Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sewing Revisited

At some point I decided to once again try sewing clothes for my Sylvanian Family members. I figured with my substantial increase in sewing knowledge and practice since I was 12, maybe I could sew something that actually looked good.

I sketched out a pattern for a dress, a pair of pants, a skirt, and a top. The dress was probably the simplest and consists of a bodice and a skirt. The bodice is a pretty typical Sylvanian Family shirt, but the skirt is a partial circle.
The pattern came out relatively well, but I had some difficulty turning the edges under to finish the hems nicely. Hence the blanket stitch along the edges.

The pants required several iterations, mostly because Sylvanian Family members have fixed feet, so the waist hole needs to expand large enough to go over their feet.

For the skirt I was aiming for a Late Victorian or Edwardian style skirt with a slight train. The fabric I was testing this with was far too bulky, and the waistband came out a bit small. The first attempt is in the picture below and has the pink waistband. I revised the pattern by making it slightly larger, and making the train longer. I also added an elastic band to gather the train at the center back, which enabled the skirt to stretch over the feet while pulling it on. I picked a lighter weight cotton (probably quilting weight) for the second attempt, but the ribbon I chose for the waistband was still too bulky.
To go with the Edwardian style skirt, I wanted a shirt that was more bodice like. The shoulder strap sizing was a little off, and there was no good way to place snap or button closures.
Despite the problems with this shirt, I rather like it. I will be making an attempt to fix it in the future.


  1. These are lovely! I'm not too good at sewing for these little critters; my eyesight has grown much worse since I turned the big 4-0 (and I am older than that already, haha). Just thinking of all those tiny stitches is enough to give me a headache. You, however, make it look so easy. Great job! Perhaps you could share your patterns next time?


  2. Nice stitching! You are a great sewer! I however am not, But I will at least try to make tiny dresses half as well as you :)Can't wait to see more from your blog!

  3. To help with seeing small stitching and details, get one of the 'daylight' lamps. I picked up a generic desk-lamp one at a hardware store (Home Depot) for around $20-$30; I have no idea how it compares to an Ott light, however. Also, some embroiderers use a table or lap stand magnifying glass; I haven't gotten one yet, but I may need to for some of the knitting I was doing (it was a lot of guess and hope it came out right).

    My current plan is to make some patterns available, once I feel confident about them.

  4. Love what you did! I have been looking for patterns for clothes for my daughters calico critters/sylvanian families and have had no luck! I hope you feel confident soon about the patterns! They look great!

  5. any patterns available yet? Would love to buy some to make doll clothes for Christmas presents.

  6. I would also like to know if you have any patterns

  7. That is really good! I have made some sleeping bags for Sylvanians and capes and hats but i have never been able to actually make clothes for them! Could you post some lifesize patterns please? I have made a picture book with Sylvanians too so i wish you luck!