If you’ve been wishing the sew along had girl patterns, you’re in luck!
There are suggestions to turn this into a girl’s dress (kirtle) in the pattern and you can click here: [link] for an apron and head covering! The embroidery on her apron is not as authentic as it could be, check the links in this week’s pattern for embroidery and braiding suggestions or add a row of cardwoven trim.
The sleeves should be big enough to accommodate dolls with larger arms like AGAT, but them check with a muslin first, especially if it’s fitting over the undershirt!
I find the dentist stressful under the best of situations, and recently had a more-stressful-than-normal visit. I tried to help my mind go to a “happy place,” like a favorite hiking spot, but strangely enough, where it went was…lazy daisy stitches. Yep, that’s a weird, random thing, especially for someone that doesn’t do a whole lot of hand embroidery, but as strange as it was, seeing the needle pulling thread through the fabric and forming each little flower petal in my mind was completely absorbing and I could ignore everything else.
I came home and started a project, based on a 1930s Patsy dress, and this morning, when our school district announced a two-week closure, I sat down and focused on nothing but lazy daisies and French knots and finished it.
If you are stressed right now, maybe this will help you too.
Go find a scrap of white/solid-color fabric in your stash and a few yards of embroidery floss and get started embroidering this collar. Make sure to leave enough extra fabric around the design to cut out the collar later – maybe about 4″ all around measuring from the center of the biggest flower. We’ll make the rest of the dress (to fit 18” dolls) and there will be a more complete post next week!
So, summer’s been over for me for a
few weeks now, and it’s been a rough/busy start to the school year!
Even though (or maybe because?) the blog posts were less frequent, this summer was filled with all kinds of sewing and crafting. Over the summer, I set myself a challenge called “ANDED” (A new dress every day) for two weeks for a special new Effner/Boneka doll, and somehow got caught up in researching and learning new embroidery stitches/techniques from India.
I told myself these dresses would become blog posts, and I’d do a little series on embroidery, but it was just so much fun sewing I didn’t want to stop and take pix and write about it! 🙂 Anyway, she’s got some AMAZING new dresses and even some half-finished furniture piled in a box, and I’m hoping to get to those embroidery posts eventually. I also did a lot of sewing for my Petworks Usaggie, who welcomed some new bunny and cat companions, and then started a house project for all of them which also might appear here eventually.
pattern is from Dolly Dolly #20)
Non-doll-related crafts included
indigo dyeing and finally getting around to learning kumihimo on a marudai,
after years of doing it on foam discs.
Some decluttering happened in the craft room, and all my colored pencils
finally got organized into little drawers, which ended up being WAY better than
I even anticipated! In the past, I’d
often choose which brand to use for a project and get them all out of their
case onto the desk, then have to hunt through another brand’s box in
frustration when that one specific shade of pink wasn’t available and then
spend a long time reorganizing and cleaning everything up at the end. Having all the soft, compatible pencils I use
most (Coloursoft, Prisma, Polychromos, Pablo) organized in one place means it’s
so easy to just pull out all the drawers of one color and choose exactly the
one I need, and slide them back in when I’m done. Specialty pencils (like Derwent Inktense or
Graphitint) are still relegated to their original boxes, because they aren’t
easily interchangeable, but the boxes are easier to get to with all the other
pencils categorized together.
Messiness and creativity often DO go
hand in hand, but a clean, organized workspace can really put you in the right
frame of mind to be creative!
Another thing I thought would be a good idea and inspire summer crafting, but really hasn’t been worth even its discounted purchase price so far was a Cricut Maker. Their customer service is good when you have a problem, but the maker is not as foolproof as I’d like. I mean, a cutting machine that cuts into itself and doesn’t notice and stop immediately? Yeah, that happened. Also cutting in the wrong spot and wasting my materials. Grr. Cleaning up the sticky mat afterwards is not a lot of fun either, and then there’s the annoying software which is web-based but for some reason keeps needing to install updates on my computer. Anyway, I used it because I wanted some precise cuts on these sandals and was pretty pleased with the results.
Obviously, you can cut perfect rectangles with a rotary cutter and ruler, but the precision of the scallops and soles on these sandals really delighted me. My final step in shoemaking is usually trimming/sanding the soles so they all line up perfectly and it wasn’t necessary this time! Tip: I used faux leather that had a shiny side and a fabric backing (check the upholstery or costume sections at the fabric store) with the shiny side down to help with cleanup. The regular (fine point) blade worked fine with the super grip mat and the material set to bonded outdoor vinyl. In the close-up pix, you can see some raggedy edges of the fabric backing of the vinyl. If that bothers you, make sure to choose vinyl with a non-fray type of backing that looks like felt or knit.
with instructions and a printable pattern you can cut out with scissors. These sandals were for my Nancy Famosa (reedición) but the fit is forgiving since they’re sandals. They could potentially work for any doll with a similar or even a little larger size foot like Animators/Sasha/AGAT. If you’re cutting out by hand, it’s very easy to adapt the sole to fit your favorite doll.
I *think* you should be able to access the cricut version of the project with the link below. Make sure the long ankle strap measures 4″.
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.
Yep, there’s finally a new pattern available on etsy for a plaid flannel tunic with a real front placket. Until about the 1930s, men’s shirts pulled over the head, instead of buttoning all the way up the front like they do today. The front was cut from a single piece of fabric, slashed at the neck, then finished with a placket. This type of opening is still common on sport shirts like polos, and lately has become really trendy for women’s and girls’ flannel and denim blouses. Knowing how to add make these plackets is a good skill to have in your sewing toolbox, and what better way to practice a new skill than on doll clothes?
It has one size to fit both dolls. Originally, I made it to be a tight fit on April, then re-sized in my standard way for Knc. I wasn’t thrilled with the fit, since the new bodies have a larger chest and the placket had to gape open. When I tried the AG size on her, it actually looked fine, especially when belted. That inspired me to do a comparison of the new and old Knc bodies: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ygylg46bb2oue8/knc%20comparison.pdf?dl=0
A new edition of April’s journal is here
Since the majority of you didn’t want secret links to projects in her journal you can get
It’s a doll commonly made in Russia for Palm Sunday or during the Easter season. Paste this into your browser’s search window: Вербница (try using chrome with translate turned on if you don’t speak Russian) to see more examples of this kind of doll. Yes, I know that Eastern Orthodox Easter is not until May 1 this year, but maybe your dolls need one for this weekend…:)
I was hoping to have the new Ten Ping patterns ready for this week; they’re not quite there yet, but here’s a sneak peek at some of the muslins…
They’re taking a little longer because they will have two sizes for 8″ BJDs and 10″ Tonner AE/Patsy!
Since April’s family raises goats, it seemed important that she have a few as photo props. You’d think it would be an easy matter to just find/buy a pattern, but most stuffed goat patterns I could find had bodies more similar to horses. This challenged me to make my first foray into the world of stuffed-animal design and come up with what I think is a fairly authentic looking one.
I wasn’t sure when to post this, since people breed their goats to kid at different times, but passing a cow pasture on the way to work a few days ago I noticed a new baby had been born! It must have happened very recently, because the calf was still wobbling around on unsteady legs, so it seemed appropriate for April’s goats to start kidding (having their babies) this week too!
Although it’s intended to be a baby goat, you could also make it with fluffier fur to be a lamb and there’s still enough time to get it made for an Easter display or to tuck into a basket! If you, like me, are not accustomed to making stuffed animals, you might be intimidated and feel it’s too difficult or time-consuming. Just TRY IT! I anticipated a long and difficult project and was happily surprised to see how quick it was to make and how cute it looks when posed with dolls.
And I just have to share something I’m super proud of…
These shoes took forever to make, since all the sewing was done by hand except for some topstitching. I think I broke 3 needles in the process but am SO pleased with the final result! Yes, I made the jeans too if you’re wondering 🙂 The shoes were made as “outies” but formed on a last with a modified version of this pattern also see more here. Should you be inspired to try some (easier than this) people or doll shoes check out these links:
YAY! Time for awesome new back to school crafts including more shrinkies, printies AND a sewing pattern!
(scroll to the bottom to download)
If you are reading this blog, stop for a minute and consider how lucky you are. It’s more than likely that you’re a girl, and yet you still had enough education to learn how to read. That education enabled you to reach a high enough economic level that you are able to afford a computer, and you live somewhere that Internet access is readily available. If you live in the developed world, the only barrier to you receiving the same education as the boys in your country was being able to get to school on time, which probably involved nothing more difficult than making it to the bus stop or walking a mile or so.
There’s a documentary on Netflix called “On the way to school” that brings to light the challenges children in developing countries encounter every day just to arrive at school safely. It might be interesting to watch with your kids if they complain about their journey to school. I’m pretty sure they didn’t have to worry about being chased by wild animals or pushing their brother’s broken-down wheelchair through the mud!
Another documentary called “Half the Sky”, which is also a book if you’d prefer to read instead, illustrates how girls in developing countries are facing horrible obstacles just to get primary education. Note that this documentary is NOT suitable to watch with children and might make you cry. Both of these documentaries made me very, very grateful to have grown up where I did, with easy access to education!
The two newest H4H dolls have stories that expose the harsh realities real children around the world are facing:
(images below from the H4H facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/HeartsForHeartsGirls) Unfortunately, their page hasn’t been updated for almost a year, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed these gorgeous dolls will stay available!
Ok, so you have a H4H and want her to go to school? She’ll need a uniform:
The fit of this is loose on H4H. For a tighter fit, use a larger seam allowance at the side seams and make your skirt pleats deeper. Need it for a different doll? As a very rough guide, try 138% for Sasha/Kidz and 156% for AGs. If you’re enlarging, you will probably also need to adjust sleeve width, lengths of the blouse and at the bottom of skirt and adjust outer seam allowances for collar. To gauge how it might fit, compare your enlargement to a shirt with a similar pattern that you know will fit, such as this one: https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/summer-sew-along-2013-part-2-t-and-capris.pdf Please make a muslin in scrap fabric/paper towels before cutting into good fabric.
Note to people who say shrinky dinks aren’t available where they live…they are just #6 plastic! Probably you have some in your recycle bin right now! You can recycle old containers made of rigid plastic with a #6 recycling logo.
Ok, we’ve reached the final week. How is your doll’s trousseau shaping up? Full of exquisite little accessories? Yes, I did have a multi-sized pattern for the blouse/skirt/bretelles, along with authentic skirt designs to do in soutache/ribbon, but it has disappeared somewhere in my computer. 😦 If it reappears, of course I’ll post it, but in the meantime I was saving some of the best accessories for last – this week has my favorite paper craft (a photo album) AND my favorite shoes (toe cap boots).
This post was done during the summer, and in a fit of super-planning in August, I also did posts to appear for the next two weeks with other stuff that you will love. Thank goodness! Right now crafting/sewing/blogging/laundry/etc. is not happening because work is so overwhelming. I will try but if your comments don’t get answered, please know it’s because of that and not that you’re being ignored.
I also have TWO new patterns for her on etsy. The first is a school uniform that includes a pleated skirt and two styles of tops depending on where she goes to school. There is a standard button-front, as well as an adorable sailor-style blouse.
The next is an ethnic costume based on traditional Flower Hmong outfits. I’ve wanted to do one of these for so long, but was daunted by all the trim required if I did it for an AG. At 8″ doll scale, however, just a little bit of trim and embroidery makes for something really spectacular!
I’ll be taking a couple weeks off to work on a few projects and when I return we’ll have a 4-week historical (1850s-60s) sewing/crafting series. If you don’t have any around, go get some white (not clear) shrink plastic. The historical projects will be adaptable for any 13-18″ doll you’ve seen on the blog, but the shoe patterns are only sized for hearts for hearts, in case you need an excuse to get one of those… 🙂