French Fashion Dolls week 4

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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

Enjoy!!

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

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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!

 

French Fashion Dolls Week 2

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Thank you for all the comments!

As a reminder, patterns for dresses to accompany these accessories and help make a full trousseau can be found here

Get week 2 free patterns here

Last summer I did a survey and it really helped guide what I posted.  Since the number of followers keeps growing and I’d like to stay on track and keep posting fun and useful stuff, it’s time to tell me again!

Take the survey here.  

It’s just 9 questions and lets you help decide what appears on this blog!  

As a reminder you can always post comments or email me with suggestions too!

Before you suggest it…yes, I’m already working on a 1950s collection for the upcoming AG, Maryellen, and a 1960s collection for the upcoming Girl for all Time, Sam.

Le trousseau de ma poupée

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What I started last summer and never got a chance to share with you:

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(click to enlarge)

This book came out a few years ago.  It was $75.  Since I don’t have a French fashion doll, I was obviously reluctant to plunk down that kind of cash for the book, even though I was sure it would be pretty great.  Then I found it on Amazon for a better price, and asked my husband if I could/should get it.  Knowing me as well as he does, he thought it would probably not be a good idea, as the logical outcome of this would be me begging for a French fashion doll.  Antique French fashion dolls with a complete trousseau can go for $10,000 and up at auctions, and modern reproductions cost about as much as a really nice BJD, which is probably more than I should be spending on a doll with such limited costuming possibilities.

(image from Thierault’s via pinterest)

So, I promised not to ask for a French fashion doll, and ordered the book.  It has patterns for two sizes of dolls in it, but unfortunately, there are no measurements of the dolls these patterns were drafted on.  Looking at the photos in the book, although these dolls were meant to represent adult women of the time, they have quite small busts and a larger waist than you would expect from a corseted era.   I tried a few of the 12” muslins I had made on a variety of dolls, and the closest fit was my Corolle Cherie, but it was still a little tight.  So I enlarged it at 110%.  Now it fit Hearts for Hearts with some minor adjustments!  “Fast and easy” are great words when it comes to sewing, but sometimes your sewing soul needs “intricate and complicated” to really feel a sense of accomplishment, and these dresses definitely make you proud when they’re finished!

French fashion dolls had their heyday around the 1850s-60s.  It’s tempting to compare them to Barbie or AG, as they had similarly enormous wardrobes and lots of accessories, but these were dolls for very privileged little girls.  Their clothing consisted of exquisite hand-made dresses for every conceivable occasion just like their mothers were wearing, in the finest of fabrics.  Their accessories were often of very costly materials, like ivory and even precious metals and gems for their jewelry!

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I decided it would be fun to create my own trousseau for my Hearts for Hearts, but coincidentally, while I was working on it, AG retired Cecile and Marie Grace!  I was heartbroken, as Cecile is one of my all-time favorite AGs, but bought some furniture and accessories, and then decided Cecile could share in the fun.  You can too!  This week we’ll start a 4-week sew- and craft-along.  Each week has different projects using a variety of crafting techniques.  There are sewing projects, paper crafts, shoemaking, tons of things made from modern-day elephant-safe “ivory” (AKA shrinky dinks), as well as hats and other random items.  They were made for H4H, but most items can be easily resized for bigger dolls.

To go along with all these accessories, there are some new historical dress patterns  that include my version of two of my favorite AG dresses from that era, sized for H4H and AG dolls, and one based on a very popular style shown frequently in antique doll trousseaux. Want to get a few patterns?  Use coupon code 20OFF20 to get 20% off any order of $20 or more in my etsy shop through Sunday! 

Go find a really fabulous box to use as a trunk, and get ready to re-create history!

Get week 1 free patterns here

BTW:  This set (maybe with a new doll?) would make an amazing gift for your special little girl!  Make it now and put it away for the next birthday/holiday.

Don’t like historical stuff?

I put together lots of AG inspiration and pattern links to sew modern clothes here

It will surely keep you busy until we finish the French Fashion series!  :)

 

 

More Ten Ping!

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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

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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 (https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/pool/)

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!

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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:

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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!

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Kelly turned the boatneck top into a super cute jacket!

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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!

https://flic.kr/p/veigbD

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!!