Saturday, 24 December 2011

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Little Red Riding Hood

Here's another of the dolls that Connie sent me.  The little outfit she is wearing only took a short time to make and I think it really suits her.  Luckily I had some red yarn in my stash because Little Red Riding Hood only wears red!!!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Tea Party

I invited my friends for tea today, two of them brought their dolls that we have all made party dresses for.  Lucy, on the left, had a new hair-do, my friend's granddaughter said Lucy must have a better hair style to go with her dress so she gave Lucy a bath, shampoo, condition and set.  I think she did an amazing job of it, Lucy's hair usually looks like a bush!  Melissa, in the middle, had sparkly gems on her new dress and also lovely little silver ballet slippers to match.  Ginny, on the right, had her hair tied back with a silver ribbon and a matching ribbon on her dress, she also wore a new necklace.  In front of Ginny is a little teddy bear that she insisted should join the party!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Meet Madeline

I was lucky enough to be given this cute little doll by a very generous friend, Connie.  As soon as I saw her I was smitten.  Immediately she appealed to something in me.  Connie pointed me in the right direction to find out Madeline's history of how she came to be.  What an interesting story this turned out to be.  On arrival Madeline was wearing a little blue and white striped dress with a sailor collar.  Of course I had to make her something new!  I made the long socks out of a pair of my pants that had seen better days, they worked out really well as they are very fine tee shirt type fabric.  Then the little dress I made up myself.  I wanted her to have a pleated skirt.  The pleats took a bit of puzzling out but I'm pleased with the result.  As Madeline is only about 7.5 inches tall I had a bit of trouble sewing the dress on my sewing machine so most of it is hand stitched.

Here's a picture of the Barbie in another dress I knitted.  You will also see a Kelly with her, also sent to me by Connie....
I made the Kelly some white socks too and knitted her the little dress.

You may notice that the quality of my pictures is much better.  I had the wrong setting on my camera, it was on very low pixels so I went up to the higher pixels and got much better results.

I've had to stop knitting for a while and I've also had to cut down on using my computer so much.  For quite some time now I occasionally had a painful hand and just lately it's been very painful.  I think it is just from using the mouse and the way I hold it , a bit of a break from this will hopefully ease the problem.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Little Party Dress

This little dress is almost the same as most of the dresses I've made for this doll, all that is different is that I put a layer of lace onto the skirt...
I also made the bodice shorter than I have done previously, it suits the doll better.

I'm still knitting for Barbie, it's a good way for me to practice my knitting as they are nice and quick to make, I get bored easily!  So far she has four two piece outfits and four dresses.  I also knitted a tiny little dress for a Kelly doll (Barbie's little sister).  As soon as the Kelly arrives here at my house she will have a little dress to wear.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Barbie

I never thought I'd buy a Barbie.  However, there are so many fab Barbie knitting patterns on the internet, and I'm trying to get to grips with knitting, that I gave in and bought one.  Here are the things I've knitted so far, sorry about the terrible quality of the pictures, must have the settings wrong and a bit of a shake on...





Sunday, 9 October 2011

Simple Knit Top Pattern

I'm still persevering with knitting.  This little top has a knitted body and crochet sleeves.  I'm still having trouble getting neat edges on my knitting so decided to do these crochet sleeves as it gave a neater look than my knitted ones...

Crochet Sleeved Knit Top – doll size 10/11/12 inch
Needles – for slim doll 12(2¾mm) and 10(3¼mm)

                 for chubbier doll 10(3¼mm) and 8(4mm)

Yarn DK
Front (or back if making cardigan)
Cast on 20 stitches with thumb cast on
Rib 3 rows
Knit first and last stitch of every st st row
St st 9 rows and place marker
St st 10 rows
Cast off

Back (or fronts if making cardigan)
Cast on 20 stitches (or 10 if making cardigan)
Rib 3 rows
Knit one stitch at side and 2 at centre on every st st row
St st on 10 stitches for 9 rows and place marker
St st 10 rows
Cast off
Repeat for other side on the 10 stitches remaining on needle

Sleeves (crochet)
Sew the shoulders leaving enough neck hole to suit your doll
Sc around armhole from marker to marker
3 ch then dc 1ch in each st
One round for short sleeves, more if you want longer sleeves
Join sleeves with a slip stitch

Sew or crochet sides together.  Sew buttons on centre back (use small buttons that will ease through the knitting without the need for buttonholes)

If you need any clarification let me know

Saturday, 10 September 2011

How To Make A Simple Bed

Two shoe box lids, one smaller than the other.  A piece of card cut to size for the headboard.

Stick the smaller lid right sides together with the bigger lid, the smaller lid becomes the base.  Cut the piece of card so that it fits snugly into one end of the bigger lid and the height you want for the headboard.

This is what you end up with...

I think that for the small amount of work it took this bed is pretty good, if I do say so myself.  Even the bedding didn't take long, it was mostly just straight sewing and the mattress is just some wadding sewn into a cover.  The crochet blanket was very quick and easy, I did make it smaller than in the pattern so that it would fit the bed.  And I made quite a few mistakes because I was excited about getting the bed finished!



Sunday, 4 September 2011

All-in-one

I finished another little crochet underwear item, once again from Beth's blog.  I still haven't bought any nice crochet cotton so this one is also made using 3 ply baby knitting yarn.  I think it suits Ginny...


I've got to have a bit of a break from crochet now.  I promised my friends that I would come up with some bed linen for us to make.  I have plenty of white polycotton and loads of lace.  My idea is to have lace and pin tucks on the sheet and pillow case.


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Lacy Undies

I found the pattern for these undies here and just couldn't resist making this set.  Ginny is a bit small for the pattern as is, so I had to alter it a bit.  I think it is very pretty.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Crochet Shoes

I've been messing around trying to make some shoes for my dolls.  I tried fabric but they didn't look very nice.  Then I tried crochet shoes but found them very fiddly to do.  Today I spent time writing out a pattern so that I could understand it.  Here is the finished result, they don't look as neat in the picture as they do in real life...

Here's the pattern that I came up with to fit a 40 mm foot, using 4 ply and a 3.5 mm hook but by changing to a thicker yarn or a bigger hook it would fit a bigger doll...
Shoes

Row No


Chain 6


1

1 sc into 2nd ch from hook


3 sc

5 sc in next loop

4 sc

2

In 1st loop 2 sc


5 sc

2 sc in each next 3 loops

5 sc and join

3

hdc in fp of sc  (18 sts)


Join

4

6 sc


Sk 1

1 sc

Sk 1

1 sc

Sk 1

1 sc

4 sc

join

5

6 sc


Sk 1

1 sc

Sk 1

1 sc

5 sc

join

ch = chain
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
fp = front post
Sk = skip

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A Dressing Gown

Here's Ginny wearing the dressing gown I just finished.  I haven't blocked it yet, I don't block before sewing up because I never get the pieces to match for the sewing, it works out better for me to block last.  All I do is dip the garment into a bowl of water, squeeze out the excess with a towel, shape and leave to dry.


Remember the blue jumper I knitted that Chloe refused to wear?  Well, I sent it to a blog friend for one of her dolls.  Here is Kyle wearing it.  It really suits him doesn't it, it's much more of a masculine design so I was glad he liked it.



Friday, 12 August 2011

Cropped Trousers

After quite a bit of fiddling about I managed to come up with some cropped trousers that fit.  The first pair I made were too wide, the second pair slip down, the third pair are just right.  The problem was caused by the dolls having strange shapes.  One is quite chubby, so she got the first pair.  When I came to make some for Ginny, even though I altered the size, they still slip down, she has very narrow hips....
They are ok but a bit too long
The third pair had to be taken in quite a lot on the waist and this time I used elastic at the waist instead of a snap.....
I like how these fit Francine and I like the length.
The crochet tops are from here.
You may have noticed Ginny's shoes.  I crocheted these for her even though I'm not keen of crocheted shoes.  She looks quite happy in them.  I like them big as it balances her shape, her feet seem very small for the size of her head.  Francine is much more in proportion.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Thursday Friends

Ginny, Lucy and Melissa

On alternate Thursday afternoons three friends spend the afternoon with me at my house.  Two of the ladies bring their dolls, Lucy and Melissa.  Melissa is a Gotz Just Like Me doll, as is my doll Ginny.  Lucy is an older doll that one friend had given to her daughter about forty years ago.  When I showed these two ladies the doll clothes I'd been making they expressed a wish to make doll clothes too.  So, one bought Melissa from the same place I'd bought Ginny and the other friend searched amongst her granddaughters toys and found Lucy.  We get a lot of pleasure from 'playing' with our dolls.  Now Lucy wasn't played with much when she lived at my friend's daughter's house and her granddaughters have lots of dolls of their own, but since Lucy has acquired lots of lovely clothes my friend has had to ration the amount of time each of her granddaughters plays with Lucy as quarrels were breaking out!!!  They are each allowed half and hour at a time to play dressing the doll.  I thought that was a lovely story my friend told us.  Even the granddaughter who 'isn't into that sort of thing' loves to play with Lucy now.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Crochet

When Chloe saw the little crocheted top I'd made for Ginny and Molly.....

...she refused to wear the jumper I'd knitted her.  She said that being a chic French girl she deserved something much more stylish than the horrible thing I'd made her wear.
Here she is in her little summer top...
...she's still complaining about her shoes though, a more feminine style is what she wants.
Well, once Francine had seen the other girls in these tops she wanted one...
Luckily the tops were very easy to make and very easy to adjust for the different sizes of doll.  Here's where I got the pattern for it, it is very easy to add a different frill to the bottom and to adjust for your doll size.  And it is very quick to make.
You probably notice that the girls had to share skirts, they are all complaining that they don't have enough skirts.


Monday, 1 August 2011

More Knitting

I'm still practising my knitting and this is the latest effort...
The pattern I used here was for a Barbie doll and I was hoping it would fit.  I did the sleeves wider than was called for in the pattern and they fit ok up to the armhole, where they are a bit tight.  Next time I'll do them wider in that area.  Also, I think the back could do with being a bit wider too.  It's almost ok and Chloe will be able to wear it, she had to borrow a skirt off Francine for this picture but I will make her some capri pants to wear with this jumper.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Marie Outside

Here's Marie looking at the fuschias, she's wearing a dress and cardigan I made for her and holding a little teddy bear I knitted.  This bear is the first toy I've ever knitted, it took me ages to make as I kept making mistakes.
 
 

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

How To Make A Handbag

Doll’s Handbag
Materials 
Aida
Cotton fabric (for lining)
Sewing thread

Cut one piece of Aida 3¾” x 3½ 
Cut one piece of lining fabric 4½” x 3½ 
Cut two pieces of lining fabric for handles 5½” x 1” 

Fold the two narrow pieces of lining fabric in three lengthwise and sew down the middle.

Place Aida onto wrong side of lining fabric so that there is an equal amount of the lining showing at both ends of Aida.  Fold lining fabric over the two raw edges of Aida and sew in place. 
On the lining side of the bag, mark with a pencil one inch from each side (both ends) and sew on the handles over the pencil marks. 
With Aida on the inside, fold the bag and sew down each side.  Sew across each corner at what will be the bottom of the bag and trim off the point.
Turn the bag right side out.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Summer Dress

After a lot of fiddling about I've managed to come up with a pattern that fits my Les Cheries doll.  I wanted to make a dress with sleeves but not being able to draft my own patterns I had to alter two dress patterns for a different sized doll.  The Les Cheries dolls are tall and slim and their bodies have a completely different shape to my Gotz Just Like Me doll.  Anyway, I managed it and it turned out just right.....
The sleeves are slightly gathered with elastic.  I had to stitch through each end of the elastic just short of the underarm seams, then I zig-zagged over the elastic, stretching it to fit.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

A Nightdress

I spent yesterday making nightdresses for the 11.5 inch dolls.  I wanted something that wasn't too complicated and would be quick to make.  My two pattern books - A Closetful of Doll Clothes and The Dolls Dressmaker - didn't have anything suitable.  So, making it up as I went along, I came up with this...
The first one I made was a bit wide for this Gotz doll but it does fit the little old doll. 

My next project is to make nightdresses for the Corolle Les Cheries doll and the Smoby Mademoiselle doll.  I might try a different style for these two dolls as they are more modern in their clothes style.

I also had a go at making shoes...



A bit more practise is needed on these.  I don't think I allowed enough of a seam on the sole of the closed in shoe, it makes them too baggy on the top of the foot and I had to clip and glue them to make them fit better.  They also cover too much of the foot.  Still, not bad for a first go.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Smoby Doll

The second hand doll was fed up with standing around in just her underwear.  This is what I came up with for her...
There is minimal sewing in this outfit.  I used the fabric that I cut out of one of those cardigans with a sort of vest top attached to the front.  I'd liked the cardigan but not the vest top as it was too low at the front for me.  So, I cut the fabric and utilised the seam of one part for the top of the little suntop you see here.  The skirt is from the lower half of the vest.  Altogether it turned out nice and she looks happy wearing it.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Coat

I wanted to make a fitted coat for this doll but the pattern I used, even though it was supposed to be for a 14 inch doll, was too small.  This coat that she is wearing is an adapted version of a different pattern...
It just fits, if it was any bigger it would probably look too big.  I like this coat pattern (by Rosemarie Ionker) because it is so easy and the lining makes for a neat finish.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Lucky Find

I was away at the weekend visiting my brother and sister-in-law.  My sister-in-law likes to look around charity shops as much as I do so of course we visited a few.  We were surprised at how many porcelaine dolls were for sale.  Now I don't want porcelaine dolls, I want the vinyl play dolls.  This is what we found in one charity shop...
I just do not like this type of clothing on a doll but the doll itself was just the sort of thing I was looking for.  After taking her clothes off this is what she looked like....
She's very much like the Corolle Les Cheries dolls.  On the back of her head it said Simba STHK-171.  After a bit of searching I found that she is made in France by Smoby and is one of the Mademoiselle 4 Saisons dolls.  What a lucky find.  She did cost £9.99 but does look as though she is new.  The hat she was wearing was stuck to her hair with double-sided sticky tape, that took a bit of getting off and her hair is still a bit sticky at the back but I should be able to get it all out.  Also, the shoes she is wearing are not her original ones, they are probably 'borrowed' from a porcelaine doll.  I think that the lady who served me in the shop had made the clothing so I'm glad I didn't criticise it in front of her!  She also asked me if the doll was going to a good home and I said it was for me to make clothes for and she was happy about that.  There was another doll with similar clothing but it was not a very good quality doll (made in China) and was priced at £9.99 too.  I thought this was too expensive but, if the lady in the shop had made the clothes, it was probably priced at that because of the way it was dressed.  As I only want dolls to dress myself I didn't buy it.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Chloe's Clothes

Here's the first thing I've made for Les Cheries Chloe...
I'm getting quite quick at making this design.  It's a variation on most of the dresses I've made so far.  The top part is lined and can be an A line dress or, if I cut it at the waist, I can make a gathered skirt for it.  A bit of adjustment and it fits three sizes of doll, an 18 inch, a slim 11.5 inch, a chubby 11.5 inch and a slim 13 inch.  Really that's four sizes of doll isn't it.

I've been knitting again, nothing to show just yet but I bought some 3 ply yarn and very thin needles.  This makes the scale of the knitting look more in keeping for doll sized clothes.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Summer Top

The little old doll was feeling a bit warm in her knitted top so I made her a little tee-shirt top to go with her new skirt....
She looks a lot more comfortable now.

This is the first time I've sewn tee-shirt fabric.  The only thing I did differently was to change my needle for a 'stretch' one.  I'd bought these needles a long time ago but never got around to using them.  That's the best thing about having a stash, you know you'll use it sometime.  Also, the tee-shirt fabric is very forgiving, the amount of stretch in it means the pattern doesn't have to be completely accurate, it stretches to fit.

After I'd written the above I decided to make some shorts...
They might not be brilliantly well made but they look ok on.  The legs are not finished off and probably wouldn't be suitable for a child to play with but that's ok, there is only me playing with her!!!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Old Doll, New Clothes

The old doll is feeling very happy, she has a new knitted top with a matching skirt - she's the envy of the other two little dolls....

Next week I'll look for finer knitting yarn and smaller knitting needles because I think what I've used for this little top looks a bit chunky.  This being only the second thing I've ever hand-knitted I'm quite pleased with how it looks and it goes nicely with the pink roses on the skirt fabric.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The New Girl

Well, I did it again.  Yes, it's another new doll.  This time she is a Corolle Les Cherie...

The quality of the picture is bad as usual, not sure what it is I do wrong.  I think this will be the last doll I buy, but I say that to myself every time, so who knows!!!  This doll is 13 inches tall, that means she can be the big sister of the two little dolls.

I spent today finishing knitting a short sleeved jumper/sweater for the little old doll.  Knitting is just not my thing.  It looks ok on so it will do and it fits the doll.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Cardigan

I finished the cardigan, it looks ok for a first go at knitting.  I struggled a bit understanding the pattern instructions and had to undo some of the knitting and redo it.  I don't know whether to put buttons on it or not.  I'm not sure how you are supposed to sew it together, it looks ok on the outside so it will do.  I suppose I should press it but I'm a bit worried about spoiling it, maybe I should have pressed it before I sewed it together.
It was enjoyable sitting and knitting so will make something else soon.

I can't decide what to sew next, maybe a skirt and a knitted top.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Knitting

No pictures to show yet but I'm in the process of knitting a cardigan for one of my little dolls, not sure which one will get it yet, it depends who it fits best.  I'm not very good at following knitting patterns so who knows what it will turn out like.  However, I thought a little cardigan should be something I could have a go at.

I'm feeling very tempted to buy another doll.  I know I shouldn't but this doll thing gets a bit obsessive!  This time I fancy a Corolle Les Cheries.  It's not very expensive so should I go for it?

I had a lovely afternoon last Thursday.  Two friends of mine showed an interest in making dolls clothes too, so we got together and had a most enjoyable time sewing together, drinking tea and eating shortbread.  We are meeting again this Thursday and intend to meet up every other Thursdays to sew.  It is so lovely to have someone to share our doll interest with.

Monday, 11 April 2011

New Petticoats

Here are the old and the new little dolls in two versions of the same pattern.  The old doll has the skirt of her petticoat made from a length of ready gathered broderie englaise.  The new doll's skirt is plain fabric edged with lace (which I still can't get to show up well in pictures).

There is about forty years difference in the ages of these dolls, I think.  I haven't seen any new dolls made in the same way as the old one for a long time.  The new doll is much better made and probably costs the equivalent amount to the original price of the old doll.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

To Sew or To Buy

A few months ago I bought a Gotz Cookie with the intention of making clothes for this type of baby doll.  It turned out more difficult than I expected so decided to buy this doll some new clothes.  I wasn't sure what size baby clothes come in not having to buy baby clothes for forty years!  It turned out that Early Baby or Tiny Baby clothes fit this size of doll.  So here he is in his new outfit.  The hat is a bit big but he doesn't mind!

I made this outfit as a gift for a friend who has an AG type doll....
This is my Gotz Precious Day Girl modelling it, she is the same size as an AG.
The jacket is made from felt, it worked ok but I would like to use a better quality fabric if I can find something suitable.

Monday, 21 March 2011

What's This Then?

Oh no, not another doll!!!  After making the little old doll some clothes I decided that I would like an up to date doll of this size.  So, I sent for this Gotz Just Like Me doll.  She’s the same height as the old doll but not so chubby.  I really enjoyed making her this dress.  Now I have to make her some underwear.  Also, I’d like to find some shoes to fit her, the ones she came in are wrong for the look I want.  I have lots of fat quarters of fabric that are perfect for making dresses for these small dolls, this doll is 11.5 inches tall.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A Little Dress

Here's the old doll with her new dress...
I should have made it slightly longer as the petticoat shows, or I should have made the petticoat shorter, I folded it up under the dress for the picture.  I love the fabric this dress is made from, I got it in a swap last year and it's come in just right for this doll.  Another thing I like about this size of doll is that I get a dress out of a fat quarter.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Apron

I hadn't got round to showing the apron I made a couple of months ago.  It's for my Gotz Precious Day Girl who is the same size as an American Girl.

I was pleased with how this turned out.

I was thinking about how play doll styles have changed.  My old doll (post below) is the sort of doll I would have been given in the 1950s.  These dolls were like little girls and could be bought very cheaply from places like Woolworth's.  They came nicely dressed with hair that you could comb.  I did an internet search to see if this type of doll was still available.  I was surprised to find that you can only get baby dolls and dolls that look like skinny teenagers.  I know you can get more expensive dolls that still look like little girls but these aren't the 'throw away' type of doll I received as a child.  Those dolls had limbs that sort of pushed into the body, the heads were soft vinyl and the bodies were stiff plastic that was quite thin in some places.  After a while their arms or legs would come out of the socket and that was it, they never stayed in place again.

I was also thinking about why I've been playing with dolls lately.  It's not because I want to be a doll collector, it's because I love making clothes for them.  So, any old doll will do and it's nice to think that I can refurbish an old doll by making it new clothes.  I have three dolls that I've made clothes for; two baby dolls that are waiting for me to make clothes; a collectors type doll by Ashton Drake (see Ivy below); and, waiting in the side lines, is a 25 inch tall, Blossom Toys doll from the 1970s.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Underwear

The old doll has decent underwear at last.  I had to cut the original pants off her, I don't know how the manufacturer had managed to put them on her, they were so tight.  Now she's got bloomers....
The pattern I used was from the Rosemarie Ionker book 'A Closetful Of Doll Clothes'.  The bloomers fit beautifully.  The ones I'd made for my American Girl don't fit half as nicely.  The difference is that Rosemarie Ionker had made allowance in the pattern for the doll behind.
I didn't bother gathering the legs of the bloomers, I think they look ok as they are, her legs are quite chubby.

Next I made the petticoat....
The only alteration I had to make to the pattern was to add a bit more in the body width (it being a different doll to the one used in the book).  Also I used my sewing machine gathering foot.  I don't think I've ever used it before.  It didn't gather the skirt as full as the pattern called for but I don't mind this as petticoats on dolls can be a bit full in my opinion.

I usually do the gathering either by machine stitching with a long stitch, two rows parallel to each other, then pulling one end of each thread, remembering to tie off the other end so the thread doesn't come through.  Or I hand stitch a running stitch along the fabric and pull up that way.