Sewing for Colette and Mini Tutorial

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Hi, readers. Colette has allowed me to post some photos of her new wardrobe. I'm calling this her summer collection, (I'll be lucky if I get it all done in summer).

Part of the challenge of sewing for dolls is the thickness of some fabrics. This was a nice rayon blend with a silky finish. In some lights it shows purple/black, others gray/black.


Looking through all my patterns, I found this dart fitted jumpsuit in Simplicity 9697. I bought this 1971 pattern off the internet as a download and printed at home.
The larger busted TNT was issued in 1967, and definitely is larger in the bust than Jazz Baby Colette

I did not include Fashionistas or Model Muse (which is probably close to Jazz Baby) because I can't get their heads off fast enough onto other bodies.

Altering the size of the pattern which is 4 pieces, it was easy to fit the bodice moving the stitching line 1/4"more on the seam allowances, especially down the front center. I also took off excess at the hips as this was a generous fit, and Colette wants everything fitting perfectly. 


Because this pattern printed small( about 3/8" off) I added length to both the legs (1 1/4") 

I tied up this 'chinchilla' look fur piece, with enough dramatic flounce to keep Colette happy. (The Chinchilla is a from fuzzy yarn-no label, I bought in a thrift store.


This pattern is from 1971 and was designed for Barbie and all the other 11-11 1/2" dolls of the times.  The retro looks last spring in the stores were filled with casual and dressy jumpsuits. Of course Colette wants everything dressy. 

But, Colette also wanted something casual.


This pattern was quite roomy but still short. The stiffer cotton, worked well with the wider legs. Back in the 60's these were called hostess gowns. 


This 1965 Simplicity 6208 pattern, I got as a download.  So many different teen model dolls climbed on the Barbie bandwagon in the 1960's: Annette, Mitzi, Gina, Kay, Polly jr., Babs, Midge and Misty, UK had Sindy. As far as I know the only one that still exists is Barbie's cohort Midge.


Anyway home sewing was big for Barbie in the 60's, as clothes were quite expensive. I always thought it amazing that a $2.00 doll had wardrobe pieces over $5. A child's school dress at Penneys was $2.99 in 1960.


This pattern is an early fashion doll pattern from 1965, Simplicity 6208 I got in a download.  Look how many different teen model dolls climbed on the Barbie bandwagon in 1965: Annette, Mitzi, Gina, Kay, Polly jr., Babs, Midge and Misty. As far as I know the only one that still exists is Midge.

The best source I found for Barbie like dolls in old catalog pages, take a peek,

This pattern did print full-size and was quite generous, probably to fit all those different dolls. I still had to add 1 1/4 " in leg length, though the shoulders and hips were close to Jazz Baby size, I needed to lose a lot in the bust again. I fitted as I went along. The darts were kept the same. I joined the shoulders and left the rest of the seams open and began pinning, keeping in mind I couldn't steal from the underarm seams.  


Fitting with pins you can see how I removed 1/2" of the bust by increasing the seam allowance by 1/4" on the center seem, which is x 2 =1/2". I used a long basting stitch at first to see how the fabric would lay and fit, then machine sewed.


With the front seam sewn, (not trimmed) I can see it's a pretty good fit. TIP:(Don't alter at the armholes which were perfect for Jazz Baby, so the reduction had to come in the center seam).

With the front fitted and the sides still open, I laid the jumpsuit open and flat on some lining fabric and made a one piece facing. 

I like making one piece facings, especially for neck, back opening and armholes. It eliminates bulk and top stitching showing. Again the facing pattern is drafted from the actual altered fabric pieces with the shoulders sewn.


Carefully sew on the armholes (leave sides open), then up the back and around the neck all one seam and down the back. Carefully clip/and pinking shear the seam allowances, this will give the cleanest look on the outside. Roll the legs tightly and pin bottom edge,  then thread back through the shoulders to turn the jumpsuit inside out. Press facing edges carefully, and then sew up your sides, facings, and back. I fitted the back by turning under the finished faced back edge, and then used two hooks and hidden thread loops to give the smoothest fit.


Colette says she loves these retro looks for the Mattel Jazz Baby body.

Thank you for visiting, I will try and answer every question and comment. 

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Jacquie and "Hair Stories"

Jacquie and Craig's early morning breakfast together. 

Jacquie: I'm so worried, we will have to shut down again, if the cases keep rising. Our customers are afraid, too. We've had some cancellations. Vanessa's 
online customer data has helped us fill the cancellations, but for how long?                     

Craig: Honey, I know this is hard. I feel lucky, I know I'll have work through December, at this point. This disease can't go on forever. 

Jacquie: I sure hope not. 


Vanessa: Look what I picked up at our youth circle meeting last night.

Jacquie: I heard you come in, but I was dead tired and already in bed. How many people were there?

Vanessa: Only three, we had a mini-meeting and kept 6 feet apart, but the speaker, Ms. Joanna McGee Bradford was wonderful.

Craig: I hope you wore your mask, and what's in that box?

Jacquie: And, set yourself down girl and have some breakfast.


Vanessa: Ms. Bradford was so uplifting for the group last night, and we Zoomed with another 9 people. These little books are about, "Hair Stories." I have a whole box of them to sell in the shop. 


Jacquie: A whole box...?


Vanessa: Yes, I sat up reading most of these short devotional stories. You know how somedays, your hair just wants to teach you a lesson? Well, some are funny, sad, and thoughtful. Every story shows us how we view ourselves and others through our hair. And, how our experiences with hair can be teaching moments. 

I laughed and even cried at a few, but I saw myself on every page, Momma.  Each story has an interpretation and scripture to help us make ourselves better, perfect for now when everyone is so down.
Jacquie: But, Vanessa, we are barely breaking even at the Salon. How much are these and how are we going to pay for them?


Vanessa: It's the perfect thing for your customers. Uplifting and wonderful for gifts.
No cost to you, Momma, this is my project. I believe in this book, and it will do good for your customers. Just sell them for $9.99. "Hair Stories" is also sold on Amazon, it's a real book with a real message.

Jacquie: Well, I will have to read some of this first. 


Vanessa: Of, course, how about I'll just put a few in the car for you, okay?

Jacquie:I like the cover, let me read the back.

Jacquie: Vanessa, I'll take three, one for each of my stylists, they have been working so hard. And, we will see if they like it and we will try them in the Salon.

Vanessa: Okay, I will put ten in the car for you? Love you Momma, you too, Dad.
(Vanessa leaves)

Jacquie paging through the book: Oh my, I think we have seen quite a few of these situations in the shop, and myself...OH, MY....this is me, right here. 

Craig smiles: Vanny, wouldn't steer you wrong. She sure is your daughter. All that energy and wisdom.  

Jacquie: OUR daughter, you raised her since she was five. I'm losing track of time...I have to go...I'll be late tonight, we have late appointments this evening, so I'll be home after 8PM.


Craig: Tres and I will make supper. How's chops on the grill sound? 

Jacquie: Almost as good as this breakfast, I'm off, and you have a great day!

Dear Reader, 

I always say Ad-Free Blog.  But, let's call this a book review.
I am no way compensated for content of any of my posts.

If you are interested in a wonderful book with a positive and helpful 
outlook in these trying times, 
Check out, "Hair Stories," by Joanna McGee Bradford on Amazon.
You will see bits of yourself on every page, regardless of the color of your skin,   condition of your hair, the place you worship or don't. 
You will find little lessons for life.
You may catch yourself smiling in the mirror afterward.

Hugs, Sandi

**Book cover and content was used with permission 
of the author, Joanna McGee Bradford. **

Thank you for visiting, I will try and respond to every question and comment. I will be doing further posts on tutorials for the Hotel and contents.

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