Cut and Sew Panels!


A mid-week post?  Unusual, I know, but remember that little girl on “Annie” who walked around saying, “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!”  I feel that way right now, but in a good way and I just had to share my happiness!

This all started because I wanted to dress my newest Sasha in the dress she came in, but our high altitude sun fades things terribly, even when they’re only in indirect light.  I had visions of accidentally leaving her out on the sofa and the dress being ruined by the sun.  There were absolutely no fabrics at the store remotely like that one, so…what to do?  The obvious choice would be to silkscreen my own, but for such a tiny pattern it would be annoying to cut a stencil, and burning the screen (with chemicals and light) seemed a little silly when I only needed a small amount of fabric and would likely never re-use it.

And THEN I realized there are places that will print fabric for you!  And I wouldn’t even need to convert from my favorite graphics format, I could just upload, pay, wait a couple weeks and boom!  There it was in my mailbox!  Kinda like magic… 🙂  A small amount is expensive, but costs go down the more fabric you buy, so I created 4 different cut and sew panels for myself.  IMG_2567r

This is the one that started it all!  Although it would have been much easier to scan and reproduce the original exactly, the pattern I ended up making is a little different, because I wanted to make sure no one would mistake it for the “real thing” at some point in the future!  I also made a little bandana similar to the one Gregor from that era had with the light denim outfit.  It says “Gregor” instead of Sasha! 🙂

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Then I created 2 A-line dresses with short sleeves in fabric designs based on actual 60s and 70s fabric,

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The Mexican blouse was a no-brainer…it’s one of my most popular patterns on etsy, but this version is even more detailed and requires exactly zero minutes of embroidering, coloring, etc.  Just cut and sew!

Saving the best for last!  Caleb is one of my favorite dolls.  He just seems to have a sweet, easygoing personality and will happily wear the same shirt for a year.  This is a dashiki, an African shirt that was extremely popular in the 60s and 70s.  You bought it either ready-made or as a panel to sew yourself.  I based this on a hybrid of about 10 “real” dashikis, simplifying the patterns a bit to have them still visible at such a small scale.  Then, just for fun, I added fabric for a bag that looks like it’s made of kente and bogolanfini (AKA mudcloth)

Designing some of these was easy, others took much longer (about 5 hours to design and place all the little patterns on the dashiki to my liking).  I was quite pleased with the quality of the fabric and printouts, although you can see some of the text was a little “off”.  The star in Wren*Feathers inexplicably moved over, but my greatest fear had been that the colored areas would feel like thick,  painted-on designs that you find in some cheap cut and sew panels or low quality calico.  Nope!  The fabric is 100% cotton and has a nice thread count.  It’s also thin enough to be perfect for doll clothes!  Off to sew with more pix to follow!  And yes, there’s a possibility I will offer these  cut and sew panels for sale in the future!

I’m a pinterest junkie, and it bothers me when stuff I love won’t pin!  So if you’re trying to pin the pix of the dolls, you can do it from here:

Original on the left, my version on the right.  It’s lighter, I changed the flowers a little, and if you get up close, the color is much more even.

7 responses »

  1. How clever of you to think of that. Sasha can even wear her boyfriend’s bandana – a token of his juvenile esteem. Bless, they grow up so quickly..! I remenber seeing tops like Caleb is wearing in every market in London during the 70s but in big people sizes.

  2. Please let me know if you decide to offer the printed panels of the clothing for Sasha dolls! They are WONDERFUL! Many thanks…Tim

  3. That is so cool! Are you going to put your designs on spoonflower? I just bought the most adorable cut and sew doll panel from spoonflower and am so pleased with the quality of the fabric and depth of color in the printing. They were pretty fast, too! Now let’s see how long it takes me to put actually get around to sewing her up. 😀

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