Tag Archives: kidz n cats

April snowstorms bring…May flower dresses!

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Thank you everyone for your condolences about Jasper!

It was brought to my attention that not everyone may be able to complete both a dress and sandals in a week during the summer sew-along, so I’m probably going to break it up, but your dolls DO need some cute sundresses, because they are (possibly) the perfect layering piece!  At the bare minimum, it’s a cute dress on its own with sandals.  Depending on the season, you can add leggings/cardigan/blouse/jacket/boots/hat, etc.  Little Darling did a series with a “4-season” dress here: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/10/

Since April is an OG, I’ve been trying to do patterns at least inspired by OG outfits once a month for her, and this month’s is loosely based on: 

Instead of a ruffle, this one has a piped round yoke, which to me makes the dress look more elegant and higher-end.  I named this dress “May Flowers” since the daffodils are finally up and growing even though our April “showers” were more like April “dump-five-feet-of-snow-overnight” 🙂

It’s a slim fit on an OG with a flush closure in back, looks great on Journey Girls and will fit the newer KnC dolls more loosely if closed with an overlap in back.  It will likely work for Sasha copied at 80%, but make a muslin first to check.  Have an older/bigger AG?  See the end of the pattern here: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/august-free-pattern-for-kidz-n-cats-and-sasha/ for a tutorial on adding some width at the back with buttoned closures.

Get the pattern here

Please keep posting your fabulous creations on the Wrenfeather flickr page here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/

Some recent cuteness for your inspiration:

A-line for mini AG by sewbig

Sasha as Maid Marion by Theresa

 

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Here today, gone tomorrow!

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Well, this pattern was more difficult to figure out than I had anticipated, but I did promise it would be free… So today you can download (FREE!) the blouse part of the overall outfit you voted for a few weeks ago.  BUT make sure to download it today, because it’s going to disappear tomorrow!  Next week we’ll make the overalls.

The expanded version of the pattern, available all at once in my etsy shop right now, also includes a puffed sleeve variation, a skirt to make the overalls into a jumper AND an additional set of pattern pieces sized for slim dolls like Sasha/Kidz n Cats/Girl for All Time/Kathe Kruse.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

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newspaper[image of Kit from http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/static/home.jsp]

 

What?  You want a pattern for this week too?  Ok, fine… 🙂


Remember when we did shoe school last spring?  (If not, scroll down to find those links) I said that sewn shoes get made as “innies” or “outies” and there was another type called “lasted” which are named for the way they’re made – on lasts.

 This tutorial will show you how to make the lasts, patterns, and shoes for any doll .

There’s also a pattern for a sewn version using any method from the previous shoe tutorials for Maplelea.

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/shoe-school-104-chukka-boots-and-outies/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/shoe-school-103-mary-janes/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/shoe-school-102-espadrilles-and-toms/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/shoe-school-101/

 

Something for everyone to knit!

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As I learned from my New Year’s stats, many people from Ravelry find their way to this blog.  So I’m going to assume there’s a sizeable percentage of you that know how to knit/crochet.  What about felting?

There’s something kind of magical about felting, where a loose mass of wool becomes a firm 3-D object.  I was an avid needle-felter for a while, but my adventures with wet-felting raw wool were usually terrible, and I rarely have success with any of those knitting/weaving projects whose directions end with, “and now just toss it in the washing machine with some jeans and wait for the felting magic to happen!”

This, on the other hand, is a really easy and fun project, as well as a great way to use up little leftover bits of yarn.  If you have some gauge swatches gathering dust, this could be a great use for them too!

Even if you are the world’s second slowest knitter (I’m the slowest) 🙂 you can probably make these cozy felted doll slippers in an afternoon.  And best of all, the size is easily adaptable to many different sizes of dolls!

savannah slipper

Click here for free felted slippers pattern

Doll is Maru and Friends “Savannah” wearing PJs from patterns available here

 

In case you were anxious to find out if I did get a new Maplelea, the answer is yes!  I’ll let you wait to find out who it was, just like I had to wait, but she’s very cute!  🙂  After spending so much time on the Ten Ping outfits, it’s quite different to suddenly switch back to a “very large” doll, and some of you will be thrilled to know more 18″ doll projects are on the way for her over the next couple of weeks!

Happy New Year!!

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Really, Jen?  MORE doll clothes?  YES!  Doll clothes are a vital part of play for children, helping to spark imaginations and create new scenarios. I’m a speech-language pathologist, and at work I see a big difference between language-disordered and typically-developing kids in how they play with dolls.  I have a few sets of wooden dolls with magnetic clothing covering everything from princesses to sports outfits to swimsuits.  For a kindergartner I might give them the dolls and hold on to the clothes, pretending I’m “the store.”  A typically-developing kid will walk her doll over to me and say, “I’m going to the beach, can I buy a swimsuit please?”  A language disordered kid is more likely to say something like, “I want a pink one.”  If they like the dolls, this is a great way to teach vocabulary. “Oh, you want a pink swimsuit.  I bet your doll is going swimming, what else does she need to take with her?”  It can also help scaffold stories.  First, the doll gets her suit, towel, etc., next she drives to the beach, etc.  So, although many people might not think of them that way, doll with a nice variety of clothes can be a really educational toy, especially if an adult is willing to add to the wardrobe/join in the play.  For older kids to adult collectors,  sewing for dolls is a wonderful way to “play” with them and develop a valuable skill at the same time.

The New Year always brings a statistics summary from WordPress.  One of the things they list is my top five referring sites:

stats2014

I wasn’t surprised Pinterest was at the top, with 15,272 referrals, as well as referrals from my own site to other patterns on the site.  A big surprise for me was how many referrals came from http://www.ravelry.com/ and http://www.agirlforalltime.com/. I guess I hadn’t even realized they knew who I was!  In thanks to AGAT, and because I know a lot of people got a new Clementine for Christmas, I’m offering this new, authentic 1940s snow suit pattern FREE!

It’s been snowing and far below zero for a couple of days, so Clementine took advantage of the “heat wave” (15F/-9C) to make some snow angels and go sledding today.  I made her outfit based on this 1940s Carolyn Lee paper doll drawn by Queen Holden.  I share Nicki’s Baba’s opinion about white mittens, (anyone get that reference?) so I made them red. 🙂

 

Get the pattern here 

Thanks for reading the blog! I wish everyone a fabulous 2015!!

 

4-season dress: winter

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When the weather is gray and all the colorful leaves have disappeared, it’s time to break out the bold colors for winter.

This is not just about a coat, but about seeing the “bones” of a pattern and using what you have in a different way.  Yep, you already have the pattern…it’s the felt coat from two weeks ago!

With a bit of ingenuity and totally different construction method, it turned into this puffy winter jacket:

Hat/boot info and a picture tutorial to adapt the felt coat pattern to make this is here

In pursuit of perfect piping, I’m taking next week off from blogging so I can focus on a project that’s been causing me more grief than I would have anticipated.  Then Little Darling will be doing some traveling to bring us a really fun set of posts full of sewing and crafting on a theme that should last us all the way to the New Year!

Sasha’s purple blouse…and mine

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Wow, I didn’t anticipate such a response to the Maru dolls!  Remember in June when I did that survey about what you’d like to see on the blog?  Maybe one person mentioned Maru dolls.  And all of a sudden, a flood of people said, “Yes!  Make patterns for them!”

maru survey

So I will.  A few more even said, “I voted no, because I don’t need patterns, but would still like to see pix of what you make”  A few of you are already sewing for them.  Click here to see a French blog with tons of nice sewing and knitting for Maru and many other dolls.   She has used some of my slim doll patterns for them, adding an extra .5cm (that’s ~.25″) around the outside.

Along with about a dozen other projects, there are several things in the works for Maru and friends.  As soon as the paperwork fairy appears at my work and waves her magic wand, sparing me from about 20 hours of reports and IEPs, I will get them out to you!  🙂 For right now, here’s a blouse I made for Sasha over the summer.

sasha reading to baby

Sasha reads to baby while sporting an authentic 1970s embroidered blouse (click to enlarge)

Yes, it also fits Kidz n Cats and should fit Hearts for Hearts dolls copied at 77%.

I know you want it to fit AG Julie too, right?  It might not be a perfect fit, but I would suggest copying at 120% and shortening back to its original length.  You’ll probably need to shorten the AG sleeves back to its original length too after enlarging.

Click here to download pattern

(link for free embroidery design is in pattern)