This past weekend, I just really didn't feel like working on any of my quilts. Don't know why. Just didn't. But I felt like sewing. Do you ever get like that?
After I made the baby snuggy I posted about yesterday, I felt like making something for Sweet Pea. Sometimes I feel like I'm always making stuff for someone else and never anything for Sweet Pea, and she is sweet enough to give all these nice compliments to me on stuff I make and never complains that it's not for her. So, I figured it was her turn.
Well...a while back I had gotten this book, All Dolled Up: Sewing Clothes and Accessories for Girls and Their 18-Inch Dolls, by Joan Hinds.
It's a book with patterns for girl's clothes and matching outfits for their dolls. I thought it looked like fun, and I got it on sale for a great price. (Incidentally, as of today's writing, it is on sale at Amazon....marked down from $29.99 to $16.50. If you click on the link above the photo, it will take you there. That's about what I paid for the book/DVD combo, too. But I got mine from Nancy's Notions. As of today, it's on sale for $19.99 there. I may have gotten it for less. I can't remember now.)
It has a DVD in the back that I was hoping was copies of Nancy Zieman's shows (Sewing with Nancy) where they made these projects. I've gotten other Nancy Zieman books that have had DVDs accompanying them that were like that. I have found those videos very instructional. However, I learned after watching this particular DVD that it was made especially to go with the book in a studio separate from Nancy Zieman's TV show, Sewing with Nancy. To be fair, I haven't watched the entire video...I watched a few segments. But none of them were very informative. I was hoping for a lot more demonstration and modeling of how to make the garments in the book, because as many of you know I am not much of a garment sewer. So, I ended up putting the DVD away and just going for it. I was disappointed in the video. I can't really put my finger on why, but her TV show is much better than this specially made video.
About two weeks ago or so, Sweet Pea and I went shopping to buy some fleece to make the fleece vest project in the book. JoAnn's was having a fleece sale, so it was a good time to go buy it.
Having shopped for supplies a couple of weeks ago I was able to start sewing it this past weekend, when I didn't feel like working on quilts. I needed a change of pace. You might recall that I mentioned Sweet Pea was sick on Sunday...temperature of 101. She was curled up in a blanket, watching TV while I was sewing. She wasn't really paying attention to what I was working on, and when I was about half way done, she noticed some of the fleece scraps on my table. She perked up and said, "Are you working on my fleece vest?!" When I said, "Yes," she just beamed. Made me feel good.
I haven't finished the doll vest yet (it is cut out), but I did finish Sweet Pea's vest. I'm a little worried that the big polka dots will overwhelm the doll vest. But, oh well!
Tah Dah! I think it turned out so cute and so professional looking! She picked out this fleece, and I think she made a great choice. I like how I cut out the two front pieces to match each other. I think that helps give it a very professional look.
I think this might be the first separating zipper I've every installed. It was really quite easy! The pattern called for the use of basting tape that you stuck the zipper on the fabric with before sewing it down (rather than using pins). That worked really slick!
And here inside the armholes. I think this gives everything such a finished and professional look. I am so happy with how it turned out! And it was actually quite easy to do! When I read the instructions, I was a little confused at first, but it all fell together so easily. This was really fun to make and, like the baby snuggy, only took me about 2 to 3 hours to make, including cutting!
Sweet Pea wore it to school today, so I asked her if I could take her photo in it. She struck this pose for me. Isn't she funny? But I think it looks just adorable on her! She looks so grown up in this photo, I think! It fits just perfect. She is a size 7. The vest pattern was in small (sizes 4-6) and large (size 8). (Most of the patterns in the book come in three sizes: 4, 6, and 8. There are a few exceptions...things that only come in one or two sizes.) I made the small, and it fits her great. The book gives some hints and suggestions for how to alter sizes to meet your girl's body, but I have to tell you, that just scares the heck out of me. But I'm glad I didn't have to worry about it in this case!
The doll clothes use some different construction techniques because of the smaller size. For example, the dresses have openings in the back to make them easier to get on the doll. From the looks of it, this vest is constructed in a fairly similar fashion for the doll...it even has the same bias tape finishes to the edges on the inside. Cool. I can't wait to put that together later this week (I hope).
So, for more review on the book....Here are some other projects in the book that Sweet Pea and I like a lot:
We really like these jammies. (You have to purchase a girl's pajama pattern separately for this one...there is only the doll pattern enclosed.) I found some monkey slippers like the ones in the photo at Old Navy in December. So, I got those for Sweet Pea. She is anxiously awaiting the jammies now. Perhaps that will have to come after the scarf and hat. (Hey, I don't want to hear it that winter is almost over and so why am I making a scarf and hat now...at least it will be done for next year!) I hope I can find some sock monkey flannel or something cute like that.
And I totally love this messenger bag. I think Sweet Pea really needs that! I am thinking of a certain laminated cotton I have that might make a really cute messenger bag! (Quilted Fish designers, take note! I have dibs on it! LOL!)
Here's a rundown of what's in the book:
Chapter 1: Getting Started
Provides suggestions for fabric selection and gives some things to think about when sewing for girls and dolls. It reviews some of the differences in sewing techniques and the rationales for why the differences are there. Quite helpful, I thought.
*In the following patterns, there are both doll and girl patterns unless otherwise indicated.
Chapter 2: Dressing Up While Dressing Alike
Provides patterns and instructions for a t-shirt dress (basically adding a skirt to a t-shirt and how to use a child's t-shirt to make the t-shirt part of the dress for the doll), a tiered skirt t-shirt dress, a corduroy jumper, and a flowered party dress (doll pattern only...you have to buy a girl pattern...probably a mistake on the author's part, given that this is the dress on the cover of the book...not smart IMHO). The corduroy jumper pattern also has a sundress variation you can sew. I've seen some complaints that these projects are somewhat repetitive and variations on the same dress, but that's okay with me. I like seeing ways I can vary patterns. It helps me get inspired to make variations of my own.
Chapter 3: Casual But Stylish
Provides patterns and instructions for t-shirts for dolls, capri pants (have to purchase separate pattern for the capri pants for girl) and a summer top, embroidered jeans (for the girl, you use purchased jeans and hand embroider them) and braided belt, recycled jeans skirt and reversible vest, and the fleece vest I made. Again, there is a pattern and instructions for both girl and doll.
Chapter 4: Sleep Over! Dolls Invited!
Provides patterns and instructions for the monkey pajamas I showed you (for doll only...the monkey applique is also there for the girl, but you need your own simple pajama pattern for the girl) and for a classic nightgown.
Chapter 5: Little Extras: Accessories
Provides patterns and instructions for a cupcake apron (and a Christmas variation), a sun visor, the messenger bag I showed you, the fleece hat and scarf set I showed you, and a doll tote (for girl only).
*I have seen some complaints in other reviews that for several pieces in the book (e.g., the party dress, the capris, the pajamas), you have to buy a pattern in addition to the book. For example, for the capris, the book recommends you buy a simple capri pattern with an elastic waistband. Some people could probably even make these without a pattern. I bet you can find free patterns on the web for stuff like this. I am okay with having to buy a pattern, because I like how she shows you how you can adapt the pattern....for example by adding a cuff or a ruffle. I find that helpful.
*I have also seen complaints in other reviews that the sizes only go up to 8. I can see why some might complain about this. It would be nice if there were more sizes. But frankly, I get so frustrated with Martha Pullen designs and other cute designs advertised in her books that stop at 5T, I was just glad to find a book that had sizes above 5T!
There are a lot of drawings in the book to illustrate steps in the instructions. I found them very helpful and informative. There are also lots of nice photos, as you saw. Where possible, the author uses some techniques to simplify construction (like using the basting tape), which I find helpful.
But, the patterns are printed on both sides of the paper, so you can't just cut them out. You need to trace them. At first I found this annoying, but then I was kind of glad, because I might want to make some of these in the bigger size later. At least this way, the patterns are preserved. The patterns are clearly marked and easy to read, as you can see. One downside is there is no envelope or pocket in the book to store your patterns in. So, I'll need to figure out a way to keep myself from losing the pattern pieces.
I give this book a thumbs up. Even though the video isn't all that great, there are a few good tips on it. I just wish Nancy and Joan would have made it more like Nancy's typical shows where they do a more thorough walk-through of each project and the sewing techniques employed. I have come to expect that from Nancy Zieman (I learn so much from her about garment construction and sewing in general), and so that disappointed me. But I like the book enough just by itself, and the instructions were clear enough that I really didn't need the video...at least for this project. And I"m not an accomplished garment sewer. The photos are great, and the drawings are helpful. And, frankly, the price is great. I think that's a great price considering all the patterns you get for BOTH girl and doll in most cases.
Now, I have a skirt pattern I got from Little Lizard King, and we picked up fabric for that the same day (great sales at JoAnn's that day). That has to be high up on the agenda or it will be winter and too cold to wear it!
Well, hope you enjoyed this. UFO update tomorrow! It will be a short post...I already told you I didn't feel like sewing on my quilts this weekend! LOL. Sorry, I gave away the ending early!
Until next time,