Random Sewing

I’m so far behind on sewing blogs that I’m just going to dump in this post a bunch of stuff I’ve made in the past few months! I’ve done a LOT of sewing so this won’t be at all comprehensive, and some stuff will just get its own blog post. But count this as one of probably several miscellaneous sewing blogs posts!

Back in the summer, I grabbed my first Lee & Pearly Pattern, their Bonjour Paris Wardrobe, because I thought the top looked cute. Well, let’s just say, I love every bit of this pattern. It is so easy and fun to sew, and I feel like the results are adorable. I will definitely be making more shorts, shirts, and dresses with this pattern!

Also these photos are so old that Lenore still had her old wig and Kanani was temporarily wearing a brown wig that Kestrel has since snagged.

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It’s been so long since I blogged that I don’t know if I ever posted pictures of the romper above on here. I’ll have to investigate. But I’ll post anyway. I loved how cute the result is, although I really do hate sewing with elastic…

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Finally upcycled that blue satiny dress into a doll dress. Ava temporarily wore Ophelia’s wig (and looked so cute I almost left it…) and got to sport a super easy and cute polka dot dress!

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This was made with an American Girl Simplicity pattern. I have another similar dress to make with that lightweight denim and I love the way it looks except for the neckline. Berna Bea, my Southern girl, looks pretty stinking cute in Southern cutesy couture.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, in honor of the Native Americans who still live and struggle to maintain their identity, rights, and lands even today in this country, and have to endure so much of our Thanksgiving tradition still being based on a completely glamorized account of the colonization of the Americas.

I, like so many others in this country, have some small amount of Native American ancestry. My grandfather’s grandmother was Pocahontas Henson –no, notĀ the Pocahontas, a much more recent one who lived in the late 1800s to the 1940s. My grandfather passed away Christmas before last, but he has vague childhood memories of meeting her. It’s crazy how generations overlap and suddenly centuries pass.

We’ve done quite a bit to try to trace our family, but aren’t sure which tribe our ancestors were a part of. We had always though Cherokee, probably mostly from family legend, but there were many tribes in the area our family has lived, like Sapony, so who knows? It’s a shame such things have been erased and forgotten.

And now, to help us celebrate Thanksgiving, Kaya, who this summer took some salmon out to Lone Wolf and her pups, and gained a friend in exchange.

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Halloween

I did actual Halloween portraits this year! My modern girls have reached critical mass and after I’d decided not to decorate the house for Halloween (we’re just too busy and the house is already so packed that adding decorations stressed me out), I wanted some way to celebrate more. So all the modern girls (including Olivia, who isn’t really modern but hangs out with the modern girls sometimes) got costumes using my Amazon points. šŸ˜€

I’ll include names because I think I’ve got some girls who haven’t ever been on the blog before! Or who’ve gotten new wigs or eyes, haha.

Lenore as Snow White:

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Layla as Little Red Riding Hood because she loves Into the Woods:IMG_5263

Annabel as a witch because I went as witches so many Halloweens as a kid:IMG_5283

Sorah as a princess. She thinks it’s baloney princesses never wear pants:IMG_5286

Kanani as Moana, of course:IMG_5287

Ava as a flapper:IMG_5288

Parisa as Wonder Woman:IMG_5419Akane as Ray:IMG_5421

Halloween isn’t really a thing where Olivia lives but she had fun putting together a weird cat sort of costume:IMG_5457

Berna went as one of her idols, Hermione:IMG_5442

Part of what worked was that I took the dolls out in groups for their photos rather than trying to wrangle them all. First Lenore, Layla, and Annabel got to go to the park with me, my husband, and my son.IMG_5492

On a very windy day, Sorah, Ava, and Kanani ventured into the backyard. This was the most frustrating shoot, and I didn’t realize until afterwards that stupid box is in the background. I was not happy, but then it began storming and I couldn’t go out again. :/Ā IMG_5493

My favorite of all was the trip with Akane, Parisa, Berna Bea, and Olivia. It had been raining all day off and on, so during lunch I packed them up and took them to the bike path hoping the rain would stop. It actually stoppedĀ just enough that we could grab these photos beneath the shelter of the trees. Plus the bike path was mostly empty so I could take my time. Except for that umbrella stroller in the background which just happened to be perfect! It then began pouring and we had to hurry home, but it made the colors look so vibrant in these pictures!IMG_5522

Happy Thanksgiving week recap of Halloween, hahah.

Jemma’s Christmas Dress

Here’s a dress I’d been mentally planning for a while ago, pretty much as soon as I saw this fabric on etsy. I think because it reminded me of Josefina’s gold holiday gown, I decided I wanted to make another gold holiday gown. It took a while to track down just the right gold trim and ribbon and then decide on the pattern.

I wound up going with Josefina’s holiday gown pattern, in fact. Yes, this means I have two Regency gold and black holiday gowns but you know what? I don’t care. They’re pretty. And I think the details will make them look distinct enough –I’ll definitely get a photo of them together once I’ve got Josefina changed.

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I had to experiment a bit to get the ribbons on the puff sleeves but I’m happy with the result. I’m also glad I added the ribbon around the wrists and the ribbon around the waist at the end on a whim. Otherwise the gown felt a little too bottom heavy, but anything around the neckline would have been too cumbersome I think. The fabric is so busy it really doesn’t want too much.

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This was the first time I’ve done a lace trim like this that needed to be handsewn on and it actually wasn’t as big a pain as I’d expected. I sewed the main stem of each piece first with a new thread each time (in case one gets tugged off, so I won’t have to redo the whole thing), then went back and sewed each frond on. Sounds like a lot! But it was pleasant hadnwork I did in the mornings while playing with my son.

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This is neither here nor there, but I wish I could un-read Jane Austen books sometimes and then read them for the first time. I need to just discover more Regency-era books but… I’m afraid of disappointment…

Rosie’s Bluebell Gown

I’m not wild about the execution of the story in Outlander, but I gotta say, thatĀ wardrobe. I’ve watched the show just for that, and read every interview and blogpost I can by the costumers. Just amazing. And one of my absolute favorites is Claire’s plaid and floral gown.

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That one. hubba hubba. So I’ve long wanted to make Rosie a similar gown but have hunted for just the right plaid and floral combo for a while. And you know what? I love the result so much I will probably make another combination like this with a red plaid and a pretty black and gold floral print I have. Anyway, let’s talk pictures.

I used Thimbles & Acorns Sacque Back Gown and Caraco Jacket pattern because it’s one of my favorite patterns of all time. Claire’s is a fitted gown, not sacque back and it actually looks to me like the stomacher is sewn in. When I do my next iteration of plaid-floral combo maybe I’ll go closer to that, but I also wanted to use the sacque back pattern so I could make two gowns to go with the petticoat because I just loved the bluebell fabric I found SO much.

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ROSIE YOUR HAIR. I love and hate the #61 wig. So beautiful but not far off from Rebecca’s in the difficult curl management department. It very much fits Rosie’s character though. She’s a lady but… a bit wild. Sometimes it’s fun to think of how she compares to other dolls I have. She’s quite more composed and ladylike than Tinu, and sort of hoity-toity like Evelyn or Mishka, but more defiant and active and playful.

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Sort of tough to see in a photo because of so much plaid, but the sleeves are cut on the diagonal for pattern variety. Both this gown and the Caraco jacket have the cuffs as well.

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When that wig behaves though, it really does look lovely. Above you can see the fichu band doing its thing. Rosie’s father is Scottish and her mother is French. Her French grandmother isn’t pleased about those freckles but her mother thinks they’re charming and very Scotish.

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The matching fabrics make a bit difficult to really see the details of the jacket. It’s got the sacque back as well. You can see the cuffs better in the photo below though!Ā IMG_2442

Quite pleased with this, even though it took foreverrrr with so much hand-sewing to finish it. I’m remembering why I don’t make these gowns everyday, ha. But it came out just like I’d hoped and I will definitely be making more plaid-floral combos!

Ophelia

I make no promises there will be more blog posts. This has been a difficult year, and now we’re into the holidays, which are always crazy. There’s more to do than there are hours in the day. But I kind of miss blogging. As active as I am on Instagram, I miss finishing a sewing project and making a fuss about taking pictures and writing a blog. Instead I sew and it goes into my clothing tubs as if it never happened.

Anyway, this isn’t a post about sewing. This is Ophelia. She’s a ballerina, obviously, and she has blue hair. She lives in the world of My Hero Academia, which is one of my favorite anime. If you’d told me a year ago I’d watch anime, much less have favorites, I’d have thought you were crazy, but here we are. It’s a silly excuse to have a doll with crazy hair, which is another thing I never thought I’d do. In fact, for no reason at all, I will probably sometimes make Ophelia’s hair different colors, for no reason at all. She’s also finally an excuse to give a doll ballet costumes.

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The lighting isn’t any good in these photos since I was too lazy to get my lighting kit out just for quick backdrop tests. I was playing around with the new backdrop I got to take our family Christmas photos next weekend. It needs ironing and it has more shine than I’d hoped, but I think it’ll work, and it also makes a pretty good dolly backdrop.

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Although Ophelia should not be wearing expensive ballet slippers out in the snow, so there’s that.

Actually, how about I do a really quick review of this ballet outfit, which I’ve wanted since forever? Here we go:

The tutu is incredible. The leotard and tutu are sewn together but it’s all of pretty incredible quality. The velveteen is heavy, the tulle thick, the embroidery just beautiful. The slippers are white, sort of an off-white. I will say, they are infuriating to get on. I would much rather have had actual ties. It’s hard to get all the elastic to go where you want and then not twist. Newer AG ballet slippers are simpler. There’s also a little velvet choker, which is beautiful. Love everything about this outfit EXCEPT no tights?? Cold, bare little ballerina legs is no good. It also feels like there should have been a bun or hairclip for the doll. Maybe a little gold crown? Anyway, despite these things, this is still one of the better quality and most beautiful outfits I think AG has ever made.

Dear Blog

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Maybe I should start writing in you again. I miss you. A lot has gone on with the dolls since last I wrote in June. New girls. New wigs. New bodies. New eyes. Tons and tons of new clothes.

Hm.