Monday, May 31, 2010

Custom movie outfit for Sonali.

I finished this outfit this morning. As luck would have it the sun peeked out for a few minutes so I could take pictures outside. It's been raining and thunder storming here for days, please pardon the very long grass.  Sonali is seen wearing an outfit much like this in a couple of scenes in the American Girl Chrissa movie. 

Sonali is wearing the shoes from the current gardening outfit today, but they are not included with the outfit. Brown flats would look nice too, I think. 

The shirt as seen in the movie has 3/4 length sleeves. I upcycled a nice striped knit for this shirt, the colors and scale of the stripes are just right for doll size. The embroidery was made by me on my new Janome. It was difficult to see the exact design on the real shirt in the movie but it was clearly floral with a few different colors. I like how this came out!

The back of the shirt.  I don't care for velcro in dolls' clothing. It's so hard on their hair and it's a pain to try to keep their hair safe from it. My answer to this is non rusting metal snaps hand sewn in place. It's time consuming to do this, but well worth it. I don't leave any threads loose, everything is very secure and gentle on doll hair.

The pleated skirt and footless tights from a previous entry.

Thanks for looking!  I changed the comment function so anyone can comment now.  I think it was only enabled for people registered to this site before.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Infinite possibilities.

Much of the last week I have spent thinking about what kind of embroidery to put on Sonali's green and white striped shirt. In the past I have done hand embroidered embellishments on doll clothing with great success but it is very time consuming.  It's also limited to my freehand embroidery skills. Luckily my husband is a rockstar! On Friday evening he bought me a professional embroidery machine from the local sewing shop. Now I can put really cool anything and everything (so long as it's not licensed, right Disney?) on whatever I want. I spent the first evening practicing with my new machine and named her Myrna. I was up until 1am that night experimenting with knits, wovens and different combinations of stabilizers. Who knew there was such an art to a computerized process?  It definitely takes practice to get all of the variables just right. For now I'm happy to practice with the built in designs and some that I've gathered from the internet. Myrna has a handy USB port so I can eventually learn to digitize my own designs
My kids love to watch this machine make pictures and spell their names.  My first real project was to label my son's backpack. He has the same bag as quite a lot of other boys at school and it has been mixed up in the past.  My smallest hoop is actually quite big and it didn't fit on the face of his bag so I put it on the back. I actually think this is better since I don't like their names being visible on anything they are wearing in public.

Next up is a dragon for my little guy's plain hoodie. He picked this himself and said "His name is Blackie and he wants a cookie." 

This machine is so much fun to use, I will get some orange and green thread tomorrow to make Sonali's shirt. I'll embroider the fabric before I cut it out. It was a pain to do the backpack and the hoop barely fit between the seams on the hoodie. I may buy a couple of patterns to make my kids some nice clothes with embroideries. I'd like to scratch that itch between making doll things.  I'm also eyeing up our plain towels. Nothing is safe here anymore :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Leggings and skirt.

My little guy hasn't been feeling well for the past few days. We stayed in today to rest and our usual playdate didn't come over (Hi Erica!) So, I had some time to make a pattern for the leggings I need for the custom Sonali outfit.  I came up with a one piece pattern, this eliminates the outside leg seam and really gives the appearance of tights. I even had some tiny fold-over-elastic to trim off the waist band and make them fit snugly. The black makes them look a little Hallowe'en-y but Davina's not complaining.

I made a skirt today too, but I'm going to make more with a shorter waist on them. I put an extra band of fabric between the waist band and the skirt to give it some length, but I don't think it needs it at all. The waist ends up sitting too high. I had stitched the box pleats about 3/4" down but I ripped that out too, it's more flowy this way.

Davina is wearing the skirt with the leggings I made and the t-shirt from the recent AG "Vacation Outfit."
She wants everyone to notice that she got her ears pierced while we were in Minneapolis.

I made some chocolate brown leggings today too. I'll try to get some better pictures tomorrow, maybe with shoes, but it's supposed to be raining again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Store stuff

I've been working on some hoodies for the shop's grand opening.  I made a 100% cotton jersey knit hoodie with fully lined hood for part of a custom order. I had a really great response to it so I've got a few on the go for future stocking. Three are blue with yellow lined hoods just like the Ramona outfit. One is blue with a brown lined hood, and four are brown with blue lined hoods. I made a brown one with coralish pink lined hood for my personal collection. The blue jersey fabric is very nice to work with, but the brown is an interlock knit so I had to alter my first example after it was completed.  It stretched out and the finished product was miles too big.  Fabrics can behave in such different ways. I will make appropriate adjustments on the remaining 4 brown garments before they are sewn.

I'm also working on a Sonali outfit for a board member. She saw the Ramona skirt I made and said it's almost exactly what Sonali wears in the beginning of this clip in the movie.

I found the perfect green and white striped  knit for the t-shirt yesterday. I'll have to hunt around in the movie to see if I can find a better image of the flowers on her shirt.  I'll make orange leggings too :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A small start.

In the past few months I've been sewing more and more for my dolls and sharing pictures of my work on a couple of doll forums. I have been contacted privately for custom work a few times in the last few weeks. It feels like the right time to start up a little website to blog about what I'm working on and when I am taking custom orders. I set up an Etsy shop but I don't plan to stock it until later this summer. The garments I make are my own patterns. It takes time to draft and perfect these pattern pieces and construction.  When I open my shop I'd like to have enough stock for customers to choose from to build their own outfits. It will be mostly separates : hoodies, pants, skirts, blouses, underwear, hand knit items etc.  Comments and suggestions are most welcome. If people want me to make xyz I will do my best to accommodate.