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Happy 2018!

All the items in the shop have been reset.  Time to start a new horse race!

The most popular individual pattern this year was… Slim 1/4 Regency!  Woah, total upset!  PS has lost the crown!  But that’s OK because the most popular pattern (including copies sold with multi packs) was PS Rococo & Hime Lolita

Here are the top (individual) patterns by size:
PS: High Fashion
P: Regency
MS: Basics
M Girl: High Fashion
T: Overalls
Slim 1/4: Regency
Curvy 1/3: Basics 2
Chibi:Simply Cute
S Boy: School Uniform
M Boy: School Uniform
L Boy: Basics
1/12 Action Figure: Trench Coats

And the least popular pattern is…
Tied between Petite Cocktail Dresses and 1/12 Action Figure Leather Jackets & Lab Coats  (Sad trombone sound)

Given that the difference between the most/least popular Action Figure pattern was 3, it’s not that much of a surprise.  It’s a new size, and I was not sure how willing dudes who customize would be to pick up a needle and thread (turns out not very!)  Come on, it’s the 21st century.

The P pattern isn’t that big of a surprise either.  While there has been an increase in people sewing for Disney Descendants dolls since the decline of Ever After High releases, this is still the least popular established girl size and the people who sew for it usually sew for Blythes.  I have probably seen Blythe in more clown costumes than I’ve seen her in cocktail dresses.  So why did I make that pattern?  Because I hadn’t seen Blythes in cocktail dresses, and I figured they needed some 😛

It’s taken a while to have enough patterns to notice, but tastes of doll collectors varies hugely between sizes.

PS collectors love nichey fashion, especially anything X Lolita, probably because that’s how Monster High and Ever After High are designed: they’re the first doll lines where each doll has a specific fashion style. 
P is more vintage/period costume
M is more mainstream girly and fancy dresses
T is cute kid stuff
Slim 1/4 is elaborate dresses

The other sizes I haven’t done enough patterns to notice trends.

My most pleasant surprise was how well the “High Fashion” pattern set did across the sizes!  Just about every other pattern I’ve done because of requests or current fashion trends, but High Fashion was the only pattern that was all me.  If you want to know what my personal ‘perfect outfit’ looks like, that’s it!

So…Happy New Year everyone! 

 

Cold Shoulder for Slim MSDs!

I like this pattern.  Developing it has been fun, because when I make the demo outfits I’m creatively trying to figure out how to position them to cut out of old sweaters for the most appealing results.

Cold Shoulder for Slim MSD/16" Fashion Dolls

Like that pink one!  It used to be a cardigan that I picked up because I like that color and had already tried it on in another color and it looked great.  Except somehow the pink one looked nothing like the other one despite being the same size/style/on the same table at the same store (let this be a lesson: always try it on!) and was too small/too big at the same time.  Yerk. 

So when I tried making doll clothes out of it and the doll clothes all came out so beautifully, it was very rewarding!  Almost totally made up for how awful it looked on me.  Almost.  

I know a lot of people who use my patterns do a lot with recycled clothes, but since I can’t reliably give fabric recommendations from thrift stores, I try to use cut-from-bolt stuff.  This has been an exception because you really can’t find coordinated ribbing/knits at fabric stores, and it’s an easy enough pattern that just about any light-medium weight knit shirt or thin sweater will work just fine. 

Go check it out on Etsy if you want to turn your disappointing old tops into beautiful, stylish dolly clothes in the hottest style trend out now 🙂 

This week: Cold Shoulder for 11.5″ fashion dolls (classic, tall, petite, & curvy)

Barbie Cold Shoulder sewing Pattern

Curvy Fashionista Barbie Cold Shoulder sewing pattern

The Classic/Tall/Petite version and the Curvy version may look different, but they’re the exact same pattern!  This is one of those patterns that has so many options, and you can sew it with so many fabrics it’s impossible to illustrate all of the combos in the demo outfits (unless I was going to take a few weeks to sew them all for each one) so I just used different options in each. 

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