Tag Archives: sasha

Japanese dollhouse finished, new 1950s patterns, coupon code and poll!

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Remember the Japanese dollhouse from last October?  If not, check these links:

I never added a kitchen because I a) ran out of wood and b) wasn’t really sure how to go about furnishing it.  So the other day I found a new rement set called “Country Life” that cried out, “Hey! Finish that kitchen and furnish it with me!”:

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And then, along with that there’s another new-ish set, “Grandparents’ Home”:

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[Images from re-ment website, click them to go to it]

If you’re into de-boxing pix, check the flickr album here.  While you’re on flickr, check the Wrenfeathers page where you can see a cute Wellie getting ready for bed by gammerangel:

And some really cute animal costumes made from this pattern by KB:

I know I said it was versatile, but I never would have come up with a skunk, which is why I LOVE when people post their ideas!

So, back to the original topic, I cajoled DH into cutting some wood and constructed a very simple, basic kitchen addition. (<– click that to download) to complete the Japanese dollhouse.

If you prefer sewing to woodworking, there’s a great new collection available on etsy now to fit Sasha and similar-sized dolls.

The other 1950s collection has dresses for AG size dolls.  This new one is specifically for the smaller girls and has 6 outfits with very versatile combine-able separates

As always, when I introduce a large collection, a coupon code appears!

 Use the code 20OFF20 to get 20% off any order of $20 or more until midnight on Sunday.


What happened to April?

Um…I’m thinking she went to summer camp and forgot to bring her journal? 🙂  Actually, she disappeared for the summer after you voted for the SSA to focus on Paola Reina and then the Wellies came out and I got carried away by their cuteness.  With the summer now over (for me anyway) I’m feeling very sad and guilty, because I had all sorts of travel plans and was going to take pictures of her at various interesting places here in CO. She’s actually been sitting in the same chair in the same outfit ALL summer long – although at least she missed my rattlesnake encounter at Garden of the Gods!  So anyway, I can bring April back and start making patterns for her again, or if you’d rather, I can focus more on the Wellie Wishers/H4H sizes in anticipation of their re-release in a few months.  This poll will close next Tuesday:

 

 

 

Bonne fête nationale!

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Or Happy Bastille Day if you speak English 🙂

Today is France’s national holiday, a bit similar to our 4th of July in that they both have parades and fireworks.  It’s also the perfect day to introduce you to my new(ish) doll, Francoise!

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I stumbled across the vintage version of this doll on Pinterest a long time ago, and  she reminded me of Bleuette, a French doll you might be more familiar with.  Not because they look anything alike, but because they were both associated with magazines that regularly published patterns for them.  Francoise was associated with the magazine “Modes et Travaux” and was introduced around the time Bleuette’s popularity was waning.  Francoise was not only a much more durable doll, but associated with a magazine moms may have already been getting for themselves, unlike Bleuette’s “La Semaine de Suzette” which was intended for children.

Her inaugural pattern in 1951 had the following introduction: (my translation – please excuse any errors)


We present to you “Francoise” whom your parents will be happy to offer you for Easter, if, as we don’t doubt, you have been wise and have worked hard in class during the second trimester.  Francoise is a ravishing doll of celluloid with beautiful porcelain eyes shaded with natural eyelashes specially designed to be easily dressed.  You are beginning to sew and knit, you will therefore be very proud to be able to make for yourself, like your mom, all the clothes for your little girl.  To that effect we will give you in every issue models destined for Francoise with all the explanations, patterns and advice for you to make them.  M et T is not only your mom’s favorite magazine it will also be yours since in each issue you will also have “your” page.


The doll you see above is an overpriced reproduction by Petitcollin of the 1950s doll by the same name.  Given that with shipping from Europe I paid about the same for this naked doll as an AG and she was actually made in France, I had high hopes for her quality.  Alas, they were dashed.  Her box arrived in poor shape – never a good sign.  Her body is made from some kind of squishy plastic, like a substantial dog toy or a rubber duck, and her head is harder plastic.  The squishy part was covered in some kind of powder, and when it was washed off, it was clear she had a lot of random scratches, rubs and marks.

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some of her seams are quite poorly trimmed/filled out

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I also ordered some expensive (~$15) shoes at the same time and they don’t match.  One has circle cutouts, one looks more like stars.

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But…I had waited SO long for her (shipping took ~3 weeks) and didn’t want to deal with the nightmare of exchanging her.  She has such a unique face and I had already made her a TON of clothes that I fitted on my Sasha.  All of those patterns might be ready as soon as next week!

Ok, Jen, I scrolled past all your text, where’s my free pattern? 🙂

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Click here

This was the second folk costume to appear for Françoise in 1953.  It claims to be from Marseille, but after doing some research I feel like it might be typical of Provence.  There is an amazing blog for folk costume enthusiasts called: http://folkcostume.blogspot.com/.  This image from Provence is from that blog and looks very similar to Francoise’s costume in my opinion!

 

Since it includes several pieces, we’ll  do half of them this week and half of them next week.  Don’t have a Francoise?  It works fine on slim dolls like Sasha and Magic Attic too!

Treasure Hunt

Were you wishing for something for the Wellies instead?  I’ve gotten a lot of requests for this:

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And came up with:

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I know, you just want to put your doll in those jammies and read her a bedtime story right? Even if she is being naughty and jumping on the bed 🙂  Several people have emailed me or posted pix of things they had already made for H4H and similar-size dolls that fit the WW, and it gave me an idea…

Here’s how to get  this PJ pattern:

  1.  Make something (or find something you already made) from an OLD Wrenfeathers pattern that fits the Wellie Wishers (free on this site or from my etsy shop, it doesn’t matter)
  2. Post a pic of it here (or somewhere else online if you can’t figure out flickr – do NOT just email me the pic!)
  3. Post a comment with the link to your pic and I’ll email you the PJ pattern!

If I don’t have a Wellie can I still have the PJ pattern?

Um…not right now.  I’m not being mean here!  Obviously not everyone has a Wellie Wisher, but I also know that those who do want to sew for them.  And how cool is it to find out you might already have patterns that fit?  I got out a TON of old H4H clothes and some of them fit my Wellie Wisher, but taking and posting all those pictures was daunting.  I’m offering the PJs as an incentive for people to do some of the picture taking and posting for me so we all can share the news about what fits!

It would be super great if you could find things that are NOT already posted; those would be the A-line jumper, puff-sleeve blouse and smocked A-line.  There are several cute things in the international collection that fit, other things from that same H4H sew-along, etc.

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Princess dresses including this one coming soon!

Totally off-topic but if you want a colored pencil comparison…

I know lots of you do other crafts besides sewing and I do too!  There’s been a wildfire burning about 20 mins northwest of our house, and in my stress I’ve been sitting in my dirty house doing a lot of drawing.  Why waste time cleaning when it might all go up in flames, right?  I recently picked up Wendy Hollender’s book on botanical drawing, and got it into my head to do one tulip from that book in all my different colored pencils.  I have so many sets because it’s impossible to decide which one is “the best”.  Ironically, Wendy suggests only a small set of polychromos, but lacking those I thought I’d see what came closest.  I think if for some reason I had to limit myself, I’d choose Derwent Coloursoft as my softer, main pencils, and either the Durer or Polycolor as my “detail” pencils, although I’m saving up for some Polychromos, so maybe I’ll add that info in the future.

In order to not have differences in the drawing detract from the pencils, I just did one, then scanned and printed it out multiple times on Strathmore 75lb mixed-media paper.  The scanner doesn’t quite do justice to the colors, but the settings were the same for all:

Colored pencil comparison

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

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newspaper[image of Kit from http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/static/home.jsp]

 

What?  You want a pattern for this week too?  Ok, fine… 🙂


Remember when we did shoe school last spring?  (If not, scroll down to find those links) I said that sewn shoes get made as “innies” or “outies” and there was another type called “lasted” which are named for the way they’re made – on lasts.

 This tutorial will show you how to make the lasts, patterns, and shoes for any doll .

There’s also a pattern for a sewn version using any method from the previous shoe tutorials for Maplelea.

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/shoe-school-104-chukka-boots-and-outies/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/shoe-school-103-mary-janes/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/shoe-school-102-espadrilles-and-toms/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/shoe-school-101/

 

Something for everyone to knit!

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As I learned from my New Year’s stats, many people from Ravelry find their way to this blog.  So I’m going to assume there’s a sizeable percentage of you that know how to knit/crochet.  What about felting?

There’s something kind of magical about felting, where a loose mass of wool becomes a firm 3-D object.  I was an avid needle-felter for a while, but my adventures with wet-felting raw wool were usually terrible, and I rarely have success with any of those knitting/weaving projects whose directions end with, “and now just toss it in the washing machine with some jeans and wait for the felting magic to happen!”

This, on the other hand, is a really easy and fun project, as well as a great way to use up little leftover bits of yarn.  If you have some gauge swatches gathering dust, this could be a great use for them too!

Even if you are the world’s second slowest knitter (I’m the slowest) 🙂 you can probably make these cozy felted doll slippers in an afternoon.  And best of all, the size is easily adaptable to many different sizes of dolls!

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Click here for free felted slippers pattern

Doll is Maru and Friends “Savannah” wearing PJs from patterns available here

 

In case you were anxious to find out if I did get a new Maplelea, the answer is yes!  I’ll let you wait to find out who it was, just like I had to wait, but she’s very cute!  🙂  After spending so much time on the Ten Ping outfits, it’s quite different to suddenly switch back to a “very large” doll, and some of you will be thrilled to know more 18″ doll projects are on the way for her over the next couple of weeks!

Happy New Year!!

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Really, Jen?  MORE doll clothes?  YES!  Doll clothes are a vital part of play for children, helping to spark imaginations and create new scenarios. I’m a speech-language pathologist, and at work I see a big difference between language-disordered and typically-developing kids in how they play with dolls.  I have a few sets of wooden dolls with magnetic clothing covering everything from princesses to sports outfits to swimsuits.  For a kindergartner I might give them the dolls and hold on to the clothes, pretending I’m “the store.”  A typically-developing kid will walk her doll over to me and say, “I’m going to the beach, can I buy a swimsuit please?”  A language disordered kid is more likely to say something like, “I want a pink one.”  If they like the dolls, this is a great way to teach vocabulary. “Oh, you want a pink swimsuit.  I bet your doll is going swimming, what else does she need to take with her?”  It can also help scaffold stories.  First, the doll gets her suit, towel, etc., next she drives to the beach, etc.  So, although many people might not think of them that way, doll with a nice variety of clothes can be a really educational toy, especially if an adult is willing to add to the wardrobe/join in the play.  For older kids to adult collectors,  sewing for dolls is a wonderful way to “play” with them and develop a valuable skill at the same time.

The New Year always brings a statistics summary from WordPress.  One of the things they list is my top five referring sites:

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I wasn’t surprised Pinterest was at the top, with 15,272 referrals, as well as referrals from my own site to other patterns on the site.  A big surprise for me was how many referrals came from http://www.ravelry.com/ and http://www.agirlforalltime.com/. I guess I hadn’t even realized they knew who I was!  In thanks to AGAT, and because I know a lot of people got a new Clementine for Christmas, I’m offering this new, authentic 1940s snow suit pattern FREE!

It’s been snowing and far below zero for a couple of days, so Clementine took advantage of the “heat wave” (15F/-9C) to make some snow angels and go sledding today.  I made her outfit based on this 1940s Carolyn Lee paper doll drawn by Queen Holden.  I share Nicki’s Baba’s opinion about white mittens, (anyone get that reference?) so I made them red. 🙂

 

Get the pattern here 

Thanks for reading the blog! I wish everyone a fabulous 2015!!

 

4-season dress: winter

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When the weather is gray and all the colorful leaves have disappeared, it’s time to break out the bold colors for winter.

This is not just about a coat, but about seeing the “bones” of a pattern and using what you have in a different way.  Yep, you already have the pattern…it’s the felt coat from two weeks ago!

With a bit of ingenuity and totally different construction method, it turned into this puffy winter jacket:

Hat/boot info and a picture tutorial to adapt the felt coat pattern to make this is here

In pursuit of perfect piping, I’m taking next week off from blogging so I can focus on a project that’s been causing me more grief than I would have anticipated.  Then Little Darling will be doing some traveling to bring us a really fun set of posts full of sewing and crafting on a theme that should last us all the way to the New Year!

4-season dress: spring

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We’re going a little backward with the seasons this week with a felt jacket for spring, or any other season that needs some extra warmth, really.    It’s so easy, you can quickly make a few in different colors for each season.  Alternatively, make it in a neutral color and use the same jacket for all seasons.  This week’s pattern also includes instructions to give it a springy touch with a rickrack flower pin that would also look nice on a hat or headband.

Get the pattern here

The jacket came from a modified version of this one:

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Free pattern for an easy felt coat for maru

You know how with your craft projects things don’t always go as planned?

The beginning of this outfit was me trying to digitize a very simple, quick little flower as machine embroidery to decorate the felt jacket.  Circles are about as easy as it gets, and I quickly made a few little circular flowers and arranged them in a pleasing way.  Then it came time to choose the colors… pastels for spring?  While that would’ve been the logical choice to go with the rest of this post, all the beautiful autumn colors outside my window were irresistible.  And then while I was working on it, someone sent me this pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/241364861255359480/ and my few simple flowers on a jacket turned into an embroidered vest and a skirt border, and eventually became this harvest outfit.

Blouse and skirt from the European folk costume pattern copied at 77%.  Also check out this post for the same outfit with different embroidery and a downloadable machine embroidery file for a vest.