Molly's Dress is Almost Finished and 8" Penny in Progress


Here is Molly's new Dress almost finished and ready. I need to finish Molly before I finish off the bottom hem to make sure the length is right. I always put a dress on the doll and measure out the bottom hem in this way before I sew it...saves me a lot of time!

As I work on Molly, I also started making an outfit for my 8" Penny! She needs a wig but so far, I haven't found the one that screams "Pick me Pick me", so I am trying to make her a wig, which isn't going as planned. I also need to find a nice stand for her. I got the pattern for this cute little outfit out of the pattern book by Londie Phillips Titled "Storybook Costumes For Dolls". This is an absolutely wonderful pattern book to add to your collection. Here is the only picture I have been able to find of the original costume. This photo is from the IDEX 2009 Doll Show.

This cute little costume is designed after Little Bo Peep. I am almost done with the bonnet and will start on the corset sometime this week. I am having a lot of fun with this outfit. Hopefully I will be able to either make the wig, or find one that I know will look good on Penny.

My Sewing Skills Just Keep Getting Better!!!

The second doll I ever made was Molly by Expressions. Here she is with my very first smocked dress attempt. I even made the little clown doll she is holding. All the supplies to make this doll are available at:

Here is a picture of the Original Doll made by Dianna Effner of Expressions Dolls.

I just love her pouty face and adored her smocked dress. I had no idea what smocking even meant at the time but I was determined to find I researched it. At the time I didn't own a pleater so I used tracing paper and made a pleating diagram which I used to pleat all the panels and sleeves to make the dress. It took a long time to pleat the fabric and smock it...and when it came time for construction, I was at a total loss! You see, when I set out to make dolls, I didn't even know how to sew a button on...but determined to make dolls, I purchased some simplicity doll patterns and taught myself how to when it came time to construct this dress, there was a lot I still needed to learn. I fought and fumbled with the dress to get it together and when I finished, I was so upset because it didn't quite fit right. The top button just wouldn't close. I decided to leave the dress on her since her hair covered the boo boo...and as time has gone on, since I didn't finish the seams with a zig zag stitch, it has started to fray. Now that I know more about sewing and have honed my skills, I am in the process of re-making Molly. I own a pleater now and am going about smocking the panels. So far I am really happy with the way it is turning out. I will post some pictures of my First Molly along with some more WIP's of my new Molly and I proceed! Enjoy!!!!


Today I worked on finishing up the Smocking on the panels and sleeves on my dress. I also added two more pieces of piping to the yoke. Since I am sewing all this on by hand it is taking me a while. I am also thinking about stitching the panels to yoke by hand first so that I keep the pleats nice and straight. I really like the way this is turning out so far.

I also ordered some more checked fabric. Here is what it looks like.

I have not gotten it yet but as soon as I receive it, I am going to make this dress again since this color and pattern is closer to the original. I will post more when I start on it!

Using alternative fabrics


My poor White Sewing Machine went out on me a while back and after a lot of consideration, I decided to go with a Brother Machine this time. Not only does it sew, but it also Embroiders! I purchased this machine because it also had a lot more sewing stitch functions. I am now able to set the machine on a slow setting which allows me more control over the fabric as I sew. After finishing up my Little Darling and making her a new hat, I then started working on a little dolly for her to hold. I took the 10" outfit pattern and reduced it so that I could make a matching outfit for dolly....the outfit sewed up like a dream! I was so happy with my results that I am now more excited about the Costuming part of Dollmaking.

Living in Wheeling, WV and being a Dollmaker has had many disadvantages. My biggest problem occurs when I go to make the dolls outfits. We have only 1 fabric store in the area and they just don't seem to carry all those beautiful fabrics that many professional dollmakers use when Costuming. More often than not, I have to use alternative fabrics and most of the time, I just don't get the same effect when the Costume is complete. I wanted to post this because this is the first time I ever used alternative fabrics and was pleased with the completed outfit.

Here is my interpretation of Dianna Effner's Vanessa outfit! I used the Little Darling 1 mold set and the outfit pattern by Nedra Newson. The pattern calls for silk taffeta for the blouse and silk dupioni for the skirt. When I started looking through all the fabrics I have, I discovered I had neither kind of silk so I looked for alternative fabrics that would look good. The pattern called for Ultra Suede for the vest, which I had in this lovely pink and I found some rose China Silk that looked really good with it so my blouse is made from China Silk. I decided to go with a very soft quilters cotton for her skirt and I used the Ultra Suede to make a pair of matching boots and belt.

Happy costuming!!!