Still Creating!

Hello, hello, Internet-Land! Well ~ my hands have made it through surgery & are in the steps of recovery, so this post will be short. Just wanted to check in with a new Maggie outfit & update. All is well and continuing to heal, though I must admit, I’m already tired of this process! Wishing you well!

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Making a Pants Pattern for Your Tonner Mortimer or Matt

Hello Hello, Internet-Land! This morning I’m happy to post another sewing tutorial. I’ve been getting a couple tutorials ready, as my hand surgery is scheduled for TOMORROW! Very excited to get my hands fixed, but that means big bandages on BOTH hands for a few days. I thought I’d better get things ready & start posting them. Today we’ll be going through the steps to make a pants pattern. Here we go!

SUPPLIES

The first step is to gather the things you will need and the doll you want to fit. Since I already have pants patterns for Matt, I’m going to be using my Tonner Peter Pevensie. He’s been naked & needing clothes for quite a while now! He has the same body style as Wilde Imagination Mortimer. My supplies are: .25″ graph paper, pencil & eraser, tape measure, and a 12″ ruler.

MEASUREMENTS

First, I gather all my measurements. I measure the waist (I will use the lower waist for these men’s pants.), waist/leg length, waist-to-front crotch, waist-to-inseam, thigh diameter, calf diameter, and foot-heel diameter. Remember, our dolls are not soft like us, but usually hard plastic or resin. This means that really skinny pantlegs will need to be big enough around to clear the heels or have ankle slits (with zippers or snaps), so they can actually go onto the fella!

DRAFTING THE PATTERN

Time to start drawing! I begin with a straight line down the center of my paper. I used 8.5 x 11 inch graph paper. You just need paper that is long enough for your pantlegs. Now my measurements come into play. I measure down from the top of the paper on my straight line and mark the measurement of the waist-to-front-of-crotch (not to inseam). I also allow an extra quarter inch that I will need at the top for a seam allowance. The straight line will be my outer side seam, and the mark I made will be the point from which I measure out to indicate the crotch line and inseam. I like to use graph paper, because the horizontal lines are a huge help in making sure my lines are continually 90 degrees out from my side seam line. From my first mark, I measure out 3.25 inches. This is half the diameter of the thigh plus a half inch to allow for looseness and seam allowance. From the top, I measure out 2.25 inches. I rounded the waist up to an even 9 inches to have room for a good fit. If you only use the exact doll measurements, clothes will usually end up too small. Now I place in a dart to have a nice fit in the back. Without it, the pants would go straight up like a stovepipe, rather than curving in nicely over the bum. Because the darts will take the waistline in, I add a half inch to the outside of the pants side seam. Next, I make sure the waist-to-crotch line has the correct measurement. I like using the tape measure here, because it easily curves with the line.

At the bottom of the photo, I have indicated half of the ankle measurement (with a little looseness added) for the hem line. From the hem line, I measure straight up one half inch. To draw the inseam, I draw a straight diagonal line (from the half inch mark I just made) that goes up to my 4.75″ mark and out .5″ from my original hem mark. Then I continue this line, gently curving it to meet the crotch line. The way you configure this line will determine the “look” of your pants. The “straighter up” the line, the “skinnier” the leg. For this tutorial, we will have a looser fitting leg, so there is more slant to the line from the hem to the crotch. Now you just need to add seam allowance to both sides for a finished Pants Back Pattern Piece. (Going from the very top to bottom of the paper will give enough length.)

To draft the front, I put the back piece under a new sheet of paper and place onto my light table. I indicate a pocket line at the side. The longer line of the pocket will be the finished edge, and the shorter line is the seam allowance. To make the front crotch and fly, I go in from the crotch-inseam about one half inch and then curve up one half inch. The fly will come straight down from waist edge almost equal to the crotch marking. This provides room for the overlap of the fly and the needed seam allowances. It also gives enough room for a small front pleat. (You can see where I scribbled to extend the fly allowing more fabric because of adding the pleat.)

Next will be the waist and pocket pieces. I always make my waistband pieces longer than I need. It is simple to shorten it if needed, but you can’t lengthen it once it’s cut! I add about an inch to my waist just to be safe. The pocket piece will again use the light table. I trace the outer pocket edge and add my inside width and length. Then double the width to allow for the “fold back” or inside section of the pocket that actually shows on the outside of the pants when finished.

And now you’re ready to cut out your pieces! You will need two of the pants front, pants back, and pants pocket. Then just cut one of the waistband.

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SEWING!

OK ~ Here’s your BONUS! We’re also going to put these pants together today! 🙂 Remember ~ all seam allowances are .25.”

First, I do all my “prep” work. Mark the darts and pleat lines onto the wrong side of the fabric pieces. Then finish the inside edges of the fly by serging or zig-zagging.

Second, I sew the darts and pleats. Fold the darts down the center and sew from tip to edge. For pleats, match lines and sew on lines. I actually only sewed .75″ rather than the full length of the lines on my pattern. Press them towards the center/crotch line.

Third, we’ll put in the pockets! With right sides together, stitch the curved edge of the pocket. Then trim the seam allowance to one eighth inch. Turn the pocket right-side-out and topstitch one eighth inch away from sewn edge. Remember ~ you’re only working with the curved edge of the pocket right now ~ not the side! When the topstitching is done, fold the other edge of the pocket fabric to the side seam of the pants. The pocket will have about a quarter inch fold (or pleat) at the top along the waistline. Press this down flat.

Now finish the bottom edge of the pocket by serging or zig-zag, as it will show in the finished garment. When the bottom is done, I stay-stitch the top edge of the waist at one eighth inch laying down the both pocket pleat the pants pleat fabric towards the center. Then I stay-stitch the side seam of the pocket to the side seam of the pants. Do the same process to both pieces of the pants front.

Fourth, we will put the fronts together. With right sides together, sew the crotch fronts together along the line. I then do a tiny zig-zag along the crotch line to reinforce it, trimming off the excess seam allowance. The next part of the front can be a little tricky. Since men’s pants overlap from the left, you will fold the left side of the fly in so that the folded edge is flush with the center front of the pants. The right side of the fly will only be folded in .25″ so it will fall behind the front of the fly when finished. Topstitch both the folded edges down almost to the crotchline. Next, lay the pants front flat and topstitch from the stitching you just did to the center/crotch front seam. This will secure the bottom of the fly as shown.

Fifth, sew and finish the back crotch line. Then pin fronts and backs together, sewing & finishing the sideseams. Then finish and sew the hems.

Step six is to add the waistband. With right sides together, pin the center of the waistband to the center back of the pants. Continue pinning each side until you get to the center. Here is where you can trim off excess length of the waistband if you need to do so.Then fold ends in and stitch waistband to pants. Now fold under unsewn edge of waistband and either hand sew or machine sew edge inside the pants. All that’s left is to pin and sew/finish the inseam!

Ready for a fitting test!

Looks good! Now you’re ready to give it a try! If you would like to have the finished version of this pattern, I will be posting it in my “Free Stuff” tab and on my facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/missysimaginings

Enjoy & have a wonderful week! Catch’a later!

Another “Regular Day”

Greetings & Salutations, Internet-Land!

I had a college professor who used to say, “Learn to enjoy the ‘regular’ days.” That quote has become one of my “life staples.” So many times people live from “high” to “high,” and I don’t mean chemically. I mean emotionally ~ from event to event or holiday to holiday. OK, Christmas is over ~ what’s coming next? What do we do with all the days in between? Are they wasted away in anticipation of the next big thing? It seems a sad commentary to me. Instead, I have taken that old quote and made it my own. Just what can I squeeze out of TODAY? It’s not a holiday. There’s no big event. It’s just February 11, 2017.

So ~ I woke up at 6:15am. I usually get up at 3:45am, so for me it’s definitely “sleeping in!” I thought to myself, “What would I like to accomplish today?” My answer was to bring some fun and positivity to my world. Not many people regularly visit here, but for those who do, I want to bring a lift to your day. Find something you love today. Then share it with someone. It’s surprising what those small things can do to help others as much as ourselves. Just a note, phone call, or text to say, “I’m thinking of you today,” can mean so much. Today I will be working on Valentines for some of my old students.

So, to those of you who stop by my blog ~ Thank You! You are appreciated. I may not know you at all, but I would wish for you a smile and friendly greeting. I’m thinking of you today! And to add some fun, here is a new outfit for Maggie. As always, just “copy & paste” or “save as” to put into your favorite app for printing on 8.5×11 size paper. She also has a new outfit on my facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/missysimaginings

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

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Making It Better!

Happy wishes to you, Internet-Land! So ~ my last tutorial was about making a basic sheath style dress for Evangeline (January 8, 2017). As an alternative to the pattern we put together, I also added the variation of a V-style back on the gown. Well, any time I make a pattern, I want to put one together to make sure it works. It actually did, and I was happy with the “look,” but not quite satisfied with the mechanical aspects of the back facing pieces. I am all for making things better! Tonight I am posting the full pattern here with the REVISED V-style back facing piece. I will also add the revised images to my facebook page where the pattern was originally posted and in my “free stuff” tab here on the website. In the picture, you can see what needed tweaking. I made the length of the new pieces longer to run the full length of the open back for a more finished look without the bulky edge of the facing hem mid-way down the back opening. These pattern images are formatted to 8×11 size paper. Just “copy & paste” or “save as” to insert into your favorite app for printing. Wishing you all a super-duper week and happy sewing!

Winter Designs

Hello, hello, Internet-Land! I hope all is well with you this last day of January 2017. Can you believe it’s already been a whole month into the new year? My daughter said it was slow for her, but it’s gone by really fast for me. Just an update on my goofy hands situation. I am now waiting on a call from the surgeon. In the meantime, my hands are returning to their “normal” state of agitation, so I was happy to be able to finish a couple new Maggie outfits for you. As I look out my office window, I see through the bare branches of my curly willow tree. I mentioned on my facebook page that I love seeing the limbs against the winter sky. That view is what inspired these two new looks. Just click on the image, then right click to select “copy” or “save as” to move into your favorite app for printing. Maggie and her clothing pieces are formatted to 8.5×11 size paper. I will post it here, but will also post it on my “free stuff” tab.

The other outfit can be found on my facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/missysimaginings

To see more fun there, just click on “photos” to either  view “all photos” or select the album of choice. Wishing you a great February ~ Enjoy!

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