Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bex’s school uniform!

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Hello everyone! Here’s my first post from Japan! We are living in Mie prefecture with the Hasegawa family while mom helps them get certified as an organic tea farm. Just like our family, the Hasegawas also have two daughters near the ages of my sister Della and I and also one older brother. Tomorrow I’ll be starting school with Yuki. She writes it like this: 雪 isn’t that pretty? Maybe I’ll learn a new way to write my name too?
Love, Bex

BTW Here’s a pic of me in my new uniform:45544751591_8146d4f264_z

Get the jacket pattern here

Hogwarts shirt pattern here

Skirt shown is from this costume, although I plan to make it again in plaid.

Vote for Bex’s school uniform!

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During the cleaning and organizing of the doll room, I had a chance to reflect on what things were in there that brought me joy.  Aside from the dolls themselves, of course, finding the collection from Little Darling in 日本 was a reminder what was a lot of fun it had been and how much I (usually) enjoy doing a series focusing on a topic.  You might also recall that AGAT Bex came to live here and was supposed to come out of her box after the summer sew along, but never did because of the Animator tangent I got distracted by.  Well, she’s out of her box now and is going to spend the rest of the school year in Japan. There was a backstory being written about her mom working for a tea company in the UK and (loooong story short) the whole family moves to Japan to stay with a tea-farming family who’s converting to organic farming.  Since you probably come to this blog for the patterns/crafts/pix rather than stories, and because writing them takes time away from sewing, I decided to just give that sketchy little outline and let her do the blogging once a month to update on all the amazing things she’s learning and experiencing 🙂  Next week we’ll get to see her new school uniform – you can help by deciding what it should look like!  The basic styles in Japan for middle school/junior high can be broadly categorized into sailor and blazer styles, with cardigans/vests/jumpers seeming to be a little less popular.  Spend a few minutes on pinterest and you’ll see there are all kinds of variations, but I had to limit things a bit so as not to be overwhelmed by too many choices.  The images below are  from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/307722587022696001/ and https://www.pinterest.com/pin/584905070329586319/

Vote for your favorite style in the poll below

Numbering is left to right; 1 is the navy sailor outfit, 5 is the short sleeved white blouse.  Poll will be open for 24 hours so I have time to make it this weekend – get your vote in quickly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye to some dolls, hello creativity!

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The decluttering is going SO well!  After finishing Marie Kondo’s book and donating three carloads worth of stuff to Goodwill, I read a few more books on minimalism.  It’s a lifestyle choice involving living with fewer possessions, but what’s important is that it works for you.  There are people out there who limit their “stuff” to just 100 objects, and that’s never going to be me.  Creative people need a certain level of creative tools, which in my case is fabric, dolls, looms, colored pencils, etc.  But my kitchen actually had 4 pairs of scissors and dozens of pens and pencils and random baking pans in some special shape that got used once 10 years ago.  Wow!  Just getting the baking pans out of the cupboards meant a few appliances cluttering up the counter could get hidden away in cabinets and the kitchen feels tidier.  Having just one pair of scissors AND a designated spot for them not only frees up space, but saves time hunting through random drawers when I need them.

And then as I sat contemplating what a “reasonable” number of looms and spinning wheels was, it was necessary to face that I can get rid of all the excess pencils and towels and clothes I want, but there are probably double, or even triple the number of dolls in the house than I reasonably have time to blog about.  It makes me feel sad instead of sparking joy, because someone else could have been enjoying them, and instead they’re sitting in boxes in the dark and will never become “real” like the Velveteen Rabbit. 🙂  It’s been so much harder to make decisions about what dolls to let go than any other category of stuff, but I think certain things come into our lives at certain times, fulfill their purpose, and then we need to let them go.

The good part of this is that as I move newer dolls out of the way, I’m finding older dolls that had been forgotten about.  They haven’t appeared on the blog before and will be new-to-you when they do!  Here’s the thing, though.  Everything is laid out and taking up space, and I’m working on taking pix of these dolls to sell, so I can’t sew or get anything new onto the blog until I get rid of all of it.  I listed some on ebay last weekend (link) but it’s pretty time-consuming to do that, and then you have to wait for the auction to end,  etc.

If you read this blog, it’s a good guess that you sew and would like some patterns to make things for your new doll.  If you buy it directly from me here on the blog, and save me the hassle of taking more pictures and listing on ebay, I’m offering a pattern credit, pro-rated to the price of the doll, not including shipping.  Yes, that means if you buy dolls, you get free patterns from my etsy shop!  If you live in CO and want to pick the doll up instead of shipping, that works too!

Once the first round of dolls is gone, I’ll be able to access the rest and will list more.  Most are in used condition of bought/used for the blog/put back into a dark room.  Some I bought secondhand in the first place, and their lower prices reflect that.  These prices are firm unless you’re making an offer for several at once.  I will ship them USPS and charge actual shipping, which may be higher for the large dolls if you want their original boxes rather than fitting them into a large, flat-rate priority box.  Please contact me for shipping to your zip code before making a payment (button at the bottom).  If it’s here, it is available, if not, I’ll delete it.

These will be going on ebay this Sunday and removed from here, so snap them up while you can!  The free pattern offer will not apply on ebay.  Some are nude, some have clothes, but since you sew and are getting patterns with them, that probably doesn’t matter much to you 🙂

  • Adora Jasmine /Adora Kayla $25 each or $40 for both
  • Byul Dumbo $25
  • Goodreau vinyl BJD Rumor – $75

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  • Effanbee Stamp doll – $25 (pending payment )

Reproduction Patsy $10  (pending payment )

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  • Robby the Robot kit $35 (pending payment )

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Not pictured but also for sale:

  • Disney Animator Mulan NRFB – $20 (pending payment )
  • Heidi Ott Faithful Friends lot of 4 dolls (boy and 3 girls) – $50
  • Journey Girl Meredith $10 
  • Ruby Red Galleria/Senson Ping Li – $100 NRFB  
  • Our Generation April and Jenny (lot) $15
  • Medium flat-rate boxes of quilting scraps
  • [Local pickup only: Playmobil Victorian mansion and tons of furniture, Oh Jenny Dream World and camper, and tons of other playmobils]

 

Dolls

This is the payment button for doll and shipping – please contact me with your zip code to confirm shipping cost prior to paying! Note that it can't process cents, so if I quoted you a price, please round down to the nearest dollar.

$1.00

1920s Pattern Collection!

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Happy almost Labor Day!  If you’re looking for a project over this long weekend, many Etsy shops (including mine) are having sales AND there’s a new pattern collection to inspire you!

The sale in my shop is active now through the end of the long weekend and is 20% off  any purchase of $10 or more, no coupon code required!

You might have noticed the Animators have been featured a lot on the blog lately, and Tiana ended up being a favorite for a similar reason to Lilo – she’s more relatable because she’s an average person, not a princess.  At least, not at first.  Unlike many of the other princesses who are in some random time period categorized as “long ago” she’s firmly set in New Orleans of the 1920s, which is not quite modern, but pretty close.  That’s a rather unexplored genre in my pattern collections, so when I got her, it seemed the perfect excuse to go back to that time period.  The movie also has a storyline that her mom is a seamstress, so of course, these had to be extra special to reflect that!  I ended up being inspired by patterns produced by McCall that included Kaumagraph transfers.  They were basically heat-set transfers made by a stamping process, which was fairly new technology at the beginning of the 20th century, but must have seemed like such a time saver for those used to tracing patterns themselves!

Of course, you can use the embroidery designs for other dresses too, simplify them even more to modernize them or just make the dresses in a cute print and eliminate the embroidery.  They’re included as templates for hand embroidery and available for embroidery machines in .pes format free with purchase of the collection, just put in the notes to seller that you want them!

You can see all the original inspirations here:

Figuring out/scaling the embroidery down to doll size was a bit of a challenge, so I ended up aiming for something that was not too small or complicated but still retained the feel of the original.  Likewise, you’ll notice some of the “real” patterns have more detail than these doll versions, which were simplified for ease of construction.

The round-collar dress above and combinations below actually WERE intended for dolls, and I was all set to include the adorable little combinations pattern in the new collection, but couldn’t make it work for AGs without major modifications and didn’t want to do two sets of instructions.  So I decided to just do a 16″ version and gift it to you instead –

Get it here and wear it under all these cute new dresses!

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I’m onto a tangent of reducing clutter and sewing for myself at the moment.  Read more about that here.  For the time being, I may reduce the blog posts while I get things in order.  It may be hard to believe, but the blog is actually NOT some magical pattern-generating machine that spews something out every week, but rather, a person who has to spend many hours to get just one pattern onto the blog to give away for free and who gets tired/busy/etc.  So just enjoy the patterns if they do appear, and if nothing gets posted, know that my house is getting cleaner, and maybe think about filling a box of your own things to donate instead of sewing this week?  🙂

 

 

Drafting a circle skirt pattern

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The problem with the Animators is that once you buy one, you can’t stop!  This is Elena, who seems to have a less cartoon-y face than Lilo, but an adorable expression with one slightly lifted eyebrow.  My Elena came in a cute dress whose cut reminded me of some traditional Mexican dance dresses.  They have very full skirts with ruffles along the bottom and watching a group of dancers twirl so the colorful, ribbon-covered skirts billow out is a beautiful sight!  Children’s dresses are often less complicated than adults’, with a simpler top that looks similar to this one.  The construction of the “real thing” would probably use elastic at the top for more ease of movement,  (for example, Simplicity 3863) but I avoid it on doll clothes whenever possible because a) it will eventually stretch out and all your hard work will be wasted and b) dolls generally don’t need much ease for movement added to their clothes unless maybe they’re the Raggedy Ann dolls from the Johnny Gruelle books that “come to life” and run around having adventures as soon as people are gone.  😉

Here is a quick tutorial on drafting a circle skirt for any size doll, and another animator pattern for a bodice/top similar in cut to the one Elena comes in.  Enjoy! 

I’m hoping to be back with a new set of historical patterns in time for Esty’s Labor Day sale – fingers crossed!

Shorts for Animators!

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I’m really in love with the animator dolls lately and haven’t been posting because I’m working on all kinds of fun stuff for them!  Do you like them too?  Who’s your favorite?

Here is a fast, easy pattern for shorts to fit the animators or similar-size dolls.  Make them with a drawstring waist or elastic, whatever you prefer. Use them for play, boy swim trunks, PJs, etc.  They combine perfectly with Lilo’s dress pattern shortened to be a T-shirt.  Get it here: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/a-new-dress-for-lilo/

Get the shorts pattern here

Lilo’s embroidery on her t-shirt is modified a bit from: https://family.disney.com/craft/lilo-stitch-ohana-means-family-cross-stitch/

If you have problems clicking the links, please paste them into your browser.

 

 

This is Scrump…

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“This is Scrump.  I made her!  But her head is too big, so I pretend a bug laid eggs in her ear and she’s upset because she only has a few more days to…” (From the Lilo and Stitch movie – here’s a youtube link to the scene)  I had not seen the movie until recently and found it pretty cute…and then of course the animator Lilo doll had to come live with us!  🙂

Does your Lilo need a Scrump?  The one she comes with is fine for a child to play with, but an adult collector might prefer something a little more detailed to display with her.  Lilo says she made hers in the movie, but this pattern is a challenge, even for an adult at such a tiny scale, so don’t attempt it unless you have experience making tiny plushies and some patience!

Get the pattern here

I was too busy cleaning today to get the rest of the pix for this post up, but I found an adorable cross stitch pattern on the Disney Family site:  https://family.disney.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Disney-Family_Lilo_Stitch_Cross-Stitch-Pattern.pdf  and put Stitch’s head onto a T-shirt for Lilo using last week’s dress pattern.  It’s super cute…and will hopefully appear next week!