny gown and dealing with fray!
 When designing small pieces like this, it is important to make it fully lined. This means, cutting out the dress pattern twice. With a fully lined bodice, there is no reason for hemming, as the lined dress will already have a finished seam.  Pictured are the two pieces of the bodice/backside stitched together and turned right side out. I've pinned it in place to match both sides. Using a quarter, this gives you an idea on the size of this piece.

 I had pinned the bodice so that I could hand stitch the edges together. Hand stitching in advance will not only keep the edges aligned when sewing, but I've discovered it makes a huge difference in preventing fray.
 Prepping the sleeves in advance with lace. I use the  machine for the lace.

 The sleeves are attached by hand sewing first.

 Once the sleeves and sides of top have been hand sewn, I machine stitch very carefully twice over. Since the edges are too small to run a serger, I will return and set the zigzag on my machine to a small setting and carefully zigzag the edges. This not only cleans up the edges, but it also ensures more protection from fray.

Prepped in advance are the pieces of the skirt with lace. For larger pieces, I used the serger.

After skirt is attached by hand stitching, I run the machine over it again. 

The best part of all is decorating the gown.

HERE'S MY ADVICE on sewing micro sized gowns - PAY ATTENTION before running the machine. There is nothing more frustrating than realizing that the sleeves or skirt was sewn on backwards. It is very difficult to undo a micro sized boo boo, especially when dealing with fabrics that fray. In all my years of sewing, I STILL make this mistake a lot.

This year, I plan to expand my designs for the BJD dolls, as well as tackle a few gowns for the Equestria My Little Pony dolls.  Fun! Fun!

Have questions, or would like to chat? Feel free to visit DolliciousBoutique on Facebook.

Current Designs available for purchase are at OzarkFashions

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