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Recently, I came up with some ideas for clothes as gifts. But instead of making them full size and potentially wasting money, I thought of making some prototypes first as a means of displaying them and getting feedback whether the recipient likes them or not.

Would using some doll prototype holder first such as: https://www.ebay.com/itm/223606337908?hash=item340ff9f174:g:ngMAAOSw3ZhdQVVG

Is making miniaturized versions of the clothes first a good idea?

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    Clothing is tough as a gift if you don't already know what the person does and doesn't like. It can even be tough for someone to order from a catalog, seeing what an item looks like on someone else. If it isn't a brand and product you are very familiar with, it can be hard to visualize how the actual item will look on you. Using a very different scale, like doll-size, really compounds the problem. Any printed pattern is way out of proportion; even the cloth texture is at a very different scale. Doll clothing won't conform and hang like human clothing. (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    May 22 at 20:06
  • Personal opinion, so I'll leave this as a comment, but I think a miniature version would have little value for this purpose unless the person detests it. Also, people tend not to be completely honest when asked if they will like something as a gift.
    – fixer1234
    May 22 at 20:11
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What you're looking for is called a "mockup" or "mock."

It's very common to make a prototype of a garment from cheap fabric first, then test the fit and, if everything's alright, repeat the process with the expensive fabric. The mockup fabric should be at least similar to the final fabric in terms of stretchiness and heaviness.

Usually the mockup is the same size of the finished garment, because the whole idea behind making a mockup is to test how well it fits. If you want this to be a surprise and not test the fit, you could do a smaller mockup.

When you tested the size and found any problem, you adjust the mockup until it fits. You can sew seams tighter if there is bulkiness or you can piece on another strip of fabric if it's too tight. Once the mockup fits, you mark all the seams on the fabric. Then you pick it apart again and adapt your pattern to the same seams you marked on the mockup. That way you make sure the final garment will fit well.

People usually use cotton muslin or leftover fabrics that are sold cheap for their mockups. You can often find fabrics with Christmas prints or children's patterns for a reduced price in online shops. You can also use old bedclothes or tablecloths if you don't want them anymore, or have a look at second hand shops that might sell tablecloths or curtains for cheap.

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  • Sometimes though using scrap clothes can result a design different that the one that I have in mind. For example I thought of a Nautical-themed skirt with special slits. The collos has to be white and navy themed striped fabric. May 22 at 20:13
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    That doesn't matter for the mockup. You can sew the slit and the triangle all from white fabric and imagine the stipes. What's important is that you practice how to sew the individual parts together correctly and that the size is correct.
    – Elmy
    May 22 at 20:15
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    You can simply show her the picture you posted in your previous question or say "imagine this part is denim and that triangle has white and blue stripes. Would you like those colors?". The mockup is not the finished garment. Usually you take the mockup apart again and use the scraps for another mockup or throw it away if you cannot use the fabric any more. When the mockup fits well, you start the whole process (cutting fabric and sewing) again with the final fabric and sew a completely new skirt.
    – Elmy
    May 22 at 20:21
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    In the past (100 years and longer ago) it was quite common to make miniatures of clothes and have dolls scaled down from normal human sizes. These days getting dolls that work would be much harder, so miniature clothing less useful.
    – Willeke
    May 22 at 20:21
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    @DimitriosDesyllas I added a paragraph to my answer describing how to use a mockup to refine the pattern for the final garment. I think that wasn't clear enough in the initial answer.
    – Elmy
    May 22 at 20:55

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