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Saturday, August 9, 2014

I've Been Sewing This Week

It seems like lately I have just not had the time to do any sewing and when I sat back and realized that fact I also realized how much I missed it. I decided that this last week I would definitely be fixing that situation so I got out some of the patterns I have been hording and picked through my stash of fabrics and found some things that I felt would work together.

I have a couple more things cut out and in various stages of completeness but I did finish 2 dresses so I thought I would share them with you all here today. Both of these are made with patterns from Liberty Jane and they are both patterns for a sewing challenge on a doll sewing group I am on this month. 


If you sew for your 18” dolls and haven't discovered the patterns by Liberty Jane I do urge you to check them out. The Liberty Jane patterns for the most part are very contemporary and look like what the girls of today are or want to wear. Many of the styles are greatly influenced by the very stars the pre-teen and teen girls love to watch. The patterns are for the most part are very fitted and can be too snug on some dolls (in fact the green dress pictured here was too tight for my American Girl dolls- more on that later) The nice people at Liberty Jane even have some free patterns so you can try them out before you actually spend any money. Also for the last few months they are having their fans vote on some choices and then the winning pattern from that group has been free on Fridays. Just follow either their blog or their Facebook page to learn the details. If I remember correctly both of these patterns were part of previous giveaways.

Now onto the patterns and the dresses I made with them. Like I said I have been hording patterns of late so I figured I had better get started using some of them. I belong to an online sewing group for the 18” dolls and we have what is called a sew-along each month. For this sew-along we are given one, two or more pattern choices at the beginning of the month and we have until the end of the month to make up the pattern and post pictures. It is so much fun to see how different everyone of the outfits turn out. I haven't had much time to sew lately so I have gotten to participate in a couple of months. This month I decided to get started right away so I could get at least some sewing done.

The first dress I made was this green one the pattern is called “Aspen's Party Dress” and according to the pattern it is rated as requiring a medium sewing skill level. The pattern shows a couple of suggested variations on the dress. I knew since this has a rather full skirt and is completely lined I wanted to pick a fabric that was very lightweight and that draped really nicely. I pulled out this green fabric that I have had in my stash for at least 4 or 5 years. I picked it up at a little independent fabric store because it was just so pretty. I have no information on the fabric I am not even sure of the content of the fibers in it. I love the pretty flowers and the embroidery on it too. I made the pattern exactly by the directions and it came out a bit too snug for my American Girl dolls, I had a feeling it would when I started though. I knew if that was the case it would fit Jazmin, my Our Generation doll because she is much slimmer than the other dolls. For the lining for this dress I wanted something light colored and again very drape-able, I happened to notice that I still have some really lightweight unbleached muslin on hand from a project about 20 years ago, it worked perfectly. Being off white instead of pure white I think it blends with the green a lot better and it doesn't change the appearance of the green fabric either. This pattern did sew up pretty quickly, just from reading some of the directions it was a bit confusing but a glance at the photos and I knew exactly what they meant. I think if I make it up again in the future I will make a couple of changes. First I will add just a bit to the circumference of the entire dress so it will fit the American Girl dolls and I will cut the skirt lining a bit shorter than the over-skirt so it is easier to hide it. On the cover picture on the pattern they used a really pretty embroidered ribbon for the sash and on one of the variations they showed some cool beading that could be used. I decided to just use my fabric for the sash because I didn't want to detract from the design of it.

The next dress, the pink one, is from the pattern “Sandy Lane Maxi Dress” and I am loving how it turned out! It is kind of funny because when I had looked at the cover photo on the pattern I really didn't think I was going to like it at all. I only got the pattern because it was free and then only made it because it was part of the sew-along. The fabric I used has been in my stash for about 21 years, I made a dress from it for my daughter when she was a baby and still had a large chunk of it left. I remember I got it at a sale at Dasiy Kingdom, when they used to have a store here. I sure do miss that store and the wonderful fabrics they had. Anyway this fabric has a very pale pink background with some tiny little yellow, dark pink and blue flowers on it. I decided that the version of the dress with the tiered skirt was the one I wanted to make and I am so glad I did, I think that is what makes this dress so cute. The pattern had 2 suggestions for the straps to either braid narrow pieces of fabric or make plain straps and knot them just above the front of the dress. I started to do the knotted version and decided I wanted to add a bead in place of the knot. I chose some off white pony beads, I really wanted pink ones but didn't have a pink I thought looked right. I am glad I did the ones I did though in the end I think they are perfect. If I make another dress like this I might actually do 3 beads on each strap I think that would be really cute too. This pattern was also made exactly by the pattern and it fits the American Girl dolls just fine, so you do have to watch the patterns and do some measuring before you commit your fabric.

I several more outfits cut out so watch this space for a few more posts of what I am getting sewed.

1 comment:

  1. Just a thought. I love your posts about sewing for your American Girl Dolls but to have 343 words in one paragraph makes it very hard for me to read on a screen. Could put a space in ( carriage return) so there is a space. It would help to read it. Thanks