Why bother buying a used pattern that’s missing pieces? Old Patterns => New Ideas @ ChellyWood.com #VintageSewing #VintagePatterns

The image shows Simplicity doll clothes pattern 4510. We see the cover of the pattern here with full-color images of the doll clothes patterns inside: a wedding dress with veil (looks to be the style of the early 1960's or late 1950's); a business suit with half sleeves on the jacket and a matching skit; a plaid dress with V-shaped front; an evening gown with straps and lace bodice; a shorter evening gown with an off-the-shoulder bodice; a swimsuit and striped swimsuit cover-up which looks like a boxy dress with mini-skirt-length ruffle. To join the discussion about this pattern, please visit ChellyWood.com

About a week ago, I found this pattern at a second hand store. It cost me only 50 cents (American), but it was missing all of the pattern pieces except three skirt pieces.

So why did I buy it?

There’s a lot more to a commercial pattern than just the pattern pieces!

For example, take a look at the drawn images of the doll clothes, shown below:

This is an open "page" from the instruction sheet for Simplicity doll clothes pattern number 4510, and it includes images of dolls modeling the whole wardrobe, plus a line drawing of each clothing item you can make using this pattern.

This wardrobe, in and of itself, can inspire ideas for creating a mix-and-match wardrobe of your own. We crafters tend to buy craft magazines for a lot more than 50 cents, for exactly the same purpose: inspiration!

But this pattern has a number of pieces that look familiar too. Look at the line-drawing of a doll dress below (View 3 from above):

The image shows a line drawing of the off-the-shoulder dress concept from Simplicity doll clothes sewing pattern 4510.

On my website, I have a pencil skirt pattern that’s very similar to the pieces needed to make this pattern’s view 3 pencil skirt:

The image shows a red cotton pencil-skirt dress with an opaque ribbon tied around the waist. The ribbon is also red with white polka dots. The straps on this pencil-skirt dress's bodice match the polka-dot ribbon tied around the dress's waist.

My website also offers free patterns for the overskirt version as well. Just have a look:

The image shows a Queens of Africa doll wearing a Valentine's Day dress. Her strapless dress fits 11-inch or 11.5-inch fashion dolls. The dress has a pencil skirt topped with a flouncy skirt. The fabric is pink with multi-colored hearts splattered across the fabric in random patterns. The watermark on this image tells you that ChellyWood.com offers free printable PDF sewing patterns and free tutorial videos.

Now what if we combined my one-shoulder bridal bodice with these skirts? Here’s my one-shoulder bridal bodice, just in case you’d forgotten:

Image shows a made-to-move Barbie from Mattel wearing a handmade wedding gown. The bodice of the gown, which is made of felt, covers one of the doll's shoulders, leaving the other exposed. The bodice is spotted with silver polka dots. The skirt is pure white and gathered, with a silvery rick-rack decorating the bottom of the skirting. Her tiny white flat shoes peek out from under the long wedding gown. She stands before a purple wall that has two simple windows looking out at a cloudy sky. The doll's hair is blond with curls, and the overlay says, "ChellyWood.com: FREE printable sewing patterns and more."

Are you starting to get the picture? So a person can purchase a vintage Barbie wardrobe without a single pattern inside it, but use the images on the cover and in the instructional pages to piece together their own version of the doll clothes that the vintage pattern once contained.

A person can also use the instruction booklet to help them formulate a new design concept. Just look at the images I’ve circled below:

Here we see each of the doll clothing items found in Simplicity doll clothes sewing pattern #4510 from the early 1960's. This vintage pattern includes a wedding dress with a train and veil, a half-sleeve jacket, a business skirt, and off-the-shoulder evening gown with short pencil skirt, an overskirt pattern which ties in the back, a day dress, a pair of underpants and bra (or 1950's style bikini), a super short swimsuit coverup with ruffle, and an evening gown with straps and lace bodice. The eye is drawn toward two doll clothing pieces: a hand drawing of a Barbie doll wearing the swimsuit coverup with ruffle and the item line drawing of the same garment.

This week’s brand new pattern here on ChellyWood.com was inspired by the swimsuit cover-up featured in this vintage Barbie pattern from Simplicity. But as you can see by the preview image below, my garment isn’t a swimsuit cover-up; it’s a short-skirted dress, and it’s not for Barbie dolls, but for Monster high or Ever After High dolls:

The image shows Monster High's Draculaura (doll) modeling a pretty dress in white cotton with red pinstripes and thicker red stripes running top-to-bottom across the majority of the dress, imitative of a peppermint candy with its stripes. The doll dress's sleeves are red and there's a flared ruffle-skirt at the bottom of this dress which comes to just above the doll's pretty pink knees. Her shoes match, and if you follow this website, the patterns and tutorial video for making the shoes was actually posted on ChellyWood.com last week. They are a red and white pair of Mary Jane style shoes with an elastic strap. They match the dress wonderfully!

In the image below, you can see how the line drawing of the swimsuit cover-up really inspired my new Monster High dress pattern, the dress I’ll be posting patterns for this week. I’m calling it my “Peppermint Candy Dress”!

This image shows a close-up drawing of a doll wearing the swimsuit coverup found in Simplicity vintage Barbie doll clothes pattern #4510.

I made a few deliberate changes though. The original swimsuit cover-up had darts, but I knew that if I gave the dress darts, it wouldn’t look as good on a Mattel Stacie doll because these “little girl” dolls don’t have a bosom.

So here’s the dress on Stacie, to show you what I mean:

This photo shows Mattel's 9 inch Stacie doll wearing a handmade dress, designed and sewn by Chelly Wood, the doll clothing designer, YouTuber, and writer. The dress itself looks a lot like a peppermint candy, with red and white stripes running vertically. There's a solid red skirt at the bottom of the dress, and this skirt forms a ruffle that goes from the dress's dropped waist to just above Stacie's knee. There are also solid red cap sleeves. The doll wears tiny plastic white flat shoes. Her hair is drawn back in a barrette. She looks to her right slightly, and the background is a splotchy turquoise blue which contrasts nicely with the red and white of the handmade dress. For the free printable sewing patterns and tutorial videos to make this dress, please go to ChellyWood.com

Furthermore, I didn’t use the actual pattern shape shown in the pattern layout guide in this Simplicity doll clothes pattern 4510. Instead, I took a look at the layout guide shown below and used this image to help me decide which of the patterns that I already owned (and that I knew would fit these dolls) was closest to the shape of this layout’s template:

Today’s blog post offers an overview of how vintage patterns sometimes inspire my pattern making. I know a lot of you would like to be able to design your own doll clothes patterns too.

In fact, some of you have asked me how things are going with my book publishing endeavors. We still don’t have a publisher, but my agent, Elizabeth Kracht, has submitted my book proposal to a publisher I’m excited and hopeful about working with.

Maybe you’ve heard of C & T Publishing? They make lots of crafting books, including Erin Hentzel’s wonderful pattern books with designs and sewing tips for 18-inch dolls like the American Girl dolls. I’ve always longed to reach the level of publishing success that Erin Hentzel has reached, so I’m hoping the editor at C & T Publishing really likes my book proposal!

Once published, Easy Doll Clothes Design Techniques (my tentative title) will teach all of you my three easy techniques for taking an idea like this week’s “Peppermint Candy Dress” and turning the concept into an actual pattern!

In the meantime, I can only offer little tiny nuggets of information about what inspires me when I’m designing my doll clothes patterns. Hopefully this is enough to give you guys a sampling of what’s to come when my book finally makes its debut!

Here we see the Chelly Wood doll (a Spin Master Liv doll that has been re-made to look like the doll clothing designer, YouTuber, and writer, Chelly Wood) holding up Simplicity doll clothes pattern 4510.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns and tutorial videos showing how to make doll clothes for dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.


2 thoughts on “Why bother buying a used pattern that’s missing pieces? Old Patterns => New Ideas @ ChellyWood.com #VintageSewing #VintagePatterns

  1. Chelly,
    you are wonderful, you are very smart. We are so fortune to have you in our lives. Thank you .GOD BLESS YOU.

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