Tag Archives: little darling

Mini Maru collection and SALE!

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The long-awaited mini Maru collection is here!  People kept emailing me about whether the 20” collection (link) would fit their little ones…nope.  But now it will!  If the mini Maru dolls are new to you, here’s a comparison:

L-R : Wellie wisher, Paola Reina las Amigas, mini Maru Tanya, Little Darling, 14″ Betsy McCall

Yes, they’re almost exactly the same size as Little Darlings, with longer arms.  They’re also like Little Darlings in that they’re sculpted by Dianna Effner.  The difference is in the price…they’re around $100.  My favorite of the larger ones is Tanya, so I ordered the smaller special edition to be her little sister; it’s always fun when dolls can coordinate like that!  

They definitely look like siblings, but the mini’s skin doesn’t have quite the same golden glow, her eyes are darker, and just due to the smaller size the face painting is not as detailed.  Are you thinking I don’t like her as much?  Not at all!  Don’t tell the big ones…but the mini is even better!  I remember doing the photos for the original size ones, and it was rough.  A 20” doll is a pretty major thing to haul around through a forest taking pictures.  Their tiny feet relative to body size and weight make them precarious to stand on uneven ground, so they often had to lean on things for safety. 

My mini Tanya and all her clothes packed up easily in a small plastic box with a handle and headed out for pictures.  She balanced easily in fun places…

Held lovely, natural-looking poses, and the camera just loved her!

Even better – this size is large enough to sew for easily on the sewing machine, but small enough that it doesn’t need a lot of fabric.  If you’re used to sewing for larger dolls, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that your scrap bag can provide all kinds of bits and pieces to clothe your little ones – for free!

Yes, Little Darlings can share these clothes too!

Best of all, the mini Marus have two boys, and this collection is perfect for them too!  The button front shirt, fitted pants, elastic waist pants, standard T and raglan T will form the core of a great basic wardrobe for boys!

See all the patterns in the collection in my etsy shop here

Through Saturday take 20% off your purchase of $20 or more with code 20OFF20

Another Adorable Effner…

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I had thought nothing could top last fall’s doll show find of a Little Darling https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/the-4-season-dress-summer/

But I was wrong.  I got this 10″ Boneka Tuesday’s Child (at far right) for an AMAZING price and am thrilled to find she can share with a lot of dolls I already have!

Are you thinking her outfit looks similar to a Boneka one you’ve seen before?  You’re right!

Click here for the story of her new outfit, with a tutorial on making patterns from ready-made clothes.

There are no instructions with the pattern.  The neckline was faced, the sleeves and hem were bound with bias and the pants were gathered onto a waistband and legbands.  You could also add extra length there to form an elastic casing if you want.

Do you need a chicken to go with Kit’s overalls set? Several people said they did, and I found a really cute, easy, and FREE felt pattern for one here: https://georginagiles.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/diy-felt-chick/

Little Darling in Japan: Week 7

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 You may have already opened your Christmas doll, but the holidays aren’t over yet!  We still have New Year’s to celebrate!

My Christmas doll was adorable, but came with a stained head from her wig 😦

See more pix of her here


This next photo comes to you from http://poupeesdeline.blogspot.com/.   She made a little house for her Cherie and Paola Reina Liu.  The wonderful teapot is actually a people-size tea infuser. I also like the little touches like ikebana (floral arrangement) and that their belts are different colors 🙂

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I had really grandiose plans for this post, but you know how sometimes the universe seems out to get you?  Yeah, that was this week.  Nothing went right with my crafting projects, so let’s just call it a miracle I managed to get this done.

Click here for Kimono Pattern

Note that this outfit was originally going to have authentic undies.  You can make them from batiste/thin silk using this skirt pattern, and the top from the karate gi.  Shorten the sleeves and leave off the collar, or make it a contrast color. She’s missing shoes too and doesn’t have a bento to eat!  Like I said, the universe was out to get me.  🙂  Try here: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/hinamatsuri/ for food and shoes you can adapt smaller.

Click here for printable money and envelopes

Little Darling in Japan: week 6

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Apologies for unanswered comments/emails form last week!

Also, an etsy note: I’m now going to be re-downloading and checking patterns as soon as they’re listed, because something seems to be happening from time to time that pattern pieces mysteriously change shape.  So far that has happened with the arctic parka, a sleeve from the 1940s collection and the Maru “versatility” pants.  SORRY!! If you have those patterns you should have gotten an email about it with pieces that will print correctly.  If not, please let me know and I’m happy to resend!  If ever a pattern piece doesn’t look right, please let me know and I will make it right!

Ok, on to this week’s post:

So I had kind of a revelation last week about gathers and pleats and fullness in general in historical Asian garments. You know about the pleats in week 3’s hakama, and this week we have a pleated skirt-type hakama to wear over a summer kimono (yukata) as Little Darling celebrates Obon.  (Apparently she’s time traveling too, back to summer!)

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And then I started thinking about Chinese clothing, for example, the unusual skirt made in two pieces and attached with little frogs (see it here)

Even in Southeast Asia, garments were more often pleated, for example, sarong-style skirts and saris.
Korea seemed to be an exception, with the women wearing wide, full skirts. I had always assumed they were gathered, but the other day I was watching a historical K-drama where they did a close-up of a dress after she flung it over a dressing screen. Turns out, it was pleated with many tiny pleats!

So, I asked myself…why no gathers? In my opinion, gathers are easier to do than pleats. OOOH, unless you’re sewing by hand. (that was the revelation)  Pleated garments can also be folded and stored more easily to avoid wrinkles, especially in drawers and chests, which was the common storage method in most parts of Asia. There’s a bit more polished elegance to pleats as compared to gathers, and finally, these loose-fitting pleated garments were very easy to adapt to different wearers or body changes. Remember when Scarlett O’Hara had to get out the seam ripper to alter a dress before a party because her waist had increased by a couple of inches? That would never have happened with most garments being worn in Asia in that same time period!

Pattern for this week’s outfit  is here

Also, here is a printable shoji-style lamp.  You can use it as a room decoration or to help your doll celebrate Obon.  Print it as “shrink to fit” on cardstock, fold and glue.

If you like pleats and want something more Western, there are TWO new patterns for 13″-14″ dolls in my etsy shop.

The first one was done as a custom request based on a family photo and named for its original wearer.  It features a unique asymmetric front bodice with a pleated skirt and closes down the back. The pattern includes some vintage illustrations and hints about “period correct” fabric and color choices.The other was based on a dress from the Fall/Winter Sears catalog from 1966. I named it the “Alpine Dress” because the embroidery and front band reminded me of Lederhosen. 🙂  Embroidery can be stitched by hand or is available in .pes format.

Little Darling in Japan week 5

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There are two new patterns coming soon to my etsy shop, but, thanks to some computer problems, apparently not this week 😦

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For this week’s “Little Darling in Japan” we have some soft furnishing projects.  If you have a 5×7″ embroidery hoop, you can get the free machine embroidery designs in .pes format in the pattern.

 

More details and free pattern here

Also…a poll.  When I started this, I made a list of everything I wanted to do, and it was about 12 weeks long.  I limited myself to finish by the end of the year, and next week’s post is almost done.  The last post, however, is as-yet nebulous.  The original intent was an outfit and accessories (printies, clay food, etc.) to celebrate New Year’s, which is a major holiday in Japan, but there are some other things I wanted to do and didn’t get to, like modern stuff (Harajuku/wa-loli/etc.).  So, if you have an opinion, please vote below for the final post of the year:

[poll is now closed] The votes were 47 to 31 in favor of a traditional New Year’s celebration.  Look for the post after Christmas!

 

Little Darling in Japan: Week 4

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Ok, we’re more than halfway done with our “trip” to Japan.  Still to come: sashiko quilting and some furnishings, a skirt-style hakama to wear with a yukata, and  celebrating the New Year.  As I put all of these on my calendar and schedule the posts, it’s amazing how quickly the holidays will be upon us.  Wanna know what I asked Santa for?

I actually wanted the one in the hat outfit below, but it’s been sold out for a while and Santa couldn’t find it.  Also he mentioned something like, “Why do you care what outfit it comes in?  You’re just going to rip off the clothes and leave them in the box forever anyway!”

Hmmm.  I see his point.  And I bet you can guess what I’ll be making first for my Christmas doll… 🙂

Ok, back to dolls I DO have already!

So this is my favorite outfit in this whole collection, and I was saving it for later, but decided to post it now.  This peasant-style outfit consists of “straw” sandals, monpe pants and a hippari jacket made with boro-style quilting.  The “little ragamuffin” look can be so endearing on dolls, and is perfect for Little Darling’s wistful face.

Get the pattern here

 

Little Darling in Japan: Week 3

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Happy turkey/tofurkey day!!

DH and I are having a quiet Thanksgiving, since we have no family here and apparently, even though I’m a pretty awesome cook, we don’t even have any family that like us enough to buy a plane ticket.  Little Darling isn’t going to make it home for Thanksgiving either, but she’s really enjoying her stay in Japan.  🙂

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This week, Little Darling is learning aikido, but her costume is also perfect for other traditional sports like fencing, or even replicating costumes from historical dramas/anime/manga.  I was originally hoping to find a lot of pix to photoshop her into, but I try to stick to things that are in the public domain so as not to infringe on anyone’s copyright, and just haven’t found a lot of perfect scenes.

GET THE HAKAMA PATTERN HERE

The top is from last week’s post: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/little-darling-in-japan-week-2/