A 1960s collection sized for both AG and slim 16″-18″
(yes, including the new Girl for all Time, Sam!!)
(yes, including the new Girl for all Time, Sam!!)
Well, this pattern was more difficult to figure out than I had anticipated, but I did promise it would be free… So today you can download (FREE!) the blouse part of the overall outfit you voted for a few weeks ago. BUT make sure to download it today, because it’s going to disappear tomorrow! Next week we’ll make the overalls.
The expanded version of the pattern, available all at once in my etsy shop right now, also includes a puffed sleeve variation, a skirt to make the overalls into a jumper AND an additional set of pattern pieces sized for slim dolls like Sasha/Kidz n Cats/Girl for All Time/Kathe Kruse.
Ever wonder happens when you buy one of my patterns? (Well, obviously, you print it out and go sew) Me? I do a little happy dance, and then I add that total to a list I keep on my fridge. That’s my budget for buying new dolls, fabrics, trims etc. Buying new fabric and dolls inspires me to create new patterns for you, but you are also encouraging me to produce more free patterns. I try to give back to the doll community and keep a good ratio of free patterns to more complex ones that end up being for sale. If you’re thinking, oh… that’s nice… another free pattern, I will share with you some of the emails that I have gotten. There are moms and grandmas out there who have to save up to buy the little girl in their life a Hearts for Hearts Girl or Our Generation doll. I have gotten more than one email from them saying they can’t afford to buy patterns or new fabric, but are so thankful they can use my free patterns and cut up old clothes to make things for their little girl’s doll.
The newest collection I’ve created is a Regency era set. Most of the pieces are based on AG’s Caroline wardrobe, and I was doing this as a personal project, thinking that I might end up with a Carolyn for Christmas. Well, “Santa” informed me that probably won’t happen, but Lanie was nice enough to fill in as a model. If there’s going to be a Caroline at your home soon, or your other dolls love to pretend they are in a Jane Austen novel, these patterns will let you clothe them in AG-style outfits for a lot less than it would cost you to buy the “real thing”. Everything you see below is included in one set of patterns to fit AG-size dolls here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/165050561/regency-sewing-pattern-set-for-american?ref=shop_home_active
Last year, someone (I think it was Barb) asked for Halloween costumes that could be creative, like something other than the standard witch, ghost, etc. Well, it took a year, but I came up with something that can fill a wide variety of costume needs! It can also serve as cozy pajamas, and it’s just adorable when dolls dress up as teddy bears, no matter what time of year it is!
Violet wanted to go as a tiger this year, and Atsuko decided to be a teddy bear. There are no instructions included with this pattern, it’s fairly straightforward. If you can sew a raglan T-shirt and basic pajama pants, you can sew this. (CLICK photo to enlarge)
I apologize that I did not have time to resize this for Sasha/Kidz n Cats. Enlarging the 13-14″ pattern to 133% should work, although you may need to adjust the length of sleeves and pants. Quarter inch seams are included.
You know how I said two new historical collections were coming? Well, the next one has been delayed a bit, because it’s inspired by Molly, who AG is retiring at the end of this year 😦 and Clementine, the new doll from “A girl for all time,” who is supposed to be from the 1940s. She was supposed to arrive mid-September, then late September, then was supposed to ship this week…well she hasn’t yet, but when she finally does arrive, she’ll have lots of new clothes ready and waiting for her!
Her measurements are similar to Sasha’s, but she is jointed like the earlier Kidz n Cats. When the company first started, I sincerely contemplated Matilda, but you had to order the dolls from the UK, which meant high postage costs. They now have a US website: http://www.agirlforalltime.us/ which is offering free shipping at the moment should you want to get one (which really makes me regret pre-ordering Clementine in August!)
So I leave you with a “sneak peek” of what’s to come next week (assuming Clementine arrives soon for her photo shoot):
This top reminds me of the very short empire-waist Sasha dresses from the 70s. She wore them alone or sometimes over pants. (All these photos will enlarge if you click them)
You can gather the sleeves (or shorten them) and wear over pants or lengthen into a dress.
Leave the sleeves ungathered for a more AG “Julie” 70’s look. She’s wearing this over the gathered pocket skirt from last week.
And in flood updates, I haven’t been more than a mile away from my house in two weeks but they expect to have the main road out of our canyon open by…Thanksgiving. Then again, our gas wasn’t supposed to be turned on for another 2-3 weeks and we just got it back yesterday! Hooray! And not a moment too soon, since the snow line should be dropping to 7500′ tonight. (For you flatlanders, “snowline” means that precipitation falls as snow above that altitude.) For the moment, with the road closures, I have had to take a leave of absence from work. Bad for me, since the best part of my job is working with kids and the yuckiest part is the paperwork/bureaucracy. Now I won’t be able to see the kids or get a paycheck, but I still keep getting emails about paperwork to do. 😛 It’s good for you, though, because I’ll have more time to devote to sewing/blogging. So look for lots of new stuff and probably a coupon for my etsy store next month!
Oh, and speaking of “good for you” I also made this to go with the skirt the JLY dolls come with, since I think that pink tee they come in looks like a onesie:
Violet’s kawaii smock is a ROUGH pattern I made for personal use (ROUGH = pieces aren’t marked and there are no directions) but I thought I’d post it here. Lots of you have been sewing since before I was born, so I’m sure you can figure it out. 🙂 It would make a great PJ top too in flannel or a lovely dress if lengthened in a dark/print fabric and contrasting white yoke/collar.
What’s autumn like where you live? Are you wearing shorts? Raking leaves? If you live in Coal Creek Canyon, your autumn consists of being trapped on a mountain 20 miles from the nearest grocery store with a flooded downstairs, ruined carpet, 50 degree temps and no heat or hot water because the roads look like the pic below!
This is a neighbor’s house. That new “waterfall” is courtesy of the flood, and those exposed black pipes are gas lines, normally buried maybe 4-5′ underground…hence no heat or hot water! Our neighbor said all that damage happened in one night. What you can’t see is the mudslide that buried one of his cars…
There’s only one road out of the canyon and it looks like this.
I actually did this post long before the flood hit us, so the rest of it is happy and doll-related.
The “official” beginning of fall is this Sunday; is your doll ready for apple picking and drives through the country to see the changing foliage?
I put together a couple of pieces to add to your doll’s fall wardrobe. This is different from the summer sew-along, where all the pieces were intended to go together and be mix and match. Instead, these are separates to work with things your doll already has. Maybe she can even put them together with things you made in the summer sew-along!
The fun and frilly A-line dress from summer turns sophisticated in a neutral palette of colors with piping instead of rickrack to give it a more tailored look. It is topped by a charcoal colored pleated jacket with red accents giving the ensemble a “pop” of color.
Included in this collection is:
A sleeveless jumper to wear by itself if you live in a warm area, or over a long sleeve T-shirt if you live in a colder area. (On Sasha)
An A-line skirt with eye-catching gathered pockets (on Marietta)
If your dolls would like a little something to top their new outfits, the pattern for the pleat-front jacket (on the AG) is here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jenwrenne
Coming next week: A long sleeved boho-style top reminiscent of some of Sasha’s 70s dresses that you can leave short to wear over leggings or lengthen into a dress
There are also TWO new historical collections in the works, (look for the first one in October…maybe)
There is a new line of dolls by Käthe Kruse called Marie Kruse Stylista. They are basically the standard Toni dolls, with differently painted eyes. They come with two sheets of clothing that kids can cut out and adorn with glitter and rhinestones and rearrange in a variety of ways as well as separate clothing packs for more possibilities.
I was so excited by this wonderful idea, that I ordered one. Well, when I got her I was kind of disappointed. Mine came with her wig glued on sort of sideways. She had not been secured into her box properly and by the time she arrived her face had several shiny spots rubbed onto it. I could have dealt with that if the clothing were great, but what I got in the clothing package bore no resemblance to the promotional video you can see here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmjd_7Q3gXs (I love that they dressed the girls in the same outfits as the dolls!)
It looks like you will get an entire wardrobe of coordinating clothes. What I actually got was a bodysuit and bag out of blue and green striped fabric, and a long T-shirt dress, pants and a shawl out of rainbow striped fabric. Oh, and a whole bottle of gold glitter glue and a package of red rhinestones. So, not only was I mildly dissatisfied with the doll, I was really dissatisfied with the clothing selection. For $100, the doll did not even come with shoes, and had mismatched clothes. In her defense, you can buy her in Europe for a lot less – I found her on a German toy website for 59 Euros and free shipping, which right now is about $78. So I sent her back, and ordered a somewhat more expensive Elea Julie doll instead. I’ve been having a lot of regrets, because the concept of the Stylista clothing is pretty darn cool. Not to mention the fact that Julie was HORRIBLY STAINED! I mean, really, who uses magenta thread to serge the inside of a doll garment? That’s just begging for stains. Anyway, after two weeks slathered in zit cream and wrapped in saran wrap she was better, and I replicated a similar wardrobe for my Julie. A lot of the pieces in the MK line are just simple cylinders that can be used in a number of ways, such as arm/leg warmers, or larger ones that could be used maybe as a skirt or a hat or cowl or tube top or….
The original clothing looks like it was sewn on a huge industrial embroidery machine. It comes with the interfacing still attached, with white sewing lines and red cutting lines. The clothing completely lacks any kind of fasteners or finishing, but I think that’s part of the charm. Random bits of scraps can be used as headbands, belts, scarves, etc. I was able to make everything you see pictured in just under an hour!
DOWNLOAD IT HERE It will not fit the Marie Kruse dolls, but if you have one and are a seamstress, obviously you can trace that clothes that came with her and sew lots more.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and comment! Results of the voting from the last post are:
Yeah, it was pretty close so there are two things in the works right now...
Update: I regretted sending back the Stylista so much, that I ordered another one and it looks like maybe I had gotten a bad one, because the new one was fine and her clothes matched. Although there weren’t as many pieces as the girls in the video got and, seriously, no shoes for that price? Anyway, I found out she fits Sasha clothes if you print/copy them at 90% (may need to lengthen arms if it’s long sleeved) and fits AG clothes copied at 70% although they need a bit of tweaking and lengthening also. I’m in the process of creating a cute set of fall clothes as well as a coordinated combo for her based on this:
I know the AG fans saw and probably wanted this in the latest catalog and then saw it was $90 and thought, “If I only had the patterns I could make it for free!” Stay tuned!
Make your dolls a Fairy Cottage!
This design is perfect for 18” or smaller dolls. It is meant to be a playhouse for them, similar to the kids’ playhouses that are made to fit over a card table, but I imagine you could easily scale it up to any size you want.
At least 2 – 18” dolls can fit comfortably inside, yet it collapses to a small pile of poles and fabric which is easy to store. After I made the first one, my mind started racing with all the other possibilities: a little log cabin, a medieval-style tent for knights at a jousting tournament, a haunted house, a beach tent, covering the poles with strings of silk flowers to make a flower-selling or farmer’s market stall, making curtains to make it a stage, using bark-print fabric like a hollow log for stuffed animals to live in…
Dress your doll for her new fairy house! Fairy patterns have been available for slim 16”-18” dolls as well as Hearts for Hearts for a while, and now by request, the girl fairy patterns and accessories have been re-sized to fit the AG dolls! You can get the pattern here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/154844587/fairy-sewing-pattern-for-american-girl
If you already have the fairy set for one size doll and just need the pattern pieces for another, you can get them from me via email for $4.99. (jenwrenne at hotmail dot com)
There are some lovely things being posted on the flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/groups/summersewalong/ including the outfits on a variety of different dolls, some creative ideas and cute coordinates!
Here is a versatile new pattern that is one of my favorites in the summer collection! Make it
Short for a top
Tunic length for a beach cover up
Tunic length to blouse over capris/shorts
A longer dress
I had been hoping by now to be able to take these pix outside but just as the last snow was melting and my crocuses felt brave enough to come up, once again a snow storm came through. While we high-altitude-desert dwellers are always grateful for precipitation, it would be nice if it could fall as rain (it’s May for crying out loud!). This morning there were 10″ of snow on the ground and it was 10 degrees F. It can be challenging to take good pictures in snow, especially when the doll has medium to dark skin like the AG above. You are liable to either lose detail of your snowy scene or have your doll not show up well enough to see her clearly with all the extra reflected light from the snow. The morning pictures came out awful. This pic below was taken in the afternoon. The sun was shining on her back, so her face was in the shadows and then I used a fill-in flash.
In other news, as I write this, this blog is almost up to 200 followers! If we can exceed that by the end of the sew-along, I’m planning another contest – it won’t be sewing related, but it’s something fun, easy and do-able by anyone and you may even have what you need in your recycle bin! Stay tuned…
If you’re an AG fan, you probably saw (and maybe wanted!) this in their most recent catalog:
Yeah, me too. But $28? Well, now you can make the top (and a pattern for similar bottoms is here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/130007763/versatility-pants-and-denim-jacket)
Remember a few weeks ago I said your wardrobe would look more authentic if you mix in something besides quilting fabrics? I used the A-line skirt pattern from last week for this denim skirt:
But your dolls may also want some twill/denim shorts? A jacket? If you sew for the smaller dolls, you may already have this pattern: https://www.etsy.com/listing/110681487/jeans-and-denim-jacket-sewing-pattern?ref=shop_home_active and probably (like me) considered it for autumn. Well, what about making the jacket in a lightweight white or khaki twill to throw on during a chilly summer evening?
And the pants can easily be turned into shorts like this:
by sewing a tiny tuck before cutting them out and using the pocket lining as the outside pocket. I made the belt from grosgrain ribbon and the buckle is from my Army-Navy surplus (they are sold there for making bracelets out of parachute cord)
If you are sewing for bigger (AG) dolls a new pattern is available in my etsy shop that includes the jacket in their size as well as a pants pattern I call “versatility” It includes shorts, capris, pants and jeans with variations like real pockets, cuffs, belt loops and two styles of waistband. It’s NOT elastic waist, so it provides a nice smooth fit under Ts, etc.
The happiest news ever! Just in time to coordinate with the launch of my newest pattern, Etsy now supports instant downloads! What does that mean for you? No more waiting for me to email it to you! If you need to sew something at 2am, now you can! Also, no more annoying emails back and forth about a file being too big or your firewall blocking multiple files! How exciting is that? Check out all the patterns available instantly here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/jenwrenne
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.