Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mix and match for Katherine

I started working on this set earlier in the summer.  Between family, procrastination, other projects and vacations it took a while but is finally complete.  She asked for a mix and match set so she can showcase my work on her blog.  This is very exciting news!  I tried to make a variety of pieces that will mostly be available to order in the fall.
Here is an overview of all the pieces I made for her.

Here is a close up of the pants and one of the shirts. The pants are chocolate brown twill with light blue stitching. The shirt is a very fine purple jersey knit.

Davina is modeling one combination with the wool legwarmers, pleated olive twill skirt and embroidered grey v-neck t. The embroidery is light blue and the back of the shirt closes with buttons.  I've decided it's much too time consuming to hand stitch on metal snaps. It takes well over an hour just to put those on a t-shirt. The buttons work well and don't snag hair and fabric like velcro. 

Julie is modeling another outfit made from these pieces. She's wearing the brown pants and the green floral peasant blouse. Her shoes are the retired casual clogs by AG.

Some details of the pants.  

Next, Sonali shows us the purple long sleeve t and the black rib knit pleated skirt.  All of my skirts and pants have completely enclosed elastic waists. There are no bulky seams poking out anywhere, no velcro and no slippage when the doll is sitting.
The purple floral peasant top layers nicely over the long sleeve t, and the elastic hairband also makes a pretty belt. 

Davina likes to wear the legwarmers on her arms too.  She's also wearing the headband in her hair. The bow is hand stitched in place for durability.
I like this look with the boots from the singing star outfit.

Ok Davina, now you're just being silly.  Those are leggings, not pants.
Last, Julie shows us the brown pants with the purple long sleeve t.  I love this on her!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Molly is here!

She's absolutely perfect, too!  For my birthday I got Molly with her accessories and her school desk.  I couldn't be happier with everything.  Her school supplies are on backorder but they'll arrive some time in October.  The desk is a lovely piece, it's all metal and wood. The seat swivels and the desk top opens up to store her school supplies inside.  I have put her glasses case in there for now.  The boys got a kick out of the little hole for the ink well just like their big desk has. 
Molly's glasses are truly a marvel of engineering. They stay on her face but they don't rub her nose or her cheeks.  They are very sturdy and nice looking.  I wasn't planning on getting any more dolls but with whispers of archival I'm really glad to have Molly.  I was content to let Samantha and Kirsten go, but I would be sad if Molly is next and I didn't have her or her desk.  Thank you Craig, for such a lovely birthday gift!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A fancy dress for Molly.

Molly isn't here yet, but she should be early next week. Her dress is ready and waiting.  I added princess seams to the bodice after it was made to take it in a bit. This was not easy to do in a finished dress and it was still really big so I took the bodice off the skirt and took it in some more. It's really frustrating when a pattern fits (or doesn't) like that. I changed all of the trim treatment and shortened the sleeves a tiny bit. It's still a bit on the large side but there is room for her slip underneath without looking like a stuffed sausage.  She is wearing her slip in these pictures. Now all she needs is the right color ribbons for her braids. I've got a chatty 4 year old hanging off my chair so my thoughts aren't exactly complete or coherent. Here are some pictures of the dress.  P.S. school starts for him on September 13th. That means 2 hours of uninterrupted time 5 days a week.  I can be much more productive then.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A few things for Molly.

I've been trying to work on a mix and match outfit for a client lately. I'm having a hard time finding inspiration for contemporary pieces these days.  A few pieces are finished, I'll blog about them in a post tomorrow or so. I'm hoping to have a skirt and a long sleeve T to add to the mix before I show the whole set.  It's going to be really cute, but I've been procrastinating. 
My birthday is tomorrow and Molly is en route from American Girl.  In preparation for her arrival I've been sewing some special things.  I made her undies set from the Pleasant Company patterns. I really like these patterns, the clothes turn out so nicely and fit well.

Panties and undershirt.  These are both made with a very stretchy rib knit so the shirt has no closures in the back. It slips over her head like a real undershirt. The lace trim is also elastic. I love this set.  I made my son a set in navy blue for his doll. He calls it her bathing suit. It actually kind of looks like a 1920's swim suit except it's not wool like the one we saw in the museum.

After the undies set I made a dress for Molly. I used a pattern but was really disappointed in the fit. I took the bodice off and made several adjustments that made me happier.  I haven't photographed the dress yet but Molly needed a slip to wear under her new dress.  Naturally I made Molly's slip, and it's great!

The slip is a cotton damask stripe, it closes with buttons in the back.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This'll make your eyes bleed... Or mine.

I've been working on that Kaffe Fassett wool cardigan. It's nearly finished and I'm currently trying to squeeze a toque out of the leftovers.  While I was doing the ribbing along the bottom edge I thought I should take a picture to share with the world just how small the stitches and needles are.  It's a little blurry because my camera has a hard time focusing on tiny things up close but this will give you a good idea why my eyes are red and sore today.  All of my knitted items are hand knit, English style.  I tried Continental once but it's just not my style I guess :) It's really fast but I don't get the same smooth even tension I do the English way. It takes me over a week to complete 1 cardigan but it's so worth it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Perfecting the doll t-shirt.

I love making my own patterns, I can (try to) make garments look exactly how I want them to.  I found years ago that I was continually disappointed with purchased patterns. Especially "Big 3" doll patterns for modern styles. They are boxy, over sized, not flattering etc.. I started working on this t-shirt pattern a couple of weeks ago. It was wearable at first, but had some definite fit issues IMO.  The biggest thing that needed work was the sleeves. If you notice in my previous entry the sleeves of the triceratops T. They curl up away from the doll's arm on top and underneath it has a long lip to it that looks off and somewhat sloppy.  Doll clothes should reflect appropriate fit and style. Today's t-shirts have cap sleeves, no length to them past the armpit.  A short sleeve shirt should end well before the elbow ;) even by 1990 standards.  So I fixed the sleeves on my pattern and now it's just right.  The hem ends right into the side seam and the curl is gone from the top.  On people sized patterns the sleeve piece has a front and a back to it. The curve changes because the fit is different, even on dolls.
This is my new and improved t-shirt. I will be putting some of these (plain) in the store in the fall.  I found the embroidery design at  Embroidered designs will be available too.

The neckband could be a bit more narrow, but otherwise I'm very happy with the fit.  The backs of my t-shirts fasten with hand sewn metal snaps. This is very time consuming, but worth it to save the doll's hair.
The embroidery design is a very light pink that matches the contrast thread in the hem of the shirt.  I love these Urban Threads sewing crossbones, I may put this on a shirt for myself. Holly is wearing the new cords and pink hairband from the new AG True Style outfit. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I couldn't resist calling this entry "dino-mite."  My 6 yo is convinced that's how it is spelled and said because he has some underwear with that phrase on them.  Even the lego dynamite that came with his newest set is "dino-mite" to him. What a character!
My birthday is later this month and as a treat my favorite online embroidery shop gave me a $10 off coupon to use.  I instantly thought of my little dinosaur enthusiast and budding paleontologist. They have the most amazing dinosaur embroideries there so I got a fairly large and complex one to use for him but I also got a couple of smaller designs. A t-rex skeleton in a medium size that is too big for doll stuff , and this small triceratops skeleton.  I shrunk the design so it would fit on a doll shirt. It can go a tiny bit smaller and I did make another shirt with the smaller design but I like it in this size. 

 I've been working on my v-neck t shirt pattern and it's just about perfect now. There is just something small to change with the sleeves now. This shirt is a recycled one of mine.  I used the sleeve hem as the neckband and it worked really well.

I think you can click on the pictures to see them larger. The skeleton is quite detailed.  I used a very light blue thread, but it would be nice in ivory, too. If I had some ivory :) Have you heard the latest news about triceratops?  Paleontologists are now saying that Triceratops and Torosaurus are the same animal.  Triceratops is just a young Torosaurus. Their skulls are slightly different because of changes that occur as they age, but they are the same animal.  Pretty cool huh?  The same thing happened years ago with Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus.

 Davina is quite interested in fossils. She would like to show you one of the fossils we have here in our amateur collection. My son and husband found this one at the beach. There is a lot of limestone there rich with small fossils. They brought some tools one day to split open the large rocks and found this:
See the ammonite?  It's the spiral on the left half of the stone. Here is it closer:

Thanks for looking!