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This is where we start sewing Annie's new wardrobe. Lets start with pretty dresses. I think that dresses are the perfect garment to start wth because they are simple but look fantastic and you can make them in your own style,. Imade three different ones to give you some ideas. I bet you can think of many more, a nightdress for example would be lovely made from this pattern and if you are lucky enough to be a bridesmaid you could ask for a small piece of the material used to make your dress and make your favourite doll one to match

you will need your fabrics. I chose a bundle from Thread Head  Fabrics, I picked the bundle called "City Girl" City Girl Fabric bundle This is a collection of 6 top quality fabrics and you will be able to make a full wardrobe of clothes from them. It is great value for money. The other collections are really fun too so please do look at the web site
You will find all the collections on this link under "latest products" Fabric packs by Thread Head Fabrics

I  used the dark  floral cotton from my collection to make the first dress. Cotton is the best fabric to start sewing with as it is so well behaved. I used the white from the collection to make the bodice of the two coloured dress and a scrap of left over fabric for the blue dress.

The pattern we are using is Kwik Sew 2878 from jaycotts.co.uk Kwik Sew dolls pattern This again is good value as the pattern contains a complete wardrobe of clothes to make.

Did you cut your pattern pieces out as instructed in the previous blog post? if not do it now..When you are ready open your pattern instruction sheet and find the instructions for making the dress as above.

Find all the pieces you need to make the dress. These are clearly shown on the instruction sheet.Very carefully press the fabric and the pattern pieces in order to get the creases out. Do not do this on your own! 

take a look at your pattern pieces. Some will say "place on the fold" that means you must pin them onto the fabric along the line where it is folded so that the piece is cut doubled. Some will have a  line or an arrow saying "place on the grain line"  That means that the line or arrow has to be parallel to the edge of the fabric all the way down. Grain lines are important because if it is wrong it could easily affect how the garment hangs.

The dress in this pattern is the one which takes the most fabric. There is enough fabric in the pack for you to make the short sleeved version of the dress.
To get all the pattern pieces on to the fabric take a good look at the photograph above. There is enough fabric of any of the designs in the pack to make the dress but you need to fold it like this. Lay the fabric out flat and fold the left side in so that it is just wide enough to put the dress front on the fold and the dress back below it slightly away from the fold. Bring the right  side over to meet the edges of the fabric.

You will now need some sewing supplies. If you are very lucky you may be able to ask your family  for the complete sewing kit which Jaycotts.co.uk have kindly bought in specially for this blog,  so do take a look at the sewing kit in its pretty sewing box Great Value sewing kit in box  Jaycotts is where I also recommend you go to for advice when if you want to purchase a sewing machine.

Pin the dress top pieces in place on the left side as shown. Then pin the front skirt right on the fold on the right of the fabric. Take your Tailors Chalk and a ruler and carefully draw exactly round the pattern piece.

Carefully remove the pattern piece and move it along next to the markings to cut out the back skirt. Pin that in place too. You need to take the sleeve pattern and fold the lower sleeve carefully along the short sleeve lines and pin that sideways next to the back skirt with the pockets underneath.

Take your scissors and very carefully cut around each pattern piece remembering to cut the little triangles facing outwards as they are important. A lot of adults make the huge mistake of just snipping into the points instead of cutting around them, but this is wrong and it means that if you need to make the seam a bit smaller you can't because you have cut into it. So learn the correct way now.

Using your tailors chalk again mark the position of the pockets. If you look at the frompnt pattern piece it shows you exactly where to place them. On this photograph one pocket is already in place. To make the pocket turn under the top by 1/4" and sew it down iether with your sewing machine or a neat hand sewn back stitch . Press the seam allowance, again 1/4" to the inside on the other three sides. Stitch the pocket to the skirt front lining up the top with the markings. Dont forget to leave the top open!

This is the pocket sewn in place.

To make the bodice, (the bodice is the top part of a garment) sew the shoulder sea s together and neaten the edges. You can use pinking shears or if you have a sewing machine use a small zig-zag stitch.

You should now have something which looks like this. Neaten the sleeve edges next. Zig zag or pink the edge and turn under and top stitch.

Now to put the sleeves in. This is the hardest part because you have to sew two different shaped pieces together without spoiling the appearance by making any pleats or gathers show in the right side. A lot of adults struggle with this I can tell you.
So,  matching the triangle to the shoulder seam and pinning the ends together start to pin the sleeve onto the sleeve opening using a lot of pins so that it is going in evenly.

To make it easier, close to the edge of the sleeve put a row of running stitches and pull them to gather the sleeve very slightly. You will find by doing this the sleeve goes in perfectly . If it doesn't,  use your seam ripper (in the sewing box) to take your stitches out and try again.

You now should have this! Neaten the seam edges as before .

Then right sides together stitch the sleeve seam and side seam all in one go. Neaten the edges and press. Turn right sides out and press again.

That's the bodice done, so now we have to make the skirt part. Right sides together and matching the notches (the tiny triangles you cut out) stitch the side seams and neaten the edges. Press. Pressing is important,  it makes the garment look professional and accomplished dressmakers and tailors press every seam every time they sew one. Whenever I start sewing I always set my ironing board up too and I have things like a pressing cloth and a sleeve roll and many other things ready too.

Very close to the edge of the skirt sew two rows of running stich to make the gathers. If hand sewing use a small running stitch with a knot in the end. On a machine use a long straight stitch. Start to pull the gathers up

 Put the bodice and tbe skirt together, right sides together. Match the side seams together and adjust the gathers so that they are the same size as the bodice. Make sure that they are distributed easily and pin together.  Sew the bodice to the skirt , neaten the seam and press.

On the skirt pattern back there is a dot. Mark this position on the skirt back because you need to sew the back together from the bottom to this dot. Above it will be the back opening so you can get it on to your doll easily.

To finish the back opening neaten the edges and fold the ends in by 1/4" and sew them down with a straight stitch
You now need to think about how you are going to fasten the back. You can use press studs which you sew in yourself. Sew on press studs choose a small size.
Or you can use one of these kits which are great fun and very easy to use, Non sew poppers they come in lots of sizes and lots of colours. In the kit is everything you need although you can purchase additional tools. I use the pliers but you do not need them to start off with, especially when using these tiny ones.Pliers for non sew poppers before you pipit one on your garment read the instructions and do a practise one. A tip for you is to put  the top one on first. Cover the back with tailors chalk and press the front and back openings together with your fingers. The chalk will leave a mark where the bottom bit goes!

So, that's the dress almost finished just the hem now. Zig-zag or pink the end. Turn it under 1^4"and stitch it down iether buy hand with a tiny slip stitch or  by machine with a straight stitch
Give it a final press and there it is finished!

And here is Annie wearing her new dress, don't you think she looks lovely in it? The pockets are useful too, you could put a tiny toy in one or cut out a little handkerchief.

This is the back showing the non-sew poppers.

To make this dress which looks like a skirt and top. Use some of the white from your fabric pack and sew lace down the front and on the edges of the sleeves. Cut the skirt out of a different fabric and make it just the same as the previous dress. Add a ribbon bow at the waist. If this is for a very small child I would sew the ribbon on securely at one side or leave it off altogether

For the blue dress I added lace to the front and hem and sleeves. Then I added this pretty floral lace which you can buy in most haberdashery shops.  I added a small flower to the front.  You could make her a headband to match.

These are the three dresses all together. Now Annie has some pretty summer dresses to wear.

 I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post and that you will make some for your doll. You can have fun with trimmings and fabrics too.whatever you make nobody else will have one like it!

Please do ask permission to send me a picture of your makes and if you have a question please fill in the contact form

Happy sewing to all my Cadetts.




We are never too young or too old to learn something new. I started sewing at a very young age because my grandmother Annie Seddon was also passionate about sewing.When I trace my ancestry right back  to the 1700's my whole family has been in the cloth industry in some way shape or form. My family have been weavers, spinners and tailors. My own father produced card clothing for cotton spinning mills. I trained as a tailor too so I guess fabric is in my genes.
I did not have many toys when I was young,but what I did have was access to a treadle sewing machine. I started off by making clothes for my dolls but rapidly began sewing my own clothes. I wore me-made clothes to school whist I was still at primary school.
Sewing is a skill which will always be with you, and it is worth starting young. Boys too should learn to sew, my uncle made his own waterproof coats and I have to say that I do take a little bit of credit for my doctor sons ability to sew nice stitches. In people, I must add!
Seriously, you are never too young to learn, so please,if you know a young person please do encourage them to follow this blog, maybe you could learn together.
 I welcome questions, but I need you to get an adults permission to contact me please, this is for your own safety because you should never contact anybody on the internet without your family knowing about it. I would love to see pictures of garments you make but again, these must come from your parents.I hope you understand why I am saying this. I am approachable and I will help you learn to sew, and I will answer your questions I promise

Right then, what do you need to start sewing? First of all meet Annie. Annie is an 18" child doll. No doubt you have one already, but if not,you need to ask very nicely  if you could have one. She must be a child doll, and not a baby doll or the clothes will not fit. Choose your doll carefully, with hair and eye colour to match your own if you like, she is our model and we will be fitting her clothes just like adults do with a dressmakers dummy! This will teach you all about fitting clothes and will be important to you when you come to make yourself a dress later on this year. Yes, you did read that correctly,by the end of the year you will be making yourself a dress!
This is a photograph of my Grandmother Annie with my grandfather and my mother. I am in the centre with my two younger brothers. I keep a photograph of my Gran in my sewing room to watch over me.

This is the pattern we will be starting with . It is available from Jaycotts.co.uk on this link 
KwikSew dolls clothes The first garment we will be making is the dress. 
I appreciate that you will need some equipment to get started but it will all last you a very long time.

This is what the back of the pattern envelope looks like. It shows a diagram of every garment inside the pattern and what fabrics and so on you need to make it.Patterns for adults and children come in multiple sizes so if you were making something for yourself you would need to choose your size at this point but all you need to worry about now is that you have an 18" doll and a pattern to fit the same sized doll as this one does.

later on in the year we will be making this lovely dress and coat for a very special occasion.

You will need some basic sewing equipment. Jaycotts have kindly obtained this sewing box for you, full of sewing supplies at a very special price.

The sewing box has a top tray to keep smaller items in and below it there is plenty of room to store your scissors and pattern and so on too. To view the sewing box and its contents and to make the purchase click on this link SEWING BOX Dont forget that you can also purchase your pattern at the same time.

the contents of the box are 
1 each of black and white sewing thread 1000m size
dressmaking shears
hand sewing needles
tape measure
safety pins
2 needle threaders
pearl headed pins
hemming web
seam ripper
Tailors chalk
You will need thread to match the colour of your fabric, and additional items such as press studs and elastic but I will tell you exactly what you need for each project. You may find a thread snipper or a small pair of embroidery scissors useful. You may also want to use pinking sheers  to neaten the seams after you have sewn them but do not worry if you do not have any.

A sewing machine is something you may not have just now. When you decide that you love sewing - which I hope you will - you will start thinking abut owning a sewing machine.
I like this Brother Innovis 10A, available by clicking on this link to jaycotts.co.uk
 Brother Innovis 10A I like this machine because it is easy to use and will grow with you as you become more proficient at sewing. It has an automatic needle threader and a choice of different buttonholes. However I do recommend that you give Jaycotts a ring on 01244 394099 to discuss different options and current prices.
I recommend Jaycotts because they have given me outstanding service for more than 15 years. They are a family business who really care about their customers.

If you do not have access to a sewing machine then please do not worry because I will be showing you how to hand sew. Learning to sew by hand is important anyway. Couture garments are always hand sewn. You will find that even if you are using  a sewing machine you will still need to do certain parts by hand so it is worth all of us learning how to hand sew. I will make some videos to show you how and I promise you that it will be easy  to learn,so do not worry about it.

If you take a look at the pattern you will see that it is a complete wardrobe of clothes. we will start off by making a dress and then adapt the pattern to make a nightdress.
Then we will make some coordinates - pants, skirts an tops and even a hat. For this you will need material. Most people who sew have a huge stash of fabric,myself included!
Of course you may want to use your outgrown clothes to make your dolls wardrobe, but if you want your own stash of fabrics then my good friend Clare of Thread Head Fabrics, see her web site here,
Theadheadfabrics.co.uk , has put together some beautiful collections of fabrics for you to choose from and buy at a very special price.

The collections contain six fabrics which you can mix and match to make your garments your own

The collection I am using is this one, "CITY GIRL" It is made up from prints and plains and each piece will make at least one garment, probably more.
this collection is available from Thread head Fabrics, click on the link here to go directly to the web site where you can look at the fabrics and make your purchases CITY GIRL FABRIC COLLECTION

This is the BUTTERFLY BRIGHTS collection, View it on this link BUTTERFLY BRIGHTS COLLECTION

This is CANDY FLOSS, and the link to it is here CANDY FLOSS

for the tom-boys among us, look at this fabric bundle! footballs, skulls, wow! buy it from this link

This is summer garden, the floral would make a very pretty dress.SUMMER GARDEN

Another pretty collection, SPRING GARDEN, more details here SPRING GARDEN

Another lovely collection called COUNTRY GIRL COUNTRY GIRL

And lastly Thread head fabrics will put you together a mixture of fabrics if you contact them on this link GO TO THIS PAGE TO DISCUSS ALTERNATIVE FABRICS 

The current price for these bundles is a very reasonable £15.

The first real sewing post will be out in a couple of weeks to give you time to get everything together
You will need your doll,pattern, fabric, matching thread, scissors, pins sewing needles as an absolute minimum.
a word about scissors. You will need an old pair to cut your pattern out with. Your fabric scissors are very special and must only be used for cutting fabric.

I hope that you are as excited as I am about this new blog and I hope that you will help a child to learn to sew. It is a great gift to give to anybody.

Welcome to my world of sewing

see you soon.
Angela xxxx 

Posted By Blogger to Sewangelicadethreads on 5/20/2016 04:03:00 am