To start with, this isn’t my first Appleton. I made a few of them for my mom for Christmas (one test that she got around Thanksgiving and two for Christmas presents from the pets). Out of respect, I did not post her dresses to the blog. I did post one on the KC Pinheads Facebook pages just incase they had some fitting advice for me. She didn’t like it but at least understood why. Her dresses look so great on her but we do have the discussion of are they too long. The dress covers the top of her knee-high compression support stockings by three inches so I say it is perfect length because I was told to make it long enough to cover the top of the stockings. She thinks it is too long. However, the dresses in the post are the first ones I ever made for myself.
Picking pattern size was the hardest part. There is a lot of negative ease in the pattern. I don’t usually do too much negative ease. So choosing size was a big hurdle. In fact I traced a 14/18 combo then about a week later , I had size doubts and then re-traced the pattern out in a 16/18 combo. In the end, I used the 16 E/F for the bust and grading out to the 18 at the waist line (where the ties wrap through is what I took as waistline). I ended up with about 5 inches negative ease (about a 2 inch reduction in negative ease). My bust is around a 42 inch.
Since I have made this dress before, I didn’t use the instruction really. I did put it out when it came time to apply the neckband.
The only other alteration I made was to shorten the dress by 2 inches at the hem and to take a 2.25 inch hem.
I decided to remake this dress for a friend’s wedding in early June. The only change I made was to length the short sleeves to almost elbow length. They may be a little long but I like them a bit better. This one is from a little thinner ITY. It feels so silky to the touch.
But as my wardrobe is more separates based, I really want to modify the Appleton into a top using Cashmerette’s hack they release.
Boris the red squirrel proved to be just too tricky. I can’t seem to get the color change in the cheeks to look right on his face. As of now, the squirrel is in pieces in a bag awaiting the day when I am better able to make its head.
Next up on the menagerie was Samuel the Koala. Granted my mom would say I need to make another Dorset sheep so I stop taking the one I made her. But I really wanted a koala.
Samuel is a level 2. So it was just a simple color change for his nose and a light color to trim his ears. Like before, I used Red Heart super saver yarn and a size H crochet hook.
Cashmerette Dartmouth was another top that I cut out while my sewing machine was being repaired. But tragedy struck that top. All pictures are from the re-make.
For this one I picked a 16 C/D at the bust and graded out to the 18 at the waist. To be honest, I don’t think I picked the right size. This feels a little too relaxed and oversized as I am wearing it when I stitched it at the recommended seam allowances.
I was trying to improve the fit of my top so that I would wear it more. As I was trimming the seam allowances, I cut a huge hole in the back of the top. It was complete un-repairable. Luckily, I did have the next day off from work, so I put some new fabric in the washing machine and hung to dry. Both attempts were made from Rayon/ lycra jersey.
Dartmouth was actually a fairly fast make. I probably started cutting it out around 8 am in the morning and by 11:30 I was finished with the top. I really did not look at the directions much on the second time. I made the same size as previously made. This time I used 5/8 to 3/4 inches for the side seams. I achieved a much better fit for the top. I have realized that I probably need to size down or remove some of the hip curve.
The only part that annoys me a bit is the front hem. Since there is two layers of fabric in the front, my hem just seems too bulky. Once I get the correct size picked out, I will probably go back and trace out a second front for me and short it by an inch just so that it is caught in the hem but hopefully not making the hem be too bulky.
There is still a couple of Cashmerette Appletons to get on the blog and a Scroop Miramar. Besides the blog worthy, most of the other projects in the back log are t-shirts which have been covered before.
Right now, I have been sorting through patterns trying to figure out what I need most. After the Sew Powerful Purses, my focus should shift towards lingerie, blouses and trying to make some pants.
Another Hearts for Hearts Girls outfit. This time I made Dell the Liberty Jane UK Holiday outfit. Lately, I have been using my 1/4″ guide quilting foot for my Pfaff Ambition. It has been really great and easy to use.
Liberty Jane suggest that the skill level for the UK Holiday outfit is intermediate. The intermediate rating is more in likely because of the knit fabric choice. Otherwise the pattern was very easy to assemble.
For Dell’s top, I used a rayon lycra jersey knit. It is especially important that the knit for the top be very light and drapey. If it isn’t, then the top will not look great and be pretty bulky looking on your doll. To make the waist elastic casing and the casing at the bottom of the sleeves, I used my beige colored Hug Snug binding. I used 1/4 inch elastic for the entire top.
Even though the top was a fairly easy sew, I am not sure I like it enough to use the top pattern again. I think this is more personal preference than pattern issues.
However, I do like the legging pattern and will be using that more in the future. Dell is currently wearing the leggings using a stretch knit denim looking fabric. I used the 1/4 inch elastic for the waist of the leggings. If I am remembering correctly, I think the leggings took under an hour to make.
I really should have been working on making a squirrel from the Edward’s Menagerie, but I really wanted something that I could complete in a day. Instead, I pulled out Leisure Arts 6254’s booklet on dishcloth.
I started off with the first pattern in the book, Spiral. I used a G hook (4.25) and cotton yarn (Peaches and Cream if I remember correctly). The pattern was easy to follow. I just crochet very slow, so this one took me a couple of hours on Saturday and a couple more on the Sunday to finish. I really like the finished dishcloth. It looked and felt fairly substantial.
Then, as I was still putting off the squirrel, I went head and started the lacy dishcloth. This time, I went ahead and used the hook I got with the Crocheted Animal pals kit since it was a 4.0mm and the same ball of cotton yarn. The lacy dishcloth took about the same amount of time as the spiral. In the end, it doesn’t really look like a dishcloth. I think it is all the “holes” in the dishcloth that make me think that.
A couple of years ago, I lost my favorite beaded bracelet (the Marlene) at the engineering competition I was helping at. I think that my coat caught the magnetic clasp and knocked it off my wrist. After I realized it was really gone, I re-ordered the supplies to make it. I even paid to ship the 2mm indigo round crystals all the way from Australia (which I made sure to buy enough extra beads).
After several messed up starts, this time I was determined to get this bracelet completed. I honestly think that this time the bracelet was much harder to make. Maybe because I knew that the bracelet is a hard make? I was trying to get it to look more similar to the picture in the book but I had a hard time achieving that.
Again, I did not use the recommended number of right angle stitches on the bezel. Looking at the example in the book, it really looks like the directions have you add an extra row on the front than what the example shows. On the back, I did add an extra row just to make sure I had a more secure bezel setting.
I read through my notes, previous blog post, and the instructions. But to be honest, I still couldn’t understand how to make the finished bracelet look more like the picture in the book. The bracelet does look very similar to original bracelet that I made.
This time I used a box clasp instead of the recommended magnetic clasp in the book. I have worn it a couple of times and the box style clasp seems to be holding up well and realistically probably blends in better with the art deco/ art nouveau style of the bracelet.
June 10 is World Doll Day. So lets celebrate by showing off Rahel in her new dress. Rahel is the third Hearts for Hearts doll added to my collection.
Rahel got the Ethiopian dress from Wren Feathers designs. Honestly, it is an extremely easy pattern to put together. I read through the directions and I decided that I was going to use a Velcro to close the back of the dress up. I printed out a separate piece for the back and then added 3/8th of an inch to the center back for the Velcro.
The stash really didn’t have all the colorful trim that the pattern asked for. Instead, I used my machine’s decorative stitches and the straight stitch for trim. It was stitch 32 or 36 on my Pfaff Ambition Essential. I really wished I would have went with more colorful stitches instead of staying with the single color which matched Rahel’s bangles and necklace. As for the main fabric, I have to admit it is a mystery fabric that I got from Hancock’s remnant bin. But it was a lovely light blue which worked well with the trim stitching.
However, I didn’t catch that the sleeve area should have had the binding also.