Summer sew-along vote!


No, it’s not Thursday or summer yet, 😉 but I’m not on schedule to finish this week’s outfit and get pix/pattern done in time and got a little sidetracked by brainstorming ideas for the summer sew-along.  So there may not be a Thursday pattern post this week, but don’t worry, at least two more outfits from this series are on the way, just a little delayed!

If you’re new to this concept, the summer sew-along is a favorite of many here on the blog because it follows a theme, sometimes introduces new skills (like sewing with knits, making sandals) and sometimes also ends up with a coordinated wardrobe.  People share their ideas on flickr and inspire each other to do more creative things.  Speaking of the SSA on flickr, I went on today and found two recently posted pix made from patterns from last year and the year before!

This one was a bonus pattern from the knits sew-along two years ago if you completed all the weeks and posted pix of them – it looks gorgeous in this print by quickdrawannie modeled by Maplelea Saila :


And this perfectly piped one on Wellie Emerson by firstladycpm was from the sundress/sandal sew-along last year:


What will it be this year?

Even though you won’t see it until June or so, my planning and pattern drafting has to start now!  I thought I had made up my mind after lucking into a HUGE stash of actual vintage Betsy McCall paperdolls and ads for original Betsy dolls. If you don’t know what they look like, you can see online versions here. It seemed like it would be fun to choose summer outfits representing different years from the paper dolls and make them for the Wellies/Toni, since that size seems to be a favorite at the moment.  And THEN I saw Betsy’s bunny beach cover up (below left).

betsy blythe

If you are around kids, you might know the animal “theme” is very popular at the moment in kids’ clothing, from hats to backpacks to hoodies with animal ears/dinosaur scales/bird beaks/etc.  In fact, my Wellie owl cape is THE most-requested custom order ever, and even the Wellie Wisher Willa comes with little bunny ears.  In the Japanese doll world, animal themes have been popular for quite some time too, (for example, on Blythe above right) and I just figured it had finally made its way into kids’ clothes, so to see Betsy’s bunny beach cover up from 1951 made me think it’s not just a trend, it’s a great idea that’s been around for a long while!

Since both options sound great to me, I’m going to leave it up to you readers.  We’ll be using ~14” dolls as models, so Wellies, Hearts for Hearts, Toni, etc. will be able to wear these clothes.

Your summer sew-along choices are:

  • Betsy McCall paper doll outfits from the 1950s (yes, one of the weeks would be that bunny one, the rest would be regular summer clothes like swimsuits, dresses, etc.)  If I get super motivated, I might try to make Wellie paperdolls with the outfits, but no promises about that!
  • Cute, modern animal-themed outfits & accessories like hoodies, bags, etc.  This one could potentially have tips for sewing different types/weights of fabric, like fake fur

Please vote below – poll closes at the end of this week!


13 responses »

  1. I loved Betsy McCall paperdolls when I was a girl, so I had to for that option. The Wellies, etc., would look so cute in Betsy clothes. But the animal idea is good, too. There are so many ways you could go with it.

  2. Oh! I’m so glad you are doing the SSA again this year! It’s such a fun idea (and when I can join in, it’s even more fun for me… but just for the eye candy, it’s worth it!). Thank you for taking time to do this!

  3. Sounds like fun! I’ve always been a fan of Betsy McCall–played with the paper dolls (when I could get them–our sometimes saved them for me), and in the late 50s, I wanted a Betsy doll SOoooo badly, but I was already over 10, when I supposedly had received my last doll, and mom said I was too old. (Of course, Mom was wrong about that being my last doll–in a Big way!! LOL)

    On the other hand, the animal theme would be fun, too!! I’ll be happy whichever way the vote turns out!

  4. thank you for the beautiful free patterns!!!! i love the old mccalls magazines —- everytime i went to my aunts i would look for the paperdolls and hope she would let me take out the paper doll page-happy sewing

  5. I could not manage to access the pool so………… please make cute, modern animal-themed outfits & accessories like hoodies, bags, etc

  6. Thanks for surveying us, and I love that the patterns will be for the 14″ girls. I voted for the Betsy clothes, and I absolutely love the quilted cotton robe in the 12/56 photo. Thanks for giving the link to that site – such inspiration for all our sewing!

  7. I voted for the animal theme because I’m seeing them everywhere; I would wear an animal hoodie myself if they just didn’t look so darned odd on older adults! But, honestly, I’d be just as thrilled with 50’s style outfits-especially a woven cotton swimsuit! Have always loved clothing from that era.

  8. Question: I have a Horsman 14″ Cindy doll and their 14″ Rini dolls. They are still available on website. Will the 14″ patterns from Sew Along fit these 14″ dolls? I hope so. Last year I did the sew along and it was a great motivator and I made some nice dress. Thank you Starr

    • I’m not sure, since I don’t have any to compare, but looking at pix of Rini online I’d say you might have to do some fitting since their bodies look more adult-shaped thank Toni.

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