Hi there and welcome! I’m thrilled to be here
to share my new book
Doll Days! Sew an Everyday Wardrobe for 18" Dolls with
you and share a quick tutorial to kick off the
Doll Days! blog tour.
Doll Days! is a fabulous doll clothes
pattern book, inspired by vintage styles and designed with modern flair for 18" dolls, such as the American Girl Doll. The patterns are appropriate for
confident beginners and up and include many tips and tutorials that help
sewists to move beyond the basics. The designs are extremely versatile, and it’s
easy to embellish, as well as mix and match, for unlimited possibilities. If
you’re anything like me, you sometimes get bored sewing the same exact design
more than a few times. It’s easy to create little variations with the patterns
Doll Days! It seems the more I
embellish and vary the designs, the more ideas pop into my head.
Join in and sew along during the blog tour as
I share several tutorials and bonus patterns for how to do even more with your
Doll Days’ patterns. I’m sure it will
get your creative juices flowing, too!
Today, I’m sharing two things with you: my
method for tracing pattern pieces and a tutorial for embellishing the
Since the patterns are printed on both sides
of the pullout page, you’ll need to trace or copy the patterns. Your local copy
shop can easily do this for you and usually charges less than a dollar for two pages.
However, I recommend tracing the patterns. I
never cut up my patterns. Ever. I keep them in pristine condition by tracing them
and using the tracings to cut out my fabric. I also never use white paper
patterns. Not only is it bad for your fabric scissors to cut into the paper,
but it’s also harder to pin paper to fabric and the patterns never stay really
flat with the fabric when pinned together.
You can be much more accurate when cutting
out your fabric pieces if you use patterns traced onto a pattern tracing material,
such as Swedish Tracing Paper. This is what I do for all my patterns,
especially PDF patterns, and even for tissue patterns that I purchase. It’s easy
and they last a very, very long time.
Swedish Tracing Paper or Pellon 830 Easy
Wonder Clips, binder clips, or paper clips
Acrylic ruler and/or French curve (optional)
The Swedish Tracing Paper is by far my
favorite tracing material. It costs about a $1.25 per yard and it’s transparent, which makes it ideal for fussy cutting. It also arrives in a roll, so
it doesn’t get folds or wrinkles in it.
If it does get wrinkly, you can simply iron it.
Tracing Patterns with Tracing Material
Place your pattern sheet on a work table.
Cover the pattern page with the tracing
material. Keeping the edges even, you can place clips, such as Wonder Clips,
binder clips, or paper clips along the edges to keep it from slipping or
shifting as you trace the patterns.
Note: You could also use pattern
weights (or tuna cans) or even pin the two layers together along the edges. Be
careful to avoid pinning on the cutting line of any of the pattern pieces
though—this may cause the paper to rip over time.
Using a pencil and ruler, trace each pattern
you need (or trace all of them and make a complete set). Be sure to copy all the markings,
labels, cutting instructions, and project name onto the tracing.
After I finish using my tracings, I keep them
together in a manila envelope labeled Doll Days pattern tracings, which can
easily be tucked into the back of my book.
One thing I love about using the tracings is
that I don’t have to be overly cautious when working with them. I know that if
I do accidentally cut off a corner or otherwise ruin it, then I can just make a
Thanks for reading along with me as I explain
how I use Swedish Tracing Paper to trace my patterns. Once I discovered it, I
never looked back. All my paper patterns are in their original shape.
Now that you’ve traced the patterns, you’re
ready to get sewing! Let’s make this dress together!
This dress is made using the Modern-Vintage
Sundress pattern with some embellishments on the bodice and waistband. I've used Unicorns in Sweaters fabric from Timeless Treasures for the body of the dress. And, as a
bonus, I’ve created a pattern for my knot bow that I love using to embellish
all sorts of things. Download it here.
- Pattern pieces and supplies for the
Modern-Vintage Sundress, View B (except the rickrack)
- Download the free bonus pattern for the knot
bow and print at actual size
- Bow and inset: large scraps of the same
fabric used for the waistband and straps
- 3 tiny buttons
- ¼ yard of crochet lace
In addition to the pattern pieces given for
view B, also cut:
Bow pieces (2)
Center inset: 1" x 3 ¼"
Before sewing any pieces together, embellish
the bodice front.
1. Center the small strip of fabric along the
front of the bodice and baste it in place.
2. Cut and sew the crochet lace to each side of
the fabric, completely covering the raw edges of the inset.
3. Continue to sew the sundress as instructed for View B on
pages 23–24 of
Doll Days!, omitting the rickrack trim on the bodice.
Make the Knot Bow
1. Pin and sew the bow pieces with
right sides together and a 3/8" seam allowance, leaving an opening along a
straight edge. Clip the curves.
2. Turn the bow right side out through the
opening. Press well, pressing the raw edges of the opening to the inside. Sew
the opening closed.
3. Tie the bow into a knot to finish.
Once you’ve sewn the sundress completely,
hand sew the three little buttons onto the bodice inset.
Attach the knot bow with a safety pin or hand
sew it in place to finish.
This is such an easy way to change things up
and achieve a completely new look for the Modern-Vintage Sundress pattern! I
hope you enjoyed sewing along.
I also hope you’ll continue to follow along with
me on the rest of the
Doll Days! blog
tour. I will have several more sew along tutorials for bonus patterns and
embellishments. I am really looking forward to sharing more bonus patterns and
reading what other bloggers think of my new book.
Here’s the complete schedule:
June 13 Kickoff! Erin (me!) on the
June 14 Amanda on
Jedi Craft Girl
June 15 Erin (me!) on
June 16 Karen on
Karen Mom of Three
June 17 Erin (me!) on
Sew Mama Sew
June 20 Lindsay on
June 21 Jane on
Janie Carroll Designs
June 22 Bonnie on
Fishsticks Designs Blog
June 23 Tracy on
Generation Q Magazine
June 24 Rachael on
June 27 Cherry on
Cherry Blossoms Studio
June 28 Final stop! Erin (me!) on
Avery Lane Sewing
You can also join the
Doll Days! Sew and Share event on the Avery Lane Designs Facebook page for chances to win fabulous
prizes! Share your designs and see what others are sewing with their copy of
Doll Days! For a chance to win a copy of Doll Days!, enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway. Winner will be announced on the blog in one week. US winner will receive a hard copy; international winner will receive an ebook. Head on over to the other stops for more chances to win!
Congratulations to Deborah B, winner of this giveaway!
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