I have a VERY special pattern for you today! It’s suited for intermediate seamstresses who live somewhere so hot they just want to close the curtains, crank up the AC and sew for a few hours. 😉 That’s actually not me…the weather has been really pleasant up here so far this summer aside from some hail and a few days in the upper 80s, and we’ve never had this much rain that I remember, so the wildflowers are just incredible.
OK, back to the dress! It’s shown above on a repro Nancy Famosa “Romántica” but the dress is inspired by Nancy “Caribe” from maybe 20 years ago (not sure – please comment if you know). I’m just in love with this new Nancy, who has a gorgeous warm brown skin tone and sparkling turquoise eyes (they photographed a little on the greener side here). Her hair feels softer than some of my other Nancys, so it may be they’ve used a different/higher quality hair for this one.
I know Nancy is not all that easy to find in the US, so before you start wondering who else it will fit…
Yep! Even though
they’re about 3” shorter, the Wellies have a very similar torso and arm to
Nancy and can wear this dress too! It
would be a precious little flower girl or first communion dress for them, or
use colored lace and a print fabric for a more modern/everyday look. The dress is ankle-length on Nancy, and floor
length on the Wellies, although changing the length on a rectangular skirt is
You can enter the amount of your choice (in whole dollar increments) in the box to left of the payment options below. Thank you!!
Speaking of the Wellies, I got a number of emails asking if the mini Maru collection would fit them. I actually didn’t think so, but it turns out I was wrong! The raglan T sleeves are a little tight, but otherwise all of the shirts and dresses fit them just fine as you can see here:
So, summer’s been over for me for a
few weeks now, and it’s been a rough/busy start to the school year!
Even though (or maybe because?) the blog posts were less frequent, this summer was filled with all kinds of sewing and crafting. Over the summer, I set myself a challenge called “ANDED” (A new dress every day) for two weeks for a special new Effner/Boneka doll, and somehow got caught up in researching and learning new embroidery stitches/techniques from India.
I told myself these dresses would become blog posts, and I’d do a little series on embroidery, but it was just so much fun sewing I didn’t want to stop and take pix and write about it! 🙂 Anyway, she’s got some AMAZING new dresses and even some half-finished furniture piled in a box, and I’m hoping to get to those embroidery posts eventually. I also did a lot of sewing for my Petworks Usaggie, who welcomed some new bunny and cat companions, and then started a house project for all of them which also might appear here eventually.
pattern is from Dolly Dolly #20)
Non-doll-related crafts included
indigo dyeing and finally getting around to learning kumihimo on a marudai,
after years of doing it on foam discs.
Some decluttering happened in the craft room, and all my colored pencils
finally got organized into little drawers, which ended up being WAY better than
I even anticipated! In the past, I’d
often choose which brand to use for a project and get them all out of their
case onto the desk, then have to hunt through another brand’s box in
frustration when that one specific shade of pink wasn’t available and then
spend a long time reorganizing and cleaning everything up at the end. Having all the soft, compatible pencils I use
most (Coloursoft, Prisma, Polychromos, Pablo) organized in one place means it’s
so easy to just pull out all the drawers of one color and choose exactly the
one I need, and slide them back in when I’m done. Specialty pencils (like Derwent Inktense or
Graphitint) are still relegated to their original boxes, because they aren’t
easily interchangeable, but the boxes are easier to get to with all the other
pencils categorized together.
Messiness and creativity often DO go
hand in hand, but a clean, organized workspace can really put you in the right
frame of mind to be creative!
Another thing I thought would be a good idea and inspire summer crafting, but really hasn’t been worth even its discounted purchase price so far was a Cricut Maker. Their customer service is good when you have a problem, but the maker is not as foolproof as I’d like. I mean, a cutting machine that cuts into itself and doesn’t notice and stop immediately? Yeah, that happened. Also cutting in the wrong spot and wasting my materials. Grr. Cleaning up the sticky mat afterwards is not a lot of fun either, and then there’s the annoying software which is web-based but for some reason keeps needing to install updates on my computer. Anyway, I used it because I wanted some precise cuts on these sandals and was pretty pleased with the results.
Obviously, you can cut perfect rectangles with a rotary cutter and ruler, but the precision of the scallops and soles on these sandals really delighted me. My final step in shoemaking is usually trimming/sanding the soles so they all line up perfectly and it wasn’t necessary this time! Tip: I used faux leather that had a shiny side and a fabric backing (check the upholstery or costume sections at the fabric store) with the shiny side down to help with cleanup. The regular (fine point) blade worked fine with the super grip mat and the material set to bonded outdoor vinyl. In the close-up pix, you can see some raggedy edges of the fabric backing of the vinyl. If that bothers you, make sure to choose vinyl with a non-fray type of backing that looks like felt or knit.
with instructions and a printable pattern you can cut out with scissors. These sandals were for my Nancy Famosa (reedición) but the fit is forgiving since they’re sandals. They could potentially work for any doll with a similar or even a little larger size foot like Animators/Sasha/AGAT. If you’re cutting out by hand, it’s very easy to adapt the sole to fit your favorite doll.
I *think* you should be able to access the cricut version of the project with the link below. Make sure the long ankle strap measures 4″.
So, back in October I got a reproduction Nancy Famosa, who didn’t actually make it onto the blog for a while. In the meantime, I got obsessed with the 1970s, since that’s the era she was from, and also got Crissy’s cousin Velvet and did some sewing for her. There are a ton of half-finished things for Nancy, and also an interesting post started about Velvet’s clothes. I try to keep the blog relevant and interesting to the greatest number of people, although I also sometimes post things here just because I like them. For instance, Nancy is probably not super popular in the US, because she’s hard to find, but I adore her.
Some blog readers want to see something awesome, download the pattern and make it for that exact doll. Others say they are interested to see a variety of dolls here, even if they don’t have them and maybe let the photos inspire something they’d like to make for another doll. What do you think?
This week’s pattern is a sort of hybrid outfit for Nancy based on her originals “Kenia” and “Safari”.
If you lengthen the sleeves and pair it with these pants, you can make a few more variations of her original outfits too! I was going to break this up into two posts, but decided instead to do both parts (skirt and blouse) this week and might skip posting next week. The skirt will also fit Girl for all Time, but the top is too small. The whole outfit also fits the Wellie Wishers but looks best with the hems of both top and skirt shortened a bit!
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!
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!
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!
To help with your dolls’ sleep hygiene, this week’s pattern is a 60s-70s quilt. It would work for AG Julie and maybe Melody, as well as vintage 70s dolls like Crissy, Velvet, Sasha, etc. or modern dolls that enjoy a retro vibe to their decor.
Templates are provided for you to do it as fusible web applique, but slower and faster methods are options as well. You could cut the motifs out of freezer paper and stencil them [post here]or add seam allowances and do needle-turn appliqué by hand. You could also use one small motif to make blocks for a more traditional looking quilt. Although this quilt itself was never made for a particular doll, the motif appeared on the packaging and furniture of a doll popular in the late 1960s and 70s. She’s still around now, although the packaging motifs have been updated. If you can guess who she is, you’ll know who might be appearing on the blog soon!
Since it’s more than likely your doll bed is not the same size as mine, I provided the quilt center and you can add strips on the sides to make it into the size you require. My strips were 2” wide. Should you need to enlarge/reduce it significantly, just divide the size you want by the size it is to get a percentage to reduce/enlarge and photocopy at that percentage.