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Sewing for dolls

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This topic contains 177 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Pamela Elliott 3 years, 3 months ago.

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    This thread is becoming extremely long and hard to follow, can we please have a new one Pam?

    Perhaps “Sewing for Dolls #2” or maybe breaking it down into sections for specific dolls.


    Peggy Stuart

    I’ve learned so much about color from these little sweaters. There’s a light blue that has a lavender cast to it. Next to blue, it looks like lavender. Next to purple, it looks blue. It’s fascinating. The same thing happens with fabrics.
    When I pick out my colors, I usually divide up the lighter colors into three groups that seem to have something in common and then work with them one group at a time. I rotate the colors through the motifs (A-B-C-B-A-B-C). I think it’s good to have some kind of organization.
    Sorry, I guess this is off-topic. We should have been discussing it in the knitting thread. It does apply to sewing, though.


    Pamela Elliott

    Oh Peggy, that is really helpful and I can see the colours better on the photo of Dolly too. I am going to have to use what yarn I have, so I will spend this week playing with colours and then start next week. I am getting quite excited!

    I am going to print out your instructions as I am not very good on screen for long as it gives me headaches.

    Your instructions will make it so much easier – I didn’t know where to start with so many colours/shades needed. Now I will start with the main colour 🙂

    Thanks again… really appreciate your help.


    Peggy Stuart

    Sorry, I’ve been out all afternoon. You’re probably in bed. Even if you’re already picked your colors, I have some suggestions for whenever you get started.
    Contrast is more important than the colors. If you don’t have enough contrast, your motifs will look mushy. That’s OK in places, like the outside or the center of a motif, but you want the design to show up.
    You will see that the charts are black and white. That’s so you can pick your own or use one of the other row-by-row color lists. (There are four, and they are interchangeable from one size to the next.) The black squares represent darker color(s) and the white squares are the lighter ones. If you aren’t sure if some are lighter or darker, you take a picture of the yarn and convert it to black and white. The contrast will show up then.
    You can change both colors in each round, but I like to use one dark color and a variety of light colors. The ribbing can be the same as the background or I’ll sometimes pick one of the lighter colors. You don’t have to cut your main (dark) color from the time you start until you get to the shoulder if you do that. It isn’t a big deal, though, because most of the tails will get cut off, so there’s little weaving in.
    I usually stick with shades of the same color within one motif. I like to have 2-3 shades of the same color and start with either the lightest or the darkest shade working toward the middle and then back out again. I’ll work a row or two of one yarn and then switch to the next. I like to have a round of the darker color between the motifs unless the motif already has a round of darker yarn at the top and bottom.
    Motifs should be smaller than for a human-size project, something to keep in mind if you change the motifs. If you do that, you probably want to center them, so you’ll have to figure out how many times the stitch count for the motif pattern repeat goes into the number of stitches in the round and divide up the stitches for the partial round between the beginning and the end.
    Tell Karen to get the pattern for Vroni’s Lavender Fields to fit the Gotz girls. If you want one of the other color lists, from the green or the blue version, she can copy just that page. The one I did with pinks and purples has a row-by-row listing on the project page, and the one with black, fuchsia, green and gold has just a listing of the colors I used, but I used different motifs for it. (Some of them were Starmore’s motifs, so I wasn’t sure I could get permission to use them, and I knew I would have to.)
    Here are the versions I’ve done so far.

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    Pamela Elliott

    I think I am going to spend some time this evening looking at colours. It will be a huge achievement for me if I could knit your sweater, but I also know if I don’t choose the colours wisely it could look a mess… as a quilter in a previous life I know how important colour is. I have been in classes where we all made the same quilt pattern and some looked wonderful and others less so… it was all about colour, shade and tone.
    I will see what I have in Palette full balls and part balls.


    Peggy Stuart

    Palette was what I used, although any 4-ply should work. Cotton and other slick fibers are harder to do steeks in, although you can still use them, you just have to be more careful with the machine sewing of the steek stitches. I’m not sure the crochet method of stabilizing steeks before cutting would work with a slick yarn.


    Pamela Elliott

    I try to give a lot away too, but I don’t have many people to give to!
    Thanks so much for the tutorial. You are a star… I must see what yarn I will need. I have a lot of autumn colours in Palette – I wonder if they will work?


    Peggy Stuart

    I have to keep knitting, because I keep giving the sweaters and outfits away. :-}
    I sent you the link to the tutorial (non-Ravelry version) in a PM. Feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested.


    Pamela Elliott

    I always have some dolly knitting on the go and always a pair of socks. The whole family love knitted socks!

    Oh I am just the same… I have to dress the dolls according to the season and if it gets cold I just have to go round putting cardigans on them all even in the summer.

    Thank you! I appreciate that!


    Peggy Stuart

    I think doll clothes are perfect knitting projects for summer…like socks. I guess trying sweaters on your dolls when it’s hot might make you feel too warm, though. It’s like the reason I had to knit warm sweaters for my girls when it was cold. I look at them, and if they aren’t wearing something I would be comfortable in, it makes me uncomfortable. I’ll see if I can get the tutorial duplicated in an extra blog post, though. Then it will be there whenever you are ready.

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