Tag Archives: uniform

Bex’s school uniform!

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Hello everyone! Here’s my first post from Japan! We are living in Mie prefecture with the Hasegawa family while mom helps them get certified as an organic tea farm. Just like our family, the Hasegawas also have two daughters near the ages of my sister Della and I and also one older brother. Tomorrow I’ll be starting school with Yuki. She writes it like this: 雪 isn’t that pretty? Maybe I’ll learn a new way to write my name too?
Love, Bex

BTW Here’s a pic of me in my new uniform:45544751591_8146d4f264_z

Get the jacket pattern here

Hogwarts shirt pattern here

Skirt shown is from this costume, although I plan to make it again in plaid.

D.A.M. week two: Exercise and Social Connections!

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Exercise is a great mood-booster even if you’re not depressed/anxious.  In addition to last week’s tips, getting someone out of the house for a brisk walk can be SO helpful.  Yes, even if they’re trudging along behind you muttering, “I said I wanted to stay home.  I want to go home.  I can’t do this.”

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Continuing in the vein of vintage patterns, this week’s is a mid-century gym suit.  Doing a quick google search, it seems something similar to these one-piece uniforms were the norm for quite a while, from maybe the late 1940s through at least the mid-1960s, when my mom was in high school. This blue color seems to have been regulation in most of the country, with obligatory embroidery of your name on it.  Anyone live during the era of these gym suits and want to share “fond memories” (I say that in the most sarcastic tone possible) or info about color/style?

In plain solid colors, it will make a great historical gym uniform for Molly/Emily, Mary Ellen or Melody.   

This was kind of a time-consuming pattern to figure out and sew, and normally I put such things on etsy rather than free on the blog.  In lieu of payment, if you download this pattern please get SOMEONE outside with you a few times this week to exercise!  You’ll be boosting mood AND creating/reinforcing a social connection – both of which are essential to good mental health.

A podcast you might like that explores our attitudes toward exercise and motivates you can be accessed here:  http://www.wbur.org/magicpill.  You can even sign up for a 21-day motivational email-a-day to get you exercising!  I haven’t heard them all yet, but episode 2 did have a sentence or two not suitable for children, so it might be best to read or listen with headphones if you have kids in the room.

 

Back to school stuff

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YAY!  Time for awesome new back to school crafts including more shrinkies, printies AND a sewing pattern!

(scroll to the bottom to download)

If you are reading this blog, stop for a minute and consider how lucky you are.  It’s more than likely that you’re a girl, and yet you still had enough education to learn how to read.  That education enabled you to reach a high enough economic level that you are able to afford a computer, and you live somewhere that Internet access is readily available.  If you live in the developed world, the only barrier to you receiving the same education as the boys in your country was being able to get to school on time, which probably involved nothing more difficult than making it to the bus stop or walking a mile or so.

There’s a documentary on Netflix called “On the way to school” that brings to light the challenges children in developing countries encounter every day just to arrive at school safely.  It might be interesting to watch with your kids if they complain about their journey to school.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t have to worry about being chased by wild animals or pushing their brother’s broken-down wheelchair through the mud!

Another documentary called “Half the Sky”, which is also a book if you’d prefer to read instead, illustrates how girls in developing countries are facing horrible obstacles just to get primary education.  Note that this documentary is NOT suitable to watch with children and might make you cry.  Both of these documentaries made me very, very grateful to have grown up where I did, with easy access to education!

The two newest H4H dolls have stories that expose the harsh realities real children around the world are facing:
(images below from the H4H facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/HeartsForHeartsGirls)  Unfortunately, their page hasn’t been updated for almost a year, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed these gorgeous dolls will stay available!

Ok, so you have a H4H and want her to go to school?  She’ll need a uniform:

Click here to get a pattern to make a H4H size uniform, and school supplies and printable books for any size.

The fit of this is loose on H4H.  For a tighter fit, use a larger seam allowance at the side seams and make your skirt pleats deeper.  Need it for a different doll?  As a very rough guide, try 138% for Sasha/Kidz and 156% for AGs.  If you’re enlarging, you will probably also need to adjust sleeve width, lengths of the blouse and at the bottom of skirt and adjust outer seam allowances for collar.  To gauge how it might fit, compare your enlargement to a shirt with a similar pattern that you know will fit, such as this one: https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/summer-sew-along-2013-part-2-t-and-capris.pdf   Please make a muslin in scrap fabric/paper towels before cutting into good fabric.

Note to people who say shrinky dinks aren’t available where they live…they are just #6 plastic!  Probably you have some in your recycle bin right now!  You can recycle old containers made of rigid plastic with a #6 recycling logo.

 

Little Darling in Japan: Week 2

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This week Little Darling models a set that may be familiar to a lot of Westerners…she’s learning karate!  And yes, her outfit is based on the “real thing”, so you can be assured the pattern is authentic.  (No elastic waist or set-in sleeves!)  If your dolls don’t want to do karate, it would be just as cute as pajamas.  You’ll need to lengthen the sleeves and pants for Hearts for Hearts, it fits Cheries without changes.

Click here for karate uniform pattern

Click here for general tips for sewing Japanese doll clothes to go along with the rest of the upcoming posts.

Little Darling in Japan…week 1

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This might be my most ambitious series yet.  People have said they enjoy the multi-week series I’ve done, like the summer sew-alongs or shoe school, and I also find it enjoyable to explore a theme in more depth.   When I’m doing the blog, I definitely welcome input on what you’d like to see, but also, as the number of followers grows, I have to remember the old saying, “You can please some of the people some of the time…”

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 When I made Little Darling this school uniform, she looked so cute, I thought about a whole series of her in other traditional clothing from Japan.  And then I decided she needed some accessories and furnishings too, since they add so much to a display, and what she’s got now is enough to furnish a little room!

Chances are, if someone says “Japanese clothing” to you, your mind conjures up a yukata, the single-layered cotton kimono tied with a thin matching belt or possibly an obi.  But historically, there have been lots of different types of Japanese clothing suited for various purposes.  Little Darling seemed like a good choice to showcase these, because she can easily share clothes with other readily-available dolls like Corolle Cheries, Natterer 13” dolls, Betsy McCall,  Hearts for Hearts, and even some BJDs.  Another advantage is that she is just small enough that it wouldn’t be too hard to make (and store) some cute furniture and accessories.

A few weeks ago I put a request for resizing help on FB, with the result that I can also bring you the AG size.  (Thank you, Beth!)  Sadly, no one volunteered to check the versions for Sasha/KnC/Maru/Ann Estelle, so I’m testing those myself and may be selling the pattern with all the sizes and more complete directions sometime in the future.

Pattern for school uniform (AG and 13″-14″) is here

Tutorial for some school accessories is here

While I’ve tried to convince DH that we actually need to go there to take the photos, we don’t have a reliable farm-sitter to take care of our pets, which means I haven’t actually been out of the Denver metro area in years.  I’ve been scouring the web for public domain images and just taking the pix in CO, letting your imagination pretend she’s in Japan. 🙂

I hope you and your favorite little doll will have as much fun exploring Japan through these sewing and crafting projects as I did!

 

Suggested Reading: (a few books I own and love)

The Book of Kimono by Norio Yamanaka (good English-language reference on traditional Kimono and how to wear)

Make Your Own Japanese Clothes Patterns and Ideas for Modern Wear by John Marshall (modern adaptations by a Westerner, but good basic patterns)

Japanese Homes and their Surroundings by Edward S. Morse (Fabulous reference, not just about houses but how people in Japan lived in the 1860s, right as Japan opened to foreigners.  This is in the public domain and also available as a ebook on archive.org)

A Japanese Touch for Your Home by Koji Yagi (nice pix of interiors)

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower (children’s fiction) by Rumer Godden

Little Plum (children’s fiction) by Rumer Godden

ドールハウス和のしつらえ (Japanese Dollhouses) by Takako Mizohata and Kozue Kuboki (hard to find and shipping is expensive, but worth it if you like miniatures!)

 

Free LEGAL downloads of a few ebooks:

https://archive.org/details/japanesecostume12guns (book on Japanese costume from 1923)

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1580&context=tsaconf (paper on historical clothing)

https://archive.org/details/bookofkimonodesi00kabu kimono design book from 1884

Folk tales:

https://archive.org/details/ancienttalesandf00gordrich

Tale of Genji as a Manga!

https://archive.org/details/manga_Asakiyumemishi-TheTaleOfGenji-v01

https://archive.org/details/manga_Asakiyumemishi-TheTaleOfGenji-v02

 

This is a list of other Japanese and Asian-style patterns I’ve done that are free on the blog:

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/free-pattern-for-february-kimono-geta-obi.pdf

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/geta-and-sandal-update-for-ag-dolls.pdf

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/hinamatsuri/

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/hinamatsuri-crafts.pdf

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/free-pattern-for-february-kimono-geta-obi.pdf

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/doll-hakama-pattern/

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/hakama.pdf

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/asian-jacket.pdf

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/asian-vest-final.pdf

Printable origami paper:

http://www.origamiway.com/printable-origami-paper/