My favorite sites

This begins the series of posts on favorite sites and resources for anything doll related. Some miniature doll resources and other for various other dolls or sewing supplies.

Today’s favorite sites are Fabric Depot and Britex Fabrics.

Fabric Depot is based in Portland, Oregon and boasts a wonderful acre of fabric, notions and craft supplies. To go into the store you should start when the doors open as you can be there for literally hours the first time. They have a variety of fabrics including tiny prints and natural fiber fabric suitable for doll clothes and miniatures projects. Their online site is a wonderful place to just sit and browse for hours and find many favorite fabrics that may not be available in your local fabric stores. Their staff has always been helpful both in person and via online or phone ordering and their prices are just right… perfect for spending just “a little too much but oh my it was on sale”!

Britex Fabrics is located in the heart of downtown San Francisco and boasts 4 floors of fabric, notions and trims. The fabrics are very high quality and you can again spend hours just looking. The last time I was in Britex I was a poor college student and could only afford one tiny piece of trim which I promptly used on one of my early miniature dresses. Sometime soon I hope to visit again!

I miss large fabric stores like Fabric Depot and Britex Fabrics but no matter what I LOVE living in Alaska… after all what is the internet for if not to order fabric from a distance!

French Curves for Dolls

Ever wondered where to get small pattern drafting tools suitable for doll clothes pattern making? You can find a French Curve Set fairly easily actually. After some quick looking

around I found a great set that works not only for dolls but if you sew for yourself can actually come in handy for drafting full size patterns as well!

Why would you want a curve set when found items work just as well? I have found that you can get better results with the smooth edges of an actual French Curve Set versus using a plate, plastic tape dispenser, the curve of your mouse, various coins, jars and other interesting oddities. With a set like this one or more of the curves is very likely to fit what you need and it’s easy to use them to quickly draw the line smoothly. Over time I’ve bought each curve individually and wish I could have found a set like this before now!

This is one of those indispensable items for the doll nut who loves to design and draft or just alter patterns for dolls!

Sewing again…UFOs and tips

I’m back in the groove of sewing once more… finally! I’m working on kid clothes and things for myself but after a couple more projects Ill be tackling the doll UFOs once more and adding patterns. I take the bus to work and have found that I now have 2 hours to fill and staring out the window is boring after a while especially when it’s foggy and you can’t even see across a divided highway! With my friend Lindsay as the driving force we made a list of all the projects and pieces of fabric, notions and trims I had… I’ve since found more but it was a start! Here’s my tip for the day or more likely tips:

  1. make a list of everything you have and when you bring home more add to the list… it does NOT have to be a fancy relational database or even a spreadsheet it can simply be a notebook with a list. Just keep it updated!
  2. clear plastic envelopes are MARVELOUS for holding patterns and stray pattern pieces and file and stand up better than Ziplocks in a tote or box for storage
  3. go through and finish UFOs before kids outgrow things that are cut out! Now dolls don’t grow but most of us have at least someone in our lives we sew for that grows, a fur pal, neighbor or family kid, volunteer work or ourselves. Finish UFOs before it’s too late!
  4. finishing UFOs clears space for MORE fabric and provides a sense of accomplishment in addition to saving money by actually using the fabric collection you have

Back to finishing up a UFO!

New Patterns and New Lessons

As I work here in my little studio I’ve discovered a few things…. testing in ‘real fabric’ vs muslin is an OK thing to do at least for larger dolls. My reasoning behind this is that if a pattern doesn’t turn out just right for say Kitty the same pattern with minor modifications manages nicely to fit a smaller doll like Brenda Starr. Besides that the ‘goofs’ are perfect to give to my daughter to play with as she doesn’t mind imperfections in my work that usually go with a first run through a pattern as I draft and redraft and sew and re-sew a project.

It’s funny I start with a design for one doll and eventually I have the same design or a variation of it for 2 or more others as well. I just love designing and sewing for my dolls.