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Miniature Sewing Techniques

DesigningPat | Posted in General Discussion on

I am sewing a Southern Belle dress for a 25″doll. Am having great difficulty due to my lack of sewing expertise, but I want to accomplish this. How does one gather silk fabric flat enough to not bulk the waist. The hoop slip is a 24″ diameter, which I miscalculated the amount of fabric needed to cover the hoop. I am learning lots of lesson with this project, and I do love it and the little girl I am doing it for. I so need help?


  1. starzoe | | #1

    Have you considered making the slip a circle - that way you would avoid all gathering at the waist.

    1. DesigningPat | | #2

      Thanks, no I didn't think of that. Thanks . Any suggestions as to what to use for hoop?

      Edited 3/23/2009 12:32 pm ET by DesigningPat

      1. starzoe | | #3

        Horsehair tape for the hoop? It would hold the skirt out but not actually in a definite hoop.

        1. DesigningPat | | #4

          where do I get horse hair tape?

          1. starzoe | | #5

            It is available at fabric stores - it's a stiff, pliable tape used on wedding gowns, etc. to hold the skirt out..it comes in several widths but for doll dresses, get the narrowest - maybe 1cm if it is available.

          2. DesigningPat | | #6

            Thanks, we have a JoAnns and they don't have it. I will check with our other fabric store which is very limited. I appreciate your input!

          3. Josefly | | #8

            It's really called horsehair braid, I think. I'm surprised your Joann's doesn't have it. I'm pretty sure Dritz makes it - I've seen it in 1 inch width as well as narrower; it can be bought by the yard, or inch, like belting, or in pre-measured packages. The boning would work more like a real hoop petticoat. If that's not available either, you might use a very heavy fishline, or the kind of plastic cord used in weed-whacker type tools (you can find it at hardware stores or sometimes at discount stores). Lay it down on your petticoat fabric, near the bottom edge, and zig-zag over it. A piping or cording foot would help with this. You might want another mid-line hoop of this, or even two, spaced evenly between the waistline and hem of the petticoat. Window-screen - the plastic or nylon kind - also has the same kind of stiffness as horsehair braid. Narrow strips of this could be used - it's not pretty, but could be inserted in a hem invisibly.Hardware stores are full of good ideas for sewing notions, and almost as much fun as fabric/notions stores. :>)

          4. DesigningPat | | #9

            Thanks, and I love browsing Hardware stores... I like the way you think... Improvising is a specialty of mine. Thanks for the tips...

          5. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #11

            Loved your weed wacker line idea! You come up with some superbly wonderful and unique solutions that are perfect! Cathy

          6. Josefly | | #13

            Thank you Cathy. I can't really accept much credit - I probably read about the weed-whacker line somewhere, sometime. :>)

          7. MaryinColorado | | #14

            That is so funny!  I hadn't thought of the weed wacker line, tee hee!  We sewists can find a nontraditional use for just about anything!  Maybe we could have a little contest using nonsewing articles for a project just for fun!  We would all win the prize of getting to read and maybe see photos of the results! 

          8. Josefly | | #15

            Great, fun idea, Mary. Let's think about doing that. A no-rules challenge?

          9. MaryinColorado | | #16

            No rules must be the only rule, don't you think?  tee hee  Mary

      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #7

        You could also try using the boning in the casing. It would resemble real hooping also. Check your local JoAnne's. If they do not have it in the casing, even the regular sew in stuff should work. Cathy

        1. DesigningPat | | #10

          thanks for the tip and response...

      3. suesew | | #12

        For a doll's hoop I think you might get away with strips of plastic cut from a bleach bottle or something similar to use inside a casing. It would serve the same purpose as boning and wouldn't be as stiff.

      4. Teaf5 | | #17

        The heavy plastic binding used for newspaper stacks and bulk buy food companies would have just the right amount of support and flexibility for the hoop skirt; it's easy to cut with utility scissors and comes in a variety of colors, widths, and lengths;they can be connected with packaging tape.

        Check the recycling bins and dumpsters--not elegant, but nearly always successful!  Another good source would be nyties, those all-purpose plastic belts that are sold in hardware, auto parts, and computer stores.  They are adjustable in length and have built in "buckles" to secure the loop at the desired diameter.

      5. Ocrafty1 | | #18

        I just made 'wings' for my granddaughter's fairy costume. I used 18 gauge wire that was run through a casing. It would work for the crinoline if you can't find anything lighter, and the child isn't too young. I found it at Hobby Lobby, but I'm sure any craft store would have it.


        1. DesigningPat | | #19

          Thanks, I will look for it at Michael's here.

          1. cassiopee | | #20

            Tube for serum can do the job I think, make a connector with little bamboo stick.  I say that because I use some tube for dishwasher to made hoop for many  gone, I do'nt have enough budget to buy the real bone.

        2. Palady | | #21

          >> ... 18 gauge wire that was run through a casing ... <<     which is exactly what I sent to daughter back in 1997 when she was making Hershey Kiss Halloween costumes for 1 year my granddaughters.

          The request was for a "something" to keep the streamer of the ... Kiss prominent on the cap.  I found it in the bridal section.  It's used in making head pieces among other things.  A near perfect option.


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