Monthly Archives: July 2016

More cute Wellie stuff!



A HUGE thank you to everyone that shared their pix, and if you don’t have a Wellie, you can now get the pattern for the jammies here.  Yes, they fit H4H; the top is a wee bit baggy although for PJs that shouldn’t matter much!  The top would make a nice blouse too; the collar gives it a sweet, vintage feel in my opinion.  How about a feedsack print with a white collar?

Speaking of H4H and things they can share, the princess collection for them is ready so you can keep adding to their dress up box: 

And the beautifully fitted “Versatility” pants/capris/shorts with working (or not) pockets that have been available for AG and Maru are now in Wellie/H4H size:


In case you’re wondering…no, these dolls are not exactly the same size.  But when you overlap the closures in back to accommodate the slightly (1/2″) thinner torso of the H4H, they can share many patterns.  I’m thinking I may do more for them, especially because  Joanne commented and linked to FB saying the H4H are coming back! Supposedly in time for the 2016 holiday season – hooray!

Marseille costume part 2


Quick post this week.  It’s been so alternately rainy/windy I haven’t been able to get outside to take good pictures, so slight delay in a few Wellie and Sasha/Francoise/Girl for all Time patterns that were on their way.

In the meantime,

the second part of last week’s Marseille costume is here

Make sure to check the comments section from last week’s post!  There are all sorts of really cute Wellie pix linked there to give you ideas for what to make for yours!


Bonne fête nationale!


Or Happy Bastille Day if you speak English 🙂

Today is France’s national holiday, a bit similar to our 4th of July in that they both have parades and fireworks.  It’s also the perfect day to introduce you to my new(ish) doll, Francoise!


I stumbled across the vintage version of this doll on Pinterest a long time ago, and  she reminded me of Bleuette, a French doll you might be more familiar with.  Not because they look anything alike, but because they were both associated with magazines that regularly published patterns for them.  Francoise was associated with the magazine “Modes et Travaux” and was introduced around the time Bleuette’s popularity was waning.  Francoise was not only a much more durable doll, but associated with a magazine moms may have already been getting for themselves, unlike Bleuette’s “La Semaine de Suzette” which was intended for children.

Her inaugural pattern in 1951 had the following introduction: (my translation – please excuse any errors)

We present to you “Francoise” whom your parents will be happy to offer you for Easter, if, as we don’t doubt, you have been wise and have worked hard in class during the second trimester.  Francoise is a ravishing doll of celluloid with beautiful porcelain eyes shaded with natural eyelashes specially designed to be easily dressed.  You are beginning to sew and knit, you will therefore be very proud to be able to make for yourself, like your mom, all the clothes for your little girl.  To that effect we will give you in every issue models destined for Francoise with all the explanations, patterns and advice for you to make them.  M et T is not only your mom’s favorite magazine it will also be yours since in each issue you will also have “your” page.

The doll you see above is an overpriced reproduction by Petitcollin of the 1950s doll by the same name.  Given that with shipping from Europe I paid about the same for this naked doll as an AG and she was actually made in France, I had high hopes for her quality.  Alas, they were dashed.  Her box arrived in poor shape – never a good sign.  Her body is made from some kind of squishy plastic, like a substantial dog toy or a rubber duck, and her head is harder plastic.  The squishy part was covered in some kind of powder, and when it was washed off, it was clear she had a lot of random scratches, rubs and marks.




some of her seams are quite poorly trimmed/filled out


I also ordered some expensive (~$15) shoes at the same time and they don’t match.  One has circle cutouts, one looks more like stars.


But…I had waited SO long for her (shipping took ~3 weeks) and didn’t want to deal with the nightmare of exchanging her.  She has such a unique face and I had already made her a TON of clothes that I fitted on my Sasha.  All of those patterns might be ready as soon as next week!

Ok, Jen, I scrolled past all your text, where’s my free pattern? 🙂


Click here

This was the second folk costume to appear for Françoise in 1953.  It claims to be from Marseille, but after doing some research I feel like it might be typical of Provence.  There is an amazing blog for folk costume enthusiasts called:  This image from Provence is from that blog and looks very similar to Francoise’s costume in my opinion!


Since it includes several pieces, we’ll  do half of them this week and half of them next week.  Don’t have a Francoise?  It works fine on slim dolls like Sasha and Magic Attic too!

Treasure Hunt

Were you wishing for something for the Wellies instead?  I’ve gotten a lot of requests for this:


And came up with:


I know, you just want to put your doll in those jammies and read her a bedtime story right? Even if she is being naughty and jumping on the bed 🙂  Several people have emailed me or posted pix of things they had already made for H4H and similar-size dolls that fit the WW, and it gave me an idea…

Here’s how to get  this PJ pattern:

  1.  Make something (or find something you already made) from an OLD Wrenfeathers pattern that fits the Wellie Wishers (free on this site or from my etsy shop, it doesn’t matter)
  2. Post a pic of it here (or somewhere else online if you can’t figure out flickr – do NOT just email me the pic!)
  3. Post a comment with the link to your pic and I’ll email you the PJ pattern!

If I don’t have a Wellie can I still have the PJ pattern?

Um…not right now.  I’m not being mean here!  Obviously not everyone has a Wellie Wisher, but I also know that those who do want to sew for them.  And how cool is it to find out you might already have patterns that fit?  I got out a TON of old H4H clothes and some of them fit my Wellie Wisher, but taking and posting all those pictures was daunting.  I’m offering the PJs as an incentive for people to do some of the picture taking and posting for me so we all can share the news about what fits!

It would be super great if you could find things that are NOT already posted; those would be the A-line jumper, puff-sleeve blouse and smocked A-line.  There are several cute things in the international collection that fit, other things from that same H4H sew-along, etc.


Princess dresses including this one coming soon!

Totally off-topic but if you want a colored pencil comparison…

I know lots of you do other crafts besides sewing and I do too!  There’s been a wildfire burning about 20 mins northwest of our house, and in my stress I’ve been sitting in my dirty house doing a lot of drawing.  Why waste time cleaning when it might all go up in flames, right?  I recently picked up Wendy Hollender’s book on botanical drawing, and got it into my head to do one tulip from that book in all my different colored pencils.  I have so many sets because it’s impossible to decide which one is “the best”.  Ironically, Wendy suggests only a small set of polychromos, but lacking those I thought I’d see what came closest.  I think if for some reason I had to limit myself, I’d choose Derwent Coloursoft as my softer, main pencils, and either the Durer or Polycolor as my “detail” pencils, although I’m saving up for some Polychromos, so maybe I’ll add that info in the future.

In order to not have differences in the drawing detract from the pencils, I just did one, then scanned and printed it out multiple times on Strathmore 75lb mixed-media paper.  The scanner doesn’t quite do justice to the colors, but the settings were the same for all:

Colored pencil comparison

Summer sew along week 5


***Important Etsy note:  Etsy’s been having issues since July 1 with processing payments if they’re not done through paypal. Their policy is not to make the files available to the buyer until the seller has received payment. People using credit cards and apple pay have not been able to download their patterns immediately.  I apologize on their behalf and as an etsy seller who prides myself on good customer service am VERY upset about it.  If you’re having trouble downloading a pattern you purchased from me on Etsy during this time please contact me!***  I would suggest you pay through paypal if you’re using etsy, or I can always send you an invoice if you’d prefer.

Oh wow!  It’s the end of the sew-along already?  Well, I saved the best for last!

This gorgeous wrap dress has an Asian feel in these fabrics with a wide obi-style belt, but also looks adorable in any colorful cotton print!  Why is it the “best” dress of the sew-along?  The entire thing can be outlined in PIPING!  My favorite trim of all time!  If you’re intimidated by piping, this dress is a PERFECT choice for you to practice your skills because of the long, relatively straight seams AND the fact that you don’t need to line it afterwards.  If you’re a really new sewer, you can use bias tape instead of piping.  I’m almost finished with a tropical-looking one for my AG and this pattern should be available in all the major sizes in a week or two.

Download it free in Paola Reina size here for this week only!

Please post your creations in the Wrenfeathers group here:  I’m hoping to  find time to really look at what everyone’s done and do a retrospective next week!

In other news, I’ve been seriously playing dress up with my Wellie Wisher to see what I’ve already made that fits her.  There are a lot, and here are a few that are especially cute – note that these are all previous patterns you may already have!

And then, of course I had to do some NEW things too!

Ballerina dress, Owl cape and treasure pouch

Storybook character dress (this is a variation of the puff-sleeve blouse pattern) with apron and corset

See the intro to the Wellie Wishers Dress up Box here

I was SO hopeful the H4H fairy patterns would fit them, but the bodices are a bit too tight.  You can, however, use the skirts, wings, jacket, etc. from the H4H fairy pattern with the bodices from the WW dress up box pattern.  

What about princess dresses?

  I drew out about a dozen princess dress ideas, intending to include one in this collection and then couldn’t decide which one to make.  Renfaire?  Disney?  Historical?  Ethnic?  So I gave up and decided the collection would be fine without one.  Then I had a dream (yes, I’m such a dork) that Willa was hunting all through her dress-up box and turned to me with a heartbroken little face and said, “There’s no princess dress?”  So one or more of my sketches WILL become a princess dress pattern in the near future because I can’t bear to see her looking so sad.  🙂

Elation…and its opposite!


I started this post around 9:30 this morning to share my jumping-up-and-down-clapping-happiness.  Now it’s noon, and more like sharing frustration/despair/resignation.

For those of you who’ve been following the “saga” of the new computer, I found the install disks for my photo program and scanning software and they work!  Best of all, I found my adobe acrobat code!  🙂 YAY! That means I can once again (in theory) make you wonderful .pdfs!  Apparently it’s a good idea to register your software, because we did that when we originally bought it and were then able to access our code on the adobe website!  Hooray!

Or not hooray.  Because prior to the installation of adobe, images (e.g. pattern pieces) all pasted just fine from my graphics program into word and now all of a sudden they paste as a blurry mess with incorrect fonts.  (Yes, I did uninstall the Acrobat/Word add-on and restart with no luck)  After wasting more time than I want to remember searching various forums for help and trying different approaches, I think I’ve got a solution that works, although what used to be a quick copy/paste process has now become a labor-intensive annoyance of saving each image separately as a .png, remembering to set the appropriate resolution for each one of course, then hunting it down and importing into word.

Long story short, I’m bringing you

this pattern for today only

because I need feedback!  The link [is now gone] because these pants are going to be turned into the same Versatility Pants pattern that’s already available for Maru and AG but I haven’t gotten around to the pocket thing yet.  Download/open and print the way you would normally do with my patterns (with no scaling) and if anything looks funny would you please let me know?  The page with pattern pieces does look a little blurry with random white lines through it on my screen, but prints out crisply, clearly and perfectly sized. DH said it looks fine on his computer’s screen, so maybe this is just unique to my wonderful new computer…

Thank you and happy sewing! 🙂

Fingers crossed this week’s LAST summer sew-along dress will be appearing on Thursday with maybe a new Wellie Wisher pattern also!