Monday, October 28, 2013

TOS CREW Review- Rosie's Doll Clothes

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Do you love sewing in your house?  How about dolls?  We would answer yes, to both of those!  Even though my girls have grown out of the doll stage we have a few precious ones set aside to pass on to the next generation and that we pull out occasionally to share with little visitors.   And the sewing machine- well, it is a little bit quieter these days with my oldest at college, but it still gets some use!  I believe that sewing is a dying art, so I was excited to see the review possibility for Rosie's Doll Clothes Patterns!  What a great way to teach young people, recommended for ages 8 and up,  to sew with something that is fun to do!

Rosie's is a wonderful site!  We were given access to a 12 month online subscription to Learn How to Make Doll Clothes Video Course which allows you access all of her videos and 8 free patterns to make adorable doll clothes.   The 130+ videos are well organized and vary in length from a few minutes to about 10 minutes, but never too long as to bore or lose a younger student!  In the introduction, the teacher introduces herself (you will love her beautiful Australian accent) and does a little Let's Get Started talk.  From there, the videos include:

Setting Up Your Sewing Room
Tools That Make Sewing Doll Clothes Easy
Everything You Need to Know About Fabric
Know Your Elastic
How to Use Your Sewing Tools
Cool Tips When Using Your Sewing Tools
How to Print and Prepare Paper Patterns
Trouble Shooting
How to Sew Basic Stitches, Hems and Sergers
Casing, Tubes and Strips
Elastic, Gathering and More Advanced How To's
Trimmings and Fastening
More "Cool Tips"

Then there are separate videos to walk you through step by step to make the following -
Sports Shorts
Crop Top
Halter Top
Summer Nightie 

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Yes, that is a lot, but again, each video is broken into a manageable chunk for younger children to be able to handle but still challenging enough for a experienced sewer to enjoy.  In addition to the patterns that are supplied for you to print out, there is a step by step video series for each garment you can make.

Now, honestly, I do not even sew people clothes, so the thought of sewing doll clothes makes my head hurt, but my oldest THAT is a different story.  Not only does she make many of her own clothes and work at a costume shop, but she also has a business making and altering other peoples' clothes, so she was thrilled for the opportunity to try this program out.  Even though she has a lot of experience with real size clothes, things on a smaller scale were much newer to her and she hoped to pick up a few new tips from someone with even more experience!  I am going to turn it over to her for a while...

Hello, Ashton here. =)

 I chose to use three patterns, the crop top, sarong (which is more like a wrap skirt), and hat. 

 The instructions are really easy to follow, and the videos walk you through step-by-step!

The pattern pieces are also really easy to use, and clearly marked.

 All you have to do is print them (super easy!), cut them out,

 glue them together, and you are ready to go! Helpful hint - make sure you turn off the print to size feature on your printer or the measurements will be slightly off.

 I cut out the sarong using weights and a rotary cutter. This method takes some practice but is super quick once you have the hang of it (and can control your hand).

  I cut out the top using the traditional pins and scissors method.
-BONUS tip- Don't cut out your pattern piece beforehand. Just lay it on the fabric, pin, and cut. Not only does it save time but it also stabilizes the pattern and your fabric while you cut.

 Sewing! I used one of the industrial machines where I work, but you can use your home machine and be just fine.

 Topstitching, and almost done...

 Ta Da! Not super fancy because I'm not at home and didn't have any cute trims available to me, but super cute all the same!

 And a hat!

Yay! This was super fun, and I wish I had had these patterns and videos when I still played dolls. I think my favorite thing about them is that there is so much room for customization and alteration. You can easily change up the patterns to look exactly like you want!  I did pick up a few new techniques and ideas when working with smaller garments and I love having these patterns to hopefully use with my own children someday.  I do think that the level of difficulty is appropriate for elementary age kids with some supervision (because of safety with the moving parts of a sewing machine).  The directions are clear and easy to follow and the patterns are ones that will appeal to young girls, especially.

 Michele here!  As you can see, these are some cute projects to do!  With sewing being a harder art to find a teacher for, I think it is wonderful that a company like Rosie's exist to pass on the knowledge of sewing and the skills it takes.  While you may be able to learn some of the techniques from a basic book, there is nothing like a "real, live" teacher to show you how to do something, especially for visual and auditory learners.  One of the other things I really appreciated about this videos was that Rosie did not jump right into the sewing, but took the time to teach you about the things involved in sewing first,  from the fabric to the tools you should have.  If you had no previous sewing knowledge or "stuff" on hand, you would know exactly what you needed to buy and how to get started. Many programs assume you know those basics and that is often just not the case, especially with younger sewers.

Based on our experience, we would highly recommend this program not only to new sewers, but also to more experienced ones as well who are looking to add some new skills and techniques to their knowledge!

Fellow CREW members also used this program, many with their younger children, so I would encourage you to check out their reviews by clicking the banner below.  Enjoy looking at all the young talent and the fun creations they made.  So cute!!!

Rosie's Doll Clothes Patterns 12 month Online option can be bought for $47.85.  If you wish, you can also now buy the DVDs for $67.02.

Happy sewing,


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