Seminars

Doll Clothes Sewing Seminar

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sewingroom1The sewing seminar is to learn how to make professional, well fitting doll clothes, for any kind of dolls--antique dolls, child dolls, baby dolls, fashion dolls, any kind of doll clothes, where real sewing skills are important. It is offered to any sewer from beginner to advanced. I don't include play dolls and boy dolls as it would be a waste of time and money.
Each sewing seminar is on a first come, first serve basis, and set up at a convenient time agreed on by both the teacher and the student.

LEARN TO SEW BEAUTIFUL DOLL CLOTHES

(For fun or for profit!)

In my sewing seminars, you dress several dolls during the seminar--the number depends on how fast you work and what style clothes you make -(for example, little girl or baby doll dresses take less time than dresses for antique or fashion lady dolls). I do put some limits on the kind of costume you can make, as a very complicated one might actually take longer than the seminar!!

I make suggestions as to what kind and how many dolls you should bring to dress.

You learn not only how to fit existing patterns, but how to make your own.

You will make the patterns for all the clothes you make in class, beginning with the underwear and completely dressing the doll from the "skin" out.

You will learn little tricks like how to easily make socks for little girl dolls.

We don't dress boy dolls, American Girl dolls or Barbie dolls in class. My classes are for making quality doll clothing, more dress up rather than "play" clothes. If you want to make simple play clothes for dolls, you really don't need sewing lessons, they are fast and easy and there are many patterns available for them. I like students to leave here knowing how to do more complicated things that fit well and look wonderful, and how to take any pattern or their own and make an original garment from it, or how to look at a picture of a dress and develop their own pattern for it. If the student only came and made simple play clothes they would not learn this important stuff.
You can choose which kind of doll clothes you are interested in--from antique dolls to baby dolls to child dolls to fashion dolls, and you can learn to make clothes for more than one type of doll in one seminar! One student made a French style jacket dress with bonnet for an antique doll, an organdy dress and bonnet for a composition baby doll, and a formal for her 1950s Miss Revlon doll, all in one seminar.These were three very different styles she was able to process and take home knowledge about.
When you do the different styles, you learn in the process how different fabrics and trims are suitable for different era and type of doll.

I am always happy to answer any emails and questions! Just use our CONTACT US form to keep the spammers from getting our email addresses--yours and mine.

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I have noticed one particular seller on Ebay who does fashion doll clothing. When you go to her site you see many dresses in different fabrics for different dolls, but she uses only one pattern, in the same way.

You will learn how to create your own basic pattern that you can change slightly to make dresses that look entirely different, as well as make new patterns of your own style.

There are other things that will be covered in the seminar--education in fabric, methods of finishing, reducing bulk, choosing the right styles, fasteners, and many other things. You will learn how to research doll clothing so you appropriately dress dolls, whether antique or modern. You will be given some materials on pattern making to take with you.

Whether you are a total beginner or and advanced sewer, if you have never done doll clothes, sewing doll clothes presents its own unique problems. When you see poorly fitting doll clothes, they are almost always sewn by someone who tries to use the same sewing techniques and rules you would use for people clothes, and they just won't ever come out right. Doll clothes require their own special techniques.

Poorly Fitted Doll Dress

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Poorly Fitted Doll Dress

Properly Fitted Doll Dress

The Seminars are usually "one on one" --only one student at a time. However, there occasionaly are two, and there is still plenty of one on one time. Each student does their own thing, completely independent of one another.

The seminar is for four days, you arrive the day before and leave either the last evening or the next day, depending on the convenience for you, so you have four full days of learning and sewing. We start about 9:30 in the morning, have a quick lunch around noon, work until five, take a break for dinner at 5:00 , then after dinner work until around eight-thirty or nine, depending on how we are doing for time. I provide lunch and dinner at no extra cost to you ( as long as you like what I fix!) You are free to provide your own lunch and dinner if you wish, at your own expense. If you need transportation for shopping I will gladly provide it.

This schedule gives you a lot of sewing/learning time.

All the materials you use in class are included in the price of the seminar if chosen from supplies on hand--there are lots of fabrics to choose from. You have the option of bringing your own fabric and trim, at your own expense of course,

Part of the seminar is a trip to the largest fabric store in the United States!

If you come in time the day before the seminar, we can take our shopping trip for you to buy your own fabric if you wish, or just learn about different fabrics and why you would (or would not) use them to make doll clothes. Drape and weight are very important.

The trip to the big fabric store is part of the seminar. It is great if you can arrive early enough on arrival day so we can make the trip to the fabric store that day. If you can't arrive that early, then maybe you can plan to stay an extra day so we can  do the fabric store without taking up sewing time. If not we make the trip but don't get to spend as much time.

You may bring your own sewing machine or use one of mine. I frequently help students decide on a machine to buy.

Make your own doll dress patterns that really fit!You will learn a lot about sewing machines, rufflers, and sergers (if you don't already know about these) and if you have no experience with them will have an opportunity to learn to use the machines in class.

It is important to be able to tell what types of fabrics and trims are appropriate for sewing doll clothes, and many other things that are different from making people clothes.Alter patterns to fit your dolls right!

 

learn how to choose fabric for doll clothes

The Importance of Choosing the Right Fabric

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The Fine Print

The cost of the sewing seminar is $3,500.00 (for one student--see special pricing for more than one ) Plus you pay for your own motel accommodations. We help you find the best, closest and most economical ones in whichever class you choose. If you come on public transportation and need it, we provide transportation while you are here back and forth to your choice of lodging within a limited radius (contact us for details) as well as arrival and departure from public transportation (airport, train, bus etc.), at no extra charge. If you have  your own transportation back and forth from the motel/hotel you can stay whereever you wish as long as you can be at the seminar on time in the morning and stay until finished at night.

Once the seminar is scheduled you will be asked to sign a contract and make a deposit that is non-refundable unless we cancel the seminar, in which case there would be a full refund of course.

SPECIAL PRICING

Special pricing is available if two people want to come together to take the same seminar.( I limit seminars to two students, so both get complete individual attention. Each will still do their own individual thing: for example, one may wish to make a baby doll dress and the other a fashion doll dress.) If two people want to share expenses and attend at the same time, the price per person is reduced to $1,800 for each student. Each student still signs a separate contract and makes a separate non-refundable $500.00 deposit. This is a way two people can get together and save some money!

We are happy to provide references!

We understand it is hard to just send money to someone without more information. We provide a toll free number so you can call with any questions or to schedule a seminar-Just call 1-888 382 2637 and ask for JoAnn.

Use our CONTACT US form to email us with questions. We use a form because it prevents the spammer engines from seeing your email address or ours. We HATE spam and never share your information with anyone.

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The Latest Sewing Seminar

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In February we had another wonderful sewing seminar! Deanna Torigian was a superb student and already has her website up!

Deanna at her own sewing machine

Deanna came to the seminar to learn all she could about making patterns and beautiful clothes for the fashion dolls, old and new. She wanted to specialize in clothes for Miss Revlon of different sizes, but has already discovered so many new as well as other old fashion dolls that she loves sewing for, she will be sewing for both old and new. She already has clothes on here website, Babette Doll Fashions ( http://www.babettedollfashions.com ) be sure to visit and see her great dresses and outfits, and also visit her ebay seller site, her eBay name is torigian.

Our house and neighborhoodWe thought it would be nice to share some of the moments of the seminar with you, but--

First a picture of our house where the seminars are held . It is pretty scary to think of travelling across the country for a seminar, so here is a picture of our home in a Vancouver, Washington suburb. My daughter and I share the home. The sewing studio is in the large upstairs bonus room. My daughter runs Coburn Enterprises, which does website design and search engine optimization, as well as very small business consulting. She has one full time employee in our home office. We hope this will make you more comfortable in considering a sewing seminar.

Here are some pictures taken during Deanna's seminar...

The sewing studio Cutting out a new pattern
Deanna during the seminar choosing who gets a dress
First pattern pieces Working out the new pattern
Fitting the prototype Pattern perfected, cutting out dress
A beautiful new dress Making sure the trim is even on the next dress
Pressing is essential for nice doll clothes Another dress and pattern done
Another gorgeous pattern and dress finished Deanna made all these patterns from the beginning to end and turned them into these beautiful dresses. She finished the seminar and was excited to be home again making more patterns and doll dresses and getting her website going. Be sure to put her website on your favorites if you shop for fashion doll dresses for vintage dolls like Miss Revlon and Cissy dolls, as well as for modern fashion dolls like the new Cissy, Tyler,Gene, Kitty Collier, Ellowyne Wilde and others. Her designs are fresh and unique. I am proud to have had her finish my sewing seminar with such wonderful talent and ability. She will become an important new name in the doll fashion world!
   

Learn doll repair and restoration-a lifetime career!!

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The doll restoration seminars are to learn professional, museum quality doll restoration.
While I am personally no longer doing the seminars, one of my former students who excelled in the work will be carrying on the teaching to pass on the art.
I am referring people who would like to study the right way to restore dolls to Janie Nafsinger, at Antique Child, she does wonderful work and is an excellent teacher as well. Here is a link to her site,

http://www.antiquechild.com While you are browsing her site go to her other pages and view more of her work.

You may still email me with any questions and I will pass your emails on if you wish.

If you are looking for doll repair and restoration, there are several I refer to because I know their work, their honestly and expertise.

Janie at Antique Child http://www.antiquechild.com -- especially excells in bisque, china and porcelain dolls but does all antique dolls with expertise.

Nancy Rings, at http://www.nancysdollrestoration.com/ --Specializes in composition dolls, but also does fine work on your hard plastic and vinyl dolls.

On this page you see a Toni doll restored by the former instructor, JoAnn Morgan. Go to Janie's site to view dolls restored by her. On page two of the seminar there are more before and after pictures of bisque and china dolls restored by Joann.When you look at them , take notice the pictures are taken in good light so you can see everything clearly. I have noticed that on other sites, the before and after pictures are dark and often even fuzzy. Click on page two to see them, then on page three to see some actual student work. This is the same career training Janie is teaching with the same excellence--you will come away from her seminars with all you need to open and run a successful doll hospital.
Training includes information on how to get your business started ethics, advertising and much more.You learn in class how to:

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Before
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After
  • Do invisible bisque and china repair, including rebuilding shoulder plates and fill in missing pieces.
  • Fully restore composition dolls, from just repairing cracks to completely stripping them to bare composition and making them like new.
  • Completely restore hard plastic dolls.(See before and after picture of the Toni Doll) Restring dolls. Set sleep and stationery eyes Do iris transplants to restore crazed eyes in old composition dolls.
  • How to clean dolls without damaging them.
  • Repair leather bodies.
  • Mend cloth bodies.
  • Add colors to cheeks.
  • Minimize crazing with craze control
  • Rebuild fingers, toes and other parts including entire feet
  • And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is CAREER TRAINING, something you can make a living at. If you are seriously interested, you may call or email Janie for a free complete information packet, which includes information on what you need to bring, about accomodations,and a sample contract.The phone number is 208-850-7381 . You can email Janie by clicking This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Janie happily furnish you with references. Seminars are limited to 2 students,although usually there is only one student. All seminars are scheduled at the convenience of the students.

Seminar Page 2

There are lot of large, clear photos so you can see the details of the repairs,please wait for them to load and then scroll down to see before and after shots of dolls restored by the seminar instructor, JoAnn Morgan.

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This very rare doll, a KPM, was brought to me for restoration.Even though she was badly damaged, she still has considerable value because she is not only rare but this one is quite a large size. Someone had rebuilt the shoulder plate, and filled in broken areas, with a material that resembled bread dough that had hardened. It had then been painted over with paint in strange colors, though I stripped off most of it you can still see some of it in these "before" shots. I had to chip away all this strange material and rebuild the shoulder plate in front and then refill all the cracks and holes front and back.When the owner of this doll passed away, her collecition was sold at auction, and any doll that had restoration work done was so tagged. This doll sold as a restored doll for nearly $1,100. She was a nice large size, about 22".

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This very rare doll, a KPM, was brought to me for restoration.Even though she was badly damaged, she still has considerable value because she is not only rare but this one is quite a large size. Someone had rebuilt the shoulder plate, and filled in broken areas, with a material that resembled bread dough that had hardened. It had then been painted over with paint in strange colors, though I stripped off most of it you can still see some of it in these "before" shots. I had to chip away all this strange material and rebuild the shoulder plate in front and then refill all the cracks and holes front and back.

Below you see photos of an 18" French Fashion doll that was brought to me for repair. As you can see , the front of her face had been broken off and glued back on. I soaked it apart and took photos of it before I put it back together and did an invisible repair.

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Seminar Page 3

During the seminar you will actually restore several dolls and doll heads from start to finish.

The Toni doll pictured on page one of our seminar information , and the dolls shown on page two of Seminars, were all restored by JoAnn Morgan the instructor. The dolls on page 3,shown in various stages of repairs, are dolls actually restored in class by a student. There are a number of pictures showing the progress of the work. Pictured are before and after pictures of actual work done by a student during a seminar.

The before pictures show the dolls/heads as they appeared when brought to class. The second photos are of the dolls in the second stage of repair. The last photos show the finished dolls after the restoration is complete.

Please note that the work shown on page three is actual student work.

Stages of a seminar repair:

Margarette, a pre 1920's composition doll brought to the seminar by a student:

margbefore1 margbefore2
Margarette before Margarette before close up of head
margstage2 margrestored
Margaret stage 2 Margaret fully restored
studentchina1 studentchina2
China doll's head before repair, shoulder plate missing China doll's head after shoulder plate rebuilt and finished
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Stage two of reconstruction
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Group of dolls at the beginning of seminar Group of dolls after student reconstruction completed

 

   

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