Saturday, October 29, 2011

Doll Clothes

Today I found some books at the local used-book emporium.

This book has a delightful range of patterns for dolls that are from 9 to 22 inches tall. Many of the costumes are for fantasy characters, and they are very whimsical. Many of these clothes are made from odds and ends found in the home, such as ribbons, beads, artificial flowers, fabric remnants, gauze, and handkerchiefs. I have learned a wee bit about pattern drafting, and I am sterting to learn about how to adjust existing patterns to make a perfect fit. With this skill, I should be able to use just about any pattern out there to make clothes for Aalish, when she is finished.

The Perfect Book of Doll Clothes.
The Vanessa-Ann Collection.
NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1991.
ISBN: 0806984740

I recently learned how to crochet when I crocheted a wig cap. This book is geared toward novices, and besides having a good introduction to crochet in the beginning of the book, also has 20 cool crochet patterns. I am looking forward to learning more about crochet when I try to adapt some of these patterns for Aalish, when she is finished. Full size patterns can be used to make doll clothes if a smaller hook and yarn are used to make them (or so I've heard).

The Cool Girl's Guide to Crochet.
Nicki Trench.
Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing, 2006.
ISBN: 1405483458

This book was right next to the crochet book, and they each were very reasonably priced at $2.10 and $2.15 respectively, so I picked it up too. I already know how to knit, so I got this book for the 20 patterns in it. Likewise for knitting doll clothes from full size patterns, if you use smaller needles and yarn, you can use the human patterns for dolls.

The Cool Girl's Guide to Knitting.
Nicki Trench.
Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing, 2005.
ISBN: 1405483466

Finally, I found this very interesting book about making Japanese clothes. I would love to make a kimono for Aalish, when she is finished, so I picked this book up as well. It has patterns and construction details for making all kinds of different Japanese clothing. One of the most interesting things I saw when I looked at this book was about how kimonos are cleaned in Japan:

All hand-sewn kimonos are completely un-stitched prior to washing. Then the pieces are arranged and basted together to resemble the original bolt of fabric from which they were made. Then the yardage is completely laundered; spots removed, faded ares retouched; then a rice or seaweed sizing is applied to the clean fabric. Then the weave is straightened and re-stretched to its original size by smoothing the wet fabric out on a long narrow board. When dry, the fabric is peeled off the board, the basting is removed, and the pieces are reassembled into a kimono.

Here again, I believe I can modify these human patterns to fit Aalish, when she is finished.

Make Your Own Japanese Clothes: Patterns and Ideas fro Modern Wear.
John Marshall.
NY: Kodansha International, 1988.
ISBN: 087011865X

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  1. Make Your Own Japanese Clothes works great for dolls, since you use body measurements to draft the pattern pieces...One suggestion for girls' kimono though...either leave out the extra length that makes the waist fold, or tack it in place as it's a royal pain to adjust properly - even if you tack it, you have to leave the overlap untacked or it doesn't work right. And don't skip the center back seam, even if you just allow extra fabric and stitch the folded cloth up the back. If you don't, you don't have a proper seam allowance for the neckline and extra flaps in front.

    RE: Pattern drafting. Don McCunn has a great book AND a Yahoo Group

  2. Thank you SO much, Donna. I really appreciate the tips for making the kimono. I am familiar with Don McCunn's book. He also has some videos up at YouTube. I will also check out the Yahoo Group. Thank you for the link.


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