Friday, March 21, 2014

GiGi's favorite doll sewing and craft accessories

I decided to share some of my personal sewing tool/accessories and items I prefer when making doll clothes, accessories and crafts.  Most of these items comes from Hobby Lobby, Joann's or your local sewing machine dealer.

When I first began sewing doll clothes for my granddaughters - if you haven't read my profile I only started sewing in 2012. I purchased a machine that was a combo sewing machine and embroidery machine.  I didn't know how to do either.  I purchased several doll patterns that comes with video tutorials from Rosie's Doll Clothes. I also watched several YouTube videos tutorials from Diane Morello (Scoresheet1) on YouTube for 18 inch or AG doll clothes.

I downloaded the free T-shirt pattern from Liberty Jane Clothing (now known as Pixie Faire) and I was hooked on sewing doll clothes for my granddaughters. Then several coworkers wanted to buy doll clothes from me and that is how I started sewing and selling doll clothes.

YouTube tutorials on sewing doll clothes, Diane Morello, Liberty Jane clothing, and kkcollect. My Froggy Stuff has a few doll clothing/bedding tutorials too. I have all of their videos pinned on separate pinterest boards.

I buy a lot of patterns online/Etsy.  I also purchase store bought patterns.  I think I own almost every one from McCalls and Simplicity. I have an addiction when it comes to buying doll patterns.

My first and foremost item is my bodkin. I first seen this item used on a video tutorial that I purchased from Rosie's Doll Clothes. I use it to pull elastic through pants and skirts.  I dislike using a safety pin and pulling the elastic through.  This tool makes it a lot faster and easier.
 Flexible bodkin.  This is great for pulling elastic through where you must sew your casing with leaving a small opening.  I use this in doll shirts that have elastic around the neck. McCalls has a pattern for this shirt.
I have several rulers.  I like the clear plastic one (got free from a pharmaceutical rep when I worked for a doctor) when drawing patterns on cardstock.  Then I have the wooden one I purchased from Office Depot.
 Here is my cutting board mat and large clear plastic ruler with various measurements. 
Three size tube turners - purchased this at JoAnn's Fabric.  I got this at 50% off.  I try to buy when on sale or when I can use a coupon.
Love these small clippers.  I keep this right next to my machine when I am sewing and in the drawer when I am not using.  They are razor sharp. So, if you have grandkids that are curious please keep out of site. 
 These are the scissors I use when I embroider.  Allows me to get really close to fabric and snip threads.  They are from Gingher.
 These are some other scissors I use on embroidery. Stork brand (I think).
These are my scissors and my recycled holder.  I had to buy a new dishwasher last week and my husband took out the utensil holder from the old one and asked me if I could use it for something.  I said yes I can.  I can put all of my scissors and rotary cutters in it.  I had been putting them in the drawer next to my sewing machine. Works great.
 I had seen several pins on Pinterest for using metal washers as pattern weights when cutting fabric.  The ones I had seen had wrapped fabric or ribbon around the washer for more of a decorative finish look.  I didn't want to do that to mine. I love these.  You can buy different sizes at your local hardware store like Lowe's, or Home Depot.  I purchased two sizes. I think they work great for doll clothes patterns.
These are some small clips I purchased to use instead of pins.  Some fabrics show pin marks and these also work great for hold material on my embroidery machine.
 You might wonder why I have two magnetic pin holders.  I keep one on my cutting table when I cutting fabric and pinning and the other one is kept by my sewing machine for when I need to remove the pins and put them in a safe they don't end up of the counter or floor. 

How do I store my PDF patterns that I purchase online and print.  I use a three ring notebook, clear protector sheets, cardstock.  I print off the pattern.  I then print the pattern pieces onto card stock (keeping originals with the pattern) and then I cut out the pattern that I printed on the cardstock and place in clear protector sheets to keep them organized and with the pattern. 
 Here in the note book behind the front cover is where I store patterns that I had to make on my own. some of the patterns you buy, gives you instructions and gives the measurements of the pattern for you to cut out.  I will either cut them out on cardstock and if the pattern is larger than the size of the cardstock I use poster board and store them. 
 Here is a pattern printed on cardstock and cut out and placed inside of a protector sheet.  The pattern is from  Luv U Bunches - it is their doll scrub pattern.  I really like how they print their patterns. Print is clear and large enough to see.  They use color in their patterns too.
I have two OttLite - one desk and one floor standing.  I love using these lights when sewing.  I have the floor model next to when I cut fabric and the other one setting on my counter in between the sewing machine and serger.
 I learned a tip/trick when ironing.  Hems on doll clothes turning 1/4 inch after you have serged the fabric and ironing can be challenging.  I read a tip on misting the fabric with water before ironing and it helps keep fabric in place.  I tried it and oh my it was so much faster.  I hemmed three shirts in no time.  So I keep this small spray bottle on my counter. I purchased it at Wal-mart for a $1.
Steam-A-Seam 2 is another product when sewing very small seams.  It helps hold it together.  Works great on fabric doll shoes.
 I haven't used these snaps yet. I purchased this at Hobby Lobby when they were having all there Sew-Ology products at 50% off. I have some doll jackets I am wanting to make and use snaps.
 Glue is a must when making doll shoes. E600 is an awesome glue to use.  A lot of women that monogram and embroider hats - love this product.  Have you seen the baseball hats with the monogrammed circle - they use this glue to glue it to the hat. It is machine washable.
 505 spray adhesive. I highly recommend this product.  I do not like Dritz brand.  Will gum up your needle and machine. Use on sewing or embroidery machines.
If you do any crafting with a hot glue gun then I highly recommend these hot glue finger protector.  I burned my fingers once....these really protect fingers.
I seen a video on YouTube using this foam core cutter from X-acto.  I haven't used it yet.  If you have ever tried to cut through foam core it can be challenging to get a need straight edge.  This little device can cut at different angles.  I purchased it at Michael's (used my 40% off coupon).
 I use to store all of my fabric in plastic totes that have drawers.  Well, just as I have an addiction for buying patterns, I have an addiction for buying fabrics. I have learned when you see it buy it...cause if you don't they might run out and you cannot purchase anymore.  I have had this happen more than once.  I had read some blogs on purchasing the comic boards (100 to a package) from Amazon.  I started to buy them online and remembered we had a local comic book store.  I called to verify they had them and they did.  I purchased 400 boards....yes, I have used them all. I wrapped the fabric around the board and placed according to fabric print and type of fabric. The shelves' are L shaped and were already in the closet when I purchased the house.
 I have a huge walk in close that I keep all of my fabric and craft supplies in.  I have small book shelf where I keep all of my 3-ring notebooks of the downloaded patterns I buy and print. I currently have 17.  I have a lot of patterns that I haven't even used. 

 Last but not least you might be wondering why I have a lint roller.  This product works great for quick clean up on counter/floor and on clothes for cleaning up those little threads that you cut and thought you got all of them in the trash can :)
I hope you can find this information useful and can help you in your sewing and crafts.  Happy Sewing/Crafting.  I truly enjoy sewing.  It is my "Cotton Therapy".
As always, thanks for reading my blog. Please leave comments and feedback.