Recently we had Halloween and I thought for a long time about doing an outfit for our little Francie doll or not. You know I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween and it’s not really celebrated here.
We rather celebrate St. Martin and do our own lanterns here in Europe and go to a lantern procession when we are little and come from the German speaking areas of Europe but hey, I try to satisfy all my viewers here. That’s where the idea with the outfit for Francie came from.
As you all know I love sewing for little 15 year Francie doll, cousin of Barbie. She’s so cute and mine has only a few clothes I made for her. That’s why I do my own outfits, sew and improve my designing skills in pattern making.
In this case my idea was clear. A simple skirt and a easy but stylish top. Nothing complicated since a lot of you don’t have the biggest experience in sewing. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. That’s why you only get a twp piece outfit here. You only need one calculation and one drawing to do it. I think doing it easier is almost impossible. I imagined something like a witch skirt when doing it. I have a similar dress that I wore to the ball after graduation of High School. I love to be creative and that’s how the idea came into my mind. Don’t worry it’s still very easy.
You only need to measure once round her waist and then use the formula for the circumstance to get our radius. That’s the same thing you would do when designing a circle skirt but this skirt here had rectangles, almost a kind of square but with the waist part that we need cut out. That’s very easy, isn’t it?
After sewing all four parts together you already have the skirt. The amount of time you need to sew this is very limited. You can do it within one hour.
You could also use it for Christmas when you do it in another color like red or green to make it very festive. You know I’m very flexible with my designs. Why not using them for another occasion?
I began this project because I had no access to the right tailor’s ham in the right size. From other collectors I heard the question why not just buying one. The answer is that I can’t buy because it’s not available here in good old Europe. That’s the idea why I did my own diy tailor’s ham in Barbie size.
I came about this problem several months ago when I worked on my Francie short and had problems to iron the shorts at the end due to little curves. Of course you want to lay your fabric flat close the seam but it’s not always easy when doing these miniatures. I had this problem more than once. I’m a creative person an try to solve these problems of my own. Why not do something diy to solve it was the idea behind this project.
Yes, of course there are several videos about how to do your own tailor’s hams out there. It’s not very hard to do your own version of it but I needed a special form because a normal tailor’s ham is way to big for miniatures. I needed one for skirts and trousers and one for armholes. Armholes are the hardest to iron projects when you don’t have the right sewing supplies.
In the past I had the problem to put the arm through the armhole because the seam was in the way. I’m not perfect in doing arms and armholes. I’m still practising to come to perfection one day but for my projects it’s working at the moment. Just needed a way to improve my possibilities in supplies here. I hope this will make the process easier in the next projects.
I also have a mini ironing board for Barbie dolls but I have not used it often because the arm part did not fit the way I hoped it would. It’s a nice idea and for some projects it will work but not for all projects.
I hope that my idea helps you out there too to diy your own tailor’s ham without spending a huge amount of money. You can do it in any shape you like. It’s completely up to you. I don’t want to urge you to do it the same way I showed it here. You can tailor it to any size you may need and that’s one positive thing for me because you are not dependent on any industry.
For those of you interested in the filling it’s something very easy. For tailor’s ham bedding is used like you can see in the pic below. It’s the stuff that you used for cages for Hamsters, Bunnies and so on. It’s easy to get and cheap. This was not my idea. In my research I used other videos and blog posts.
In the last years I’ve done a lot of repair videos and sewing stuff but what most viewers of my audience don’t know is that I also have done a lot of paper crafts in the last decades. This started way back when I was in Kindergarten. Our teachers tried to improve our skills in working with paper, cutting, being creative and having fun with it. So this was literally something I grew up with. My mother and I did a lot of creative crafts until I became a teenager. It’s not that I stopped liking it but somehow this went into the background and we only had limited space to decorate the apartment and the Christmas tree. We also did hand painted eggs for Easter and lanterns for November.
This article is possibly more from my crafter side than from my collector side but sometimes it’s really hard to divide because there are no borders. You can work in every part if you want. I hope I’m not boring you but my parents showed me a lot concerning being creative. It’s more a kind of lifestyle than just using it to survive. I can post you a pic of what I did for the upcoming Christmas season. A part of it is already at my parents house because they visited us last month and I made a little parcel with all the things I’ve done in the past months.
In Kindergarten and Elementary School it’s very popular to make your own lanterns. Every year a lantern procession is done on 11th of November to celebrate St. Martin of Tour. The legend says he once shared his red cloak in a snowstorm with a beggar and so he became Saint Martin instead of just Bishop Martin. The story is taught in every Elementary School in the German speaking areas of Europe. Maybe it’s spread wider but I have not been there in school.
When I was little Halloween was something completely unknown to us. We did not know and we did not celebrate it. I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween either. That’s why I did a moderately inspired video about a Halloween outfit for Francie last week. http:// https://youtu.be/JWPlI4Gz_K8
Somehow I was reminded that St. Martin is coming up and I decided to take the idea a little further and teach you a little bit about diy lantern making. Since I have a channel for Barbie and Barbie related topics I decided to make a video of how to diy your own miniature lantern for Barbie dolls. Normal lanterns are way to big for using them for dolls. That’s where the idea to show you this kind of tradition to diy your own miniature lantern for Barbie and her 11 1/2 inch size sisters comes from. The lantern procession is kind of our counterpart to Halloween. It’s almost the same time. The main audience is children. Some of them come in costumes. Singing is very important but they don’t stop at every door to get sweets. The procession is rather peaceful and the parents also attend the procession. You can bring as many relatives as you have. The more you have the funnier the whole procession is. Normally the procession starts in a school yard, then moves through some residential areas and then they go back to the school yard. The lanterns are often made in arts and crafts lessons.
My parents worked with me on special lanterns. One year I had a shining sun lantern, another year a rocket lantern. You can basically do anything you like. As you can imagine the school children have often more complex lanterns than the younger children still in Kindergarten.
This whole topic made me think if I should do a video for you not only showing you how to diy your own miniature lanterns for Barbie and her sisters but also give you a little background why I have not invested so much effort in the Halloween outfit for Francie but into lantern making. I hope you understand it and I’ve made you a little more curious in how to diy your own miniature lanterns. A nice lantern is an enrichment for every doll house.