Fun project ideas using my cut and stitch fabric doll panels ❤
I’ve always been very fond of all of the printed cut and sew dolls from the late 19th & early 20th century eras. Here are my versions! They are a combination of printed cloth dolls and photos of some of the antique dolls in my collection.
Most of my printed dolls are 8-1/2 inches tall. Though there are a few exceptions. Each doll panel that you buy includes two mirrored doll images, so that you can sew them together back to back, or use them separately with a plain fabric backing, or for applique work. The dolls are printed on high quality 100% cotton fabric and are completely washable. There is extra fabric surrounding each doll that will allow for a ¼ inch seam allowance. The dolls may be sewn with right sides together, turned and stuffed, machine stitched from the front side, trimmed and stuffed, or appliqued onto other projects. They may also be cut out and used for journaling and other multi-media projects. Add bits of fabric, lace, crepe paper and Dresden trims to create doll clothing.
Some project ideas include:
– Sew back to back for Christmas ornaments, so the “front” side is always on view.
– String together into a banner to hang across mirrors, windows or mantles.
– Hang individually from cupboard doors or chandeliers.
– Make into a mobile.
– Stuff with lavender and use as drawer and closet sachets for your finest linens and clothing.
– Fill with cedar shavings and place among your doll and bear collection to repel moths.
– Special party favors for your doll club meetings and events.
– Make into a special doll’s doll for your favorite plaything.
– Baby toys.
– Add a squeaker inside to make a fun dog toy or fill with catnip for your kitten to play with.
– Applique’ onto quilt blocks, pincushions, curtains, aprons, pockets, baby bibs and clothing, tote bags, t-shirts and more.
Priced individually or discounted if ordered in groups.
FABRIC PANELS WILL LEAVE MY STUDIO IN APPROXIMATELY 7 – 10 DAYS. THEY ARE SHIPPED VIA FIRST CLASS MAIL, so please allow adequate time for them to arrive. Thank you ❤
Here is a birthday present from me to all of you! Directions for making a classic mid- 19th century dress for your Izannah Walker doll. I based the directions on several antique children’s dresses in my collection. I hope you enjoy making this dress for your dolls ❤ Or even better, make a larger version for a special child in your life ❤ ❤ ❤
These instructions are for your own personal use, they are copy righted by Paula Walton A Sweet Remembrance 2012 and are not to be reproduced or sold in any form.
First a bit of historical background. Izannah Walker lived and worked in a time when paper patterns, as we know them, were just coming into being. In 1863 Ebenezer Butterick a tailor from Massachusetts began making graduated and marked patterns out of paper. Folded by his wife and family and packed in boxes of 10 each, he sold these patterns to tailors and seamstresses throughout New England. These patterns proved to be very popular, possibly due to the fact that Butterick hired a staff of door-to-door traveling salesmen. Prior to this time, garments were cut without a pattern as such. There were books of diagrams available for professional seamstresses that illustrated how to cut the latest fashions. Periodicals, such as Godey’s Lady’s Book also provided color plates of the latest fashions, along with diagrams and brief instructions.
Simple basic garments, such as this dress and other children’s clothing, along with shirts, under wear, etc. were routinely sewn at home without the use of any pattern, as it was common knowledge how to make these basic necessities.
The following instructions are written following this tradition and are meant to be custom fitted to your doll. You can also use these same instructions to make full size children’s dresses by simply enlarging the widths and lengths.
*** Sewing should be done by machine, unless specifically noted.
Step 1. Cutting out the skirt. Measure from the waist of your doll down to the point where you want the bottom of the hem (This can be to the tops of her feet, or higher. If dressing your doll as an adult or young woman the skirts should be longer than if you are dressing the doll as a young child.).
Add 1/4 -1/2 inch (your choice – just remember how much you have allowed) seam allowance for the top edge, if you plan to make a gathered skirt. If you will be cartridge pleating, also known as gauging, your skirt you need to allow at least an inch to fold down at the top edge (or up to 1 – 1/2 inches).
Next determine how deep a hem you wish to make. If you are using antique fabric you may be very limited by the amount of fabric you have on hand to make your dress. Ideally I like to have at least a 2 inch hem for doll’s dresses, 3 inches is even better. When making a child’s dress you should have a hem depth that measures from 3-4 inches. Add 1/4 inch allowance to turn under on the top edge of the hem.
If you want to have growth tucks in your skirt, as shown in the sample dress above, add 1 inch per tuck for 1/2 inch tucks, or 1 – 1/2 inches per tuck for 3/4 inch tucks. For a child’s dress add 2 inches per tuck for 1 inch tucks.
Total all of your measurements. Your figures should look something like this:
skirt length – 7 inches
top seam allowance (gathered skirt) – 1/2 inch
hem – 2 – 1/2 inches
hem edge turn under allowance – 1/4 inch
two 1/2 inch growth tucks @ 1 inch each – 2 inches
total = 12 – 1/4 inches
To figure out the width of your skirt consider the width of your fabric and availability of yardage. Antique fabrics are narrow in width usually 24 – 36 inches. I generally cut my doll skirts the width of the fabric. If I am piecing together fabric to make up the width, then I try to come up with at least 20 inches. If I am gathering the skirt I don’t make it any wider than 36 inches. When cartridge pleating it’s a good idea to have a width of at least 26 inches and no wider than 38. Children’s skirts obviously will require at least two fabric widths and should measure from 38-50 inches. Now it’s finally time to carefully measure and cut out the rectangle that you will be using to make your skirt. Yeah! We’ve made it through Step 1 !!!
Step 2. Cutting out the bodice, sleeves, neck, sleeve and waist bands.
Measure the distance between the point on your doll where you want the top of the waistband to be and the point where you would like the neckline. I find that the measurement is usually about 3 inches. Add two 1/4 inch seam allowances, one for the top edge and another for the bottom edge (if you feel more comfortable sewing with a 1/2 inch seam allowance you may increase the bottom allowance to 1/2 inch – the top seam allowance has to be 1/4 inch). To determine how wide, from side to side,your bodice needs to be, measure around the widest point of your doll’s shoulders and multiply that measurement by 2. This will be the minimum width, you may add on a bit more if you like particularly full bodices.
To cut out the sleeves, measure from the neckline, down the arm to the length you would like the sleeves. The width of each sleeve is calculated by measuring from the neckline, down under the arm and back up to the neckline, then adding on enough to bring the fabric up over the shoulder and add in extra fullness for the gathers. The strip of fabric that I cut for the sleeves of the sample dress, above, was greater from top to bottom than the strip for the bodice.
Neck and sleeve bands are 1 inch by the total shoulder measurement of the doll (at the widest point), plus the circumference of the doll’s upper arm x 2, plus at least 2 inches for seam allowances and finishing.
The waistband is 1-1/4 inch for 1/4 waist seam allowances or 1 – 3/4 inches for 1/2 inch waist seam allowances by twice the doll’s waist measurement, plus an extra 1 – 1/2 inch for seam allowances and finishing.
Double check your measurements and addition, then cut out your fabric.
Step 3. Constructing the skirt.
Sew the center back seam of the skirt, leaving 3-4 inches open at the top edge. Turn the raw edges of the center back skirt opening under a scant 1/4 twice and sew down. Sew a double row of gathering threads around the top edge. Press the back seam to one side: turn up the raw bottom edge 1/4 inch and press. Decide on the placement of your growth tuck or tucks (if you are incorporating them in your dress). Measure for the first tuck, fold the skirt at that point and pin in place. Stitch around the skirt either 1/2 inch or 3/4 of an inch away from the folded edge (remember that you had to choose between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch tucks when you cut out your skirt). Press the tuck down. Make the second tuck in the same manner. Turn up the hem and stitch in place, being careful not to catch the tucks in the hem.
Step 4. Making the bodice.
Take the strip of fabric that you cut for the bodice, fold it in half at the center front, then fold it in half a second time to determine where the arm holes will be. Cut “U” shaped armholes on the second fold, through all thicknesses, starting at the neckline edge and going about half way down to the waist edge.
You can check exactly how far you need to go by measuring the fabric strip up against the shoulder of your doll. The arm hole should be deep enough to allow the sewn on arm to move freely.
Turn under the center back edges of the bodice a scant 1/4 inch to the wrong side of the fabric. Press in place. Turn under again 1/2 inch towards the back side. Stitch in place to hem.
Next take the strip of fabric that you cut for the sleeves. If you haven’t already done so, cut it in half, so that you have two equal parts – one for each sleeve. Sew the short ends of the sleeve together to form a tube. Repeat for the second sleeve.
Sew two rows of gathering threads around the bottom edge of each sleeve.
Sew one sleeve to the bodice, matching the sleeve seam to the center of the bottom rounded part of the “U”. Repeat with the the second sleeve. The top of the sleeve goes up past the neckline edge of the bodice. Not all of the sleeve is sewn to the armhole!!!
Sew two rows of gathering threads along the neckline edge, including the tops of the sleeves.
Sew two rows of gathering threads along the waist edge of the bodice.
Step 5. The waistband.
Cut the strip for the waistband in half, so that you have two pieces of equal length. Mark the center of the bodice waist edge and the center of one of your waistbands.
Draw up the gathering threads on the waist edge of the bodice to the exact measurement of your dolls waist and tie off. Adjust the gathers so that you have more fullness in the center front, less under the arms and more in the back. Leave an area of less full gathers 1/2 inch or so to either side of the center back opening.
Pin the center front of the bodice to the center front of the waistband. The waistband should extend 3/8th of an inch beyond the bodice on either side. Stitch the waistband to the bodice.
Mark the center front of the skirt waist edge. Draw up the gathering threads on the skirt to the exact waist measurement of the doll’s waist and tie off. Adjust gathers evenly. Pin the center front of the waistband to the center front of the skirt. Sew waistband/bodice to skirt (remembering that the center back edges of the waistband will extend beyond the skirt 3/8ths of an inch).
Turn the ends of the waistband to the inside, so that they are even with the hemmed center back edges of the bodice and skirt. Take your waistband lining and press the short ends under 3/8ths of an inch to the wrong side of the fabric and press under 1/4 inch along each long edge. Pin in place on the inside of the waistband of the dress, making sure the lining coves all of the raw edges and seams. Hand-stitch in place, leaving the center back edges open. Make a row of stitching 1/4 inch away from the seam lines along each long edge of the waistband (this is like topstitching). Run lengths of 1/8th inch wide cotton tape through the casings formed by this stitching. The tape should be long enough to tie into bows.
Step 6. Neck and sleeve bands.
Try the dress on your doll over her chemise.
Mark the center front of the bodice neck edge. Draw up the gathering threads at the neckline, so that the back of the dress meets and overlaps a scant 1/8th of an inch. Tie off the threads. Adjust gathers.
Draw up the gathering threads on each sleeve until they fit snugly, but not too tight around the doll’s arms. Tie off the gathering threads. Adjust the gathers.
Measure and cut a length of neckband the length of the gathered neckline plus 3/4 of an inch (3/8ths of an inch for finishing each side). Press under a scant 1/4 inch one long edge of the neckband. Mark the center of the neckband. Pin the center of the unturned edge of the neckband to the center front of the bodice neckline. Sew neckband to bodice, the neckband will extend 3/8th of an inch beyond the bodice on each side of the center back of the bodice. Turn the 3/8th inch finishing allowance in and finger press in place. Turn the pressed under edge of the neck band to the back side of the dress. Hand stitch in place, leaving the ends of the neckband open. Run a piece of 1/8th inch cotton tape through the casing formed by the neck band. The cotton tape should be long enough to tie into a bow.
Measure and cut two armbands the length of the bottom gathered edge of the sleeves plus 1/2 inch for seam allowances (1/4 inch seams). Turn under one long edge of each sleeve band a scant 1/4 inch towards the back side of the fabric. Stitch the narrow edges of the sleeve bands together. Hand-stitch each sleeve band, along the unpressed edge, to the the gathered lower edge of the sleeves. Turn the pressed under edge up to the back side of the sleeve so that it covers the gathered edge and hand-stitch in place to form 1/4 inch finished sleeve bands.
-I like to wash and hang dry my finished dresses, so that the gathers fall into place and dry.
-If you wish to fasten the back of your dress with buttons, rather than ties, make sure that you add on enough of an allowance for the neck band and waistband to overlap at least 1/2 an inch.
-You can make several other sleeve styles for this dress to vary it’s appearance.
-To see a selection of appropriate fabrics check out these two blog posts.
Don’t let the length of these instructions put you off! This is actually a simple dress 🙂 When I make this style of dress I don’t even jot down measurements or calculations. I just measure and cut as I go. After you make a few you will find them easy to do!
You still have time to email me your Birthday Greetings! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone who sends is a Izannah Walker 200th Birthday Message and photo will be entered in a drawing to win a special birthday present of Izannah Walker themed goodies ❤
As I’m sure almost all of you reading this know, September 25th will mark the 200th anniversary of the day Izannah Walker was born. As a fun way to celebrate the occasion I would like to invite you all to email me a short birthday message along with a photograph of your Izannah Walker doll, whether it is an antique original, a reproduction doll that I have made for you, or a doll that you have made yourself in tribute to Izannah’s dolls!
I’m posting this early so that everyone who is interested in participating will have plenty of time to coax their dolls into posing for photos. Please send your photo and birthday greeting to email@example.com no later than September 18th. I will post all of the photos and their accompanying messages here on my Izananh Walker Journal as part of my annual Izannah Walker birthday celebration.
My dolls and I are very much looking forward to hearing from you and getting a chance to see what some of our absent friends have been up to lately. ❤ ❤ ❤
Thank you for coming! We hope you had fun.
– Newly made Izannah Walker reproduction dolls may be custom ordered, please see my website Paula Walton’s A Sweet Remembrance for details.
– True Blue is busy making a Valentine for Kathy.
– Savannah is slaving away on a very special heartfelt letter to Charlotte.
– Ruthie is on her way back home to Brooklyn after visiting for a “spa day” to have the damage caused by the post office repaired. She says that she is ever so much better now and that she feels beautiful again. Plus she loves her new warm flannel petticoat and can’t wait to show it off to Paula C.!
– I’m getting ready to go on a double date with my husband and our very dearest friends Joy and John…
Thank you for stopping by Valentine!
XOXO Hugs and Kisses,
Today is baking day. The air is filled with the scents of mace and nutmeg. My kitchen is humming with activity as we prepare for our Valentine’s Day tea party!
3 cups flour
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups butter
1/2 tsp. yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp. mace
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
*Proof yeast in warm water for 5 minutes. Measure flour, powdered sugar, mace and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. Add slightly softened butter and mix until all of the butter is worked into the dry ingredients. Pour proofed yeast/water into bowl and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Cover bowl with a clean dry cloth and set in a warm place for 1 hour, then chill for 30 minutes.
Roll dough out on a well floured surface to a scant 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with heart shaped cookie cutters. Emboss the cookies by stamping them with new, washed rubber stamps that have been dusted with flour. If desired, lightly brush ground nutmeg into the stamped designs before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes, until just starting to very lightly brown at the edges. Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets.
* 18th century shortbread receipts call for the addition of barm (yeast). I followed this tradition when I developed this recipe. I love mace and decided to add it, along with nutmeg to the cookies (both spices are part of the seeds of the nutmeg tree).
You are cordially invited to join us tomorrow for tea. We hope that you can come!
I came up with this idea when I decided to make a very special certificate for everyone who pre-ordered my Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll Making Class in 2009. I really enjoy making these paper dolls. They are based in part on a set of early 1900’s Dennison paper dolls that I own.
The next time you would like a quick doll-making project, gather up your paper, scissors, and glue-pot and make a flat Izzy. Mine carries a certificate in her “book’, but yours could hold and invitation to tea, a thank you note , or simply be a lady of fashion who enjoys playing “dress up”.
Following are instructions.
1. I took a photograph of one of my original Izannahs, sized the photo to fit on an 8- 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of card stock and printed it in high quality. If you don’t have an antique Izannah, a newly-made Izannah inspired doll would work just as well. You could also use pencils or watercolors to draw or paint an Izzy.
2. Use rubber cement to adhere a second piece of cardstock to the back side of your printed image. Weight down with a heavy book until dry.
3. Draw a pattern for the base of your paper doll. I used two shapes that resemble half circles, one slightly larger than the other. Cut out your pattern pieces.
4. Trace the larger pattern piece onto the bottom of your printed Izzy. Do not draw a line over the doll’s legs. Trace the smaller pattern piece onto an empty area of your background card stock.
5. Using scissors and an X-ACTO knife, carefully cut out the paper doll and stand. If you do not want to use an X-ACTO knife, you can trace both of the pattern pieces for the stand onto background cardstock, cut out the paper doll and stand entirely with scissors and then glue the doll to the larger stand piece with rubber cement.
(click on each photo to see it full size)
6. Cut slits into both parts of the stand so that the pieces fit together and the doll can stand up.
7. Trace a pattern for the doll’s chemise, add shoulder tabs. Cut out pattern. Then trace pattern onto white card stock. Cut out.
8. The card stock chemise is a base for making a crepe paper dress. Using your imagination, crepe paper, ribbons and buttons, fashion a dress by cutting out a skirt, bodice and sleeves, then glue them directly onto the card stock. Tip: Pinking shears or scissors with scallop blades make a nice finish for the bottom of crepe paper petticoats and skirts. *In Early American Life magazine, Christmas issue 2005, on page 34 there is an inspiring photograph that shows a bevy of paper dolls dressed in their finest crepe paper frocks.
9. Sign and date your paper Izannah.
10. Fold down shoulder tabs. Place dress on your paper doll.
11. Sit back and admire your accomplishment! Smile! Enjoy!
There is still time to pre-order my Izannah class, and it remains on sale, 10% off, through January 1. All pre-orders come with a paper doll just like the ones pictured here and a vintage Izannah Walker post card (while supplies last). Class information here.
This is an ornament that I’ve been thinking about making for some time. I’m sure you know how it goes, you are right in the middle of working on some other project, your hands busily doing some mindless, automatic pilot part of the process, your thoughts wandering all over the known universe. When, pop, suddenly you have a great idea!
This usually leads rather rapidly to the realization that you would really rather stop what you are working on so that you can immediately begin on your bright, shiny, new project. Then you give yourself a stern talking to, summon up all of your work ethic and guilt feelings, and continue on with what you were originally doing. Hopefully you remember your excellent idea and eventually get to make it a reality. Today is the day I decided to finally work on this particular bright, shiny bit of imagination.
I think the main forces that caused my thoughts to stray to this ornament were my plans for this Izannah doll making blog and a second blog that I have planned – to provide support for my spun cotton ornament classes. Thinking about project ideas for both blogs just led naturally to the idea for this project – one that combines both an Izannah Walker doll and a spun cotton ornament. I’ve worked in a couple of new embellishment ideas that I hope all of you spun cotton artists will find interesting.
Basic instructions and material lists for making spun cotton ornaments are provided in my regular in-person and by-mail classes. You are welcome to use the instructions below for your own personal use, but please do not use them for any commercial purposes. This means that you can’t sell items made with these instructions, patterns containing them, use them in teaching a class, or for any other money-making reason. You can however make as many as you want for yourself or to give away to your fortunate family and friends, if you can bear to part with your new ornaments.
- Cut a 9-½ inch long piece of wire for your body armature (which you will bend in half).Cut a 4-1/4 inch piece wire for the arms.Assemble the armature and proceed to make a standard spun cotton figure.I lightly sprayed mine with tea, as per the instructions given in class.
- Take a clear photograph of the face and shoulders of an Izannah Walker doll.Resize the image so that the face measures approximately 7/8 of an inch high. Print the re-sized image either in color or sepia on white card stock.Make sure you use the highest quality print setting available. Carefully cut out around the face and shoulder plate so that you have the equivalent of a lithographed paper scrap. Alternate ideas are to draw or paint your doll’s head, or to use the photograph of any young child, either old or new, that you would like. Sepia-toned prints may be hand-colored in the eyes, lips and checks.
- If you plan to hang your ornament, run a short length of floss, ribbon, or string through the top of the head. I used waxed twine. See class instructions for details.
- Mix brown acrylic paint with water in equal parts. My color choice was burnt umber. Paint the back of your figure’s head. Next paint on classic Izannah boots. Let dry.
- Cut white crepe paper 1-½ x 8 inches to form a petticoat. Glue in place.
- Cut colored crepe paper 1-¾ x 9 inches for skirt. Cut out bodice, sleeve and waistband pieces using the pattern given here, for the yellow dress, as a guide. Dress pieces for the pink dress mimic those in my Izannah Walker Doll Clothes Pattern. You may need to make adjustments to fit your figure as you go along.
- For trim like the yellow dress shown here, glue thin bands of 1/8 inch wide black ribbon along the lower edges of the skirt and sleeves. Let the glue dry completely before attaching the clothing to your Izannah ornament.
- If you prefer the all-over print like that in the pink dress, gather together three paint brushes with the same size handles, and rubber band them tightly together so that the ends of the handles form a triangle of dots. Dip the ends of the handles in undiluted acrylic paint, wipe the excess off on a paper towel, and then use the tips of the handle like a stamp to create an evenly-spaced pattern on the crepe paper for your dress. I suggest practicing first before you work on the actual dress pieces. Let the paint dry thoroughly before attaching the clothing to your Izannah ornament.
- Glue clothing to ornament per instructions given in class.
- If you would like, you may embellish the back of the dress bodice with tiny vintage buttons.
- Sign and date your ornament. Hang her somewhere that makes you smile.Enjoy!
- Visit my other blog www.spuncottonornaments.com for additional spun cotton ornament information.