Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quick and Easy Clothes

I've always made clothes for my Sylvanian Families, as far back as I can remember anyway. I had an entire cookie tin full of clothes for them. Now that I look back at the clothes I made, I wonder why I didn't do a better job with my sewing, but at the time I was mostly just happy to have several changes of outfits for each critter. (Or rather, each girl had a handful of outfits, and the boys only had a couple; I never did figure out how to sew a pair of pants for them when I was young.)

So how do you expand their wardrobe in a quick and easy way? Pre-gathered trim, ribbons or binding lace, elastic, and fabric markers. And the smallest snaps or hooks-and-eyes you can find.

All my skirts were formed from pre-gathered trim. Here's an example. Take a piece of pre-gathered (cotton) eyelet trim: (This is actually the inside of the finished skirt, but it shows the type of trim.)
Now take some fabric markers and decorate the front side of the lace. (This should be the side that naturally bulges out.) If you can't find fabric markers (the ones I had were basically a felt tip permanent pen) Sharpie markers would probably work; just make sure whatever you use is permanent and doesn't bleed when it gets damp.

If desired, take a narrow piece of lace and attach on top of the eyelet trim along the waist (the gathered side). Then sew on a hook on one edge of the lace and an eye on the other; or use snaps. And that's it; you now have a new skirt:
If you want to finish the edges off so they don't fray constantly, turn under each end of the lace about 1/8" (1/8 inch) and stitch down; do this before sewing the snaps or hooks on. I didn't bother when I was young, and the edges on many of the skirts definitely suffered.

But she's topless! Many of the clothes the sister critters come with also suffer from this problem. I gave all my girls shawls. Nothing so fancy (or nice) as Grandma Timbertop's shawl, but they did get shawls. This was the basic shawl I made for them:
Its a length of picot ribbon, with a snap on each end to close it after wrapping around their neck. This was one of my 'fancier' ones, and has a blue thread woven through the picots to add some color.

What about the boys? Well, as I mentioned earlier, I was never successful at making them pants (not that I didn't try), but I did make them jackets (vests, really). Take a piece of basic white elastic, cut a couple holes for their arms, and decorate with fabric markers.
If they are modern day figures and can rotate their arms back, then you don't really need the stretchiness of the elastic. Take a piece of felt (or bias tape or ribbon) and cut a rectangle and some arm holes. On this one I also trimmed an angle by the throat:

These methods formed the basis for most of my entire early wardrobe.

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