Designing the Doll: From Concept to Construction

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Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item s now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout. Remove FREE. Unavailable for purchase. This morphed into sewing cloth dolls for sale during my teenage years and I started sewing my own clothing. I also started doing alterations for many people in my neighborhood and then took a piecework job with a local clothing manufacture at 15, and learned how to sew on industrial sewing machines.

This led to starting a dancewear company with my sister who was dancing for the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. We designed and sewed unitards, leotards, leg warmers etc. This business continued for several years, and as my sister moved up in the world of ballet The National Ballet in Toronto and I gained new customers for my designs. Then I made a mistake and ended up as a single mother - two children and a divorce before I turned While in Fashion School I designed costumes for choreographers of some smaller ballet companies. My classes in Fashion School filled in what I didn't already know, especially about how to drape and draft professional patterns.

I studied fashion history and had a very inspirational teacher for Fashion Drawings. The high point of those years was winning a fashion contest that let me represent Canada in an international competition held in Paris. It was thrilling to see my design compete on a Paris Fashion Runway with a professional model dressed in my creation! Right about this point in my life I met and then married my husband, Bennett, and moved with my two young children to Vermont, a land of green mountains and cows No fashion industry at all! So I opened my own shop called "Fashion By Magalie" where I had a thriving business making custom sportswear, Winter fleece wear, and personally fitted bathing suits.

This became too much to manage while raising my children, so I took a position as creative designer for a small doll company and designed two complete lines of cloth dolls with extended fashion collections. Then in I discovered eBay and the rest is history. I had finally found a viable outlet for my childhood passion! Q: Your patterns are completely unique and original, where do you get your inspiration?

Every doll 'model' I have is an inspiration for me, but I'm also inspired by fabrics, textures, and jewelry. I usually work with a movie going in the background and have an extensive collection of old movies. I also have a big collection of fashion books and magazines, paper dolls, and vintage sewing patterns. My favorite designers are Erte for his fantastic fashion illustrations, Schiaparelli for her shocking boldness, and Christian Dior for bringing femininity back into the fashion world with his "new look".

Designing The Doll: From Concept to Construction

I love to mix and incorporate different eras of fashion into one design. My only rule is that it has to be pleasing to MY eye. I don't replicate fashions, but strive to create my own personal look. I saw some of their original fashion sketches that showed how they draped and created first drafts of patterns.

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This is how I want to keep my patterns - hand drafted and hand illustrated in the haute couture fashion, which is becoming somewhat of a lost art in today's computer driven world. Q: I've noticed on a few of your pattern covers a beautiful drawing of the outfit, is that drawn by you? I've always loved drawing, and fashion illustration is an art that I wish I had more time to practice!

When I started sewing one of a kind designs for Gene Marshal, I included the original fashion illustration with the ensemble but soon found that there was not enough time for this. Plus, I started offering Limited Edition designs, so I decided to focus my time only on the design. Now that I'm creating patterns, I've decided that the illustration is an important part of the look of my patterns and all future patterns will have my original fashion illustration on the cover.

Q: Could you take me through the process of designing a pattern, from inspiration to final completed pattern?


The genesis of a pattern varies, but most of the time I start by playing with fabric combinations, and different colors and textures, draping on a doll until I decide the basic direction I want to go. Then I make a rough sketch or three to explore the budding concept. Then I just cut the fabrics and sew, sculpting and adjusting as I go. I always use the type of fabric I intend to use for the finished design so I can see how it will fall, thus creating my prototype.

Then I do a 'master plan' of the prototype, sometimes using basic slopers I have made for each doll, other times starting from scratch depending on the style of the design. This is where the first draft of the pattern pieces are made. Then I add seam allowances, and cut a second sample from these pieces to make sure that everything fits, that all the pattern pieces work together perfectly, while working out the easiest way to sew the garment. admin