It has been awhile since I promised I would get this pattern done and published. Well, today is the day. I had such great fun designing it, and my testers tell me that they loved making it and how it looks on their girls. You may purchase the pattern at either the Craftsy or Etsy stores listed at the right. I hope you enjoy this dress as much as I enjoyed designing it.
I’ve been working on a new pattern lately. I finished my prototype yesterday, and Nikki insisted on wearing it to her Christmas ice skating party. Doesn’t she look cute?
Now that the prototype jacket is finished, I’ll be turning this design into a pattern. When it is released, you’ll hear it here. Oh, did I mention that the jacket is reversible?
And Nikki had so much fun at her party!
Lana, Daisy, Lily, Maggie, Nikki, and Pansy
Part VI: It’s Finished
Testing has been completed. I’ve dotted my I’s and crossed my T’s. And the pattern for my latest creation has been published. Nikki and Maggie are so very pleased to model these lovely sweaters.
Nikki is wearing the shell stitch cardigan with long sleeves. It can also be made with short sleeves. She chose a tee, jeans and boots to complete her cute back-to-school outfit. Maggie is wearing the short-sleeved bolero length sweater with her new polka dot dress. This cute dress with the scallop detail will soon be available in pattern form. It has to wait until I finish my sister’s Christmas presents. You can access my stores at the right. I hope you like this sweater as much as Maggie, Nikki and I do.
Lana, Maggie, Nikki, Daisy and Pansy
Part V: Testing Is Almost Completed
The pattern testers have been busy, and three of the four have completed the sweaters. I received pictures from Linda Campbell today. Her sweaters are so cute I just had to share a couple of her pictures with you, and Linda kindly gave permission for me to do so. The new pattern has the option of a cropped sweater or a cardigan each with either short sleeves or long sleeves. Linda made the cardigan with long sleeves and the cropped sweater with short sleeves and tells me she is going to get more thread and make the sweaters with the other sleeve options. Here is what she has done so far.
The front of Linda’s cropped sweater with short sleeves.
I will be publishing this crochet pattern just as soon as I hear from the final tester. I contacted her earlier this week, and she reported that she was almost finished with the body of the cardigan and will be working on the sleeves shortly.
Each of the testers have several years experience with crochet, and one of them authored crochet patterns herself. I am so pleased to have them on my team and thank them for their service. I am looking forward to showing you, with their permission of course, what the other three testers have done. And my girls (dolls) are anxious to share the pattern with you.
Lana, Nikki, Daisy, Pansy and Maggie
Part IV: Pattern Has Been Sent To The Testers
I’m a very lucky designer. I’ve had four ladies volunteer to test the pattern without my even asking. All I did was tell about my year of waiting for my sister to test my first pattern. It too was a doll sweater. One that I could crochet in an evening. Very simple. I finally told her to bring it back to me with her comments on any problems she had seen. I told her that I had planned on publishing it that past Spring which was a couple of months after I gave it to her. I suppose I shouldn’t have told her that because it made her feel bad about taking so long, but I needed to light a fire under her. My other inquiries into how she was coming along (Hint! Hint!) didn’t do a thing. She brought it back with apologies but is very VERY relieved that someone else is testing my new pattern. I’m thinking she didn’t much care for testing patterns although she did get a cute sweater for her doll. That is if she ever finishes it. She is the queen of procrastinators. LOL
I’m so excited about this new pattern because it has options! Don’t you just love patterns with options? There is a short-sleeved version and a long-sleeved version. There is a cropped sweater/shrug and a cardigan-length sweater. And there are options for the closure. Shouldn’t be much longer to the release of this latest creation. Stay tuned. You’ll hear it here first.
In the meantime, I’ve purchased an American Girl doll to model this newest creation. After all, she has to earn her keep. She will make her modeling debut when the pattern is published. Her name is Maggie named after my late mother-in-law, and she is very excited about her future with Lana’s Lark Designs.
Lana, Nikki, Daisy, Pansy and Maggie
Part III: Crocheting the Sweater the Second Time Through It has been two months since I’ve given an update on how the pattern writing is going. Seems like I have been ripping out more crochet stitches than I have actually stitched in the first place. Yes, I know that isn’t possible, but it sure feels like it. The first time through gave me a rough draft of the pattern. The second time through, however, is for carefully checking my written instructions and changing them as needed. I corrected a lot (emphasis on “a lot”) of instructions. I even changed my mind on how the collar was to be done. But I have completed the instructions for the body of the sweater and for the edging and collar. It looks great. I am now starting to check the instructions for the sleeves. And in addition to the two sweater lengths included in the pattern, I’ve decided to include two sleeve options – long sleeve and short sleeve. I have already written instructions for the short sleeves but am starting from scratch on the long sleeves. I am shooting for release of this pattern in time for the Fall season, but I’ve got to get it completed and sent to the testers in time for them to do their thing. Then they will send their suggestions and/or corrections back to me, and I incorporate their input and put on the finishing touches which includes a cover. A lot left to do yet, but it’s coming along. Happy Sewing, Lana, Nikki, Daisy and Pansy
Since my blog passed the 1000 hits mark yesterday, I am celebrating by sharing with you how I made the 3-ruffle skirt for Nikki.
I started by googling for an online pattern or tutorial. Here is the one that I used as a jumping-off point:
Of course, this tutorial is written for a little girl’s skirt, so I had to make a few alterations. Here is what I did:
1. Measure around your doll at the widest point that the skirt will have to go over. My doll measured 11 1/2″ at the lower hip (her widest point). Add 1/2″ to this measurement for ease and 1/2″ for the 1/4″ seam allowances. My final measurement was 11 1/2″ + 1/2″ + 1/2″ = 12 1/2″.
2. Measure how long you wish the skirt to be. I wanted my doll’s skirt to be 5″. I wanted the top section to finish at 1″. Then I added 3/4″ for seam allowance and turn down at the top when the elastic is sewn on. So that measurement was 1″ + 3/4″ = 1 3/4″. Then I cut the top piece which measured 12 1/2″ x 1 3/4″.
3. Now I have 4″ left for the ruffles (the skirt length minus the finished length of the top piece; mine was 5″ – 1″ = 4″). Next divide that measurement by 3 to find determine the finished length of the remaining 3 sections (4″/3 = 1 1/3″). But how much is 1/3 of an inch? So I used 3/8″ since it is very close to 3/9″ which is equal to 1/3″. Now I need to add my 1/4″ seam allowance. My ruffles need to be 1 3/8″ + 1/4″ = 1 5/8″. But I don’t want to have a hem. So I multiplied the ruffle length by 2 so that I could fold them in half making a very nice finished edge. That means the ruffle piece will be 2 x 1 5/8″ = 3 1/4″. Okay, the hardest part is done. Way to go!
4. I decided that I wanted generous ruffles, so I needed to cut the ruffle 3 times the length of the top piece in step 1. My top piece was 12 1/2″; multiplying that times 3 gives a length of 37 1/2″. If you want less generous ruffles, you can multiply by 2 or 2 1/2. So I cut 3 ruffle pieces at 37 1/2″ x 3 1/4″.
5. Now for the lining pieces that we will attach 2 of the ruffles to before putting them on the skirt. In step 3 we determined that the ruffle pieces when folded would measure 1 5/8″. I didn’t want the lining pieces to show below each ruffle, so I subtracted 1/8″ from this measurement to arrive at 1 1/2″. The lining pieces are cut the same length as the top piece and a little less in width than the folded ruffle. Mine were cut at 12 1/2″ x 1 1/2″.
6. For each ruffle:
- Sew the short ends together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seam open.
- Fold in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
- Gather the double layer of fabric along the long raw edge.
7. For the top piece and each lining piece:
- Sew the short raw edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance and finish the seam with your choice of finish.
- Press the seam to one side. Tip: To reduce bulk I pressed the seam of the top piece and one of the lining pieces (this one will be on the bottom) in the same direction and the other lining piece (this one will be in the middle) in the other direction.
8. Matching up the back seams and using a little less than a 1/4″ seam allowance, baste the top ruffle to the bottom of the top piece. Baste the middle ruffle to the bottom of the middle lining piece and the bottom ruffle to the bottom of the bottom lining piece in the same manner.
9. With right sides together and matching up the back seams, sew the top of the middle lining piece to the bottom of the top piece using a 1/4″ seam allowance. The ruffle will be sandwiched between them. Finish each seam as desired. Press the seam up and topstitch 1/8″ from the seam through all layers above the seam so that the seam will stay up when pulling the skirt on the doll. Repeat these steps for joining the top of the bottom lining piece to the bottom of the middle lining piece.
10. Now for the elastic waist:
- Using 3/8″ elastic, wrap very snug around your doll’s waist. Tip: You want this very snug because elastic stretches when you sew on it.
- Cut the length that you decided on. Overlap the ends and sew with a zigzag stitch.
- Determine 4 points (the back center, the front center, each side) on the skirt that are equal distances apart. I did this by using the back seam as center back and folding. Do the same thing for the elastic.
- Matching these points, pin the elastic to the right side of the skirt a little less than 1/4″ from the top edge. Sew along the edge of the elastic that overlaps the skirt while stretching the elastic to fit.
- Fold the top of the skirt to the inside so that the elastic does not show from the outside. Stitch along the other edge of the elastic while stretching it to fit.
You have a beautiful new skirt for your doll.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I will gladly help as best I can.