Hello Everyone - New Member Here
I am Marilyn from south of Baton Rouge, LA. I am currently
struggling with making miniature Victorian clothing for 1/12 scale
dolls and clothing for shops or wardrobes. I found this site by
doing a google search for miniature costumes and wound up on
suestinycostumes site which had a link to this group.
My biggest problem seems to be that I have many reference books with
costumes from the Victorian era, some with patterns (which are
actual reproductions of patterns used in that era). I have trouble
scaling them since they are all different scales - the author didn't
use one scale to reproduce all the different styles. I guess since
it is an actual reproduction, it was reproduced as actually printed
orginally and is made for seamstresses with more experience than
me. It mentions a lot about adjusting for size. Also, I have some
books that offer wonderful pictures of clothing that I would love to
reproduce. However, my skills never progressed beyond the use of
pre-made patterns. I can sew, embroidery, and do other needlepoint
as long as I have something to go by. I would love to be able to
look at a picture and figure out how to make a pattern by it. I
guess I probably need to take a sewing class to further my skills (I
took several classes growing up, but am now almost 36 and haven't
had a class since I was a young teenager). Most of what I do know
I have all the thread (silk and cotton), needles, lace (new,
antique, and vintage), glue, and most of the fabric that I need.
Along with my full-sized sewing machine, I now have a very small
Singer that is perfect for miniature machine sewing. I do have
trouble finding cotton velvet (but just found out that it is now
called Velveteen and is available at Hobby Lobby and Hancock
Fabrics), natural fiber satin, batiste, and some of the other
natural fabrics I need to use on such small sewing. I do have silk,
and just found out that I can handwash it in warm water with mild
soap, and dry wrapped in a towel. I also have 100% cotton
coming "out my ears". I keep an eye out for sales where I can buy
silk for a lower price - only needing 1/4 yards at a time helps. I
get most of my sewing supplies (approx. 97%) from estate sales and
yard sales - occasionally I run into something at one of the antique
shops located in my area. I go with my parents "junking" when I am
up home (they go somewhere every weekend) so most of what I have is
vintage. I buy my needles new so I can get the really small sizes.
I also try to make/refurbish roomboxes, houses, furniture, hats,
etc. I would rather make than buy. My pocketbook fares better that
way! Currently, I am working on a table centerpiece roombox for the
Gulf South Miniatures Show in New Orleans to be held in March, 2005.
One question. Does anyone know what size a carpet done on #18
canvas with a finished size of 9 x 15 inches would equate to in 28-
count evenweave fabric? I want to needlepoint a certain carpet for
one of my dollhouses, but am not sure if it would fit.
Sorry to ramble on. Great to meet all of you!
Marilyn in St. Amant, LA
Sue~Sue's Tiny Costumes <sue@...>
With using actual patterns from the era you are better off drafting and copying the shape of the original pieces... I'm guessing you have the Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion books. :-)toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
On drafting.... too late this year but next year I'll start running my Pattern Drafting for Miniatures class again. That will help with flat pattern making. Alternately you can try to drape a basic pattern and then cut and alter it until you get what you want... that's how I started out but found that drafting was easier especially on the computer for the small scale dolls.
Mini dolls are tooo tiny to do all the style lines that victorian dresses actually had so most if not all miniaturists figure out ways to fake it with trims like bunka or using a single strand of embroidery floss to emphasize the style lines..... with 1/12 scale its so hard to see a detail that tiny most just leave the extra details out and follow the KISS ideal... keep it simple silly which works very well in this scale.
As for the needle point have you tried the MSAT Mini Threads Yahoo Group... they specialize in that sort of thing. :-) (might want to go back to my site and look around some more at the resources and links area.... lots of interesting things there and I'm in the process of doing some housecleaning and additions to the site as well!)
--- In suestinycostumes@..., Sue~Sue's Tiny Costumes
Actually, the books I have were edited by Kristina Harris, but
thanks for another source, if I ever learn how to get the ones I
have scaled down!!! I'll keep an eye out for your class next year.
I agree with you that drafting the patterns is the best way to go.
I think once I can get one done, then I'll be able to adjust each as
needed with less and less problems. Also, thanks for taking the
time to reply. I also took your advice and applied for membership
in the MiniThreads group. Between your group and them, I should be
in great shape.
Marilyn, St. Amant, LA