Pattern Drafting for Springfield/American Girl dolls

Posted by on February 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm.

Earlier this week, I promised my daughter we would make some outfits for her Monster High Dolls and her Springfield Doll. The Monster High dolls costumes can be a bit tricky since the dolls are tiny and have an odd shaped body.  We sewed all the outfits from repurposed clothing.

Solid Gold dancers

Solid Gold dancers

The fabric used for the Monster High dolls outfit was gold, and the color made me think of the show Solid Gold.

My daughter sewed most of the outfit for her Springfield doll. Springfield dolls are the same size as the extremely popular American Girl dolls, but the Springfield dolls are a lot cheaper. They’re sold exclusively at A.C. Moore.

Pattern-drafting.American-girl-dress-1.02.23.13

 

First step was making a simple pattern for her dolls. My nine year old daughter is still new to machine sewing, so I didn’t want to overwhelm her. Once I drafted the pattern, it was cut and pinned to the fabric.

Pattern drafting is easy, once you know how to do it. I started when I was six years old. I’ve had years of practice since most of the outfits I make are created using my own patterns. This fabric is older than my daughter. I’d originally purchased it to make a pair of wide legged pants. I still own and wear those pants.

 

Springfield doll/American Girl dress

Springfield doll/American Girl dress

 

I was so proud of my daughter, with my guidance she sewed the dress. Didn’t she do a great job? My daughter is really thrilled with how this dress is progressing. “It’s much better than the dress she came with mom!” She exclaimed, and she was right. I checked out the original outfit, the stitching was subpar. I’m a sewer, I always look at the stitching (inside and outside).

We both thought the dress was too plain so I drafted a ‘ruffle pattern’ cut it out, gathered it and added it to the dress bottom. This was easily accomplished by setting the machines stitch length to 5. The dress isn’t finished we still need to do a few more things to complete, such as finish the sleeves and we’re still undecided about the collar.

Springfield doll/American Girl dress made from my own pattern

Springfield doll/American Girl dress made from my own pattern

 

Also a sash will be added to the waist. But we have time… there’s still tomorrow after church.

Bee Paper, 24" by 50 yards

Bee Paper, 24″ by 50 yards

 

Since this doll isn’t big, I used plain printer paper to draft my pattern, but when drafting patterns I purchase drafting paper. Why?  I like my paper patterns to have some stability. This type of paper is much better than the thin tissue type patter that most of the major pattern companies use. The majority of those patterns are paper-thin and tear quite easily. I much prefer thicker paper. Since I draft most of my own patterns I really don’t have to deal with patterns made on super thin paper.

 

Me with my Brother PC-420

My daughter loves taking pictures of me when I’m not expecting them. Silly girl!

 

Brother PC-420

Brother PC-420

 

All this was made possible by my Brother PC-420, it arrived this morning. Like my Brother SE-400, it’s self threading. Even through I rarely had a problem threading a machine needle, I’ve grown to really love this feature. I wanted something that was light and portable (most of my sewing machines are heavy) but still was a quality machine (at a reasonable price) that offered a lot of features. My brand-new Brother PC-420 has all of those features.

As with anything, I read numerous reviews about a variety of sewing machines before finally settling on this model. That’s normal, I always research thoroughly before spending money. I purchased an additional three-year warranty in case anything happens to this machine. Thus far, it is doing well. I haven’t had a chance to put it through all it’s paces, but I’ll be checking all 294 stitches tomorrow.

 

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