Ethel the Kiwi

As I was ordering Edward’s Menagerie Dogs book, I realized I never made anything from the Birds book.  Thus the next crochet project was a bird.

Ethel the Kiwi is a level one.  I picked out this one since it was simple and the embellishments of loop chains is easy and similar to the sheep I previously made.  Like before, I used a size H crochet hook and Red Heart yarn for my bird.


The birds are definitely more tricky than the original menagerie.  The legs are very challenging.  I had never had to split a round before and that is the method used to make the toes.  Also, the thin 6 stitch sections made it hard to stuff the knee of the birds.

The body and head are constructed as a single piece.  I was afraid of over stuffing my kiwi that before I was doing the loop chains, I went back and added stuffing to it.  It is possible after the piece is closed up.  I used a pencil eraser and small amounts of stuffing and pushed it through the stitches up near the neck of the bird. That was where the lack of stuffing was the most noticeable.

I think I prefer the original menagerie over the birds and am not sure if I will make another bird.

Right now, I am working on several skirts and finishing up a new outfit for Kirsten.  With nicer weather coming soon (hopefully), I should be able to get a few projects that are lacking pictures taken to share on the blog.


Learning From History Up date

The posts for “Learning From History” sort of got side-lined when life just got too busy to type up a post and learn.

The closet did get sorted and organized.  Everything seems to be working well.  I just need to get a couple more containers for items.

For moth control, there is a combination of lavender and cedar.  In fact, my dad noticed some of his wool dress pants had holes in them (probably from moths) so they joined in with my “moth control” kick.  As of now, there is grated lavender soap (a suggestion I found on the Olive + S blog), a solid lavender air freshener, cedar blocks and an open box of bounce.  I haven’t noticed any problems with my closet.

As for mending, the darning mushroom won out over the darning egg.  I am still not the best but I at least am putting forth effort to try.

As to mending, Closet Case Patterns has a couple of blog post on mending.

Invisible Mending on Sewing Machine

Visible Mending (Sashiko)

More Heritage Doll Clothes

So this time around, I pulled out Joan Hind’s “Heritage Doll Clothes” book to make the dropped waist dress for a Rebecca doll some little girl got for Christmas.  The designs for the early turn of the century are just so pretty.  I don’t know any of the little girl’s likes or dislikes so hopefully a purple and white dress will be well received.

I will have to admit this was one of those dresses I really didn’t like putting together but look so good when it is done.  I know I will suffer again when I go and make one for my own dolls.

Compared to the other dresses from the book I completed, there may be something just tiny bit off.  The pieces didn’t line up as easily as the other patterns did.

The sleeve cuff was labeled as 5 inches long.  I had to slightly gather the bottom of my sleeve so that it would fit the 5 inch width.  When I make it again, I will have the cuff a little longer so that they match the bottom of the sleeve.  Also my sleeve took some wiggling to get Rebecca’s had through the opening.

I don’t remember seeing it in the directions, but I trimmed the ends of my yoke seams so that it was easier to put in my sleeve.  On my dress, the corners of this seam were very obvious and would have made it harder for me to put in a sleeve.

I didn’t see any marks on the pattern showing where the belt should go.  I probably put this a little low for the doll.  But I did change the look of the belt with using a cross over and a single focal point button.  (Thank you Melody for the button.)

I used the instructions provided in the book to make the yoke piping.





Doll Poncho

I have been working on a crochet blanket since September but progress on it is very slow.  I needed a break and decided to crochet my dolls a poncho.

I used the K-sized crochet hook and the left over Red Heart yarn from my koala and sheep.  I really liked that Yarnpirations had a video that I could follow along when I needed it.  It was simpler than I had thought it would be but I think that is because I was able to watch the video to see it being done.

Since I was using left over yarn, the collar is only 9 stitches wide.  The collar is sort of awkward size, if I had it to redo, I probably would have used 6 or 7 slip stitches.  9 stitches does not fold over as nicely.  I guess I can always hand stitch the “corners” of the neckline down to get a nicely folded collar.  Also, the sides are only 4 slip stitches wide.






Doll Clothing Week- Heritage Doll Clothes Book Review Part 2

I wanted to be able to give a good review of the Heritage Doll Clothes book by Joan Hinds, so that meant at least making 2 different outfits from the book.  For the second outfit, I picked out the square collared party dress for Samantha.

Here is my only complaint about the book.  The fabric listed for the square collared party dress is silk.  I feel that a silk party dress would be more appropriate for an adult collector like myself than a child.  While silk may be time period appropriate, the clothing is still a toy that needs to be easy to care for. A silk dress is not something that you would throw in the washer and or dryer to clean.  Plus, the main reason we all make doll clothes is to get a better quality item at a more affordable price.  I know I have made my dolls a silk dress but it was left over fabric from the dress I made myself.  I didn’t go purchase the fabric to especially make it.

Instead of a silk party dress, I decided to go with a cotton play dress (a little more practicable and affordable).  As a play dress, I decided that less ruffles and lace would be more play friendly.  It may not be a time period correct idea, but at least I didn’t have to try to rummage through my trim box.  The pink is a cotton remnant from Hancock most likely.  If I had to guess, I think it would be a symphony broadcloth (it is fairly light weight).  The white fabric is the left over white cotton I bought to line doll clothes with a long time ago.  I don’t remember what it is.

All the pieces went together easily and it was easy to sew.

The only item I would suggest one to consider is the sleeve cuff.  It was a little tight wiggling Samantha’s hand through.  It is doable but a child may get frustrated that the dress isn’t easy to put on.  If I did this again, I would consider putting in some Velcro at the bottom of the sleeve to make it slide easier over Samantha’s hand.  The side seam would start about a half-inch to an inch above the bottom of sleeve cuff.  If you have it, look at Pleasant Company’s Kirsten’s school dress for what I was thinking about.



Doll Clothing Week 2017- Heritage Doll Clothes Book Review

Today’s for Doll Clothing Week, it is furniture.  Since I don’t really need doll furniture and don’t have anyone to give it to, I will get a jump-start on tomorrow’s theme of Free day with a two-part book review.

Several times at Joann’s, I would pass the book Heritage Doll Clothes by Joan Hinds sitting on the shelf.  In the end, I decided to buy the book.  The cashier at Joann’s deserves a big thank you because she told me about the 50% off coupon instead of using the 30% off coupon that came up first in the cell phone app.

At first reading, I am wondering how new the book is.  All I can see is a copyright date of 2015.  But reading the “Getting Started” section, it mentions American Girl dolls by Pleasant Company as being the most popular.  American Girl hasn’t been owned by Pleasant Company since 2000.  So I think it is a re-release and was not sure if the original patterns were updated as they were converted to PDF or not.  Just as a reminder, the older American Girl dolls are a bit more stuffed than the ones currently being sold.

I honestly found it annoying that the CD’s paper case in the book was not perforated the best.  It would not tear open along the perforations and I am afraid the CD will fall out now that there isn’t really any back flap to keep it in.  I ended up buying a CD case at Micro Center to store my CD in.

For this book review, I decided it was best to make a couple of the outfits and to show them on the newer and older dolls.  Overall the book has 20 different outfits included.  The patterns picked for the review include Square Collared party dress and the Colonial everyday dress.

The Colonial everyday dress was first up.  I chose a quilting cotton from my stash for the dress.  The apron, fichu and mob-cap are a plain cotton (probably quilting weight).  As this is supposed to be an everyday in the house sort of dress, I didn’t use the lace for the neckline or bottom of the apron.  Seeing the dress on the doll, the lace at the neckline would have blocked Felicity’s lovely coral necklace.

I really like that the fabric ruffles at the sleeve hem are self faced.  It was nice not having to do a narrow hem on the ruffle (like what is requested on Felicity’s school dress from Pleasant Company).  It does make that much easier to complete.

The dress went together well and I didn’t have any troubles following the directions.

I did go ahead and put this one Grace first to get an idea if the patterns were up-dated or not.  Without era appropriate under garments, it was a little over a half-inch too big for her at the waist.  I basically just pinched the fabric at her waistline and estimated amount.  It doesn’t look like it is drowning her but does look a bit baggy.  From my first pattern used, I don’t think the patterns were updated to follow more current doll dimensions.  On Felicity, the dress fits better with just a little wearing ease at the waistline.  Felicity does have on her original shift that came with her back in 1993-ish with the dress.  Just remember that undergarments will affect the fit and decide if you want them or not.


Doll Clothing Week- Virginia Maizenaski for McCall’s

 Here is the doll designer interview from the lead doll designer for McCall’s Virginia Maizenaski.
1. What was your first doll?
My first doll was an 11 1/2” Samantha doll from the TV show Bewitched.
2. What was the last doll you got?
The last doll I got was a self-made cloth doll that was a storybook doll.
3. What is one sewing notion you absolutely must have?
When creating dolls and crafts, I must have my extra long doll needle. My second must have is my stuffing tool.
4. What pattern from your line would you recommend to someone who hasn’t tried  your patterns before?
I would recommend M7106 – a Learn to Sew doll clothes pack for 18” doll.
5. Where did you get the  inspiration for the new pattern?
The pack is based on popular children’s fashion.
On your website, it looks like most of the doll patterns are either 18″(like American girl brand style) or 11 1/2 inch like Barbie except for a couple of baby doll style.  Is McCall’s and Butterick considering expanding the doll clothing sizes available to include 13/14 inch dolls like the Hearts for Hearts or Wellie Wishers?
We are considering putting out packs for this size doll.
Thank you to Virginia and McCall’s for answering the questions that I gave her.