Top of playscale haute couture. . .

“Sure for the first time you’re wearing the right clothes”     … Metric     

Reading a great doll board, Doll Divas, inspired this post.    

 Pattern making is a true art.  Just the feel and flow of the cloth will attest to a patternmaker’s skills.  The turn of cloth.  Think about that concept.  When a patternmaker understands the turn of cloth and its effect on a beautiful collar a thing of beauty is created.   

Matisse can work a collar in one sixth scale...lovely


 Matisse designs for the 1/6th scale fashion dolls such as Mattel’s Silkstone Barbie and Jason Wu’s Fashion Royalty.   

We have long loved Matisse.  Her photography is designed to do just what it accomplishes. It inspires.  Inspiring the customer to dream.   

With enough dedication, work and love, and wisdom, one day you may read a comment such as this about your own designs ….. “top of playscale haute couture”.     

Matisse eyelash in a wonderful transition color.


Lucky you!  Matisse shares the wealth with a blog dedicated to the art of sewing and design… made to fitFor example, in Hat Tricks and Tips, Matisse tells us, “I love hats that actually fit the dolls heads the way they should” and “I work mainly with ultrasuede to give the look of real wool or felt  … it doesn’t fray and can be handled during the sewing without losing its integrity etc…ultrasuede lends the perfect finish and with unlimited supply of colors can work into almost any ensemble.”     

Matisse, like fine wine


Something you surely know is still valuable to hear again… Matisse says in Patterns, “You will also want to keep patterns organized, a daunting task…” In the Tools of the Trade post, Matisse says, “It is not enough to just say, I don’t have that, so I will use this instead, if you want something done right, … you have to have the right tools or materials”.      

Matisse chic


How about this anecdote – “First off, I have a great sewing area, a sunny room on the third floor of my home, facing north with perfect lighting and a large window. I have a great view of the cities and feel good when I am in this room. Get out of your basement.  I was sewing in the basement for years and I am sure it has scarred me for life.”     

Matisse casual



And this tip is a true gift for anyone who lives/loves to design and sew – “I also have on hand plastic handled artist paintbrushes for turning finished garments right side out, pushing out corners as they are blunt enough not to poke through. They are all around great tools for making adjustments and straightening things.” (Matisse adds – “I use them when dressing my dolls as I don’t like to handle the garments too much.”)   

Matisse knows proportion


We can see why Matisse can make such gorgeous hats…she says, “A tool that I cannot live without as well is my self-healing mat and rotary cutter, but I don’t have this for cutting out the garment pieces, but rather for striping down my ultrasuede for smooth edges on belts, handbag straps and also for cutting out my shopping bags. They are great if you can master using the rotary blade for cutting things out, but I have not been able to do this with the miniature scale sewing. I like to use a 24 inch metal ruler to cut against, this ensures a perfect smooth edge and prevents injury. I do notice that the self-healing mats will eventually get used up and need to be replaced. I have had two or three in about five years. I just buy the small ones, 18 inch long by about 6 inches wide so it doesn’t take up much room. My son has a much larger one for his hobbies if I need to use it.”    

Matisse has been in business for many years now.  We have always followed her wonderful work.  Since 2008, we are lucky to have Matisse sharing her knowledge and experience FREE with her online blog.  Isn’t blogging the best!!
If you want to learn more about designing and sewing for dolls, you can spend some time studying with Matisse
Anything inspirational that is created in 1/6th scale can be even more easily created for “real people” specifications.  You can use these tips and inspirations to create your design.  Enjoy!! 

Matisse by design


 And here is your basic pattern, the sheath.  When the sheath fits perfectly, each new pattern developed from it will carry the perfect fit to the new style.   



Filed under Fashion

2 responses to “Top of playscale haute couture. . .

  1. Thank you, I just found this post and nothing could make my day more than to read your very flattering and kind words about my fashions. Sorry I missed this before but please know that you have touched my heart today.
    Matisse Fashions

    • Winstead, Patricia T.

      Hi, Brenda

      I was not at the college all summer so I am just seeing your email today for the first time. I have always been so impressed by your work and it was wonderful to be able to present your work to my reading audience.

      Now I have been watching your work for the Gene doll and I am still impressed!!! I am so glad my post on made you happy. You certainly deserve it!!

      Big dolly and fashion hugs, Trish Winstead

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