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What is your favorite doll sewing book and why?

Sep 12, 2017

    1. Hi ^^

      I have several doll sewing books, DCR, Dolly Dolly, Dolly Bird, etc Firstly my fav was DCR but now I think their patterns are outdated. Right now, in my opinion the best are Dolly Dolly, beacuse Dolly Bird have many pages without interesting content even they have some good patterns and ideas.

      What is your favorite doll sewing book and why?
      #1 Dolly Wardrobe, Sep 12, 2017
      Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    2. I get a lot of use out of the red book and the beige book of Volks patterns (no idea what they're eactually called I just refer to them by the cover colours - they brought out a black one too). The patterns fit so are a good startign poitn for adapting to whatever styles I want to make.

      I never make up patterns exactly as published I just use them as a starting point to get the fit and the shapes of the pieces right, so whether they're dated or not doesn't really come into it.

      EDITED TO ADD: These are the books:

      • x 2
    3. The Pattern Magic series (marketed toward human scale 1:1 clothing) is actually specifically set up so that you can use the 1/3rd scale block on BJDs (there's even a very old BJD shown wearing the clothes).

      This series was the single most helpful resource that taught me to draft my own patterns, for humans and dolls.
      • x 3
    4. Are there any books you could recommend for yo-sd size sewing? Thank you.
    5. Maybe later I'll search about these books you have mentioned, I didn't know about their existence
      Really? Then they have patterns for SD? So interesting!! thank you for the info!

      Thanks Teddy! I'll check them for sure!! :D

      The ones I've mentioned have patterns for YOSD, I'll check which volumes have them and I'll tell here ;)
      #5 Dolly Wardrobe, Sep 12, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2017
      • x 2
    6. Thank you I would really appreciate it
      • x 1
    7. @Dolly Wardrobe

      The designer, Tomoko Nakamichi, uses a 1/3rd scale doll (maybe Volks, but I'm not great with recognizing old sculpts) to model her creations in the book. There's a picture with a BJD modeling the design every couple pages. It's specifically geared toward humans, but it does include a 1/3rd bodice block in the back of the book which fits old 1/3 BJD (so likely 60cm, perhaps a bit less mature than most SDs now).
    8. Wow, thank you so much for posting this thread! I was wondering about sewing books for bjds...
    9. how exactly would you rate these books difficulty wise? I'm interested in picking the first one up, but I'd prefer to wait if it's particularly complex for newbies to pattern making. o:
      #9 Rhys, Sep 21, 2017
      Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
      • x 1
    10. @Rhys

      It kind of depends on what type of person you are. If:

      1. you like precision and rigidity and math

      2. you don't know the basics of reading a pattern (which pieces are generally cut on the fold, how to lay out pattern pieces, what ease and seam allowance is

      3. You need each step broken down explicitly in words because you don't understand diagrams

      this book may not be the best sewing book for you.

      What the book does do:
      Teach you (IMO) the single most intuitive method to manipulate/design/alter to fit patterns--Other books teach it, but no one extends the principle (with the exception of her mentor, Shingo Sato, who created "transformational reconstruction") to its limits.

      1. If you know the basics of sewing, but are tired of following patterns exactly and getting cookie cutter clothes

      2. You want to be able to sew (book doesn't cover tailoring) like a fashion designer without needing to do math or use specialized tools or textbooks

      3. Pattern alteration/manipulation/design confuses you, but you want the ability to create avant-garde clothes without knowing what the pattern pieces look like until you've already cut them out (no seeing in 3D/3D reconstruction--mentally assembling and de-assembing the pattern--required)

      The method it teaches is no secret (cut and spread
      --but the extent to which it extends the principle is kind of crazy). The Colette (the pattern company) website shows some basics applied to very basic alterations.

      Now I can take any pattern block (or any basic pants/leggings or shirt pattern) and by inserting cuts, redrawing seams, and adding three dimensional detail, I get a totally different pattern and garment.

      I hope this doesn't seem too much like an ad, but it is a very well done book.

      Alternatively [off topic but you could shrink the patterns for BJD], if you aren't yet comfortable with that sort of open-endedness or freedom (it's a process, and you might not be ready for that step which is fine), you might also try the Drape Drape series by Hisako Sato (same design school as Tomoko Nakamichi).

      This series has much more explicit directions and clear objectives, but the clothing patterns show what you can do with Shingo Sato's school of thought. Just know that if you're tall, the sizing will be an issue (legs and sleeves may be a little short, even with the correct size).
      #10 americanseamstress, Sep 21, 2017
      Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
      • x 3
    11. I adore historical costuming, and make great use of the "Patterns of Fashion" and "Tudor Tailor" series. They're meant for humans, but scaleable to BJDs.
    12. @americanseamstress

      oh wow, this is all really interesting, thank you for giving such elaborate detail! I do think I'll have to brush up on my skills a bit more to be able to take advantage of the lessons they're trying to teach, though it'll definitely be something to work towards, thank you. c:
      • x 1
    13. @Rhys

      Sure! I know that it isn't a great start for everyone--I really love kind of going my own way/not following instructions/frankensteining both modern and historical clothing from patterns or dramatically altering patterns, but I have a roommate that is very precise and likes to measure and try things out multiple times and follow instructions exactly.

      My method means you fail more, but for me it's more enjoyable (all that measuring and retrying would kill me--I'd much rather pin the pieces on me and make an alteration). My friends method usually means her final piece turns out exactly as intended, and perhaps it's a little crisper the first time around, but it's not as initially creative or fast.

      Everyone's different, and the nifty thing about sewing is that eventually, both my friend and I can end up with a similar result--we just come at the problem from different directions. It's important to know what works for you or it's no longer fun and therefore no longer a hobby.
      • x 1
    14. I have both of the Natalie Bray pattern cutting books - all the basic blocks (slopers in US?) illustrated are 1/4 scale, which makes them very useful as foundations for MSD patterns. The patterns for children are especially useful, as are the instructions for how to adapt the blocks for every kind of style. Only for those who enjoy designing and fiddling, though!
      • x 1