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PatriciaPf

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am considering sewing doll clothes for a 17" vintage doll, but I have never done it.  What are the best type of sewing machine and the most useful feet for working on such small items?  I have 20 machines, from Singer 28 hand crank to mid-century Singers, Pfaff 1473 [dual feed], Bernina 1130, Elna "Grasshopper", among others.  Any advice is most appreciated! 
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Patty
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #2 
Years ago, I made a few doll clothes.  I started out with a Pfaff 1471 and especially for Barbie doll clothes, I got frustrated.  I pulled out a 15-90 and used that - much easier and not frustrating.  I just used a narrow straight stitch foot on the machine.

Janey

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Zorba

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'd be tempted to say "Bell Micro"...
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #4 
Well, you don't need a large harp space, a powerful piercer, decorative stitching.  What will be helpful is precision and slow speed control.  I would vote for a straight stitch only (with the narrow straight stitch foot) machine (best precision) and a machine you have good slow control.  Hand cranks have excellent slow control and if the doll clothes you make can be done sewing with just one hand then maybe the hand crank is the way to go.  
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #5 
Funny you should bring this up.   Just a couple of days ago I just used my 1875 W&G to do a little bit of sewing for my wife's antique doll...

doll.jpg 

I considered using the Singer model 20 that's sitting there, but I would have had to find the table clamp, and a suitable table, and besides, I've never found toy machines the least bit satisfying to sew with.

I'm pleased with my construction technique:  I took a 10" strip of cloth, and used the W&G narrow hemmer along both of the long edges.  Then I simply cut away everything between the hems that wasn't destined to be the mask.  So the ties are just extensions of the top and bottom hems on the mask.  The edges of the mask are unhemmed.  (Hey, it's only a doll, and it's only a mask.  :-)

paul


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ttatummm

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Reply with quote  #6 
Paul,

That's adorable. I love that you used an 1875 machine to make a mask for an antique doll.

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morningstar

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Reply with quote  #7 
So with in the ..in ... crowd of the day. Such a cute idea and I am sure fun too.
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victrola

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Reply with quote  #8 
I have not sewn doll clothes, but I have noticed that often I prefer a Singer straight-stitcher over my (beloved) Elna Grasshopper because the right toe of a Singer straight foot is much narrower and allows for a 1/8" seam allowance using the right edge of the right toe as a guide.

On the other hand, a free-arm machine (like your Grasshopper) might be handy for some tight corners.

All in all, Singer 222 comes to mind (its presser foot, its slender free-arm when you want it, a slide-on bed to support the fabric when you don't need the free arm...) but well, not everyone has a 222!

You may find it practical to set up a few machines and use each one for a different task according to its strength. Isn't that the best of all? ;-)
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PatriciaPf

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Reply with quote  #9 
I am grateful for these replies, all worth considering.  I wish I could claim ownership of the Singer 222 as it might fulfill the requirements.  I have a 221 and a 301, both of which have a narrow foot.  If ever I get the project underway, I'll let you all know what works the best and if I have to bounce from one machine to another.  [biggrin]
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Patty
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #10 
Patty, many years ago, I used my 328-K (with narrow presser foot) and made some Teddy Bears and clothing for them, but I've forgotten more than I ever knew about that.  I have used the 328-K and made many, many baby dresses.  I also just made a tiny version of a baby dress for a little 6 lb. 1 oz. baby girl.  Now, that was a trip! 

I've missed seeing your posts -- I'm still plugging along -- have made more Folded Star Potholders than I'll ever use, so I'm giving away about 15-20 to my sisters and nieces.  We're planning a trip to Arkansas next month, if I am able to make the trip.  Please let me know how you're doing!

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Phyllis1115

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Reply with quote  #11 
When my daughter was young and into Barbie dolls, I successfully sewed clothes for all of her dolls with an Elna SU/Blue Top free arm. I am the original owner of that machine so you know it was more than four decades ago. I have additional flat bed and free arm back up machines. 

Unfortunately, I do not have grandchildren so not more doll clothes. 

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