Tag Archives: girl for all time

Summer sew along final week!

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Good morning and welcome to the last week of the summer sew-along!

Today is the last day to get in your submissions for the Boating Dress to get the free accessory pattern!  If you missed the pattern it’s available now on etsy here

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Yes, that’s the new AGAT Elinor, isn’t she stunning?   It was a looooong wait but worth it, I decided after a quick photo shoot this morning.  I was thrilled to find she is pretty in real life AND photographs really well too.  For me, one major key for good doll photos is eye placement and how well the eyes seem to “look” into the camera at you.  In the photo above I had an assistant holding up a big piece of batiste to block the intense sun where it hit her, but in the one below she was just in the shade:

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The hat she’s wearing is the accessory pattern for this week if you get your boating dress pic posted!

 How do you get the accessory pattern?

If you did everything correctly and did not get the accessory pattern, please check your junk/spam folder!  For some reason, last week’s pattern went to multiple peoples’ junk folders.

This week’s dress was titled “Rainy Day” because I intended to have the dolls set up inside doing rainy day activities like reading, cutting out paper dolls, etc.  Well, I got too busy with summer visitors and didn’t get that done, plus our weather has been the opposite of that – incredibly sunny and dry/dusty/pine pollen-y both inside and outside.  It’s really disheartening to clean off a flat surface and come back 24 hours later and have a noticeable new layer of dust and pine pollen…or maybe it’s just a good reason to stop dusting for a week or two until this is over! 😉
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Get the pattern here today only

This dress will be a challenge, with multiple types of pleats including a curved one!  It’s from Pictorial Review in 1911.  The magazine, like many of the time (Delineator, Ladies’ Home Journal, etc.) also published patterns that got advertised in their magazine.  Some had paper dolls either for fun or with associated advertising or sewing patterns, so kids could use the paper dolls as-is or mom could purchase patterns to make the dresses.  If you’re familiar with Dolly Dingle, who later advertised soup, she was the Pictorial Review doll starting in 1913, and some popular ones from Ladies’ Home Journal included Lettie Lane and Daisy, who was an actual doll but could have been cut out as paper dolls too.

Have you been sewing along every week?  If you’ve made ALL the patterns each week and submitted pix of them you’re eligible to get the bonus pattern!  Yes, if you missed a week here or there, and got the patterns on Etsy you can still submit pix of everything by the end to get the bonus pattern.

I extended the due date for all the final submissions to June 24 to give you a few extra days.  Put all your links (or link to one pic with everything) in here by Sunday night and the free bonus dress pattern will be emailed to you Monday morning.  If you do not post your pix and put the links in the form, you will NOT get the bonus pattern, no exceptions!

Please note this is a new google form for the final submission – you don’t need to submit the links for the final dress on the old one too!

To get the final bonus pattern:

Step 1: post pic of what you made here:  https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/

Step 2: enter your email and all links to your pics here by June 24:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSevoGKl3vjEQH7Hnnm-xkCwfH5vaqSIUTa_U4I11PR0WhgF4A/viewform?usp=sf_link

Step 3:  Receive your accessory pattern by email on Monday

Summer Sew Along week 3

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Reminder: Today is the last day to get your entries in for last week’s Ramble costume and the boot pattern will be emailed tomorrow.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for the links!

Oh my goodness…you did SUCH a nice job on the last two weeks of costumes!

I urge you to go see everyone’s work here, I’ll just link a few examples:

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The safari hat is just perfect!  This is by Juliette Auckland

SSA2 - Ramble Suit

The contrasting fabrics are such a nice touch here in this costume by sewbig

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Check out the amazing pleats on the skirt here by slpslee

It seems to have resized just fine for smaller dolls too:

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(By Helen Webb)

Bunnies or Trolls?

by nethenekhthon

There were so many beautiful things from the first week too:

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like this modernized version by Alison Moreton

Wrenfeathers SSA2018

This one by quickdrawannie

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and beautiful lace on this one by catknapp

 

This week is an Edwardian Seaside Costume!

 

After last week’s challenge, you’ll be happy to know this one is pretty quick and easy!  I had every intention of taking the dolls to what passes for a “seaside” here in Colorado, but long story short, it didn’t happen.  I know lots of beaches near the actual oceans are rocky, so maybe we can imagine they’re not in my backyard, they’re climbing on rocks to get down to the water?  🙂

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Get the pattern here today only

The resized ramble from last week is not quite ready for AG size yet…next week for sure!

If you want more info about the sew-along in general, please check the first week’s post.

 

To participate in the sew-along:

 

 

Summer Sew Along Week 1

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Yay, it’s time for the summer sew-along!  If you’re new to the blog, this is an event to motivate you to complete a mini wardrobe on a theme for your doll by sewing one garment each week.  This year it’s an Edwardian summer wardrobe AND a bunch of accessories, mostly sewn, some crafty!

Here’s how it will work:

Each week’s sewing pattern will be posted on Thursday – make sure to get it that day!  Most of these can be easily shrunken for 13-14″ dolls like Hearts for Hearts and Cheries by copying the slim size at 77% and you’re welcome to do that if you don’t have any 16″ dolls like AGAT, Sasha, etc.  If you miss a week, the patterns and their associated accessory will be available in AG and AGAT sizes on Etsy afterwards.

Sew along each week and post pix of what you made.  Get inspired and comment on others’ photos here. Note that I sometimes like to share your pix from there on the blog, so make sure to have sharing turned on/off if you do/don’t want that to happen.  Complete each week’s outfit and get the related accessories pattern free, complete all the weeks and get the bonus sewing/accessory pattern!

To reiterate:

Step 1: post pic of what you made each week here:  https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/

Step 2: enter your email and the link to your pic here by next Thursday: https://goo.gl/forms/iA85Pu6rpSlCMxW62

Step 3:  Receive your accessory pattern by email next Friday.

This week we have an Edwardian Garden Party dress:

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Get the pattern here TODAY ONLY

 

 

 

 

 

Geeking out about textiles

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If you read this blog, I’m going to assume you like to sew, and if that’s the case it’s reasonable to assume you like textiles too.  Maybe you even occasionally create them yourself by knitting/crocheting/weaving, but for the most part, we get the vast majority of our textiles from a store, after the fibers have been processed, spun and woven by machines.  Those machines have developed to such a high level that a computer can control each individual thread to weave something as complex as a photo!

For much of human history, people needed to spin and weave cloth by hand.  As a spinner/weaver I had a revelation a few years ago looking at an Egyptian mummy in a museum.  Those yards and yards and yards of wrapping that looked so precise and perfect, had been not just hand woven, but hand spun on a drop spindle!  So when a new mummy exhibit came to the DMNS, I wanted to see it, if only for the textiles.  It was GREAT and I’d like to share it with you!

Egyptian mummy bandages were made of linen, and from what I’ve seen in museums, usually “singles” yarn.  They appear to be woven to the exact width needed; making me wonder if maybe weaving mummy bandages was a specific occupation, since so many yards of them were required for each mummy.  You can often see different layers, and I also wonder if lower-quality bandages were underneath, camouflaged by very high quality ones on top?

A real awakening for me was seeing the Peruvian mummies.  I adore textiles from Central and South America, and seeing them in their “pure” (pre-Spanish-influence) forms was exciting.  Most of the Peruvian mummy wrappings were singles yarn, spun a bit thicker than Egyptian mummy wrappings, but a few were plied, for example the lower part of the final layer of this mummy’s wrapping: 32183426762_e224bf142c

It’s about the thickness of sport-weight yarn. We modern yarn users can simply choose from what suits our purpose at the yarn store, but a 2-ply yarn requires almost 3 times as much work to produce the same length of yarn, since you need to spin each ply separately and then ply them together.  Keep in mind all this was being done on drop spindles like those below: 32213589011_3c045cf2a6

And now comes my favorite part of the entire exhibit:

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Unfortunately, there’s nothing for scale, so you can’t see how finely woven this was, but the background compares to modern quilting cottons, with the bird motifs woven in brocade in something similar to a few strands of embroidery floss.  Another thing to keep in mind is that this was woven on nothing more complex than a backstrap loom!  All the bird motifs were placed in by hand.

When the conquistadores came, they completely ignored the amazing treasures being produced by highly skilled weavers, demanding gold instead.  Thankfully, the Peruvians preserved part of this textile heritage in their mummies.

This is a textile fragment from around the same era as the birds above from this book http://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/books/the-andean-science-of-weaving-structures-and-techniques-for-warp-faced-weaves-hardcover that I’m reproducing:

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As I weave it, I’ve been thinking a lot about the weaver who made it.  Who taught her to weave?  Why did she pick that weave structure, which is far more time/labor-intensive than some others she could have chosen?  Where did she get the pattern?  Was she making it up or copying an existing textile?  Did she spin the yarn herself?  Who was she weaving for?   Did she have to rip out as many rows as I have because of mistakes?  And finally, did she ever think that over a thousand years in the future her textile would end up photographed in a book to be replicated by another weaver she’d never met?  Although it’s almost certain she was illiterate and had no way leave her words behind, her weaving now “speaks” to others across centuries and leaves a legacy few people can hope to achieve.

If you know how to do twill pickup or want to reproduce this in some other way that uses graphing (needlepoint, etc.) here’s the chart I made based on the drawing in the book:

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OK, and finally, a little bit about dolls! 😉

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Since Santa brought me a new loom, I’ve been doing way more weaving than sewing, but I did receive the AGAT Nisha that I’d had on pre-order and she is just a GORGEOUS doll!  Her book wasn’t available (at least I couldn’t find it) to learn her story, so I had to make some guesses based on her name.  The name “Nisha” got its first hit as being from Sanskrit meaning “Night” when I googled it, and further research turned up:

  • Name Nisha In Arabic : نشا
  • Name Nisha In Bangla : নিশা
  • Name Nisha In Urdu : نشہ
  • Name Nisha In Hindi : निशा

From this I made a guess that she’s probably of Indian descent, which meant I could dive into the amazing world of Indian embroidery and textiles.  I made her a salwar kameez from this pattern, which came out a few years ago, with a slightly modified neck and hemline:

Here is a short tutorial on making very narrow hems when you don’t have a hem-rolling foot.

Even though I do have one, it’s not easy to turn a 90 degree corner, so I used this method to hem her dupatta (scarf).

Want the pes files?  They are free with purchase of the pattern, just put in notes to seller that you want them.  If you already have the pattern, just hunt down your order number and email me that you want them!

il_570xn-1169351813_nxc1The design on this kameez is also new and can be adapted to fit onto the H4H size by shortening the sides of the neckline.

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You can see in the closeup the circles are sized to fit tiny sequins or silver beads you sew on by hand for a shisha-type look.

Another thing we know about her from the AGAT website is that she likes 1980s clothes, and I started a few outfits that are a) based on patterns/clothes authentic to the period but b) still attractive enough that I’d like them today.  This is the first one, which should be available next week (February 2):

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Bienvenida Nancy!

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am so thankful for all your support and encouragement!  The coupon code 20OFF20 is active in my shop from now through Monday to help you get a head start on your holiday sewing!

 

nancy intro

This is from an early Nancy Famosa catalog.  She’s a doll that was made in Spain starting in the late 1960s.  It says, “I’m Nancy.  I want to be the most elegant of all the dolls you have.  I present to you all the ensembles with which you can make me happy.  How happy I will be if you give me all of them!”

Wow.  Talk about presumptuous!  The parents should not just buy the child a doll but ALL her outfits too!

I don’t think anyone could argue that fashions of the 1950s and early-mid  1960s were anything but stylish.  Once you get to the late 1960s through the 1970s, it’s a whole different story.  Most of us don’t have to research any farther than our own family photo albums to find clothing from that time period that, in retrospect, we might label “hideous”, no matter how stylish it was at the time.

In the US at this time, Nancy’s counterparts would have been Crissy and her cousin Velvet, and when you compare the two, Nancy’s clothing really did look a lot more elegant.  I started doing a little research and realized the 1970s did have a certain style and it was THE era for handmade stuff and decorative clothing!  There was actually a toy series called “The Sunshine Family” and their accessories included a craft store with a spinning wheel and pottery wheel!  They had a truck they drove around to craft fairs with and all their sets came with little booklets for kids to make miniature crafts from household materials for the dolls to “sell”.  They get my vote for “BEST TOY EVER!” even though they were a little before my time and I never played with them.

OK, back on topic.  I recently got a reproduction Nancy Famosa called “Yo quise ser tenista”.

The 1970s were the first time pants were really considered appropriate women’s attire for any occasion, and Nancy had a profusion of them!

Elastic waist pants are great for doll garments intended for kids, but not so much for adult collectors.  Firstly because after many years the elastic eventually stretches out and your garment is ruined, and also because it can make for a bulkier waist, which limits what type of top you can pair with the pants.

Perfectly-fitted non-elastic pants can be just as difficult to draft for dolls as for people, and I’ve avoided it for my AGAT Clementine by telling myself it wasn’t appropriate for her era.  Someone requested wide-leg pants for her Sam a while back, but I wanted a nicely-fitted waist, so it’s taken a while!  Awesome news:  AGAT and Vintage-Repro-Nancy can share pants!

More awesome news: Two versions of well-fitting 1960s-70s pants are now available in one pattern here

The pattern includes two versions – one with slightly-flared legs and and one with super-wide legs that you might call “palazzo pants” or “elephant bells” depending on your age.

They make for a perfect repro of the 1970s “hippy” outfit for Nancy, who some of you might have guessed will be making some appearances on the blog.  The original pants appear to have had painted flowers, but I digitized them for machine embroidery.  The .pes file is free with purchase of the pants pattern – just put in “notes to seller” that you want it!

Here is a free pattern for her T and necklace

In case you’re wondering how big she is, here is a comparison photo:

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L-R 1970s Sasha, Fisher Price My Friend, Nancy Famosa Reedicion, Kimberly, New Nancy Famosa, Crissy, New Kidz n Cats

Chatty’s smock dress

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I was on the Wrenfeathers Flickr group and found some cute holiday pix to share:

This one is shrunken versions of last week’s pattern on Ann Estelle and Linda McCall by Rosetownjoy:

Christmas sisters

And this gorgeous photo of Sam is from Mary D.  dressed in a pleated dress from the 1960s collection.  Not many dolls could pull off fabric with such a bright, bold pattern, but her neutral coloring and orange tights set it off perfectly!

Sam’s been on my to-buy list for a while, but I got really bummed that Girl For All Time had a bunch of holiday promotions and didn’t include her, so I guess I’ll have to wait a bit.  Speaking of doll purchases, if you’re a US customer who was getting your Maplelea “fix” from amazon, you may have noticed there’s very little left in stock.  I actually emailed Maplelea about that and they said they were having such strong sales in Canada, they had to hold stock back from amazon’s US site.  They do plan on restocking though!

This week’s Chatty pattern is her smock dress, shown in the center of the pic below:

 

Get it here

Next week will the last week of the CC series 😦 but two more dresses (Sunday Visit and Nursery School) will be available on etsy.  In the meantime, preview originals of those dresses here and here.

 

1950s and 60s dress patterns are here!

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Wow, this has taken a long time!  As you might be able to tell by the green grass in some of the pix, I started these over the summer.  And finally, now that it’s snowing this week there are TWO sets of dresses premiering.  All of them are historically accurate and based on outfits for girls from that time.

A 1960s collection sized for both AG and slim 16″-18″

(yes, including the new Girl for all Time, Sam!!)

Lots of mod styles and color-blocking to be found here!
This was a girl’s dress, but looks very much like a pink one made for Sashas…
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A 1950s collection sized for AG.

  It doesn’t say so in the etsy listing, but two of the dresses in this set (the blue flowered one and the pinafore dress) do include tested pattern pieces for slim 16″-18″.
This flowered one is my favorite
Or maybe this one…it’s hard to decide!
Click on any of the pix to go to the listings and see more!

And as always when I introduce collections, there’s a coupon code, just in time to get some patterns in anticipation of holiday sewing!  Use the code 20OFF20 from now until midnight Sunday to take 20% off any purchase of $20 or more.

On the blog survey one person asked for a 1930s outfit for Ellowyne based on the covers of Nancy Drew books.  That sounded like a fun project, but when I started looking at them it was hard to choose which one I liked the best.  If you were that person and have a specific dress in mind, could you please email me or leave a comment?  A pic would be super helpful.