Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ruthie's Meet Outfit

I bought Ruthie's meet outfit for a great price. Well, I got the dress and shoes, not the headband.

It's really cute!

It didn't strike me until I saw it in person that the row of buttons is off center, to the right.  It looks fine in pictures, but it keeps drawing my attention n person. It's not bad, it's just eye-catching.

The shoes are so cute- Mary James with a tiny heel.


Zia likes it!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ye Goode Olde Days

LOL, this blog post title is tongue in cheek.

However, as I was posting the pictures from the get-together with mcoooper and randomtraci, I realized that I did not have the pictures from my first meet up with mcooper, back in early April, on the blog. I did not have a blog at that point. We took some great pictures, though, and I love that our girls  (and guy) have a history together, so here are some pictures!

Here is mcooper's blog post about our get together.

Daken is a very special custom doll and possibly the most huggable doll I have met, despite his tough persona. Here he is in an antique jail cell.

Monday, December 14, 2015

It's a Very Silly Muppet Christmas

I always put together a Muppet Christmas display. It starts out with the Palisades Christmas Carol Muppet figures, anyway, and then the Star Wars Muppet figures from Walt Disney World join in, and it gets steadily more ridiculous as I think of more things to add.

This year features two Uncle Deadlys (one of whom is holding a tiny guinea pig), action figures in three different scales, a tiny Santa hat on Sweetum's head, Koozebanian aliens, a ghost, and there will probably be more added.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Spring in December

I threw this dress on Anneliese when I was switching doll clothes for the visit with Callie, Wrennie, Chloe and Penny. I immediately realized it was gorgeous on her.



I made this dress earlier this year from the Keeper's Dolly Duds Fifties Flair pattern. The dress was easier to make than it looks, and I managed to do buttonholes for the first time!

I wanted to take some pictures of how pretty the dress is on Anneliese, and took advantage of some flowers that are still blooming near my work place.

I cannot believe that flowers are still blooming in December. It doesn't feel very Christmassy!

Anyway, here are the pictures for your edification!



(Yes, I have dolls named Anne and Anneliese. My sewing machine is named Anna. This makes me sound less creative than I am, I promise.)



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Epic Get Together

Last weekend (was it really only last weekend?) the dolls and I had an extra special treat: a visit from the girls at Isn't She Dovely?

Wrennie, Chloe, Callie and Penny were in town to participate in a marathon! Well, they really did the 5K, but I keep calling it a marathon.  And they were kind enough to meet up with me afterwards!

You can see their post about the marathon here.



I should have already posted this, but my laptop was being repaired. I did manage to post the pictures on Flickr, but that was all.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Meet Kanani

Sooo, this is kind of epic. I have a Kanani! And her story is just as epic.



On November 22, Galaxy AG posted an auction for a really cheap, mislabeled Kanani auction on ebay that was ending that night. I called dibs on it. Everyone on the forum was really supportive, even those who wanted a Kanani themselves. Our forum is so awesome like that.

The auction price was rising rapidly at the end, but I won it at what was a great price for Kanani.

Then I just had to wait for her to arrive.

My family was out of town for Thanksgiving. My mom, my brother and I were supposed to stay there until Sunday. My dad was coming back today, so I wasn't worried about Kanani being left outside.

Due to unexpected events, we came back today (Friday). We got in at 5 p.m. No Kanani. I checked the tracking number. Out for delivery. Weird. 

So I settled down in the living room. My guinea pig was having hysterics of joy that I was home, and I wanted to keep an eye on the front door. The doorbell rang at 6:45 p.m. We have NEVER gotten the mail this late. It is usually between 12 and 3.

So she's here! She was naked in the box, but she actually came with her swimsuit, Jess' meet skirt, and what looks like off-brand black flats. 

Kanani has an adorable head tilt. Her hair is a little dry. Her limbs are a bit loose, but I can fix that. (Thanks, mcooper!) She has a hair cut, but I knew that, and it is kind of cute.


It is dark, so picture taking was a challenge. I did my best.


I am so excited that she is here!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

QT Pie Painter Pants: Pattern Review

In this post, I am sewing the Painter Pants by QT Pie Doll Clothing, sold at Pixie Faire.

I was upset about the terrorist attack on Paris when I started sewing these pants. I made the conscious decision to stop reading bad news and go sew something. Sewing: cheap therapy! So that is the reason why I didn't take many pictures of these pants in progress. I only realized I had forgotten to do this when I was stopping for the night.

Here are the pants legs put together. Each pants leg had three pieces and three pockets. I sewed the smaller pockets in the back on backwards, with the result that they have a teeny, barely functional opening. Sigh.


I deliberately cut the pants leg three fourths of an inch longer than the pattern called for and am sewing them so that they have a permanent, sewn on, rolled up pants leg. These pants are part of a larger project, and all shall be revealed eventually. *maniacal laugh*

I used quilter's cotton that is printed to look like denim. This is much easier on me and my sewing machine, and it looks so much like denim that it keeps fooling even me.

With the pants legs sewn together, the front of the pants were uneven at the waist, as you can see  here. I trimmed it a bit to even it out.



Here are the finished pants. The waistband didn't end up entirely smooth in the back, but the front is fine.

The error that bugs  me most is that the pockets in the back are out of alignment. I tried to be really careful with the placement, but I goofed.


Ultimately, the pants look good from the front, and that is what matters most. I think I would be able to fix most of my errors if I sewed it again. I am mostly happy with the finished pants.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Nana Nana Nana Nana BATMAN!

This is another quilt that I made as a surprise for a friend, or in this case, friends. It is hard for me not to post this early and spoil the surprise!

Mcooper and randomtraci have a blog together, Isn't She Dovely? As they live in different states, it isn't always easy to make blog posts that make it appear that their dolls are hanging out together.

I decided to make them matching quilts. Having the dolls use, or seem to use, the same quilt in pictures can make it seem that they are in the same place, not hundreds of miles away.

Both these ladies are doll fans and Batman fans. Sooooo it was pretty logical to decide to make matching Batman quilts.

Ta-da!

The logo is a little big for AG scale. My reasoning is that there are lots of comforters for kids with huge pictures of cartoon characters, or logos. I think it works.

Besides, it was difficult cutting out that Batman symbol, and I'd hate to cut out an even smaller one.


Anne volunteered to model, to show the scale. Besides, she wanted to "break it in" for Wrennie, Callie and their other friends.

The quilts arrived today!

Here is Callie with the quilts!



Yay, I love it when I can make people happy!

Monday, November 9, 2015

November Mini Quilt-a-Long

Well, I am glad to be caught up on the quilt-a-long again.

This month, there were three blocks.


This one is called Birds in the Air.


This one is called Shoofly.


This one is called Water Wheel Variation. I think I should have used fabrics with greater contrast. That was the least of my worries, though. I think I made every possible mistake while sewing them. I cut out the wrong amounts of fabric, I sewed the wrong combinations together, etc. It is a relief to have them done.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Doll Clothes Patterns and Organization

Simplicity patterns are on sale at Joann's today. They are five for five dollars. 

I went there early, because I really wanted the new patterns that have been put out by American Girl and Simplicity. I found out about these from Nethilia at American Girl Outsider

American Girl hasn't released any official patterns for their dolls in about twenty years, so this was very exciting. Actually, back then it was the Pleasant Company. No patterns have been released since Mattel bought American Girl.




It's also the first time that they released patterns for modern dolls. The old ones were all for historicals. You can download them for free at American Girl Playthings.

The new patterns are cute. They aren't all my style, but I am happy that they exist and hope they do well.



Today's purchase brought things to a head. I only buy patterns on sale like today, and I often buy doubles, in case I lose a pattern piece after I cut them out. I had to organize my patterns.

Now I had a drawer devoted especially to AG doll patterns! I am excited!



I have three stacks- modern patterns on the left, Disney princess in the middle and historical on the right.

I have never sewn a Disney princess doll dress, but I am ready, should I need them!

It's really nice to be organized, so patterns will stop falling out of the storage area underneath my sewing machine.

I am waiting very impatiently for Simplicity to come out with the Doctor Who cosplay patterns from Beds-n-Blankies. Sadly, they won't be released until summer 2016. I need a time machine so I can go pick up this pattern!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pleasant Company Sunbonnet: Pattern Review

In my last post, I talked about Thimbles and Acorn's 1880 Mary and Laura pattern.

The signature look that everyone associates with Laura Ingalls is the sunbonnet, right?
Naturally you need a bonnet to match the dress.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thimbles and Acorns 1880 Mary and Laura: Pattern Review

I am a huge Little House on the Prairie fan. My mom started reading the books to me and my sister when we were four and two years old. You wouldn't think children that little would sit and listen to a chapter book, but we couldn't get enough of it.

When Thimbles and Acorns came out with this pattern, I was thrilled beyond words.
This dress is based on one worn by Laura Ingalls, and her sister Mary in a photograph from 1880.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween Doll Quilts

I couldn't post this before the recipient received it. I didn't want to ruin the surprise!
(I hate waiting for my sewing projects to get safely through the mail. I worry every time.)

I made these Halloween doll quilts as a surprise for Zelda at American Girl Collectors.

First I made this very colorful quilt:


It turned out much, much brighter and busier than I expected. I had laid out the pieces in several different possible combinations, but somehow this was much more overwhelming when sewn together.

So since I still had some fabric left, I made this black and white one:


Now that's more like it.

Close up:



Zelda was happy to get the quilts and posted some adorable pictures of her Kailey with the quilts.



And Kailey immediately snuggled up and went to sleep. Note the matching hair ribbon!


Hee. That makes me happy.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Liberty Jane Peplum Dress: Pattern Review

After many rainy days in a row, I suddenly wanted to make something quick and fun and girly and spring-like.

I chose a pattern that I have had for a few months but hadn't made before: Liberty Jane's Peplum Top, available at Pixie Faire.

The pattern comes with directions to make the top into a dress, if you so desire. I like it better as a dress. I know peplum tops are stylish right now, but I like the  neckline better than the ruffle at the bottom.

The project went together very quickly. I finished it in one evening. I had a lot of fun making it, and I found it pretty easy.




I used velcro to close the back of the dress instead of a zipper as the instructions call for.



I had two small quibbles with this pattern.
First, the front of the dress was a very tight fit. I had added a quarter inch on to each side of the back to compensate for using velcro instead of elastic. The front was an absolute skin tight fit on my Jess, and she is the skinniest doll I own. If you have a wider doll, I would recommend adjusting accordingly.

Second, I would lengthen the skirt just a tiny bit more, half an inch or so. That is just a matter of personal taste.

Overall, this was a fun pattern and I would make it again.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Thimbles and Acorns Wrapped Kalasaris Dress: Pattern Review

On the evening of Halloween, I saw a picture of a little girl dressed as an Egyptian for Halloween. I immediately sat down and sewed her the Thimbles and Acorns Wrapped Kalasaris dress, available at Pixie Faire. This is a style of dress that was worn in ancient Egypt.

Here is a statue of an Egyptian woman wearing a kalasaris dress.

Friday, October 30, 2015

October Mini Quilt-A-Long

Here are the blocks for October!

There beauties are called Bear Paw and Broken Sugar Bowl. I really, really like the Broken Sugar Bowl. It makes me think of spring.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

More Mondrian Madness

I have been overtaken by Mondrian Madness, which is an illness that happens when you can't stop making different versions of Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian dresses. Who knew that haute couture was so dangerous?


Friday, October 23, 2015

September Mini Quilt-A-Long

Here they are finally- the September blocks of the month!

They are Card Trick and Old Maid's Puzzle. I have made a 12 inch Card Trick before, and it was much more challenging at this size.

After making Card Trick, Old Maid's Puzzle was a breeze!


And here are all the blocks so far! Wow! These are going to make some pretty quilts.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Soom Teenie Gem Violet Box Opening

One of my friends found me a real deal on a Soom Teenie Gem Violet on ebay.

I am hoping to use her as a model to sell doll clothes at some point.

Outer Box

Inner Box


Certificate of Authenticity

First peek at her!


With eyes and wig on. She is a cutie for sure!

Confession: I think box opening posts are kind of silly, but what the hey, why not. 

I will doubtless have more to say when I start sewing for her and figure out her personality a bit.




Friday, October 9, 2015

Kathe Kruse and Corolle dolls

I am not a huge fan of baby dolls. I have two that are very dear to my heart. Katie is a Berenguer doll who was my constant companion as a child. Brenna is a Corolle doll that I bought in 1995.

However, I have wanted for some time to add a German doll to my collection. I lived in Germany for some time and it seemed like an important gap in my collection to me.

Kathe Kruse is a famous maker of dolls in Germany. When I looked at the Kathe Kruse website, I particularly loved the Minouche dolls- but I talked myself out of it for the time being. Fast forward about three years later, and Kathe Kruse dolls were on sale on myhabit.com. I finally ordered one.

I am going to say that I am not a fan of the Kathe Kruse dolls that have fabric tubes for arms instead of plastic arms with hands on the end. It just looks odd to me, probably because I did not grow up with these dolls.


Here she is in the box. I have to show pictures of the whole box, because I love that the German is included, even for the American market.

The face is hand painted.



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This booklet was attached to her wrist. It tells the story of the Kathe Kruse company. As advertising, I prefer this to a booklet full of other dolls, which I was expecting, to tell you the truth.


Here she is out of the box. It was easy to open the box, and she was only held in by ribbons, which could be untied. No scissors necessary.

I thought she would be full of beans, like the Corolle doll, but she is full of stuffing. She sits up very well. 

I think I'm going to call her Inge.


The stamp on the back of her neck.


Nude.


Together with Brenna, the Corolle doll. The Kathe Kruse doll is a bit smaller. I like her outfit much more. It looks just like something a German baby would wear, and it does a good job of not being too pink. I love the bonnet, and the little pink shoes.

 The collar on the Corolle doll's onesie is a bit too clownish for me, and I like clowns. Just not on baby clothing. I have been considering trying to sew her something new. It's tricky to figure out her size because her body is so floppy.


Lying next to each other.

Both the Corolle doll and the Kathe Kruse dolls are very high quality. They both have good points that are very different from one another. 

The Corolle doll had inset eyes, which I usually prefer. The Kathe Kruse doll's hand painted face, however, is adorable.  I have a friend who hates dolls that have visible teeth, so the Kathe Kruse doll would win points with her for that. The Kathe Kruse doll also has a head that doesn't flop around like the Corolle doll does, and she sits up better. It's easier to pose the arms on the Corolle doll- the Kathe Kruse doll's arms tend to stick out from her body.

Both dolls are wonderful and would make any kid or doll collector happy. Corolle dolls, however, are much easier to find in the U.S.

Pattern Review: Simplicity 8190

This swimsuit is made from Simplicity 8190, one of the official American Girl patterns from Simplicity.