Sunday, April 11, 2010

I am starting a series entitle From Here to There.   What I want to do is offer step-by-step instructions for simple items of general interest.  If you would like to submit a project for this feature, please contact me with general information about your project.

So let's get started! Tags: Free Barbie Clothes Pattern

From Here To There
A Simple Summer Outfit for Barbie and Other 12" Fashion Dolls
by Sandi Levy

What you will need:
  • Scraps of two different, complimentary fabrics
  • Small piece of thin elastic
  • Pencil and paper
  • About 2 inches of sew-in Velcro
 Measure your doll - not all 12" fashion dolls are created equal!  Mine measures: Bust=6"  Waist=3.5"   Hips=5"   Thigh=3".  If your doll measurements are different than mine, you'll need to adjust accordingly.

Step 1: Shoulder Straps - Cut a piece of fabric 6" x 1.5".  Fold lengthwise and sew a 1/4" seam down the long edge.  Turn, then cut in half so you have two 3" pieces.

Step 2: Yoke - Cut a piece of fabric 7" x 1.5".  Press a 1/4" fold all the way across one long edge.  Fold in 1/2" on both of the short ends and press.  Wrap this piece around your doll (wrong side facing out) and pin shut in the back.  Pin you straps in place on the front and back of the yoke.  Once you are happy with the placement, top stitch across the entire upper edge of the yoke to secure the straps.  Be sure to start from the folded corners of the back edges so that these are now secured in place.

Step 3: Shirt Skirt:  Cut a piece of fabric 9" x 2.5".  Fold in 1/2" inch on each of the short ends and press.  Fold up one long end 1/4" twice (hem) and press.  Top stitch these three folded edges in place.

Sew with long stitches across the remaining long edge, backstitching only at the beginning.  Pull the bobbin thread to gather the piece until the pressed edges are even with the pressed edges of the yoke.  Pin in place, then sew.  Press the seam up.

Sew the hook and loop sides of the Velcro only to the yoke edge of the back.  I've used white thread which gives it a topstitched look and also because you can see the stitching in the photographs!  Using a matching thread to your material would give a nice, finished look.

Step 4: Draw a Shorts Pattern - To draw a shorts pattern, lay your doll face up on a flat surface.  Place your piece of paper with the top edge about 3/4' above your dolls waist.  While holding the paper square with the doll, work one edge of it down between her legs.  A crease will appear - draw a line along this crease.  When you pick the paper up off your doll, the line you drew will be a curve.  Cut along the line.  Put the paper back down on your doll curved in between her legs.  Hold the uncut edge of the paper flat on the table and draw a straight line from the waist to the bottom of the length.  Cut along this line.  You now have a shorts pattern!  This works on kids, too - Use a full sheet of newspaper and a sharpie!

Step 5: Shorts - Cut four (4) pieces using the shorts pattern you drew in Step 4.  Right sides together, sew the outer seams of the two legs, making 1/4" seams.  Press the seams open.  Fold up 1/4" twice on both legs and press, forming the hems of the legs.  Sew in place.

Sew the inseams of each leg, making 1/4" seams.  Turn one leg right side out then insert it into the inside out leg.  Line up the edges of the center seam, pin in place and sew, again making a 1/4" seam.  Turn right-side-out.

Try the shorts on your doll - now is the time to make sure you can get them over her hips (it shouldn't be a problem but better safe than sorry)!  Fold down about 1/2" on the waist edge all the way around.  This is the casing for your elastic.  Take the shorts off your doll and sew the casing in place, leaving an opening in the back for elastic insertion.  Cut a piece of elastic 1.5" inches bigger than the waist of your doll.  Using a small safety pin attached to the end of the elastic, pull the elastic through the casing.  Sew the ends of the elastic together by hand, overlapping them about 1/2".  You can do this on your sewing machine if you like, but it's a really small area to deal with on the machine.  Once the ends are sewn together, sew the rest of the casing shut.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Quilt History

I learned to quilt from a book long ago.  My grandmother, Mimi Charlotte, taught me how to knit and sew, but she wasn't a quilter.  Her mother TRIED in vain to teach me to tat...  that just wasn't something that was ever going to happen.  Here is a pictorial history (or evolution) of my quilts.

I made this quilt for my Mom about a year and a half before she died.  She was in a wheelchair and her legs and feet were always cold.  This was my very first original design, but still in the classical 'squares' pattern.  It was also one of the first quilts I appliqued, and was a great learning experience!

I made this quilt for my grandson, Ben.  It consisted of primary color logs and pictures of bears I cut out of darling fabric.  I was starting to get away from the quilt blocks that I had always done.


I saw a picture in a magazine of a vintage quilt with kitties in baskets diagonally on an irregular square field.  This was my first attempt at drawing something.  What I think is so funny now...  I appliqued each of the blue blocks on the yellow background!  How silly is that!?!  It would have been SOOOO much easier to make strips of squares and simply sew them together.  Live and learn!

The kitties led to my first attempt at a house.  I really enjoyed this quilt and it has evolved with me over time.  Note that the horizon is flat, formed by the seam between the 'ground' and the 'sky.'  There was certainly more detail in the border than in the picture!

These two quilts were done back-to-back in less than three months!  Yes, I went back to squares, but the bunnies were my first attempt at quilting with fleece.  The frogs were just cool!

 Working with the fleece intrigued me, especially since my 'consumers' were babies and toddlers.  Then a friend of mine had a daughter and her room theme was farm animals.  And voila....

The flowers were all individually appliqued with purple machine embroidery thread.  The lamb itself was a cream-colored fleece with appliqued facial features and felt feet.  This was the first quilt that I was invited to display in a quilt exhibit!


One of my son's remarked that it was too bad that I couldn't make him a quilt of him fishing.  Just that simple statement was almost a dare.  I worked on this quilt for a bit more than four months.  It's one of the larger quilts I've done, and still one of which I am very fond.  It won First Place in my County Fair!

The 'brown trout' were both made from four different materials.  This was the first quilt with hand embroidery as a feature rather than an accent...  note the 'fishing lure' about to be devoured by the large fish in the center.  This was also the first quilt which I signed.  All of my quilts have been signed since this one.


I love the clown and his balloons!  I've only done this one one time, but there's an excellent chance I will do another clown someday.  I really struggled with his facial features, which is why I haven't done another one.


This quilt was a Christmas present for my granddaughter and was on her bed for several years.  I am fond of the smiling sunshine and have used it many times!


I gave this quilt to a friend of mine at a baby shower a couple of months ago.  She has a Yorkie she just loves so much!  My husband told me I was going through a flashback-to-the-sixties period with the wildly colored flowers!



This was the second time I did the little house.  The border was still more detailed than the picture, but at least the horizon isn't flat any more!


The third time I did the house, the border toned down and the terrain got far more involved.


The house was more squatty in this attempt and the roof was less flipped at the eaves.  This was the first time I attempted a tree!  Once I had a tree, I needed a swing in it!  This was a baby gift for a lady I work with.


I finally think I've gotten it right!  The house has gotten smaller and the details have grown.  Not only does it have two trees complete with a swing, it has stairs in the path.  You have no idea how long I worked on the silly stairs...  I think it was worth it!  This quilt is currently for sale in my Etsy shop

Thanks for strolling down memory lane with me!