More Ten Ping!


At least once a week someone asks me for “More Ten Ping patterns, please!”

If you’re one of them, you’re about to be happy!

Here she is in a kimono pattern I designed as a giveaway for the UFDC convention’s Ten Ping luncheon this week. What?  You couldn’t attend?  Yeah, me neither.

BUT you can get the pattern here in original form with all the color pix!

I also have TWO new patterns for her on etsy.  The first is a school uniform that includes a pleated skirt and two styles of tops depending on where she goes to school.  There is a standard button-front, as well as an adorable sailor-style blouse.

The next is an ethnic costume based on traditional Flower Hmong outfits.  I’ve wanted to do one of these for so long, but was daunted by all the trim required if I did it for an AG.  At 8″ doll scale, however, just a little bit of trim and embroidery makes for something really spectacular!

I’ll be taking a couple weeks off to work on a few projects and when I return we’ll have a 4-week historical (1850s-60s) sewing/crafting series.  If you don’t have any around, go get some white (not clear) shrink plastic.  The historical projects will be adaptable for any 13-18″ doll you’ve seen on the blog, but the shoe patterns are only sized for  hearts for hearts, in case you need an excuse to get one of those… :)

Rococo challenge


Congrats to more than a hundred people who successfully completed the summer sew-along this year!!  You can see everyone’s beautiful work here and if you didn’t participate, you can get all the patterns here.

If you’d like to keep up the sewing momentum, I started a new (and long overdue!) group for ALL the Wren*Feathers stuff you make!  It’s here (

You can post anything you’ve made from my patterns in it.  And to encourage you to post, I have a challenge for you AND some tips for better doll photos.

Paola Reina’s las amigas have a collection of dolls in gorgeous dresses called “época” (pic above from their site) that are based on a mid-1700s pattern.  Their dresses have the hallmarks of this period, including a tightly fitted bodice with a fake stomacher done as a contrasting center, straight, elbow-length sleeves ending in big flounces, and wide skirts with a contrast center.  If you lived back then, depending on your socio-economic status, a lot of your dresses would be basically of this cut but more or less elaborate in fabric and decoration.  Since this WAS the rococo period, overflowing with decoration of every kind, and these dolls are small enough to not require too much fabric or trim, I thought it might be fun to see how decorative we can get!  Lace, embroidery, brocade, ribbons, ruffles…

Download the FREE rococo challenge pattern here

(it’s not a contest, just a challenge for fun!)

I also put together a highly opinionated guide:

Tips for better doll photos

I said it’s opinionated!  So as you read the guide, remember I’m trying to be helpful, not judging your photos!  If you look back at my early blog doll pix and the first pix in the guide, you’ll see I used to do most of the things that I’m now telling you NOT to do.  After taking thousands of doll pix I’ve become more aware of what makes them better, and you can just read the guide and skip the taking of a thousand pictures to improve yours.  No, you don’t even need a fancy camera!  I looked at one of the sew along pix and thought, hmmm, she did a nice job on that, let me just scroll down and see what kind of camera she used…it was an iPhone!

Something new is coming for Ten Ping next week and there are so many other things half-finished I can’t predict which ones will appear here unless I open a factory and hire people to finish them! :)

Summer sew along ends tonight!


Happy Canada Day!

Saila is modeling the hoodie that  will be in the free pattern tomorrow if you get your entries in on time!  Please do not email me asking to bend the rules just for you. It is a slippery slope, and if I do it for you then I have to do it for everyone else, and it’s not fair to the people that followed the directions.  About 60 people so far were able to successfully put pictures onto Flickr and submit those links correctly in the form…so yes, it CAN be done!
To reiterate:
Once you’ve finished with everything, make sure all your photos are in the group here.

And then go here to submit all your links at once.

  • Yes, you can just put one link if you put all your items in one pic!
  • Yes, it’s fine to have a friend/family member post your pic for you from their account and put it in the group, just  make sure to ask them for the  links to your work to submit with your email address.
  • There are a few people who submitted only their email address but no links to any pictures. If you did that, you will NOT be on the list, so make sure to put in a link to your pictures!

The pattern for week 5 and a bonus pattern will be emailed to you on Thursday, so you need to submit your entry by the evening of July 1st.  I’ll compile the list and send out the new patterns July 2nd in the morning as soon as I’ve had enough tea to feel awake and able to complete that task :)

Hoodie from above resized for Paola Reina

If you have been on vacation or for some other reason could not participate, you can get all of the patterns including week five and the bonus dress pattern right now on Etsy!

I wanted to share some clever things people have done and a few  of the many color combos I like:


DorrieBelle is using Disney princess dolls.  I always see them at Target and want to get one and then think, “What could I sew for them besides princess dresses?”  Modern clothes, it turns out!


Kelly turned the boatneck top into a super cute jacket!

get-attachment (44)

Rosetownjoy resized for her sweet little Tonner Sophie

Penny used really unique fabric to make a beach coverup

Grandmaknits reused a child’s dress and turned the boatneck top into a dress!

Melangel’s clever fabric placement made a neat top for Clem!

slpslee chose a really cute mix of fabrics for her doll!

As did NurseEeyore

This one from quickdrawannie coordinates not only with itself but its surroundings too.  Using the same color for tank and skirt here makes it look like a dress.

Pink looks good on most dolls, but orange can be a tricky color to use successfully.  KB did a very nice job of that!

Ok, it’s summer, but sewbig’s dolls are ready for fall in this elegant combination!  (boy’s shirt pattern free here)

I like the nautical feel of Silke’s combo here

and the very summery feel of Reagie’s

[If your photo is shown here and for some reason you don’t want it to be, just let me know and I’ll take it down!]

Thanks to everyone who participated in the sew along and get your links in by tonight!!

Summer sew along week 4


Summer has officially arrived in our canyon and all the birds are busy feeding their babies!

Are you trying to contact me?   Between comments, emails, etsy conversations, people asking questions about the sew-along via Flickr and etsy and … my inbox is a mess!  Also I used to have a hotmail and a yahoo account, neither of which I check  anymore.  SO, you can contact me by posting a comment at the bottom of this page.  It goes directly to my email for moderation first.  If you did that and didn’t get a reply or see your comment posted, probably the spam filter flagged it and I didn’t see it.

You can email me with my first (jennie) and last name  (bagrowski) put together at gmail.

OK, we’ve gotten that out of the way!  Time for this week’s pattern:

Update:  The sew along is over.  If you missed it, all the patterns and a bonus dress are included in this etsy listing 

Also…have an AG?  Take her to the store through the end of June and request FREE ear piercing at the salon!!  I had thought they’d just drill the holes and I’d buy earrings, but it included some earrings…FREE!  AND I  got a coupon for $10 off $100 good any time in July.

Perhaps I’ll pass that coupon along to DH, we do have an anniversary in July…


(Hint hint)

Summer Sew Along week 3


Get the pattern for week 3 here

Make sure to get it NOW because like last week’s, this link will disappear on Sunday!

To reiterate…you do NOT need to send me links to your pix every week, but keep posting them on Flickr.  You’ll send all the links at once after next week and then you’ll get week 5 and a bonus pattern for the outfit below emailed to you!  

I love doing the summer sew-alongs, partly because I love seeing what everyone makes!  Even these simple patterns have been customized in so many cute ways – have a look at what people have made here.  You can also comment and encourage your fellow sew-along participants.  I did a whole bunch of that the other day, and then our internet went down and my comments seem to have disappeared!  We’ve been having so many thunderstorms that knock out power it’s incredible, but it’s supposed to warm up and dry out soon, and then maybe we can finally turn off our heat for the summer!

Oh look…another Paola Reina!!  This is Dasha.

I made this from the infinity dress pattern, using the placket instructions to make a slit at the neck.  The apron design was inspired by the Middie Blythe in the Oski Tebya Lyublyu series.

And more eye candy…Cassie sent me these from her blog :


Even though they were originally 1930s style dresses, they look totally up-to-date in these modern fabrics!

Speaking of modern fabrics, I just love this take on Kit’s sundress from Debra W.  A unique fabric that looks almost like taffeta and is perfect with Caroline’s eyes!

Need a break from sewing?  It’s rare, but sometimes I do!  If you’re into arts as well as crafts, specifically drawing, I just found some GREAT colored pencils!

[image from dickblick click to see on their site]

 Like a lot of people I have a love-hate relationship with prismacolor.  Love the color laydown and blendability, hate the leads breaking every time I sharpen and dulling so quickly.  So I’ve been doing a little research and ran across these oil-based pencils by Koh-i-noor called Polycolor.  They’re not too expensive, and are very smooth and so BLENDABLE!  The only downsides are that they don’t blend well with some colors of non oil-based pencils, so you can’t necessarily mix brands, and the white is not that functional for much but blending, since it doesn’t show up well over other pencils or watercolors.  But unlike many other pencils, there’s no waxy buildup and you still get the bit of sparkle of the paper underneath even with lots of layers of color.

I should have chosen something more colorful, but this was a drawing I happened to have done in the new pencils. I’m working my way through this excellent book that I gifted myself as an end-of-school-year present:

 If you like birds, this is a fabulous book!  It’s not like most “how to draw x” type books where you just get a bunch of examples to copy.  He gives a nice grounding in bird anatomy from bones to feet, eyes, feathers, etc. and encourages you to get outside and draw what YOU see.  Sadly there are no chickens in his book, which is the bird I see the most.  :)  However, going through his instruction and explanations inspired me to take the time to really look at “lap chicken” (yes, we seriously have a chicken that likes to hang out on my lap if I’m sitting outside) today in a different way, and see how similar she is to other birds I’ve been drawing.

  Click the book to go to his site where you can see sample pages.

New pattern and second week of the summer sew along!


You have summer sew along questions?  I have answers!  Keep posting your photos for each week here.  The pattern for week 1 is still up here so you can join in the fun if you haven’t started yet, but these downloads will disappear on Sunday so get them now and start sewing!

When you’ve finished week 4, the super simple summer sew along submission form is here.  All you need to do is put in your email and a link to each week’s photo.   Then I’ll email everyone on the list the pattern for week 5 AND a really nice bonus pattern where you can use your new knit-sewing skills.

And in new pattern news…

As you may have noticed, I’m now the proud owner of not one, but TWO Paola Reina las Amigas dolls!  It’s rare these days to find dolls made in Europe, and even rarer to find companies who respond to your inquiries quickly with good customer service, so PR has both of those things going for it and I’m hoping to add a few more of their dolls to my collection later.

Unfortunately for me, but good for them, both dolls came in soccer uniforms, which meant they needed new clothes, leading me  to peruse the PR website for ideas.  You might remember Liu’s outfit from a few weeks ago, and after enlarging the pic below and seeing the little matryoshka embroidered on the bodice, the cuteness was too overwhelming to resist and I just had to make something like it for my Cristi!

Image above from PR website, where you can get Cristi in this dress


 So many commercial doll dresses have very basic forms and what makes them unique is their fabric, color, trim, etc.  As I was sketching out ideas, I started thinking…hmm…what about a collar like this?  And puffy sleeves?  Oh, wait!  I could use this to…  Things spiraled out of control and became a new pattern concept…

The Infinity Dress 

This pattern has a variety of sleeves, collars, and skirts to fit the basic bodices shown below.  It’s called the infinity dress, because it’s infinitely versatile. From these basic pieces you can make just about any style of basic dress you could want for a huge variety of dolls.


Those are just basic pieces, right?  So what’s different about this collection?  Most sets of patterns I’ve ever purchased that claim to fit multiple dolls start with one sloper and just increase it by a percentage based on height like this: bodices 1 There’s no guarantee it will fit your dolls of that height, because all dolls have different proportions, so you either get lucky and it fits, or you toss the pattern away in frustration.  bodices2

MY new pattern was re-designed for dolls with each different (child) body type that you’ve seen on the blog.

There are eight different pattern sizes are on separate pages, so you can just print the ones you need, as well as a fitting guide to help you use them for other dolls too.

These were my main models but the pieces will also fit all the dolls below and more:

All these dresses were made from this pattern:

OK, that alone should have you running over to etsy to get the collection.  Need another reason?

Included in this set you will get as .pdf files:

  • Croquis and sketching ideas
  • Pattern pieces
  • Fitting guide
  • Construction directions
  • Special decorating ideas and tutorials
  • Photos of outfits for inspiration

That’s almost 150 pages of instructions, inspiration, patterns and eye candy!

Need another reason?  How about free machine embroidery designs?

One of my other recent projects was coming up with a collection of machine embroidery small and dainty enough to be suited to smaller doll clothes.  There are all sorts of combinations of heirloom-style florals you know from hand embroidery, like french knots and bullion-style roses. See what’s included in the embroidery collection here.  If you have software that lets you combine/edit designs, you’ll be happy to know these are all “pre-cut” as tiny separate pieces so you can move them around easily!

Some designs from this embroidery set (.pes format only) are pictured on the dresses above, and can be used on anything, but fit so well with this new set of patterns I’m offering it FREE WITH PURCHASE of the new infinity dress collection.  Just put in the “notes to seller” box at checkout that you’d like the embroidery files!

Purple dress made from free pattern here:

And bodice was enlarged to fit Little Darling, (~120% maybe?) and paired with a rectangular skirt.

Summer sew along week 1


Time for the summer sew-along!

I was paging through an old issue of Sew Beautiful magazine, and there was an outfit with a long sleeved T as part of it.  They actually said something like, “If you don’t sew knits, use a purchased shirt”.  I thought…are you kidding me?  This magazine, now out of print, was for very advanced sewers that could smock, embroider, shape lace, etc. and they didn’t think their readers were all capable of sewing with knits??  Well, I won’t let that happen with my readers!  :)  This year’s summer sew-along will be a step-by-step sewing school to build up your skills and make you confident about sewing knits.

The sew-along patterns start very easy and get a little harder, but should be do-able by even beginning sewers.  At the beginning, I want you to be able to focus on technique, not worry about how complicated pattern pieces fit together.  Your incentive for finishing the sew-along is a free pattern for an outfit that will put all your new sewing-with-knits knowledge to work and will only be available to participants that complete at least 4 of the 5 weeks!  More details to follow…

These patterns have been sized for AG/Maplelea.  This week an untested version for Sasha and 14″ dolls is also included, but I can’t promise that for every week, so if you have an AG/Maplelea, I’d suggest you use her as your model.

Last year, to keep you accountable, you had to submit a pic each week and email me to get the following week’s pattern.  It took FOREVER to compile each week’s list – time better spent sewing or enjoying your photos, in my opinion.  :)  So this year, I’ll post each pattern on Thursday as usual, and then take it down over the weekend.  You’re responsible for downloading, sewing, then putting it in the group here:  At the end, you’ll just need to submit one form with a link to your pix to receive the free pattern.