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! 🙂

13 responses »

  1. That’s a super interresting challenge! My craft space still isn’t accessible, but this is another motivation to get it organized! I’m missing so much fun things!

    Thank you for the pattern,and for reminding us that the Queen of Hearts pattern is the same, but for the bigger dolls!

  2. Does this fit the Hearts for Hearts the way it is? I only ask because you say in the instructions that it might fit better if copied at 107%. I don’t know how to print patterns bigger or smaller than the original size.

    • I just tried it on mine. It fits, but would fit better with an extra 1/4″ at the back edge and the bodice lengthened by 1/4″ at the waist also.

  3. I love that you offer free patterns in all doll sizes. This week I was really excited to see your guide about taking better doll photos. I can really see the difference and will definitely implement your tips into my photos. Thank-you for sharing your talents and experience.

  4. Hi Jennie; I receive your emails but so far haven’t made up any of your darling patterns, due to extreme laziness, heat and migraines. But the Rococo Dress has caught my eye so I printed it off for my Heart doll. We will see if I can get one sewn this summer. I love this era. Thanks for your cute patterns.

  5. I’m glad you started a new Flickr group – I was actually looking for it last weekend! And I’m really looking forward to see what you’ve got coming for Ten Ping!

  6. How many pages should the “Rococo Challenge” pattern have? When I looked at my download there were 3 pages but the last of them has the number 6 at the bottom of the page. There is a page with the color picture of several dolls in 18th century gowns, a page edplaining the challenge and one page with pattern pieces. Thanks for offering some of your patterns for free.

  7. Thanks for the photo tips. Half-discovered some of them for myself, but you’ve helped me figure out why some photos don’t work. One other thing I’ve found is that flash light (particularly the rather too direct flash from a typical compact camera) is usually very unkind to vinyl…

    • Thanks, I forgot to mention that! Not only does it usually not look nice, the flash can actually damage the plastic of some dolls too, especially resin ones.

  8. WOW! I appreciate all the patterns you’ve provided free of charge – now I need to get busy!
    I also very much appreciate the “how-to photo guide”. I don’t currently take pictures of dolls, but if and when I do in the future, I’m sure this will come in very handily. Thank you!

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