In the works: New and improved slopers for Sonokong dolls

Introduction

It has been almost 10 months since I blogged at The Enchanted Dress Shop.  In this time I’ve been experimenting with ways to offer better fitting patterns for Sonokong dolls.  I am not pleased with the previous patterns offered here.  I want an outstanding fit, not a merely good one.  If you have used my patterns you may find that there always needs some tweaking about the neckline or armhole.  The darts for the skirt also need to be moved depending on the style.  It is for these reasons and more that I decided to start from scratch and find a new way to create a sloper without going back to 1:6 scale flat patternmaking.  It’s too difficult to draft on such a small scale even using millimeters instead of inches.

The scenic route to the solution

This past Spring I thought of moving over to crocheting for the Sonokong dolls.  This turned out not to be a good move.  Because Sonokong dolls have very pointy bust lines and a curvy backside, my attempts to adapt Barbie patterns did not work out.  The newer Barbies are smaller busted and flatter in the backside.  I was almost ready to give up.

I have many blog friends through RetroGlam, my blog for full-scale women’s dressmaking.  One of my blog friends Carol posted about April_n_Paris blog and videos  which inspired me to try April’s technique for 1:6 draping.  It has taken a few attempts but at last I’m seeing results.  It’s a gradual process of evolving the sloper through draping, creating the paper pattern and then making alterations until the resulting toile fits perfectly.

As I’m draping I find April’s technique simplifies the process.  She’s a natural at this.  The use of embroidery thread to mark the key body lines is an important visual aid.  Without these dividing lines it’s hard to get an accurate drape.  Manipulating the fabric on the doll also shows me that since dolls are so unnaturally shaped the placement of seams, darts and openings will often be unusual.  Take the center back seam of the skirt.  The Sonokong doll’s backside is very curvy going out at the waist and in near the hips.  At this point there is more fabric needed to close the seam.  This shows up in the drape.  But when I drafted my patterns I always used a straight vertical line which resulted in many fitting difficulties.

Since I wait to work on my doll related projects when I’m in a very relaxed mood it will take some time to complete the toiles.  When they are finished I will scan and offer here for your use.  I’m looking forward to a whole new chapter in dolly dressmaking and sharing it with you all.  Photos of the progress so far follows.  At the end of this posting are links to April’s YouTube tutorials.

Sonokong Doll Basic Toile-1:6 scale draping

Note:  The skirt has to be sewed together.  So far the parts are looking good when held against the doll.  The placement of bodice front and skirt front darts, along with the center back seam, still look odd to me but the fitting is an improvement over what I had before.  I think once I get a final paper pattern I can experiment with moving these dart positions.

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FashionDollStylist YouTube Tutorials

How to make slopers for the fashion doll Pt.1

How to Make Slopers for the fashion doll. Pt.2 Basic Bodice

How to make slopers for the fashion doll. Pt3: Sleeves

How to Make Slopers for the fashion doll: Pt. 4 The Skirt

 

 

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Pattern Scan for “Cheongsam New York Style” dress

Photos of the finished dress are at this posting:  https://theenchanteddressshop.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/cheongsam-new-york-style-part-one/

The cheongsam was made using a Japanese medium weight cotton furoshiki.  If you use such a textile remember to select one with the smallest possible pattern.

If you are using a lightweight cotton, you may want to consider underlining the cheongsam to give it more body.  This will help the darts stay crisp and the curve over the hipline remain clear.   Please see this posting for details on underlining:  https://theenchanteddressshop.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/underlining-cutting-marking-and-basting-a-16-scale-doll-outfit/

I called this style “Cheongsam New York Style” because it is a simple dress that captures the look of a cheongsam but has an easy quality that does not require a high level of detail.  The simplicity frees you from having to create the look of the traditional Cheongsam with ball buttons and an assymetrical opening at the front.

Included is the pattern for the purse.  The posting with photos of the purse and jewelry is at https://theenchanteddressshop.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/cheongsam-new-york-style-part-two-the-accessories/

I drafted this pattern when I designed doll clothes under the name of Victoria Marie Celeste.

Pattern for “Cheongsam New York Style” dress.

Use of this pattern:  I am the creator of this dress and pattern.  I release it into the commons for use by others for personal or manufacturing purposes.  A link back to this blog is appreciated if you use the pattern.  I’d love to see a photo of your finished creation.  This 1:6 scale pattern was custom drafted for Sonokong Sharp and Aeyin.  If you are using any other make of 11 1/2″ fashion doll I recommend making a muslin first.

Greenaway Girls: Kaitlynn’s Empire Dress with Pierette Collar Pattern

The photo of Kaitlynn’s dress and some sewing notes are in this posting.  There is also another posting about her accessories.

This pattern was custom drafted for Sonokong Sharp and Aeyin dolls.  Please make adjustments when using it for other types and dolls.  It is essential to proof the fit by means of a sample before cutting the fashion fabric.

I give permission for free use and circulation of this pattern.  Please give me credit and a link back to this blog.

Please Note:  This is style 2 not style 1.

Greenaway Girls Pattern for Molly’s Empire Waist Dress

The photo and some sewing details for Molly’s Greenaway Girls look are in this posting.

This pattern must be scaled to inches when printing.  A ruler or measurement line is included.

This pattern was custom drafted for the Sonokong Sharp and Aeyin dolls.  Use for any other type of doll will require modifications.  Please test on a toile before cutting the fashion fabric.

I permit free circulation and use of this pattern.  I would like credit for the pattern and a link back to this blog in return.

If you plan to add a ribbon trim along the empire waistline cut a little extra width at Center Back.  The application of ribbon tightens the fabric and fit.

Pattern for Afternoon Appointment Dress

This pattern was custom drafted for the Sonokong Aeyin and Sharp dolls. Their bodies are different from the Classic Barbie or Takara Jenny dolls. If you want to adapt this pattern to fit a different doll, I recommend making a toile first. To use this pattern you must first save it and then scale it to the proper size using the ruler in the scan as your guide.

Please see the following postings for how the finished dresses look and for some construction details. The armholes and neckline were finished with bias strips of organza. The fabric used was 100% cotton. This dress will work equally well with silky poly-blend fabrics. If using this type of fabric, bias cut strips of nylon tulle will make a better finishing for the armholes and neckline.

—–Photos and construction details for version 1 of Afternoon Appointment (with gathered waistline and lace collar), earrings and beaded bag.
http://wp.me/p3xS5g-j

—-Photos and construction details for version 2 of Afternoon Appointment (with ribbon trim at hipline), earrings and beaded bag.
http://wp.me/p3xS5g-H

Tip for making the handbags: Cut 2 pieces of the felt out using the pattern. Hand sew the beads to each piece. Then stitch the front and back of the handbag together using a small whipstitch along the edges sewing between the beads when needed. Use a jewelry chain for the handle.

Afternoon Appointment Front Pattern Piece. The line at the waist level is for the elastic and casing of version 1. The line at hip level is for placement of the ribbon trim used in version 2.

Afternoon Appointment back pattern piece and handbag pattern piece.