A little success goes a long way

Written on July 19, 2010 at 11:45 am by Michelle
Filed under: Musings with tags:

Occasionally, I get a ‘what on earth am I doing?’ feeling when I’m sewing. Especially when it’s on a machine and I haven’t touched it in a few months (or, erm, years?). But then I find a pattern that I want to try, and it has great and clear instructions and I happened to have a new iron that’s not finicky and doesn’t make me want to throw it out the window along with some new fabric that I actually think is cute. Then I decide to give the whole ‘sewing thing’ another try, and I end up with something like this:

Empire dress #1

And while it’s not the fanciest dress ever, and everyone else has probably already tried and been successful with the pattern, it was an accomplishment for me because I followed the pattern, sewed the neckline and it didn’t come out looking wonky, and (best of all) it fits! Which is the most important part, of course.

I looked up a lot of sewing tips too, mainly on Plastic Paradise. I used a fray-stopping product on all the raw edges, I ironed the fabric before cutting, I ironed the bodice piece after inverting it and the hems for the skirt portion before sewing. I even snipped along the curved parts on the bodice so it would curve better. All in all, I think I may have caught the sewing bug!

I used the Blythe Empire Dress pattern from Puchi Collective.

Sew With Me – Part 1

Written on July 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm by Guest Author
Filed under: Article with tags: ,

This is a guest post by Mama Lisa. If you’re interested in contributing and writing for, click here for more information.

The Blythes are sitting on their shelf just staring at you. From their perch they continue to whisper “We need clothes!”. The last time they started this chant you promised them you’d make them something new. Problem is, you haven’t sewn in ages and never for Blythe. Now what do you do? Don’t panic! You are not alone! Getting back into sewing can be intimidating. Learning how to sew can be daunting. Converting your sewing skills from human size to Blythe size can be downright scary!

Getting Started

Let’s talk about getting started. After finding that perfect Blythe pattern on the internet or purchasing the new Simplicity Blythe pattern, you will need to acquire the items required to make your first garment. Whether you sew by hand or by machine, there are basic items you will need in your sewing room in order to be a successful Blythe seamstress. The items listed below are available at any fabric store. However, many of the “big box” stores also carry these items and the prices many times are lower than the fabric stores. Your best bet will be to print out the list and shop around for the best prices. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Check List

  • Fabric: If you know anyone who sews see if they would be willing to give you several scraps of material large enough for your first project. If you need to purchase material, 1/4th of a yard will be more than enough to get your started. Fabric stores now carry Fat Quarters of precut material which are 18” X 22” and are great for sewing for Blythe.
  • Scissors: One medium pair for cutting material and one small pair for snipping threads as you sew. They need to be very sharp and used only for fabric in your sewing room.
  • Thread: Do not use old thread. It will break and tangle and drive you crazy. Purchase new thread that matches your first project. You can stock up on basic colors as you need them.
  • Needles: Purchase new needles for your sewing machine. Make sure they are the type that your sewing machine uses. You will also need hand sewing needles even if you use a sewing machine.
  • Pins: Large head plastic or glass pins are the best to use. The old silver head pins that you get out of clothes from a store will not work. They are too thick and dull for sewing.
  • Tape Measure: A nice traditional yellow one will do. However, my favorite to use is a thinner style that also has metric measurements.
  • Fray Check: This will help keep those small seam allowances from fraying. Aleene’s Fray Stop is also a great product.
  • Elastic: 1/8th inch in white or black
  • Snaps: Everyone has their favorite size snaps. It would be best to get a card of snap in multiple sizes (1 through 4) until you find the perfect size for you.
  • Buttons: 1/4th to ½ inch buttons in multiple colors would be best. You can get packages of these in the button aisle.
  • Trim Ribbon, Ric Rack, lace, etc.: You can use just about anything you want for trim. Use your imagination and look for sale items.
  • Clear Shoe Box: The plastic clear shoe box with a good lid will make a great place to store your notions.

Having the right tools makes any job easier. These notions can be purchased all at once or several at a time. They will be used in most Blythe sewing projects and are a good investment. Now, wasn’t that easy? Next week we will discuss cutting out your pattern and setting up your sewing machine.

Can’t wait for you to Sew With Me,
Mama Lisa

About the Author: Mama Lisa started sewing over 40 years ago. After discovering Blythe, her natural love for sewing came in handy making clothes her dolls. Several collectors encouraged her to sell the doll garments she made and Darling Dolly was born. The articles in this column are from her forthcoming book entitled “Sew With Me.” Enjoy your sneak preview! You can check out Mama Lisa’s work at Darling Dolly and Mama Lisa Designs.

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