Tag Archives: sewing pattern

Summer sew along week 2

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Don’t you love when you spent hours on a pattern in the first place and then a few weeks later go to paste in pattern pieces in preparation for putting onto the blog and find out they somehow didn’t save, and then you have to go rooting through your recycle bin examining tiny scraps for half an hour and then scan them and redo the whole mess? Yeah, me too. And then after that when you find the original file that you knew you had done but saved with a different name…

This week we will make the pants and boots for our medieval boy. If you finished some of your tablet weaving, you can also make the legwraps! If not, you can use some grosgrain ribbon instead. 🙂

Get this week’s patterns and background info here:

SSA Week 5: Let’s go to the beach and…nap?

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No snow this week, but I was in a coat while taking these pix. Good thing dolls don’t get cold like people or they definitely would not have stayed out by the lake so long in these outfits!


Get both sizes of this pattern (AG and 16″) here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/699760210/movie-star-beach-pajamas-1930s-pattern?ref=listing_published_alert

Let’s go to the beach and…nap?  😊 While I’m sure there are a lot of people who think that’s a fine idea, most children probably go to the beach to swim!  So, were they swimming in these beach pajamas?  Nope!  Here’s the scoop:

By this time, swimsuits for actual swimming looked similar to what we’d wear now, just with a bit more conservative of a cut, especially at the leg openings – what we call “boy short” swimsuits today.  Based on the old catalogs I’ve perused, they were often made of wool, but a new fabric called “lastex” was beginning to catch on.  It was made from a rubber/cotton or rubber/rayon yarn, and must have been so much more comfortable, especially when wet! 

Here is a pic (not mine) of Shirley in a 1930s swimsuit: https://i.ebayimg.com/thumbs/images/g/a4wAAOSwdT9bcD64/s-l225.jpg

Unlike today’s beaches and resorts, where people stroll around in swimsuits all day or maybe just throw on a pair of shorts over them to go to dinner, the 1930s were a bit more glamorous.  The style icon Coco Chanel popularized beach pajamas a decade earlier, when it was still a bit scandalous for women to be seen in pants in public, and by the 1930s they were ubiquitous attire for strolling the boardwalks and being seen in resorts.  

As children, their mothers may have worried about tearing the lace on their petticoats climbing trees, but I imagine these little girls who experienced the freedom of running around to play in pants continued to influence fashion by choosing pants for casual/recreational wear as they grew up!

Can you believe this is already the last week of the sew-along? I’ve been feeling a bit of a disconnect with it this year because of the pix being scattered in random places, so it feels like there’s no way I could be seeing them all which is really the “funnest” 😉 part of the SSA for me. Keep posting your pix though and inspiring everyone else! Here are a couple to whet your appetite to check out the flickr and instagram pages:     

There are some great ideas on the flickr page, like these dirndls (click to go to flickr and see who posted them!)

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And this one I actually had to look twice, because at first it wasn’t clear that it was the nightgown from week 2, cleverly styled as a robe!

SSA 2019 - Starlette Robe for KNC doll

The tagging on Instagram might not be putting all the pix in one spot for everyone to see…you actually have to tag me in the photo, not just use a hashtag for it to show up on this page.  You can see which ones have shown up here:

https://www.instagram.com/jenwrenne/tagged/

One great idea I really wanted to share was using bias instead of rickrack on this dirndl:https://www.instagram.com/p/ByNw6fSJurB/

Yes, it’s the end of the sew-along, but don’t be sad, there are TONS of fun things coming up in the next couple of weeks!

Make a kimono with “fake” lining

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Have you heard the term “grail” doll?  Mamachapp Moko-chan, specifically this pigtail one, was one of my grail dolls and eventually did arrive and then got hidden to be a present for some special occasion. I found her while cleaning the doll room because DH is apparently not a good hider of dolls 😉  He is good at taking pix of them though, as you can see from Moko-chan’s first photo shoot: https://www.flickr.com/photos/67465307@N08/albums/72157697316555690 

I recently got another version of Moko-chan, who came in a kimono.  You might recall from some previous posts the difference between kimono and yukata, but to avoid linking here, I’ll mention one main difference, which is lining.

Many tiny doll clothes sell for exorbitant prices, and Azone/Obitsu are some of the higher-end ones of these. You can get this 21cm Obitsu body for around $20, and maybe another $20for a head with rooted hair, so what you’re really paying the high price for with the Mamachapps is basically the eyes, styling of hair, and clothing.  The pictures of this doll in her promotional photos made it look like she was wearing a lined kimono, so I was startled to take it off and find out that it was not only unlined, but the seams weren’t even finished on the inside!  I did love the effect of the fake “lining” though, for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s definitely easier and takes less fabric than lining the whole garment, and secondly, it avoids the dreaded“bulk” I’m always going on about with doll clothes.  Something I found very interesting though,and wouldn’t have come up with on my own is using fabric on the BIAS for this purpose.  This is a great idea that really improves the drape of the pieces, especially the lining for the body itself, helping it to curve nicely around the body rather than sticking out stiffly.  Fabrics cut on the bias don’t fray the same way as those cut on the straight grain, so I can even before giving of the sleeve “lining,” although I still would have preferred it to be at least pinked.   

Of course, I needed to make a kimono for my original Moko-chan too, so the pattern here is based on the one her sister came with.  It fits an Obitsu 21-23cm body or anyone else with similar measurements such as Dal, Tiny Betsy (shorten arms and bottom hem), or even Licca and Blythe bodies. Don’t have any of those?  The tutorial for fake lining can be used with any yukata/kimono pattern on the blog but is probably most useful for the small doll ones like Ten Ping or Little Darling. 

Get the tutorial here

There are more kimono patterns to use with this “lining” technique here:

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/free-pattern-for-february-kimono-geta-obi.pdf (this fits AGAT and Kidz n Cats)

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/more-ten-ping/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/?s=little+darling+in+japan

Summer Sew Along week 3

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Reminder: Today is the last day to get your entries in for last week’s Ramble costume and the boot pattern will be emailed tomorrow.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for the links!

Oh my goodness…you did SUCH a nice job on the last two weeks of costumes!

I urge you to go see everyone’s work here, I’ll just link a few examples:

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The safari hat is just perfect!  This is by Juliette Auckland

SSA2 - Ramble Suit

The contrasting fabrics are such a nice touch here in this costume by sewbig

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Check out the amazing pleats on the skirt here by slpslee

It seems to have resized just fine for smaller dolls too:

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(By Helen Webb)

Bunnies or Trolls?

by nethenekhthon

There were so many beautiful things from the first week too:

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like this modernized version by Alison Moreton

Wrenfeathers SSA2018

This one by quickdrawannie

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and beautiful lace on this one by catknapp

 

This week is an Edwardian Seaside Costume!

 

After last week’s challenge, you’ll be happy to know this one is pretty quick and easy!  I had every intention of taking the dolls to what passes for a “seaside” here in Colorado, but long story short, it didn’t happen.  I know lots of beaches near the actual oceans are rocky, so maybe we can imagine they’re not in my backyard, they’re climbing on rocks to get down to the water?  🙂

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Get the pattern here today only

The resized ramble from last week is not quite ready for AG size yet…next week for sure!

If you want more info about the sew-along in general, please check the first week’s post.

 

To participate in the sew-along:

 

 

Boy dolls and photoshopping without photoshop!

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Just like you might have done, I also lined up outside the AG store before they opened on Jan 1st!  The original plan was to get Luciana, and, like, all her stuff 😉 but instead I ended up with…a boy doll!  Longtime followers know that boys had a major part in the blog at the beginning when I was smitten with the Kidz n Cats, and Sasha’s Gregor and Caleb have appeared from time to time too.  The opportunity to do more with boy dolls was compelling, and instead of Luciana, I ended up with the doll you see above, who has a couple of names/themes right now I’m trying to decide between.

I had actually made the coveralls you see him wearing for Luciana before I saw them in person, inspired by pix people had leaked of her flight suit, but lacking the right color zipper to make a blue one.  When I finally saw it, I liked mine better, even though it was challenging to make.  The AG flight suit just has fake stitching to simulate pockets and iron-on prints for patches.  It seems like quality is going downhill lately, with terribly cheap shoes on the truly me dolls and a much cheaper body.

When I put the coveralls on the new boy, DH said he looked just like an air force pilot, so I put him into a pic to make it more realistic.

Get the pattern and photoshopping without photoshop tutorial here!

Yes, this pattern is kind of challenging, especially if you’re doing real pockets.

Looking for something similar but easier?

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/halloween-animal.pdf

Here are some more of my free patterns that are perfect for AG boys:

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/summer-wardrobe-part-2-and-what-about-the-boys/

Click to access welcome-su-jin.pdf

Click to access mix-match-week-31.pdf

Click to access ag-mix-match-week-2.pdf

Click to access missing-sleeve.pdf

 

 

More cute Wellie stuff!

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A HUGE thank you to everyone that shared their pix, and if you don’t have a Wellie, you can now get the pattern for the jammies here.  Yes, they fit H4H; the top is a wee bit baggy although for PJs that shouldn’t matter much!  The top would make a nice blouse too; the collar gives it a sweet, vintage feel in my opinion.  How about a feedsack print with a white collar?

Speaking of H4H and things they can share, the princess collection for them is ready so you can keep adding to their dress up box: 
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And the beautifully fitted “Versatility” pants/capris/shorts with working (or not) pockets that have been available for AG and Maru are now in Wellie/H4H size:

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In case you’re wondering…no, these dolls are not exactly the same size.  But when you overlap the closures in back to accommodate the slightly (1/2″) thinner torso of the H4H, they can share many patterns.  I’m thinking I may do more for them, especially because  Joanne commented and linked to FB saying the H4H are coming back! Supposedly in time for the 2016 holiday season – hooray!

Draft your own pattern: undies!

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On the survey, LOTS of people wanted undies for every doll you could think of, but it’s time for true confessions here…my dolls usually don’t wear them!  At small scale they may actually affect the fit of pants, and more importantly, often when I’m doing a photo shoot, the doll needs to be able to undergo lots of fast clothing changes. If the undies interfere, off they go!  The only exceptions I make are for historical dolls that wear bloomers and dolls that came with underwear that fits so tightly it doesn’t impact the fit or rapid changing of clothes.

But you said you wanted them, and I strive to make this blog helpful to the doll sewing world, so here’s a tutorial on how to make them for ANY doll. If your dolls also don’t wear undies, adapt this to make a swimsuit instead.

Here today, gone tomorrow!

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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.

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!!

 

Little Darling in Japan: Week 4

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Ok, we’re more than halfway done with our “trip” to Japan.  Still to come: sashiko quilting and some furnishings, a skirt-style hakama to wear with a yukata, and  celebrating the New Year.  As I put all of these on my calendar and schedule the posts, it’s amazing how quickly the holidays will be upon us.  Wanna know what I asked Santa for?

I actually wanted the one in the hat outfit below, but it’s been sold out for a while and Santa couldn’t find it.  Also he mentioned something like, “Why do you care what outfit it comes in?  You’re just going to rip off the clothes and leave them in the box forever anyway!”

Hmmm.  I see his point.  And I bet you can guess what I’ll be making first for my Christmas doll… 🙂

Ok, back to dolls I DO have already!

So this is my favorite outfit in this whole collection, and I was saving it for later, but decided to post it now.  This peasant-style outfit consists of “straw” sandals, monpe pants and a hippari jacket made with boro-style quilting.  The “little ragamuffin” look can be so endearing on dolls, and is perfect for Little Darling’s wistful face.

Get the pattern here