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!
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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! 🙁
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)
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.