Tag Archives: paola reina

An embroidered wool coat for Spring

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We had this 3’ pile of snow outside our front door that had been there since mid-January.  In March, it started melting little by little and last Tuesday it was about 70 degrees and it finally went away completely!  If you’re thinking that’s a great reason to make a cute little spring dress and photograph it outside, you don’t know the mountains of CO!  The very next day we got 8” of fresh snow dumped on us.  So I pulled out this coat pattern I made for my Paola Reinas back in 2015 (yes, there are SOOO many things on my hard drive that haven’t made it to the blog yet!) and resized it for my new doll, Milena (see below). By the time I was ready to take the pix, most of the snow was melting away, so it did end up looking Spring-y.

If you’re wondering, the new-to-the-blog doll is a Natterer/Petitcollin Starlette named Milena.  I didn’t have time for comparison pix, but she’s very similar to Sasha with longer legs.  The coat is a great fit on other 16” dolls too, like the lovely AGAT Elinor above. 

This coat is inspired by sheepskin coats worn in parts of Poland, Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe.  I say inspired, but not traditional, because this one has a princess cut rather than the separate skirt and back gathers you can see on close-up pix.  Its flowers welcome spring, but the felt and fleece keep your doll warm when “Spring” means “still pretty icy, raw ‘n’ glacial.”  😊 The embroidery design is generically European, but the color scheme is taken from the Polish Haft Kaszubski (Kashubian embroidery). If you’re a fast seamstress, you could use pastel colors to make a really cute Easter coat to tuck into that special basket this weekend!

Shortened, it makes a great 1970s or boho-style coat for AG Julie or Sasha!  You can easily paint the design or use fabric markers if you don’t have time to embroider. 

Get the pattern here

Want the machine embroidery files? They’re here and include a 16″ size that works for 16-18″ dolls and a resized smaller version pictured on Paola Reina for 12-14″ dolls.

The following images are for your inspiration from : http://lamus-dworski.blogspot.com/2014/10/bigoraj-costume-guide-to-polish-folk.html (scroll down to the bottom to see)

See some more inspiration here:

http://domludowy.pl/wp-content/gallery/dusza-na-dloni-piaty-wernisaz-22-sierpnia-2014/dsc_0201.jpg

http://domludowy.pl/wp-content/gallery/dusza-na-dloni-piaty-wernisaz-22-sierpnia-2014/dsc_0200.jpg

I know you’re excited for the summer sew-along…me too! We’ll be starting in a few weeks and you won’t even need to buy a new doll for it unless you want to 😉

Summer sew along week 5

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***Important Etsy note:  Etsy’s been having issues since July 1 with processing payments if they’re not done through paypal. Their policy is not to make the files available to the buyer until the seller has received payment. People using credit cards and apple pay have not been able to download their patterns immediately.  I apologize on their behalf and as an etsy seller who prides myself on good customer service am VERY upset about it.  If you’re having trouble downloading a pattern you purchased from me on Etsy during this time please contact me!***  I would suggest you pay through paypal if you’re using etsy, or I can always send you an invoice if you’d prefer.

Oh wow!  It’s the end of the sew-along already?  Well, I saved the best for last!

This gorgeous wrap dress has an Asian feel in these fabrics with a wide obi-style belt, but also looks adorable in any colorful cotton print!  Why is it the “best” dress of the sew-along?  The entire thing can be outlined in PIPING!  My favorite trim of all time!  If you’re intimidated by piping, this dress is a PERFECT choice for you to practice your skills because of the long, relatively straight seams AND the fact that you don’t need to line it afterwards.  If you’re a really new sewer, you can use bias tape instead of piping.  I’m almost finished with a tropical-looking one for my AG and this pattern should be available in all the major sizes in a week or two.

Download it free in Paola Reina size here for this week only!

Please post your creations in the Wrenfeathers group here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/.  I’m hoping to  find time to really look at what everyone’s done and do a retrospective next week!

In other news, I’ve been seriously playing dress up with my Wellie Wisher to see what I’ve already made that fits her.  There are a lot, and here are a few that are especially cute – note that these are all previous patterns you may already have!

And then, of course I had to do some NEW things too!

Ballerina dress, Owl cape and treasure pouch

Storybook character dress (this is a variation of the puff-sleeve blouse pattern) with apron and corset

See the intro to the Wellie Wishers Dress up Box here

I was SO hopeful the H4H fairy patterns would fit them, but the bodices are a bit too tight.  You can, however, use the skirts, wings, jacket, etc. from the H4H fairy pattern with the bodices from the WW dress up box pattern.  

What about princess dresses?

  I drew out about a dozen princess dress ideas, intending to include one in this collection and then couldn’t decide which one to make.  Renfaire?  Disney?  Historical?  Ethnic?  So I gave up and decided the collection would be fine without one.  Then I had a dream (yes, I’m such a dork) that Willa was hunting all through her dress-up box and turned to me with a heartbroken little face and said, “There’s no princess dress?”  So one or more of my sketches WILL become a princess dress pattern in the near future because I can’t bear to see her looking so sad.  🙂

Summer sew along week 4

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Are you caught up with the last three weeks?  Great!  Because this week there are not one, but TWO sandal variations!  The first one is so simple, you really have no excuse for not making it.  The second one is more delicate and dressy and requires you to have cutting and gluing skills at the “SuperCrafter” level or beyond due to the tiny pieces you’ll need to cut out and fiddle with.  It was based on a tropical-looking sandal I found on Pinterest, with hot pink/lime/yellow straps, but when I saw it, my first thought was, “That’s a 4th of July sandal if I ever saw one!”  Obviously you can make it in all one color if you want.

 Here is the sandal pattern for this week

Since it was pdf-ified in a different way than I normally do it, I have to just cross my fingers that it comes out OK and all the pieces print to size.  PLEASE measure the inch box, check it by overlaying the soles onto the fisherman sandal pattern and maybe even wrap the pieces around your doll’s foot to check the sizing before you start cutting into your fabric.    It will work for Wellies (obviously) as well as Paola Reinas, Cheries, etc.  It’s in only one size, since the curved back piece makes it hard to quickly/easily resize.

Due to all the pdf problems, (thanks, new computer!) instead of the normal tutorial I’ll have to refer you to the photos below and the instructions from: https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/ssa-week-2-fisherman-sandals.pdf

The brown ones are a nice, sturdy, basic sandal.  For the 4th of July version above, I thinned out the back piece a bit to make it less “rugged” looking and more dressy.  Feel free to do the same!

Are you thinking, “She promised us Paola Reina for the sew-along, what’s this Wellie Wisher doing here?”  Well, she’s just so cute I keep smiling every time I look at her and thought you might want a smile too. 🙂  I actually made the brown sandal pattern last year for my PR, and guess what?  It fit Willa!     Hmmm…what else can she share?

The sandals from week two and the espadrilles from the shoe school two years ago will fit her too: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/shoe-school-102-espadrilles-and-toms/

The basic puff-sleeve blouse/dress from the sew-along 2014 fits her:

And this mock-smocked top can be made to fit too: https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/summer-sew-along-2013-part-1.pdf

I’m working on the pants pattern she’s wearing above as well as some more really cute things for her…

 

Oh wow, it’s Wednesday again already?

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I know you’re reading this Thursday, but obviously I do the posts a day or more in advance.  Here I was, going full steam ahead with yet another a new project (Yes, really, despite the unfinished Prettie girl, Ten Ping and Sasha baby projects) and suddenly it was time to post week 2 of the summer sew-along.  How did that happen? 🙂  This week we’re making these fun, easy sandals:

To help you with resizing, there’s a foot comparison chart here.  You’ll notice the PRs are not on it, since I didn’t have them at the time.  Their feet are just a teeny bit shorter than the corolle cheries, but this pattern fits both dolls well.

Here is the free sandal pattern

I’m having so much fun seeing your dresses from last week!  If you haven’t already, check them out here

There were a few I wanted to post here, but the upload settings didn’t permit sharing a link…

I wanted to call your attention to a comment that the AG size sundress may be too small for some bodies:

(Thanks to GrandmaKnits for pointing this out)

But it does fit others, as in this knit version by Lydia Weber:

It can be shrunk for AEs:

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Photo above by Rosetownjoy

And lengthened:

Photo above by Elizabeth Gibbons

And have piping and decorative buttons:

Photo above by gammerangel

And (I’m guessing the H4H size) can fit the super cute vintage Betsy McCall:

betsydress1

Photo above by Violava loves dolls

There’s also a strapless version here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/52964665@N05/27473298036/in/pool-2825314@N20

Summer sew along 2016!

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Yay!  It’s summer sew-along day!

The first SSA started with me deciding a mix-match vacation wardrobe would be a fun project, and I encouraged people to sew it along with me, with the goal at the end being a bunch of pieces that worked well together.  It was SUPER popular, and the following two years I did the same type of thing (mix-match) but you HAD to post a pic to get the next pattern for free.  A lot of people liked that, because it’s fun to share your accomplishments and it keeps you on track to complete all the pieces, but some people who weren’t as comfortable with technology found it difficult.

This year for the first time it won’t be a mix-match, but thanks to your votes it will be a series of sundresses and sandals (alternating weeks) for the whole month of June, and focus on Paola Reina’s Las Amigas.  The first dress pattern and sandals will be up permanently free on the blog, the other two dresses will be available in PR size free for a short time only and then available on etsy in all sizes.

Who will these fit?

They’re designed for Paola Reina’s “Las Amigas”.  It’s a company I like because the dolls are made in Europe, and if you watch their video on youtube, it shows their factory roof is covered in solar panels.  Makes me feel less guilty buying things that are a little more environmentally friendly rather than made in China!  If you live in the US, you can sometimes find them for a reasonable price on ebay or  amazon.   Another not-too-expensive option, (around $40) and readily available in the US is Corolle Cheries.  Some other options include Bleuette (will need length modifications) and Little Darlings.

Does this pic look familiar?

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Yes, I actually made the dress last year and featured it under the hoodie, which was the final project of last year’s SSA.  Both the hoodie and the leggings from last year, and maybe even the long-sleeve T can pair nicely with sundresses, so if you have those patterns handy, think about how you could combine them to make a multi-season ensemble.  If you didn’t participate last year, all the patterns are available here

Get this week’s pattern free here

One of the things that makes the summer sew-along so much fun is that the patterns are simple. Depending how much time/sewing experience you have, your dress can be as easy or as elaborately decorated as you’d like.  It’s a lot of fun to share what you’ve done, as well as get inspiration from others, and you can do that on the Flickr group!

Post photos of your creations and see what others have done here!

 

Rococo challenge

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Congrats to more than a hundred people who successfully completed the summer sew-along this year!!  You can see everyone’s beautiful work here and if you didn’t participate, you can get all the patterns here.

If you’d like to keep up the sewing momentum, I started a new (and long overdue!) group for ALL the Wren*Feathers stuff you make!  It’s here (https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/pool/)

You can post anything you’ve made from my patterns in it.  And to encourage you to post, I have a challenge for you AND some tips for better doll photos.

Paola Reina’s las amigas have a collection of dolls in gorgeous dresses called “época” (pic above from their site) that are based on a mid-1700s pattern.  Their dresses have the hallmarks of this period, including a tightly fitted bodice with a fake stomacher done as a contrasting center, straight, elbow-length sleeves ending in big flounces, and wide skirts with a contrast center.  If you lived back then, depending on your socio-economic status, a lot of your dresses would be basically of this cut but more or less elaborate in fabric and decoration.  Since this WAS the rococo period, overflowing with decoration of every kind, and these dolls are small enough to not require too much fabric or trim, I thought it might be fun to see how decorative we can get!  Lace, embroidery, brocade, ribbons, ruffles…

Download the FREE rococo challenge pattern here

(it’s not a contest, just a challenge for fun!)

I also put together a highly opinionated guide:

Tips for better doll photos

I said it’s opinionated!  So as you read the guide, remember I’m trying to be helpful, not judging your photos!  If you look back at my early blog doll pix and the first pix in the guide, you’ll see I used to do most of the things that I’m now telling you NOT to do.  After taking thousands of doll pix I’ve become more aware of what makes them better, and you can just read the guide and skip the taking of a thousand pictures to improve yours.  No, you don’t even need a fancy camera!  I looked at one of the sew along pix and thought, hmmm, she did a nice job on that, let me just scroll down and see what kind of camera she used…it was an iPhone!

Something new is coming for Ten Ping next week and there are so many other things half-finished I can’t predict which ones will appear here unless I open a factory and hire people to finish them! 🙂

New pattern and second week of the summer sew along!

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You have summer sew along questions?  I have answers!  Keep posting your photos for each week here.  The pattern for week 1 is still up here so you can join in the fun if you haven’t started yet, but these downloads will disappear on Sunday so get them now and start sewing!

When you’ve finished week 4, the super simple summer sew along submission form is here.  All you need to do is put in your email and a link to each week’s photo.   Then I’ll email everyone on the list the pattern for week 5 AND a really nice bonus pattern where you can use your new knit-sewing skills.

And in new pattern news…

As you may have noticed, I’m now the proud owner of not one, but TWO Paola Reina las Amigas dolls!  It’s rare these days to find dolls made in Europe, and even rarer to find companies who respond to your inquiries quickly with good customer service, so PR has both of those things going for it and I’m hoping to add a few more of their dolls to my collection later.

Unfortunately for me, but good for them, both dolls came in soccer uniforms, which meant they needed new clothes, leading me  to peruse the PR website for ideas.  You might remember Liu’s outfit from a few weeks ago, and after enlarging the pic below and seeing the little matryoshka embroidered on the bodice, the cuteness was too overwhelming to resist and I just had to make something like it for my Cristi!

Image above from PR website, where you can get Cristi in this dress

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 So many commercial doll dresses have very basic forms and what makes them unique is their fabric, color, trim, etc.  As I was sketching out ideas, I started thinking…hmm…what about a collar like this?  And puffy sleeves?  Oh, wait!  I could use this to…  Things spiraled out of control and became a new pattern concept…

The Infinity Dress 

This pattern has a variety of sleeves, collars, and skirts to fit the basic bodices shown below.  It’s called the infinity dress, because it’s infinitely versatile. From these basic pieces you can make just about any style of basic dress you could want for a huge variety of dolls.

 

Those are just basic pieces, right?  So what’s different about this collection?  Most sets of patterns I’ve ever purchased that claim to fit multiple dolls start with one sloper and just increase it by a percentage based on height like this: bodices 1 There’s no guarantee it will fit your dolls of that height, because all dolls have different proportions, so you either get lucky and it fits, or you toss the pattern away in frustration.  bodices2

MY new pattern was re-designed for dolls with each different (child) body type that you’ve seen on the blog.

There are eight different pattern sizes are on separate pages, so you can just print the ones you need, as well as a fitting guide to help you use them for other dolls too.

These were my main models but the pieces will also fit all the dolls below and more:

All these dresses were made from this pattern:

OK, that alone should have you running over to etsy to get the collection.  Need another reason?

Included in this set you will get as .pdf files:

  • Croquis and sketching ideas
  • Pattern pieces
  • Fitting guide
  • Construction directions
  • Special decorating ideas and tutorials
  • Photos of outfits for inspiration

That’s almost 150 pages of instructions, inspiration, patterns and eye candy!

Need another reason?  How about free machine embroidery designs?

One of my other recent projects was coming up with a collection of machine embroidery small and dainty enough to be suited to smaller doll clothes.  There are all sorts of combinations of heirloom-style florals you know from hand embroidery, like french knots and bullion-style roses. See what’s included in the embroidery collection here.  If you have software that lets you combine/edit designs, you’ll be happy to know these are all “pre-cut” as tiny separate pieces so you can move them around easily!

Some designs from this embroidery set (.pes format only) are pictured on the dresses above, and can be used on anything, but fit so well with this new set of patterns I’m offering it FREE WITH PURCHASE of the new infinity dress collection.  Just put in the “notes to seller” box at checkout that you’d like the embroidery files!

Purple dress made from free pattern here: https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/contrast-pleat-dress.pdf

And bodice was enlarged to fit Little Darling, (~120% maybe?) and paired with a rectangular skirt.