Tag Archives: april

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)

 

April’s Journal…continued

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The next installment of April’s journal is ready, although not with everything I wanted to include because we were out of town for a while and now I’m catching up on things instead of doing new projects.

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Her journal is here and there’s a (sort of) hidden project link to pierce your doll’s ears and make earring dangles!

I’m toying with the idea of hiding links to extra craft projects in the footnotes of her journal…want to help decide?

 

 

Heart Contest Results and Embroidery Downloads

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We have two winners in the heart contest, and some machine embroidery designs for you to download!  If you get started now, your dolls can have a new shirt before Valentine’s day!

The first was a flamingo by Joy and I was inspired by the bird on this:
 
 to embroider the flamingo on contrasting felt and applique it.  This turns out to be a great strategy to get an embroidered motif onto stretch knits without the difficulties that sometimes arise when embroidering on knits.
Anna’s motif had a boho vibe that I loved!  I digitized it first in a color version to put on a white T-shirt, but playing around with color combinations I got inspired by traditionally embroidered Mexican blouses that use white thread on brightly colored fabric and Julika’s blouse was born.  Covering the yoke with lace is an easy and trendy way to add interest without embroidering.
 (L – Kidz n Cats Julika, R – OG Jamie)
You can download the contest embroidery designs in .pes format here:
Please note that the flower-heart motif has a lot of threads to cut and is a dense design – not the individual density of the stitches, but how close the elements are together.  My machine shredded the top thread and made a few bird nests underneath, so use at your own risk and stabilize well!
 
Because April “asked” for one to keep, I also did a version of the OG heart logo which stitches out beautifully:
It’s been modified somewhat from the original, but is similar enough that you shouldn’t put it on things to sell.
Love Ten Ping?  I have good news!  The birthday fairy did not come through with Zuri 😦 but did bring Ten Ping a friend named Gigi and I’m hard at work on some sweet little spring patterns for her that I’m hoping will be ready by the end of March.
April’s next journal is coming out soon and might have some hidden surprises in it.  Stay tuned!

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!

April’s journal and the rest of last week’s outfit…

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I had planned to post Aprils’s journal once a month, but thought the first installment might help you learn more about her and enjoy the series more.  You’ll meet her new friend Julika (who was Santa’s gift to me)

And April’s own “new” doll, Sienna (who I bought a long time ago and was never able to work into a blog post)

 See April’s journal so far here

(note: this is a dropbox link, and will work now but may change when I update her journal)

If it looks grainy, click the “open” button and scroll to “open in adobe reader”

The cardigan to go with last week’s blouse is also ready:

Get the cardigan and socks pattern here

And if you’re a Star Wars fan, you might appreciate this:

Cassie resized and adapted some of the Little Darling in Japan patterns as Star Wars cosplay outfits to fit AGs and has generously shared them on her blog here

The WrenFeathers GOTY

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REMINDER:  You can get one or both Chatty Cathy patterns from my etsy store FREE until Jan 1st – Post a picture of something you’ve made during this Chatty Cathy series (for your CC or any other doll they’d fit) here and send me a link (jenniebagrowski at gmail dot com).  For each thing that you’ve made you can request either “Nursery School” OR “Sunday Visit”.  If you want both patterns, you’ll need to post 2 things you made during this series.  If you just post on flickr, I don’t have your email, so make sure to send me a link and tell me which pattern you want!

I’m going to guess you’ve either gotten the new AG catalog or seen the leaks online by now.

The AG GOTY dolls’ back stories lately are so realistic and relatable to regular kids’ lives, right?  I mean, when MY grandparents’ bakery in France was struggling, MY family dropped everything, hopped on a plane and helped save it, just like Grace!  And then this year is even MORE relatable, because, you know, lots of kids get to abandon their lives here in the US and go live in Brazil, and all of Brazil is just rainforest, fruit stands and treehouses…right? 😉 

So I happened down the Our Generation aisle at Target and check out my find:

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No, not Saila, the science set.  Pretty awesome, huh?  For around $6 you get the safety glasses, flask, test tubes and microscope.  It gets better…there’s an actual light and a lens you can focus on the microscope!!  No slides, but those are easily made from scraps of clear plastic.  As I was taking apart the packaging to toss in the recycling, something caught my eye…http://www.ogdolls.com/free-the-children

This was so reminiscent of my dearly departed H4H and Karito dolls I actually went back to Target and really LOOKED at the dolls themselves.  I always pass them up as generic “imitation” dolls, and in all the stores I’ve visited, their ethnic diversity has, until recently, been sadly lacking.  The April doll caught my eye, primarily because of her beautiful green eyes that are similar to mine.  Most doll manufacturers do a grassy green color that is blatantly unrealistic, and that’s sometimes the case with red hair too.  AND April came with glasses…just like me, poor thing.  She lacks freckles but I’m thinking some time in the high altitude sun should cure that 🙂

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So, even though I was super excited about the release of AG Lea, who disappointingly just looks like Rebecca with longer hair, and Melody, who Amazon led us to believe was also getting released Jan 1, I bought April instead, and she’s going to be the WrenFeathers GOTY for 2016.  Why an OG?  AG is just getting shameless with their price increases and big-ticket items and I don’t always see quality to match those prices.  I love my AGs, I love going to the AG store, but it seems the “store experience” has become a thing and they’re skimping on quality while you help pay their rent in the most expensive shopping districts in that area. In contrast, probably everyone has a Target within a reasonable driving distance and goes there anyway to get other things and the doll aisle is just a bonus.  Based on the devastation of the OG aisle at my local Target right before Christmas (hubby commented it looked as though it had been looted), OG dolls are hugely popular with kids.  They’re affordable, supposedly responsibly manufactured, and giving back some of their profits to help kids in developing countries.  Plus, this doll is more relatable to real people than one that’s jetting off to live in Brazil and needs you to buy her a $400 tree house to live in and a $150 fruit stand to run.

The “GOTY” plan is that every month there will be a free pattern or craft for her, sort of like a year-long series and I will try to make an effort to relate those to her hobbies, interests, etc.  (Don’t worry, I’ll still do other dolls too!)  As I examined the OG offerings, they’ve really stepped up their game in terms of creating trendy, cute things.  Unfortunately, it’s rather hit-or-miss as to whether you can actually find what you want for sale at your local store and when you order online, apparently they don’t really have what you ordered.  I found Zuri, who has a beautiful new face mold, on the Target website and ordered her just before Christmas, thinking she and April could be friends.  A few days before she was scheduled to arrive, I got an email saying my order was canceled without any explanation why.  I was pretty sad, and am hoping the birthday fairy might come through and you’ll see her here soon…

So, you might not be able to get the OG outfits you want, and since they’re trying to mass-produce them for a reasonable price, the quality might not be the same as what an experienced seamstress could do at home for her own dolls, and for those reasons I might do versions of some of their outfits in this series too.  Look for the first installment next week!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Do you have a favorite OG outfit you can’t find and want to make?  Suggestions for April’s “back story” (hobbies, interests, etc.)?  Post a comment below!

Happy New Year!