Do you prefer to come up with your own fabric concepts, or do you like to choose a fabric that matches the illustration on the front of a doll clothes pattern?
When I was younger, I used to scour my small town’s tiny fabric store for fabric that sort of matched what was in the illustration on the front of a pattern.
I’d make my first doll dress look as much like the original concept as possible, just as you see here:
Then I’d try making the same dress out of various other fabrics, creating new looks for the same pattern. Imagine my doll’s red floral dress made entirely of blue gingham, like the pinafore image you see on the right (below), for example.
As a young girl who was first learning to sew, this gave me a little experience with fabrics. Slowly I learned what types of fabrics worked best for what kinds of patterns.
I also learned how to adjust and/or alter a pattern to turn it into a slightly different dress. For example, in the image below, I’ve taken the same dress shown earlier and draped the neckline below the shoulders, for an off-the-shoulder look. Nothing has changed about the pattern or the dress; I’ve just figured out a way to make the same dress look a little different.
How do you get creative with your patterns? Do you start with a fabric that matches the illustration on the front of your pattern, before trying the same doll clothes pattern with other fabrics? Do you alter your patterns?
Please leave comments! Let’s see what we can learn from each other!
Note: the images show McCall’s Teen Doll Pattern #3429, published in 1972. It’s a pattern from my personal vintage collection, and the doll dress shown here is one I’ve been sewing to give to my niece, Emily, for Christmas this year. If you’d like to buy used patterns like this one online, I advise you to first read this older blog post which warns of the down side to buying used sewing patterns online.