Monthly Archives: June 2019

Smocking an insert panel

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A while back, Brenda sent me this adorable pic:

She used the machine smocking designs from this collection.  If you don’t have an embroidery machine, you can use the guidelines in today’s tutorial to smock by hand if you know how, or there are mock-smocking directions in this pattern which, incidentally, will also provide you with a sloper to use for drafting your own version for whatever size doll you’d like

Here’s my version of Brenda’s dress on Disney’s NEW Animator Mulan. Yes! They’ve changed the faceups of several dolls including Mulan, Jasmine, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. They have improved them tremendously in my opinion, and though it doesn’t show well in the photos, Mulan and others have a thin strip of gold paint in their eyes that just glows in the sunlight! I’ll probably be collecting the rest as soon as they’re on sale!

Get the smocked dress tutorial here

SSA Week 5: Let’s go to the beach and…nap?

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No snow this week, but I was in a coat while taking these pix. Good thing dolls don’t get cold like people or they definitely would not have stayed out by the lake so long in these outfits!


Get both sizes of this pattern (AG and 16″) here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/699760210/movie-star-beach-pajamas-1930s-pattern?ref=listing_published_alert

Let’s go to the beach and…nap?  😊 While I’m sure there are a lot of people who think that’s a fine idea, most children probably go to the beach to swim!  So, were they swimming in these beach pajamas?  Nope!  Here’s the scoop:

By this time, swimsuits for actual swimming looked similar to what we’d wear now, just with a bit more conservative of a cut, especially at the leg openings – what we call “boy short” swimsuits today.  Based on the old catalogs I’ve perused, they were often made of wool, but a new fabric called “lastex” was beginning to catch on.  It was made from a rubber/cotton or rubber/rayon yarn, and must have been so much more comfortable, especially when wet! 

Here is a pic (not mine) of Shirley in a 1930s swimsuit: https://i.ebayimg.com/thumbs/images/g/a4wAAOSwdT9bcD64/s-l225.jpg

Unlike today’s beaches and resorts, where people stroll around in swimsuits all day or maybe just throw on a pair of shorts over them to go to dinner, the 1930s were a bit more glamorous.  The style icon Coco Chanel popularized beach pajamas a decade earlier, when it was still a bit scandalous for women to be seen in pants in public, and by the 1930s they were ubiquitous attire for strolling the boardwalks and being seen in resorts.  

As children, their mothers may have worried about tearing the lace on their petticoats climbing trees, but I imagine these little girls who experienced the freedom of running around to play in pants continued to influence fashion by choosing pants for casual/recreational wear as they grew up!

Can you believe this is already the last week of the sew-along? I’ve been feeling a bit of a disconnect with it this year because of the pix being scattered in random places, so it feels like there’s no way I could be seeing them all which is really the “funnest” 😉 part of the SSA for me. Keep posting your pix though and inspiring everyone else! Here are a couple to whet your appetite to check out the flickr and instagram pages:     

There are some great ideas on the flickr page, like these dirndls (click to go to flickr and see who posted them!)

SAL week 3, dirndl
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And this one I actually had to look twice, because at first it wasn’t clear that it was the nightgown from week 2, cleverly styled as a robe!

SSA 2019 - Starlette Robe for KNC doll

The tagging on Instagram might not be putting all the pix in one spot for everyone to see…you actually have to tag me in the photo, not just use a hashtag for it to show up on this page.  You can see which ones have shown up here:

https://www.instagram.com/jenwrenne/tagged/

One great idea I really wanted to share was using bias instead of rickrack on this dirndl:https://www.instagram.com/p/ByNw6fSJurB/

Yes, it’s the end of the sew-along, but don’t be sad, there are TONS of fun things coming up in the next couple of weeks!

SSA Week 4!

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OK, we’re 3 weeks in, are you keeping up? After last week’s dirndl and blouse, you might be ready for a quick and easy project – here it is!  Living where we do, it’s pretty much a given that there will be a snow picture as part of the summer sew along, and here it is:

Apologies for not responding to comments/emails as well of the lack of explanation/etc. in this week’s post. It’s move-in week for my mom and we’ve been incredibly busy trying to put in new flooring and get things ready at her new place. Next week will be better 🙂

Get the cape pattern here