I’m excited to share some tips on sewing miniature clothing that I’ve been learning through this last pattern making adventure.
I’ve spent the past year sewing mini things- mini dolls, mini dresses, mini furnature. To be completely honest, I think I prefer sewing small objects more than larger ones. Maybe it’s because I work from bed, and it’s easier to manage the small pieces with my set up. But I’ve always loved little things, ever since I was a little girl. And it’s been such a joy to get to spend my time creating them.
As I’ve worked on our newest Mini Animal Collection, I’ve picked up a few tips that have made sewing at a small scale so much more enjoyable. I get a lot of comments about the size of our newest patterns. (They are small! I fully admit it!) Honestly, if I didn’t know about these techniques, I probably wouldn’t do as much little sewing as I do, so I thought I’d share a few of my go to tips for sewing miniature clothing in case it helps you sew your own tiny project.
Single Fold Hem
First off, lets talk about hemming.
Typically when you hem a dress you like to fold the fabric, then fold it again to make sure no raw edges are showing. Or you might serge the edge, and fold it up once to hem. Either way, you are making sure that raw edge is nice and protected.
That’s a lovely way to sew a garment for a life sized person. But when sewing in miniature, those techniques can often add too much bulk to your project. Often miniature dress patterns will leave the edges with no hem at all, just a raw edge. I prefer to turn the edge up once. It gives the front of the piece a clean look, without adding so much bulk that it affects the drape. You can see me do this type of hem in the clip below.
Of course you’ll want to keep this in mind when picking out your fabric. Something that is prone to lots of fraying will be difficult to work with in miniature.
The second technique I find helpful is the use of heat to ‘set’ the garment to fall the way you’d like. Often times I find that a gathered waistline will poof a little out of scale, but if you iron the gathers down they start to look more to scale.
It’s a very simple step that makes a big difference to the final effect. You can see me doing it in the clip below.
Heat Setting to the Max
And Last, but not least, you can take it a bit further and adjust the look of the entire garment after sewing it together. All you do is iron the piece, then while still warm (be careful not to do this when it is still too hot to touch!) you can scrunch the garment into the shape you like to get it to fall the right way. I’ve done that technique for my Regency era dress pattern which helps get a bit more drape from a thickly woven fabric. (See the click below.)
What did I miss? Have you found any tips or tricks when making small items?