Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The girls ain't nekkid anymore.

Did that get your attention?  Do you think I might be on the banned blog list from now on?  Evil laugh.

Here are 2 of them.  Doll on left is wearing a mini skirt and the Poet's Darling Top from Liberty Jane.  I don't bother with fancy front seams on the skirt, and the original patterns is too short for my liking.  I kind of like the skirt to cover the doll's bottom, so I made a teeny adjustment and now I have it at the right length.  It's my go-to pattern for easy skirts.  The top was a bit of a challenge for me, but now I understand it, and want to do it again.  However, I think that the sleeve is way too small at the top, so I will make it a bit longer.  And I'll also try for a short sleeve.  I did get to be an expert (!) in attaching bias binding.  I think I might actually understand it after attaching it in this pattern.  I think I will use a contrasting binding the next time, just for the fun of it, and maybe put a border on the skirt in the basic fabric of the top.  I can't tell you just how much fun this is, even with my cursing at the bias binding.

Next to it is the freebie doll dress.  This was my first attempt at attaching bias binding, and I didn't do a great job of it at all.  Now I understand the method.  There's a lot of fudging  in that binding here, but I don't think it's noticeable, and anyhow, does the doll really care? This is a pattern that can take a lot of playing around.  Make it shorter and you have a cute summer top; use a contrast material on the straps, make it shorter  and then add a ruffle to the bottom.  Put on a pocket.  Whatever.  I find that I'm using knitting knowledge on the sewn clothing and sewing knowledge on the knitting.  Cross-cultural experience.

I've been buying most of my patterns on Liberty Jane, and for the most part, I think they are very well done.  Plus I like the more modern feel to the patterns.  I can't see the grands liking froofy goofy dresses and 2 layer-ruffles on the bottoms of pants.  I also like Joan Hind's patterns very much.  She has good instructions that I can understand, and her designs are also contemporary.  Another great designer is Carpatina.  Her dolls are simply lovely; they are skinny 18" dolls and need their own patterns, but she makes her patterns to fit both her dolls and the AG doll.  Haven't made any yet, but I have some of her historical patterns.  I'm not ready for them yet, but my knowledge increases with every garment, and I think I can tackle her patterns in a little while.

The quilt is coming along.  I'm about to attach the inner border, and then work on all the little pieces for the next border.  I'm truly loving this, and I'm constantly looking for new patterns.  But first, I'd like to make my way through a bunch in the Schnibbles book.  I'm using charm squares because the quilts are wall hanging size and a lot cheaper for a beginning quilter to make.  I'm still doing a lot of cutting and sewing, but I like doing small things (hence the doll clothing), and it's easy enough to make any of these with layer cakes, which are 10" squares.  Same technique, only bed-sized quilts.

Here it is, ready for the first border.  Nope, it's not perfect, a couple of seams don't match very well, but I'm happy enough with it.  I tend to be a perfectionist in these things, so ridding myself of that silliness is good for me.

Here are a couple more projects that I've completed:  a couple of pillowcases to match my new sheets, and a wonky little bag that I misread the instructions on, and cut it a lot smaller than it was supposed to be.  But it came together OK, and only you know what a mess I made following the instructions.  BTW, I cannot follow directions.  Neither can my mother.  So following any directions for any of these projects is really hard for me.  Still, it's good for my brain.

The other pillowcase is the opposite of this one.  The border of this one became the body of the other one, and I switched the border also.

Knitting is going along fine.  A mystery project.  In fact, the next project in the Light And Dark Lace Club series. 

Dyeing:  After a long spell of not dyeing, my mojo came back and was influenced by some batik fabric I bought.  Here's a pic of all of them, and they are all available on Etsy, of course.

scrapperjen - Thanks. Aren't they fun?

Scrabblequeen - You know that I cannot read directions, and it took me 2, yes 2, hours to figure out how to cut out this simple pattern. Next time I'm going to use tissue paper and make a real pattern up. Once I started sewing, it was a piece of cake, but you have to see me cutting to see real confusion!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's good to be back again.

I just haven't been bloggy lately.  Not in the mood, I guess.

My MIL has been very poorly and is in the hospital undergoing all sorts of treatments for all sorts of ailments.  She seems to be coming along, we hope, but she is 87 and not in great health to begin with.  Very sad and very worrisome.

On a much lighter note, I'm still knitting on a secret project and crocheting the never-ending afghan.  All the doll clothing is now given to the grands, and the poor dolls are nekkid.  Gotta make some more.

What's obsessing me these days is patchwork.  I bought a book called Schnibbles Times Two: Quilts from 5" or 10" Squares.

I love it!  It tells you how to make quilts from either layer cakes or charm squares it seemed easy, so I'm making the first project in the book, Bennington, out of charm squares, and it's adorable.  Since I'm a beginner here, and I don't have any sense of what is hard or easy, I just went with it, and so far, so good.  I could do this kind of work for hours.  Indeed, as soon as I get off the computer, I'm going back to it.

Here's a pic of a bunch of the blocks laid out just so I can get a sense of how they will look. This is a bowtie pattern, and the original called for the bowties to be done in dark colors, and the rest to be done in lights. Naturally I reversed it, and to me, it looks like Japanese temari balls.

So that's what's going on.  I didn't want you to think I'd dropped off the face of the universe.

Kv - I think I also lost my bloggy mojo.
FoFo - Thanks for your prayers.  We do appreciate it.  This is such a little quilt that I'll probably finish it, if only to see what it finally looks like.

Henya - The dyeing is really sleeping.  All I want to do is sew.  I've gone over to the dark side here!

Infinity Quilter/Knitter - Thanks.  I joined up all the blocks yesterday.  I made a couple of goofs, but I'm pretty satisfied, at least for the first one I've done. 

LivvyLove - Well, your comment makes me want to go back to the quilt.  I think we have our own support group.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Dolls, yet again.

What can I tell you?  I'm obsessed with sewing.  It's not my fault.  Blame Miss P, who started me on the downward spiral of sewing.

This is all I want to do.  Forget meals. That's why eggs and yogurt were invented.  Laundry?  Hah!  Errands?  Only if they include a quilt shop or Joanne's.  Straightening up my mess?  Are you serious here?  Whatever is the point of it?  I'll only make more of a mess tomorrow.

So, here are the latest dolls and their clothing.  His Most Royal Hubboness, He who shops at rummage sales, found 2 AG dolls, both with "hair cuts".  One of them is Kit; I'm not sure who the other one is, but she's lovely.  2 dolls for a total of $15!

Kit, on the left, is wearing an outfit from the last post, but this time embellished with a teensy weensy yo yo.  And the unknown AG doll has a yo yo on the top of her little dress.

Here are the 3 "embellished" ladies.

So, now I spend my time looking at patterns for the gals.  And I'm also getting ready to actually attempt to sew a knitting project bag.  Given that it's a bunch of straight lines, it should be much easier than  little armholes and such.

And I'm seriously thinking of starting to do some patchwork.  My poor knitting and crocheting are languishing.  But looking at all the fabric colors makes me want to dye yarn.  I'm thinking of a summer collection in Bambi, merino and bamboo.  Maybe bright summery looks, with the bamboo, which doesn't take the dye, to soften the colors.  Hmmmmm.  I need an 8 day week and a 30 hour day.  The more I play, the more I want to play.

Wall-to-wall books - In your dreams!  Making the little outfits is more than enough.  I'm not particularly good at this.  Yeah, they look fine on the outside, but turn them over and we have a mess.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dolly Friday

I'm having such a grand time sewing these AG doll clothes.  Not that I'm a great sewer, but these little items don't have to be perfect, and anyhow, I'm an expert on ripping out.  I'm so used to it with knitting design, that it doesn't even bother me any more.

So here are the girls in their new outfits.  Most of these have been made twice:  the first time I ripped, and then almost got it right the second time.  tee hee.

This skirt was a pain in the neck to do.  I used a pattern that called for charm squares (5" squares), and I bought a package at Joanne's.  Some of the squares were not square, and it drove me batty.  Plus there were cut with a pinking shears, which also did not make me happy.  So I had to attach them to each other, then do a bit of ruffling (which I kind of like), and sew all those seams.  I'm not fond of how it wants to stick out at the end of the first tier.  I'd like to do something like this again, but either do it with my own 5" blocks, or just use large strips of fabric.  I was smart enough to measure each finished strip, so I can do this again.  The top was kind of odd to do, but all in all, it seems to work, and The Principessa will like it, I hope.  And if she doesn't, I'll take it back and give it to Miss P.  Between the 2 kids, somebody will like something. 

I loved doing the little halter top and skirt. That's the one on the left. I used some batik also from Joannes, and the pieces were fun and easy to do.  I may not have actually ripped this one the first time.  This one will go to Miss P.  I want to do one in pinks for the Principessa, since she is at that stage of loving pink.  Miss P has moved past pink and onto maybe greens?  I don't know.  Again, if it doesn't please her, I'll take it back and give it to the Principessa.

Aren't these cute?  The tops are done with that little top from the first outfit I made, and the skirts are miniskirts from somebody's pattern.  The left on is for Miss P, and the right one for the Principessa.  I got both outfits out of 2 fat quarters.  I love fat quarters.  Inexpensive, and fun and enough yardage for lots of things.  I think the fabric came from a wonderful quilt shop on the Cape - Heartbeat Quilts.  An amazing shop with more fabric that you can begin to imagine.  A bit pricey, but wonderful stuff.

This last little outfit is a combo of 2 patterns.  The top is from Liberty Jane, and I do not like the fit.  It is awkward to get on and way too tight at the bottom.  So tight that I can't get it over the skirt.  Plus turning under the edge at the armhole (on the right) was a huge pain in the butt.  With these little 1/4" seams, there not much space for cutting, so I had to seriously fudge.  I think the pattern would work well in a knit, but I suspect that the bottom would still be very tight to put on.  I'm going to add a bit onto each side of the pattern to get it to fit better.  But I don't know what to do about that armhole.  I do love almost all the Liberty Jane patterns, so I think this was me trying to work a woven into a knitted pattern.  Oh well, I bought the fabric at Joanne's, and I know there is more out there.  I kinda like the way the top looks with the little ruffle on the skirt, but to really work, the top needs to be worn outside and it doesn't fit over the skirt.  Grumble grumble.  Whatever.  I can give the skirt to a kid, but they will scream with frustration with the top.

And that's the story, Morning Glory.

Whoops, I didn't tell you all about this year's trip to Cape Cod.  I'll post that another time.  It was beyond wonderful.  I could go back in an instant.  And I'll tell you all about The Platinum Pebble Inn.  I'm in love.

Scrabblequeen - We knitters are experts at ripping, aren't we.  After you do it over and over, it ceases to be a pain and just becomes part of the project.  Sounds good, doesn't it?

Wall-to-wall books   - I'm having such fun doing this.  Now I'm looking into a bit of quilting, maybe a log cabin.  Also going to find fabric for a sock project bag and a large tote.  I need my head examined.  Clearly I'm on the road to ruin here.

Wall-to-wall books - Me too.  Now to get the courage to actually make a block!  I'm such a scaredy cat.

Henya - Thank you.


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