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Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's Only an Illusion......

Denise asked about tutorials on some of the items in the haberdashery. I modified someone elses' pattern for the vest and wouldn't feel right about doing that one. Granted it's not exactly the same, but it is still someone elses' original pattern. It was from one of the Susan Sirkis books.

If you want a really good book on making and dressing dollhouse dolls, go find "Making and Dressing Dolls'House Dolls, in 1/12 scale" by Sue Atkinson. The last time I looked it was available on You might be able to find it on another used book site more inexpensively. It is the best book that I know of on the subject and it covers many different eras of style.

As for the bow ties, I explained that when I was doing it. I just tied a simple bow(just the bow itself) around my fingers then glued it to another piece of ribbon for the neck part. Sock secret......Extremely simple. I cut the shape of a sock out of a piece of suede. They aren't wearable. They are single thickness. The gloves are done from a lady's thin leather glove. The leather is folded and glued together before cutting. Then you just cut a rectangle about 1/3" wide by 3/4" long. You then cut triangles from the corners on one end to make them hand shaped. Make three cuts for the fingers. Round the ends of the fingers with a small pair of scissors. If you want a thumb just cut a single thickness of leather into a strip and put it on the palm. If you need to know where to put it, find a pair of real gloves and copy those. I didn't bother with thumbs on the gloves on the shelf. They are glued down and no one is ever going to know that they aren't there.A lot of the things are illusions.

I made you a pattern for the nightshirt. I didn't have one. I just cut it out in rectangles. The body was about 4 1/4" long by 2" wide. That gives you about the size pieces that would be in a real nightshirt. I am lucky. I have one of my great grandfather's nightshirts to measure. I rounded the bottom edges into shirt tails bu tracing around a coin and covered the edge with "FrayCheck". I cut out sleeves. They were pieces of fabric cut into rectangles about 1 1/4" by 3". I glued them into a tube shape and a pleat was glued in before putting on the cuff. I turned under the side seams and front shoulders of the body and glued this to the back piece covering the raw edges of the back. It gives the illusion of a sewn seam. The sleeves were glued inside the top of these pieces as I went. The yoke is just a rectangle with the edges turned under and glued on before finishing. The rest of the trims were done just like the folded shirt directions that I did earlier.

I didn't need another nightshirt so I decided to show you a hanging shirt from another scene. They are basically made the same way. The shirt is just shorter.

Here you can see the collar, cuffs, button placket and the shirt pockets were all made of folded and glued strips of various sizes and some were lengthwise and others cut across the stripes.

The buttons are card stock and the holes were put in with a Pigma permanent .005 pen.

I have been doing this sort of thing for many years and seldom use a pattern. I just start cutting away what doesn't look like a night shirt and gluing it into shape.

Katie, I'm glad you liked the long johns. I did them the same way that I do the folded sweaters and shirts. This time the rectangle was 7/8" by twice the depth of the shelf. In this case it was about 1 1/2"long. When folded it was 3/4" long. I followed the sweater instructions, covering the index card piece with a bit of t-shirt fabric. After I folded it and glued it into shape, I cut a flap a little smaller than the width of the main part, glued it around the body of the piece and just put a couple of card stock buttons on the corners of the flap. Remember that you only have to decorate the top one. The rest won't be seen.

My motto is "If it can't be seen, it doesn't have to be made." In other words, "Fake it if you can." I feel that when you are doing multiples of something like the shirts, sweaters and long johns, all you really need is something that people can recognize as the object you are representing.

The watches are simply pieces of metal findings and scraps of chain on a black suede board.

OK.....Now that you know most of my secrets, I am going to go hide in a corner and think of some more. That's half of the fun of minis, making up things as you go along. See you tomorrow.


Denise said...

You are so kind and generous to share your secrets in the tutorials. I appreciate you responding so quickly!

I just ordered S. Sirkus' book and will use it when I create my haberdashery.


Caseymini said...

Denise, There are a lot of S. Sirkis books. I hope that you got one that you can use. The book that I recommended is Sue Atkinsons. She covers all areas.