Tag Archives: our generation

April’s Halloween Dress

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April should have appeared before Halloween, but everything got off a week because of Kenny’s “illness”.  Luckily this dress is good for any time of the year, with a sweater or jacket over it for cool weather.  April’s cardigan from January would probably be perfect, just not buttoning in front.  NOTE:  It was fitted on April, who’s a bit slimmer than some of my new AGs. It’s fine on Journey Girls and would be a bit loose on newer KnC bodies.  You can see in the pattern pix it fits the newer AGs, but the fit is quite slim – probably too slim for larger-bodied older AGs!

Download her Halloween dress here

 

Read her journal here

(yes, some months are missing but it explains the costume and ties in depression awareness month)

 

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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

 

April’s Journal…continued

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The next installment of April’s journal is ready, although not with everything I wanted to include because we were out of town for a while and now I’m catching up on things instead of doing new projects.

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Her journal is here and there’s a (sort of) hidden project link to pierce your doll’s ears and make earring dangles!

I’m toying with the idea of hiding links to extra craft projects in the footnotes of her journal…want to help decide?

 

 

Heart Contest Results and Embroidery Downloads

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We have two winners in the heart contest, and some machine embroidery designs for you to download!  If you get started now, your dolls can have a new shirt before Valentine’s day!

The first was a flamingo by Joy and I was inspired by the bird on this:
 
 to embroider the flamingo on contrasting felt and applique it.  This turns out to be a great strategy to get an embroidered motif onto stretch knits without the difficulties that sometimes arise when embroidering on knits.
Anna’s motif had a boho vibe that I loved!  I digitized it first in a color version to put on a white T-shirt, but playing around with color combinations I got inspired by traditionally embroidered Mexican blouses that use white thread on brightly colored fabric and Julika’s blouse was born.  Covering the yoke with lace is an easy and trendy way to add interest without embroidering.
 (L – Kidz n Cats Julika, R – OG Jamie)
You can download the contest embroidery designs in .pes format here:
Please note that the flower-heart motif has a lot of threads to cut and is a dense design – not the individual density of the stitches, but how close the elements are together.  My machine shredded the top thread and made a few bird nests underneath, so use at your own risk and stabilize well!
 
Because April “asked” for one to keep, I also did a version of the OG heart logo which stitches out beautifully:
It’s been modified somewhat from the original, but is similar enough that you shouldn’t put it on things to sell.
Love Ten Ping?  I have good news!  The birthday fairy did not come through with Zuri 😦 but did bring Ten Ping a friend named Gigi and I’m hard at work on some sweet little spring patterns for her that I’m hoping will be ready by the end of March.
April’s next journal is coming out soon and might have some hidden surprises in it.  Stay tuned!

Pleat collar blouse

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If you can’t find this outfit to buy:

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You could start making it instead!  This week, we have the first installment of it:

DOWNLOAD THE PLEAT COLLAR BLOUSE HERE

It was supposed to be the whole outfit with pix of my April in it, but unfortunately I got sick and then busy with the return to work, so let’s hope I finish it all next weekend!

I incorporated some of your suggestions to develop a personality for April and am pretty excited at all the fun things that may be in store!  In brief, she lives on a ranch in Colorado, raises fiber goats and does some associated fiber crafts with their fleece, like knitting.  She might have a garden when the time comes and wants to grow up to be an archaeologist.   Also by request, she’ll have her own (mini) OG and will occasionally post things she sews for it.

I’m trying to have her “write” a journal fairly regularly and planning to take her various places a normal kid might go, so maybe not Brazil or Paris…more like a museum or park in Colorado, and then take pix of her there and let her write about it.  It will probably appear at the end of each month.

 

The WrenFeathers GOTY

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REMINDER:  You can get one or both Chatty Cathy patterns from my etsy store FREE until Jan 1st – Post a picture of something you’ve made during this Chatty Cathy series (for your CC or any other doll they’d fit) here and send me a link (jenniebagrowski at gmail dot com).  For each thing that you’ve made you can request either “Nursery School” OR “Sunday Visit”.  If you want both patterns, you’ll need to post 2 things you made during this series.  If you just post on flickr, I don’t have your email, so make sure to send me a link and tell me which pattern you want!

I’m going to guess you’ve either gotten the new AG catalog or seen the leaks online by now.

The AG GOTY dolls’ back stories lately are so realistic and relatable to regular kids’ lives, right?  I mean, when MY grandparents’ bakery in France was struggling, MY family dropped everything, hopped on a plane and helped save it, just like Grace!  And then this year is even MORE relatable, because, you know, lots of kids get to abandon their lives here in the US and go live in Brazil, and all of Brazil is just rainforest, fruit stands and treehouses…right? 😉 

So I happened down the Our Generation aisle at Target and check out my find:

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No, not Saila, the science set.  Pretty awesome, huh?  For around $6 you get the safety glasses, flask, test tubes and microscope.  It gets better…there’s an actual light and a lens you can focus on the microscope!!  No slides, but those are easily made from scraps of clear plastic.  As I was taking apart the packaging to toss in the recycling, something caught my eye…http://www.ogdolls.com/free-the-children

This was so reminiscent of my dearly departed H4H and Karito dolls I actually went back to Target and really LOOKED at the dolls themselves.  I always pass them up as generic “imitation” dolls, and in all the stores I’ve visited, their ethnic diversity has, until recently, been sadly lacking.  The April doll caught my eye, primarily because of her beautiful green eyes that are similar to mine.  Most doll manufacturers do a grassy green color that is blatantly unrealistic, and that’s sometimes the case with red hair too.  AND April came with glasses…just like me, poor thing.  She lacks freckles but I’m thinking some time in the high altitude sun should cure that 🙂

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So, even though I was super excited about the release of AG Lea, who disappointingly just looks like Rebecca with longer hair, and Melody, who Amazon led us to believe was also getting released Jan 1, I bought April instead, and she’s going to be the WrenFeathers GOTY for 2016.  Why an OG?  AG is just getting shameless with their price increases and big-ticket items and I don’t always see quality to match those prices.  I love my AGs, I love going to the AG store, but it seems the “store experience” has become a thing and they’re skimping on quality while you help pay their rent in the most expensive shopping districts in that area. In contrast, probably everyone has a Target within a reasonable driving distance and goes there anyway to get other things and the doll aisle is just a bonus.  Based on the devastation of the OG aisle at my local Target right before Christmas (hubby commented it looked as though it had been looted), OG dolls are hugely popular with kids.  They’re affordable, supposedly responsibly manufactured, and giving back some of their profits to help kids in developing countries.  Plus, this doll is more relatable to real people than one that’s jetting off to live in Brazil and needs you to buy her a $400 tree house to live in and a $150 fruit stand to run.

The “GOTY” plan is that every month there will be a free pattern or craft for her, sort of like a year-long series and I will try to make an effort to relate those to her hobbies, interests, etc.  (Don’t worry, I’ll still do other dolls too!)  As I examined the OG offerings, they’ve really stepped up their game in terms of creating trendy, cute things.  Unfortunately, it’s rather hit-or-miss as to whether you can actually find what you want for sale at your local store and when you order online, apparently they don’t really have what you ordered.  I found Zuri, who has a beautiful new face mold, on the Target website and ordered her just before Christmas, thinking she and April could be friends.  A few days before she was scheduled to arrive, I got an email saying my order was canceled without any explanation why.  I was pretty sad, and am hoping the birthday fairy might come through and you’ll see her here soon…

So, you might not be able to get the OG outfits you want, and since they’re trying to mass-produce them for a reasonable price, the quality might not be the same as what an experienced seamstress could do at home for her own dolls, and for those reasons I might do versions of some of their outfits in this series too.  Look for the first installment next week!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Do you have a favorite OG outfit you can’t find and want to make?  Suggestions for April’s “back story” (hobbies, interests, etc.)?  Post a comment below!

Happy New Year!

 

Japanese dollhouse week 2

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Were you anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Japanese dollhouse or wishing I would stop with the woodworking and get back to sewing?  🙂  Yes, sewing will reappear next week with a project you can probably use even if you decided not to make the house.

This week’s installment of the dollhouse project has instructions for built-ins like doors, windows and shelves as well as some printable tatami.

Click here to download

If you missed last week get it here:https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/a-japanese-dollhouse/