Style Series- Knowing Your Fabrics Part 3: Chiffon

Whether you make your own clothes or want to be a shopping expert, it’s helpful to know about different fabrics and how they “work.” Aside from color and pattern, different types of fabric can have totally different looks because of the way they drape or hang on the body, especially in doll scale. This series will help you learn more about some fabrics that are often used for doll clothes, so you can know more about how to use them or what to look for when you are shopping!

Part 3: Chiffon
Chiffon Fabric

Chiffon is a lightweight sheer fabric that is often used for items such as blouses, dresses, skirts, and scarves. It is a woven fabric (as opposed to a knit fabric), woven loosely to allow for a small amount of space between threads, giving it its sheerness. Most chiffon is either silk, polyester, or nylon. It gathers nicely and drapes beautifully with a flowy, airy quality, but it can be difficult to work with because it is so delicate. Making sure you have a very sharp needle and the right tension is critical in creating smooth seams without getting pulls in the fabric. It also is notorious for fraying a lot, so care must be taken in handling the pieces once they are cut to ensure they don’t fray past the seam allowance (it is often helpful to leave a bit of extra length for a hem so if the fabric frays, you can trim off the “hairs” without loosing too much length. French seams are often used with chiffon, as they completely enclose the seams to prevent any fraying. With a little patience and a gentle hand, chiffon can be used to create beautiful garments and accessories!

 “Clarisse Original” blouses made of chiffon:
Chiffon Blouses

Advertisements

Style Series- Knowing Your Fabrics Part 2: Jersey Knit

Whether you make your own clothes or want to be a shopping expert, it’s helpful to know about different fabrics and how they “work.” Aside from color and pattern, different types of fabric can have totally different looks because of the way they drape or hang on the body, especially in doll scale. This series will help you learn more about some fabrics that are often used for doll clothes, so you can know more about how to use them or what to look for when you are shopping!

Part 2: Jersey Knit

Jersey Fabric

Jersey knit is a very versatile fabric. It is generally lightweight, and can be made of many different materials such as cotton, rayon, polyester, or even silk. If you look closely, it looks similar to knitting done by hand, with “v” shaped stitches on one side and horizontal stitches on the wrong side, but the stitches are very tiny! Jersey knit can be used for anything from tee-shirts and sweaters, to skirts and dresses, and is very soft with a nice drape. It also doesn’t “fray” because the thread is knit instead of woven, though it can get pulls if not handled carefully. Also, because it stretches, it can be difficult to stitch without stretching the fabric as you sew. A helpful thing to keep in mind with knits, is that your iron is your best friend (as long as it is on an appropriate heat setting for the material- otherwise, not your friend!). If your seam comes out a little stretched, use the steam from your iron to “ease” it back into shape. It makes the world of difference!
*A tip from Clarisse: For seams that need to retain as much stretch as possible, try using a very tiny zig-zag (the smallest one possible, so it is barely noticeable), to allow the seam to have a little extra give. If the seam is too tight, then when the fabric stretches, it may cause the seam to rip.

A close-up of jersey knit- right side (top) and wrong side (bottom)
(click to enlarge)
Jersey Close-up

 “Clarisse’s Closet” sweaters made of jersey knit:
Jersey Sweaters

Style Series- Knowing Your Fabrics Part 1: Quilting Cotton

Whether you make your own clothes or want to be a shopping expert, it’s helpful to know about different fabrics and how they “work.” Aside from color and pattern, different types of fabric can have totally different looks because of the way they drape or hang on the body, especially in doll scale. This series will help you learn more about some fabrics that are often used for doll clothes, so you can know more about how to use them or what to look for when you are shopping!

Part 1: Quilting CottonQuilting Cottons

Quilting cotton is probably the most commonly used fabric, because it comes in tons of amazing colors and patterns! It is one of the easiest fabrics to work with because it doesn’t stretch or get out of shape, and it also presses nicely so that the finished seams are clean and crisp. Always watch out for folds that are in the fabric when you purchase it though- sometimes they can be very difficult to steam out, so always press your fabric before cutting your pieces out to avoid having permanent creases in your finished item. Cotton is great for design elements such as pleats, because it keeps that clean fold, or styles that are fitted and crisp. Although it is tempting to use quilting cotton for everything because of the availability of patterns, your standard quilting cotton may not be a good choice for a skirt or dress that you’d like to have a “flowy” look, because the fabric doesn’t drape that way, especially in a small scale. It also may not work well for something like a pair of pants, which are typically done with a heavier weight fabric.

 “Clarisse Originals” made of cotton: Cotton BlouseCotton works well for a collared blouse, because it is fitted and the collar will stay neat and tidy.
Cotton Dress

This simple wrap dress would work in many different fabrics, but the cotton gives it a classic clean look.

Style Series- Creating a Unique Style Part 5: Choose a Fashion Idol

Creating a style that’s all your own can be difficult, especially when you and many of your peers shop at the same stores. These styling tips will help you break out of the mold and stand out with your own unique style!

Part 5: Choose a Fashion Idol

When all else fails in creating your own style- steal someone else’s! You will undoubtedly come through with your own twist on it anyway, so it will still be uniquely yours. Find a celebrity (or a few!) with a look that you love, and use their outfits to get ideas. Collect pictures of your favorite outfits of theirs (hello Pinterest!) and then study them. Ask yourself what makes the outfit appeal to you. Is it the colors that she (or he) mixes? The patterns? Maybe the cut of the clothing or the way the fabric drapes? If you can identify these elements, that can help you apply them to your own wardrobe without being discouraged that you don’t have the exact top or the exact accessory that she’s wearing.

Taylor Swift- Taylor is a great gal for inspiration for a girly-girl, with an occasionally edgy side. I loved the colors that she put together in this outfit, and when I saw the skirt I knew I had just the one to use in recreating her look!
e6b1dcf3ccb5b49e4f0d36da9cd58d6d Taylor Outfit
Picture Source: Pinterest
Top: Clarisse Original
Skirt: AG Bitty Blossom Outfit
Shoes: AG Kit’s Floral Print Dress
Bag: Battat (found one here)
Sunglasses: Vintage

Emma Watson- Emma can rock a lot of different looks, but she always looks very stylish. Even in a comfy travel outfit, you can tell she has a great sense of style! I love the monochromatic scheme of this outfit, and the mixing of a baggy sweater with a slim-fitting bottom half.
948709f471d54c7a29ca0364757290cb  Emma Outfit
Picture Source: Pinterest
Sweatshirt: KateLaurenDesigns on ETSY
Blouse: AG Nicki’s Meet
Bag: DesignsbyOrvie on ETSY
Shoes: AG Samantha’s Meet Shoes (with straps removed)

Elle Fanning- Elle has such a sweet look and always looks fabulous in photo shoots. She tends to wear oversized clothes with a boho look, but when I stumbled on this picture, I thought she looked adorable! I don’t have a skirt exactly like hers, but this pleated skirt is a similar style and I used the shoes to add in the colors of her skirt. Since my skirt is so plain, I added the bow belt as a “Clarisse” touch.
17c95c1bc6448937aa0994f154e4c041 Elle Outfit
Picture Source: Pinterest
Top: OG Color Me Plaid
Skirt: AG I Like Your Style
Belt: OG Belt It Up
Shoes: AG Sparkly Tunic and Jeans
Glasses: AG Sweet Peach Glasses
Watch: AG 2012 Holiday Accessories 

This concludes the “Creating a Unique Style” Style Series! I’m looking forward to the next Style Series, where I’ll be sharing tips on designing and creating your own clothing and accessories!

Style Series- Creating a Unique Style Part 4: Find Your Signature

Bows1Bows2 Bows3 Bows4Creating a style that’s all your own can be difficult, especially when you and many of your peers shop at the same stores. These styling tips will help you break out of the mold and stand out with your own unique style!

Part 4: Find your “Signature”

You may be tired of hearing me say this, but I love bows. For me, they’re one of the things that makes my outfits Clarisse. I don’t wear one every day, but when I feel something is missing, I know just what to add. For you, it could be cowboy boots, dangle earrings, scarves, colored tights, funky necklaces- whatever you like to wear all the time! It could also be a design like nautical patterns, polka dots, or even a color that you always try to have somewhere on your outfit. It could also be bows (just sayin’). What’s your signature?

Pieces Shown:
Peep-toe Shoes: AG Flower Garden
Bow Flats: AG Real Me
Silver Bow Headband: AG Frosty Party
Polka-Dot Socks and Bow Belt: OG Belt it Up
Blue Top: AG Ruthie’s Play
Floral Ribbon and Bow Clips: Vintage 
Others: Clarisse Originals

Style Series- Creating a Unique Style Part 3: Pop of Color

IMG_3121 IMG_3125 IMG_3130Creating a style that’s all your own can be difficult, especially when you and many of your peers shop at the same stores. These styling tips will help you break out of the mold and stand out with your own unique style!

Part 3: Pop of Color

Another great way to style what you have in your wardrobe, is to pick one colored piece to stand out in your outfit. You can create a neutral outfit and add an accessory in a fun color, or if you have a certain colorful piece in mind, start with that and fill in the gaps with neutral or monochromatic pieces. Neutrals can mean your typical neutrals like white, black, and tan, but you can also “create” neutrals depending on what you pair them with. For instance, in the second outfit, you wouldn’t normally call that skirt a neutral because it is patterned and has varying colors in it. However, when you pair it with black and a contrasting bright color, it becomes a neutral in a sense, because it still allows the attention to be drawn to the bright color. Adding a pop of color is a fun way to show off the colorful things in your wardrobe in a playful way, that shows you know how to have fun with style!

Outfit pieces shown:

Style Series- Creating a Unique Style Part 2: Accessorize

IMG_1779Creating a style that’s all your own can be difficult, especially when you and many of your peers shop at the same stores. These styling tips will help you break out of the mold and stand out with your own unique style!

Part 2: Accessorize

I touched on this briefly in Part 1, but it is important enough to deserve a post of it’s own! Accessorizing is a great way to create a unique style. Scarves, hats, jewelry, belts, purses/bags- these are the key to looking stylish. For the examples, I’m using the shirt-dress from the Pretty and Plaid outfit by American Girl. This is a very versatile dress that with the addition of different accessories, can fit almost anyone’s style!

The first look is for the girly-girl. A demure sweater, a feminine scarf, and hair ribbons are great accessories for when you feel like playing up your girly side! Tights are great choice to stay warm, and boots with a little ruffle are appropriate for the season with a little girlish touch.
IMG_1777
Sweater: Emily’s accessories
Scarf: Marisol’s meet 
Boots: Nicki’s meet

Next is the sporty girl. A zip-up jacket, leggings, and sneakers are great outfit pieces for the sporty girl, as they show that even though you are wearing a dress, you are ready to head off to practice after school. A sporty pack is an essential to keep all your gear, and a coordinating headband keeps your hair out of your face in a cute and practical way.

IMG_1782
Jacket: Sporty School Outfit
Leggings: Star Hoodie Outfit
Sneakers: Mia’s Meet Outfit
Bag: 2-in-1 Soccer Outfit
Headband: Mia’s Practice Outfit

And third, the chic geek. A uniform-like blazer with knee socks and oxfords show you know how to study, but also look stylish! A pair of over-sized glasses are a great geeky touch, along with a stylish hat and a shoulder tote (for books of course!).
IMG_1789
Jacket: Blue-Ribbon Riding Outfit
Socks: Ruthie’s Play Outfit
Shoes: Molly’s Saddle Shoes
Glasses: Sweet Peach Glasses
Hat: Kit’s Beret and Mittens
Bag: Gift from AGPT’s Curiouser

Adding those extra little touches really help your personality come out in the way you dress. I used these stereotypical categories to show examples, but you don’t have to pin-hole yourself into a stereotype to define how you dress every day. If you are normally girly but wake up feeling like you want to read the dictionary, let your outfit reflect how you are feeling that day!

Style Series- Creating a Unique Style Part 1: Mix-and-Match

IMG_0931IMG_0935IMG_0940IMG_0943IMG_0945

Creating a style that’s all your own can be difficult, especially when you and many of your peers shop at the same stores. These styling tips will help you break out of the mold and stand out with your own unique style!

Part 1: Mix-and-Match

The easiest way to re-vitalize your wardrobe when you feel like you have a limited number of outfits, is to mix-and-match what you have! Don’t be afraid to choose combinations that you wouldn’t normally put together and try them on. You may be surprised what works when you actually put it on together (or what doesn’t!). Try mixing different patterns or color-blocking solids for a fun statement look, or mix neutrals from different outfits with a cute accessory for a more subdued, but still stylish look. For dresses, try adding a jacket or sweater, or even a tank or tee underneath to give it a different look. Adding a scarf or hat is another great way to spruce up a dress or any outfit to keep it from looking bland, especially in the fall and winter. Once you’ve tried working with what you have, you may find that there are a few basic pieces missing that could really add to your mix-and-match options, so head over to ETSY and find that missing piece! Whether it’s a denim jacket, a pair of straight-leg jeans, a lacey tank-top- I’m sure you’ll find that perfect piece to spice up your wardrobe without having to buy multiple whole outfits.

Outfit pieces shown: