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!

Relaunch!

I’m taking a leap and going back to promoting my pattern work once more. It’s been 6 years since I stopped actively talking about my love of my dolls and the patterns I’ve done. During those years I have accomplished many things but had my passion and love of sewing for my dolls on the sidelines. I have only bought 1 (!) doll in all that time and she sits above my computer looking down at me wishing for clothing. While I have a number of projects already started for myself, the house and kids I plan to work on some of my UFOs for the dolls as well!

You will note that individual patterns have all but gone away (Super Size Barbie and the 1″ scale dress forms are the exception) and have been replaced with Pattern Lines and Pattern Kits in addition to the books Pattern Making for Dolls and Pattern Drafting for Miniatures!

Keep an eye on the NEWS area! Also be sure to keep up with the best stuff on FaceBook, Twitter @STCDolls,  or Pinterest!

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! 🙁

Tracking a Project

There are many ways to track projects. Everything from task lists to online trackers to spreadsheets. I use a combo of various methods based on the project I’m doing and if there’s a deadline to complete it.

For sewing projects I tend to use a hand written list occasionally transcribed to a spreadsheet which lets me add information about where I am in each project. I’ve also created custom project sheets that give me more detail right on the project. These project sheets or in the fashion industry are also known as spec sheets. Each page includes a design description, list of supplies along with yardage, a drawing of the design and an area for notes such as construction techniques or rough instructions. Sometimes there is a photo of a muslin sample or even a first try or similar design.

Below I’ve included a free download for one of mine in a MS Word format.

Specification Sheet Form (one from my college years geared towards figuring the costs and general supply list of a design)

Pattern & Samples Planner (revision with two to a page for my Circa Notebook geared towards writing more instructions than a cost analysis of the design)

 

Places to find fine fabrics

Miniatures and small scale sewing requires fine fabrics and even a small amount of fabric can get expensive. You can recycle various common items into wonderful doll costumes. A linen handkerchief or napkin come with rolled hems usually done by hand or machine. If you can find one that would no longer be useful for daily use those finely crafted hems can become the hem of your doll’s new dress or sleeves!

Silk blouses are also a common item that get worn spots rendering them unwearable but the rest of your former blouse can be used for your next project!

Personally I like to purposefully get blouses and such at thrift stores and second hand shops.  I tend to buy items that are too small for me and usually on a sale rack. Once in a while I find a blouse for myself, wear it for a while and when it wears out use it for a doll outfit.

I keep my nice fabric in totes by color so I can find what I need or want.

Pattern Drafting for Dolls

Have you ever wanted to create an outfit that YOU had in mind but couldn’t find a pattern for? One that was your own individual creation?  Or you could find the pattern but it’s for the wrong doll or the wrong size doll? Would you like to learn to draft your own patterns instead of purchasing patterns that may or may not fit your doll right? The Pattern Drafting Crash Course is an easy to follow tutorial that lets you learn to draft for a child doll. I developed it and have used it to draft for dolls as small as 1/2″ tall all the way up to a toddler size outfit for my daughter when she was 2! (she’s 13 now!)

If you find it useful, and I think you will the full book is available at my main site, Sue’s Tiny Costumes. Please let me know what you think or if you find it helpful! I’d also LOVE to see patterns you’ve created just drop me a note I’m more than happy to show off what you’ve done!

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!

 

Another trip to and from work…

I have many items that I cut out several years ago and  Friday morning I pulled one out that I no longer had the pattern with…so while I basted a pretty blue strapless dress I have yet to figure out who it will fit! At least it’s basted together! Hmmmm maybe I should stitch it and then take some photos soon!

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!