So Microsoft broke my hard drive…


If you’re wondering where I’ve been, it hasn’t been online, because Microsoft broke my hard drive.

Beginning of rant, scroll down to skip 🙂

Yep, I’m totally serious.  The latest updates led to my computer getting stuck in a reboot loop that literally broke my hard drive.  I do back up my data on a regular basis, but of course, the most recent is often the most important, so we had to get someone to remove the hard drive and retrieve all the data (I’m pretty tech-savvy but that was beyond my capabilities) and then struggle with whether to just buy a new computer or replace the broken hard drive, and then whether to just switch to Linux…which I wish we had done, but there aren’t a lot of machine embroidery options available for it.  Then came the waiting and waiting for the new HD to arrive and be installed and all the fun of reinstalling windows and being terrified the updates would break the new HD.

So I had to temporarily close my etsy shop, since while all that was going on I no longer could access all my files, and every sewing project I had been in the middle of (summer sew-along, some resizing, a new AGAT collection) got disrupted.  After many hours (about 8 so far) of re installation, all the software we had is not completely reinstalled, and some that is isn’t still fully functional, and some has been updated to new versions that are messing other things up.  Yay.

And THEN I got the email that Bex and Elinor, who had been scheduled to arrive sometime in late March/early April (AKA in time for pix for the SSA) were not leaving China until April 18th and that slow boat from China would take 3 WEEKS (May 9th) and then they have to clear customs (another week? month?) and THEN get processed through their warehouse and THEN get actually shipped (at least another week…?)

Long story short…yes, your votes for the SSA were to start it in May, but with all of this going on we’ll just call the start date “ASAP” 🙂

Start here to skip the rant

On a happier note, I’d like to introduce you to a really nice new face mold from OG that’s currently on 2 dolls, Melina, a beekeeper and Julieta, a ballerina.  If you thought you could never find a use for the flight suit from a while back, here it is!  Make your doll a beekeeper outfit!  Or just buy Melina, because her accessories are really nice and the new face mold is so attractive.  (Note that there’s another beekeeper  that has gorgeous eyes but the old face mold) To me, Melina’s face has something special about it that looks like it was designed by an artist to be completely different, and it’s just a bonus that the doll happens to be an OG and therefore inexpensive!  Her freckle pattern looks realistic and her hair is nice and soft too, in comparison to my older OGs; I don’t know if the hair is a new upgrade for all their dolls from now on or specific to her, but it’s nice!

Since I never met anyone with the name Melina, I did some searching and found out it’s Greek, and related to the word for honey, how cute is that for a beekeeper doll?

Image from Target here:

You know how you look at the OG outfits online and then go to your Target and they don’t have them?  Yeah, that’s pretty much always the case for me, and it’s really hit-or-miss about which OG items they’ll ship and which are “in-store-only” kind of things.  This was the latest one:

Image from:

So if you wanted it too and can’t find it guess what?  I pattern-ified it for you! Although OG outfits are usually a bargain since they come with cute shoes and an accessory or two, like this one!

I will caution you that I’m using some different versions of my old software and it’s been working fine so far when I compare my new, scaled printouts to old ones, but if you happen to have printed this pattern out the same way you always print my patterns (with no scaling) and it’s not correct, could you please let me know?

Get the pattern here

Is there another OG outfit you want and can’t find?  Post a comment with the link!  Melina needs more new clothes and we need something to do before the SSA!  She’s partial to summery and retro things at the moment… 😉

There’s also, by request, a resizing of an 8” pattern for 13”-14” dolls.  It was made for Little Darling, but will also fit the Wellies and others in between (H4H, Cheries, etc.)


40 responses »

  1. Hi, The pattern pieces aren’t showing up, just instructions. Sure is a cute design, looking forward to making it! Hope you get the computer operating smoothly asap! I know this was frustrating for you!

    Carol M.

  2. Jen, So sorry to hear of your computer troubles. I was worried that something had happened to you since we hadn’t heard from you in a while. To look on the bright side, at least it wasn’t a health problem. So you have that going for you. Your computer issues remind me of my own iPad crashing last summer. I’m still working out all of the kinks When my iPad crashed, following a replacement of a swollen battery pack, it completely hid my iBooks account and iCloud Drive, scattering more than 800 pattern files and over a decade of work. Even my 2 electronic back-ups were corrupted and unsalvageable, which still doesn’t make sense to me. Apple said it corrupted the back-ups when they replaced the battery pack and tried to reload all of the programs and files. Apparently, the back ups duplicated in the restoration process and overloaded the new system, thereby crashing it permanently. Oi! What a headache. I almost hyperventilated! At first it appeared that the files were all totally gone for good; but little by little, I keep finding pockets of hidden files, not on the original device, and they are never easy to get to, but through back doors into the accounts from a different computer — with vast amounts of patience, I’ve made great progress finally. It’s been a pain in the neck, but I think I’ve recovered at least 3/4 of the original files. Luckily I had kept a very accurate paper trail with file names, dates, and organized category folders they were placed inside. That was a life saver. Also, I try to print new files as I go, so I at least know I have hard copies of most of the files, even if some electronic versions can’t be restored. From that point forward, all of my patterns and designs are now stored on flash drives. I’ll never trust iBooks or iCloud Drive again. They totally don’t have a clue how to find lost data, if you lose any of that data stored in the cloud. Apple was no help at all, it totally stumped them — but I must say they tried for over a month to help. So I do appreciate their efforts. They were friendly and responsive, and (chuckle), interested in how I’ve recovered my documents when they aren’t actually visible directly in the accounts. — Anyway, sorry to ramble on so much, and very sorry to hear about your own issues. It sounds just as complicated as mine were. Good luck resolving your remaining problems. I hope you will be able to recover all of your documents. Glad you are okay too. Kelly P.


    • Wow, that’s good to know! I’ve always had good luck with my iphone but an IT person once told me the only “safe” backup is on a physical drive, not in the cloud. You sound amazingly organized – you probably know this, but don’t forget about re-downloads too! Sites like etsy and patternfish let you re-download any of your e-pattern purchases, which was helpful for me to get some of my weaving patterns to have something to do in the meantime while I was computer-less.

  3. The beekeeper accessories intrigue me, though I’d rather not buy a doll and then ignore her in favor of the gear she comes with. Perhaps a tutorial on making the equipment?

  4. I’m sorry for your hard drive. Luckily you had most stuff backed up. Changing computer can be such a pain… At some point we too switched to Linux, but it was a long time ago and it was hard to find stuff that would work with it. So we were forced to come back to Microsoft.

    This ruched summer dress is lovely! Thank you for sharing the pattern (by the way, the instructions are showing twice in the document – but I reassure you, the pattern pieces are there).

    This chinise tunique is very pretty… I think I’ll need it for Tipi! And with it made a tad longer, I think it would suit Nahji, and also Shola and Surjan too.

    • You must be among the very few Linux users to ever go back to the “dark side” LOL. Most of them seem to love it but it’s true software options can be limited. As soon as there’s a good machine embroidery program though, I’m totally making the switch!

  5. Glad you are back. I hate to hear that about your computer, that has happened to me before, the last time was a few years ago just days before tax day, I lost everything and had to redo my taxes, agonizing. Enjoy your blog.

  6. First I wanted to commiserate on your computer woes. I just hate Microsoft’s forced/pushy updates and the chaos they sometimes cause. Now I will be even warier of allowing them to occur.

    That out of the way, I wanted to thank you for the adorable new pattern. Substitute the skirt for a bloomer style bottom and you have a bathing suit I wore in the early sixties. Also, thanks for pointing out Melina. I like her new face mold and coloring. With her hairstyle, she could fit into many historical eras.

  7. Good morning, When I clicked on “Get it here” the only page that appeared showed how to work with the bias binding. No pattern pieces, or other instructions. Thank you for all of the patterns you so generously provide. I appreciate them all. For some reason the “r” and “n” in pattern wants to combine and become an “m.” Could it be because I sort of spilled my bowl of cereal on my keyboard? lol Have a great day!

    Jo Lyman

  8. Good Day I’m sew excited to try this pattern out! I did notice something in the download you may fix. The first several pages are duplicated again before the pattern pieces show up. Being me I scrolled down past the first pages and saw it was a duplicate and thought OOPS no pattern pieces. Then my wonderful cat stepped on the mouse and it scrolled down the page TA DA pattern pieces! Thank you so much for the wonderful patterns. We know this ruched swim / sun suit will turn out much cuter then the store bought version!

    Make it a great day!

    Debbie ~ One Creative Lady

    • At least your cat is useful with electronics, we used to have one that would swat at the flashing light on the answering machine and delete messages! 🙂

  9. so sorry about your computer troubles. They can certainly cause a lot of problems can’t they.

    My daughter and I love your patterns. This one looks very cute as well. Are we missing a link though? We followed the link below but it only shows the mitering for the bias tape, there are no pattern pieces. Did we skip/miss something?


  10. Hi Jen! So sorry about your computer problems. It’s the pits and involves so many hours putting it back together again! Just have to keep at it until it’s done, and all or most of us have had to do this, too, so I feel for you. Thanks so much for the pattern. It’s just darling! The pieces are showing up now, but the beginning of it is duplicating itself. Not that I won’t need to read it at least twice, LOL, but it’s not probably how you like it. : ) Glad you are back online! You were missed! Hugs, Allie

  11. Just lovely; thanks so much. I thought maybe you’d gone on a 2 month cruise. lol Glad you are back, but so very sorry about your hard drive.

  12. Whew, I guess that’s pretty much a bad news/GREAT news story. Awful news about your computer woes, but, wow, I was worried when I saw your ETSY shop was on hiatus (seemed like forever) and your blog wasn’t updating like usual. I’m so glad you’re back; that new pattern is adorable, and that new OG girl is cuter than cute. Somehow, TWO AGFAT girls have found their way to my house since your sewalong announcement, so we’re ready and patiently waiting. So happy to see you back.

  13. My sympathy with the crashed computer. Something similar happened to me at work three weeks back, and I am still finding things I need to load. Thanks for the cute patterns this month!

  14. So glad you’re okay, despite awful computer issues! ;( I was concerned when you’d not posted in so long & on FB saw an AGAT buyer had gone to your Etsy store to purchase your Safari Dress, but store temporarily closed. I went there and it was back open, so left a comment for her on FB so she’d know.
    You’re such an enabler, as Melina is sooo cute; may just have to take a trip to Target. Very busy w/family member’s health issues, but printed out your sweet sundress pattern (thank you so much) and hope to get a chance to sew soon. Due to my care-taking schedule recently, it’s good that the SSA will be a bit delayed as I’d hate to not be able to participate.

  15. I am so sorry you had to deal with such a horrible computer breakdown; ugh, ugh,ugh! As to how the pattern came out to me when I downloaded it, I had the first 4 pages and then a repeat of the first 4 pages and then the pattern page. The pattern page printed to the correct size, but I’m wondering if I’m missing pages because there’s nothing showing the “how to” for ruching the front…..or should we just refer to the past SSA for the “how to” for ruching? Thank you, Jen for all the great patterns and info you give us! Lisa

    • Yes, there aren’t directions for the optional ruching, but in this case you just gather the sides and don’t need to sew it to a backing like in the swimsuit.

  16. ooh no I am glad you survived the computer miss hap! Those are never fun! I do have an OG request! They posted a picture of a cute little doll they have limited stock of for a charity thing in china. You can only get the doll in china and they only made so many of the doll I guess. Anyway. The outfit the doll comes with is super cute! A little girl got to design the outfit and the doll. Here is the link. Its a cat outfit of sorts! It is on their instagram account!

  17. I think you have the instruction in the PDF twice. 😀

    An actress on the show The Resident is named Melina (she was also on CSI New York), Melina Kanakaredes. She plays a doctor (Lane something or other, I forgot to check. :D).

  18. I’m really enjoying the sew along – learning new techniques and seeing all the wonderful creations people are making! Thanks, Jen.

  19. Wow! What a spring you’ve had! I’m hoping summer is progressing better. My stepfather always has issues with updates messing up how he has things set on his computers; resetting everything is very stressful for my mom. so I totally get your rant!

    Melina…have you ever seen For Your Eyes Only? It’s one of the Roger Moore James Bond movies. Melina Havelock is the main female character. She is Greek. One of my favorite lines is, “Greek women, like Electra, always avenge their loved ones.”

    One of the best things about creating your own versions of the OG outfits is you can coordinate the colors better. No strange pairings. Plus your seams are straighter! Okay, you don’t get shoes, but that’s an easy fix. 🙂

    Best wishes!
    Tea Time with Melody Q

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