Tag Archives: piet mondrian

Summer sew-along week 2


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.


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.


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)


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”.


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:


and have other amazing adventures!


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:


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


Doll Photo Contest!


Inspired by online pictures of all the outfits people make for their BJDs, I’m starting to design a few I call “LGG” or “little girl goth.” There is a fine line between “goth” and heirloom sewing in my mind since the techniques are similar (pintucks, lace, etc) and the main difference is the fabric and how it’s accessorized.  So these patterns can really be used for either look.

This one is called “Gloomy” although no dress can make Galina lose her cheerful smile!

It has a totally different, more heirloom feel in pastel batiste with more tucks and lace seen here on a BFC Yuko doll.

This one in gray is called “Melancholy” but think how nice it would look in a delicate flowered cotton print or a bright taffeta…

The one above was inspired by a dress for Licca from the Japanese “My favorite doll” series #13.

Patterns for both dresses are available as a set here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jenwrenne,  but you could win the Melancholy dress!  Read on…

And for something completely different, Sashas look so “mod” in this 1965 Piet Mondrian dress.  (pattern fits the Kidz and MAC too)  Want this pattern free?  How about the dress? Read on…

So…it’s time for my first doll photo contest.  I’ve been hesitating to hold one, because I know I’ve entered lots of different online doll contests and I never win anything, which makes me grumpy.
This is a little different from your average contest, and here are the details:
In my “day job” I’m a speech-language pathologist who works with elementary school kids.  One task that’s very difficult for many of them is the ability to understand and narrate a story.  One therapy task I often use to help them is a series of wordless pictures that they have to put in order and tell a story about.  I have a small supply of these that the kids are getting tired of.

So here’s where you come in:  The theme of the contest is “Sequences”
Submit a series of 4 pictures that fit together on one page in Word or Powerpoint with your name and email address somewhere in the document to jenniebagrowski  at  hotmail.com  (replace “at” with @)  The pictures can have any dolls and props you want and must connect together to narrate a sequence of an everyday activity appropriate for an average 5-8 year old.  Some ideas: building a snowman, making valentines, baking cookies, making a sandwich, playing a sport, wrapping a present, getting ready for school, painting a picture, building a block tower, etc.  When you’re thinking about how to structure your sequence,  I usually give them  verbal cues to help connect the pictures like:  First, the boy…Next he… After that…Finally…  An example is here: sequence contest
How it will work:  I will print out all the pictures and laminate them and my students will use them to tell stories.  They will choose their favorite set of pictures to produce a written story and the set of pictures with the most “votes” (stories) from the kids will win.

Everyone who enters the contest gets my newest pattern – Piet Mondrian as well as my gratitude for helping to create therapy materials, warm fuzzy feelings about helping kids, and many more good things to come on this blog… 🙂
The winner gets: their choice of the Melancholy or Piet Mondrian dress in the pix above
Yes! You can enter more than once!
Want tips for composing a great doll photo? https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/photo-tips.pdf

The deadline for photo submissions is October 21 and the winner will be announced November 2.

(So as not to overwhelm my inbox and printer it would be great if the entries trickled in slowly rather than all at the last minute) 🙂

If you’re not into photography, I do take custom sewing orders OR the dress patterns are also available here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jenwrenne.