Tag Archives: free sewing pattern

A new dress for Lilo!

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I’ll spare you a long story and just say I got some Disney animator dolls, and my favorite among them right now is Lilo.  She’s really cute, and like all of them, has an OK price to quality ratio, by which I mean she was inexpensive, but her hair/clothing/accessory quality leave a lot to be desired, especially if you know how to sew and can see where corners were cut during construction.  She came in a cute, simple red dress with a leaf print, but the inside was not finished at all.  That’s no big deal with a tightly-woven fabric, but this is synthetic and fraying already, and the hems are only turned once.  I feel like they could have heat-sealed the fabric at least if they weren’t going to serge it together, but can’t complain too much, since I got the doll on sale for $22.

If you’re reading this blog, I’m reasonably sure you know how to sew too, so here is a pattern for you to make your Lilo (or any other animator doll) a better dress!  It’s fast and easy, just the thing to help you recover from all those pleats in the summer sew-along! 😊 Leave off the sleeves to make her yellow/green dress from the movie or experiment with the suggested cutting lines to make all kinds of variations.  For many kids, having different clothing for their dolls adds a HUGE amount to their play value.  I’ve commented before that sometimes props/outfits can spark the imagination, and while it’s perfectly fine for kids to practice structuring a narrative by acting out a movie with their dolls, it’s even better to come up with their own stories/ideas/adventures!

Get the pattern here

This dress would be a fantastic canvas to stencil Hawaiian motifs like these which are available as a font here: http://www.pickafont.com/fontauthor/pokelele

More info about stenciling with freezer paper and maybe making a quilt for your Lilo here:

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/stenciled-tea-dress.pdf

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/nanea-quilt.pdf

Don’t have an animator doll?  I grabbed a flyer at the store that said there’s going to be a sale July 12-16 that you can get 25% off with coupon code 102PE50462500 which would make the dolls about $20.  (I have no affiliation or financial interest in this, just trying to help you save a few dollars if you want!)

Speaking of easy alterations, if you already have the Island sewing pattern set you can copy the AG version of the muumuu at 80% to fit Lilo!  Before you go skipping gleefully down to the copy shop with all your AG patterns in hand though, note that their body shapes are different, so it won’t work with everything, especially pants, fitted bodices and possibly sleeves. Also note that the earlier editions of the Animators are smaller in the torso too, so if that’s who you’re using it for, you should close the back with an overlap.  More about resizing and what fits them in a future post!

If you don’t have the Island pattern set and just want the muumuu pattern by itself, I’ve put it in a separate listing on etsy here which includes the original 14″ (Wellie) and 18″ (AG) and the resized 16″ pieces to make the dress Lilo is wearing in the pic above.

To reiterate…this is the same pattern that comes in the Island sewing pattern set with the addition of extra pattern pieces for 16″ dolls.

Retro playsuit

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(background image in public domain from https://www.floridamemory.com/photographiccollection/)

Did you get the latest AG catalog and think, “I MUST have Maryellen’s new airstream!” and then have sticker shock at the price and the fact that the campfire, etc. was extra?  Me too.  So here’s an enabling post:  I made a pattern for a similar playsuit with much easier construction than the original, and with the money you save making it, you can totally justify that new camper! 😉

Spring is usually a VERY snowy time in the mountains, but the weather has so far been pretty nice – although much too windy to take doll pix outside unfortunately!  This project is perfect if you’re really looking forward to warm weather.  It’s not as quick as I initially anticipated, but should be do-able for an advanced beginner, since it’s not much more complicated than making a pair of pants.   Try the playsuit part as a swimsuit for Nanea, or maybe even Melody if you shorten the legs.  In case it’s not obvious, you could also turn the facing to the inside so it doesn’t show and in that case you could just pink the raw edges and not have to deal with the hassle of turning it under.

If your doll is brand new, this playsuit might be loose on her.  See inside the pattern for “Are AGs losing weight again?”  If you need a tight fit, I would suggest sewing the side seams first and basting the center front seam.  Pin the back in place and then take in any excess at the front.  For that reason, I changed the front facing piece to have a CF seam, instead of a fold as you see here.  Make sure to adjust it the same amount that you take in at the front.

Get it here

 

We Wish You a Retro Christmas…part 2

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This week, continuing with the vintage Simplicity 1803 we have a sweet little bonnet and bag you can make quickly from felt to match your doll’s winter coat!

Click here for pattern

As I was planning next week’s post, I happened to look at the calendar and realized it’s Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day next Thursday.  That just cries out to have something Nanea-related!  The final installment of the Christmas projects will be the following week with the stocking and non-sock-doll (more about that later!).

Several people have requested a resize of Nanea’s ruffled dress from here for Wellies, so we could do that OR have have a new dress for Nanea.  Which would you like?

Vote below – poll closes tomorrow!

Felt fun with Lottie!

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If your kids have hit that summer slump and you’re looking for something fun to craft with them, you’re going to be happy with these projects!  The Lottie line (which also now includes 2 boys, Finn and Sammi ) is great as summer doll because they’re small and light, which means they travel well (mine went to Korea!) and being all hard plastic they’re durable enough for the beach/camping/etc.

You might recall a few weeks ago I mentioned my Forest Friend Lottie was pretty lacking in the outfit/accessory department compared to the rest of them, so I started making some little stuffed forest friends for her based on the pictures from her packaging.  That idea expanded into a versatile little owl who can be used as a sleeping bag or carrying pouch for up to two Lotties at a time, or one Lottie and some felty friends coming next week!

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This is a great project to do with a child, and the instructions note which parts can be hand sewed and which are best on a machine.  If the child has some sewing experience and is patient enough, the whole thing could be done by hand, and an experienced seamstress with lots of wool felt and embroidery floss could turn this into a work of art!

Download it here

 

Welcome Su-Jin!

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If you finished the sew-along and posted all your pix on flickr, congratulations!  Your dachshund pattern will be emailed out today.  If you need more time to complete all the outfits, please see last week’s post for info on how to do that!

You’re surely aware of AG’s newest modern doll, “Z”.  We went to the AG store the weekend she launched, but I couldn’t bring myself to get her when the only difference between her and “the doll formerly known as Violet” was a beauty mark and slightly longer hair.  A big surprise was that they were selling Z’s sparkly shoes separately, so I snapped those up and also got her camera equipment.  The plan was to also get her book, read it, and use “the doll formerly known as Violet” as “Z”.  Can you believe the books were sold out?   Maybe others had the same idea…  So anyway, I read the beginning of it on amazon and decided…meh, not worth $10, I’d rather invent my own story, although I like the outfits/accessories they came up with for Z and decided to do something similar for my doll.

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“The doll formerly known as Violet” has been renamed “Su Jin” (수 진) and is Korean-American.  I wanted to emphasize a little more of her heritage in my doll and started a storyline/journal which will most likely not appear here.  One of my secret vices is that I LOVE K-dramas.  Unlike American shows or telenovelas that a) drag on forever until you lose interest and b) make your head spin trying to keep up with who’s cheating on whom, K-dramas are refreshing.  They have a limited number of episodes, so the story usually follows a coherent plot line, and many of the ones I’ve seen are suitable for family viewing, assuming younger viewers either speak Korean or can read fast enough to deal with subtitles.  There’s also a sub-genre of historical ones with amazing costumes and what I used to think were incredible sets.  What we realized in Korea is that the historical dramas are often filmed in actual historical locations and many times, there are posters/information about which dramas were filmed where.  I started watching a new-to-me one (Gu Family Book) after coming home and thought, “Hmm…I swear we have a picture of that building.”  Sure enough, we did!  It was partly filmed at the Korean Folk Village, which also happens to be one of my favorite places we visited. 😊 http://www.koreanfolk.co.kr/multi/english/

This post was originally going to appear with one pattern a day, but the thought of doing a post every day and breaking all of this up into multiple pdfs seemed like it might be annoying to link back to find things later, so here is one MEGA post with an entire mix/match wardrobe.  As you’ll see in the pix, it makes a perfect capsule/travel wardrobe and should be more than enough to keep you busy all week!  Enjoy!

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Download it here

And the winner is…

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So the vote from last week ended up with the Betsy patterns as a winner, and I have to say

a) I’m happy we’re going in that direction and

b) I’ll have some more fun 1950s crafts besides the Betsy dresses!

This week, we’re back to our scheduled sew-along of adapted Butterick 7973.  For the bodices and blouse so far, I had to make a lot of changes for a nice fit.  This week’s pattern includes both the original and some notes and altered pattern pieces to adapt for Wellies and other dolls with a similar torso.  As a reminder, their measurements are similar but proportions/shape are different, especially at the waist.  So more fitted pants were difficult to have fit both equally well.

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Get the pattern here

Need a blouse? Get it here: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/green-and-white-1950s-style/

OK, and that’s all the time I have to post so I can go get the guest room ready for the weekend. Our guest bed is usually covered with dolls awaiting fittings/photo shoots, and piles and piles and piles of outfits, but when your niece gets a last minute flight, you have to run in there and shove all the poor dolls back into their boxes and do something with all those outfits…  Note to self:  visit her next time instead 🙂

Bonne fête nationale!

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Or Happy Bastille Day if you speak English 🙂

Today is France’s national holiday, a bit similar to our 4th of July in that they both have parades and fireworks.  It’s also the perfect day to introduce you to my new(ish) doll, Francoise!

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I stumbled across the vintage version of this doll on Pinterest a long time ago, and  she reminded me of Bleuette, a French doll you might be more familiar with.  Not because they look anything alike, but because they were both associated with magazines that regularly published patterns for them.  Francoise was associated with the magazine “Modes et Travaux” and was introduced around the time Bleuette’s popularity was waning.  Francoise was not only a much more durable doll, but associated with a magazine moms may have already been getting for themselves, unlike Bleuette’s “La Semaine de Suzette” which was intended for children.

Her inaugural pattern in 1951 had the following introduction: (my translation – please excuse any errors)


We present to you “Francoise” whom your parents will be happy to offer you for Easter, if, as we don’t doubt, you have been wise and have worked hard in class during the second trimester.  Francoise is a ravishing doll of celluloid with beautiful porcelain eyes shaded with natural eyelashes specially designed to be easily dressed.  You are beginning to sew and knit, you will therefore be very proud to be able to make for yourself, like your mom, all the clothes for your little girl.  To that effect we will give you in every issue models destined for Francoise with all the explanations, patterns and advice for you to make them.  M et T is not only your mom’s favorite magazine it will also be yours since in each issue you will also have “your” page.


The doll you see above is an overpriced reproduction by Petitcollin of the 1950s doll by the same name.  Given that with shipping from Europe I paid about the same for this naked doll as an AG and she was actually made in France, I had high hopes for her quality.  Alas, they were dashed.  Her box arrived in poor shape – never a good sign.  Her body is made from some kind of squishy plastic, like a substantial dog toy or a rubber duck, and her head is harder plastic.  The squishy part was covered in some kind of powder, and when it was washed off, it was clear she had a lot of random scratches, rubs and marks.

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some of her seams are quite poorly trimmed/filled out

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I also ordered some expensive (~$15) shoes at the same time and they don’t match.  One has circle cutouts, one looks more like stars.

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But…I had waited SO long for her (shipping took ~3 weeks) and didn’t want to deal with the nightmare of exchanging her.  She has such a unique face and I had already made her a TON of clothes that I fitted on my Sasha.  All of those patterns might be ready as soon as next week!

Ok, Jen, I scrolled past all your text, where’s my free pattern? 🙂

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Click here

This was the second folk costume to appear for Françoise in 1953.  It claims to be from Marseille, but after doing some research I feel like it might be typical of Provence.  There is an amazing blog for folk costume enthusiasts called: http://folkcostume.blogspot.com/.  This image from Provence is from that blog and looks very similar to Francoise’s costume in my opinion!

 

Since it includes several pieces, we’ll  do half of them this week and half of them next week.  Don’t have a Francoise?  It works fine on slim dolls like Sasha and Magic Attic too!

Treasure Hunt

Were you wishing for something for the Wellies instead?  I’ve gotten a lot of requests for this:

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And came up with:

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I know, you just want to put your doll in those jammies and read her a bedtime story right? Even if she is being naughty and jumping on the bed 🙂  Several people have emailed me or posted pix of things they had already made for H4H and similar-size dolls that fit the WW, and it gave me an idea…

Here’s how to get  this PJ pattern:

  1.  Make something (or find something you already made) from an OLD Wrenfeathers pattern that fits the Wellie Wishers (free on this site or from my etsy shop, it doesn’t matter)
  2. Post a pic of it here (or somewhere else online if you can’t figure out flickr – do NOT just email me the pic!)
  3. Post a comment with the link to your pic and I’ll email you the PJ pattern!

If I don’t have a Wellie can I still have the PJ pattern?

Um…not right now.  I’m not being mean here!  Obviously not everyone has a Wellie Wisher, but I also know that those who do want to sew for them.  And how cool is it to find out you might already have patterns that fit?  I got out a TON of old H4H clothes and some of them fit my Wellie Wisher, but taking and posting all those pictures was daunting.  I’m offering the PJs as an incentive for people to do some of the picture taking and posting for me so we all can share the news about what fits!

It would be super great if you could find things that are NOT already posted; those would be the A-line jumper, puff-sleeve blouse and smocked A-line.  There are several cute things in the international collection that fit, other things from that same H4H sew-along, etc.

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Princess dresses including this one coming soon!

Totally off-topic but if you want a colored pencil comparison…

I know lots of you do other crafts besides sewing and I do too!  There’s been a wildfire burning about 20 mins northwest of our house, and in my stress I’ve been sitting in my dirty house doing a lot of drawing.  Why waste time cleaning when it might all go up in flames, right?  I recently picked up Wendy Hollender’s book on botanical drawing, and got it into my head to do one tulip from that book in all my different colored pencils.  I have so many sets because it’s impossible to decide which one is “the best”.  Ironically, Wendy suggests only a small set of polychromos, but lacking those I thought I’d see what came closest.  I think if for some reason I had to limit myself, I’d choose Derwent Coloursoft as my softer, main pencils, and either the Durer or Polycolor as my “detail” pencils, although I’m saving up for some Polychromos, so maybe I’ll add that info in the future.

In order to not have differences in the drawing detract from the pencils, I just did one, then scanned and printed it out multiple times on Strathmore 75lb mixed-media paper.  The scanner doesn’t quite do justice to the colors, but the settings were the same for all:

Colored pencil comparison