Tag Archives: ag

April’s Halloween Dress

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April should have appeared before Halloween, but everything got off a week because of Kenny’s “illness”.  Luckily this dress is good for any time of the year, with a sweater or jacket over it for cool weather.  April’s cardigan from January would probably be perfect, just not buttoning in front.  NOTE:  It was fitted on April, who’s a bit slimmer than some of my new AGs. It’s fine on Journey Girls and would be a bit loose on newer KnC bodies.  You can see in the pattern pix it fits the newer AGs, but the fit is quite slim – probably too slim for larger-bodied older AGs!

Download her Halloween dress here

 

Read her journal here

(yes, some months are missing but it explains the costume and ties in depression awareness month)

 

Groovy Flower Quilt

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To help with your dolls’ sleep hygiene, this week’s pattern is a 60s-70s quilt.  It would work for AG Julie and maybe Melody, as well as vintage 70s dolls like Crissy, Velvet, Sasha, etc. or modern dolls that enjoy a retro vibe to their decor.

Templates are provided for you to do it as fusible web applique, but slower and faster methods are options as well.  You could cut the motifs out of freezer paper and stencil them [post here] or add seam allowances and do needle-turn appliqué by hand.  You could also use one small motif to make blocks for a more traditional looking quilt.  Although this quilt itself was never made for a particular doll, the motif appeared on the packaging and furniture of a doll popular in the late 1960s and 70s.  She’s still around now, although the packaging motifs have been updated.  If you can guess who she is, you’ll know who might be appearing on the blog soon!

Since it’s more than likely your doll bed is not the same size as mine, I provided the quilt center and you can add strips on the sides to make it into the size you require.  My strips were 2” wide.  Should you need to enlarge/reduce it significantly, just divide the size you want by the size it is to get a percentage to reduce/enlarge and photocopy at that percentage.

Get the “Groovy Flower Quilt” pattern here

 

D.A.M. week two: Exercise and Social Connections!

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Exercise is a great mood-booster even if you’re not depressed/anxious.  In addition to last week’s tips, getting someone out of the house for a brisk walk can be SO helpful.  Yes, even if they’re trudging along behind you muttering, “I said I wanted to stay home.  I want to go home.  I can’t do this.”

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Continuing in the vein of vintage patterns, this week’s is a mid-century gym suit.  Doing a quick google search, it seems something similar to these one-piece uniforms were the norm for quite a while, from maybe the late 1940s through at least the mid-1960s, when my mom was in high school. This blue color seems to have been regulation in most of the country, with obligatory embroidery of your name on it.  Anyone live during the era of these gym suits and want to share “fond memories” (I say that in the most sarcastic tone possible) or info about color/style?

In plain solid colors, it will make a great historical gym uniform for Molly/Emily, Mary Ellen or Melody.   

This was kind of a time-consuming pattern to figure out and sew, and normally I put such things on etsy rather than free on the blog.  In lieu of payment, if you download this pattern please get SOMEONE outside with you a few times this week to exercise!  You’ll be boosting mood AND creating/reinforcing a social connection – both of which are essential to good mental health.

A podcast you might like that explores our attitudes toward exercise and motivates you can be accessed here:  http://www.wbur.org/magicpill.  You can even sign up for a 21-day motivational email-a-day to get you exercising!  I haven’t heard them all yet, but episode 2 did have a sentence or two not suitable for children, so it might be best to read or listen with headphones if you have kids in the room.

 

April snowstorms bring…May flower dresses!

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Thank you everyone for your condolences about Jasper!

It was brought to my attention that not everyone may be able to complete both a dress and sandals in a week during the summer sew-along, so I’m probably going to break it up, but your dolls DO need some cute sundresses, because they are (possibly) the perfect layering piece!  At the bare minimum, it’s a cute dress on its own with sandals.  Depending on the season, you can add leggings/cardigan/blouse/jacket/boots/hat, etc.  Little Darling did a series with a “4-season” dress here: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/10/

Since April is an OG, I’ve been trying to do patterns at least inspired by OG outfits once a month for her, and this month’s is loosely based on: 

Instead of a ruffle, this one has a piped round yoke, which to me makes the dress look more elegant and higher-end.  I named this dress “May Flowers” since the daffodils are finally up and growing even though our April “showers” were more like April “dump-five-feet-of-snow-overnight” 🙂

It’s a slim fit on an OG with a flush closure in back, looks great on Journey Girls and will fit the newer KnC dolls more loosely if closed with an overlap in back.  It will likely work for Sasha copied at 80%, but make a muslin first to check.  Have an older/bigger AG?  See the end of the pattern here: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/august-free-pattern-for-kidz-n-cats-and-sasha/ for a tutorial on adding some width at the back with buttoned closures.

Get the pattern here

Please keep posting your fabulous creations on the Wrenfeather flickr page here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/

Some recent cuteness for your inspiration:

A-line for mini AG by sewbig

Sasha as Maid Marion by Theresa

 

Valentine Tea Dress

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Who’s the bendiest of them all?  Surprise – it’s Barbie!

Around Christmas I was in Toys R Us and an overwhelmed grandma asked me if I knew anything about dolls.  Um…yeah, a bit 🙂  I tried pointing her to the fabulous Journey Girls, but her GD apparently was into Barbie, which I’m not.  I strolled down the Barbie aisle with her though and found a new one called “Made to Move”.  The price was right (about $15) and I bought one for research purposes, thinking there was no way it was as good as Obitsu.

I finally got around to doing a pose comparison this week, and I was shocked!  When compared to my bendiest dolls in that size range, Barbie is able to do more realistic yoga poses:

L-R – Ruby Red Senson, J-doll, Azone picconeemo, Momoko, obitsu 23cm with little Pullip head, MTM Barbie

Can sit in an actual lotus position

And can bend her knees nicely to sit in the Japanese pose called seiza

Yes, the Obitsu can do pretty much all these things too, but her body is floppy and arms are too short to do realistic arm-over-the-head poses.  There are a few more pix here  if you’re interested.

 

So, when I was asking for suggestions about April and which OG outfits you liked, Brandy asked for this as a Valentine’s dress:

I decided April and her mom and their friends have a Valentine’s tea and dress up for it.  More to come about it in her journal, but for now, here’s the

VALENTINE TEA DRESS PATTERN

I’m digitizing results of the Valentine heart contest from last week and basing the winner on which design looks best when embroidered.  It’s taking a while so I will post the winner next week.

The computer-generated images were fine, but please be aware that if you scanned your drawing as grayscale (L) instead of black and white, it shows up like the pic on the right when I convert it to B&W and it can’t be used.

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Also, if you did scan as B&W but drew with pencil, sometimes it got grainy when it scanned and can’t be used without a ton of editing or re-drawing.

If you’d like to re-scan and re-send your drawings in the next day or two, you can.  Thanks to everyone who entered!

Pleat collar blouse

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If you can’t find this outfit to buy:

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You could start making it instead!  This week, we have the first installment of it:

DOWNLOAD THE PLEAT COLLAR BLOUSE HERE

It was supposed to be the whole outfit with pix of my April in it, but unfortunately I got sick and then busy with the return to work, so let’s hope I finish it all next weekend!

I incorporated some of your suggestions to develop a personality for April and am pretty excited at all the fun things that may be in store!  In brief, she lives on a ranch in Colorado, raises fiber goats and does some associated fiber crafts with their fleece, like knitting.  She might have a garden when the time comes and wants to grow up to be an archaeologist.   Also by request, she’ll have her own (mini) OG and will occasionally post things she sews for it.

I’m trying to have her “write” a journal fairly regularly and planning to take her various places a normal kid might go, so maybe not Brazil or Paris…more like a museum or park in Colorado, and then take pix of her there and let her write about it.  It will probably appear at the end of each month.

 

Oh no, the last Chatty Pattern?

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I bet some of you want the CC series to just keep going, but there’s lots of fun modern stuff on the way for those that didn’t! 🙂  I actually did a few more things for Cathy, namely her “Nursery School” and “Sunday Visit” dresses.

 The Nursery School and Sunday Visit patterns are available on etsy 

 

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This week’s free pattern is based on a paper doll, but the pattern was so similar to a vintage commercial pattern, I just used it instead, omitting the tucks down the front.  Neckline of blouse and jumper are faced with bias.  You might want to make the hem deeper for AGs to get the same look.

 Download it here

Is this OK?  Read on…

Does scanning parts of an old pattern and uploading them violate copyright law?  Well, when I looked into it, I think it’s OK in this situation.  First off, it’s possible they may be in the public domain, since the back of the envelope says it was copyrighted in 1963 (and thus expired 28 years later unless renewed) but there is no copyright info listed on the pattern pieces themselves.  Second, if they were renewed for the additional 47 years permitted, they’d expire again in 2030, but  section 108 of US copyright law says during the last 20 years of any term of copyright protection of a published work libraries and archives free to the public…“may—for purposes of preservation, scholarship, or research—reproduce, distribute, display, or perform in facsimile or digital form a copy or phonorecord of the work or portions of the work… ”  

So, as a website which has a rather large archive of my own doll patterns, I’m uploading these pieces for you here free for the purpose of preserving them, since the paper is aging rapidly.  You can download them for purposes of research/scholarship, (i.e. learning to sew a historical garment) but despite what some ebay sellers would have you believe, it’s probably not legal for you to reproduce this pattern and sell since the law also states “the reproduction or distribution” must be “made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage”.