Thursday, March 30, 2017

Learning to Quilt

I wrote a post about the first doll clothing I ever made, so I thought I would write a post about the first doll quilt I ever made.

Try not to laugh. It's so sad.

I was only eight years old and had never seen a handmade quilt in real life. I was mostly going off of what it said in Kirsten's books about quilting, I think.

Not all the fabric is even cotton fabric. There is velvet and cheap satin in there as well.

Every single stitch I took is visible.

I didn't use batting, and I didn't quilt it. I stuffed it with stuffing, and stitched the backing on.

It's basically a pillow, except it's a quilt.


And the kicker-

I was worried about the edges of the fabric unraveling, so edge fabric edge has been gently treated with nail polish.

I got this idea from my grandmother- she used nail polish for everything in her life except sewing.
It was just logical to me, seeing the way she used nail polish for literally everything else.

This is proof, if there ever was one, that skill to do comes of doing.

I have improved vastly in my quilting since then.
In high school, a lady Grandma knew taught me how to quilt for real. Thanks, Miss Allison!

I have taken other quilting classes as well, but mostly I just practiced, practiced, practiced.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Friends Who've Just Met

Anne go to meet a new friend this weekend!

Eva is a 1920s historical from Michigan. She is a custom doll, a Nicki with a Cecile wig.

She is just adorable!

Anne was very happy to meet her!

Eva belongs to Elewys, former member of American Girl Collectors.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

AG Trading Cards: Meet Kirsten

This illustration of Kirsten sitting in a tree with her cousins is adorable. 
I have done my share of tree climbing with my siblings and cousin also!

Monday, March 27, 2017

American Girl at Toys R Us

This weekend, I went to an American Girl Boutique inside a Toys R Us for the first time.

I was kind of surprised, because I expected it to be more of a closed off area.

It was very near the front and center of the store, so it had a good location.

I took a ton of pictures, so be warned. Not all of them are great quality, either. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Patterns for Samantha Parkington

Samantha is of course very close to Rebecca's period. Samantha is living in 1904, and Rebecca is living in 1914.

Samantha belongs to the Edwardian period, which is from 1901-1910. Nonetheless, Samantha is often described as being Victorian, and Rebecca is often described as Edwardian. Neither of these is correct!

So deciding which pattern belongs to which doll may require some research.
However, if it is sleeveless, you can rule it out for Samantha. Grandmary wouldn't let her wear it.

A few patterns work for either doll. This includes:

Anne Van Doren Designs Edwardian Style Dress and Apron

Anne Van Doren Designs Victorian Style Underwear

Dollhouse Designs Victorian Underwear

Genniewren Designs Harriet Dess

Jen Wrenne FREE Sailor Dress Pattern

Keepers Dolly Duds Reefer Jacket and Hat

Keeper's Dolly Duds Simplicity 1179 Vintage Inspired Clothes

Bunny Bear's 1900 Sailor Dress Pattern

Thimbles and Acorns A Piece of History Dress

If a pattern specifically has a date on it that is 1910 or later, Samantha probably shouldn't wear it.

These patterns are specifically for Samantha:

Dolls at Hearts Designs Edwardian Day Dress

Dolls at Heart Edwardian Tucks and Lace Dress

Farmcookies Welcome Back Samantha

Flossie Potter Central Park 1904

Flossie Potter Duster Driving Set

Heritage Doll Fashions Samantha's Ice Cream Dress

Keepers Dolly Duds Victorian Christmas Caroler

Lincoln Mold 1904 Bathing Suit that fits American Girls Dolls

Lincoln Mold 1904 Undergarments that fits American Girl Dolls

Lincoln Mold 1904 Girls Coat and Hat that fits American Girls Dolls

Lincoln Mold 1904 Dress that fits American Girl Dolls Patterns 40, 41 and 42

Pleasant Company Samantha Patterns at AG Playthings

Wren*Feathers Edwardian Heirloom Pattern Set

Grandmary was so strict that Samantha could be wearing all or part of the Thimbles and Acorns Victorian Unmentionables as well.

Elsewhere on the web:

Fancy Frocks 1904 Sailor Dress

Fancy Frocks 1905 Sam's Winter Frock

Samantha's Cross Stitch:
Hodgery Podgery 1900s Style Historical Sampler

Okay, that's a short list.

Inspiration for further Samantha dresses can be found at The Bleu Door. This shows dress patterns produces for Bluette dolls, and you can search by year and decade. The earliest year is 1905, which is admittedly a year late, but still very close to Samantha's period. If you assume she got the dress after Christmas, it works just fine.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pattern Review: Melody Valerie Bluebell Dress

I love Melody Valerie Couture patterns! They are imaginative and elegant, and I always feel like I learn something from them.

Melody Valerie Couture's Bluebell is a fairly complicated pattern, but it uses fewer pieces than you might think.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Doll Clothes with Dignity

Nethilia from American Girl Outsider was kind enough to send me a book of doll clothes patterns!
It's so sweet of her and I am thrilled.

When I looked inside the book, though, it made me angry enough to want to write about it.
It's not that I am not grateful for the book. However, some things should not be, and we are going to talk about them.

The book is very pretty, and it uses actual American Girl dolls in the illustrations. This is not common due to copyright concerns.

It has a lot of the costumes that you would expect. Some of them you can see on the cover- Southern belle, mermaid and fairy. Others include ballerina, ball gown, ladybug and super hero.

But like I said, it has problems.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

AG Trading Cards:Meet Samantha

This picture of Samantha giving her treasured doll, Lydia, to Nellie absolutely tugs at the heartstrings.

The Nellie in this illustration barely resembles the doll Nellie. They have the same hair length, and that is all.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Pattern Review: Thimbles and Acorns Prairie Rose

Thimbles and Acorns patterns cost a  little more than some pattern designers.

I think that they are truly worth the price tag. They are extremely well written and researched.
This pattern company is very special.

The  Thimbles and Acorns Prairie Rose pattern is particularly good value. It includes a historical dress design, a modern dress design, an apron pattern, and a pattern for a bonnet. Bang for your buck!

This is part of a series of patterns for Laura Ingalls. I am a huuuuuge Laura Ingalls fan, and this makes me very happy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pattern Review: Wren*Feathers Smock Dress

I had fun making Wren*Feathers Chatty Cathy's Smock Dress for Melody.

It went together so easily! I swear, including cutting out fabric pieces, it took like two hours to make.

Admittedly, this does not include adding velcro at the back, because I am out of velcro.

But that only adds ten minutes or so to the total.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Learning to Sew

My grandma was an accomplished sewist.

She made some beautiful clothes over the years, as well as doll clothes for my mom's dolls. None of my mom's dolls have the clothes they originally came with, only the ones that my grandma sewed for them.

She also made one, and only one, quilt during her lifetime, which is meaningful to me. Quilts are one of my specialties.

I am my grandmother's oldest granddaughter, but by the time I was old enough to learn to sew, she was in her eighties and had Parkinson's Disease. She didn't sew anymore.

I saw a picture of an elaborate Victorian era apron in the Anne of Green Gables Treasury, and decided that my grandma and I should make a doll sized version together. I didn't have a pattern or anything.

Well, I guess I was insistent enough or something, that my grandma agreed to make it with me.
It wasn't the fancy Victorian apron of my dreams, just a simple white apron tied with ribbon.

I was still very happy with it. It was the first piece of doll clothing that I successfully sewed.
(It was preceded by some failed attempts.)

My Felicity wore it for years to protect her meet dress, until I decided that the apron was getting too frail. I carefully put it away and made a newer version to replace it.

It's really special to me that we made this together. I still wish that my grandma had been able to pass her years of sewing expertise on to me. Still, we did this together.
To me, it is perfect.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Secret Snarker 2017 Part Three

I got my Secret Snarker gift! My gift giver was BeauCouer.

Her Diana is one of the best dressed 60s girls around, so my Melody was especially happy to get a gift from her!

I got Melody' accessories, Melody's mystery, and the Our Generation Believe in Pink retro accessory set!

I don't often get the accessory sets that go with the meet outfits. (I still want an official AG coral necklace for Felicity, though).

Melody's is a super special set, though, and I knew that I needed it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017



Thanks to Petrichor at American Girl Collectors, I AT LAST have the elusive Our Generation Take a Letter typewriter. I know a lot of people who are still looking for it, so I am really lucky.

Thanks, Petrichor!

Review hopefully to follow soon.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pattern Review: Wren*Feathers Melody's Gym Suit

I felt driven to make Wren*Feather's Melody's Gym Suit.

I, personally, think it is adorable. I know a friend's mother who had to wear one of these as a girl and hated it, and that makes it funny to me.

 Come on, look at the cuteness!

Knowing that it is very authentic appeals to me, also.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

AG Trading Cards: Meet Addy

This is another trading card with an illustration from Meet Addy. It shows Addy's parents, Ruth and Ben Walker.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Secret Snarker 2017 Part One

It's time for American Girl Collector's Secret Snarker Exchange!

I love this exchange. It inspires me to make something that I wouldn't have otherwise.

I was assigned to make or give a gift to Ludodactylus.

I decided to make gifts for her Kirsten and Samantha. They both needed winter clothing.

First I decided to make a quilt for her Kirsten. That was an easy decision.

I received my Secret Snarker assignment, went out and bought fabric and finished the quilt, all in one day. This includes hand quilting. I hope you are impressed, ha ha, because I am.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Pussy Hats

My kindergarten teacher is more cool than your kindergarten teacher.

I know this for a fact, because she commissioned me to make a pussy hat for her granddaughter's doll.

Her granddaughter is about a year old, but she is determined that she should have the coolest hippie doll ever.

I am happy to help.

 I think this looks like a new group of super heroes. Wonder Woman better watch out, she has competition!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

On the Beach

We had some unseasonably ice weather, so Tipi and Nahji went to the beach!

Enjoy it while it lasts, girls!

It's so much easier to carry the Hearts for Hearts dolls around for a photoshoot! I worry less about them and they are that much smaller.

And no, I haven't been travelling- both the snow and the beach pictures were taken in the same geographical area, literally a week apart. The weather has lost its mind!

Thursday, March 2, 2017


We had some snow, and I hurried to take pictures of the dolls that have winter coats out of doors!

 Anne actually owns a whole snow suit, but she didn't need it today.

More Doll Pictures

 Here are a few more doll pictures.  I am trying to post for Doll of Color Month most days, if not all days. I rarely have Internet access t...