Friday, 29 May 2015

I do so like hats.

I spent much of yesterday scouring around the Internet for some idea on making a bonnet for Patience.   If I'd just looked in my patterns folder, I'd have realised I already have something that would be easy to adapt into said bonnet.

I'm so pleased with what I came up with. :)  It's not always that something goes right first time, but when it happens, it boosts my confidence no end.

Here's the bonnet from the side. Very Holly Hobbie, I think.

And from the front.

It's very cute and Olde Worlde. 

You see - I have all these little outfits from where I had to sew items, photograph each step and write up the sewing patterns; and whilst it's nice to have lots of outfits for my dollies, my space is somewhat limited, and to be honest, a lot of these lovely dresses and things sit in a box for months on end.

So, having been asked occasionally if I plan to sell any of  the outfits I make, I thought I'd add some enhancements to each pattern outfit, and put them in my Etsy shop when I open.

If they don't sell, at least I have some fabulous little dolly outfits.


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Sindy hat.

I had a dental appointment today, which kinda screwed up the whole day due to the agoraphobia and the need to get my head together so I can leave the house.   Its all okay though.  I'm also between projects now and at a bit of a loss as to what to do next.

I need a short break from the sewing pattens, so I looked in my big box of dolly clothes and realised I have quite a lot of outfits that I've made in the course of writing the sewing patterns.   Soooo, I think I may try to add hats and decorations to each one, and offer them in my Etsy store.

First up is a hat for Pedigree Sindy.   Going well so far and I'm going to try and cut my own bias binding foe the edging around the brim.

After that, a hatband and maybe some flowers.  We'll see.

I heave several outfits for Sindy, some for Blythe and some for Patience. A couple for Ellowyne too.   It's sad that they're sitting in a box when someone might want to buy them.

I keep meaning to do this thing, then I get disheartened for some reason, and end up starting a new sewing pattern. Maybe I just need to be stricter with myself.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Sorry to tease, but I need something to post.


I know. I know.

I'm probably teasing you horribly, but I really can't sell until I've met certain requirements - but I can say that I'm determined to open for business on the 11th June, 2015.

Isn't she pretty?

I've a few new patterns. this is one of them - the "My Posh Frock" dress I made for Patience, but as a Pedigree Sindy version.  I'll have three new Sindy patterns in the shop, three new ones for Ellowyne and MSD's, and I've also produced a couple of SSP versions of two of my most popular full tutorials.

There will also be a rather cute free patter;, to thank my friends in the doll community, existing customers, and customers yet to be,  for SO MUCH PATIENCE. (No pun intended.)

I've also been sticking at it with the sewing machine.   I'm hand-sewing bodices, because I'm obsessed with fit, but most of the other parts of garments I'm managing to handle on the machine.

It needs a name.

Perhaps Gerald?

It has to be a boy's name because it's a Brother. Arf, arf.


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sewing machine practice

I know I've been quiet again, but I needed to step away from the dolly stuff, so I spent about 3 days faffing around on the computer - and ploughing through the Inspector Rutledge books by Charles Todd.  I love those.

...Unfortunately, the computer part of the equation made the RSI in my shoulder play up, so I picked up the sewing again.

The fabric I'm using at present, is a lovely striped cotton, but it's a nightmare to get a needle through. So having punctured myself a few times, I got out my poor sewing machine once more.

I say poor, because it's been sitting under what started off as a pile of 'mending', which soon became just a pile of clothes.  It's not a horrendously expensive machine, but it does make a very expensive storage shelf!

A lot of people are surprised when I say I'm useless at sewing with a machine.  I mean I can use one okay, but when I see how amazing some doll clothing designers are with a machine I just want to hang my head in  shame.  I find tiny darts and curved neck & sleeve shapings are virtually impossible to cope with when sewing on a machine. 

So I usually stick to hand sewing, unless my fingers are raw and bleeding, or unless I've mad a particular frock so many times, I just want to get the next one sewn quickly.

Here's my machine.   I didn't want to go for a really fancy one that did things I would never use it for, so I picked a good brand name and went for a middle-range computerised one.  It's gorgeous. It sews beautifully, and the only barrier to using it is my own ineptitude.

The current pattern I'm working on is the "Posh Frock", originally for Patience, but this one is for Pedigree Sindy.   I sewed the bodice by hand, but thus far, I've managed to dew the skirt and ruffles, the petticoat AND the armlets on the machine.    I've distributed the gathers and basted them into place by hand, the petticoat waistband is hand-finished, as are the armlets, but I'm so pleased with the almost-finished ensemble!

Only a couple of disasters took place, neither one to do with the machine, but I was able to keep at it and I'm feeling quite proud of myself.

Here's the near-finished outfit.  I need to add the shoulder ruffle, but that should be easy enough on the machine.

It's perhaps not quite as enjoyable for me as hand sewing, because I really do enjoy doing that, but it saved me loads of time, and there are no blood spots, because it also saved my poor fingers.

Yes. I'm aware I've droned on a bit, but what's a blog for if not to keep some sort of record?  I'll continue to try and use the machine more often. ... but at the end of the day,  Hand sewing is sort of what I'm known for, and I won't be giving it up any time soon.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Facebook group

I already run two groups over on Facebook, but I recently created a third - for dolly sewing discussion. 

It’s been such fun helping out someone who's starting to sew for tinies, it was lovely to see her have a go and post pictures of the results.

It inspired me to post my first ever doll project... as an adult that is.  I used to make clothes for my dolls as a child but nothing has survived, sadly. This project is from around 15 years ago.

I got myself a My Scene Barbie, having seen some Barbie fairies online, and thought I'd have a go.

1) I started off with felt. At the time I felt I wasn't very good at sewing, so I tried to deal the edges of the felt with glittery craft paint.

2) The same with the boots.  Then I thought nobody would buy a cheap felt outfit, so I switched to velvet.

3) With the purple velvet, I still tried not to sew much! I melted the edges of the velvet with a candle to seal them.  It looked bad. Much worse than in the photo.  I glued silver threads and bits of heat-sealed organza behind the skirt. 

4) I'd recently run my own handmade jewellery business, so I tried some beading...

5) I ended up making lots of little accessories and some boots.  I did end up sewing a fair bit after all, and loved every second.

6)  The end result was by no means saleable. It was much more poorly finished than it looks in the pics.  Most of the accessories were sewn onto the doll, and couldn't be removed.  But it was fun, and started me off on the whole dolly addiction! 


Here's a few more of that same outfit:

Since then, I've discovered there's so much more to dolls than Barbie.  But the thing is, don't give up at the first hurdle.  Have a try. Start with simple strips wrapped around the doll like I did, and embellish them to hell.   Experimenting is a great way to learn, and to gain more confidence.

I've had some terrible disasters, which I've never posted on the interwebz out of sheer embarrassment.   That's the nice thing. You can keep your failures to yourself, and show off the nicer bits.  ;)



Tuesday, 12 May 2015

FREE01 - free sewing pattern for Ellowyne and pals.

Another quick post. I've been quiet because I've been sewing and also trying to organise things related to y hope that I can soon become self-employed.  I don't want to air my personal business online, but I've had to make sure everything is legal and above board, I need some stuff from the Tax Office, and there's a few other things.

I'm kind of excited and kind of terrified.

Any old how, Here's something I've been working on.   I've finally managed to make the little shabby pinafore to go over the outfit I've posted about recently.   It's very cute, but I may make it a wee bit longer.  I didn't measure properly when I was drafting the patter. Derp.

Pru looks sweet in it though. :)

This pinafore is available for free. Links below:

Free sewing pattern for Ellowyne & slim MSD:
How to print your pattern:
A4 instructions:
U.S. Letter instructions:
A4 pattern pieces:

I have a handful of new patterns all ready to go.  It's driving me nuts not being able to open up shop, and I've had a few people really eager to buy patterns.

Please continue to be patient. Everyone who has bought my patterns and who wants more has been amazing, and awesome, and really lovely. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

Not long now. I hope.


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

More bits being added.

I made this unlined shift before I even started the bloomers and leotard to go under it, but here it is so far. Again, it's still damp from styling and the crinkle fabric is looking lovely.

Over the shift will go a sort of overdress, hopefully.  I'll need to draft a completely new pattern for what I imagine.  Very often, I'll have a design in mind, but practical considerations, such as scale, or the method something needs to be sewn can mean I end up with something not quite as I intended.

On the bright side, I do enjoy the occasional surprise this brings.

Now I'm off to rummage in my stash for the perfect overdress fabric.


Monday, 4 May 2015

Doing more than one thing at a time.

I've been quiet for a few days, which usually means I've been busy.  At the moment though, I have three sewing patterns on the go at once. Usually I design something, sew it, and write the pattern in a methodical manner.  Not this time. I'm flitting about from thing to thing.

Here's the start of one of the current patterns, sort of.  I keep thinking of small things to sew and photograph ready for the next pattern.  Not the best way to work and I think it'll be better when I'm back to the methodical way.

Wet bloomers.  All this fabric is hand-dyed, fixed, and laundered to death - to prevent any possible staining.

Still fun though.  I'm dying bits of fabric and wanting to sew them IMMEDIATELY.  Like a kid in a sweetie shop.

It's good when inspiration strikes. I have four patterns on my written list at the moment, with at least four more that I need to add.