Sunday, April 27, 2014

Playing with Dolls

There is something very alluring about dolls clothes. For me, I can see all sorts of designs that I can make up with 1/2 a metre instead of 2 or 3 metres for adult sizes. It also gives me a chance to play with designs that I would never wear myself.
I like the idea of recreating styles from the past too.

I have been collecting paper doll fashion collections on pinterest and I feel confident I can draft patterns for the styles after completing a gorgeous pinafore and blouse based on paper doll outfits from 1947. The outfit is part of a school days collection probably for a middle class American high school or college student.

I used some vintage glass buttons on her blouse but the only pink buttons I had were the little plastic flowers for the pinafore. I think some little round two hole buttons are needed here. I am sure I have a bag of little buttons somewhere!

The American Girl doll scaling is for a 12 year old but she seems to be able to get away with styles for younger and older girls.

I have a fabulous old book  (1987) with basic pattern shapes for bodices, jackets and trousers that has so many ideas for putting them together. It is a great resource.

The Dolls Dressmaker by Venus A. Dodge
Each chapter starts with lovely drawings of underwear, dress and matching coat.
Most of the ideas are for vintage clothes but the basic patterns can easily be adapted to any style.

I also have some files I downloaded for free on how to change sleeve shapes and dart and seam positions. These are for human clothes but the principles are the same for doll clothes.

1942—Modern Pattern Design

by Harriet Pepin

The site I originally got these files from is no longer online so I had to track down a link. If you are into clothes sewing this book is a classic. There were a couple of chapters I hadn't downloaded so in Chrome I clicked print then opened it in pdf preview and saved it as a PDF. It is also possible to just save the chapters as a web pages.
I didn't even know there was such a thing as "Internet Archive - Way Back Machine" but someone found it and put up the link in a Burda forum.

Here is the link:

I am trying to draft the pattern for the pinafore and blouse using a drawing program. It is pretty tricky to get the size and the curves right but I will persevere. I am thinking that I will scan and upload my hand drawn patterns then trace around them to get a nice print finish. 

I have been looking at the prices for 18" doll patterns and they range from $4 to $12 for any items. I have spent hours drawing and testing the pattern. I had to redo the straps and throw away some fabric and ribbon. I will try selling at $5. At that rate I will have to sell at least 25 of them to get back my time and skill. May take a while before I make any profit but it is fun to spend time seeing if I can draft the patterns. Now I also need a whole new fabric stash for clothes not just quilts. Most of the clothes fabrics I have, the design printed on will be too large for a doll and most of them are in storage anyway. Nothing like a good excuse to buy more fabric :)

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Welcome to the North Pole SAL update for April

I have been busy sewing my felt stitchery and getting ready to have a stall at the local Easter Fair the last couple of weeks. I have also spent a bit of time on Pinterest. I found this lovely completed quilt by Gail Muller. I can't find anything about her or the quilt show it was in.

Link to the pin on my board

We sold a dozen items or so at the market and lots of people admired our work.
We were selling our fused glass pendants and earrings and some polished amber.

You can see my fused glass story here
Well you know what is coming now. I have to say I didn't get any further on my North Pole table runner this month. I hope you all managed to get some done.

I found some lovely clothes collections for paper dolls that I want to make into patterns for my American Girl 18" doll. I also wanted to sew on the machine rather than by hand. I have started the pinafore dress in this picture and will gradually create patterns for each item.

Click to visit my pin board

If you have a picture or a blog post about your Welcome to the North Pole progress please link it up below.
You can also add images to the Flickr Group

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Woolly Thinking

Woolly thinking is a super power isn't it? I am really good at it sometimes. But this time I mean thinking about wool and felt and being creative with it.

Wool fabric and felt is so nice to work with and so forgiving of my stitching skills.

Thanks to Madame Samm and Pauline for this great blog hop.  
Thanks to DMC for sponsoring the hop.

I would like to share some of my woolly work with you today.
I made this one especially for the blog hop. I intend to make it into a cushion cover to place in my favourite places so I can look at it.

I had a lot of fun with this design. It is from the book  Fanciful Stitches Colourful Quilts by Laura Wasilowski. I used variegated stranded DMC threads for all the stitching. I love my collection of DMC embroidery threads. I bought the whole lot a while back when cross stitch was my favourite thing. I needed the variations of one colour for the shading affects so I decided I needed them all.

Another felty piece I just finished is the the little scene I blogged about here.

I am also working on Summertime a lovely felty quilt. I have a separate blog for this quilt. The link is in my sidebar.

My first attempt at designing my own little scene is this pin cushion I made. Blog post and free pattern.

I love it when there are give aways on these blog hops but instead of one winner I thought I would finally upload a pattern I have designed onto Craftsy and make it free. I hope you like it.

Applique Sheep Farm
If you are not already a member of Craftsy please join up through my affiliate link below. Craftsy give me a small commission if new members sign up through my link. It is free to join up.
(The easiest way to get the pattern is to come back here and click the Visit my shop link)

Join Craftsy here

If you have already joined you can download the free pattern from the link below.
When you visit my Craftsy shop please click the follow button to follow me. This means you can see when I put up new patterns or project ideas. Some I will charge for but I love to make free designs.

Get the pattern from Craftsy

There are lots of great super powers out there. Visit today's blogs below. Clicking on the Blog Hop button will take you to the complete list for the hop.


Not into Google + ?
Comment on:

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Monday, April 14, 2014

Paper Pieced Bee

I downloaded this cute hexagon bee quite a while back. I printed it out and then forgot about it until I saw a post about it recently somewhere. Naturally I had to print it out again. I have no idea where I put it or where I saved the file on my computer. Luckily I had pinned the link to the free pattern when I saw it again.

Not quite sure what I will do with it or if I will make more.

If you don't have this pattern yet why not pin it before downloading it.
Thanks to Amy at Badskirt blog for this one.

I will be posting on 17th for the Super Power blog hop. It continues again today. You can see the list of blogs here.

If you like free patterns and digital papers and all sorts of crafty things and you don't mind signing your life away to register you might have a look at It is a craft magazine site that really want you to subscribe to their magazine but I can get past that because they had some lovely craft. I am just about to download a pattern for a cute felt mouse softy. Well worth a look.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nut Butter in the Food Processor

I found a method for peanut butter on Pinterest. The website is here.

I used 2 cups of mixed nuts from Aldi - no peanuts.
I have a Kenwood old processor and used blade.
Peanuts have a lot of oil but the other nuts don't. This meant I had to add the oil after two mixes. I put 2 tbs of rice oil in. I had to mix and scrape down every 30 sec or so.
I added 2 more tbs of oil, 1 tsp of honey and a pinch of salt.
I mixed in 30 sec goes a few more times until I decided it wasn't going to go really smooth and i figured the mixer was hot enough.

It tastes great and is at least half the price of nut butters in the shop.

Here it is in the mixer.

A close up so you can see it is not completely smooth.

It makes a bit over a cup.

Happy Quilting and Cooking,

WIP Wednesday and Sew Kitschy

I am not an expert with paper piecing but I have been enjoying the Sew Kitschy blocks. I actually have a fabric collection that I am using for these blocks so I don't have to search through my scraps for the right colours. The teapot is April and I managed to catch up with the bowl and spoon. Now I have four done and I am all caught up.

I do like the In My Garden pp blocks but I am struggling a bit finding the right fabrics for flowers and birds that need to be a certain colour.

I am taking part in the Super Power blog hop that starts tomorrow. I was a bit concerned that I might have to zip down to mum's again because she had a virus of some sort and I didn't want her to be sick and by herself. Seems it was just a tummy bug type and only lasted 2 days. Hopefully she stays fine and I get my post sorted for the blog hop. My day is April 17th.

I am linking up with
WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced and
Sew Kitschy at Quiet Play

Comment on Flickr if you like.

Comment on Pinterest if you like. Why not follow me too.

I have the Follow me on Bloglovin button top left side bar also. I would love you to follow me on Bloglovin.

Of course I am on Google + as well. I like it when bloggers post to google+ . I don't have to worry about being a no-reply blogger. I can put my comment on google+. Just hover over my profile in the comments section and add me to your circles.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuesday Archives

It is such a good idea to go back and look at old posts you have written. I have the link to my cockatoo tea mat in my side bar but I haven't read that post since I wrote it. I have been reminded that I wanted to do some flannel flower projects and the Andy Warhol mat just got put aside. I will be getting that design out again now.
I was thinking of doing something like this but with a cockatoo silhouette. I love the colour blocks.

I will be linking my cockatoo post onto Tuesday Archives over at Val's Quilting Studio on Tuesday.

If you liked the little wool bag I made here it is an easy pattern. There is a great tutorial here.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Saturday, April 5, 2014

FNWF - Friday Night with Friends

So glad I remembered this month. I still love to visit the blogs but it is always better if there is a FNWF for them to return the visit.
I have a pile of irregular little rectangles. There were hundreds but I have used some up over the couple of years I have had them. They are fabric samples so each one is different.

I squared them up as best I could. The ones for the HST I made as big as possible. I am following the Scrappy Challenge at Patchwork Times. Each month she posts a new block with a tutorial. You have to finish a project with the block to link up. I figure if I stick to tea mats I will get it finished. I have quite a few sewing things on my plate.
I love the way the dark and light show up as stripes. The seams are not perfect but I have never been a process person. I just like the general affect. I wasn't going to cut all those little rectangles into perfect 1 1/2 inch squares.

I will do some quilting and try to get it finished for tomorrow. Today is a blog browsing day for me. I will take a break from sewing today.

Thanks to Cheryll for hosting FNWF. There are lots of people signed up. A great list of blogs to browse through while I have my breakfast cuppa.

I am also linking up with Anything Goes Monday at Stitch by Stitch.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,
If you can't do google plus comments you could pin this instead.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thrifty Choc Chip cookies

DH likes the gluten free choc chip cookies we can get from Aldi. I don't like them all that much so I make raisin and oat cookies. Trouble is DH likes them too. Anyway, I was mooching around for a biscuit today and pulled out the biscuit recipe I had with no egg. I made them up with the Aldi gluten free SR flour and they were great.

When I came to write out the recipe for this blog post I realised that I had used 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup marge by mistake. It actually read 1/2 cup marge but we didn’t even notice except that I had to add a couple of tblsp of water to make it sticky enough. The quality of the cookie was perfect. So now they are low cost and low fat:)

A packet of 9 cookies from Aldi is $3. We worked out that the 10 cookies I made of quite decent size cost us less than half that to make.
I purchased dairy free marg for next time. I found it in Woolworths.

Here is the recipe for 10-12 cookies
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup SR flour
  • 2 tblsp cocoa powder
  • about 2tblsp water
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped nuts or choc bits

Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, salt and chocolate powder. Add nuts or choc bits and beat until combined. I am intolerant to dairy so I like to use dairy free margarine but I can handle regular choc chips. Arrange spoonfuls of mix onto greased tray. Press with fork and bake for 10 - 15 mins at 190 degrees C or 375 degrees F. I cooked mine for 12 mins.

Aldi had some caramel bits in stock the other day so our cookies have both caramel and choc chips.
Here are the two survivors on a side plate.

Felt a bit sorry for the cat tonight. Here he is looking at me as though to say 'Mum, there are roos on my lawn!' The ones at our old place never came this close.

Happy Cooking,

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Something Old, Something New

I had four old things that I pulled out of the cupboard to finish in March. Each had a bit left to do and they had sat there hiding for ages.
The granny bag I finished pretty quick. It was just a matter of sewing in the handles. I had to settle for the round handles that I had instead of the semi-circular ones specified in the pattern.

The wool bag was meant to have bought handles but they cost $14. When I finally sat down to do the handles I remembered I had some wool felt binding strips that I bought from Pendleton Woollen Mills on my trip to Oregon. The pink matched nicely. I folded the edges to the centre then folded it in half and sewed nearly to the ends. I rounded off the ends and sewed them in place. It is quite a little bag but will carry my keys, phone and purse to the shops OK.

Next there was my journal cover. Instead of hand quilting I just zipped it up on the machine. While at mum's I used her Bigshot to cut out some fabric flower shapes to bring home. I put some on the front of the journal, lined it and folded in the ends.

The lady with the french knots hair is still going. I decided to continue with the french knots so just a bit more to do there.
Didn't get to do much free motion applique but I did a bit on the journal cover and played with a cat applique sketching in some of the details with thread. It is filed away to be made into something later.

It was hard to find something for this month. I have pulled out a few more old things hiding in a box. The blue spotty pieces were meant to make small thread catchers but I plan to combine them to make one bigger fabric box. The triangle will make a little thread catcher and the cat fabric will be a zippy purse.

I am a bit stymied for something new but I am thinking I might do a bit more sketching or try to prepare some of my free patterns for adding to Craftsy.
I have remembered FNWF this month and will be signing up. I think I will be doing some felt stitching.
I am linking up to Something Old, Something New over at Never Too Hot to Stitch. Joining in is a great way to get motivated to dig out those old UFO's and finish them off as well as plan to try something a little bit different.

You can comment through Flickr or Pinterest.

There is a great tutorial for the little wool bag of squares design here.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Let's Book It

At the time of posting this I haven't quite finished my Book It project so I won't be linking up until I get it finished. Hopefully I will make it in time. Make sure you look at those who did manage to get their project finished already over at Vrooman's Quilts with Sharon.

This month I was a bit busy away from home for two weeks but wanting to link up prodded me into making a cute little felt scene from Anni Downs that I fell in love with the minute I saw it and just had to buy the booklet.

I love the quilt too and would love to make it one day. All the projects use the same theme. There is a stitched book mark and a stitched needle book as well.

I plan to use this scene I made as a plaque on my sewing room door. I thought the title was perfect and I will always think about the world being as it should be with me in my sewing room. I know this is a bit of a stretch from conservation but I am into conservation too.
This is just the bathroom door in the rental but you get the idea.

I like my water tank done in silvery grey rather than black.

The sheep are just cute.

The bird is done in woven wool felt. I had a few pieces with interfacing already on the back. I don't like the way it tends to fray.

I would love it if you follow me on Bloglovin when you visit and hover and pin any pictures you like.
If you don't comment with google plus you could follow me on flickr and comment there. I have a few flickr friends who usually comment on or favourite the photo there after reading my blog post.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

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