Hoodies & Raglan pattern for Slim MSDs

Unisex raglans & hoodies

This week’s pattern is similar to last week’s pattern, but for Slim MSDs!  And instead of fitting different Barbie body shapes, it fits both boys and girls in Slim MSD size!

So why can’t I do this for Barbie, other etc sizes too, you’re probably thinking.  The answer is “Dolly Sexual Dimorphism”   Slim MSD sized boys are usually 1-2cm taller than the girls, but with less than 1 cm of difference in all other measurements (including bust!) except for maybe waist size on some doll brands.  They look a lot different, but that comes down to sculpt, not proportion (like how the DC Super Hero Girls and Ever After High girls have identical proportions even though the Super Hero Girls are all very muscular looking). 

Monster High boys/girls are the next closest.  They can’t share most clothes (in the Slim MSD size, even the dresses will fit the boys!) but they can share some, which is why I have a few unisex patterns in that size.  Ever After High changed the boy-girl difference from “sometimes” to “not at all” with boys with much broader shoulders and chests, and then by the time you get up to 11.5″ fashion dolls, the difference is even greater.  No matter how fabulous Barbie’s clothes are, Ken can’t get into them.  Which is probably why they broke up after 50 years 😉

Anyway, if you’d like you can check out this pattern in the shop!  It isn’t part of April’s giveaway because there isn’t a full week left in the month, so it will be the first to qualify for May’s giveaway. 

And, speaking of the end of the month coming up… have you made use of the Buy4Get1 coupon code yet?  Come next month, you’ll really wish you had!


Basics Patterns for Curvy 1/3 dolls

I get lots of requests for 1/3 doll patterns, but I have mostly resisted: they’re so BIG!  I know this is the opposite reaction of most people.  They look at anything smaller and don’t want to sew for them because they’re so SMALL! 

But Klein lent me a bunch of her 1/3 dolls to do some research with and see just how feasible it would be to make a 1/3 pattern.  Just about everything I’d read online had made it seem pretty daunting.  At the bigger sizes, there’s so much more variation, it’s much harder to share clothes between dolls.  Or so I kept reading. 

This is one of the reasons I always do my own research!

60cm BJD doll comparison chart

So many naked dollies! With my handy tape measure and a note pad I took measurement after measurement. Sure, I could have just used the measurements off of websites (and I did for dolls I don’t have) but my experience has been that my measurements don’t always match the company measurements. Sometimes it’s close, and sometimes it’s so far I wonder where the heck they could have gotten their numbers! But doing the same measurements in the same places taken by the same person is the best way to get uniform measurements. And this is what I found:

Most dolls are within 1 cm of each other in all measurements that are important.

The biggest variation is leg length. That’s all.  That’s EASY! You just shorten a skirt or pair of pants more when you’re sewing for a shorter doll. I don’t think there’s anyone who can sew from a pattern who can’t do that. Next is bust, and that can be more tricky because some of these dolls come with alternate busts with each boob as big as their head. I can’t outfit those, but the standard and even slightly larger than standard bust sizes? Totally. I’m already doing that with the 1/4 dolls!

I checked the measurements from the ‘big’ companies that do resin like Volks, Luts, and Fairyland.  There seems to be two main categories of resin: adolescent shaped and curvy shaped. Volks SDGR and Dollfie Dreams are Curvy 1/3, while volks SD10 and SD13 are more in the adolescent shape.  Fairyland only does curvy.  Luts makes dozens of different bodies in this size, and generally older bodies are more adolescent shaped while newer bodies are curvy.

It seems like the original, adolescent SD size was the fashionable size when BJDs first started being made, but curvy doll shapes are more popular now.  Of the dolls I’ve gotten requests to make clothes for, ALL have been in the ‘curvy’ size, so that’s the size I’m going with!

Curvy 1/3 BJD Basics 1

Splitting up the Basics pattern into two was very popular in the 1/4 scale, so I did it again for 1/3 scale.  Basics 1 is a as-simple-as-possible pattern that you can sew a full outfit in 30 minutes or less, even if you do it by hand.  It’s great for people new to sewing, who don’t have a lot of time to sew, or just plain hate sewing (I get a surprising amount of requests from that last group!).  The shirt is made from 1 piece of fabric, and the jeans/shorts are made from 2.  It is easier than a sock sweater and looks WAY better!

Curvy 1/3 BJD Basics 2

Basics 2 is more similar to actual people clothes.  It’s still far from hard, but this pattern delights in details and variations so you can make a lot more different looks by swapping around pieces.  This is the pattern for you if you want your dolls to actually be able to put their hands in their pockets, or thread a belt through the belt loops. 


I know it was a long time coming, and I hope everyone who has been sending me requests for this size is happy their persistence finally paid off 😀  And remember, if you buy it this month you get a chance of winning free clothes from the patterns mailed to you!

Kimono for Slim MSD dolls

Kimono for Slim MSD/16" Western Fashion Dolls on Etsy Kimonos for the 1/4 dolls are good to go!

After last week’s release, I got a lot of questions and corrections suggestions about my kimono pattern…all before a single pattern was purchased and anyone had seen what was inside it!  So instead of talking about how awesome kimono are, I’m going to go into detail about how much of a nut I am:

I love kimono.   I loved the style ever since I was a little kid and my grandfather worked in Japan and came home with pictures and stories, before most of the world had no idea what “Anime” was besides stuff like Speed Racer and if you got your hands on some manga, best be learning Japanese because nobody translated that stuff.  I know.  I’m old.  

I read Memoirs of a Geisha (and the ‘corrected’ autobiography of the lady it was based on, Mineko Iwasaki’s Geisha of Gion) when they came out and while I can barely remember the love interest bits, I can still remember all of the details about putting on and wearing kimono.  You can find a billion things on the internet now about kimono and Japanese culture, but back in the 90s… not so much.  In college I took intensive Japanese and the cultural classes associated with that for my language requirement and a couple more besides.  I was either a credit or two short or just didn’t bother with having it added on as an official minor.   Local art museums get collections of kimono and other Japanese textiles in?  I go. 

When I started sewing for my dolls, I made kimono.  I didn’t like the fabrics I could find at fabric stores, so I went to Chinatown to see what I could find by way of imports (Chinatown in Boston is basically everything China/Japan/Korea/Malaysia etc), which was  in a neighborhood so bad I had to get buzzed in the fabric store as it’s kept locked even when it’s open.  See that blue dress?  Actual yukata fabric.   I wanted to do it properly so I imported a Japanese doll book on how to sew kimono for dolls, which included full dressing instructions right up to how to tie Obi.  

At this point, I diverged from authentic.  The problem with the Japanese book was that while the dolls in it were dressed in very authentic kimono, they looked awful.  They did not look like they were delicate saplings wearing beautiful works of art.  They looked like stuffed tubes.  That’s the problem with authentic: it doesn’t scale properly. So  I started experimenting until I got something that looked like it was supposed to, just smaller.

Whenever I do a cultural pattern, I research the hell out of it and try to make it as genuine as I can  because I read Geisha of Gion, and thought about how I’d feel if some foreigner came to interview me about my life as a renowned artist and wrote a book that made me look like a high end whore.  There is a difference between appreciation and appropriation of other cultures, and it mostly has to do with respect.  I have had a few nice messages from people who are happy they can now make clothes for their dolls that reflect their own heritage, so I’m pretty happy to keep on doing that.

SO!  In this pattern, you can find:

-Neckline adjustments so that if you have an especially busty doll, her boobs won’t be hanging out.
-Inward AND Outward opening sleeve options are included.  Inward is the way it’s been done for the last couple of hundred years, but if you look at clothes from the 1700s or so, back when Japanese court clothes were more similar to Chinese court clothes, sleeves opened outward.  A lot of modern harajuku modified kimono type fashions involve the outward opening sleeve, probably because it’s easier to show off things like trim and ruffle, and I’ve walked people through how to do this on previous kimono patterns when they asked.   Structurally, they’re the same it just comes down to where you hem vs seam so why not include both?
-Short and long sleeves, with descriptions of what kind of kimono needs what kind of sleeves if you’re not sure.
-Instructions on how to pad out your super curvy dolls to make the kimono drape authentically.  I am 100% not kidding about this.  If you’re curvy and try to wear a kimono in Japan, you are padded out until you have a smooth line from bust to hip if you’re too curvy.  Most dolls don’t need this, but some wasp-waisted gals like Fashion Royalty, or super busty dolls like Soul Kid Double and Fairyland Moe, do.  You can leave it off if you want your dolls to look more curvy, and that’s fine, but it’s in here because it’s authentic.
-LOTS OF OPTIONS!  The point of fashion is self expression.  All the details you need to make something traditional is in here, but that’s a choice no more or less valid than adding ruffles, giving it a short skirt, and/or using modern fabrics.


This entry was posted on March 24, 2017, in BJDs, Patterns.

Friday Pattern! High Fashions in Slim MSD size

Slim MSD sized "High Fashions" pattern

High Fashions in Slim MSD size!  Now each of these different sizes of the same style aren’t exactly the same.  For example, in PS size I sometimes have to differentiate ‘long torso’ (Monster High type) and ‘short torso” (Ever After High, DC Super Hero Girls type) so that the clothes will perfectly fit the different body variations in THAT size.  In M Girl size, the variations I have to worry about aren’t torso length so much as shape with the very different tall and curvy body types (petite is pretty much the same as classic, just slightly smaller). 

In the Slim 1/4 size, the variations I have to accommodate are… vast.  For example, Luts Kid Delfs have small boobs and a not especially curvy torso.  I think of them as a modern, athletic body type.  Minifees are not much shorter, but much more delicately made and curvier.  I think of them as a vintage pinup body shape.  Then there’s dolls like Fashion Royalty, with body shapes that are skinny of limb and dramatically drawn in at the waist.  I think of those as ‘doll shaped’ because there is no natural equivalent.  ALL of these dolls can be clothed equally well with the Slim 1/4 size.  I build in alternate cut marks for different body types and sizes to work with the widest range of dolls possible.

Patterns =/= pre made clothes.  You can’t buy Fashion Royalty clothes and put them on Kid Delfs.  God no.  Once you sew something up to fit someone, it can only fit other someones of a similar size to the original someone.  But when you make clothes from a PATTERN, yes, totally!  I work very hard to make sure all the dollies are accounted for 🙂

Anyhoo, you can check out the new pattern in the shop.   Have a lovely weekend!


This entry was posted on February 17, 2017, in BJDs, Patterns.

Lati Ruki FS

I was bad and ordered a Luts Tiny Delf Kai during their new years event, and the only way I could justify it is to rehome one of my existing gals.  Lati Ruki drew the short straw, since I’ve been using Luna as my Lati model in all the pattern pictures and so poor Ruki has been neglected.

Lati Ruki FAMore info behind the cut: Continue reading

This entry was posted on January 31, 2017, in BJDs, For Sale.