Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pattern Sources

I have talked a lot about patterns in the course of these posts, always in the course of describing an outfit that I have made.  Today I want to show some of the variety of pattern sources available to the sewer of BJD fashions.

The patterns I use most often tend to be from Gracefaerie Designs, Adams-Harris Pattern Company, Fletcher Pattern Company/Designs by Jude, and MHD Designs.  As you have seen, I do not limit myself to patterns drafted on the exact doll I am dressing.  There are few patterns for MSD boys, so I go to designs for SD boys and downsize them.  Other times, I will take a pattern for Ellowyne Wilde, who is not a BJD, and upsize it for MSD girls.  Adams-Harris often produces SD, MSD, Ellowyne and YoSD versions of some of her patterns.  MHD Designs produces size variations of her own patterns too, although she has only 2 MSD patterns and none for YoSD.  Both designers are branching out into patterns for the Kish girls and some other dolls as well.  Fletcher/Jude have patterns for Ellowyne and MSD, as well as various Tonner dolls.

Adams-Harris, Designs by Jude,Fletcher Pattern, Gracefaerie, MHD Designs

I frequently adapt patterns that appear in magazines.  As I have mentioned before, Haute Doll magazine is/was a frequent source of patterns.  So was Doll Crafter & Costuming.  Both magazines have published their last issues; however, you may still find back issues available via e-bay.  Haute Doll's publishers closed their website a few days ago.  They have promised to continue selling their remaining stock via ebay under the ID murat_caviale_inc.  I imagine this includes remaining issues of The BJD Orbyrarium, which Haute Doll also published.

Haute Doll pattern for U-noa Quluts

Doll Crafter & Costuming
Gone, but watch e-bay for back issues
(As an aside, Doll Reader has published its first issue incorporating Haute Doll.  From the front, the magazine is Doll Reader.  Turn the magazine upside down with the back cover facing you and you have an abbreviated Haute Doll.  The editor does not say if this will be a regular feature.  Time will tell.  For the record, the first Doll Reader/Haute Doll did not include any patterns.)

Doll Reader also publishes the occasional pattern.  If you compare measurements, you may find that patterns for a non-BJD will fit some of your BJDs with minor alterations.

If using a pattern in a foreign language with a non-English alphabet doesn't scare you, look at some of the offerings from Japan and China available on e-bay.  They do throw in the occasional English word, enough so that you know for which doll the pattern is intended.  One thing to beware of:  pattern pieces are overlapped to save space.  Copy the pattern (either photocopy or use tracing paper) and then be very careful when cutting.

U-noa collectors will be interested in U-noa Freak and the new U-noa Freak 2.  Both are anthologies of U-noa articles and include stringing instructions and face-ups as well as patterns.  There are patterns for different sizes of U-noa dolls.

Dollybird is a great source of patterns for many sizes and makes of BJD.  Issue number 10, which is the one I have, has underwear patterns for 50 dolls.  Not just bras and panties, it includes corsets, babydolls, bloomers, nighties, etc.

I picked up two Dolly-Dolly books full of patterns and illustrated instructions for complete wardrobes for several dolls: Momoko, U-noa Quluts, Blythe, Odeco & Nikki, Licca, Tiny Betsy McCall, Jenny, U-noa Quluts Light and a few others.  Unfortunately, the titles are not rendered in English so I can't say what either one is called.  One contains a basic wardrobe, while the other runs to weekend casual.

Dolly-Dolly books and My Favorite Doll Series
I also picked up a book of kimono patterns for Jenny and other slim 27.5 cm dolls.  Can't say what the title is, but it's from My Favorite Doll Book Series.  I haven't tried the patterns yet, but I figured kimono would be relatively easy to size up.

E-bay will also lead you to Chang Hsiu Mei's doll dress patterns.  I haven't bought one yet, but she is on my list.  Each of her pattern sets includes patterns for different sized dolls, but not every pattern set has all the sizes.  She designs for SD, MSD, Unoa Quluts, Yo-SD, and either Blythe or Pullip (I can't remember which).  Her styles tend toward Gothic Lolita with a lot of embellishment.  If that's your style, she's definitely one to watch.

There are other pattern makers out there that I haven't touched upon, for the sole reason that I have yet to buy some of their patterns.  (But I fully intend to.)

So many little time...


  1. Yet again, I'm impressed. It seems like a lot of work and your clothes always turn out so beautifully.

  2. I have bought Chang Hsiu Mei's pattern in YoSD size and its wonderful. Even though its in chinese there are diagrams that are very clear on what goes where. Also the patterns don't overlap!