Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Doll Clothes on Display 2016

Once again, I have my doll clothes on display at a local library.  Each outfit has been knit or sewn by me.  The patterns date back to the 1930's and include dresses that I have designed.  Here's a glimpse at the display.
(c) D. Trainor-Doll Clothes on Display

(c) D. Trainor-I Learn to Knit

(c) D. Trainor-Mary Hoyer Doll

(c)D. Trainor-Corolle Dolls

(c)D. Trainor-Mini Corolle Dolls

(c)D. Trainor-American Girl Dolls

This display and the accompanying presentation are available for local groups.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Doll Clothes On Display Summer 2015

My collection of handmade doll clothes is on display during the months of June and July at the Westwood, NJ library.  This is the fifth year that the dolls have made an appearance at an area library.  The collection features outfits that I have knit or sewn using patterns from the 1930's through those available today including several that I have designed.

Here's a glimpse at the display.

The 18 inch dolls including the American Girl doll.  There's more detailed information about her dress with the blue sweater and her purse here.

And the Green coat pictured below is posted here.
 The Barbie collection includes this simple knit dress pattern that is featured here.
 On the right is my Primrose.  The Book, I Learn to Knit to Dress my Doll Primrose is discussed here.  This book dates to the early 1940's.

And my Mary Hoyer Doll and her book of patterns.  This is a true source of inspiration for me.  Read about this in detail here.

It is my hope that the display will delight and inspire young people to learn to knit and sew and those that already do to share their skills with a young person.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dressing Barbie through the Years

Barbie is celebrating her 56th Birthday today, March 9, 2015.  I've been making clothes for Barbie for almost that long.  I received my first Barbie as a young girl and it was always a treat to be able to purchase a new outfit for her.  Before long, I was sewing simple dresses for her and then knitting simple tube dresses too.

It's amazing how many patterns for sewing, knitting, and crocheting for Barbie have been published.  I have many of them and still love making clothes for her.  So many are outfits that I wouldn't be able to wear but it's fun to dress the fashion doll.

Here's a few of the outfits that I've made.

This dress pattern is featured here.

And a few patterns that I still want to create.

There are so many wonderful memories attached to dressing Barbie.  It has led to a lifelong love of knitting and sewing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spring Dress and Purse for My American Girl doll

My American Girl Doll is ready for Spring 2015 dressed in this blue flowered dress complete with purse and cardigan.  I'll be displaying my collection of handmade doll clothes at another local library in June and July and I'm busy making new outfits to add to my growing collection.

The dress is from Simplicity pattern #0107.  A plain shift that is made of just a front and back.  Double fold bias tape is used at the armholes and neckline.

  I used a zipper instead of velcro for the back closure. The hemline is detailed with a flowered trim.

 The sweater was a pleasure to knit.  The pattern is from a Plymouth Yarn book that is out of print.  It is called Dolly Mixture.  The yarn is Plymouth Encore DK.  One of my favorites for doll clothes.  I cast on with the white and continued to knit with the turquoise.  The buttons are 3/8 inch white by Blumenthal.


 The purse was fun to make.  I used felt and the purse pattern from Simplicity pattern #A2108.  This pattern is out of print now but I found it several years ago at a Florida Walmart.   I sewed it by hand using embroidery floss. The handle is ribbon and I accented it with the same flowered trim that is on the hemline of the dress.

Here's another outfit for my American Girl doll using the same patterns.  The details of this outfit are on my Knit n Sew Studio blog here.
These 3 piece outfits are now among my favorites.  Plans are swirling around for a few more color combinations and trim details.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sewing for Barbie

 This year I visited 3 fashion exhibits.  One at the Victoria and Albert Museum, one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and one at the Fashion Museum in Bath, England.  Each one was full of wonderful clothing and I came home inspired to create new outfits in miniature for my many dolls.    This dress at the  Fashion Museum in Bath, England was one of those designs that intrigued me.  The lattice style bodice is beautiful.  I've spend many hours trying to determine how to adapt this style to a dress for Barbie.

 I went through my collection of sewing patterns for 11 1/2 inch dolls and decided on a McCall's Pattern.  McCall's Barbie Sewing Patterns are easy to use and have simple pieces and directions.  I made the bodice following the directions and before I sewed the facing on the piece, I used  1/4 inch ribbon crisscrossed over the bodice to imitate the original bodice.  I used Dritz 406 1/4-Inch by 10-Yard Wash Away Wonder Tape  to secure the ribbon to the bodice while I sewed the facing to the bodice.

The skirt is a vintage hankie from my collection.  It is lined with the same cotton fabric that I used for the bodice.  Hankie Couture is a terrific book that is full of outfits made for 11 1/2 inch fashion dolls using vintage hankies.


Now that I've mastered the bodice, I'll sew this dress with a different skirt.  If I use skirt fabric that is closer to the color of the ribbon, I should achieve a look that is similar to the original dress. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Barbie Dress Knitting Free Pattern

Star Dress Knit for Barbie by Knit n Sew Studio
This simple dress for Barbie is knit in one piece starting at the hem and seamed in the back.  There are no buttons or snaps.  The ribbon is weaved through the ribbing at the waist and tied in the a bow at the back. 

I originally designed this dress in 2000 and would like to share the pattern with you. The dress is on display as part of my Dressing Our Dolls display.

Star Dress for 11 1/2 inch Fashion Doll by Knit n Sew Studio

For 11 ½ inch Fashion Doll
    By Knit n Sew Studio


Sport or D.K. Weight Yarn

Size 5(U.S.) knitting needles
Size 4(U.S.) knitting needles

Small Amount of ¼ inch ribbon for waist


Using Size 5 (U.S.) needles cast on 49 stitches

Row 1 – Knit across

Row 2 – P1, *P3tog leave stitches on needle, Yarn Over, Purl same 3 stitches together again, P1, repeat from * across.

Row 3 – Knit Across

Row 4 – P3, *P3tog leave stitches on needle, Yarn Over, Purl same 3 stitches together again, P1, Repeat from * across ending with P3.

Row 5-24  Repeat row 1-4
 five times

WAIST-CHANGE to Size 4 (U.S.) needles
      Change Colors if a different color bodice is desired

Knit one row

Purl next Row

Next Row-
(K1, P1, K1, P3tog) 4 times); k1; (P3tog, K1, P1, K1)4 times.

Continue in K1, P1 rib for 15 rows.

Cast of in rib.

Sew center back seam.

Thread ribbon through waist as follows:

Using first row of ribbing, begin at center back and thread ribbon over each purl stitch and under each knit stitch.

Pull ribbon to desired waist width and tie in bow when dress is on doll.

© D. Trainor 2000

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Afternoon Dress for Corolle Les Cherie Doll

Clara, the lovely Corolle Les Cherie is dressed in a hand knit Afternoon Dress that I knit.  The pattern is a vintage pattern from a book entitled Knitted Outfits for Teenage Dolls published by Faber & Faber in 1974.  The book has a collection of outfits that are knit and crocheted. The introduction states "There are so many beautiful fashion garments which can be made for teenage dolls-dolls like Sindy, Tressy, Action Girl and Daisy which can be seen in almost any good toyshop and which measure around 12 ins high"

 Here's the original photo from the book.

My version is knit on U.S. size 6 knitting needles using Joyoland Tonic, a Machine washable yarn that is 85% acrylic and 25% wool.  The fit is nice although I'll knit the next one using a U.S. size 5 needle and a lighter weight yarn.  This dress is knit in pieces with raglan sleeves and the rolled collar is knit using the stitches from each of the four pieces.  There are no buttons of snaps, making it great for young children and it does stretch sufficiently to make it easy to put on and take off the doll.