Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Dress Shirt Pattern for Santa

This jovial fellow is created with STAEDTLER Fimo and Puppen Fimo and is featured in this winters PolymerCafe Magazine. 
As promised in the issue, here is the first of his outfit pattern posts.

I'll try to help you through pattern drafting process as well as fitting the wee clothes to your doll.
Please use the comments section at the bottom of each clothing post to ask questions. I'll be on daily to help you all through the process. 

I made the shirt pattern in the middle of my body construction. Before I added the head permanently. It's much easier to make the pattern and dress the doll without the pesky head getting in the way. Stretch the arms out sideways and lay the doll on some brown paper. Trace around the dolls body giving about a 1/4 inch on all sides to make sure there is enough fabric to wrap around the body. We'll add a seam allowance later.

I folded this tracing in half down the middle back and went over my lines to make them even and straight. I also gave myself about an 1/8th of an inch seam allowance. This folded shape will be the shirt back.

Keeping the shirt back drawing folded, I cut along the drawn lines. I used the arm hole section of the shirt back to create the shoulder end of the sleeve pattern. I added extra length at the top edge of the sleeve to give myself room to gather the shoulder a bit. I used the arm tracing to determine the length and thickness of the sleeve. I added about 1/2 inch to the length for a cuff and a 1/8th inch seam allowance to this piece also before I cut it out. The top edge of this piece will be placed on the fold line creating a whole sleeve.

I traced the shirt back onto another piece of brown paper and removed a corner from the neck area and added about 1/2 inch in length to the middle front seam. I cut this out adding a seam allowance to only the front center seam because the rest of the pattern will already have the seam allowance given to the back piece.

I cut out two sleeves on the fold, one shirt back with the pattern opened. and two shirt fronts from a lightweight, flowy white fabric. 

I stitched the shirt fronts to the back at the shoulders at the 1/8th inch seam allowance.

I pressed open the shoulder seams.

I ran two loose running stitch rows at the top of each sleeve where the shoulder starts to turn.

Time to add the sleeves! Matching the center of the shoulder end of the sleeve to the center seam on the shirt body's shoulder, I gathered each shoulder to match the arm opening.

I pinned the sleeves in place and stitched them in.

Starting to really look like a shirt! I matched up the under arm seams, right sides together and stitched all the way from the hemline to the cuff on each side. I turned the shirt right side out and steamed the seams a bit to help the shirt lay right.

I turned one side of the shirt front in 1/8th inch and pressed the seam down. Then I stitched it in place. This will be the good side of the shirt front and will over lap the other unfinished edge.

It really is the same as making a real large scale shirt. Except we don't need a collar or any interfacing the construction is the same.

Put the shirt onto your doll to check for fit and alter anything you need to now. Turn the cuffs in and stitch row of running stitches around each wrist about 1/4 inch from the end of each sleeve to create a ruffle when the fabric is gathered. Knot off the gathered thread and finish the other cuff.

I used Beacon Adhesive's Fabri-Tak to close the front of the shirt instead of stitching it.

I finished the shirt by running a row of gathering stitches around the shirt at the waist, below where the pants will sit. This helps the shirt from coming un-tucked and also gives Santa his belly and little hips. You can also add the head now.

Below are scans of my original shirt pattern pieces. Please use them as a guide for your patterns. Because each doll is a unique work of art none will be exactly the same size and shape, but these patterns will give you a basic idea of how each pattern piece should be shaped and how they work with each other.

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