Tag Archives: lottie

Lottie visits a ryokan/onsen

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Lottie has been really busy in my imagination, although sadly I can’t figure out a way to get those images onto the blog LOL.  So, to relax, she is staying at a ryokan at an onsen this week.  Ryokan are traditional Japanese inns and onsen are hot springs.  They are popular weekend destinations for the Japanese, and a “must-do” for tourists.  Depending what your price range is (we’re assuming Lottie’s budget is unlimited for this fake-cation 😊) you can bathe in the hot spring and then retire to your private room to have a multi-course Japanese meal served to you at a low table in your tatami room.  At bedtime, staff will even come to lay out your futon for you.  These places traditionally provide a yukata (unlined, informal kimono) for guests to wear to sleep and walk to and from the hot springs.  At hot springs, these are worn with a simple tie like a western bathrobe, instead of the more formal obi – see a guide here: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2029_dress.html I did baste in a fold at the waist, which is done for kimono because the fold helps it to hang better, but you could eliminate that and hem shorter instead.

Get the pattern here

I LOVE when you send me pix of stuff you’ve made or link to your pix in the comments so everyone can see! My latest favorite pic is Anna’s gorgeous quilt pictured below:

She combined the looks of boro and sashiko to give her Lotties the perfect picnic quilt.

Lottie is viewing cherry blossoms this week!

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So where are the cute Lottie pix?  Um…let’s use our imaginations…she’s sitting under a huge, old cherry tree in full bloom on an adorable little sashiko quilt in a pale blue dress with tiny pink flowers. Spread out on the quilt between her and her bunny sidekick is an itty-bitty bento box with some little sushi made from fimo and a thermos of green tea. Bunny is leaning back enjoying the sun on her face, and looking up at the pale pink petals softly drifting down onto the quilt.

[Beginning of some rambling…just scroll down to the bottom for the quilt pattern!]

You know that little girl in the Annie movie that always said, “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!”?  That’s how I’m feeling right now!  Working at home is proving much more challenging and time-consuming than I had anticipated.  In case you don’t know, I’m a school-based speech-language pathologist, and with the schools closed am having to provide services virtually.  Every single one of my students has different needs and I’m working with families to provide services in a way that works best for them while they deal with the challenges of kids off school and interacting via technology.  Another major obstacle for me is that we don’t really have a home office/guest room anymore because we have a doll storage room ☹  Yes, it’s that bad. So when my husband’s company ordered everyone to work at home a few weeks ago, he took over the table in the craft room and is there from 8-5 or 7 or midnight every single day.  I’m not allowed in when he’s in meetings, which appears to be much of the day, so it was stressful to say the least being on spring break while being sick and having him here in the house, but not interacting with me in a “normal” way (I’m at work, leave me alone!) and, worst of all, blocking access to my craft stuff! 

Because I commute around 2 hours per day, depending on traffic, I was thinking that with virtual speech services, I’d have that extra 2 hours a day to work on projects, and the Lottie in Japan would be fun and easy but it’s not exactly working out that way.  When your work computer is sitting in your kitchen staring at you, it’s really easy to just turn it on and start responding to email, and when your house becomes your workplace, it’s hard to separate your thinking about home vs. work things.  Yes, I’ve got an extra hour in the morning that I don’t spend driving, and that’s great, but it’s hard to focus on something novel and creative, like the next thing Lottie needs, when I know I’ll need to stop at a certain time and I’m simultaneously worrying about what homework pages need to be uploaded for which kids, whether my wifi will cooperate for the meeting coming up, and just how exactly this new model of service delivery is going to work with each individual student.

So, during this time I’m learning that shorter projects, are actually harder for me to do than longer-term projects like weaving, spinning, knitting, hand embroidery, etc.  Once a weaving project is planned and on the loom, you can just sit down for a few minutes or an hour and work on something, and with a few minutes here and there, my mother-in-law’s new towels are almost done!

This week’s Lottie quilt will take time if you want it to, or can be a quick/easy/kid-friendly project too! I haven’t actually gotten to it yet, but that’s no reason for you not to!

Get the quilt pattern here

Lottie’s Sidekick

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Thank you everyone for your kind comments after last week’s post! Yes, I’m still sick but getting better. 🙂

This week’s bunny doll project poses with an activity that’s keeping me calm and happy… (Spindle by Tracy Eichheim – his spindles are among my favorites. They have excellent craftsmanship and spin an AMAZINGLY long time. I’ve gotten them in person at wool markets but he has a website here: http://www.woollydesigns.com/spindles/)

So, we had planned to go to Japan last summer, but had to delay it for family reasons.  Then we were absolutely positively going to go this summer…or now probably not… ☹

You might remember a few years ago when I took Lottie to Korea: (sorry, wordpress won’t post the link, but if you search “Lottie Korea” in the search box at right you’ll find it. This year I had been planning to take either her or Jossie/Usaggie (below) to Japan, and was planning the summer sew-along to be a wardrobe for for them for the trip, but instead of getting new clothes, they are stuck in the craft room making socks for me on the knitting machine instead:

If you are an aficionado of Japanese doll magazines, you are aware of the existence of Petworks Odeco and Nikki, and a few minutes on Instagram or your favorite picture hosting site will give you even more Odeco/Nikki pix that people have taken of them in various locations in all kinds of cute outfits.  My favorite is the artwork here: http://p.booklog.jp/users/petworksdoll?p=3 Although I do have a Nikki, I find Usaggie easier to pose due to her head being more in-proportion with her body. 

Even if the Petworks dolls are new to you, readers of this blog are certainly aware of Lottie, who’s about the same size!  If your vacation plans have also been postponed, there’s a FABULOUS new series coming for you!  Best of all, it uses a tiny doll that you can sew/craft for with tiny scraps of things from your stash so you don’t even need to leave the house. It’s Lottie’s (virtual) Spring Break in Japan!  🥳 And to kick it off, we’re going to make her a sidekick (or you might need to just make the bunny if you don’t have a Lottie and Amazon’s estimated delivery date for the one you ordered last week is April 30th) Best of all, being an animal doll, it can be an anthropomorphic girl or boy or just a bunny.

Get the pattern here

And in other doll news…

Last year, Ruby Red Galleria came out with a new, larger bodied doll than their normal small sizes.  The series was called “Girls of the Orient” and they were named and costumed along a theme.  I was SO excited because of the great poseability that Ten Ping and the 12” Girls in Motion have, and also the lovely face.  The face mold fits in well with the Ten Ping family as well as the 12″ YuMa.  Unlike the smaller dolls, however, who have hard plastic bodies and sophisticated joints, this body seems to be all the same type of hard vinyl, with simple stringing and articulation at the elbows and knees, much like the Girl for all Time dolls.  It’s possible mine is defective or maybe they did something special for their promo pix (below), but mine does not pose her arms in quite the same way. 

Image from: http://rubyredgalleria.com/

[BTW, my Kadinana’s original, unworn costume and shoes pictured above are for sale for $60 plus actual shipping – contact me if you’re interested]. The same body was used again for a brand-new line with a face sculpt by Dianna Effner in (I think) late fall of last year.  These new ones are called Fashion Friends and at $129 have a somewhat friendlier price point than the $179 MSRP of the GotO.

I’ve gotten a few requests/questions about the FF dolls, and they are VERY difficult to get ahold of right now, so here is a comparison of my Kadinana to other dolls of similar sizes you might be more familiar with.

In case you’re wondering…yes, there are patterns in the works eventually.  I actually started sewing for Kadinana in October when I got her, but none of her lovely creations have made it to the blog yet.  🙂 She’s pretty much the same size as the MIM and Kish Chrysalis dolls and I was able to use the patterns from the infinity dress collection here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/235471701/infinity-dress-pattern-for-dolls-from-10

Speaking of 14” dolls…if you’re looking to use your sewing skills to contribute to a worthy cause, check out Stitchin’ for Kids.  They create wardrobes for 14” Hearts for Hearts dolls to give to children experiencing long hospital stays.  More info here: https://www.stitchinforkids.org/

Sew your bunny or find your Lottie, her “vacation” posts start next week!

Stay home and healthy! ❤

We wish you a retro…solstice!

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Today is the winter solstice and the end of our retro Christmas series!

Get the pattern here

The last installment of the 1950s Christmas pattern was supposed to be a sock doll and dress.  I debated for a while about the sock doll – it certainly seems possible to cut up a doll sock and turn it into a doll’s sock doll, but good ones are hard to come by and I hated to sacrifice a good doll sock.  It also meant asking you to hunt down the same one I had and cut it up, all to make a doll that, honestly, I just don’t find to be that cute.

Instead, I made a pattern for a dress similar to the one the sock doll is wearing and you can put on a doll for your doll, like a Lottie and probably a mini AG/OG although I’m too tired to go hunt one of those down to check at the moment!  Those dolls will fit in the stocking from last week, and in case you’ve missed them, here are all the other retro Christmas pattern links:

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/we-wish-you-a-retro-christmas-part-3/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/we-wish-you-a-retro-christmas-part-2/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/we-wish-you-a-retro-christmas/

 

Back next year with lots more doll fun!

 

A Lottie Wardrobe

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Lots of Lottie goodies this week!

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First of all, a “housing your Lottie” guide is here

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A free pattern for cute and easy felt clothes is here

And finally, a set of basic patterns to make a variety of play and dress clothes for Lottie is here

 

And your last SSA reminder:  If you missed the first deadline, you can enter until July 31 on this form and you will get your Nosy pattern Aug 1.

Felt friends for Lottie

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The summer sew-along is technically over, but if you’re back from vacation and lamenting that you missed it or want something to sew that’s a little bigger than Lottie stuff, remember if you missed the first deadline, you can enter until July 31 on this form and you will get your Nosy pattern Aug 1.  Here’s some inspiration for you:

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Unicorn beach coverup by KB

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This is by quickdrawannie whose dolls are getting ready for fall already (eek!) 

See lots more here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/pool/with/35067825904/

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One of the reasons I bought forest friend Lottie was her cute packaging, but sadly, she didn’t come with as many fun accessories as my other Lotties.  Given her name, she clearly needed some “forest friends” so I created a few from felt, using the artwork on her packaging as inspiration.  After that, my other Lotties begged for their own friends too!  If you’re looking for a project to use to help you teach hand sewing to a child, this is a great choice since they require only one type of stitch, and can be made quickly from small scraps of felt.

Get the pattern here

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

 

I’m not avoiding you…

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but if you try to contact me and don’t get a response it because we’re in Korea!  Likewise, if you post a comment, it won’t show up until it’s moderated.  Our farm sitter is an extremely capable person, but can’t answer your sewing/blog questions, so you’ll have to wait until I’m back 🙂

 My going away present to you and your Lottie:

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Get the pattern here

Summer sew-along week 2

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A super-long post with lots of dollie updates but feel free to scroll past it all to the bottom for this week’s sew-along pattern!

As I mentioned last week, our “Betsy paper doll” SSA will run the whole month of June this year, and I’m setting up automated posts to appear for the two weeks I’ll be gone, but won’t be able to see your flickr pix or respond to comments and my etsy shop will be closed during that time too.  I’ll leave all the patterns up for the duration of the sew along, and then they may transfer over to my etsy shop.  If you sew all the outfits and post your pix on Flickr by the end, you can get a bonus pattern for Nosy!  More info when the deadline approaches.

Where are we going?  Korea!  And now, let’s talk about Lottie.  They’re related in a VERY roundabout way 😊  So, I’ve mentioned her a few times on the blog but haven’t had one of my own until recently, but now have a whole bunch.  Let me explain…  I got the book below because all my “international” doll mooks so far came from Japan.

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This one, published in March, 2017 was the first Korean doll mook I’ve seen that is not just a translation of a Japanese one, but actually features Korean dolls and designers.  Even though it was expensive with shipping, I wanted to get it also to encourage more of these types of books to appear.

This isn’t a book review but…the book is OK.  Maybe not worth the high price I paid when shipping is factored in, mainly because there are scant instructions/patterns to actually make the cutest things they show but it does have lots of nice color photos for inspiration.  Most disappointing was the part called “Furniture for my doll” that has no furniture, just a tutorial about putting two squares of ?wood? together and covering them with wallpaper to make a backdrop. ☹  Anyway, it’s full of really cute dolls about 7-8” tall that cost hundreds of dollars if you can even find them outside of Korea with some extremely basic patterns that I (although probably not everyone) could have drafted in a fairly short time.  Oh darn, this is turning into a book review…  If you have these dolls and speak/read Korean and have limited sewing knowledge, this is the book to get.  If you’d like to know what’s trending as far as small doll clothes/settings in Korea and want a lot of inspirational photos to inspire you to create your own woodworking plans and embroidery patterns for all the cute little felt things, this is also the book for you.

OK, so how does this relate to Lottie?  I figured she might be about the size of the dolls in the book, which is correct-ish.  She’s the same height, but has a child body instead of the mature bodies of the book’s dolls.  My toy store (Grandrabbit’s in Boulder) had a large display of them, and I grabbed “Forest Friend” mainly because of a) red hair and b) super cute packaging.

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And then I did a post (no, you didn’t miss it, it just hasn’t appeared yet) on making little stuffed forest friends for her, because compared to the rest of them, Forest Friend is pretty lacking in the outfit/accessory department.  Other dolls come with multi-part outfits, for example, “School Days” comes with glasses, blouse, skirt, socks, shoes, scarf, backpack, leadership cards.  Forest friends comes with a dress, shoes and headband for the same price.  The back of the box instructs you to collect them all, and I’m doing my best 😉.  Their website also found me a new toy store I was unaware of (Jake’s Toy Box if you live near Arvada) with a super-friendly staff, some Lottie stuff in the clearance section and a deal on a Fossil Hunter Lottie!  That was a great day!

We took FHL to DMNS and got some really cute pix!  When I explained to some staff that this Lottie was special for promoting STEM activities for girls, specifically paleontology, and I wanted to put pix of her at the museum on my blog, they happily even let her hold a real fossil (of a trilobite below)!  Taking museum photos is challenging because the lighting is often dim to preserve artifacts and using a flash is frowned upon for that reason.  So, yes, not all of these are lit as well as I’d like, and there is some graininess in some of them.  This was lit with a flashlight:34271350034_e7eb096ccb_z

Check out the cute detailing on the soles of her shoes!

In addition to photos of her demonstrating her actual size (with trilobite above and ammonite below)

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DH was also having fun trying to do what’s called “forced perspective” with her.  If you’ve seen the special features of the Lord of the Rings movies, you might know how they play with placing things in relation to the camera to cause them to look bigger/smaller.  If you place tiny Lottie super close to the camera, it’s possible to make it look like she’s more life-size.  That’s a triceratops skull in the background; they are about 4m tall when “fully assembled”.

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Last year, when April was the Wrenfeathers GOTY, I took her to the same museum, and you never saw a lot of those photos because they didn’t all come out well, and it’s kind of a pain hauling around a doll about the size of a human infant and trying to pose her and hoping she doesn’t fall.  On the other hand it was SO much fun taking photos of Lottie because she slips easily into your purse when not needed and barely weighs anything.  People seemed to find her cute and engaging as we were taking pictures too.  She can also balance in small spaces, like ledges, where she watched a restoration in progress:

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and have other amazing adventures!

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See all the Lottie museum cuteness here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskY4QTr9

So, feeling like I needed a little travel doll for our vacation, I headed back to Grandrabbit’s to get a “School Days” Lottie intending to make her a hanbok and take pix of her all over Korea.  Sadly, there was an issue with that doll, (dents in her face caused by her glasses being on too tight) but when I contacted the company, they were very nice about it, and fixed the problem immediately.  Lottie has GREAT customer service compared to a lot of other doll companies out there right now, some of which can be a nightmare to deal with (cough, ruby red galleria).

With some searching I randomly found that lots of people, including those who paint the dolls in my Korean doll book above, are also loving and repainting Lotties!  And no, not in a makeup-y kind of way, but in a soft, sweet style that is in keeping with her creators’ intent to have her look like a real child:

[image on pinterest and here: http://www.imgrum.org/media/1304215656421827321_3161993446%5D

OK, so in other news, the best thing ever happened!  An amazing person gifted me with her childhood treasures…an 18” Madame Alexander, and a Ginny and Tiny Betsy!  And clothes!  And patterns!  I was over the moon with happiness and skipped to the sewing room with glee to make new dresses for them!  They are totally in keeping with this summer’s 1950s sew-along theme and I have plans to feature them too, but this post is getting too long already so…

now the part you scrolled down for:

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This week’s dress is from May 1959, and if you’re looking at this pic and saying, “I’m positive that was NEVER a Betsy paperdoll dress” you’re partially right!  I love Piet Mondrian and the dresses that are even today inspired by his work.  My brain was kind of focused on a half-baked plan to make some little bojagi (보자기) bedding for “Hanbok Lottie” to sleep in while I was making this dress and it hit me that this was almost the same!  Bojagi is a form of mainly square/rectangular patchwork in Korea that uses unusual (to my Western eye) color combinations and often uses thin fabric with the seams as a decorative element, forming a dark outline very similar to what Piet Mondrian did in some of his paintings:

( image is not mine – from: https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/18c1d-15259050_1324361700928275_6914702621332733952_n.jpg?ig_cache_key=MTM5NTI2NDEzMTA0MDQyMTEzOQ%3D%3D.2

I took the color scheme from a hanbok, whose picture I unfortunately can’t find right now and came up with Betsy’s dress – inspired by Mondrian, who ?maybe? got some inspiration from bojagi and now the circle closes and Betsy’s Mondrian dress goes bojagi 😊  Of course you can make it the original way too!  Our craft for this week is a mid-century table, because who doesn’t love mid-century furniture and there’s a serious lack of it out there for 14” dolls!

Pattern link is here