Friday, January 21, 2022

1960s Doll Quilts

 My mom's friend Meredith sent me what she described as quilt squares cut out by her mother.

When I opened the box up, the squares had actually been sewn into rows.

Most of the fabric was not quilt fabric. There's polyester, velvet, brocade, eyelet fabric.

I think a lot of it came from clothes, some of it may have been from curtains or tablecloths.

I would date it about 1960s. Some of it may be 1970s instead.

None of it was anything that I would use. It was also fragile due to age and the variety of fabrics used.

But it was special because Meredith's mom, Mrs. N. worked on it.

So... I made it into two doll quilts for Meredith's granddaughters the great-granddaughters of the original seamstress.

They are very very scrappy.

My hope is that they will provide a link to the girls from their great-grandmother. I made a label to put on the back with her full name on it.

I am sure that when Meredith sees these quilts, she will recognize some of the fabrics and they will bring back memories for her. Hopefully she will share them with her granddaughters.

I knew Mrs. N. only vaguely in person. I probably waved at her when she passed, but didn't have a lot of interactions.

 I know a lot about her through her daughter's stories.

She was a polio survivor who walked with a limp.

Her second child was born with a serious medical condition and lived in the hospital for a few months before passing away.

Her husband served in WWII.

She was sweet and funny.

So I am honored to preserve these memories for her family, even though it made me sneeze a lot.


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Introducing Caitlin

 I never posted Caitlin!

Caitlin is a Kaya doll whom I rescued from Goodwill.

Her hair was badly chopped in the back, although it took me a while to notice how bad it was.

You can see pictures of  what she looked like when I got her in this post.


I got her a Chrissa look-alike wig. She is very happy now that she has a better haircut.


And here is a picture of her together with Mara.

She's a cutie!

Yes, I really love the Kaya mold. Kaya has such a sweet face.



Friday, January 14, 2022

Belle's Chair

 I made this chair a year ago, but I don't seem to have put it on the blog, and I keep telling people about it.

So clearly, I need to post it!


To make this chair, I measured her bottom and made a square slightly larger than her bum. 

In hindsight, I wish I had made it a bit wider. It would just look comfier, I think..


The height of the chair was taken from the length of her knee to her foot. It looks taller than it should be, but that's just the proportions of the doll.

The height of the back of the chair was the length of her rear end to her head.

A quilting ruler made all these calculations easier!

I cut out two pieces of cardboard for each piece and glued them together for strength.

Then I covered each piece in quilt batting and fabric. 

Some of the fabric pieces were sewn together to make it look neater than gluing, like the back of the chair and the armrests.

I glued everything together, and voila, a chair!

I picked out this fabric for Belle. I wanted red roses in a small scale.

I think this is actually meant to be peonies, but it looks close enough to me!

This doll does not have knees, so I made her a footstool so she can be comfy.

I put her on the chair and measured how far her feet are off the ground.

So the chair is  totally custom to her size!

I want to make a sofa for fashioned size dolls so I can display more than one at a time.

An American Girl doll sofa would be nice too, but there we run into storage issues, and it might need something stronger than hot glue to hold it together.

Maybe something that slots together and can come apart? I will think about this. I also want it to LOOK GOOD, so that might not work.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Pattern Review: Keepers Dolly Duds Colonial Day Dress

 Felicity is my first American Girl doll and so very special to me.

And yet I have never sewn anything for her until now.

This is because I loved her original collection so much. And partly because I saw so many badly made handmade colonial dresses.

I have finally sewn a gown for my girl.

I used the Keepers Dolly Duds Colonial Day Dress pattern.

It was very easy to follow.

I had a specific fabric that I wanted to use, but first I made a practice dress from the pattern from this thick dark evergreen fabric that I bought secondhand. I am not sure exactly what it is, but it feels and drapes beautifully. It made a very nice dress.


It also pairs perfectly with her red cloak. I have been wanting a more every day winter dress she can wear under her cloak besides her classic blue dress. This is perfect for that.


Having made the first dress, I felt confident in cutting into the very special shimmery fabric that I was saving for a special fabric.

It's brown that turns sort of copper when it moves. It's stunning.

It's also a bit on the slippery side. As a result, I am not quite happy with how the decorative ruffled bits came out.

Maybe no one else can see the mistakes, but I can, and they are driving me mad.

This also pairs well with the cardinal cloak.

I don't blame the pattern for the problems that I had in making the decorative parts of this dress. It's all me and my lack of experience in working with certain fabrics.

Still, I think I will make a plainer version of this gown with this fabric so I don't have to stare at my mistakes.

I hope I have enough fabric after that left to make a dress for Phryne Valancy, who needs a fancy wardrobe as well.

Halloween Clothes

 I swear I made these Halloween dresses in time for Halloween. I posted them on Instagram and forgot to put them on the blog! I was inspired...