Agosia Arts is about celebrating the natural world, fine craft and conscientious recycling. My main goals with this blog are to : 1) provide a peek behind the scenes at how my work is produced; 2) document my problem solving process; and 3) encourage others to try new things. If you have questions, email me at agosiachrysogaster@gmail.com. Thank you for visiting!

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August 25, 2015

Technique Tuesday: Lining Doll Clothes, Part 2

In a previous post I discussed how I create patterns for clothing. Today, I'll cover how I actually make the clothes. This technique may or may not work for you. It depends on the size, purpose and complexity of your doll and its clothes. Over the years, I've used this technique because it is relatively easy, fast and creates a clean finish inside and out. It works well for costumes for small dolls (I use this for Barbie-sized clothes), but the clothes shown here are for my standard size figure - about 20 inches high.

 The first step is to layer your main fabric right sides together with your lining fabric. I tend to use medium weight fashion fabrics (linens) and thin linings (lightweight silks). You can use two light or medium weight fabrics ,but don't use two heavyweights; you will have a difficult time turning garment sections. Lay your pattern pieces onto the fabrics and trace around with a marking device of your choice. I usually use a Sharpie and choose to mark on the thicker fabric. Sew on the lines, leaving a small section unsewn. My patterns are designed to leave the shoulder area open.

Cut out your garment sections, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim corners and clip curves. I use a large crochet hook to gently push corners out. If you are a bit nervous about this method, and your sections are tiny, you may want to make duplicates .

Press each garment section, using the appropriate heat setting for your fabrics. I generally use a pretty hot iron with a good spritz of distilled water. In the photo, I've pressed all the pieces for a silk-lined wool jacket: one back, two fronts and a stand-up collar. Now, fetch your doll, pin the main pieces together and test the fit. My patterns are designed with extra fabric on the shoulders and some overlap at the sides to account for my seaming method. The test fit is very important because each doll has a slightly different body. The open shoulder seam is turned inward the amount indicated by the test fit and pressed firmly before hand sewing the front and back sections together at the shoulder. The side seams are easier. I usually just overlap and sew with an invisible fell stitch. This creates vents at the sides which helps ease movement of the hips.

If I'm attaching a collar, pockets or other embellishments, it is important to complete the garment before deciding placement of these additions. Always preview placement of extras with the garment on the doll. I pin into place, then hand sew the small sections. In the photo of the completed collar, you can see that the inside neckline of the jacket looks a bit odd. There is "extra" fabric around the neck. From the outside, you have a clean, elegant collar. The inside doesn't matter to me because most people won't see it, but everything is neatly finished if someone looked- no raw edges. A big plus is that this collar took less than five minutes to sew! Also, I don't have to create a new pattern for each garment/doll. I can adjust easily by adding small pieces.

The completed garment is shown at the top of this post. Looks great! Next time, what can go wrong sewing clothes...

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