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