Free Christmas Pattern

Free Christmas Pattern for Little Darling

Little Darling

Just wanted to let everyone know that the new and  free Christmas pattern for Little Darling is now online. She is precious in her rayon knit top with Cluny lace trim and cotton canvas bloomers. She does look ready for Christmas in red and white. I think you could add and inch and make this swing top into a dress.

I will be taking December off to work on Christmas gifts and catching up with my pen pals. I hope I have enough energy to decorate for Christmas. My decorations are in the attic and that means 2 fights of stairs for every box I need to bring down. I didn’t have a tree last year and really missed it. My husband will get the time off as well so it will be one of a couple of Christmas’ that we get to spend some free time together and just enjoying the holidays.

If you would care to comment I would love to hear from you as to what you might want to see going forward. As you know, I have recently fallen in love with my Paola Reina dolls. They are in two heights. One is 12.5 while the other is 13-inches. I have found that the difference is only in the legs, so I think this outfit will fit them fine. You may need to adjust the length of the top. It should also fit Betsy McCall 14″.

I do hope you have a very Merry Christmas or Hanukkah. Let the new year be a new beginning for us and our country.



Where did the time go??

I have been so busy, I’m afraid that sewing has taken a back seat. Started a new vegetable garden, and have been trying to get our bacGardenk yard into shape. We’ve had oodles of rain so everything is growing great. That includes the grass and weeds. This is the second year I have noticed Canning Labelsstrange new vines that are growing into my trees, hence the need to get out do something with the yard. This is a picture of the new raised beds. That is lemon grass coming out of the far box and cucumber behind it.

I had some plums earlier and made plum chutney and jam. Then the berries started showing up in the stores and with the low prices I bought a lot and made enough jam for the next year.  I’m still looking for the perfect salsa recipe for canning. We got a 20 pound box of tomatoes at the farmers market and I canned them all. My slicing tomatoes are also doing well.  It was so much fun designing the jar labels. It was a break from the computer art work I usually do. By now your wondering if I did do any new patterns, aren’t you?

I did get a couple of new dolls. First is Paola Reina. She is a 12.5 inch play doll with rooted hair and the sweetest face. She is child, maybe 8-10. I love her body and how easy she is to sew for. She is as pretty as Dianna Effner’s Little Darlings and you could have 6 of these for the same price as the Little Darling. They can’t share clothes without a lot of adjusting.

BLOG photoI also got some slim 18 inch girls, the Toys R Us Journey Girls and a Madam Alexander My Style. My other 18 inch girls, but just aren’t made anymore and really seem to be more like the American Girl body with the big shoulders. I just buy dolls I like and American Girl just wasn’t my cup of tea. I like the Journey Girls body the best and think Toy R Us does a nice job with the accessories. So I have added the Slim 18″ dolls and my new Paola to my collection. It’s sad that Robert Tonner will be discontinuing his most of his Wentworth line. He had some pretty faces, unlike Antoinette who to me is very manish in features. I guess for those who repaint the face it was great.

I would like to know if you are planning or have bought any of his new line. I fear that Agatha Primrose is too small. Easy to display, but hard to sew for. She looks to me like a young teen but still Barbie size. I think she is very pretty and I love the open mouth. I wish he had done bendy knees for Anne Estelle, although I don’t like the legs of Patsy and I do guess that would be the option. It is very costly bringing a doll to market.

Last but not least, is the new style. Yes it is just one style which I did for multiple dolls, well two for the big girls. I hoping it won’t take me so long on the next pattern set. This is the pattern called Flower Girl. It has a sleeveless dress with matching coat. It is on my Little Darling. She shows off the front of the coat. I used a linen type cotton fabric and lined it in matching broadcloth. The flowers are crocheted and I had them from back when I did design kids clothes. The dress is sleeveless so it isn’t a problem with sliding a sleeve into a coat sleeve. Simple, but with lots of possibilities for dressing this up or down. I can see the coat in velveteen for the holidays with a traditional taffeta dress under it.

I guess it is time to start thinking about the Christmas pattern. Who should I do it for? Suggestions!

Oh Sew Pressing

When I first started sewing doll clothes I realized that pressing was essential to the garments make and coming out how I imagined it. I bought all kinds of aids and tried all sorts of stuff.

For instance, I got one of those tiny hand-held irons that have more in common with a soldering tool than and iron. It might work for quilters to whom it is advertised to, but without steam I found it useless. Years ago Panasonic made a small steam iron the was sold to stichers. It had a great slim body and very pointy tip. It was purple. I just don’t know what I did with mine, it must have gone missing with one of my moves. I got another iron that I used so didn’t realize it was missing until I started working with dolls clothes again.

Naomoto Hi-SteamSo with no chance of finding a small iron, it meant I needed to develop some tools and find some new tools that would work. As you can see this is what I am using now. I have a heated Reliable vacuum/up draft board for pressing. I use a Naomoto Hi-Steam gravity feed steam iron now.   I took my Dritz sleeve board, which is nice and narrow but was a folding affair that wouldn’t stay put, and Dritz sleeve board remademade a new one in wood. I just traced the shape of the old board on to some pine and cut it to shape. I reused the Dritz covers. Now the board is very sturdy.

Another wonderful pressing tool I use is something I bought in a garage sale when I was twenty. To tell you the truth I didn’t really know what it was but thought it was used in tailoring. I got it for 50 cents. I have since found out it is a tailor’s point. I have since seen a [Read more…]

Lucky Ellowyne

lucky3This is another pattern for Ellowyne Wilde by Wild Imagine. I saw this sleeve idea in Marie Clare magazine a while back. It just happened to go great with the Asian feel pants I made her a week or two ago from this picture (not sure what magazine I tore this out of). IMG_0878 Red Pants

Then as usual I couldn’t decide on what fabric and trims to use. I wanted to make an outfit with an Asian feel, but it  looked nautical after I finished the top so I just went for it and added a heat sealed anchor embroidery. Still I wanted a different look for this so I made it again with a print pant and a solid top with contrast stitching. The stitching really shows off the peekaboo sleeve seams and I really liked the way the color blocked belt turned out.

I still don’t think I got the Asian feel I was after, maybe if I tried it with a printed crepe de chine for the pants and a shiny jersey for the top.  This  always happens in design, even the best laid plans change as you start working. With my studio full of fabric I still didn’t have what I wanted. I need to remember to pick the fabric first then design to the fabric. I don’t know how I seem to forget this first rule of design.

Now that I am thinking about it,  I forgot to take pictures of this outfit on Delilah Noir. I always forget about that girl. She is really a great doll and poses so well. Her bigger feet help her stand on her own.  In case you don’t know she fits in all of Ellowyne’s clothes/patterns and if your looking for a great fashion doll for a young girl then she is a great choice and not as pricy as Ellowyne. I would love to repaint her face someday. I think she could use a little more color.

Almost organized

Weekend fun on GeorgiaYes, I really hate filing. It seems no matter how hard I try to come up with a system and how much time I spend I can never find what I’m looking for. It seems this is how I lose then find photos. Today after a doll photo shoot while also baking bread, I resolved to upload the pictures from my camera and then file them so I would know where they were. I have been working on my “new” filing system since the beginning of the year and it is slowing coming around to organized.

While sorting the new photos and filing them I found more photos I thought I had lost in the computerElla with Gerogia and Patsy. I ended up cutting my photo session short so get some more sorting done. Maybe by the end of the year I will have found all my photos. I have a list of missing stuff, so I can take more pictures, the only problem with that is I also need to find the doll clothes. That has been another sorting project I am working one. If anyone has a good way to store a lot of doll clothes samples let me know.

You can see one of the photos I found of Georgia from Tonner’s Mary Engelbreit doll line of a few years ago. She is wearing the BID Weekend Fun outfit. It fit her perfectly. As I mentioned on my Facebook page I bought a Patsy/Anne Estelle and a Parnilla Ghastly doll. A lot of people said that the Patsy body is the same as the Engelbreit body, but I didn’t find that the outfits I made fit Georgia/Anne Estelle very well, or at least not well enough that I would feel comfortable recommending the patterns for her. Although this one I called Ella did work great. This also fits BID, but I haven’t taken pictures of it yet. I really need to get organized!