Retro playsuit

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(background image in public domain from https://www.floridamemory.com/photographiccollection/)

Did you get the latest AG catalog and think, “I MUST have Maryellen’s new airstream!” and then have sticker shock at the price and the fact that the campfire, etc. was extra?  Me too.  So here’s an enabling post:  I made a pattern for a similar playsuit with much easier construction than the original, and with the money you save making it, you can totally justify that new camper! 😉

Spring is usually a VERY snowy time in the mountains, but the weather has so far been pretty nice – although much too windy to take doll pix outside unfortunately!  This project is perfect if you’re really looking forward to warm weather.  It’s not as quick as I initially anticipated, but should be do-able for an advanced beginner, since it’s not much more complicated than making a pair of pants.   Try the playsuit part as a swimsuit for Nanea, or maybe even Melody if you shorten the legs.  In case it’s not obvious, you could also turn the facing to the inside so it doesn’t show and in that case you could just pink the raw edges and not have to deal with the hassle of turning it under.

If your doll is brand new, this playsuit might be loose on her.  See inside the pattern for “Are AGs losing weight again?”  If you need a tight fit, I would suggest sewing the side seams first and basting the center front seam.  Pin the back in place and then take in any excess at the front.  For that reason, I changed the front facing piece to have a CF seam, instead of a fold as you see here.  Make sure to adjust it the same amount that you take in at the front.

Get it here

 

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New Year’s Resolutions

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I know it’s February, just bear with me!  A couple of days into January, I was flipping through the radio and an annoying DJ was prattling  that she had made a resolution to lose weight and then ate something yesterday that made her give up on everything.  I rolled my eyes and flipped to another station but have been thinking about that.  We make resolutions in the first place because we realize that making some changes in our lives could potentially make us healthier or happier, but there is a big difference between a WISH and a RESOLUTION.  A wish is, “I should lose weight, I’m totally gonna do that this year!” and that’s far different from a resolution, which needs to be an ongoing process maybe involving multiple steps and, potentially, a commitment to a different way of living.  If, for example, you decide to make a change for your health, like starting a walking program, and then it snows so you stay inside, your resolve to get back outside tomorrow and continue is what makes for a resolution instead of a wish.

I’m saying all this because my resolution was to add more yoga to my fitness routine, which got completely derailed by an injury.  I injured my foot and the subsequent changes to how I walked started giving me back pain and everything is off track now.  Even though I’m required to rest right now, rather than just giving up on my goal, I’m eagerly awaiting the day I’ll be able to get back to it.

Dolls don’t have to let pain or weather or distractions deter them from their goals, though!  What about choosing a doll and dressing or accessorizing them as a reminder of something you’re aspiring toward?  A smock and paintbrush if you need a reminder to practice your art skills, an ethnic costume for a foreign language you’re learning, or in my case, a yoga outfit to remind me I WILL get back to it!

My reminder is:

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Pants with this cuff detail were all over my pinterest searches for a while, (anyone else hate promoted pins?) but I thought they would be great for yoga.  You might have other ideas for them, like gardening pants to remind you the snow will melt eventually and you can get outside again, or make all the different pieces from different quilting fabrics to remind you of that complicated quilt you’re working on piecing.  Share your “resolution outfit” here!  This pattern will fit 16” dolls like Girl for All Time.

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Download the pattern here

Some other things I’ve been up to include BOY CLOTHES!  This pattern will fit AG size boys and includes variations to make all the shirts you see here.  It should cover any button-up shirt need you have for boys, and of course, works for girls too!  There are options for a casual collar version or a dressier stand collar and variations for straight or curved hems.  Several sleeve options are included for plain or dressy, cuffed or hemmed, short or long.  What can you do with this pattern?

This shirt pattern coupled with this pants and denim jacket pattern will help you on the way to a ton of great combinations for boy or girl dolls!

By request, the Lederhosen were resized for AG.  You know I’m all about versatility, and if you’re thinking they only work for German folk costumes,  I invite you to think outside the box.  A number of European folk costumes for boys use this kind of pants or something similar, because many folk costumes were variations of “regular” clothing available in the 18th century.  For that matter, try them as part of a historical ensemble for Felicity’s time.  Paired with a very full shirt (that I might be talked into making a pattern for if anyone is interested..?) that outfit could work for a fairly wide historical range.

The adorable sheep with him is Charlsea’s from Maplelea

What?  The SSA already?

Well, it’s “only” about 3 months away!  Yes, I already have some ideas, but as in the past few years I’d like to get your input!  For newer followers, the SSA is the Summer Sew-Along, where we have a variety of patterns on a theme and everyone shares pix of their creations and there’s usually a bonus pattern as a prize if you finish everything!

I’m focusing on AGAT dolls this year, that’s not up for debate, so don’t even try 😉   Depending on the fit of the patterns it may not be too hard to resize them and if that works out, there will be directions to do that or maybe a separate set of pattern sizes available on etsy.

The SSA originally started with a mix-match wardrobe, and although that’s not stayed the case, it might be fun to get back to something like that this year.  There are a couple of options that are historical because these dolls just look so good in period clothing.

There’s also a vote for the timing, because some people would like to get their sewing done in May to either avoid vacation time or have a summer-ready wardrobe, while others would like something to do while stuck in the house with the AC on once it gets warmer.

  • The first option is an Edwardian wardrobe with outfits and possibly some accessories appropriate for different activities an Edwardian girl might have engaged in during summer
  • The second option is a modern (possibly mix-match) wardrobe for spring/summer
  • The third option is a complete, upper-class Tudor/Elizabethan outfit including all components from undergarments to outer dress, shoes and cap. These patterns would be as authentic and detailed as I can make them for their size, so suitable for intermediate seamstresses and above.

 

The poll will be open for a week but the results will be a secret until the SSA actually starts!

 

 

Bienvenida, Luciana!

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So, Luciana didn’t come home with me on her launch day, but the birthday fairies surprised me with her later!  I would love so much to pose her in the Mars habitat, but unless its price goes down significantly, that probably won’t happen and she’ll have to be content to be photoshopped into whatever backgrounds NASA has available.  Actually, there are quite a few space-related images they’ve put online for the public to use, so we’ll see if any of them result in some cute doll pix! 🙂

I had a request from Mandy M. to copy a school uniform and turned it into a tutorial on box pleats that you can adapt to any A-line dress for other size dolls too.  There are a lot of extra links in the pattern too, so you can experiment and explore.  Enjoy!

Get the pattern here

Boy dolls and photoshopping without photoshop!

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Just like you might have done, I also lined up outside the AG store before they opened on Jan 1st!  The original plan was to get Luciana, and, like, all her stuff 😉 but instead I ended up with…a boy doll!  Longtime followers know that boys had a major part in the blog at the beginning when I was smitten with the Kidz n Cats, and Sasha’s Gregor and Caleb have appeared from time to time too.  The opportunity to do more with boy dolls was compelling, and instead of Luciana, I ended up with the doll you see above, who has a couple of names/themes right now I’m trying to decide between.

I had actually made the coveralls you see him wearing for Luciana before I saw them in person, inspired by pix people had leaked of her flight suit, but lacking the right color zipper to make a blue one.  When I finally saw it, I liked mine better, even though it was challenging to make.  The AG flight suit just has fake stitching to simulate pockets and iron-on prints for patches.  It seems like quality is going downhill lately, with terribly cheap shoes on the truly me dolls and a much cheaper body.

When I put the coveralls on the new boy, DH said he looked just like an air force pilot, so I put him into a pic to make it more realistic.

Get the pattern and photoshopping without photoshop tutorial here!

Yes, this pattern is kind of challenging, especially if you’re doing real pockets.

Looking for something similar but easier?

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/halloween-animal.pdf

Here are some more of my free patterns that are perfect for AG boys:

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/summer-wardrobe-part-2-and-what-about-the-boys/

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/welcome-su-jin.pdf

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/mix-match-week-31.pdf

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/ag-mix-match-week-2.pdf

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/missing-sleeve.pdf

 

 

We wish you a retro…solstice!

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Today is the winter solstice and the end of our retro Christmas series!

Get the pattern here

The last installment of the 1950s Christmas pattern was supposed to be a sock doll and dress.  I debated for a while about the sock doll – it certainly seems possible to cut up a doll sock and turn it into a doll’s sock doll, but good ones are hard to come by and I hated to sacrifice a good doll sock.  It also meant asking you to hunt down the same one I had and cut it up, all to make a doll that, honestly, I just don’t find to be that cute.

Instead, I made a pattern for a dress similar to the one the sock doll is wearing and you can put on a doll for your doll, like a Lottie and probably a mini AG/OG although I’m too tired to go hunt one of those down to check at the moment!  Those dolls will fit in the stocking from last week, and in case you’ve missed them, here are all the other retro Christmas pattern links:

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/we-wish-you-a-retro-christmas-part-3/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/we-wish-you-a-retro-christmas-part-2/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/we-wish-you-a-retro-christmas/

 

Back next year with lots more doll fun!

 

We Wish You a Retro Christmas part 3

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This week we have the “sock” from our “sock full of gifts” series.  There was a version of this stocking for dad too that had a stocking decorated with a pipe and cigarette, which might have been period correct, but seems really strange and unrelated to Christmas.  Since I don’t have a doll fireplace, I attached a loop and hung mine on my tree.   Although one original hope of this series was to give you a craft to do with a child, the pieces for this are really small and even I found it challenging to get the tiny felt pieces to look nice.  There are some suggestions to make it easier in the pattern.

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Get the pattern here

I forgot to share this version of Nanea’s jammies by firstladycpm:

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They have an authentic drop seat and pocket, how cute is that? (click to see more pix)

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I also haven’t yet reviewed the 15″ Big Lots dolls that Janet told me about in October!  Sad to have a backlog of stuff to do for the blog, but that’s one of the things on the list.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I got one and the bodies are pretty much identical to the Wellies in terms of measurements, although the jointing is a little different at the hips so they don’t look exactly the same when standing.  For $15 the price:quality ratio is good and they currently come in 3 different versions, making them a nice, inexpensive alternative to the Wellies!

(above image from http://airbornesurfer.com/tag/3-2-1-contact/)

In other news, it’s only 18 days now until the release of the next GOTY, which could be good or bad.  Jan 1 may not the best time to be considering an expensive doll purchase because Santa may have just brought you one and you will feel guilty getting a new one OR won’t appreciate the one from Santa.  Oh yeah, and you’re out of cash after buying all those other presents!

Of course, if what Santa brought you was an AG gift card…there are some really cool pix floating around the internet of Luciana, should you be inclined to spoil surprises for yourself  by doing searches for her dog or habitat.  🙂  The clothes I’ve seen so far though are kind of uninspiring.  Luciana is in some ways very much like the girl I was at that age!  In addition to dolls, I was super into space and computers (my Apple IIe!) and LOVED a magazine/TV show called 3-2-1 contact.  It kind of feels like the space program was different back then and maybe made more accessible/interesting to the public by the media than it is now.  It’s SO great to have a science-themed GOTY I just might have to get her, even though I already have a Truly Me who looks almost the same…

 

Nanea’s Pearl Harbor Dress

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Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  Although Nanea’s book was not super engaging for me as an adult, the event did play an important part in her life, and marked the beginning of WWII for the US.  See more here from history.com

This pattern is actually from 1944, which is a little late for Nanea’s time, but similar versions of what makes it unique (the pointy yoke) can be found in commercial patterns from both earlier and later.  This one seems to only have been available in sizes for toddlers.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because I feel AG bodies are very well suited to those styles, but if you want to make something similar for a smaller size doll, check out this post which has something similar but a little easier for Sasha and Hearts for Hearts sizes.

Get the pattern here