Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Doll Pants: A (non)Tutorial

Remember this little beauty?  I made her clothes without a pattern.  I'm back to give a little how-to, at least for the pants.  It's not a full tutorial, but maybe it will help someone out there in Blogland.

 I started with my naked doll.

Using the body as a guide, I sketched what I thought a pattern might look like.  This was mainly to help me with the length of the pants and the distance from the waist to the crotch.  I wanted my doll to have fairly tight fitting leggings, so I didn't make my pants too wide.  If you look at the photo...

and at the finished sketch (which is REALLY blurry - so sorry!) you'll see where I added length for the hem of the pant leg and for encasing the elastic waistband.  My finished doll was approximately 15" tall.  You can see by how much computer paper I used that the total length of the fabric I needed was approximately 11".

Using my sketch as a guide, I redrew the pattern so that the left and right sides were symmetrical, lines were straight, etc.  Then I cut two identical pieces of fabric for the front and back of the doll pants.

With right sides together, I pinned the inner leg seams...

and sewed them on my machine.  As with all pants, I reinforced the seam around the crotch.  I'm not sure this is necessary for doll clothing, but it's habit.

Then I hemmed the pant legs.  Yes, I know this step is different than traditional pants. Normally when making a pair of pants, you'd sew all of the side seams first and hem the pant legs last.  But for a doll, the leg openings are so small that if you waited to hem at the end, the leg hole would be too small to fit on your machine.  I have a picture father down that will help this will make sense.

 I pinned and sewed the side seams.

TIP: Start sewing at the bottom (hem) of the pant leg and sew towards the top.  This ensures that the hem is even.  The top of the fabric will become the casing for the elastic waistband, so if the two pieces of fabric do not line up exactly, no one will ever know.

See what I mean about a small opening for the leg hole?  Imagine trying to hem in an opening that small.  It would NOT be easy getting that around your presser foot.

Now turn down the top of the pants to make the casing for the elastic waistband.  Remember to leave a hole to insert the elastic.  Insert the elastic, then sew hole closed.  Voila!  Done.

For the tunic, I also made my own pattern.  Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures.  I'll try to describe what I did, but I realize it's hard to follow along without photos.

First, I sketched out what I wanted my finished tunic to look like, then mentally broke apart the pattern to see what pieces of fabric I'd need.  Here I have the front and back of a body, plus two sleeves.  I sewed both sides of each sleeve to the front and back body pieces of the tunic.  (Front of each sleeve to the front of the tunic, back of each sleeve to the back of the tunic.)  Then I hemmed the ends of the sleeves.  As with the leg holes on the pants, I knew the arm holes would be too small to maneuver around a presser foot after the side seams on the sleeves had been sewn together.

With the sleeves hemmed, I sewed the sides of the sleeves together.  Then I sewed the sides of the tunic together.  At the top of the tunic, I made a casing for narrow elastic (1/4") around the entire neck area, added elastic, and sewed the casing closed.  Then I tried the tunic on the doll to determine how long I wanted the tunic, took the tunic off, and hemmed the bottom.

How's that for a non-tutorial?  If you know of a better tutorial, please leave a comment and let us all know where to find it!  As always, if you make anything with one of my (non)tutorials, feel free to ask questions or give suggestions.  I'd love to see your finished work!  Good luck!