Sewing for Dolls: Crissy and Velvet

I have been sewing for my Ideal girls again...first a project pattern I was working on for a while, pants sets 70's style for the big girls. I am toying with the idea of offering some of my original patterns as PDFs in the new year. I decided to sew these with batik fabric--which I have never really liked, but I found some that were so pretty and with the right amount of solid and batik together I think they look groovy. Do you name your outfits? Is that weird? I do--helps me remember what it was when I look at the paper pattern pieces--plus it is fun :)
The pants are all done with the same (slightly modified) vintage Simplicity Crissy pattern, the tops are my own design-inspired by an outfit my sisters and I had as kids which we called our "Gold-digger" outfits --lol we had no idea what that meant. Anyway here are my Gold-digger looks.
Raven in Deep Ocean--this was the first attempt at the pattern--not my fave, though I like the pocket flaps sewn into the side seams like this.

Zoey in Sunburst --loving the collar on this one.

Annabelle in Shoreline--I wanted a more beach-y summery look so left off sleeves and  gave it a nice open neck line.

Cheryl in America--the pointed collar and tie is so 70's.

Marcia in Strawberry Sunday-this is the same as the Sunburst pattern--but I set the sash into the princess seams.

Pretty Dolls: Fashion Friends

I am a huge fan of  the Fashion Friends Club dolls! I was very excited when Gretchen of Fashion Friends Club sent me some photos from her winter photoshoot of the girls and said I could post them here!

Faith, Annie and Patti--Ready for the Rains!
I love these dolls, I own Faith Flowers, Rose Ruffles, Annie Argyle and Patti Polkadots and I still want to buy the remaining ones to complete my collection.

Lots more photos and info on these girls after the jump...

Sewing for Dolls: Quilt Inspired Doll Dresses for Crissy and Velvet

I finally made some more doll dresses. My girls are happy--these chicas were still wearing their Christmas Dresses. These fabrics I had actually bought for quilting, my new obsession, but I got to looking at them and thought they would make some sweet boutique dresses for the girls.
The end result, cute boutique dresses that only used 1 fat quarter each (mix and match). These are Ideal Velvet dolls I have customized now known as Mo and Lizzy L-R

Two more dresses. I sewed them all assembly line style.--There a few left to sew up. This is an customized Ideal Crissy, who I have named Cheryl and her friend, an original Ideal Cricket-her name is Cricket :)
Making a quilt has made me realize (already!) how to best conserve fabric and how to chain piece. Here I the fabrics I started with.

My idea for the dresses--simple faced square neck bodice with 3/4 sleeve so that both Crissy and Velvet size dolls could wear them, and a full skirt with ruffle.

To do this all assembly line style, I laid out my pieces and the cut this size block out of each of my fat quarters.

Here are all the blocks.

Then I cut the patterns out of each

Bodice fronts, backs, sleeves and facings all cut out.

This long piece is now cut straight across and becomes the skirt pattern piece.

Another photo of the cutting the skirt piece, that piece above the ruler went in my quilt scrap bag, so I will have a piece to quilt with afterall--I am loving using the rotary cuter or this--so easy!

I first sewed the bodices together at the shoulder--I just chain pieced one after the other--just like you do in quilting--so much faster--never thought of doing that before. I also chained pieced the sleeves all the hemming, everything I could.

Mixing and matching the pieces to make dresses was the fun part.

Pretty Quilts: I made a Quilt from my Dolls Clothes Scraps

I did make a quilt from my doll clothes scraps, really :) I have been wanting to make a quilt for a very long time. I definitely have no shortage of scraps from all the dolls clothes I have made over the years--I could still make another 8 or 9 quilts probably with what I have left.

 I really love the look of modern quilts and have been pinning them and buying quilting books and magazines for years--but I never really could figure out how to really make a quilt until I bought the quilting book Sunday Morning Quilts, I followed one of the patterns in the book for piecing my scraps together--it was actually instructions for making a pretty box for storing scraps--I also found the  advice about how to conserve fabric scraps and the advice on sorting  my scraps by color invaluable in making this quilt--no, no one is paying me to say that --it is just an excellent book that I highly recommend if you have also been hemming and hawwing about getting started quilting.

My other amazing quilt resource has been watching Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company's You Tube tutorials--Jenny just makes everything about quilting easier--I made the second quilt below using her disappearing nine-patch technique. I think quilting is an excellent partner for sewing doll clothes and I plan to make many more quilts I am smitten with the whole process.
I used my back fence as a basting wall--I used spray baste.

I quilted my masterpiece using my regular sewing matching just rows varying width rows of this built in scallop-y stitch.

I think I may be more proud of this than anything I have ever made with my own two hands.

I took a chance on combining this gorgeous Kaffe Fassett floral with Lori Whitlock for  Riley Blake Simply Sweet and I love how it is coming out--this is just a quilt top--I am still going to add a border on this one.

Quilting= Even more reasons to buy Gorgeous Fabrics!!!

Doll Make Over: Disney's Ariel

For March's doll had a look in my doll bins. This is where dolls I could not resist, but do not really fit in my collection, reside at the moment. This is a Disney Princess Ariel. I purchased her from a thrift shop when I was living in Hawaii. I tried to figure out what issue she is,--but could not as of yet, can't seem to find another online that is just like her.
Not sure of the version, but this Ariel has positional wrists. She cost a dollar--which is why I could not pass her up. One additional lesson learned here, I should have taken off that sticker on her belly after I bought her--I took it off today (2 years later) and found the ink had bled through to make a permanent "$1.00" tattoo on her belly.

Her face is sparkly--I don't know if she came that way or her previous little mother gave her some make-up. She looks a little wan here, I think her eye color is much more flattering.

Here's her after photo. This is another "light" make over. I washed her up, repainted her eyes to a pretty olive and fawn color (right on top of the old paint and then sealed it), washed and brushed out her gorgeous hair--look how fluffy! I also made her an outfit. This pattern is a slightly modified Vintage Crissy pattern --Simplicity 5276.

Would love to find shoes for her--or I guess I could make some--grrrr-not my favorite craft.

This little sweetie is going up on the shelf. I really love how she turned out. I do have a couple more Disney Princesses in my collection--I have the Animator's Series Toddlers--Tiana and Tangled and I have Princess and Me Cinderella. They are all so cute --may have to drag them out of the bins and make them some clothes too--they don't need make-overs--but not putting them up  in their shiny princess satins (!) I bought them new from, in a moment of weakness, if you check often you can often find great sales.

Doll Make Over: Furga Alta Moda Simona and Susanna

I know it is the middle of March :). School (I am going "back" to school at my old-ish age to become a teacher) really had me bogged down last two months and so I missed a doll in my doll a month--- So instead of not having a doll make over (I didn't) I have done two dolls with "light" make-overs :) (I do now) get it? Me neither !

So here are two of the lovely Furga Alta Moda dolls I got a few months ago and here is the info on their "light" make-overs.


Susanna is bald--(still trying to find the best type of hair for her re-root) and her eyes were very etched--she had great lashes but no salvaging them when removing the eyes. I did replace her eyes with new ones from mimiwoo on Ebay, half round 20mm eyes fit her perfect.
I chose to give her a "looking up" gaze instead of her normal forward or side glancing eyes--I think it looks so cute on her. But this can be easily changed by warming up her head and moving them again.
 I kinda like her without eyelashes....but will probably get some for her...maybe.
Her dress is from Fashion Friends and it is amazingly awesome--though she does not fit the shoes that came with it.


I washed Simona and brushed her hair--this is an outfit I made a while back :)--that make over was so "light" it was almost invisible!! LOL-but she is not laying nekky on the sewing table anymore.
I am looking for info on how to fix her case of "little brother"--her torso is covered with pin holes--someone used her as a voodoo doll! She also has many on her face--thinking of trying heat to melt them closed...any ideas? 
You can see a few of her pin holes here--they are also on her forehead and all over her torso.


Doll Make Over: Ideal Velvet - Swanhilda

 So here is my Ideal Velvet, she had a haircut before she came to me and needed a new hairstyle. I decided to try and do dred (or is it dread?) locks. I wanted her to have a sweet sort of Boho look and I chose  pink ice, lavender, and baby blue hair. Originally I was going to re-root her in blonde and add the colors too the front and top only, then I saw the hair and it was so amazing I thought I would just do her whole head in pink with a touch of purple. I got the hair from Doctored Locks it is weaving hair, Kanekalon jumbo braid. I was expecting a coarse brittle hair, as I used some hair labeled similarly a long time ago and did not like it---but I was impressed--this stuff is soft, brush-able with a gorgeous loose kink to it--just lovely! I also use Doctored Locks tutorial videos to make my dred locks.
 Above is a close up of Velvet's scalp after I removed the hair--see the big holes? Below is after I dunked her head in near boiling water to shrink the holes-it makes a big difference in the amount of hair you use and the makes rerooting easier particularly in the part line.
 Below are in-process shots of the reroot- I like to figure out before hand where I am going to place the colors-I actually changed my mind about the blue and removed the paint with Acetone and repainted it pink. Painting also helps the scalp not show through and call attention to the hair plugs.

I changed her eyes out--this is quite a difficult job on a Velvet doll, you have to get the head very very pliable with hot water and then push them out from inside the head---but that is much easier than putting the new ones in---you just got shove them in and it is HARD to do and you risk breaking them--but eventually I got them in. You could cut the plastic socket open and put them in from inside--much easier--but hard to get them to just right that way--rubber caulking  helps hold them in if you do it that way.

I got these hand painted sleep eyes from thecrissycobbler on Ebay and she is my friend so I just told her I want some "sea green beachy-peachy" eyes--and she so gets what I mean!
I also gave her some more eyelashes and changed her brows up a bit too--she has her original lip color.

I still hope to make her an outfit before the month is out but for now I just did some thrift shopping in my doll clothes bin for anything that would suit her Boho vibe.