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.

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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. 

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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.

  
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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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,  https://somethingabouttheboy.com/vintage/vintage-clones/.

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.  

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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.

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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. 
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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.

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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.

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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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13 comments:

  1. Colette should be thrilled with the polka dots, the outfit is beautiful! Love-love-love the fur piece too:@) Congrats on a couple great outfits.

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    1. Thanks Lynn. This has been a bit of a stretch, though a good trip back to when i sewed everything for the home and us. I hope to make some more of those fur pieces, if I ever open the 'doll shop' on etsy. Thanks for viewing and the encouragement! Hugs, Sandi

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  2. You did an awesome job! The outfits are beautiful and have a perfect fit. We know that Colette is a demanding lady, but she looks very pleased. :D This is a great start of her wardrobe.

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    1. Oh, than-you, Linda. I've just been surprised at the amount of time it takes to sew such small pieces...LOL Thanks for visiting and kind comments. HUGS, Sand

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  3. Ah you have been a busy girl Sandi, I really love the black and white spotted pantsuit, there is something about checks and spots that always look fresh and crisp. :)
    Thank you for sharing all the wonderful information regarding the patterns, I can see Colette is going to have a wonderful summer wardrobe.
    Big hugs,
    X

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    1. Aw, thank-you so much. I know dots and checks seem to resurface in some form or another every year. Mostly I was working off quarters that I had stockpiled for the dolls.I really hope to draft a set of patterns that fit her to post, once I finish all the different pieces planned. I have had a failure or two, but they fit others...so no loss. Thanks for visiting, and Hugs to OZ...Sandi

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  4. Aw, thank-you so much. I know dots and checks seem to resurface in some form or another every year. Mostly I was working off quarters that I had stockpiled for the dolls.I really hope to draft a set of patterns that fit her to post, once I finish all the different pieces planned. I have had a failure or two, but they fit others...so no loss. Thanks for visiting, and Hugs to OZ...Sandi

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  5. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
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    1. Thanks so much Marilyn, always appreciate your feedback, Sandi

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  6. The jumpsuit and chinchilla are absolutely stunning and your doll looks absolutely amazing in this outfit. Kudos to you for showing exactly how you made it and all the alterations and modifications you did to get the fabric to fit to the doll's body. For anyone using commercial patterns, this is REALLY helpful and something that is very needed in our doll sewing community! Great post, Sandi. P.S. Maybe you give us a short tutorial on how you made that fur piece! Looks really interesting!

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    1. Thanks, April, I will try, once I figure out what I did on the chinchilla. I don't know if the 'yarn' is available. I was in a supplier today and didn't see anything similar at all. And since it didn't have a label when I bought it????. I appreciate your encouragement. I just made a dress with one of your flowers which I will have to post...and it covered a lumpy strap, lol. Sandi


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  7. Love the pantsuit and the boa. I have made a few Barbie clothes in my time and they are so much work. You did a great job. Congratulations, you are being featured at Over The moon Linky Party. I hope you stop by. https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2020/08/over-moon-linky-party_16.html
    Hugs,
    Bev

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    1. Oh, goodness, Bev! I'm a bit behind this week, I will get right on it, and thanks so much! Sandi

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Thanks so much for each and every comment, and I will try and answer any questions you may have.