Design Alterations…

I’ll be focusing on suggestions for design change ideas and alterations that can be made to one pattern I offer. This may include fabrics, color changes or physical changes to the actual pattern for a new look. If you have requests for design changes to a pattern I offer drop me a note and I’ll try to post them here. When or if I make examples of said changes I’ll make sure to post photos as well.

Enjoy!

I can dream right?

I am currently fighting with a pinched nerve in my neck. Have been for over a month now but according to the chiropractor and massage therapist I’m seeing there’s improvement. Unfortunately it meant I did NOT get to sew or craft much this holiday season like I really like to do. I had several projects on my list for Christmas that may just have to wait a couple more months!

On my list are:

  1. A backpack for my Minecraft happy son in the shape of a Creeper with a pencil case also in the shape of one. His favorite critter in the game. To accomplish it I have the supplies including heavy denim in a pixelated camo! Down side is that it’s rough on the hands to cut out and right now it’s on the taboo list to do! I can dream about an electric cutter, the SKIL 2352-01 3.6-Volt Lithium-Ion Multi-Cutter  that’d make it easier but I’m not likely to get anytime soon! I do have the Fiskars Contour Rotary Cutter which works fantastically for most things but in this case I think I’d prefer  the electric version!
  2. My tablet bag which would allow me to carry my tablet and a whole purse full of other stuff including all my gadgets. This project is currently in pieces as it was set aside in favor of finishing a Jawa costume!
  3. More fleece pants would be nice to finish as it is, well, freezing outside! It’s a bit colder than average with the wind AND sub 0 temperatures! I have a pair of fleece pants I made in 2001 and I really should sit down and FIX those but a new pair would be nice to have as alternates.
  4. I’d also love to do another fleece skirt. I used to have a A-line skirt in fleece that was nice to wear and really warm in the winter!
  5. Fleece curtains for the bedroom to help keep the house warmer this winter. Really not all that complex to make and I might just break the ban on sewing after my daughter is done with her brother’s Christmas present to create the darn things! It’s cold.. oh I mentioned that earlier right?

Luckily for me I am getting better and looking at avoiding surgery so hopefully this winter I’ll get to complete a couple of those projects. Not doll ones but still sewing.

I did manage to do one doll project this month but ONLY because it was promised before the nerve acted up and ONLY with a LOT of help from Sera. She seems to really enjoy hand sewing work and did fantastically working in miniature. Together we created a semi-replica of Betsy Ross for Justice’s 5th grade history assignment, the Clock Tower Cafe. The room box is 3 feet tall (dad) and dollhouse furniture kit; a table, chairs and cabinet in 1″ scale put together by Justice, a counter created from scraps of foam core by dad (George) and is manned by a 1″ scale action figure of Ben Franklin!

Here’s to healing and a Happy New Year!

Buyer BEWARE!!!

The Sew Essentials Cutting Table you can get at JoAnn’s is a major waste of money. I bought one 3 years ago and the welds gave out on it tonight as I NEEDED it for a project. I bought it because it was at a better height for cutting out projects of which I did cut quite a few out but the longer I had it the more wobbly it became. I kept the screws tight on it but they never held. Finally as the welds have broken it will go out in the yard for the next dump run. It was a WASTE of $60. For that amount I have the supplies I need to build Anna White’s “Sewing Table for Small Spaces” which is for me all wood 3/4″ thick, with large wheels and space to store my machines. It’ll also fold down to about 12″ wide! I can hardly wait to start on it in a week or two as I need it for various projects I plan to attempt to complete by birthday/Christmas this year!

When I complete my new table I’ll be sure to post photos…. it’ll be one of the first projects I do with the new circular saw I now own out of sheer necessity!

 

Please note that the above is PURE opinion but fully the truth as my former table is in pieces! 🙁

How do you sew that small….

I’m amused I post a 16″ pattern and am asked how can I see to sew that small? The answer is lots of light, magnifying glass and zooms on the computer along with strained 20/20 and mild glasses! (as of 2012 it’s on longer mild glasses but bifocals and several OttLite!) half-inch-babyHonestly, I work even smaller than Brenda Starr; I work in 1/2″ scale too. This means my smallest doll I’ve sewn for is a whopping 1/2″ tall!

 

 

 

 

1 inch seraI started in 1″ scale making patterns for my lady doll Katherine, from there I made a smocked dress pattern for a 1″ baby I named after my then 1 yr now 13 yr old daughter Seraphine.

 

 

 

tb groupI was hooked on drafting in miniature! I have even written a book on it and taught online & face-to-face classes locally. I branched out to larger dolls that my daughter could play with such as Madeline and Tiny Betsy both of which are in great condition despite being played with!

Beyond that, I’ve done some things for various fashion dolls from Tiny Kitty to Kitty Collier and several dolls in between.

I love drafting for the various size dolls and occasionally I get to play with them more. This summer I hope to get into my backyard and start taking photos of the dresses that will improve the look and feel of the main site along with allow me to share what I’ve created over the years more clearly. The smallest dolls are the hardest for me to photograph but I have a better camera and should be able to get better photos. Beyond that I’ll share some of the patterns that I’ve completed.

How do I do all this… very carefully, patiently and with a lot of trial and error on the sewing construction end of things. The hardest part is writing up how to put the outfits together so someone else can make the outfit.

Enjoy what I’ve shared!

If you write it will they come?

Is it still true that if you write and add to a wonderful site or blog that you can attract random readers and then a loyal following? I believe it’s true but with the caveat that you also have to participate in one or more other marketing activities. I started Sue’s Tiny Costumes way back… in fact if you plug in the URL you can see how badly my designs for websites were and over time can see the progression and improvements.

What I’m about to say is in no way paid it is purely in gratitude for what she has done to pay it forward, share her vast knowledge and INSPIRE others to be better.

If it were not for Cricket I would not be where I am today. Ok she is one of many many individuals but they are for other posts as appropriate. I started Cricket’s SEO class in 2003 with a toddler and a pre-schooler in the house. I had a dream of making some money with designing and drafting doll patterns of all things.  If you go to the Wayback Machine you can see my early attempt at web design… pretty dismal with scanned dresses laid on a scanner, no digital camera, computer drawn designs and more flaws than I care to count.

Over time, with many nudges and encouragement, my site improved visually and the business expanded. Then in 2005 just as it was starting to roll my personal life blew up. My knee went out, I went through a separation and moving, and many other problems and my site had to go to the bottom of the heap of things to worry about. From 2005 until NOW, I have done NOTHING to market the business or if I did it has been very inconsistent and sporadic. Yet, despite it all what Cricket taught held the site in good standing and it STILL made money without me… well minor technical issues had to be addressed but those were very seldom since I’d done a LOT of work leading to the life blow out. I am to this day a member of her classes and the Coffee Shop. I’ve followed her on the V7n and Facebook and even Twitter. Cricket is an inspirational teacher and mentor and I look forward to learning more from her.

Thank you Cricket for everything you do to help people build up businesses. The Blog Challenge has been the kick in the pants I’ve needed to get back on the writing and business bandwagon for 2011 and hopefully I’ll achieve some of my next round of dreams because of the jump start you’ve give me this year. I look forward to more Challenges in the coming months too! If you need something just drop me a note and I’ll do what I can to repay you!

So really, if you write, follow Cricket’s tips, and do so consistently, I do believe readers will come!

 

Lesson of the month for me…

No matter what you do always write yourself a note to go with new patterns and cut out projects. You never know how long it will be until you get back to an item! I am working on a beautiful square neck lame top and black pleated pants suit item for my Dollfie but for the life of me I can’t figure out what I was thinking when I designed and cut the project out! The top isn’t so bad and is almost done now but the pants have me completely puzzled so I’m hoping that once I have the top done and on her the rest will fall into place! Here’s a good example of a simple New Pattern or Project Planning Page: planner-1024x792

Thanks to the Valley Mover for more time…

I have been taking the local commuter bus Valley Mover for 2+ years now and have found an extra 2 hours a day to sew. This afternoon’s project was the 1″ scale version of my Gwendolyn’s dress. Gwen is 12″ tall and by Gwen Ross of Mystic Mold. I met Gwen Ross at the 1995 Anaheim Doll Show when I won 3rd place for costuming for Letha Marie another doll by her who is 46″ tall. Sadly Gwen Ross is no long with us but I am lucky to have 2 of her dolls. I will be recreating Letha’s gown in miniature soon as well.

When I have more done on the dress I will post photos! The lesson in all this is to take the bus to relax and craft each day! It does not matter where you live… check into your local bus!

46" Letha Marie

46″ Letha Marie

 

12" Gwendolyn

12″ Gwendolyn

 

What dolls do you sew for?

cropped-Collages2.jpgI sew for just about any doll I can lay hands on but there are a few that I really love to sew for. Tiny Kitty and Kitty Collier are among my top two. Gene is another I love to sew for and will shortly have patterns for as well. I need to take photos and finish up her patterns. I adore Tiny Betsy and especially love the challenge of sewing in one inch scale. One doll I have not had the chance to sew for is the Urban Vita I got in January. I am looking forward to working on her patterns soon too!

So who do you love to sew for? Add your comments below!

Finally feel like drafting….

Over the last 3 years I’ve been swamped with work, kids and college. At the start of summer this year I graduated college and all summer just did not have the energy to sew, draft or design much. I’ve had a couple e-mails lately about Ken, Model Muse and Boy Bratz patterns…. I’m now staring at the first new dolls I’ve had in about 3 years! I also have a partial draft for an outfit for Kitty Collier staring at me so I am going to finish the rework of the website and start on some new drafts! How long this will take depends on how much energy I have each day after work and on weekends still but hopefully I’ll start posting some new patterns later this year or early next year!

I’m off to measure my new ladies and gentlemen and work on some other items!