Tag Archives: sewing

We Wish You a Retro Christmas part 3

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This week we have the “sock” from our “sock full of gifts” series.  There was a version of this stocking for dad too that had a stocking decorated with a pipe and cigarette, which might have been period correct, but seems really strange and unrelated to Christmas.  Since I don’t have a doll fireplace, I attached a loop and hung mine on my tree.   Although one original hope of this series was to give you a craft to do with a child, the pieces for this are really small and even I found it challenging to get the tiny felt pieces to look nice.  There are some suggestions to make it easier in the pattern.

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Get the pattern here

I forgot to share this version of Nanea’s jammies by firstladycpm:

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They have an authentic drop seat and pocket, how cute is that? (click to see more pix)

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I also haven’t yet reviewed the 15″ Big Lots dolls that Janet told me about in October!  Sad to have a backlog of stuff to do for the blog, but that’s one of the things on the list.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I got one and the bodies are pretty much identical to the Wellies in terms of measurements, although the jointing is a little different at the hips so they don’t look exactly the same when standing.  For $15 the price:quality ratio is good and they currently come in 3 different versions, making them a nice, inexpensive alternative to the Wellies!

(above image from http://airbornesurfer.com/tag/3-2-1-contact/)

In other news, it’s only 18 days now until the release of the next GOTY, which could be good or bad.  Jan 1 may not the best time to be considering an expensive doll purchase because Santa may have just brought you one and you will feel guilty getting a new one OR won’t appreciate the one from Santa.  Oh yeah, and you’re out of cash after buying all those other presents!

Of course, if what Santa brought you was an AG gift card…there are some really cool pix floating around the internet of Luciana, should you be inclined to spoil surprises for yourself  by doing searches for her dog or habitat.  🙂  The clothes I’ve seen so far though are kind of uninspiring.  Luciana is in some ways very much like the girl I was at that age!  In addition to dolls, I was super into space and computers (my Apple IIe!) and LOVED a magazine/TV show called 3-2-1 contact.  It kind of feels like the space program was different back then and maybe made more accessible/interesting to the public by the media than it is now.  It’s SO great to have a science-themed GOTY I just might have to get her, even though I already have a Truly Me who looks almost the same…

 

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Nanea’s PC PJs

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So Nanea won the poll from last week, and then it snowed, so I went from feeling like pumpkin muffins to wondering where the Christmas lights were but still had to sew something Hawaiian for you 🙂  The observant will notice my sad return to indoor photo-taking, which means worse lighting and settings, but this pattern is pretty great, even if the pix illustrating it are not!

My husband has actually been known to stop a movie when I’ve yelled “NPC!” too much.  In my own little slang, it means “Not Period Correct” and it gets yelled at historical movies whose costume designers seem to have only the vaguest idea of what clothing was worn in the period, or just flat out don’t care.  The worst NPC costumes I’ve seen lately were in a Kdrama called “Bridal Mask”, but Nanea’s pajamas from AG are a close second.  Why?  That remains a mystery when a) she was intended to be a historical doll and help kids learn about a particular period of history and b) things like libraries and the internet and, for this period, maybe even old family photo albums exist.  If you feel the same way, here is one well-researched and authentic  (AKA “very PC”)  PJ pattern for Nanea :

Get the pattern here

 

I forgot about posting the rattlesnake pix from a few weeks ago until I was going through my Nanea picture directory trying to decide which one to post here today.  All of a sudden, there it was again!  Not as scary looking in the photo as it was encountering him in real life…

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Nanea’s ruffled dress

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Wow!  So many people are in love with Nanea and LOTS of you bought the new collection of patterns, which makes me think, “People want more for Nanea!” 🙂  But if you went to the AG store (in Denver anyway) this weekend they were out of pretty much everything for Nanea except her PJs, fishing set, swimsuit and bed.  So, in case one of the things you wanted but couldn’t buy was her school dress, here you go:

Download Nanea’s ruffled dress pattern here

Oh wow…scary encounter shortly after this pic was taken!  After packing up all our gear, we walked about 10 feet away from this spot where we encountered a RATTLESNAKE!  I shrieked and ran, DH stood where he was and pulled the camera back out.  I’m nice enough to spare you those pix though 🙂

 

 

A Lottie Wardrobe

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Lots of Lottie goodies this week!

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First of all, a “housing your Lottie” guide is here

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A free pattern for cute and easy felt clothes is here

And finally, a set of basic patterns to make a variety of play and dress clothes for Lottie is here

 

And your last SSA reminder:  If you missed the first deadline, you can enter until July 31 on this form and you will get your Nosy pattern Aug 1.

Summer sew along week 1: swimsuit

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Time for true confessions…I took the whole month of May off from blogging to deal with “work-work” and also work on the SSA.  During that time I managed to complete a bunch of stuff for a new AG series, some super cute patterns for Lottie and drafted (but didn’t sew) 3 dresses for the SSA.  Then, in a panic, I finished 2 SSA outfits today!  🙂

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Based on your votes, this year’s summer sew-along will be 1950s dresses for Wellie Wishers inspired by Betsy McCall paperdolls.  Being gone for so long, I have about a million things to say, but am running out of time, so will just quickly post this and get to the rest later.

The good news is our “Betsy paper doll” SSA will run the whole month of June this year, starting on the first!  The good/bad news is I won’t be here for all of it.  This year, for the first time in more than 10 years we’re actually taking a vacation!  Yay!  So, 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.  This year, I’ve also hoping to have a 1950s-style craft associated with each week that might anything from a simple papercraft to a woodworking project.

Are you new to the concept of the summer sew-along?  Here’s how it works:  You sew along with each week’s project and post your pix on flickr here:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/2825314@N20/

If you finish all the weeks you can get a bonus sewing pattern, which this year will be for Betsy’s dog, Nosy sized to be a companion for 14” dolls, or maybe a mini dachshund for 18” dolls.  I did finish him already and he’s super cute!

Ready to get started?

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Note:  you will want to use thin fabric like batiste/muslin weight if you’re doing the ruched sides! (Thank you, Sophie!)

Here’s this week’s pattern

Here is this week’s craft project (an entire doll-sized magazine full of Betsy paperdolls!) and here’s how to fold it

 

 

A new 1950s collection and contest winner!

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If you weren’t able to join in the 1950s sew-along for 14″ dolls because you didn’t have one, guess what?  A new collection for 18″ dolls is available!

From our contest last week, Google’s random number generator came up with “3” which was the number the spreadsheet assigned to Pauline’s entry, so she wins the new collection of patterns! **Apologies if you had trouble entering on Wednesday!  I had set it to close to entries Wed at midnight, but the computer interpreted that as the midnight when Tuesday became Wednesday.  I fixed it as soon as I found out!**

You might remember that when I got April I mentioned it was primarily because of her gorgeous eyes.  Target has a new OG doll named Peggy, who is a retro 1950s doll and also has really cool eyes.  I justified buying her because I don’t have MaryEllen and after getting her saw her next to this fabric that perfectly matched her eyes and HAD to make a dress out of it:

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And then she couldn’t even be grateful for one dress, she had to ask for a whole wardrobe! 😉

One of the reasons I love embroidery is that it’s an easy way to get a perfectly “period correct” look without having to hunt down vintage print fabrics.   When I did my previous 1950s collection, there was not a lot of embroidery included.  Embroidery on clothing was somewhat less popular at that time than in previous eras, partly due to the ready availability of cheap trim and the styles themselves, and maybe partly due to the increased number of outfits one would have, thanks to washing machines.  A 1930s mom might be willing to spend much longer embroidering a few dresses that her daughter would wear over and over than a 1950s mom whose daughter had far more of them.  With a lot of searching antique and resale stores and hunting online, I came up with a nice selection of outfits from the era that did include embroidery and am thrilled to share them with you!  Although the designs are available in .pes format for embroidery machines, in many cases I chose ones that would be quick and easy to hand embroider too, for example, the slip and dressy coat that are mainly just French knots.  If you’re lucky enough to have a stash of vintage fabric, or even a nice selection of checks/dots/plaids, you can also forgo the embroidery completely!

One thing that is the same about this collection is a focus on fashions moms were sewing for their daughters, rather than the easier doll patterns that were available at the time.  This makes the dresses a little more challenging to sew, but lets you dress your doll like a mid-century little girl, rather than a doll!

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Get the new pattern collection here

If you’d prefer 1950s outfits for a 16″ doll like Sasha, check out this collection!

Until Sunday, use the coupon code 20OFF20 to save 20% on any purchase of $20 or more!!

And now I’m taking some time off the blog to work on the summer sew along, which will be Betsy McCall paperdoll-inspired outfits for 14″ dolls and some other surprises!  The biggest challenge for me right now is paring down the number of Betsy outfits I LOVE so our SSA doesn’t last until winter. 🙂