This past week I have been experimenting further with the patterns from the Stickatill Barbie website. I’ve concentrated on just three patterns mostly because our printer had completely run out of ink and I couldn’t print any others. We couldn’t buy any in our local shops so had to wait to get it. I’ve since printed up several more which I’m planning to try out.
It’s been interesting though to experiment with knitting the same outfit in different yarn or different sized needles. I know that when you knit a garment you should really knit a swatch first to find out the tension as no two people knit exactly the same. To be honest I don’t have the patience to do that when I’m making dolls clothes as the swatch takes nearly as long to knit as the garment so I’ve just been doing trial and error.
One pattern I’ve been using a lot this week is a bikini pattern I found. It’s very quick to make. I can do it in a couple of hours and I’m not a speedy knitter.
If you were around in the 1970’s you may remember crochet beach wear. There were some knitted bikini’s around back then too although getting them wet might not have been a great idea. I’m trying to get that kind of feel with mine. I don’t want them to look too bulky.
My first effort was in Milford 4 ply cotton knitted on 2mm needles. It was quite a good fit but a touch bulky on a modern 29 cm fashion doll I thought. It would be great for a larger doll. It is quite a good fit on one of my Tressy dolls as you can see. It just slides on so it would also be great for children’s play. You can probably see the detail in the pattern best in this weight.
Then I tried the pink cotton Perle thread I used for the tube dress. I used 2mm needles for that and it worked well for the bra but the panties were too tight to go over Midge’s hips so I know that they won’t fit the Fashion Fever or Fashionista girls. I knitted another pair of panties this time with 2.25 mm (13) needles and added some stitches. They sort of fit. I had to leave the back seam open so I will sew on a hook to fasten it. I could make another top for this in the larger needles too. This one fits but I think if she wants to play beach volleyball there could be a wardrobe malfunction.
I later stitched the back seam halfway up and added a hook. A snap would probably work but I thought that the hook would be the least bulky fastener. Velcro is a pain in the neck to hand sew to knitted items. The bottom fits the model muse body quite well, the top is a little loose on her.
One evening before dinner I unearthed some red cotton and in less than an hour knitted another pair of panties this time on 2.75 mm (12) needles. I had to slide them on carefully but they fit well although they are very brief and the larger needle gives a looser fabric. It is starting to look 1970s :). Tomorrow I’ll make a bikini top and try them on one of the other body types. I’ll make some in the orange 2 ply next and see how that works out on a couple of different needle sizes. Apart from the orange which I bought recently most of my cottons are things I’ve had lying around for ages inherited from other people. If I go to op shops and markets over the next few weeks I will have to look for some more. In the next picture you can see how the bikinis look on different body types. The red one slides on. The white one was made in a very fine thread and I messed up the pattern when I did the bottom so I’ll need to have another try.
I’ve also made another lace up front dress in the same blue 4 ply and laced it with a white cotton thread. I’ll try it in the red next. I’d love to get my hands on some gold or silver metallic yarn. This looks a bit nautical but I might shorten this bow a bit to get it more in proportion. I’m really bad at tying bows and needed it long so I could do it.
I used the same yarn to knit this little waistcoat. I sewed snaps on for the fastening and sewed the miniature buttons in the front.
Another quick knit was the lacy top, this time in 2 ply orange cotton on 2mm needles. I haven’t sewed this one up at the back yet as I’m thinking of using a hook or snap at the neck to make it easier for non articulated dolls to wear. It’s a firmer fabric than the pink and white ones I made but not as bulky as the blue and pastel ones. I think I like 2 ply best for fashion doll knitting although the finer cottons are great for lacy little garments.
My models this week have been Midge and Marissa who have been in on all my knitting projects and Kristina who is my Model Muse body model. The leggings that Kristina and Marissa are wearing were not made by me. They were part of my first purchase from Etsy seller Diana in Lithuania and arrived in today’s post.
I’ve really enjoyed creating these garments and I intend to make some more as I like how quickly I can finish them. I’ve just bought myself a set of four tiny bamboo needles so my next project will be to make something with them.