Monday, February 1, 2010

My Newest Garment Sewing Client

I'm sewing for someone besides myself now. Mostly, this client likes to experiment with unusual garment techniques, and loves to try oddball outfits, just to see how they look. And since she's so tiny, her outfits don't require much fabric.

Here she is, in her sloper:

Yes, that is a headless "My Size Barbie"! I had often heard how this doll was a perfect half-size dress form for practicing new sewing techniques. I'd been watching eBay for one to come across that wasn't in "perfect" condition, and I got a very good deal on this one since the head was in sad shape. No matter; I removed the head because I didn't want this creepy doll staring at me in the sewing room.

The muslin was generated by taking the doll's measurements, multiplying them by 2, and entering them into the PatternMaster Boutique program as a new client. Then I generated the pattern and printed it in half-scale. This gave me a perfect pattern for the doll!

Side view:

She really leans forward when standing on her own (flat!!) feet; I will have to construct some sort of stand to keep her securely upright. But her side seam is nice and straight!

Back view:
In getting the sloper onto her, I also learned that I need to allow a much more generous zipper opening. I had to unpick about 2" of the back seam to be able to get the sloper on.

For a first try, it's not bad. I do need to adjust the bust point (forgot to do that -- it's one of the things I often forget about), but the rest of it looks pretty good.

My intention is to try out new techniques and designs in half-scale before I take the time to make them for myself. Her proportions aren't anything like mine (darn it), but I'm not really looking to test styles. Rather, I want to try out things from books like this:

I picked these up at Kinokuniya in New York (their sewing section is fabulous). All the examples in these books are done up in half-scale.

I'm especially interested in trying out this sleeve:

This intrigued me so much that I asked a friend to translate the text on the page, just so I had all the information. Like many Japanese tailoring books, most of the information is conveyed with diagrams and photos, but I didn't want to be left in the dark when I tried this.

So, this Headless Barbie will be one of the best-dressed dolls in Maryland!!


  1. Welmoed, I love this idea. Please post your attempts (I know you will). I made some half size garments with PMB a few years ago as samples for a class I was going to teach. I wonder where they are now?

  2. I won't say that you are a genious, but ... you are a genious. I thought it was such a good idea that I found a Life Size Barbie here in town and bought her. Do you know if the My Size Barbie and the Life Size Barbie are the same size? Could you be pursuaded to give me the measurement set you entered into PMB for your doll?


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