Friday, 23 September 2016

So You Want To Sew Dolls Clothes?

Many people are a little bit daunted when it comes to sewing garments for dolls, especially tiny ones. However, this is something I have always loved to do since I first learnt to sew.

Over the years I have picked up a few tips which have helped me make clothes more easily than when I first began. They have also helped to make my garments look more professional when they are finished, so from time to time I will share a few of those tips on my blog.

There are four MUST HAVES if you are going to sew dolls clothes ~

1. A straight stitch plate for your sewing machine. This helps provide a more stable base and enables you to sew fine fabrics without the feed dogs eating your fabric.

My plate has two separate holes, but some brands have three, some only have one hole in the centre. (I also use a walking foot, when sewing slippery fabrics together, this helps stop the fabrics sliding and which is normally for quilting.)

Plates cost around $20-$30, and these can be purchased online.

2. A Sewline Air Erasable Fabric Pen. These are a terrific addition to your sewing box and worth every cent! One word of warning though, you must erase the marks with water BEFORE you iron, otherwise you will heat set them.

Click here for further information.

Quick Tip: Cut your fabric after you have sewn it to avoid any frustrating tiny seam allowances. Using my pen, I trace my bodice pattern directly onto the reverse side of my fabric. Then I just cut out a square of fabric around the bodice and sew along my tracing lines.


3. A tiny iron. A full size iron is way too large and awkward for pressing tiny pieces and the tiny iron is wonderful. The Clover Mini Iron 2, boasts new temperature controls and a redesigned handle. The new slide-switch settings are convenient and easier to work with, while the safety shield will help protect your fingers from burns by preventing the fingers from touching the shaft.

Clover's RRP is a bit expensive, but most haberdashery/quilting and sewing machine stores sell them a little bit cheaper.

Quick Tip: Ironing each piece as you go (after sewing and turning) gives a much nicer finish to your garment.

4. A pair of haemostats/forceps. These make turning garments right side out much simpler to do. I use either a straight or a curved pair depending on what I am turning. They are both 125cm long.

Haemostats are usually around $12 a pair and are available at hobby shops and  online.

Quick Tip: When it comes to really tiny dolls like PukiFees and other dolls of a similar size, I tend to hand sew more often than I use a sewing machine. Especially for the fiddly bits like inserting sleeves.

I hope this post helps make sewing clothes for your own little dolls less daunting and I shall look forward to reading your comments and seeing your pretty garments on your blogs. :)

12 comments:

  1. Hello Sandy,
    Thank you for the great post. These tips will come in very handy, even when working on miniatures.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Hello Giac,
      You are most welcome, I am so glad you found the tips helpful.
      Although my blog's in "dolly speak" it's good to know you can put them to good use when working on your miniatures.
      Big hugs,
      X

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  2. Oh wow, thanks so much Xanadu for sharing these tips with us. I actually didn't realise about the sewing first then cutting it out. It makes sense and no more fiddling around trying to hem tiny little things. I also didn't know about the small iron, that they existed. I have to look into that. The normal iron I find works well for SD + clothing but I've always had trouble trying to do anything smaller with the normal iron.

    I tend to mostly handsew as I am constantly fighting with the sewing machine (it likes to chew my fabric and the thread always without fail gets tangled and stuck. It's a relatively new machine and I've threaded it right so no idea what the issue is.).

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alasse,
      Mmm that small iron is also handy for things like collars or pocket flaps on larger clothing, I wouldn't be without mine.

      Does your machine have a plate that has a rectangular hole that allows you to zigzag and do buttonholes? If it does, do try the single round centre hole straight sewing plate...it will help you. :)
      Hugs,
      X

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  3. Ohhh great tips!!! I'll be sure to revisit this thread when I decide to take the plunge and start making doll clothes.
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!
    Hope you have a great weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alejandra,
      Hey what are friends for? I do hope it will help you become a dolly seamstress. :)
      It's very satisfying as well as fun, making your own dolly clothes.
      Hugs,
      X
      Hugs

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  4. A "stitch plate" who knew? I just thought my machine liked to eat my projects! My poor machine only gets pulled out once a year to make my kids Halloween costumes.
    I did try once to make doll clothes, but I got way too frustrated both with my machine and myself for not wanting to learn how to adjust for miniature sewing.
    (I don't have the time to develop my sewing skills, so I have decided to just support other artists who sell on-line and Etsy!)
    Hugs,
    Sam

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sam,
      There is one more tip I can offer in response to your comments...you need a little patience. :) But I do understand that with your time restraints, it's easier just to order what you need online.

      The good news is, when you get to my age you'll probably have both.
      Big hugs,
      X

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  5. Hi there! Great tips! A tiny iron was something my grandmother (father's mother) had - two of them and in two sizes! But these where the older kinds, that you heat on a stove. Sometimes I wish I had those today.
    Hugs and enjoy the weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Niina. I remember those irons, though I've never owned or used one. :)
      Hugs,
      X

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  6. Hi Xanadu,
    these are some very useful tips! I find the biggest challenge is just the overwhelming amount of things to learn and practise with sewing :D but I enjoy learning little tidbits like this every now and then. It really motivates one to sew more!

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    1. Hi Irene,
      I am so glad you find them useful. Sewing doesn't have to be difficult if you keep things simple and take your time. I find that when I rush to get things done, I make the most mistakes and it takes me twice as long to complete something because I have to redo things. :)
      Hugs,
      X

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