Get ready for Halloween!


OK, Halloween is coming!  Need a unique costume for a human or a doll?

How about a kitsune?

Click here for the pattern for masks for both sizes and info on this interesting creature

And I just have to share something I’m super proud of…

These shoes took forever to make, since all the sewing was done by hand except for some topstitching.  I think I broke 3 needles in the process but am SO pleased with the final result!  Yes, I made the jeans too if you’re wondering :)  The shoes were made as “outies” but formed on a last with a modified version of this pattern also see more here.  Should you be inspired to try some (easier than this) people or doll shoes check out these links:

Draft your own pattern: undies!


On the survey, LOTS of people wanted undies for every doll you could think of, but it’s time for true confessions here…my dolls usually don’t wear them!  At small scale they may actually affect the fit of pants, and more importantly, often when I’m doing a photo shoot, the doll needs to be able to undergo lots of fast clothing changes. If the undies interfere, off they go!  The only exceptions I make are for historical dolls that wear bloomers and dolls that came with underwear that fits so tightly it doesn’t impact the fit or rapid changing of clothes.

But you said you wanted them, and I strive to make this blog helpful to the doll sewing world, so here’s a tutorial on how to make them for ANY doll. If your dolls also don’t wear undies, adapt this to make a swimsuit instead.

Why you should play with your dolls and survey results


An article in the Journal of Consumer Psychology says that people report more satisfaction from buying things that give you an experience.  So, for example, buying a musical instrument that you’ll interact with and enjoy is a more rewarding purchase than a rug that will just sit on the floor and eventually get thrown up on by the dog/cat.  Or maybe that’s just in my house?  :)

For readers of this blog, I’d take it another way and say that means get those dolls off their shelves or out of their boxes and into the sewing room!  Paying a ton of money for a doll that sits in a box under your bed will (according to this research) not make you as happy as making that doll a new dress, taking her outside, setting up a cute scene and taking pictures!  Consider changing your mindset from “If I had another new doll I’d be so happy I’d sew for her more” to “I’m going to sew/craft more for the dolls I have so that I’ll like them more!”

Whether you buy them or download them free, sewing patterns are also an experience, as well as possibly being quality time with a sewing friend or child.  And unlike, say, spending two hours watching a movie, at the end of two hours of sewing you probably have a nice memento of the event and can feel proud of the way you spent your time!

My challenge to you this week:  Pull that “too special” doll out of her box, and print out that old pattern that you downloaded and never got around to sewing (I know you have some – if you can’t find them click here!) and ENJOY yourself!    If you’d like, share your pix on the WrenFeathers Flickr group.  While you’re there, check out some of the new pix including this little woodland creature by Jess Saige:

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the survey a few weeks ago!

The blog survey results are here!


Easy OR Heirloom-y Blouse for AGs


AG has only rarely put out redheads with a really nice shade of red hair, and this is one of them!

I named her Pippa and came up with an elaborate backstory for her that is probably only interesting to me, so I’ll spare you it, but you might be interested to know she’s a time traveler!

Um, this week traveling to 2015 :)

This blouse was inspired by a child-sized one from the Gap in case your daughter wants to match her doll

Get the free pattern for the lace peplum blouse here

Yes!  There’s a link to the machine embroidery file  in pattern – for personal use only, not to put on things to sell.

Back to school stuff


YAY!  Time for awesome new back to school crafts including more shrinkies, printies AND a sewing pattern!

(scroll to the bottom to download)

If you are reading this blog, stop for a minute and consider how lucky you are.  It’s more than likely that you’re a girl, and yet you still had enough education to learn how to read.  That education enabled you to reach a high enough economic level that you are able to afford a computer, and you live somewhere that Internet access is readily available.  If you live in the developed world, the only barrier to you receiving the same education as the boys in your country was being able to get to school on time, which probably involved nothing more difficult than making it to the bus stop or walking a mile or so.

There’s a documentary on Netflix called “On the way to school” that brings to light the challenges children in developing countries encounter every day just to arrive at school safely.  It might be interesting to watch with your kids if they complain about their journey to school.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t have to worry about being chased by wild animals or pushing their brother’s broken-down wheelchair through the mud!

Another documentary called “Half the Sky”, which is also a book if you’d prefer to read instead, illustrates how girls in developing countries are facing horrible obstacles just to get primary education.  Note that this documentary is NOT suitable to watch with children and might make you cry.  Both of these documentaries made me very, very grateful to have grown up where I did, with easy access to education!

The two newest H4H dolls have stories that expose the harsh realities real children around the world are facing:
(images below from the H4H facebook page here:  Unfortunately, their page hasn’t been updated for almost a year, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed these gorgeous dolls will stay available!

Ok, so you have a H4H and want her to go to school?  She’ll need a uniform:

Click here to get a pattern to make a H4H size uniform, and school supplies and printable books for any size.

The fit of this is loose on H4H.  For a tighter fit, use a larger seam allowance at the side seams and make your skirt pleats deeper.  Need it for a different doll?  As a very rough guide, try 138% for Sasha/Kidz and 156% for AGs.  If you’re enlarging, you will probably also need to adjust sleeve width, lengths of the blouse and at the bottom of skirt and adjust outer seam allowances for collar.  To gauge how it might fit, compare your enlargement to a shirt with a similar pattern that you know will fit, such as this one:   Please make a muslin in scrap fabric/paper towels before cutting into good fabric.

Note to people who say shrinky dinks aren’t available where they live…they are just #6 plastic!  Probably you have some in your recycle bin right now!  You can recycle old containers made of rigid plastic with a #6 recycling logo.


French Fashion Dolls week 4


cecile and marina

Ok, we’ve reached the final week. How is your doll’s trousseau shaping up?  Full of exquisite little accessories?   Yes, I did have a multi-sized pattern for the blouse/skirt/bretelles, along with authentic skirt designs to do in soutache/ribbon, but it has disappeared somewhere in my computer.  :(  If it reappears, of course I’ll post it, but in the meantime I was saving some of the best accessories for last – this week has my favorite paper craft (a photo album) AND my favorite shoes (toe cap boots).

Get week 4 here


This post was done during the summer, and in a fit of super-planning in August, I also did posts to appear for the next two weeks with other stuff that you will love.  Thank goodness!  Right now crafting/sewing/blogging/laundry/etc.  is not happening because work is so overwhelming.  I will try but if your comments don’t get answered, please know it’s because of that and not that you’re being ignored.

French Fashion Dolls Week 3



Apologies for not doing a good job moderating comments and responding to emails.  I AM reading them but since being back at work don’t really have the energy to do both and have to prioritize.

LOTS of people responded to the survey and I was going to summarize it this week but realized I hadn’t given you a deadline…so thank you if you have done it, and if you haven’t but still want to, please click here to do it today!  I’ll close it on Friday and have the results for you next week.

It may be hot where you are, but this week we have lots of winter fun.  There’s a toque and muff for keeping warm while you ice skate, as well as some pastimes to do by the fire, like knitting and dominoes.  Enjoy!

Get week 3 here

Next week is the end of the French Fashion series and I definitely saved the best shoes and paper craft for last! After that there will be a post on back to school goodies with an emphasis on H4H!