Tutorial - Using Velcro in fine doll knits

You will need:

To prepare fabric:

  • like warm water with a drop of Eucalan
  • 4 short (approx. 12” ) stainless steel blocking wires ( do not use metal knitting needles  as they may stain light color knitted fabric)
  • several sewing pins
  • a terrycloth towel

 

For Velcro type closure:

  • a piece of dolly Velcro approx. 4" (10cm) long or depending on the length of the opening you need
  • 2 strips of woven fusible interfacing the length of the Velcro strips ( I used Pellon Shape-Flex All Purpose Woven Fusible Interfacing for light to medium woven and knit fabrics)
  • pinnable blocking board 
  • machine sewing thread the color of the knitted fabric
  • a piece of tracing paper  

 

Velcro  type  tape, as almost any type of  closure,  is usually  too big and heavy  for small doll clothes, especially so for the knitted clothes.    Knitted fabric due to its loop-like weave can be stretched out of shape easily  distorting the whole outfit.  Even the finest dolly Velcro can do that.

The best way to prevent stretching from happening is by stabilizing the area where the zipper or velcro will be applied.  Here is my technique for stabilizing the fine lace knitted fabric. 

The dress you will see on the images was knit from a very fine and fuzzy fingering weight yarn Party Anger by Debbie Bliss, 25 gr/200m, 72% super kid mohair, 24% silk, 4% metalized polyester ( see Silver Leaves dress pattern for 16” Disney Animators dolls).

If the yarn you are using can be washed, follow the instructions on the label.  I have hand washed the dress in barely warm water  adding to it a drop of Eucalan  (Eucalan does not require rinsing).  Squish the dress  slightly to remove excess water, place flat on the towel, roll it in to remove the rest of water. Do no wring the rolled towel. Remove dress, shake well to relax stitches.

 

1. With dress still wet, using blocking wire pick up every loop created by the edge stitch of every row along the back opening.

 

 

2. Using second blocking wire as you would a needle  make running stitches parallel the edge stitches that were picked  the first wire.  The distance between two blocking wires should the enough to accommodate the width of the stabilizer strip.

Repeat for the other edge of the dress.

 

3.Arrange the dress on the blocking board, use pins to keep the wired edges of the back opening straight and “open”.  Let the dress to air dry.

 

4.When the fabric is completely dry, turn the knitting wrong side up and  place the stabilizer strip in between two wires,  fusible side down.

 

5.Using the tip of medium hot iron carefully  glue the stabilizer to the knitting. Remove the wires.

Repeat the last two steps for the other side.

Place the hook strip of Velcro (with hook side up) on top of the stabilizer strip of  the right back opening. Pin in place.

Place the loop strip of Velcro (with loop side up)  on top of the stabilizer strip on the left side of the back opening.  Pin in place.

 

6.Place the piece of the tracing paper underneath the whole “sandwich” . If the piece if the tracing paper is big enough  no additional pinning is needed.  The tracing paper will keep stitches from getting into machine teeth and will allow for no smooth stitching.

 

7.Stitch in place along all 4 sides of the Velcro strip, close to its edges.  The tracing paper might  slightly shift during stitching,  but as long as your fabric  stays on paper that is not a problem.

Repeat for other  side.

 

8.Carefully remove all tracing paper. Tie all knots, hide the thread ends.

 

9.Right side of work.  Velcro strips are sewn on.

 

10.Align both sides of the neckline, press Velcro strips to close the opening.

 

11.Where the Velcro strips end  pin both sides of the back opening together.

 

12.Close the rest of the back opening by hand sewing.  Make several horizontal stitches at the lower level of the Velcro strips.

 

13.Finished back.

 

Dress up your doll and show to everybody what a beautiful dress you've just made!