Monthly Archives: November 2013

Mix and Match part 1


Well, everything I planned to have ready today is not appearing yet.  Here’s why:   I took some of my time off to go through old bank statements (yes, I know, I should have been more “on the ball” about it…) and found out someone somehow stole my debit card number and has been having fun with it.  For a while.  And so, at first, I was too upset to do anything, and then, when I finally calmed down, it was a nonstop marathon of checking through mountains of financial records, and then making phone calls to the bank, police, various companies the charges were made at, etc.  It seemed every time I sat down at my sewing machine the phone rang again, to the point where I wanted to toss it out the window.  Moral of the story, learn from my mistake and CHECK YOUR STATEMENTS IMMEDIATELY!

So, needless to say, many of my fabulous patternmaking plans for this week got put on hold.  But let’s talk about the contest, shall we?  The hard thing about a contest like this is…you have to choose a winner.  Being a pretty indecisive person, it was SOO hard to choose one!  I had planned to post everyone’s entries here, but technical difficulties are preventing that.  Most people sent them as .pdfs, and I can’t find a way to display them without downloading each one separately, saving to my computer, then uploading them here with a separate link to each one.  I’m reasonably certain of two things:  one, you’d rather have me making patterns than spending hours down/uploading stuff, and two, you’re pretty unlikely to want to separately click to open 40 or so pdfs.  So, just a few examples…

There were many good ideas, and several people submitted a lot of them, so there were close to 40 in all.  I was especially touched by how many mother-daughter entries there were.  Should I pick my favorite?  Hmmm, which one would that be?  There were a few that were fantasy-style, elegantly draped, or had details I LOVED, but got pretty complicated when turned into the “real thing” and never made it past the muslin stage.  (Yes I made (or at least tried to make) muslins of the entries I especially liked)

This one, for example, (by the talented paper-crafter Marge from had lovely draping at the shoulders and tucks and a laced up back.  But I will tell you that it is super difficult to get perfect tucks in satin, and downright impossible to get them to line up in the front, even with patience and advanced sewing skills.

There were several entries by children who had some great ideas, and went the “extra mile”  not just drawing dresses but  also accessorizing their outfits with hats, jewelry, etc. like these:

Then there were some really special ethnic and historical entries, by Ryan M, whose daughter is the beneficiary of his amazing paperdoll drawing skills


Then the more I thought about it, I figured since everyone couldn’t win an outfit, the best idea would be to pick something everyone might like to get as a pattern, and would be accessible to newer sewers too.  Since there were multiple entries that looked to be from the Edwardian era, I ended up choosing one elegant “grown-up” one as the winner to get the outfit, and then merging ideas for several others together for a more child-like dress as well. They will appear together in one pattern set as soon as I can get them finished.  Resizing and trying to make interesting variations for 3 different dolls takes way longer than you’d think!

I’m keeping everyone’s designs in my “stuff to maybe make in the future” file, and if your design gets used I will send you that pattern free!

One thing I DID manage to accomplish was the first installment of the mix-match wardrobe.  YAY!   DOWNLOAD IT HERE.  More will be coming next week.

Contest reminder


I’ve already gotten lots of great ideas – have you submitted yours?  If you are planning on entering the contest, the deadline is tomorrow!  Yes, you CAN submit more than one entry if you want.  (Scroll to bottom of this post for info)

Coming on Black Friday: (because, really, don’t you want to stay home and sew gifts instead of fighting crowds at the mall?) 🙂

The first part of mix-match wardrobe for both sizes of dolls

Results of this contest and free pattern for that outfit for everyone who entered the contest!

AG version of the snowsuit pattern (I hope)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Custom doll tutorial and other fun stuff…


So I’ve been doing a few Dal/Pullip customizations lately because they just came out with a line of blank dolls called “Make it own.”  Yeah, I know, who’s translating these things?  You can get them unfinished for $35 on this site: which certainly takes the pressure off worrying about ruining a $100+ doll!

And I also ventured into the world of fake Blythe dolls (Basaak – usually about $25-$40  on ebay) to create this one.  No, she’s not perfect, but I’m thrilled with how she came out.  There are lots of websites showing bits and pieces of the customizing process, but it’s hard for a beginner to know what to look for and assimilate all that info, so I made a comprehensive tutorial for you in case you want to try one too!

Click here for the Basaak customization tutorial

Congratulations to Helen, who won the Caroline wardrobe!  It’s on its way to Australia, so maybe we will get to see some pix of the dresses “down under”?

Speaking of contests, don’t forget to enter the contest to have an outfit you (or your child/grandchild/etc/) draw get made into the “real thing”!  Entries must be received by next Friday – November 22, 2013.   Everyone who enters gets a free pattern for the winning outfit!  More info here: (scroll to the bottom)

And a sneak peek of what “the girls” are working on…(yep, it’s that 3-part wardrobe that AG wants $90 for sized for slim and AG size dolls and should be appearing around Thanksgiving)


And my apologies if I haven’t responded to some of your comments.  I’ve been back to work with less-than-optimal commuting conditions and am exhausted.  Last week was 4hr/day of driving on steep mountain roads in the dark, and this week is still over an hour each way depending how many roads become 1-lane due to construction and loads of backed up paperwork to do after that.  😛

Dreaming of hiking in a sunny meadow like Robby with no roads or paperwork in sight…

Carrie’s dress…and a contest


Ok, lots of updates to share with you:  the two most popular “Little Girl Goth” patterns have been resized for AG dolls.  I especially like this variation of “Daydream” I came up with.  The original is full of lace and ruffles and pintucks,

gritty tungsten lgg daydream

and this one uses ribbon and piping and a different kind of skirt


You can get them here or if you already have both sets for smaller dolls and just want the re-sized pattern pieces you can email me.

I also realized I had never posted the pattern for this:


Sorry about that!  You can download the Asian jacket FREE here

A while ago, I got an email asking for help replicating a family member’s dress from an antique photo.  I love historical reproductions and took on the challenge, which resulted in this:

She used antique lace on the collar…isn’t it lovely?  I also made it in a larger size:

(Dress pattern to fit hearts for hearts, cheries and 16″-18″ slim dolls is available here:

It reminded me of when my niece was little and used to draw doll dresses and mail them to me, telling me which doll she would like them made for. She’s a teenager now, and I kind of miss that 🙂

So now it’s your turn! If you are worried that you “can’t draw well” you can download a croquis (Pronounced crow-key), which is a basic outline that designers use to sketch ideas on top of. (DOWNLOAD IT HERE) 
I have included American girl dolls, Sasha, kidz n cats, hearts for hearts, and cheries.  All you have to do to enter the contest is draw an outfit you think would look good on the doll of your choice.  It can be historical, ethnic, modern, fairytale, for a special event, whatever

I will make the outfit for the winner’s doll, and  everybody who enters the contest will get a free pattern for the winning outfit!

Print the croquis, draw your outfit, then send me a photo or scan of the finished product. I will be judging this less on drawing ability and more on creativity in outfit design. The contest is open to any age, but if you are a kid, you will need to have your drawing sent by a parent/guardian. You should never be emailing strangers from the Internet.

Entries must be received by November 22, 2013. The email address to send them to is on the croquis

Also…there are just a few days left to enter the drawing for the Regency wardrobe!  Winner will be notified Nov. 11th!  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about go here: