I am always experimenting with something or other. My family gets a little nervous when my experiments involve food, but my efforts occasionally turn out well. My most recent experiment was a attempt to quilt a cover for an eighteen inch (46 cm) doll. I used the instructions for the simple doll cover in my book Learn to Sew for Your Doll. Learn to Sew is the third book down on my book page. Instead of using light cotton fabric as the instructions suggest, I made the top from cotton flannel with an interesting design. I used fleece fabric for the lining. I quilted around some of the designs on the cover’s top. As you can see from the photo, my quilting techniques need a lot of work.
My use of fleece for the lining, rather than sandwiching batting between the cover’s top and lining, gave the quilt a soft drape. I am planning to continue work on the idea of a fleece lining to see if I can come up with something that I like.
If you are interested in quilting for dolls and would like to see the free patterns that I have for small doll quilts, click here to go to my pattern page. Click free miniature quilt blocks under Small doll accessory patterns in the directory at the top of the page, or just scroll to the bottom of the page to see the patterns.
Years ago a friend of mine and her daughter had a wonderful time filling a Christmas stocking with small gifts for the daughter’s American Girl doll. If you know a young lady who would like to make presents for her doll this Christmas, you might want to check out the free patterns on Florabunda’s Page.
The easiest pattern offers three sizes of bean bags: a small doll size, a large doll size, and a child size beanbag.
The second pattern is for three sizes of cats.
The third pattern offers three sizes of Teddy bears.
There is also a pattern for three sizes of elephants. That pattern is a little more complicated, but is also worth a try, especially if you are invited to a white elephant party this holiday season. Be sure to make the gift elephant out of white felt.
Remember that these patterns are child friendly and free. Click here to visit Florabunda’s Page.
Christmas Sewing, Free Patterns
I have just finished a pattern for a ballgown and girl’s dress for eighteen inch (46 cm) dolls. The pattern also has princess dancing slippers, a crown, and classic Mary Jane shoes. Here are two Kitty dolls and a Springfield doll wearing outfits made from the pattern.
If you are interested in this pattern, please go to my pattern page and look for it under Kitty’s patterns. You can go to my pattern page by clicking the button at the top of the page, clicking “patterns” on the left side of this page or clicking here.
I have just finished a pattern for six pairs of bedroom slippers for eighteen inch (46 cm) dolls. There are patterns for mice, dog, and pig slippers as well as cat, bunny, and bear slippers.
The pattern set also includes a pattern for a nightgown and sleep cap. Here is my Springfield doll wearing the gown, cap, and bunny slippers.
Here is Kitty wearing a gown, cap, and cat slippers.
If you would like to learn more about the pattern, you can click here. Select eighteen inch doll patterns from the top menu. The nightgown, sleep cap, and slippers pattern is right under the Kitty pattern.
If you need a Valentine for a friend or a doll, you can make a “Heart Kitty” for Valentine’s Day using my free cat pattern. Go to Florabunda’s Page and find the Beginning Sewing Projects. Download the Stuffed Cats Projects. Chose the size pattern that you like and sew and stuff the cat. Instead of using wiggle eyes and a pompom for the nose, use small blue heart buttons for the eyes and a larger red heart button for the nose. Tie a ribbon around her neck and you have a heart cat waiting for Valentine’s Day.
You can visit Florabunda’s page by clicking “Florabunda’s Page” in the box to the left of the blog, clicking the button at the top of the page, or by clicking here.
Tech support (husband) and I are working on a new page for my website. It is designed to be kid friendly, with beginning hand sewing projects, craft projects, stories, and lots and lots of entertaining “Easter eggs” courtesy of tech support. Everything on the page will be free.
Here is Florabunda with animals made from some of the patterns.
The miniature bears are just the right size for dolls
I made the kitties in honor of Kitty, my newest cloth doll pattern.
The elephant pattern contains three sizes of elephants. The costumes for Florabunda and the elephant are not available. I made them up as I went along.
We hope to have the new page up and running in a month or two.
blog, hand sewing, learning to sew
I am putting the final touches on my pattern for eighteen inch (46 cm) Kitty. I am also finishing a pattern for an eighteen inch doll’s A-line dress. I already have an A-line pattern available for my three small dolls. Here are Kitty and Florabunda wearing their matching A-line dresses.
I think that matching dresses for American Girl Dolls and American Girl Mini-dolls are a lot of fun to make. Here are Samantha and mini Samantha in matching A-line dresses.
American Girl Mini-dolls can wear clothes made from Twinkle’s patterns.
When my sister-in-law retired from teaching and moved out of state, she gave me her finger puppet collection. I had never looked closely at finger puppets. I was amazed at the variety of little puppets and at how well made they are.
Here is a group of animal puppets (and one jack-o’-lantern) from my new collection. Two of them are using my red spools as chairs. The spools and seven and one half inch (19 cm) Florabunda are in the photo to help you visualize the puppets’ small size.
The second picture shows imaginary creatures plus a rock star and an apple worm.
My new collection contains many more puppets, but I think that these photos give you a feel for their charm.
Finger puppets can sometimes work as hand puppets for eighteen inch (45 cm) dolls.
Springfield’s Emma is entertaining Florabunda with a puppet show. The giraffe puppet fits over her hand, but her thumb won’t fit inside the lion puppet.
In my newest book, Learn to Sew for Your Doll, one of the earliest projects is a pillowcase for an eighteen inch (45 cm) doll. If you are using this book with a young girl, I think it would be fun for you to make her a matching pillowcase, while she is making the doll’s pillowcase.
For the pillowcase I cut a fabric rectangle forty-two inches (105 cm) by twenty-two (55 cm) inches. For the trim I cut a rectangle forty-two inches (105 cm) by fourteen inches (35 cm). Fold the trim wrong side together to make a rectangle forty-two inches (105 cm) by seven inches (18 cm). Match the raw edges of the trim to one of the forty-two inch (105 cm) sides of the pillowcase. Sew the trim and pillowcase together using a one quarter inch (.6 cm) seam allowance. Fold your new rectangle in half right sides together to make a rectangle twenty-eight and one quarter inches (70 cm) by twenty-one inches(53 cm). Sew the two sides with raw edges together using a one quarter inch (.6 cm) seam allowance. Turn it right side out.
For even more fun, make a small doll’s pillowcase. The pattern is in my Doll Bed pattern.
Here are Springfield’s Emma and Florabunda with their pillows.
Now all they need is a little girl to put them to bed.
learning to sew, My books
I hadn’t bought any doll clothes pattern in quite awhile. I don’t always need to buy patterns, because I enjoy designing my own. However, McCall’s has published some very nice eighteen inch doll clothes patterns recently. I especially liked the fact that the patterns contain some interesting accessories. When Jo Ann Fabric and Crafts put McCall’s patterns on sale last week, I treated myself to several of the new patterns. I usually enjoy reading a good book at bedtime, but a new pattern guide makes a nice change.
After I had read all my new pattern guides, it was time to file my new patterns. When I got my pattern box down, it occurred to me that I could share a pattern organizing trick with you. I got the general idea from one of my husband’s aunts and then changed her system slightly. This trick only works for managing patterns for small things like doll clothes.
I cut out all of the patterns in one pattern envelope and sort them by outfit. I put the pattern pieces for each outfit in a separate small envelope. I label each envelope with the pattern number, the name of the outfit and numbers of the pattern pieces. All the small envelopes go into the pattern envelope with the pattern guide. Here is a favorite Vogue pattern that I had organized several years ago.
I wanted to remove cat and dog patterns from several envelopes, because I am interested in designing my own doll pet patterns. I want to study the techniques for making small stuffed animals. I labeled a brown envelope and pulled the pet patterns from several different pattern envelopes.
I have learned from experience to add an index card to each original pattern envelope to explain what has happened to the missing pattern. Here is my vogue pattern with the dog pattern removed.
getting organized, Patterns from other designers