Tag Archives: journey girl

The Maru patterns are finally ready!


Apologies for unanswered comments…I am reading them but this time of year is SO busy for me I can barely keep up with the paperwork I’m officially being paid to do! 🙂

It might feel like a long time to you, but to me, September was a whirlwind of sewing and patternmaking and I’m amazed this all got done in about a month!  You’ll recall I was inspired by modern kids clothes and it was lots of fun translating already-adorable kids clothes into even more adorable doll clothes!

In the interests of having more than one model, and hoping to have some interactive 2-doll pix, I added Savannah to our doll family…not a fun process.  But if you already have one and want to sew for her a link to all the new patterns is here and scroll down for a FREE pattern too!

etsy maru coll 2

etsy maru coll 3 etsy maru coll 1

The whole collection includes:

  • Pea coat
  • Two blouses with front/side/sleeve variations
  • Shirtwaist dress
  • Pretty Prints dress
  • Versatility Pants with fitted waist and working pockets
  • Elastic-waist pants (not shown above)
  • A-line dress or jumper with optional collar
  • High-waisted gathered skirt dress
  • Raglan shirt (for jersey/micro fleece)
  • Boho blouse
  • Super Easy skirt

They’re available individually and in sets of 2-3 here and I also put all of them together in one bundle that saves you $11 over buying them individually.  It’s listed here.

Learning to share

I’m always excited when dolls can share clothes!  Remember how I said when I got Tanya I was upset that I couldn’t scale patterns up or down from any other doll to fit her?  Well, I recently got a Paola Reina Las Amigas Cristi doll and was thrilled to find many of the Maru patterns I’d been drafting work when copied at 60% for her!  This is great news, because the PRs are smaller than Hearts for Hearts, and now I don’t need to start from scratch to clothe her!  (size comparison pic here: https://flic.kr/p/pjDNJa)

Who else can share clothes with Maru?  Well, you’ll be happy to hear Journey Girls can share a lot of patterns.  As a rough guideline, you can adapt many of the Maru patterns to fit the JGs like this:

  • Shorten long sleeves by ¾” (2cm)
  • Shorten skirts by 1.25” (3cm)
  • Loose-fitting pants may work, shortened 1.25″ as for skirts, but tight-fitting pants definitely won’t, since Maru’s legs are skinnier.

Check out this cute, easy and FREE dress pattern:

savannah t dress

Click here for T-shirt dress pattern

Instructions included in pattern for adaptations for Journey Girls, Cheries, Sasha, AG, etc.

Wear it by itself or with a sweater and leggings if it’s already getting cold where you are

What have you been up to?

I love seeing your creations and inspirations from my patterns!  You’re always welcome to send me links to your pix or blog posts showing what you’ve done.  Katy did a blog post about the summer sew-along here: http://1960sgirl.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/wrenfeathers-summer-sew-along-2014/  Her pic of Shola illustrates that the right fabric can be decoration enough…and that maybe I need to take a trip “across the pond” to stock up on some Liberty fabrics 🙂

Speaking of other websites you might enjoy, check out this free printable for a cute little pop-up book that seems to be a nice size for 18″ and larger dolls:


Coming soon:

Another free and very easy Maru pattern




More Maplelea stuff…


So Saila “said” she needed a sled.  In Inuktitut these are called qamutiik.   I have seen some amazing antique ones made out of caribou antlers and bones, but nowadays most are made of wood.  They are made to be pulled by dogs/snowmobiles, and probably by kids having fun. 🙂

Amazingly, these sturdy sleds are lashed together, not nailed or glued.  Historically, nails would have to be imported, and glue even now needs certain temperatures to cure and might not hold up in snow/wet/subzero temperatures.  Lashing the qamutiik together with cords means you can make it in any weather with materials you have at hand and make repairs easily, even if you’re far from home out on the tundra.  It’s a pretty amazing sled!

So, Maplelea makes a qamutiik for Saila, but it has holders on it to keep her sitting up straight, which I didn’t see much of while researching real ones.  I made one that looks more authentic.  It’s slightly less useful than the Maplelea one, since she will tip if you try to pull her around on it, but as a prop it’s pretty cute and easy to make.

Download sled pattern here  and Download snowshoes here and her boots (kamiik) are also coming soon!

I’m getting around to a body comparison post, but Maplelea and AG do differ a bit in body type and size.  Fitted AG pants look baggy and too short on Maplelea dolls, so I drafted some just for Saila.

The pattern is on etsy here

I also put together a toasty winter wardrobe with cutting lines for AG and Maplelea.  For shirts and baggy/stretchy pants, it works to just extend the hems to accommodate Maplelea’s longer limbs.  I called it “fleecy fun”

It includes leggings, looser pants with a contrasting panel,  a colorblock top and a zip front top.  The tops can easily be turned into vests by leaving off the sleeves.  You can get it here  Yes, it will include slim pattern pieces in the next week or two.  They’re done, I just need to make final versions and take some cute pictures.  If you already bought it, you should be able to download the smaller size pieces from etsy when they’re available! 

Last but not least… Facebook.  I had made it a new year’s resolution to get better with moderating comments on the blog.  I do read and value ALL of them (even from the mean people who complain about what I haven’t done, rather than thanking me for what I have done) but I usually end up responding individually, and I would like to make things more interactive and see pictures of what you’re making.  SO I started a FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/wrenfeathers.  Right now all that’s on it are some Kidz n Cats pictures my husband took last year, but I would LOVE to make it a forum for you to share your doll/sewing/crafting thoughts and pictures of your creations.  Also remember you’re welcome to sell things you make from Wren*Feathers patterns and you can put links to those on the FB page too!

Since I’m apparently in charge of ordering my own birthday presents, I’m getting an Adora Jasmine next week:

I was supposed to get a Kidz n Cats Henrietta, and I did, but she arrived severely damaged.  (I’m having bad luck with that lately, so keep your fingers crossed Jasmine is ok!)  KnC wanted us to mail her to Germany for them to try to repair her, since she was a limited edition and couldn’t be replaced, but honestly, when I’m paying THAT much for a doll, I see no reason she should not come out of her box in PERFECT condition.   I refuse to pay overseas postage and wait a month or so to end up with a re-worked,  second-quality doll, so Henrietta went back.  I’m bummed, because the KnC are so poseable I LOVE photographing them, but I’m kind of excited for Jasmine, because she looks so ambiguous there are lots of interesting ethnic outfits in my sketchbook for her right now.  Look for her to appear (maybe in a Carmen Sandiego-type contest on Facebook?) soon!

Summer sew-along week 4 – halter top or dress


If you’re an AG fan, you probably saw (and maybe wanted!) this in their most recent catalog:

Yeah, me too.  But $28?  Well, now you can make the top (and a pattern for similar bottoms is here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/130007763/versatility-pants-and-denim-jacket)


Remember a few weeks ago I said your wardrobe would look more authentic if you mix in something besides quilting fabrics?  I used the A-line skirt pattern from last week for this denim skirt:

But your dolls may also want some twill/denim shorts?  A jacket?  If you sew for the smaller dolls, you may already have this pattern: https://www.etsy.com/listing/110681487/jeans-and-denim-jacket-sewing-pattern?ref=shop_home_active and probably (like me) considered it for autumn.  Well, what about making the jacket in a lightweight white or khaki twill to throw on during a chilly summer evening?  

And the pants can easily be turned into shorts like this:


by sewing a tiny tuck before cutting them out and using the pocket lining as the outside pocket.  I made the belt from grosgrain ribbon and the buckle is from my Army-Navy surplus (they are sold there for making bracelets out of parachute cord)

If you are sewing for bigger (AG) dolls a new pattern is available in my etsy shop that includes the jacket in their size as well as a pants pattern I call “versatility”  It includes shorts, capris, pants and jeans with variations like real pockets, cuffs, belt loops and two styles of waistband.  It’s NOT elastic waist, so it provides a nice smooth fit under Ts, etc.

The happiest news ever!  Just in time to coordinate with the launch of my newest pattern, Etsy now supports instant downloads!  What does that mean for you?  No more waiting for me to email it to you!  If you need to sew something at 2am, now you can!  Also, no more annoying emails back and forth about a file being too big or your firewall blocking multiple files!  How exciting is that?  Check out all the patterns available instantly here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/jenwrenne

Happy sewing!


Well, it’s summer and in search of a long-term project I ordered the 100th anniversary edition of the Mary Frances sewing book.  It has patterns re-sized to fit American Girl dolls.Image

Here is Kit, wearing the morning dress.  Below is a Toys R Us Journey Girl:Image

As you can see, it’s a little baggy, but still looks ok.  Next I tried it on my reproduction Kestner Daisy:


WAAAAY too big.  So I reduced the romper pattern to 85% for her and got:Image

Now the bodice part fits great, but unfortunately the entire thing is too short to be “modest” for Daisy’s time:


So apparently 85% is a good reduction ratio, and then the pattern needs to be lengthened by maybe an inch and a half.  This is not the case with dresses, since they have a very long hem allowance anyway…

And finally a body comparison:Image,

Mary Frances sewing