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Nov 27, 2012

New fabric + my vintage 40's mannequin arrives!



Honestly, is there anything more exciting than receiving a package in the mail containing an eBay purchase?  Maybe a puppy. 

Definitely in the top ten excitement-wise is scoring fabulous fabric.  One of my favorite cold weather fabrics is cotton flannel.  Remember this shirt I made last January?  I love it and wear it constantly. 

Can you find the hidden chihuahua?

I bought that flannel at AK Fabrics (257 West 39th St.), but what they have available now is in colors that don't suit me.  I don't know why cotton flannel is so hard to find, do you?  Paron's has a lovely selection of cotton shirting, but no cotton flannel, alas.

Yesterday, I went to Mood.  It was the end of the day, the crowds had mostly gone, and I got a lot of service.  Mood has the widest selection of cotton flannel I've seen anywhere -- gorgeous things.  I chose this beautiful cadet blue tattersall that's as soft as cashmere.  I'm going to make a shirt for Michael with it, and if there's anything left over, a pair of boxers for myself.

I talk a lot about fabric bargains on this blog, but I have come to realize that when I pay more for something I truly love that's higher quality, it ends up paying for itself in greater pleasure, more frequent use, and durability.  (Hat's off to Mimi for reminding me.)





As of this morning, it's laundered, pre-shrunk and ready to be cut.  I think it will be a pleasure to work with and I can't wait to get started.

And now on to my mystery package.  Behold!





She is labeled "Fashiondol."

This vintage 40's mannequin doll, which I wrote about last week, is a beauty.  I don't know why I thought she'd be hard; she's soft, like those painted latex hand puppets I remember from kindergarten.  She stands roughly 4" taller than my Kens but I think they'll adjust over time.



She came with some extras.  Silky cotton panties, probably homemade.



A photocopy of a vintage Fashiondol pattern (others are available for purchase on eBay). 





Beautiful cotton fabric pieces, some vintage, some vintage-y, with delicate patterns perfect for a 15" doll.  The fabric hadn't been included in the seller's description -- an unexpected treat.





In other news, friends, with the weather getting colder (and wetter), it was time to take out the doggie treadmill.  Willy loves it, Freddy tolerates it.  Winter is upon us for real.



In closing, readers, I have some projects ahead I'm excited about and I hope you are too: Michael's flannel shirt, the vintage doll dress, and the Cyd Charisse extravaganza (a version of which I may make for the doll first).  Where to begin?

Have you ever sewn for a doll?  Was it tedious, fun, or a little of both?

Happy Tuesday, everybody!

29 comments:

  1. Love the mannequin/doll! Great, vintage fabrics too ~ wish we had stores like that in the UK! x

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  2. It was so great seeing you yesterday, Peter! I'm eager to see the end results.

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  3. Sewing for dolls is great fun, the main challenge is usually dealing with the rigidity of the arms and legs...if your doll has removable arms that should be much easier. Sounds like that fabric has waited a long time to be made into something fabulous--I'm glad it found you.

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  4. I love the doll and the new shirt fabric. This weekend I was looking for cotton flannel for a robe for my dad and all I could find was little kid jammie fabric. I learned to sew making doll clothes. I have never seen a doll like yours, but I spent many pleasant hours working on Shirley Temple doll and Barbie doll clothes when I was a child. The cool thing is that you can do a whole outfit with scraps. I think the kens will be jealous and need some new things of their own.

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  5. She is a broad-shouldered beauty!

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  6. That mannequin is too gorgeous! I love her. When I was a little girl I used to make dolls clothes by hand. it was fun but they nver lasted long. I actually enjoyed making clothes for the dolls much more than actually playing with them. I always preferred a book and tea sets to dolls.

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  7. I believe many of us, myself included STARTED sewing by sewing for dolls! I'm kind of jealous that you get to sew for your doll, but I have a little boy who'd rather me sew Thomas the Train projects.

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  8. Fabulous finds! I need to shadow you at Mood. I get too overwhelmed and always leave empty handed.
    Elliot Berman Textiles is having a Pattern Review 11th Anniversary party next Wednesday. Will you be there?

    Leu, (former lurker) sewing in Washington Heights, NYC

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    1. Thanks for alerting me to that, Leu. Just checked it out on the PR Message Boards. I'm going to try to be there.

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    2. Whoops! The party is December 12th!

      Leu

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  9. Perhaps cotton flannel is hard for you, but all you need to do is go online. Joanns' snuggle flannel line is all 100% cotton flannel and washes and wears quite well. I believe fabric.com has a large selection, too.

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  10. Wow she really is beautiful! And the bonus fabrics are so lovely. I bet you can't wait to cut in to them!
    I have sewn for dolls before and in my opinion sewing small garments (for dolls or little girls) is generally just like sewing larger garments. The small size can make certain parts more tedious, like hemming armholes and stuff. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  11. The only thing that can top a good ebay purchase is a freecycle miracle or Craigslists score. I got a 1930s vanity and a TON of special vintage patterns that I still feel a thrill every time I look at them.

    Now, of course, I have to have on of these dolls! The most time I've spent working on one in the past was a Frida Kahlo likeness I made out of wool felt, by hand. I loved absolutely every second of working on it.

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  12. I can't wait to see how your doll dress turns out. I've been sewing for dolls since I was six years old. In a way, the 18" American Girl doll may have killed the fashion doll. Doll patterns exploded, but they are all for 18" dolls, and they are all children's styles. I have a bunch of groovy knitting patterns for Barbie from the '60s and '70s that I inherited from my grandmother.

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  13. OMG! The dog treadmill is so funny!!! We make our dogs walk in the rain. Ours have a LOT more fur though.

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  14. I made some Barbie clothes (matching outfits for my daughters). Very tedious. But, I made Cabbage Patch outfits (matching outfits for my daughters), that worked better for me.

    Once I made 200 scrub suits with scrub shoes and lab coats for 200 8" bears. A heart surgeon gave them out to his by-pass patients. That was interesting.

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  15. Doll clothes are small so they're fast to make. Some things are easier to sew by hand, like sleeves. I learned to sew doing Barbie clothes, like many famous designers did. Your doll looks wonderful-now I need one'

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  16. I hope Cousin Cathy takes good care of her clothes because once you start making doll clothes she'll be at the mercy of ready to wear once more. Doll clothes are addictive!

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  17. You should come to Minnesota! We have tons of flannel around here. I guess people are keeping their lumberjacks well outfitted or something!

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  18. The chihuahua treadmill is back! I think that has to be one of the cutest things I have ever seen!

    And I agree - quality fabric is hard to beat. That shirt looks fantastic on you!

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  19. Your doll is so mint! Every one I've seen has crazing and cracks. I was going to just accept that until I saw yours. Green with jealousy. Going to sew something green now.

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    1. It actually makes me suspect she's been restored, but who knows.

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  20. Love that fabric! Yes, paying more can pay off in the long run. Most things I make with cheap fabric I end up regretting.

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  21. Whoa, the mannequin is amazing! I'm a flannel addict as well-- it's just so soft and warm!

    Also-- DOGGIE TREADMILL?!?! I need one! I can't wait to bump up to the next level of Crazy Pug Lady!

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  22. I made a ton of Barbie clothes for my niece many years ago. By a ton I mean a laundry hamper full. Seriously. I loved it, but I loved my niece and I enjoyed thinking about the fun she would have dressing up her dolls. That, undoubtedly spurred me on. The last item I made was a taffeta ballgown with set in sleeves. Yup. That one did me in. Fortunately she didn't ask for any more after that.

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  23. When I was young, around 9 or 10, I had a girlfriend my age who really wanted to learn how to sew but her Mom wouldn't let her touch her machine. When she came over to my house we used to take my mother's Singer Featherweight through the secret passage to the attic. We worked in there to try and get away from all the younger kids who would bug us, and in case my mother wanted to see what we were doing. My friend made most of the clothes as I found out that I didn't have the skills or patience for something that small. The Barbie Dolls in the late '50's didn't have arms or legs that bent so they were a real struggle to dress. We didn't do any damage to the machine even though we used it for a couple of years off and on in the attic. That is when my mother wasn't using it.

    I actually learned to sew in my early twenties, self-taught. My friend went on to be a costume designer and fabricator and has spent the last 20 years teaching at the largest university in British Columbia. It all started in the attic! With flashlights.

    And I inherited the Featherweight which I still love using, especially for buttonholes that my Bernina won't do automatically!

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  24. Buzzing around eBay today...found this if you're so interested: http://www.ebay.com/itm/14-Manikin-Mannequinl-Latexture-doll-pattern-Pajamas-Slip-Bra-culotte-/260878787739?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cbd96649b
    and this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/33-Fashiondol-Mannequin-Manikin-Doll-Patterns-CD-12-5-/270839601985?pt=US_Dolls_Bears_Toys&hash=item3f0f4c5b41

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  25. hi i just discovered your blog. A renter left a brother ls 2125 behind when they left (as well their dirty dishes, clothes, etc.) but it had no cord. Thanks for the review , I will definitely order a cord for it. i need something to take to quilt retreats as my Elna is too heavy. BTW, if you're looking for flannel, check out your local quilt store. you will find lots of prints to pique your fancy. Cheers, tami

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