Sewing Challenge: Uniformity

In September I proposed a sewing challenge at Figurvore to make two similar uniforms. The purposes were to increase confidence in being able to sew more than one of an item, and to make outfits that would be useful in the stories we want to tell. I was thrilled that other members played along! ^_^

I had a specific idea of how my cleric school uniforms should look. Although Barbie school uniform patterns exist, I couldn’t find one with the right kind of collar, so decided to try my own. How hard could it be? (Spoiler: quite hard.)

The first issue was the collar I envisioned was a Peter Pan collar, not the collar with stand I knew how to make. Sure, the Internet has instructions for anything. And Nicole Needles had the perfect tutorial, just what I needed!

…Well, it would have been if this were 1:1 or even 1:3 scale. But after many tries, I just could not get the collar to work in 1:6.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The second issue was the shiny fabric. It’s nowhere near as hard to work with as the thick bridal satin used for Tessa’s R1 dress, but it doesn’t fold well, frays more than cotton, and is harder to sew by hand. And I didn’t have as much, and wasn’t sure how easily I could obtain more, so decided to make the second blouse out of cotton. That worked better. \o/

The third issue was that the front closure was still awkward. I liked the sleeves, but that was about all. At this point I decided to move on to the skirts and socks, and if I felt like it later, come back and redesign blouses with back closures.

Yes, that is a rubber grape for the rebody grape trick.

The skirt and socks went well and quickly, comparatively. With renewed confidence, I was ready to try a new blouse. I found this school uniform pattern by Requiem Art Designs. And clicked through to find the collar I was looking for.

I’m glad I bought the pattern. It helped tremendously, as you can see below! I highly recommend Requiem Art Designs. The pattern was easy to follow, and Gwendolyn is helpful with answers to questions about her patterns and sewing in general.

I cut the collars a tiny bit larger to match my vision, and extended the blouse bottom with room for hips, so it could go under the skirt without untucking. Otherwise, I followed the blouse pattern exactly.  I know I work better with 1/4″ seams so I should have cut the pieces that way. >_< Plus the first two figures to get these outfits are Made to Move Barbie and Disney Princess Classic, not any of the four types of Barbie Fashionistas which the pattern is designed to fit. So the blouses do fit but are tight. The thin Velcro wouldn’t have worked because of my seam error, so for these blouses I used snaps at the waist and collar.


The shoes aren’t quite right but I didn’t think to order some until right before the challenge deadline. (The deadline was really for me, because I’ve been wanting to make these for over 2 years and I needed an end date to hold myself accountable.)


Credits for the other parts of the outfits:

The initial pleated skirt measurements were from HOW TO MAKE a pleated skirt for Barbie doll : My Outfits # 48 by Shasarignis on YouTube. After stitching and ironing the first one it was longer than I wanted, so the new measurements (so I can remember when making more uniforms) are 40 x 8.5 cm for the MTM size skirt and 13 x 3 cm for the waistband.

How To Make Barbie Doll Socks – Stockings – DIY Barbie Clothes Tutorial by Making Kids Toys on YouTube

Use a fork to make a bow tutorial by Bev of The Make Your Own Zone


The other challenge participants’ creations are here:

Druids by Siren Call of Toys
Scrubs and lab coat by Evian Delacourt 

If you’ve made uniforms for your figures too, feel free to share your link in the comments!


2 thoughts on “Sewing Challenge: Uniformity

  1. I am glad I came to your blog post and saw all the cool links! Thank you for all the videos, and thanks for linking to my project.

    I am really happy you posted the challenge. It got me to get out my sewing machine for the first time in 4 years! My uniforms were not as complex, but were a good challenge for me.


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