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Medium Girl Underwear & Bikinis Pattern

Medium Girl Bikinis & Underwear

Curvy Bikinis & Underwear

Two patterns this week!  This wasn’t a terribly hard pattern to make because I could go from cutting the fabric for a test pattern to finished piece in 15 minutes or less, which is nice.  Sewing a test pattern for something with gathering and asymmetric seams, ugh, hours wasted just to see what I need to tweak.  But 15 minutes?  I barely care if I haven’t gotten it right yet! 

You can get the Medium Tall/Classic/Petite version Here, and the curvy version Here.

I often refer to ‘fabric physics’ and how things change subtly from one size to the next.  For example, the PS size pattern triangle top didn’t need darts to fit.  At just 1″ taller, the M girl size does!  Even between the regular M pattern and the curvy edition, there were some things that were very close to not working, like non-stretch panties.  When I get to a 1/4 scale version of this pattern, things are going to start looking a LOT different.  Why is this? 

Simple trick: Take a piece of paper and put it over something curved.  To keep the paper smooth over the curve, folds will have to be made in the paper (like darts in fabric).  Now the interesting thing is, the darts don’t start to form at the top of the curve.  There’s an area where the flat, non-stretchy paper can fit over a curve just fine–but it’s not a very big area.  This is why tiny dolls like MH that have a butt less than an inch wide can wear non-stretch fabric as panties just fine when people definitely cannot.  That’s fabric physics.  At different sizes, the same materials behave differently, so the design has to be adjusted. 

 

NYC Fabric shopping spree!

My birthday is this week, so we did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: raid the fabric shops of Manhattan’s Garment District!

Like many cities, NYC has a lot of neighborhoods with distinct specialties.  A little bit south of Times Square is the Garment District, where most of the fashion industry is located.  Not ALL of it, but quite a lot so the stores in the area cater to it.  TONS of massive fabric bazaar type stores where you basically have a room filled with rolls of fabric, like so:

Another place

I’ve been really hankering for some interesting fabrics.  Interesting textures, colors, etc.  Most of the ones I have I’ve already used, and while I like the “Cosplay by Yaya” fabrics that have been showing up at Joannes, I’ve noticed that they are replacing some of the weirder selections that I used to find.  I like weird sh*t. I find it inspiring. 

Also, I’ve been searching every damn fabric store across three states as well as the internet to get my hands on some brown vinyl/pleather.  You’d think that would be easy to find, with all the steampunk fashion out there, but nope!  All the brown stuff is fake suede, or weathered leather.  I want nice, supple, brown calfskin type fake leather.  I figured if there was ONE place I’d find it, it would be NYC.  And I did, but only after like, the 8th store. 

The other awesome thing to be easily found in the garment district and not so much anywhere else, is TRIM!

Whole stores dedicated to trim

so much trim

Ok, sure, you can actually find tons of trim in any fabric store.  But how much of that trim is doll-scale friendly?  Not so much! WHOLE STORES with nothing but spools of trim.  Ribbon, lace, cord.  OMG.  I came out of this store with a very small bag, but it was a very small bag full of yard and yards and yards of tiny goodness!

The drawback is that most of the fabrics in these stores, while great for runway haute couture and wedding gowns…not so great for casuals, or doll clothes.  But that’s OK, I still found a few gems, and I look forward to using them in upcoming designs.   And if I need more… I can always go back 😉

If you want to see more fabric store pics, I uploaded a whole bunch into a Flickr Album

Chibi Sized Looking Glass Lolita pattern!

Looking Glass Lolita in Chibi size!

Being a 5-Friday month, there is one extra alt-size pattern this month and this is it!  Looking Glass Lolita for Chibi Dolls

Chibi dolls being Kinoko Juice, Kikipop, and Fairyland’s Realfee with or without animal legs/tails. 

I also went to Hascon today!  Hascon is the convention Hasbro started for all of their toylines.  It was pretty big, and it was pretty awesome.  I have lots of pictures, and will post them and do a con writeup later.

New patterns & SALE!

This weekend!

Couple a things this week!  First, everyone’s favorite build-your-own pattern bundle is back!  Use Buy4Get1 code to get 5 patterns for the price of 4/ aka 20% off! 

And next, I have this week’s patterns:
1/12 jacket and lab coat

1/12 Trench Coat

You can find ’em both Here

While these days I’m mostly known for making patterns, I still like to customize.  I get bored easily, so I always like to try new things.  In the past couple of years I’ve picked up some action figures (aka dolls without brushable hair, often packaged using colors that aren’t pink.)

And lemme tell ya, some of the customs I’ve seen in those communities have been pretty kickass.  But it’s also funny because while they’re generally doing the same thing as girl customizers: taking figure A and turning it into figure B, the skill arrays of HOW they get there are way different. 

One of those skills is sewing.  I make a figure with vinyl belts and it blows people away.  I get 3-4 people asking how I sculpted those soft, thin, flat belts that flex with the figure.  And I’m like, no, just cut some fabric strips and sculpted buckles.

Now it’s not that guys can’t sew.  In the grade school I went to, ALL the kids were required to take Home ec (sewing, cooking) classes and shop (wood & metal working) classes.  When everybody has to do it, nobody gets made fun of for doing a girl/boy thing they might be interested in.  Guys were just as good at and enthusiastic about making cookies and sewing quilts as I was with saws and molten aluminum casting.  It’s bullshit.  If you want to try it, try it.

Detailed sculpting is awesome, but there are definitely situations where fabric is the superior material.  Consider:

  • Fabric won’t impede articulation.  You give a character a long sculpted trench coat and even if it’s made out of rubbery plastic that flexes, it will never be able to do THIS
  • Fabric doesn’t cause paint rubs.  Where are paint rubs the most common?  Shoulders!  What does a jacket cover?  Oh yeah.
  • Fabric is light, so even if you make a bulky accessory (like a cape or long coat) with it, it won’t be heavy enough to tip the figure over or make it hard to balance.
  • Use something non-fraying like vinyl, and you can make belts and straps more thin and pliable than any plastic or apoxie
  • It’s SO MUCH FASTER than sculpting.
  • It’s much easier to get to a point where you sew something that looks good vs can sculpt something that looks good.
  • You can take it off the figure, instead of having to have multiple figures, one for each look
  • You can share them between figures.  Do you know how many comic book characters have had long black trench coats over the years?
  • More durable! Clays and apoxies snap.  Fabric doesn’t.  It also doesn’t chip, or get the paint scraped off.

So these patterns were written with action figure customizers in mind.  I got some brave volunteers to test the pattern on before I released it to make sure a random action figure customizer with 0 sewing experience would be able to figure it out, and they all could. 

If you can sew a straight stitch, by hand or machine, you can make these.  There are simplified versions and alternate steps that will let you get a good result with 3 seams.  If you DO want to sew, you can use the same pattern and follow tips for adding detail and get little jackets that are just as detailed as sculpted ones, except way more flexible and removable. 

Enjoy!  I hope this helps out anyone who wants to try sewing for customizing, but is put off because of a lack of patterns or tutorials.  (Psst: free tutorial for miniature sewing here)