Another Free Pattern, A Litter of Elves, 32 Years

Jim and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary on March 16th.  No cake. I have discovered the best recipe in the world for chocolate chip cookies. I make up a batch but only bake six every other day for three days.  They are thick, crisp and chewy. They are  wonderful and they are  large so one per person is enough.  I have to hide the other three for the second night to keep me from getting into them.  Well, it’s better than baking up a three-dozen regular sized cookies  that will only last one day around this crowd.

A Litter of Elves

I finally had to make that fancy jacket that I messed up last week.  The last Elf is Goldie. The jacket is a Renaissance style men’s jacket but my little girl Elf loves it.  It is fully lined with a pale yellow silk.  The jacket is a bit fiddly to make this small but would be lovely and easier to make if the size was doubled. It would fit a 15 or 16 inch doll. I am not planning to include this vest it in the pattern for the Elves because it would require dozens of photos and text to describe making it. But for those of you who are adventurous, click here to download the pattern. I adopted it from a wonderful book called Patterns for Theatrical Costuming, subtitled Garments, Trims and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915 by Katherine Strand Holkeboer. It is published by Costume and Fashion Press, New York. It is available from and other online booksellers.

The vest I put on this blog last week is a version of this jacket without the sleeves, sleeve “wings,” or the “picadils” attached to the waist, There are eight of them and each is lined, turned and attached to the waist of the vest or jacket.  The sleeves are constructed with an upper and lower section exactly like a tailored jacket sleeve is made today. I stitched around the armhole of the sleeveless, lined vest and put the sleeveless jacket on the doll. When making the sleeve I stitched the front and back pieces together—on one seam only—for both the jacket and lining. Right sides together I stitched the sleeve and lining together at the wrist.  Then I stitched the other seam making a long tube. Next, using hemostats, I turned the sleeve right side out with the lining inside and basted the lining to the sleeve at the armhole.

I forgot to mention that I pressed every seam as I stitched it. I have several small ironing boards and made a sleeve “board” for doll clothes by taking a long, thin, flexible rubber pattern weight and wrapping it with wool felt. It is perfect to slip into a tiny sleeve to press the seams open.

Slip the finished sleeve on the doll’s arm and ladder stitch the sleeve to the jacket armhole.

The cuffs and sleeve “wings” should be lined, trimmed and turned (and quilted or not). I did not really quilt them but simply top-stitched them. Then ladder-stitch them to the sleeves right on the doll.

Mimi's Elf - Goldie

Goldie Wearing Late 16th Century Jerkin

The Picadils are easier to fit right on the doll. After lining, trimming and turning them pin them in place. The two diamond-shaped pieces fit on the center fronts. (Note how they are drawn, that’s how they fit together.) The six others are fitted and pinned around the bottom of the waist.  The narrow end is the top.  Just stitch the three sides leaving the narrow top open for turning. I hope this all makes sense to you. When you print out the pattern print the photo of the doll so you can see how it all goes together.

Next I will be working on some male and female figures for new classes later this year and next. I have already designed the bodies for three male figures now have to make heads for them all. Then I have to finish the High Priestess.  This is a doll I made over 15 years ago and have many requests for a pattern. I have learned a bit since then and can no longer relate to that old pattern. I still have to sculpt the torso to get the form correct for the pose and then drape it to get a new pattern.


6 thoughts on “Another Free Pattern, A Litter of Elves, 32 Years

  1. I love your dolls and patterns. I have purchased the universal toddler and would like to know where or how I can order sheets of patterns for larger sizes. Thanks Cindy

  2. Hello, this is the first time I have been on your site and the dolls are wonderful. Thank you for the free pattern. I am just starting out and I am compiling patterns for a variety of dolls. My granddaughter of course, wants them all.
    God bless, Dee

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