Archive for September, 2014

Over the past couple of years making lots of 18″ doll clothes we have discovered a few tools and tricks that make all the difference when sewing 18″ Doll Clothes.


Fuse 'n Gather

Fuse ‘n Gather

This amazing product is a fusible gathering tape that lets you create gathers or ruffles effortlessly. Simply iron the pre-stitched fusible  tape on the wrong side of the fabric where you would like the gathers.

Ironing the Fuse 'n Gather Tape

Ironing the Fuse ‘n Gather Tape

Gently pull the blue threads and you get perfectly spaced gathers every time. They pull so easily that you will never want to stitch your own basting stitches again!

Gathered Princess Peplum

Gathered Princess Peplum

The best part of this product you don’t have to worry about pulling out those basting stitches when you are done. They are hidden from view on the wrong side of you project. We use this handy tape on any of our 18″ doll outfits that requires gathering. It is especially helpful on the Princess Costume!

Let's Pretend: Princess Costumes

Let’s Pretend: Princess Costumes



One of our favorite new tools is the Hold It Precision Stiletto from Joan Hawley and Clover.

Hold It Precision Stiletto


This is the most versatile stiletto that we have ever used. One end is made out of heat-resistant silicone and is perfect for pressing seams open. Especially the tiny seam on doll clothes. Just think… no more burned fingertips!

Pressing seams open with the heat resistant stiletto.

Pressing seams open with the heat-resistant stiletto.

The other end, your more traditional stiletto point, is great for guiding fabric when sewing. Perfect for holding pieces in place while keeping your fingers clear from the fast-moving needle. The innovate curved tip also makes it so that you have the greatest visibility when sewing.

Sewing with the more traditional stiletto end.

Sewing with the more traditional stiletto end.

One last great advantage to this handy tool is its overall design. It fits perfectly in your hand- not to small- so no hand strain after hours of sewing. This tool never strays far from our machines- well, unless it is over at the pressing board.



While our next tip is a bit more of an investment, it is definitely worth it. We have a couple different mini ironing boards that we have picked up over the years and they have proven to be very useful in making doll clothes and other small projects. Makes sense right? A mini ironing board for mini clothes! Using one of these boards does wonders when pressing collars, sleeves, etc. Just slip them over the end of the board and you get a perfect press every time.

Mighty Mini Ironing Board

Mighty Mini Ironing Board

Mini ironing boards have been a little tricky to find. Recently Joan Hawley worked with Clover to develop the Mighty Ironing Board as part of her Press Perfect line of tool (the same line that includes the Stiletto from #2).

While it  is a bit larger (4 inches wide) than some of the other boards that we have tried, it does have the best construction and is very sturdy when you are working with it. And the best part, the cover is washable and replaceable! It is definitely one to consider.



Last but not least, our favorite closure for all of our doll clothes- Hook and Loop Tape! While we do use snaps of buttons every once in a while when the style of the outfit calls for something different, we use hook and loop tape for nearly all of our doll clothes.

It is the easiest for us to apply and also the easiest for children to use during dress up. A hook and loop closure makes the doll clothes so easy to put on and take off and it  holds up well after hours of play time. You won’t be loosing any buttons or pulling off any snaps.

Colored Hook and Loop Tape

Colored Hook and Loop Tape

We even have a whole stash of colored hook and loop so that we can coordinate it with the outfit- sometimes black or white just won’t do. It also makes it less noticeable when the colors coordinate, even if they don’t match exactly. We also don’t worry about the width of the hook and loop tape that we buy- we simply trim it down to about 1/2″ or smaller depending on the outfit or garment.


We hope these tools and tips eliminate some of the frustration in your sewing. Whether it is 18″ doll clothes or another sewing/quilting projects it is so important to find those little things that make life a little easier.

Happy Sewing!

Sharon and Michelle

P.S. All of these products can be found at your Local Quilt Shop or sewing supply store. We also have some of them available on our Website.


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There is no denying it… Fall is upon us!

Stores are setting up their Halloween and Harvest displays and my Pinterest feed is filled with great ideas and recipes for my favorite season. While the weather hasn’t quite changed yet here in the Pacific Northwest, I am so ready. Bring on the rainy days, hot cocoa, late night sewing and baked apple anything!

In honor of the arrival of Fall and with Halloween just around the corner we are unveiling TWO new Let’s Play Dolls panels from Andover Fabrics– a Princess and a Rock Star doll costumes. Perfect for dressing up on October 31st or anytime during the rest of the year.

Princess and Rock Star

Let’s Pretend: Rock Star and Princess Costumes

Each costume comes in a PINK and an AQUA colorway, and the aqua princess reminds us of a certain “frosty” princess that is all the rage these days.

New Princess and Rock Star Outfits

Like all of our Let’s Play Dolls panels, both costumes fit most 18″ dolls and we have step-by-step picture tutorials posted on our website should you get stuck while you are sewing. They also each come with a great accessory to complete the look. The Rock Star panel comes with a Zebra print headband that can also be used as the perfect hair tie. The Princess panel comes with an adorable little crown that you can decorate with rhinestones and glitter to really make it shine.

Let’s Pretend: Princess Panel in Pink

Each of the Let’s Pretend panels are available at local quilt shops (find one near you HERE) and Online. Watch for a helpful tutorial using one of our favorite notions here on the blog- it will definitely come in handy while you are stitching up the Princess dress. Now time to get back to sewing!

Enjoy the Arrival of Fall!


P.S. We have added some adorable shoes and accessories to our website that match the costumes perfectly. Be sure to check them out.

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