Printable Cupcake Dress Pattern

I made a basic dress pattern for the cupcake doll, but I haven’t had a chance to try it out. It’s a printable pattern – you iron a sheet of freezer paper to some batiste and print the pattern right onto the batiste. Then cut some lining in the same shape as the pattern.


1. Cut dress out.

2. Cut lining – an exact duplicate of the dress.

3. Sew dress front to dress backs at shoulders. Press seams open.

4. Sew lining front to lining backs at shoulders. Press seams open.

5. With right sides together, place the front against the lining. Pin together.

6. Sew both armholes on the seamline.

7. Sew neck and back opening on the seamline.

8. sew the hem on the seam line. Only the side seams should be open at this point.

8. Turn right side out by pulling the backs of the dress through the channel in the shoulder. This is the hardest part. Press.

9. Sew the side seams. Press.

Someone wanna be my guinea pig and test out the dress? Pretty please?

I need to know if the armholes are large enough to fit the hands through, if you can actually get the backs through the shoulder bits, and of course, if you have a better way to construct it, let me know. And send me pictures!

Fashion Detox

One of my classes focuses on the sustainability of the fashion industry and the impact of consumer culture on our environment.  The professor gave us a choice of extra credit assignments: write a 15 page research paper, or participate in one of the ongoing research projects.  Naturally, being the lazy-but-grade-grabbing person that I am, I chose to be a guinea pig.  I am going to participate in the Fashion Detox project, which means I cannot purchase any new fashion item beginning next week, for 13 weeks. 

What do you think?  Do you think it will be easy or hard?

This is Lil’ Cupcake, a chibi fashion doll.  She is three pieces – head, arm and body.  I called her Cupcake because she is a pancake style doll but better, like a cupcake.   🙂

She has such cute lil ears!

She has thumbs, and her knees,elbows and hips are stitched across so she is floppy.  You don’t have to do that though – you could make her so she is stiff legged.  There is an optional stiff bent arm included in the pattern.  Her shoulders are jointed with an internal button joint, like a  poppet.  I think this makes her form more appealing, and easier to design clothing for.

Speaking of clothing – she might be the same size as YoSD sized ball joint dolls, the chunky kind, not the slim.  Unfortunately, I do not have a chunky YoSD… will have to download a pattern or two to see the size difference.

This is her w/o clothes.

The pattern and the instructions are on the patterns page.

I am also working on a boy body and heads with different types of ears!

Why that shirt I made doesn’t fit

I gave up sewing my own clothing years ago. It was such an exercise in frustration: I would cut the pattern size out that my measurements indicated I was, sew the garment and put it on… and it didn’t fit. The shoulder seams would slop off, underbust seams wouldn’t fit under the bust, and the whole thing would sit wrong.

Here’s what I didn’t know – the measurements on patterns are a lie. According to Simplicity, I am a perfect size 20. But if I make a size 20, it doesn’t fit correctly, because I do not have a B-cup. If you are more than a B-cup, you should use your upper bust measurement, not your full bust. In truth, I am a 16 at the shoulders, not a 20. I will need to add fullness at the bustline (and ONLY the bust area), however, to get a shirt to fit. Typically, I also like a little less ease at the waist and more at the hips, so this reduces my waist to an 18 and my hips to 22.

I didn’t learn this until I took a sewing class – this would be my first sewing class in 15 years. I wish I had known this little gem years ago – I would have had a closet full of awesome clothes that I made instead of a pile of scrap fabrics.

Today’s Dinner

Broccoli, cheddar and potato soup
2 pounds potatoes: .85
Broccoli florets: 1.00
Carrots: .20
Bacon: 1.00
spices: .25
Milk: .40
Cheese: 2.00
Crescent rolls: 1.25

Total: $6.95, so that’s a bit over my $5.00 limit. I costed out the broccoli at $1.00 because I used only the florets. The broccoli stalks will be ground up and used for tomorrow’s meatloaf. And we have a lot of leftovers, so it all works out in the end. Also, I planned on making biscuits at a cost of .50 instead of the more expensive crescent rolls, but I ran out of milk.

Tomorrow’s dinner: Meatloaf cupcakes
Ground beef: 2.01
Broccoli stalks: .69
Carrots: .20
Oats: .10
Egg: .15
Spices: .20
Ketchup: .10

Total: 3.45. I got 1.55 to play with for a side. I may serve with biscuits (if I get milk) and peas. I got frozen peas on sale for .88, and any leftovers can extend the can of split pea soup I got in the cupboard.

The High Cost of Eating

Recently, Mr. Ghilie and I went out to eat a steak dinner where we live. Friday nights, The Spot serves the most fabulous steak and shrimp dinner… but the total was about thirty dollars. Last week I made us steak and mashed potatoes at home for under ten. It got me thinking – how much does it really cost us eat?

Tonight, I made split pea soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. The soup was .99, add some bacon (.50), a third a loaf of bread (.50) and six slices of Kraft singles, also .50. I also added some spices to the soup, and some margarine. So our whole dinner cost about $2.75. It was pretty good, but not particularly healthy.

I got some time coming up, and I think I am going to start a new project starting next week – eating healthy dinners on $5.00 or less.  Can it be done?  Maybe not by me.  I’m not a particularly good cook.  But I’m gonna give it a shot.

Anyone got any good recipes?

The things I learn in sewing class…

Today I learned why ready-to-wear and sewing patterns hate me.  First, a little background:  I have been sewing for about 15 years, and I am mostly self taught.  I don’t particularly enjoy sewing clothing because I put so much work into it and it doesn’t fit right.  Today, I have learned why.

Patternmakers think  my ass is huge.  Enormous. 

Thing is – I never thought so.  I always thought I was pretty much in line with the majority of women, a fairly representative sample of the hourglass (other than the thunder thighs).  My waist and hip measurement always falls in line with the pattern size, so what gives?

In class, I am making Simplicity 2562, a wide leg pants pattern for a curvy fit.  Here’s what I had to do to make these pants fit:

1. Lengthen the center back seam, above the crotch curve.  This makes sense because every single pair of ready to wear pants sits lower in the back than it does in the front.  I don’t have a single pair of pants that doesn’t do the ‘backslide.’

2. Widen darts by half an inch.  I already made the curvy option, so I don’t quite understand this.  Shouldn’t they take into account that a curvy girl has a bigger booty?  Sure, it gave me two darts instead of one, but I think the issue lies in the fact that a pattern size 20 is exactly the same shape as a pattern size 10, just larger.  Show me the curvy size twenty that is shaped like a 10 and I’ll show you a plus sized model.

3. Widen the side seam at the hip 3/4″.  This is what happens when darts get bigger.  Gotta add it back in somewhere.

I can see, though, that these pants are really going to fit, and furthermore, they are going to flatter.  So I am sending out a call to all you patternmakers – Make sure you include my booty!