Some Tips on Sewing for Sylvanians


DRESSMAKING PATTERNS

 I am working out patterns at the moment so hope to have some soon; I am still learning!


I looked all over for patterns on the web but I have ended up making my own by looking at the clothes the family members come in and also by fitting to the actual Sylvanian family members - eg. moles have no ears while polar bears do, so hats have to fit in with this.

But this is what I have learned so far
1. there are some good basic patterns here - whoever put this site up is a star!!:) There is every type of basic outfit with dresses, tops and trousers
http://www.246.ne.jp/~jr1vvc/sylvanian.html

They are in Japanese, but if you click on each little square picture it takes you to a close up of the outfit
then
http://www.246.ne.jp/~jr1vvc/sylvanian/sylvanian_01_01.html
gives you the sewing instructions

and at the bottom of the sewing instructions there is another link which gives you the patterns!!
http://www.246.ne.jp/~jr1vvc/img/sylvanian/sylvanian_01_01.gif

I am mortified to say I have only just found the patterns link and up until now I have been trying to work out the patterns from the sewing instructions!

2. then Farrah and Hettie draw me pictures and I try to make something that matches their ideas

3. I also look at fashion pages in magazines for ideas as I try to do clothes that are different from the ones the characters come in

4. But I also draw round the Sylvanian outfits to get dimensions then draw the shapes out on paper with a seam allowance added for sewing the shapes together

5. I also draw round the characters to get dimensions in the same way as 4. and then add a bit extra for a seam allowance

6. I make a basic patterns then adapt it as I go and try to save the one that I actually used for the final outfit!

7. Cutting out the pattern pieces in kitchen roll is good for trying out the fit without wasting material.. bear in mind real fabric may fray though!!

SEWING TECHNIQUES

These badger costumes show some techniques


 I have started to cut everything on the bias now as it makes the fabric fit better onto such tiny figures...

I try to match the sewing thread to the clothes and to use small needles and tiny stitches - they are never tiny enough though!
If I don't have the right colour I use transparent sewing thread - it is clear for pale clothes and smoke coloured for darker fabric. It is a bit stiffer than ordinary thread though so it is a bit harder to use - but easy to thread.



TO PREVENT FRAYING - Sylvanians are very very small! So I am either rolling hems, blanket stitching raw edges or using very thin bias binding and manufactured trimmings.

SOME TIPS ARE:-


1. Leave a good seam allowance

2. You can use Prym Fray Check to seal the edges - but it can mark the fabric and smells horrible while it dries! It is complete unscented once it is dry however.

3. Use pinking shears - this gives a zig zag edge to your fabric which reduces fraying

4. Blanket stitching like the sleeve insertion above also stops the fabric from fraying and holds seams ore firmly.

5. You can pink the seams then glue them together with fabric glue - like the side seams above - the glue dries clear.

6. Roll the edges - turn a tiny hem to the wrong side and then fold it again - when stitched the raw edges are held inside.



7. Bind the edges - get soft narrow bias binding and attach back and front - and the fabric edge is then contained in the binding



7. You can make your own bias binding using strips cut diagonally across the fabric and folded... cutting diagonally makes the fabric stretchy so it will go around curves and corners



8. Use ready made edgings - lace, ribbon etc...



FOR THE FASTENINGS - I use self adhesive velcro which gets them into the right place then I stitch them  so they can stand rough handling.



Hooks and eyes are too fiddly! but I like to use little buttons as a trim...



For waistbands I use shirring elastic and very thin elastic.



SETTING IN SLEEVES


When possible I cut the sleeves as part of the pattern along with the back and front of the garment so there is less sewing.  However these badger outfits were cut as one sleeveless piece for the sleeveless bodice as T-shirts have very distinctive separate sleeves.For the sleeves I cut 2 strips of fabric a little longer than the than the armhole diameter plus a seam allowance then glued the raw pinked edges together into a cylinder. The cylinder is then turned right side outwards and pushed through the armholes from the right side of the bodice.

On the inside, the sleeve is pinned in position, stitched in place then oversewn with blanket stitches for strngth and to prevent fraying. Then when you turn the bodice back to the right side the sleeves and the bodice are both the right side out.






6 comments:

  1. Awesome- I love the little coat on the rabbit!

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  2. SOOOOO cute! LOVING IT...

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  3. This is so cool! It's really hard to find free patterns anywhere!

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  4. Good ideas and very kind of you to share them, what a lovely lady!! You can get tiny little buttons for play threading in craft shops and toy shops, and t-shirt fabric is good as it stretches and doesn't fray too much.Look for ribbons and trimmings in the scraps basket in sewing shops for cheap samples, and buy one of those daylight pointable lamps for extra visibility!(Also magnifying '+3' type glasses are cheap and really help!)

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  5. These are fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyed your catwalk moments.

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