Saturday, November 22, 2014

Puff Dolly & the Quilted Northerns




Anyone living in the temperate zone knows that winter is not far away. In fact, if you're in the U.S. it arrived a bit early. Here in Paris, we are having one if the mildest November's on record. But still, the temperatures have started to dip and the Parisians are out en masse, with their "doudounes:" parkas, bomber jackets and quilted coats.






I have wanted to do this post since last year. However, I could not find quilted material scaled to the doll's proportions. I finally found a quilted material in just the right (doll) scale at "Reine" one of the Marché St. Pierre's big fabric stores. Chances are you won't be so lucky, so let me share my idea.






Typically, the stitching marks off square inches (25mm). Cut off the amount of fabric you need for your complete outfit. Then stitch midway in between the squares! I will warn you that this material--consisting of two layers--was not the easiest to manipulate. Also, you might want to add a bit more ease in your patterns for a looser fit.






For the parka, I used the basic jacket/coat pattern. Click here for the draft. I added a hood. You'll find it here. I added elastic at the waist on the inside of the jacket. First the elastic to fit the doll's waist. Pin each end to the opening of the jacket. Find the midpoint of the jacket and that of the elastic and pin. Now stretch the elastic in between the pins and pin again. I made two rows of stitches. Stretch the elastic as you sew so it lays flat against the jacket and stitch in place. I used hook & eyes to close and a bit of fur to trim the hood.




Here's what this looks like front to back.






The quilted coat uses the same pattern but in a longer length. I also applied a stand up collar.






Use a single strip of fabric the width of the neckline + 1/4" (3mm) by 1-1/4" (30mm) long. Stitch to neckline then topstitch. (A)






Turn down and stitch the opening of the coat from the edges of the collar to the hem. Clip out a square where the collar will fold over itself (B). This is to eliminate bulk. Topstitch. If you have done this correctly, the collar will cover slightly the seam where it meets the neckline on the inside of the coat (C). Topstitch. I used a snap (size 1) to close the collar and hooks & eyes (size 1) to close the coat.






The bomber jacket was made using the bodice sloper. Ignore the darts. (Before proceeding, stop and make the hood.) Drop the armhole by 1/4" (3mm). Square off the sides and bottom as shown.









This jacket has raglan sleeves. Draw a curved line from the middle of the armhole to the middle of the neckline. Label the points as shown. Cut off and place to the side. Now, extend the CF by 1/2" (12mm). Repeat on the back sloper, being careful to label the points as shown. Cut away. Finally, take your sleeve pattern and place those shoulder bits against the top, placing each one's armhole against the top of the sleeve on each side of the center seam. (Be sure to note the front and back of your sleeve so that you'll attach it correctly to the jacket.) Note there is a dart at the top of the sleeve.



Add seam allowance.






Exceptionally, stitch the sides of the jacket first. Then stitch the dart, then the underarm seam of the sleeve. Match the fronts to backs, right side to right side and stitch together.






For the knit trim, I cut off a cuff from a sock the width of the doll's lower waist. You can also take a bit of thin knit and fold in half. Close up the ends with stitches.






Just as you did with the elastic, stretch the knit and pin to the bottom of the jacket. Stretch flat to the jacket as you stitch in place. Use a hook & eye to hold closed.






This is what this looks like front to back.






Leave as is or add fur trim around the hood and cuffs. By the way, Joan's got matching spats.






The men's jacket uses a basic jacket pattern. To give this a bit more bulk; I straighted the lines at the side so that the jacket doesn't hug the silhouette. I've added a stand up collar in the same fashion as I did for the woman's coat. You're probably noticing how the sleeves have extensions at the hem. This is because Xavier is my first FR Homme doll and I miscalculated the length of his arms!! He's also more muscular than Ken which is why the sleeves are fitting him somewhat tight. Xavier has matching mocassins which, when I get this pattern a bit more pefected, I'll share with you later.



Keep warm!




Don't feel like using elastic? The belt the jacket for the same look!



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16 comments:

  1. Wonderful fashions April! as usual the tutorials are "rays of light" in my sewing life!
    I love Xavier! he's gorgeous! and yes FR guys are quite taller and more muscular than Ken, I look forward for the mocassins pattern, because the guys here need MORE SHOES!
    Kisses, Billa

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    1. Thank you, Billa. I'm so used to working with Ken dolls that when I saw the sleeve I originally made for Xavier, I thought, that can't be right. It's enormous. But when I saw how much his shoes cost...from that point on I started studying men's shoes & how I might recreate them for the doll. Stay tuned!!! Big hugs!!!

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  2. I just love all of these coats. I will have to try my hand at making some of them since the weather here is already frigid! Look forward to seeing how you made Xavier's shoes too.

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    1. Thank you Phyllis. The patterns are really simple. Just take your time when putting the garment together because quilteds are tricky to work with. On the other hand, there is another post I did last year that might interest your dolls. "Our Furry Friends." (12/26/13)

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  3. Great coats. So much detail! Did you do most of the sewing by hand? I too am looking forward to Xavier's shoes. I just got two male doll with the largest feet on the planet. They have to share the same pair of shoes!

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    1. Thank you KMQ. While in Paris, which is where I am right now, I don't have a sewing machine so I have to hand sew. The secret: use a back stitch for strength. And yes, my new guy has big feet too. He can't share with the Ken dolls & his shoes are quite expensive. That's why I have to work on a good pattern before he's allowed to invite his friends over!!! Big hugs.

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  4. Sharp! All of this advice helps when doing the same for a humanscale 'puffer'. I have grown weary of the boring quilting on my vests, and have resewn them into more interesting patterns (THEN pulled the first lines of stitching).

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    1. Thank you. My studies were in fashion design so there is always a connection with full scale pattern drafting & construction. I just simplify them to suit the scale of the doll and to keep it easy for the novice. I do like your idea to modify the grid with more creative stitching!!!

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  5. These coats are great! That fabric is a real find! I love the spats too, and the shoes, awesome :-). Great tutorial!!! xx

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    1. Thank you, Night Owl. I had a lot of fun with this project even though working with a metallic-coated, quilted fabric proved to be a challenge. Big hugs.

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  6. so wonderful! You must be very talented and patient, with that fur and fabric... not the most easy to sew in big scale, and definatitely small scale must be difficult!
    The fashion you have created look exactly like what russian women wear here... finnish girls do like the same style, but it's always black they choose as the basic color... it's very dull, when winters are dark to start with in the North...

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  7. Merineiti, thank you for your kind words and welcome to my blog. I'm happy you enjoy these fashions. Though I took courses in Russian language in high school, I've never been to Russia. Thank you for sharing information about how women dress in your part of the world.

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  8. Hello from Spain: fabulous creations. Nice jackets and outerwear. Great job. Keep in touch

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  9. Well......I thought it was a catchy name in spite of its toilet paper implications!!!!

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