Monthly Archives: May 2015

 Summer sew-along update


Hooray!  It’s almost time for summer vacation!  And no sewing is getting done this week because of all the end-of-year stuff keeping me busy at work.  But guess what that means?  Yes, the emails have been coming in for a while now asking about the summer sew-along.  So…time to get ready, because it will start next week!

As you pull out the box of your daughter’s summer clothes and start sorting through what fits and what you’ll give away, hang on to one cute print and two coordinating solid T-shirts she’s outgrown.

This year’s summer sew-along is going to be, as usual, a mix and match wardrobe.  But this time, as an added twist it will be structured as a “sewing school” to build up your skills week-by-week as we explore different techniques to be successful while sewing knits on a regular sewing machine!  At the moment, the patterns are sized for Maplelea/AG, but depending how quickly I finish my other major project, sizes for other 14″-16″-18″ dolls may be available too.

There’s a pretty awesome new pattern and embroidery collection, some of which is pictured above,  that may be available by next week.  Later this summer or early fall a historical sew- and craft-along should be coming specifically for 14″ dolls, and there are also roughly a million other unfinished projects in the works that I hope to concentrate on finishing this summer 🙂

I’ll leave you with some eye candy of this gorgeous chicken sundress Marge made for her new Kit.




You know that sunny day I keep waiting for?  Apparently it’s not going to happen any time soon!

Yes, that’s snow.

 But on to happier things…

I have wanted a Paola Reina Liu ever since I first learned of their existence a few years ago.  I kept asking Santa every year, telling him if only he could get me one I wouldn’t ask for anything else, and he kept telling me that no one would ship one to the US, or at least not for a reasonable price.   When you want something for a really long time, you do run the risk of being disappointed if the actual product does not live up to the high expectations you’ve built up for it.  Thankfully, that was not the case with my Liu!  Even though the one I eventually got came in a hideous soccer uniform, and had stains from her black shorts, I am thrilled with her and immediately set about making the outfit that I wished she had come in.

This is the original catalog/advertising photo

And this photo is of the actual doll (not a production sample) I found on Pinterest, with the front looking a bit different and kind of wonky.  It appears to close with a flap or something at the front,  but it ends up looking thick and out of scale with those large buttons.  The pants are also in a different print.

So, I was happy I didn’t pay a lot more for “Purple-Outfit-Liu” and the blouse pattern I came up after learning how weird the front could look when closed with a flap, closes in back and looks similar but, in my opinion, more wonderful!  The front panel can be made in a contrast fabric, have decorative topstitching in a contrast color, or you can do something creative with the seams like rickrack or piping.  It has nice simple lines, sews up quickly and still manages to look sophisticated. Pair it with the pants pattern here, or maybe a cute ruffled skirt.  My pants are a little longer and less full to look more like something a modern girl is wearing right now.  You could make them in a knit print and pair with a hoodie – just alter last week’s raincoat to be shorter!  And yes, based on the results of last week’s poll, you like this size so more patterns will be appearing!

Get the free pattern here

And just for silliness…

When I was taking Kit’s chicken pix, I spent at least an hour getting the chickens to come near her and stop moving enough for a picture.  When I set Liu down by this log, they were very curious and just wouldn’t leave her alone, hence “Liu and the Giant Chicken”

And now I’m pining after this special edition of Dasha (by La Lalla) that’s not available in the US…


Sigue lloviendo…


This photo is from our canyon’s FB page and illustrates what the weather’s been like lately…it just keeps raining!  But if you live in an area this dry and you get your water from a well, you’re not likely to complain too much about precipitation.

So the post I WAS planning got moved to next week in the hopes I’ll have a sunny day to photograph that outfit, and this week’s post turned into something the dolls desperately needed:  A raincoat!

Pictured above is Paola Reina Liu – more about her next week!

It’s really hard to take good pictures in rain and mist, both for reasons of lighting and because you’re feeling rushed and cold/lying the mud/worrying that your camera is getting rained on.  It can also be hard to take good photos of shiny things with their “trying highlights” (anyone get that reference?) and those two things combined today to make for not-the-best-photos ever.

This was the one I liked the best, although if you blow it up enough you can see my reflection in her eyes as I stood over her with the camera! 🙂

Get the free raincoat pattern to fit Cheries and Paola Reina Amigas here

You can see in the photo below that the PRs are noticeably smaller than H4H.

Copy the raincoat pattern at 107% to fit H4H!

(L-R) 10″ Tonner Half-Pint (AE body), 12″ Paola Reina, 14″ Hearts for Hearts, 13″ Corolle Cheries, 12″ Natterer Minouche

Stenciled Tea Dress


Kish 14″ Shea is pretending she’s on a manicured lawn waiting for tea at Downton Abbey rather in in my wild mountain yard.

Get the FREE pattern for her tea dress and vintage stencils here

Reminder if you’re participating in the Maru Contest to get your entries in by May 8th!

More info here: