Let’s Welcome Nahji

I finally caved in and bought the Hearts For Hearts Nahji doll.  Nahji is so much prettier in person than the stock photos on Pixie Faire show.  Just in case you haven’t heard about Hearts for Hearts girls, please definitely check out their website.  Their dolls are from different areas all over the world and a portion of the purchase goes to charity.  As of right now, there are 4 dolls available: Dell (Kentucky), Rahel (Ethiopia), Consuelo (Mexico), and Nahji.  Nahji is from Assam, India.  This summer, Hearts for Hearts are planning on releasing another 2 dolls.

Nahji needed an outfit like the other dolls for Me-Made May too.  I probably should have used one of the free patterns I got when I purchased my doll off of Pixie Faire’s website.  But instead I decided upon using Liberty Jane’s Baseball Tee and the Genoa Jumper.

I really liked the American Girl dolls’ version of the Baseball tee so I figured it would be best to start Nahji’s outfit with a pattern I know I like.  I had originally planned a coral tee with a brown jumper.  But I couldn’t find the brown fabric.  Instead Nahji gets a rose tee with a teal jumper.  The rose fabric is some of the scraps of rayon Lycra that I had left over from the Jalie raglan tees I made in February but haven’t really taken photos of yet.  This is the Hearts for Hearts specific baseball tee, and it fits Nahji well.  The pieces went together so easily.

I must have been really distracted by Lala while I was cutting out the Genoa pattern.  The lining and fashion fabric didn’t line up at the hem.  So instead of following the instructions, I did simplify it and close the side seams with the serger and lined up the bottom.  I just surged and turned under the hem so that I made sure I was able to catch the lining in the hem.

My sewing machine hates quarter- inch buttons with a passion.  Instead, I used Velcro for the closure.  I will have to say that buttons do make the outfit.  Even with the print my dress is just missing that detail that a button would provide.

The Genoa pattern is advertised as fitting both 14 inch dolls (like Hearts for Hearts) and 14.5 inch dolls (like the Wellie Wishers).  For Nahji, it does seem a little loose but it isn’t drowning my doll.

As this is being typed up, I have been anxiously awaiting to hear when Rahel and Consuelo to come (granted I can’t get them until the weekend because I shipped them to my parents’ house).

 

Samantha’s floral dress Simplicity 1179

Samantha was the last doll to get a new dress for Me- Made- May.  Now all my dolls are wearing hand-made for the month.

Samantha got view D from Simplicity 1179 designed by Keepers Dolly Duds for Simplicity.  Her dress made from a quilting cotton.  Like previous doll makes, I switched out the button closure for Velcro.  I really should have tried the dress on my doll before finishing it.  It is a touch looser than expected because I really didn’t consider where her back seam should be for switching the closure out to Velcro.

I like this view much better than the view B that I made for Rebecca back in February.  I recommend being slow and cautious when doing the pin-tucks on the sleeve.  As far as I could tell, there was really not a great method of marking them.  I marked it on the back like usual, but the pin-tuck covers the marking as one is sewing.

I really didn’t have a great match for lace on the front bodice so I left that off of Samantha’s dress.  However, if Samantha gets a light lavender pinafore that should complete her outfit off quite nicely.

With the weather picking up and hopefully no rain, I should be able to get pictures of the back log of projects.

Hank the Dorset Sheep

For a mother’s day surprise, I decided to make another animal from Edward’s Menagerie.  Flipping through the level two critters, Hank the Dorset Sheep stood out.  It was one which I could use the left over yarn from Emma the Bunny.

Like Emma, Hank was created with a size H hook.  All the pieces (head, limbs, tail and ears) are created separately using either the general form instruction or critter specific instructions and sometimes a mix of both.  After all the pieces are made, then you sew the pieces onto the body.  The hardest part of putting together the animal was sewing the legs on.  I was able to get Hank’s legs on in the first try.  I used two straight pins and pinned the legs  on.  Then after waiting for thirty minutes to make sure the sheep could sit, I attached the two legs.

The fleece is chain loops.  It took me a little while to get all the fleece completed.

 

Learning from History Part 2- Special Care Items

Getting ready for the new windows and siding interfered with working more on this series.  Then the sewing machine was gone for 3 weeks so I haven’t been able to apply the one item I wanted to try out on the new dress pants I had got for a conference yet.

The next section in the book is Special Care garments.  This section is a mix bag of being too out-of date for modern times and some really good tips.  Some of the special care garments I just don’t have like a corset, rubber apron or ties.  As much as I think hats are pretty, I have to admit that I just don’t have the lifestyle that requires a hat so those tips are not as useful.

There is a big section on leather shoes and boots.  I don’t own a leather shoes.  Most of what I have are most likely vinyl based man- made materials.  However, I did find it interesting that the book suggested soaking your feet in cold water after removing your shoes for the day to prevent perspiration the next day.

Other tips in the towel section are outdated like take your towel with you to the hairdresser.  I think the health policies would prevent you from being able to do this.

Towel section also recommends hanging towels outside, which I can’t do because of allergies.  I really don’t want to be sneezing every time I pick up a towel.

Some of the tips I actually already do! For knitted wool garments, it states to never hang them.  I already fold my sweaters and place them on a shelf in my closet (now in a plastic tub since I reorganized my closet).

The one tip that I will definitely be doing is the sewing a piece of material on the inside of trousers/ pants to prevent the fabric from wearing thin from rubbing against your shoes.

Up next in the series is learning to mend.  I was able to find a darning mushroom and a darning egg at Fabric Recycle recently.

 

Emma the Bunny- Edward’s Menagerie

Since I really enjoyed making the animals from the “Crocheted Animal Pals” kit, I decided to look for another Amigurumi sort of book.  I happened across the Edward’s Menagerie book from Kerry Lord.  The book contained 40 different animals in it.  The animals are divided up into levels.  Level one which has Emma the Bunny are the simplest to make.  Level two has more details like simple stripe color changes.  Level three are the hardest and have complex color changes and loop stitching.  The book does recommend working your way up in complexity; so I decided to start with Emma as my first animal.

I did have a little difficulties in shopping for supplies.  The yarn descriptions in the book of worsted, sport and bulky didn’t seem to match what I was seeing in a store which was a number scale.  I ended up with a Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Aran Fleck which is a 4 (medium).  After finding an on-line yarn chart on my phone, this matched up with the large yarn weight in the book.  I bought the recommend amount which put me at 4 balls.  I was able to make my complete rabbit with less than a whole ball of yarn.  A more complicated animal may have taken all 400 grams (not a measure I work with often).

Emma was created with a size H hook.  All the pieces (head, limbs, tail and ears) are created separately using either the general form instruction or critter specific instructions and sometimes a mix of both.  After all the pieces are made, then you sew the pieces onto the body.  The hardest part of putting together Emma was sewing the legs on.  The first time I did that, she wasn’t able to sit up on her own.  The legs were cut off and then I tried using some straight pins in order to help me be able to get a rabbit that will sit up.  At least now Emma will sit up about half of the time.  Definitely try straight pinning the legs before sewing.

 

The instructions in the book are clear.  It does use the British terminology, so the double crochet means single crochet in American terms.  Edward’s Menagerie does have sufficient detail for the instruction on sewing and stuffing your animal.  Also the website has a series of videos in order to help you make your animal which were very helpful.  I personally watched the one on stuffing and sewing the animal together.

In fact, my mom adored Emma so much that she wants one of her own.  I couldn’t even talk her into a different animal.

Melody’s Sunday Outfit- Butterick 6265

Melody got her first hand-made outfit!  Melody got a lined jacket and a dress from Butterick 6265.  It is a reprint from 1957.  I did a quick internet check to see if the style was still around in 1964 girls sewing patterns.  I was able to find some examples so I went ahead with my plan.

I have half a yard of this lime green daisy print quilting cotton that would work well for the skirt.  The pattern shows the jacket and the skirt matching, however, my print was just too big for the jacket to look as nice.  So for the jacket, I decided on a coordinating solid (probably a little more of a contemporary look since it isn’t matching).

Lets start first with the lined dress.  I think the main reason the bodice is lined is for a clean finish at the neck line.  The instructions have you sew the neckline and end of sleeves of the lining and outer fabric together.  Side seams I finished off with my serger.  Skirt and petticoat are sewn on after the side seams are finished.

I did cheat on the netting petticoat.  I bought one of the 6 inch wide rolls of tulle and just used that.  I didn’t follow the pattern piece but just took a length off the roll and baste stitched it.  Then I matched it up to the skirt piece; gathering as needed.  The skirt was basted and gathered to fit the bodice.  To be honest, with the amount of gathers in the skirt, one probably doesn’t need the netting petticoat that is included in the pattern if you use a quilting cotton.

 

On to the jacket, the lined jacket was actually easier than I anticipated and I had it completed before dinner the day I cut it out.  It is just 2 pattern pieces the jacket front and jacket back.  In the end, I decided to construct all the outer blue fabric together as one time.  Then after a break, I cut out the lining and put it together.  The lining and outer fashion fabric are sewn together on the outside edge, then slipped through the opening you leave at the bottom.  That opening is hand sewn closed.  So after a good press, it was on to attaching the sleeve lining to the outer fabric.  It was not able to be machine sewn so it was hand sewn also.  Lastly, I decided to just sew in a snap so the jacket can close but still have the simple front.

To be honest, I think this jacket would look so cute with jeans and a t-shirt also.