Lady Code Monkey

Web Page Samples Project

Introduction

This tutorial was originally created in 2000-2001 and tested on my daughter at about a year old (she's 20 now). I have also used this tutorial to draft for a doll as small as 1/2" tall, of course using magnifying glasses and a very sharp pencil! This is a preview of the techniques used in Pattern Making for Dolls and Pattern Drafting For Miniatures which were originally sold as hard copy books, moved to CD and are now available only in PDF as an instant download. Included in this tutorial series are excerpts all the items that will be needed for all the pattern drafts for a child doll. It is suitable for a 6" or taller doll.

Each of the following sections will include the first portion of each draft with a link to the full tutorial which has been published on Sue's Tiny Costumes for 20 years. This is the longest and was the easiest to tranlate into this project to use as a sample of both writing and code work for the project.

Supplies

Below is the supply list you will need to draft patterns for small or miniature children dolls. In future posts I will also try to list places to find some of the more unique items such as miniature French Curves suitable for drafting in the smaller scales.

  • 1/8 or 1/4″ Ribbon -used to mark where the bust waist and hips land so that measurements are accurate. To help measure hard to get into places on small dolls. You can lay the ribbon on the doll and then use a pen dot to mark the desired amount and then measure the end to the dot.
  • A plastic coated twist tie works very well for very tiny dolls as you can bend the wire to the exact amount you need and then use a ruler to do the measuring
  • Eraser– pink pearl or kneaded gum
  • French Curve, tape dispenser, or sets of “doll size” French curves
  • Glue stick helps hold tiny pieces to cardstock for final blocks
  • Light Table or A Box with a Light Inside and Clear Glass or Plastic Over the Top or A Child’s Light Table – used for tracing patterns easier
  • Magnifying glass Lets you see small things easier
  • Manila Envelopes, Thin Cardboard, Card Stock Or Junk Mail Post Cards Or Thin Cardboard Boxes- for creating permanent blocks
  • Measuring Tape – a normal sized human one works well. Alternately the retractable purse size measuring tape found at Wal-Mart works very well too.
  • Muslin– relatively inexpensive way to do test fits and be able to sew the pieces together along with marking on the pieces any changes*Paper- light weight for first drafts of the pattern
  • Paper Towel, muslin, used dryer sheets- inexpensive way to test patterns
  • Pencil- mechanical pencil or a no. 2 normal pencil with a sharp point
  • Ruler – an accurate one marked in 1/16ths and also centimeters (metal is best) There are clear rulers that are marked in 1/10ths that are very useful as well
  • Scissors – fine tip sewing scissors some for paper and another pair for fabric
  • Scotch Tape– taping parts of a pattern in place while adjusting or stylizing
  • Small Rotary Cutter With A Sharp Blade– to ease cutting out pieces from fabric optional The 18mm size is perfect for cutting out even 1″ scale pieces accurately
  • Small Rotary Mat– must be used if you use a rotary cutter optional
  • Ultra-Fine Point Sharpie used for giving a very fine line that is more visible than pencil to a final pattern
  • Xacto Knife– to aid cutting out permanent blocks
Glossary of Terms
  • Abdomen– area between the waist and hips around the belly button area
  • Abdomen arc– 1/4 of the total circumference of the fattest part
  • Apex– the doll’s nipple if she has one or the tip of her breast
  • Arc– 1/4 of complete circumference measurement
  • Banana dart– a dart that looks like a straight up and down banana
  • Basic block– your pattern that you drafted from your measurements it has no design to it
  • Bias grain– the diagonal of the fabric and your grain line is lined up with it for a different drape
  • Blend– making separate lines look like 1 continuous one
  • Bust– chest level on a child or man or the breasts of a lady doll
  • Bust arc– the distance from the flat ribs below the bust to the apex
  • Bust bridge– distance between apexes

  • Cap ease – difference between cap and armhole measurement
  • Cap– height distance from biceps to cap at center
  • Center back- center of the back usually where there would be a spine
  • Center front -center of the front of a doll where there would normally be a breast bone
  • Circumference– distance around somewhere
  • Cloth body– the body is made of cloth and is very soft and huggable.
  • Composition body– the body IS made of a plastic substance and does not squish when you hug your doll
  • Cross grain– grain running from selvage to selvage
  • Crotch– area where a drink and wet doll wets and where panties would normally go
  • Dart intake– the extra added to a pattern so that when you sew the dart it doesn’t end up too small
  • Dart leg– one of the lines that makes up a dart
  • Dart point– the tip of the dart
  • Darts– used to fit a garment close to the body primarily for lady dolls but can be used on children or men but never on a baby.
  • Drape– holding and pinning a piece of fabric up to a doll and pinching the material until it fits then marking where darts are and making a basic pattern from the fabric markings in a connect-the-dots style.
  • Ease– the extra bit of room that allows you to dress the doll without breaking her
  • Elbow level – elbow of doll
  • Finger span– the distance around all the fingers at the largest point
  • French curve– plastic tool used to draw curves various sizes are available including ones specifically for dolls
  • Grade– to enlarge or shrink an current pattern
  • Grading– the act of enlarging or shrinking a pattern
  • Grain line– center of garment running normally from top to bottom of piece
  • Hip arc– 1/4 of the total hip measurement
  • Horizontal balance lines or HBL– horizontal lines used as a basis of where the bust waist and hip lie so that measuring is more accurate and easier
  • Notches– used at the armhole and top of sleeve to ensure that the sleeve doesn’t end up crooked when sewn
  • Porcelain body– made of porcelain doesn’t squish and is very hard similar to a composition body only very fragile
  • Princess line– the style of a pattern where the bodice or skirt has been split into 2 pieces for each quarter of the body
  • Raglan– a style where the sleeve doesn’t come from the shoulder tip but from the neck shoulder junction as in a sweatshirt
  • Right angle or RT angle– a 90-degree angle commonly found at necklines centers side seams and armhole bottoms
  • Rulers– measuring tool
  • Seam– sewn together pieces of fabric to form 1 piece
  • Seam allowance or S/A– allowance of extra fabric so that your sewing machine has a little extra to grab on to when it tries to feed your fabric through.
  • Sleeve cap -the curved top section of the sleeve from the front to the back
  • Sleeve ease– the added room needed to allow the arm to move if necessary
  • Straight grain– the vertical grain of the fabric
  • Style lines– various lines made on patterns to create a new look or design
  • Torso– the body part of a doll with out the head, arms, or legs.
  • Truing the pattern– checking to be sure that all areas match up side seams are the same length, shoulder seams are the same etc.
  • Waist arc– 1/4 of the total waist circumference measurement
  • Wrist level– the bottom hemline area of a sleeve, level with the wrist of the arm
Measurements

Since most dolls are evenly made on both sides, the measurements are taken on the half or in the case of an arc the quarter. The exception is circumference measurements, which are all the way around the body. It is advisable that you mark somehow, either with scotch tape on the body and a pencil mark or however you are comfortable, the center front and back along with where your doll’s bust, waist and hip fall. Deciding this before you start measuring will make a big difference in how your patterns will turn out and how accurate they will be. For scale and 1/2 scale miniatures use metrics, as a millimeter is more accurate than rounding to the nearest fraction. When working with dolls this tiny it is imperative that your measurements be accurate.

Measurement Chart

This is a master list of all the measurements needed for all dolls. Copy the entire list and fill in the ones you need for whatever doll you are going to be currently using. Following will be explanations of how to do these measurements for each type of doll. Permission granted by author to copy this page.

Key: A= All Dolls L= Lady dolls only C = Child dolls B = Babies M = Man KEY

1) Full Height A

2) Bust/Chest A

3) Waist A

4) Hip/Hip With Diaper A, B

5) Center Length Front Back A

6) Full Length Front Back A

7) Across Shoulder Front Back A

8) Side Seam Length A

9) Shoulder Length A

10) Shoulder Slope Front Back A

11) Bust Depth L

12) Side Seam To Floor L, M, C

13) Back Waist To Floor L, M, C

14) Crotch Depth A

15) Hip Depth A

16) Side Hip Depth A

17) Finger Span A

18) Wrist A

19) Around Foot A

20) Upper Arm A

21) Sleeve Length A

22) Armhole Depth A

23)Waist To

A) Ankle B)Knee C)Floor L, C

D) Short Train E) Long Train L

24) Inseam A

25) Outseam A

Waist Arc A

Chest Arc A

Hip Arc A

Arms Type A

Legs Type A

Body Type A

Fingers Type A

Explanation of Measurements

Now we get into the actual activity in preparation for drafting a pattern. This explains how to make the measurements correctly the chart.

Take ribbon and pass it around your doll’s waist, bust or chest, neck and hips. Fasten ends together. Choose to use either the top or the bottom of each piece of ribbon as a guide for where you are starting or stopping a measurement. You may also want to mark in pencil or pen the center front and back for reference too. This section of the book deals specifically with measuring different types of dolls and all of the explanations are included in one place.

1) Full Height Head to toe height with or without wig 2) Bust /Chest Around the fullest part of the chest 3) Waist Around waist 4) Hip Measure widest area parallel with the floor

1) Full Height Head to toe height with or without wig

2) Bust /Chest Around the fullest part of the chest

3) Waist Around waist

4) Hip Measure widest area parallel with the floor

5) Center Front /Back LengthCenter neck to waist nape of neck to waist for back 6) Full Length Waist to shoulder at neck over bust (determines shoulder seam) waist to neck over shoulder blade 7) Across Shoulder Fromshoulder tip to shoulder tip on front and across the back at the fullest point. ONLY RECORD 1/2 of measurement 8) Side Seam Length Bottom of armhole (about chest high) to the waist

5) Center Front /Back LengthCenter neck to waist nape of neck to waist for back

6) Full Length Waist to shoulder at neck over bust (determines shoulder seam) waist to neck over shoulder blade

7) Across Shoulder Fromshoulder tip to shoulder tip on front and across the back at the fullest point. ONLY RECORD 1/2 of measurement

8) Side Seam Length Bottom of armhole (about chest high) to the waist

9) Shoulder Length Shoulder tip to neck 10) Shoulder Slope Center of waist to shoulder tip over bust diagonally same on back. Should be almost as long as full length within about 1/4″ 11) Bust Span (lady only) from apex to apex of the bust (where a nipple might be) 12) Bust Depth (lady only) Measure from tip of bust (apex or Measure from tip of bust (apex or nipple) to waist straight down

9) Shoulder Length Shoulder tip to neck

10) Shoulder Slope Center of waist to shoulder tip over bust diagonally same on back. Should be almost as long as full length within about 1/4″

11) Bust Span (lady only) from apex to apex of the bust (where a nipple might be)

12) Bust Depth (lady only) Measure from tip of bust (apex or Measure from tip of bust (apex or nipple) to waist straight down

13) Side Seam To Floor Side at waist to floor 14) Back Waist To Floor Center back to floor 15) Crotch Depth Depth from waist to crotch level (if doll does not have an official crotch approximate the right area for it.) 16) Hip Depth center front to hip line

13) Side Seam To Floor Side at waist to floor

14) Back Waist To Floor Center back to floor

15) Crotch Depth Depth from waist to crotch level (if doll does not have an official crotch approximate the right area for it.)

16) Hip Depth center front to hip line

17) Side Hip Depth side waist to hip on side of doll (over the curve of the hip

17) Side Hip Depth side waist to hip on side of doll (over the curve of the hip

18) Finger Span Around the fingers of both hands to determine which is bigger Finger Span or Wrist 19) Wrist Around the wrist 20) Around Foot Around the circumference of the foot at sole level 21) Upper Arm Around where the porcelain or vinyl meets the cloth of the rest of the body

18) Finger Span Around the fingers of both hands to determine which is bigger Finger Span or Wrist

19) Wrist Around the wrist

20) Around Foot Around the circumference of the foot at sole level

21) Upper Arm Around where the porcelain or vinyl meets the cloth of the rest of the body

22) Sleeve Length From shoulder tip to wrist 23) Armhole Depth On back from center at the neck to chest ribbon

22) Sleeve Length From shoulder tip to wrist

23) Armhole Depth On back from center at the neck to chest ribbon

24) Waist To (A)Knee, (B)Ankle, (C)Floor, (D)Short Train (lady only), (E)Long Train (lady only) (A) Center front Waist to knee (B) Center front waist to ankle (C) Center front waist to floor (D) Back waist to beyond floor for only an extra inch or so (E) Back waist to a larger distance beyond floor for longer train 4-5″

24) Waist To

(A)Knee, (B)Ankle, (C)Floor, (D)Short Train (lady only), (E)Long Train (lady only)

(A) Center front Waist to knee

(B) Center front waist to ankle

(C) Center front waist to floor

(D) Back waist to beyond floor for only an extra inch or so

(E) Back waist to a larger distance beyond floor for longer train 4-5″

25) Inseam From Crotch to ankle where pants would end. No seam allowance or hem added 26) Outseam Waist to ankle along side of body

25) Inseam From Crotch to ankle where pants would end. No seam allowance or hem added

26) Outseam Waist to ankle along side of body

Waist arc Divide total waist circumference measurement by 4 and then add ease from section chart (waist is 4″ divide by 4 equals 1″ ease for doll is 1/4″ total waist arc is 1 1/4″)

Hip arc Divide hip circumference measurement by 4 and add ease using section chart

Arm type Where the porcelain or vinyl meets the rest of the body determines minimum sleeve length

Leg typeWhere the porcelain or vinyl meets the rest of the body determines minimum skirt or pants length

Body type Cloth porcelain vinyl etc determines if you need extra ease

Finger type What type of fingers your doll has- a mitt, some fingers spread or individual fingers. Especially important for sleeve openings if the fingers are spread out then you have to adjust and use the finger spread measurement and not the wrist measurement if you havea porcelain or other fragile type doll and a straight sleeve without elastic or other style of opening at the hem.

Guidelines are simply lines of undetermined length to provide a place to measure or draw a line to. They are not precise and do not have set lengths, most however, do need to be a squared (90°angle) angle from another line.

Bodice

Here is the start of the actual drafts. You will need to reference the Miniature Draft Chart for the ease necessary for the draft. Right now I am waiting for the Miniature Draft Chart to post and will update the links to it after it does!

Measurements Needed
Copy the following to your paper before you start and fill in with the correct measurements for the doll you are working with. The ones in italics can be found on the Miniature Draft Chart
Full Length – Front_____ Back_____ Waist Arc_____
Shoulder Slope_____ Side Seam Length_____
Across Shoulder_____ Side Seam Allowance_____
Center Length – Front_____ Back_____ Mid-armhole Mark_____
Ease_____

1) Full Length- a straight line the length of your full length measurement 2) Across Shoulder- from the top of the full length line across the amount of your across shoulder measurement 3) Guideline- square down approximately 1/2 of the full length amount 4) Center Length- measure from the bottom of the full length line up and square in approximately 1/2 of across shoulder measurement
5) Shoulder Slope-from bottom corner to guideline 6) Shoulder- from tip of shoulder slope to across shoulder 7) shoulder to center length guideline and bisected (for bisect amount see Miniature Draft Chart) 8 ) Neck Curve Part B- from partway along previously squared line touching tip of bisect to almost center front. Leave 1/4″ square with center front line.
9) Waist- Formula: waist arc + ease (see Miniature Draft Chart) 10) Side Seam -square up from waist side seam length 11) Mid-armhole Mark-measure from shoulder tip to top of side seam line and divide in 1/2. Mark out (see Miniature Draft Chart) 12) Armhole Curve-connect shoulder tip, end of mid-armhole mark and top of side seam in a curve, maneuvering your French curve until it fits.
13) Waist- Formula: waist arc + ease (see Miniature Draft Chart) 14) Center Back Full Length- a straight line the length of your full length measurement 15) Across Back Shoulder- from the top of the full length line across the amount of your across shoulder measurement 16) Guideline- square down approximately 1/2 of the full length amount
17) Center Back Length- Measure from the bottom of the full length line up and square in approximately 1/2 of across shoulder measurement 18) Shoulder Slope-from bottom corner to guideline 19) Shoulder-from tip of shoulder slope to across shoulder 20) Neck Curve Part A- squared down from shoulder to center length guideline and bisected (for bisect amount see Miniature Draft Chart)
21) Neck Curve Part B- from partway along previously squared line touching tip of bisect to almost center front. Leave 1/4″ square with center front line. 22) Mid-armhole Mark- measure from shoulder tip to top of side seam line and divide in 1/2. Mark out (see Miniature Draft Chart) 23) Armhole Curve- connect shoulder tip, end of mid-armhole mark and top of side seam in a curve, maneuvering your French curve until it fits. 24) Mark side seam allowance to either side of side seam line
Sleeve
Copy the following to your paper before you start and fill in with the correct measurements for the doll you are working with. The ones in italics can be found on the Miniature Draft Chart.
Sleeve Length Finger Span
Upper Arm Sleeve Cap Bottom Marks
Wrist Sleeve Cap Top Marks
1) Sleeve length-Otherwise referred to as center 2) Cap height-1/3 of sleeve length marked and squared out from the top, 1/2 of the upper arm measurement 3) Wrist or finger span-Mark out 1/2 of the wrist or finger span (whichever is larger) to either side of center 4) Sleeve sides-Connect cap height to wrist level, forming the sides of the sleeve.

5) Sleeve cap bottom marks- 1/8 of upper arm measurement marked from the outside in and up according to Miniature Draft Chart for your size doll 6) Sleeve cap top-Square out to either side 7) Sleeve cap top marks – Using the same 1/8 of upper arm from the bottom marks, mark from the center out and down according to the Miniature Draft Chartfor your size doll. 8 ) Sleeve cap mid marks- Measure diagonally from the tips of the small marks and divide in half. Mark.
9) Sleeve cap curve- Form sleeve cap by using your French curve to connect the side to the bottom mark tip, then to the mid point, up to the top and down the other side.

Alternate Sleeve
Measurements Needed Copy the following to your paper before you start and fill in with the correct measurements for the doll you are working with. The ones in italics can be found on the Miniature Draft Chart
Sleeve length Armhole circumference****
****Armhole circumference- measure your finished bodice pattern’s armhole from shoulder tip to shoulder tip
Armhole Circumference X2 X length = light gathers
Armhole Circumference X3 X length = medium gathers
Armhole Circumference X4 X length = very gathered
Only does puff sleeves that are gathered at the top and then pulled in by way of elastic at the wrist
*Determine how full you want the sleeve (see chart)
*Measure from shoulder tip around elbow to wrist this will be your sleeve length
*Measure your armhole of your basic block
*Multiply the armhole circumference by desired fullness (see chart) draw first line as the sleeve length
*Label sleeve length
*Square out to one side only the distance of the armhole circumference from the top and the bottom
*Now draw the other sleeve length line
*Your result will be a rectangle that is your desired fullness wide by your dolls arm length long. From here you can add seam allowance to the top and bottom length and gather to fit.
*This sleeve draft ONLY makes a puff long or short sleeve.
Skirt

Here is a continuation of the Pattern Drafting Crash Course. A basic straight skirt and a bonus fuller skirt.

Measurements Needed
Copy the following to your paper before you start and fill in with the correct measurements for the doll you are working with. The ones in italics can be found on the Miniature Draft Chart
Waist Arc Hip Depth Front Back
Hip Arc Side Hip Depth
1) Skirt Length- side seam 2) Side or Back Hip Depth (whichever is deeper)- square out to either side to the left back hip arc and to the right front hip arc 3) Back Hip Arc- at top square out back hip arc 4) Center Back- square out back hip arc at bottom and then connect from top to bottom to form center back
5) Back Hip Depth-Should be only slightly shorter than side hip depth, mark in. If you used Back Hip Depth in step 2 use Hip Depth here. 6) Back Waist Arc- from center back line towards side seam Formula: waist arc + ease (see Miniature Draft Chart) 7) Hip Line- curve from mark to hip level 8 ) Waist Line- curve from back hip mark to hip
9) Front Hip Arc- front hip arc. At top square out then square out front hip arc at bottom and connect from top to bottom to form center front 10) Front Waist Arc- from center front line towards side seam Formula: waist arc + ease (see Miniature Draft Chart ) 11) Hip Line- curve from mark to hip level 12) Front Hip Depth – Should be only slightly shorter than side hip depth, mark in
13) Waist Line- curve from front hip mark to hip

This is a bonus skirt draft for a plain skirt that goes well with a simple bodice and can be as full as can fit around the doll’s waist.

Alternate Skirt
2X Waist X Length =Light Gathers
3X Waist X Length =Normal Gathers
4X Waist X Length =Full Gathers
5X Waist X Length =Lots of Gathers
Measurements Needed
Skirt Length
Skirt Width****
****Skirt width- the amount of gathers you want (see chart above)
Determine skirt length
Multiply waist measurement by how full you want the skirt to be (see chart)
Draw 1 skirt length line
Square out full skirt width from top and bottom
Draw opposite skirt length line
Pants
Waist To Ankle (Inseam) Waist Arc
Crotch Depth Hip Depth
Outseam
1) Side seam- pants length. Square out at top & bottom to both sides 2) Side hip depth- measure down and square out to both sides 3) Crotch depth- measure down from top crotch depth and square out to both sides 4) Waist to knee- square out to both sides 5) Center back- formula: waist arc + dart intake (see Miniature Draft Chart) + ease (see Miniature Draft Chart)
6) Back hip arc- from center back towards side seam 7) Back hip depth- from hip line measure up and mark 8 ) Crotch bisect- at crotch level bisect (45° angle) and mark out according to Miniature Draft Chart) 9) Crotch curve- using your French curve draw a curve from the mid-point to the crotch line touching the tip of the bisect 10) Hip- Draw in hip line with French curve
11) Center front- formula: waist arc + dart intake (see Miniature Draft Chart) + ease (see Miniature Draft Chart) 12) front hip arc- from center front towards side seam 13) Back hip depth- from hip line measure up and mark 14) Crotch bisect- at crotch level bisect (45° angle) and mark out according to Miniature Draft Chart 15) Crotch curve- using your French curve draw a curve from the mid-point to the crotch line touching the tip of the bisect
16) Hip- Draw in hip line with French curve 17) Inseam (crotch side)- square down to bottom Inseam measurement Outseam (side seam) -From Crotch level measure down Outseam measurement. The distance between the lines at the bottom should be no smaller than the Around Foot measurement. 18) Inseam (crotch side)- square down to bottom Outseam (side seam) -measure over around foot measurement and mark connect mark to crotch level line
Torso
Check to be sure your skirt and bodice waists are the same and adjust slightly if necessary
Trace your bodice front except for the waist. Only mark where it is Line up the center front/back of the bodice and skirt and the side seams. Trace the skirt. Blend the waist.
Repeat for back with side seam allowance
Torso Pants
Check to be sure your pant and bodice waists are the same and adjust slightly if necessary
Trace your bodice front except for the waist. Only mark where it is. Line up the center front/back of the bodice and pant and the side seams. Trace the pant. Blend the waistline.
Repeat for back
Truing

This will explain how to smooth out your patterns in preparation for use in creating styles from the basic patterns.

The first draft of each piece should be carefully cut apart and the following places checked for accuracy and 90 degree angles on both your front and the back
The first draft of each piece should be carefully cut apart and the following places checked for accuracy and 90 degree angles
Tips

Here are some suggestions for some common items that can make drafting and sewing for smaller dolls easier!

Dryer sheet— can be used for any spot that requires interfacing of sorts as in collars and cuffs but should not be used for the entire garment. I have tried it several times and cutting it away sometimes ends in holes in the actual garment no matter how careful I am.

Tear away stabilizer— this is useful for china silk that is slightly heavy yet still slippery. The bad thing is that tearing it away sometimes will distort the stitching and fabric.

Water Soluble stabilizer— my latest discovery! This stuff is easy to use simply trace the pieces to the stabilizer and construct the garment. When ready to get rid of the stabilizer simply dunk in cold water and it all dissolves like magic leaving soft silk in it’s place. It is also handy to use in bodice construction as when you turn bodices sometimes pointy or even dull tools can poke through the fabric the stabilizer helps to prevent this thus avoiding the ruin of a lot of work! So far I haven’t found a downside to this yet.

The 2 stabilizers mentioned above are available in the machine embroidery section of any sewing or craft store and are usually very light weight. My current packages of both the Tear Away and the Water Soluable (Solvy) are by Sulky. No I do not sell the items mentioned I just use it and love it!

Machine basting patterns to fabric is a lot of work. I’ve found that hand basting is faster and less of a hassle as you do not have to pin the pieces to the fabric first. Slightly larger stitches are ok for this too as you want to be able to see to take them out later!

Best tools I’ve found so far are crochet hooks. A size 5 crochet hook has a blunt butt end that is smaller than a bodkin which is useful also but the crochet hook also has a rounded end by the hook that is great for getting bodice pieces to turn nicely too. This is especially important for half inch scale bodices!

Got small kids in the house? I do! Mischief makers both. Now being that I sew and do it A LOT I use needles and pins…. standard pin cushions don’t babyproof enough to suit me. My solution is to take the nice childproof prescription medicine bottles and put pins and needles in those. I have a nice fat one for pins and several skinny ones for various types of needles including sewing machine needles. This makes good storage…. and the kids can’t get into them!

Alternate to ribbon for measuring small dolls accurately is a twist tie.To measure simply place one end at the starting point and the other end you bend then measure the tiny portion before the bend against an accurate ruler.

Dressmaker’s Ham Pattern (pressing aid) – originally on Perfect Patterns but not on the current site it’s on an old page.

Fractions to MM

This chart and a full conversion tool can be found on http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-cminch.htm I thank this site for having the information I needed for this tutorial!

Due to the many requests I’ve had during classes on information about metrics vs standard measuring I decided that a tutorial was necessary for measuring in metrics as it is more accurate for very small dolls.

To use the chart found at the link:

  • Fractions are obvious I would guess.
  • The decimal was found by dividing 1 by the number after the / so 1 divided by 64 gives you the .0156.
  • The MM was found by multiplying by 2.54. To read the MM section correctly you read after the decimal as mm and before the . as CM. Thus 1.3 cm is 1 centimeters and 3 millimeters.
  • My books and other drafting tutorials are written for standard thus this is to help convert the fractions to a more manageable format. When reading a long MM measurement such as 25.7969 you will want to round the .7969 to .8 thus 25 cm plus 8 mm is what you will find your measurement will have to be for 1 1/64″
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