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fabrics

Page history last edited by Linda McD 3 months, 1 week ago

Miniature fabric projects for dollhouses, roomboxes and dioramas

Ever tried to find tiny patterned fabric for upholstery, curtains, and household furnishings? What about dressing your character doll? See the printables page, also curtains and embellishments for discussion of pretty Pleater.

Want to combine shades, crate a stunning palette? See colors

 

Also see needlecrafts

just a bit of fabric


Links to miniature fabric projects

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  • photo albums, blog posts, webpages

Fabric Store - Evelyne is working on a shop in memory of her grandfather

 

Miniature Fabric Blogs

  • Blogs concentrating on fabric or categories/labels about it in blogs

 

Miniature Fabric Groups

  • Discussion groups, forums (or forum categories) and photo groups dedicated to fabric.

 

Miniature Fabric Supplies for sale

  • Supplies needed for making fabric projects.

 Spoonflower - custom printed fabrics

 

Miniature Fabrics for sale

  • Do you have a section for fabric in your shop? Add a direct link here.

Bee - Fabric Boutique

Chadwick Heirlooms

Dharma Trading Company

Doll Artist's Workshop

Dragonfly International

The Enchanted Attic - by Barb Spencer, textiles

Farmhouse Fabrics

Les Chinoiseries - fabrics and wallpapers

Little Trimmings

Magic Miniatures

Maria’s Fabrics

Martha Pullen Company

Miniature Luxuries

More Cloth - Select the color range and then the fabrics sold in Etsy

Spoonflower - custom printed fabrics. Quilting fabrics, but also lightweight silk crepe de chine, cotton voile and cotton silk blend. Use designs already there or upload your own. Get a color sample and a fabric sample pack for to make sure you order what you really want.

Tanya's minidolls

Thai Silks

The Silk Route

Vaune

 

Fabric Books

  • Books about miniature fabric projects (also books with chapters about it)

 

Instructions for Miniature Fabric Projects

Miniature Fabric Printables

Miniature Fabric Wallpapers

  • Wallpapers that go well with fabric projects

Textile Stock Photos

Other Miniature Fabric Printies

  • Book/magazine covers related to fabric

Miniature Fabric Project Links

  • links to sites showing how to make items related to fabric

Create Custom Small Print Fabrics - from About.com

Draping - by Hazel Dowd 

Dyeing with Food Colouring - from Happiness is Homemade

Dyeing with Kool-aid - from Dye your own Yarn

Dyeing with Kool-Aide - from Frills and Fancy E-zine

Dyeing with Kool-Aid - from Sleepy Hollow Farm Life

Fabric Printing -  by Cynthia Howe

How to Choose Small Scale Print Fabric For Doll Clothing with Gathers or Pleats - from About.com

How to make and use Transfer paper - from Video Jug.

How to Paint Aida Cloth - from Wee Little Stitches

Make Your Own Mini-pleater - from YakkityYak Dolls

Making Fabric Flow - from Madsculptor Dec 2011

Selecting Fabrics for Miniatures - from Dollhouse Brazil

Using Velvet for Miniature Doll Clothing and Upholstery

 

Miniature Fabric Videos

  •  YouTube videos about miniature projects related to this subject

 

Fabric Research/ Inspiration

Miniature Fabric Tips/Hints

  • Organizing fabrics - from Minhas Minis

  • How to Wash Silk - and remove stains fron Tide .com 

  • How to Clean and Care for Silk Ties  - from The Spruce 

  • Pleating can be used to disguise a pattern that is just a trifle too big as the pleats will break it up into more manageable bites for the eyes to see.
  • Pressing velvet - iron face down on a towel, or purchase a needle board (expensive, so look for one in garage sales or Goodwill shops). To create a design on velvet, press dampened fabric on a card-making stamp. can be used with velveteen, chenille, corduroy and furs.

  • Selecting fabric for 1" scale. You can carry a piece of card in your wallet with a 1" square cut out. Place it over the printed fabric to see if it is in scale. Or use your thumb! Your doll's head is about the size of your thumbnail... no need to carry anything else in your purse.. Or use index (pointer) finger and thumb to form a pretty-close- to-one-inch square. Or cut a skirt pattern piece from cardstock, then lay that skirt-shaped opening over the fabric you are considering to see if the pattern on the material is a suitable size. That will also help you determine if the designs are spread apart too far so that only a few flowers (for example) will show up on the finished skirt... and those flowers may show up very badly positioned.
    It is also important to not choose too bright a fabric, as it can overwhelm a tiny doll. Often, though, the fabric can be used inside out to eliminate that problem.
    Another important factor is to make sure the skirt is cut to follow the line of the natural "drape". Form folds across the top of one edge of the fabric. Those folds should fall naturally, and your pattern pieces should be placed to follow that "drape line".  If the folds do not drop nicely off your hand (. try forming folds at another edge of the fabric. When you find the correct drape line, use that as a guide in cutting out your pieces. In some cases the fabric will have a natural drape line at both sides of the fabric.

  • If the pattern is over large, isolate a pattern, for example a flower, and cut it out. The fabric can be glued as desired, to say the waistband or cummerbund to create a pattern that not only matches but is interesting. Also, like pleating, ruching works well. So you could make a bodice that is ruched, the waist area all cinched in with the appliqued flowers and the skirt left alone.
    Another way to judge scale is to make a scale drawing of the dress on plastic. (Waste plastic works fine) and put that over the fabric. Look to see if a stripe looks good one way or another. Place multiple fabrics under each other and see what strikes your fancy. Maybe one becomes the skirt and the other the bodice, or vice versa. Many ways to play! 

  • Fabric can be used as wallpaper.
  • Fabric can be coloured with tea or dye.  Wet first before inserting in dye bath to evenly colour the item.
  • Alcohol paints can be used for so many doll ideas. Alcohol ink is very expensive and for some impossible to get , but can be used for so many ideas. Use on your cottons or silks for fairy or girls gowns, paint mylar for fairy wings...the sky is the
    limit. Buy rubbing alcohol and Sharpie markers (Any dollar store markers work as long as they are permanent like the
    Sharpies. First cut off the tip of the felt pen, then pull off the tip end of the plastic pen. This will expose the felt-like cartridge inside. Cut a few vertical lines in the cartridge and then cut into lengths that will fit into a disposable plastic container.  Add 1 ounce of the rubbing alcohol (vodka works too) to the container and let soak till the felt has no more ink in it. Now you can adjust the strength of the colour by adding more or less alcohol. Take the felts out and put in a small lidded jar. Play with it by mixing colours and strength until you get the colour you want.
  • Looking for mini fabrics? - look at men's pajamas, silk ties, little girls panties (blankets), socks (sweaters)
  • Source for brick fabric -  your local quilt shop may carry  brick, wood and landscape fabrics for landscape scenes or 'quilt art'. 
  • If you don't have a local shop, try www.equilter.com 
  • Google for 'quilt fabric brick' or 'quilt fabric landscape'
  • Sulky is an iron-on tear away stabilizer.  Iron on the wrong side of fabric whenever silk fabric causes problems, pull the paper away and...whoulaaa! You end up with a silk fabric you can work with wayyyyyyyyy more easily! It doesn't make your fabric bulkier but just easily to handle. 
  • Check the thrift shop for men's 100% cotton shirts. The older, the better, because they have been washed and worn many times. Bring them home, wash them, and tear them into pieces. Many of these fabrics have very tiny designs that are actually woven into the fabric. The colors are often faded, the fabric worn thin, and the designs in perfect scale. If you are not sure about how a fabric may drape, crush it in your hands. If you can make it wrinkle easily, it should work well on a doll. Look for men's silk shirts, especially a neutral white which can be dyed. Silk ties have tiny jacquards and foulards, all perfect for doll house clothing.
  • To glue two silk seams together, paint or spread glue softly from the seam line to the edge. Let the glue get tacky and then lightly pinch the two together. Use an iron to press the seam and you should not have any glue marks at all.
  • Try using your curling iron on small fabric pieces instead of hauling out the steam iron. 
  • For fabric than frays easily, iron it ti freezer paper and then cut out, apply Fray-check and peel paper away. iIf the fabric is very fine, make a small cut on the freezer paper before you press the fabric onto the glossy side. You will find it will assist greatly in removing the paper from the middle out instead of trying to start the corners. They have a tendency to fray. The finer the fabric the softer you need to lift away, but that is probably a good tip to do all the time.
  • With silk, remember with the glue less is more. When you paint or glue tip the glue onto the silk for ANY reason, not just seams and hems, but especially for them, wait for the glue to get translucent, almost dry. THEN join the two pieces of silk together. Do not press hard. Tamp lightly along the seam line and perhaps hit it with a light iron. Hot, silk temp, but a light touch. You will find more success and less if any of the glue marks. Wait for the glue to tack up before putting on ribbons, or roses, or anything. The heavy press is what causes the glue to seep through and mess up everything. 
  • Frequently when you go to purchase silk the thickness of the silk is represented by a number followed by the initials mm...... the smaller the number the thinner the silk. Hence a China silk at 4mm is much thinner than a shantung silk listed at 16mm....... an important thing to remember when you're buying on the Internet and cannot feel the fabric in person before
    ordering!
  • Try gluing a single layer of Kleenex over a printie to create a fabric effect. 
  •  When buying antique lace or fabric, you will often find yellow "old age" stains on it; They can be removed by soaking the material in dental cleanser using the same instructions as for dentures. If the cleanser turns blue, continue to soak the material until the blue turns to white. Then rinse with clear water.
 

Working with Silk Tulle

The difference between silk tulle and silk net is as follows:

  • Silk tulle is very fine, light, soft and `drapy'. If you throw a piece of silk tulle up in the air it will float down like gossamer. BUT, it can be extremely difficult to work with because it is so soft and `floaty'. It `sticks' to your hands and is quite difficult to cut accurately because it slips all over the place!
  • NB: Sometimes silk tulle is labeled and sold as silk net but if it is advertised as soft and drapes well and is less expensive, it is more than likely to be technically silk tulle.
  • Silk net, on the other hand is far more easy to handle. Although it is as fine as the tulle, it is much firmer (although not stiff) and does not slip all over the place when you try to cut it! Nor does it get stuck on your hands and is a much less frustrating fabric to work with.
  • However, the difference in price between the two can be very large. Both fabrics, being pure silk, are expensive but that the net is quite a lot dearer than the tulle.
  • Buy silk net or tulle in pale ivory and dye small amounts the needed shade. Both will lose firmness and revert back to soft and floaty tulle.
  • Treat the dyed fabric with some spray starch. One spray and a quick iron and they both revert back to net firmness. Hairspray also works and there is no need to iron.
  • So if you are looking for a firmer silk net for your project, you may want to consider buying a less expensive silk tulle and treating it with either spray starch or hairspray.

Draping Techniques

  • Use cheap hairspray and pin into folds.
  • For heavier fabrics, use Stiffy
  • Kitchen foil can be used as an interfacing with fabric, making folds, drapes and even a camping tent flap to hang as desired, and to stay put.  Just glue the cloth to the foil. If both sides are to be seen, then another layer of fabric needs to be glued on the visible part.
  • If colors are too bright, and you want material and embellishments to blend together, make a cup of strong tea or coffee and wet the fabric, lace and any trims you may want to use with water and then dunk them in the tea/coffee. Let them sit for awhile, stirring a bit now an again and testing to check the color. When it seems the colors are now a bit subdued you can rinse the fabrics and trims and iron them dry.After the doll is dressed you will notice the shades of color will blend together nicely giving a slightly antique look. Note: experiment with herbal teas for different colorations, as well as Kool-aid..

Printing Your Own Fabric

  • Make your own small print fabrics using regular size fabrics from various places, using a product made for inkjet printers called PhotoFabric by Blumenthal Craft Crafter's Image. Select the 100% Cotton Poplin, as it is lighter weight than some of the others. Cut a piece of fabric to fit the glass area on your scanner. Scan the fabric and save it to your computer making a file of various fabric favourites, so you can then click on a variety of designs to print at the same time. When you click to print them, they come up on the screen like photo images do. Then  pick the size you want to print (like 3x5, 4x6, wallet size). This reduces the size of the fabric's print. Some printers also print at a percentage of the regular size too.. Depending on the scale, you can print out as many "photos" of fabric as needed. (Experimented at first by printing a copy on regular or presentation paper first, as the fabric paper isn't cheap). Print the pictures out, following the directions for settings, on the fabric paper. Be sure to follow all the directions in order to set the inks so they don't run.

 

Ideas about what is needed for these projects

  • links to inspiring pages

Electronic Swatch book

Fabric and Cloth - from Phrontistery, an A-Z listing of fabric names and descriptions

RIT Dye Tutorial - from Rookie Mag

  • ideas for shop names
  • YouTube videos about the subject

 

 

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