I have been wanting to teach Avarie to sew for some time. I have looked at kits, talked to people about lessons, and tried to figure out where to start. Avarie has continued to ask when she can learn to sew so naturally when the opportunity to review Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns presented itself I decided it was time to begin some sewing lessons. And since Avarie is a HUGE American Girl doll fan, making doll clothes for her dolls was an added bonus.
What is Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns?
Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns is an online video sewing course. There are over 130 videos teaching basic sewing as well as step-by-step instructions for sewing doll clothes from patterns that are provided. The six week course includes understanding your sewing machine, stitches, tools and resources as well as tips and tricks for sewing doll clothes for your 18 inch doll. Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns also has Cabbage Patch doll patterns if you don’t have an 18 inch doll, such as an American Girl doll.
The videos are very easy to go through as they are, on average, 2-8 minutes each. Since they are short there is very little delay when streaming from the website, which is a nice bonus. A subscription to Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns gives you 12 months of access to the online sewing course as well as the bonus patterns. Recommended for ages 8 and up, the 12 month subscription to Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns is $47.23 (as of the date of this post), though the price fluctuates due to currency exchange rates. There is also an option to purchase the six week course on DVD available through Rosie’s website.
What We Received
We received a 12 month subscription to Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns online with included eight 18 inch doll patterns. Since the course is online we had access right away. The patterns are paper patterns that are printed on your printer. There is even a tutorial on how to print the pattern pieces properly – very helpful. Customers can watch as much as you want and repeat as often as needed.
What We Did
We got started on the lessons right away. There are two recommendations on how to go through the course – all six weeks of sewing lessons and then proceeding to the pattern and their respective tutorial; or through week 1 of the sewing course followed by/or simultaneously with week 1 of the included patterns then moving along week to week.
We started going through the videos of week 1 sewing lesson together. Our initial plan was to do all 6 weeks of the sewing lessons first and then proceed to the patterns since we are inexperienced; however, Avarie was VERY anxious to start sewing so, after week 1 of the sewing course was completed, we proceeded with the week one pattern – shorts.
Since we do not have any material or sewing materials lying around, we went out and purchased a beginner sewing kit from our local store. Rosie makes it very clear in her videos that you do NOT use paper scissors for cutting fabric and vice versa therefore we needed fabric shears as well as a pin cushion, ruler, etc. We borrowed a sewing machine from my mother, since we don’t have one, and we used my old maternity clothes for fabric. This was our economical way of starting with sewing without investing a lot of money. We wanted to make sure we are going to enjoy the activity before purchasing a sewing machine for ourselves (I think we’ll be purchasing a sewing machine!!).
We proceeded very slowly through the videos. Though Avarie finished watching almost all of week 1 on the first day because she was so excited, we went back and watched them again. That is a great point of the course being online, you can watch the videos as often as necessary to make sure you understand what the course is teaching.
What We Thought
Overall, we LOVED Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns online video course. I think it is an excellent way to learn to sew. Much more economical than individual sewing lessons, and very easy to use. I love that, for me, I could watch the videos with her as well as on my own. Since it has been over 20 years since I have used a sewing machine, it was an excellent way to help me out so I could help my daughter.
Avarie thought the videos were great and learned a lot the very first day. I think she will become a confident seamstress by using the videos. She is very excited to make additional outfits for her American Girl dolls. She is also excited to make matching outfits for her dolls.
One thing I noted from the video is that using dark fabric with dark thread for the lessons (i.e. doll shorts) was a little frustrating. Though I know its best to use matching thread when sewing, as a beginner, I wanted to be able to see the stitches. They couldn’t be seen on the fabric and you can’t get up close on the fabric like when working with a teacher in person. If you notice in my picture, I used orange thread on light fabric so we could see what we were doing since it was our first sewing project. It would have been helpful, especially for teaching, to have light fabric and dark thread or the reverse so it would be easy to see the stitches – stitch type, how sewn, what it is supposed to look like, etc. We did notice that in some of the course videos Rosie did use different color thread to highlight stitches.
One of the things I loved about the patterns was that you can print them on your printer. Then, there is a measuring mark on the pattern for your to check to ensure you printed them correctly. Next the grain lines are indicated on the patterns so you can match it up with your material. The pattern also indicated if you needed to cut out two of the pattern and any other notes that make working with the pattern or using the pattern easier.
Being an inexperienced seamstress, I was very dependent on the instructions to help my daughter. There were a few occasions in the videos where experienced seamstresses obviously assume knowledge or “common sewing sense” and this posed a little issue for me in going through the videos and helping my daughter. For instance, the resources list for the doll shorts states to have elastic however it does not say how much. Though the videos gave lots of helpful hints in sewing elastic, threading elastic through casing etc, I could not find information on how much elastic to use. This is probably intuitive to an experienced seamstress but was quite time consuming for my daughter and me.
Additionally, there were times where some of the resources required for a pattern were left out and this became frustrating because we would get to a point in the pattern and then realize we needed Velcro or something and did not have it on hand. Again, this is probably inconsequential to someone with an established sewing room but since we do not have a large supply of sewing supplies we would have to halt progress and make a trip to the store before proceeding.
Otherwise, the videos were extremely valuable. They were short, easy to watch, and very thorough. There were lots of tips, short cuts, and generally easy to understand ways to do basic sewing steps. My daughter and I both learned a lot about sewing. We even had some fun! Avarie was able to watch the video and then do most of it, with just help with basic placing etc. She did a good job and got better with each step. She doesn’t like to mess up (who does, right) so she is reluctant to do things she is not confident will turn out right. Therefore, she asked for a lot of help with pinning and turning seams but I think she’ll become more confident as she does more and more.
Avarie is so proud of her first outfit and has plans to make a coordinating colors outfit of the same shorts and top patterns for her other doll and then mix and match the pieces for her dolls. She is excited to try the nightgown next and is looking forward to making her next pattern more on her own.