Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer Sewing

Just showing off some of the summer outfits I made this month.

Aggressively Patriotic
 Part 1 is me playing with some (as my friends call it) aggressively patriotic fabrics and JenWrenne's pattern for a replica of Kit's Chicken Keeping outfit.  I made 2 variations, the jumper and the overalls.

Here's E (we're still trying to figure out who this girl really is.  For sure, she's not an 1850s pioneer, but other than that, none of us have any ideas.  Mostly because I'm vetoing 'queen of the world' as a valid persona.) showing off the jumper and the red polka dot blouse.  The jumper closes in the back with velcro.  I had some red, white, and blue grosgrain ribbon that I used for the straps.  The blouse has 5 little buttons down the front and closes with snaps.  If you have this pattern or plan on using it, keep in mind you'll want to take 0.75" or 1" off both sides in the back (waistband and skirt).

And here's Kana in the overalls version.   I...did not like the fit of the pants.  At all.  The back seemed too short, and the waist seemed too baggy all at the same time.  The blouse pattern is fine, and I will keep the blouse from this outfit, but the overalls are headed to a donation bin.

Modern and Casual
 Part 2 is another set of JenWrenne's patterns, this time her summer sew-along.  (If you can't tell, I really like her designs and patterns.  Well, for the most part.)  It's a 4 piece mix-and-match knits wardrobe with a tank top, a reversible skirt, a boat-neck shirt, and a pair of leggings.  I didn't have any patterned knits, so I used some iron-on appliques to spice up the plain tshirt fabric.

These patterns were pretty quick and easy.  With the exception of the waistband on the reversible skirt.  That was a royal pain to keep all the layers straight.  The tank top and the boat neck shirt took maybe 30min each.  Also, I really enjoyed using the rhinestone butterfly on the tank top.  My girls rarely get anything modern and (somewhat) trendy, so they're definitely enjoying this.  (That's fine.  It won't last.  I have a horrible color scheme planned for some new patterns I'm buying.)

Here's Sam showing off the reversible skirt and the layering.  It doesn't look half bad all layered together, though I prefer it separately.  Next up might have to be some denim to go with all the black tshirts.

Samantha's fantasy adventure dress and accessories (Free dress pattern)

Out in the woods
I thought other people with geeky dolls might want to make their dolls similar outfits and accessories, so I've made up a quick pattern for this outfit, including the dress, belt, and belt pouch.

Fantasy Adventure Dress and Accessories

The dress is a modified pattern from the original 1912 Mary Frances Sewing book.  If you want more explicit instructions, look at the morning dress pattern instructions from the book.  (The Mary Frances Sewing Book).  I didn't use the extended placket to close the back, but just slit it down all the way, sewed about 1/3 of the way up, and closed it with velcro.

Let me know what you think of this pattern.  I'd love to see anything you make from it.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Samantha goes LARPing

Getting packed and checking costumes
Samantha here.  This past weekend, the human took me out to her LARP (live action role playing game).  Actually she took me the last time she went as well, only we didn't take pictures that time.  I have a face character of my very own, and last time the players had to find and rescue me.  (I was picking flowers somewhere dangerous.  I was fine.  I swear.)

I have a new face character this time, to go with my human's characters.  She even made me a new dress and some accessories for my new role.  Usually I wear the blue dress and the floral wreath.

Sleeve embroidery and a new belt and belt pouch
 The green dress is a really simple T tunic/dress.  The human made it in something like 30 minutes, even counting the machine embroidery at the hem.  The trim on the sleeves was left over from the human making other LARP costuming, so I lucked out.  It matches my dress perfectly.  The human also made me a leather belt and a belt pouch to go on it.  The pouch has a black bead as a fastener and opens and closes.  I stored a gem in it to give to the players.

 It actually took a while to pack everything.  I had to remember water and sunscreen and bug spray (and more water because it was 87 degrees out all weekend).  And then the backpack wasn't big enough for everything, so I had to wear my new belt and my wreath on the trip.

Settling in at the staff center
 I unpacked once we got to the staff center.  My human claimed a couch to sleep on, and I put my stuff there too.  And then all the other staff came over and gushed over how cute I was with my new belt pouch.  (There's a staffer now who promises they'll help with my costume changes if my human is busy.  They're a very nice human.)

 The human and I have matching dresses and floral wreaths (mine is on the right and hers is on the left).  We looked adorable together.  We wore them to go to a tea party, and the players brought us gifts.  I had to give the pearl necklace back by the end of game because the human thought it was too expensive a gift.  They were real pearls, after all.  But it looked perfect on me and I really wanted to keep it for myself.  There was a set of little bronze cups too, but the human has plans for those.

Picking flowers during some downtime
The human and her friends (and the players) kept me busy the rest of the time (and amazingly did not lose anything of mine in the couch).  I had some time to go pick flowers and play on the tire swing and wander around in the woods.  I did not fall into the river.  I was very good and stayed on the banks because there was no lifeguard and the human would have been very very mad had I fallen in.  (And then she would have had to go find players to rescue me again.)  I had a great time and I will totally do this again in the fall.

Adventuring in the woods

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Nellie's Summer Reading

New fairy tales
 Hi, I'm not the one who usually gets to showcase anything since I'm the quiet one around here.  It's usually Kana or Samantha, but this time they were busy so I took the opportunity to take a look at our new library.  We'll set up a whole library soon, I think.  As soon as the human is done with her bazillion other projects like making us all bento lunchboxes and a new astronomy display.

The first set of new books are the Victorian fairy tales.  These books are actually unabridged.  They're all between 8 and 14 pages long, and have illustrations.  Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast are all from the Blue Fairy book (I think.  We want a copy of that too, but the human says no).  The copy of Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales has the Snow Queen (for the Frozen fans) and the Little Mermaid.
Kit's summer reading

Then we have a few relatively 'newer' books.  I'm really lucky that the original version of 'The Boxcar Children' is now public domain, so the human could make us a copy.  So was the copy of 'Robin Hood'.  It's the same version that came with Kit's Nighttime Accessories (we have the lamp and phone for our study.  I want the nightstand too.)

Dolls need dolls too! 

We also ended up with a set of Raggedy Ann books even though we don't have the right rag dolls. (Yet.  Human, please add this to your craft list.  I know you have a rag doll pattern somewhere in your stash.)

A girl's library 

These are probably my favorites of everything so far, mostly because they're still popular books.  We have 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm', 'Anne of Green Gables', 'A Little Princess' and 'The Secret Garden'.  I'm pretty sure the human won't make a full 'Anne of Green Gables' set with all 8 books.  That might be asking too much.  (Also, these are some of the human's favorite books.  I think we can convince her to add 'A Girl of the Limberlost' to this if we beg hard enough.)

Japanese myths and legends 

Kana was the one who asked for these Japanese Fairy Tales:  These are also complete and unabridged.  They're replicas of a book set from the early 1900s, when Japan and 'the Orient' were all the rage.  There's another 10 books of this set that the human hasn't made into doll books yet.

What do you think?  Which is your favorite?  (If you want them for your girls, the human has the patterns in her shop here.)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sailor Moon Desserts

Welcome to the Sailor Moon Cafe!
Re-Ment Sailor Moon Cafe Sweets

 Apparently, not that long ago, Re-Ment put out a set of Sailor Moon miniature desserts for Sailor Moon Crystal.  A friend told me of this, and I decided that I must have them.  Or rather, my dolls must have them.  Sadly, Re-Ment is 1/6 scale, not 1/3 scale, and I wasn't going to pay little bits of plastic that didn't fit with anything else.  So I got out the polymer clay and made my own.  (Side note:  for the cost of the crafting supplies, it would have been just cheaper to buy the Re-Ment minis.)

My version

Sailor Moon:  Chocolates and cookies
The original dessert for Sailor Moon was a parfait cup, but I didn't have any plastic cups suitable for it.  So instead, I designed a set of cookies and truffles with Usagi's theme of Luna, rabbits, and roses.  This plate has 6 truffles (2 dark, 2 milk, 2 white), including a Luna truffle and a bunny truffle, and 2 bunny cookies like the ones she's always making on the show.  (Ok, attempting to make.  They always end up burnt.  I didn't not burn these.  Wasn't going for that much realism.)

Sailor Mercury:  Blueberry tart and pudding
The Sailor Mercury set is mostly inspired by the Re-ment set.  I didn't have acrylic water for making something transparent, so I went with a pudding instead of a jello.  I attempted to make the chocolate chess pieces, but that just didn't not turn out well so I added a snowflake cookie to round out the set.  This plate has a blueberry pudding (with 5 berries on top), a blueberry tart (whipped cream, grass jelly, and a cherry on top), and a snowflake cookie.

Sailor Mars:  Macarons
 I saw the details on the cookie plate and decided to save my sanity and make some coordinating macarons instead.  First time playing with sculpey whipped cream (equal parts white and liquid sculpey, complete mess), so this turned out amazingly well.  This plate has 3 macarons with whipped cream filling and a lavender heart macaron with the Mars symbol.

Sailor Jupiter:  Cherry pie
This was actually the first set I made, and sticks very close to the Re-Ment set with a cherry pie, a little marzipan rose, and a lightning bolt shortbread cookie.  The rose took some effort.  The rest was pretty straightforward.

Sailor Venus:  Pancakes
 This plate also sticks pretty close to the Re-Ment set with the stack of pancakes and the Sailor V mask cookie.  I made a little flan thingy instead of trying to make the orange peel and the decorative cream bits from the original set.  This set has a stack of cat shaped pancakes, a Sailor V mask cookie, and a mini flan with the Venus symbol.

Inner Senshi:  Cake plate
 This matches the Re-Ment set pretty closely, only I didn't shape the petit-fours according to each senshi.  The cake plate has a giant cupcake with a bow and the moon brooch and a petit-four color coded for each senshi with their emblem.
Inner Senshi:  Cookie plate 
Since I forgot to do elemental themed petit-fours, I did a plate of elemental themed Inner Senshi cookies instead.  Little flame for Mars, heart for Venus, water droplet for Mercury, lightning bolt for Jupiter, and the fancy moon brooch for Sailor Moon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sunshine and Daisies Summer Outfits (Links to Free Doll Clothes Patterns)

 One pack of 6 fat quarters, one pack of 20 2.5" x 44" coordinating strips, eight summer outfits.

Outfit 1:  Lee and Pearl Bonjour Dress
Outfit 2:  Lee and Pearl Bonjour Tunic and Shorts
Paris Mini Wardrobe Free Pattern from Lee and Pearl:  These patterns came together really easily.  The dress would have looked better without the ruffles on the sleeves, I think.

Outfit 3:  LJC Bandeau top and mini skirt
Outfit 4:  LJC Peplum top and ruffled capris
Discoveries:  I actually hate the peplum top pattern and will probably put that out of my pattern rotation for the time being.  And the capris...I'm pretty sure that front leg pieces are upside down, but somehow the pattern still worked.  The bandeau top and mini skirt were quick and easy to make.

Outfit 5:  Carpatina sundress with patchwork maxi skirt
Carpatina Sundress Pattern:  This is the third time I've played with this bodice pattern, and as it turns out, I dislike the look of it and won't use it again for sundresses.

Outfit 6:  Peasant blouse and tiered broomstick maxi skirt
Gathers are a pain in the arse.  Enough said.

Outfit 7:  JenWrenne's 1930s embroidered dress
JenWrenne's 1930s Dress Pattern:  I decided to use some daisy applique trim I had on hand instead of embroidery.  The background fabric clashes a bit too much for my liking, but it's still cute overall.

Outfit 8:  JenWrenne's Pointed yoke dress
JenWrenne's Pointed yoke dress:  This came out better than it had any right to given the fabric.  I used contrasting strips to make the pleats.  When using this pattern, extend the bodice by 0.5" to fit AG dolls.  Otherwise it's too short and you can't set in the sleeves.  Sleeves are from the BunnyBear 1940s tiered dress pattern (here).