Archive for the ‘New Things’ Category

Finger Puppets

June 24th, 2012

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.

New Things ,

Adventures in Miniature Cooking

May 20th, 2012

I am an adult who takes piano lesson. I play one of the pieces that I have been working on all year at the end of term recital. I am also the person in the family who is responsible for providing a dozen cookies to share with fellow students and members of the audience. I like to cook and this year I was especially happy for an excuse to make cookies. For my contribution to refreshments, I made miniature cookies using the instructions in a book called tiny treats by American Girl.

I followed the book’s directions for peanut butter kiss cookies. The chocolate in the middle of the cookie is a chocolate chip rather than a chocolate kiss. I invented two other types of cookies. I followed the peanut butter cookie directions for cookie size, cooking time, and oven temperature. I used a different cookie dough and got a slightly larger cookie.

Here is another picture of the cookies. I have added a tea cup to help show the scale of the cookies.

I added Florabunda and her tea cup to the last picture. The cookies are a good size for eighteen inch dolls, but a little large for Florabunda.

Tiny treats is a delightful book. It has plenty of ideas for miniaturizing food. A child can make some of the things in the book without help. Sometimes an adult will need to help make the treats. Occasionally an adult (like me) can even make something in the book without a child around. Someday I hope to make the book’s tiny Oreo cake, but I will probably need a child’s help to do that.

New Things

Designing Feet and Toes

May 6th, 2012

My small doll patterns have instructions for adding optional toes to the dolls’ feet. I had a lot of fun designing this detail. I found that it was easy to add toes to such small doll feet. I decided to try making toes on larger dolls.

This rather strange photo shows the progress of my dolls’ feet project. I used a doll leg and foot pattern from Soft Dolls and Animals! This week I just wanted to learn how to make pretty cloth doll toes. Later I will design my own leg and foot pattern with toes. To save time and fabric, I did not cut and sew the whole leg. The results of my work is this six foot photo. (Sorry, I don’t usually make puns, but I just couldn’t help it.)

The left most foot was made from the original pattern. For the next few feet I tried free form sewing of the machine sewn toe seam and the soft sculpture hand-sewn toes. When I looked at the feet that I had made, I decided that I would need a template for the toes to get the result that I wanted. After a few more tries, I am happier with the toes. Now I need to learn how to add toenails.

New Things

Knitting Class

October 16th, 2011

In May I experimented with loom knitting and showed you some of the results. I used flower looms to make knit hats for my small dolls. The hats were easy to make and I thought that they turned out well.
When our local community center offered a class on beginning knitting, I decided to take it to see if I could learn to knit with knitting needles.
I have had two classes so far and I can knit, pearl, and cast on. I know one method of casting off.
The advantage that I can see for using needles instead of a loom is the flexibility for the size and shape of projects.  The disadvantage is that I have a more difficult time keeping the correct tension  on the yarn as I knit.
I have several more classes to complete. I hope to eventually be able to knit one of the sweaters for eighteen inch dolls that Joan Hinds includes in her doll pattern books. If I’m able to make sweaters for eighteen inch dolls, then I may be able to knit sweaters for small dolls.
So far I haven’t produced anything that’s worth the trouble to photograph. If I ever knit anything for dolls that I like, I will show it to you.

New Things

Spool Knitting a Doll Rug

June 26th, 2011

When my cousin and I were children, thread still came on wooden spools. One time she had a contraption made from a wooden spool and four nails spaced evenly around the hole in the spool. By looping the yarn correctly, she was able to knit herself a thin belt. I was fascinated by spool knitting, but I didn’t try it as a child.
When I became interested in loom knitting, the first thing I tried was spool knitting. Today thread comes on plastic spools. It would be difficult to make a spool knitter from a plastic spool. Fortunately there are many commercially made spool knitters available for purchase. If you are interested in this technique, remember that it is sometimes called French knitting and sometimes called corking.
To make my rug, I chose a spool knitter with four pegs that were fairly close together. I used Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton yarn in rose pink. I knitted a string about 42 inches (107cm) long. Technical support (husband) referred to my knitting as a snake sweater.

I shaped the string into an oval rug.

I used the yarn ends of the knitted string, extra matching yarn, and a plastic needle to sew the rug together on the back.

Here is the rug next to my doll bed.

The rug is a nice place to leave bedroom slippers.

If you or a child in your life is interested in spool knitting check this video on YouTube. Spool Knitting 101

loom knitting for small dolls, New Things

Knitting for Small Dolls

May 29th, 2011

I never learned how to knit. I blamed my grandmother for years, because she did not know how to knit, and so she could not teach me. My grandmother did know how to crochet, but neither my mother nor I ever learned. I really cannot blame my grandmother.
Because I have seen so many people having fun knitting lately, I decided to teach myself to knit. I have a fairly slow learning curve. After doing some online research I decided that round loom knitting would be an easy way for a slow learner like me to get started.
I wanted to do small projects for my small dolls. I ended up using flower looms to make small hats.

The Nifty Knitter Flower Loom is made like other Nifty Knitter looms and is easy to use. The pegs are wide and have enough space between them to require a thick yarn. I used Nature’s Choice organic cotton.

To make a hat with a smaller knit stitch I used the middle size round loom from the Clover Flower Loom set. This loom is not made for the type of knitting that I wanted to do so it was more difficult to use. The knit stitch that it produces is more in scale with my small dolls. I used Sugar’n Cream Twists and Bernat Bamboo for the two hats with small knit stitches.

Twinkle, Tender Heart, and Floribunda model the three hats.

loom knitting for small dolls, New Things

A New Look for the New Patterns Page

April 8th, 2011

My technical support (husband) has been working on a slightly different layout and new top buttons for my patterns page. I already thought that it was very pretty, but now I like it even better.

my patterns, New Things

Interesting Changes

March 28th, 2011

Please check my new home page and pattern page. I now have a pattern available for Twinkle, Floribunda, and Tender Heart, as well as patterns for their clothing and shoes. If you are not interested in cloth doll making, but would like to make clothing for small commercial dolls, check the drop down menu on the pattern page to see how your favorite doll looks in clothing made from these patterns. The patterns are in pdf form so that you can download them as soon as they are purchased.

There is a free pattern for a sundress and summer top, that you can download before you decide to purchase any of the patterns.

my patterns, New Things

A Short Post

March 27th, 2011

Please check back with this blog in a day or two for an some  interesting news.

my patterns, New Things

Pretty Pinking

July 11th, 2010


I recently treated myself to a new pair of pinking shears. I have had a hand-me-down pair for many years. When I tried to use the old pair, they were hard to open and close. They tended to mangle the raw edges that I was trying to finish. I always ended up discouraged and finally decided that pinking was an inconvenient way to finish seams. I am amazed at how well my new shears work. I can even use them to finish narrow doll clothes seams. Here are a few tips for pinking doll clothes seams:

  • Pink the seam close to the raw edge. The measurement from the peak of the pinked edge to the stitch should be almost ¼ inch.
  • Small curves are difficult to cut with pinking shears.
  • These seams may be pressed open unless they are inside an elastic casing.
  • The Pinked edges may be pressed in the same direction so that the machine stitching is visible inside the garment. The edges must be pressed in one direction if they will be inside an elastic casing.

New Things, sewing tips