For all my friends who make clothes for their 18″ dolls, I am giving away one of my patterns – the ruffled shorts shown in this picture and the capris with two ruffles. Just go to my Craftsy store to download it. Please let me know how you like it. Enjoy, Lana.
Besides moving my sister and her husband and doing some mending for her, I managed to meet all of my goals and then some. Whoohoo!
The number one priority goal is the Jacob’s Ladder blocks for the three king size quilts I need to finish this year. I did reach my goal of 36:
In addition to these blocks, I completed 12 of the quad Log Cabin blocks which is more than I’ve been able to complete in a single month so far:
Then I decided it was high time I finished a set of 7 tea towels I started the first week of December 2016. I learned a lot about my embroidery machine working on these since the lettering would not fit in my 4 x 4 field. I used a movable hoop and learned how to mark things and line them up. I’m pretty new to this embroidery machine game. LOL
And since I had the embroidery machine stuff strewn all over the place, I decided to make a set of 5 tea towels for one of my granddaughters for her birthday:
After I finished the embroidery, I did a bit of cleaning and straightening in my studio. While I was whistling while I worked, I had a brainstorm. My shelving for my fabric stash and other treasures is made from two shuttered bi-fold closet doors and 5 boards. It dawned on me that those shutters showing on the end could work harder than just holding up 5 boards. They could also hold my cones of quilting thread. Here is what my husband and I came up with:
Now isn’t that just handy dandy?
Oh, and I almost forgot about the doll dress I finished. I did the embroidery whilst all that stuff was out, and then I put the fasteners on the jumper and the tee:
Maggie really likes the bee on her red corduroy jumper.
Then I finished a blanket my youngest granddaughter started about 4 years ago:
And to finish off the month, I took a strip of fabric and folded it just so and sewed it up, added a pair of folding scissors, and then put it with the other stuff I made for one of my sisters for her birthday:
I think that’s it. Like I said, it’s been a mighty busy and productive month!
I finished the witch costume just in time. Maggie was beginning to think she wasn’t going to have a costume. She couldn’t wait for me to take a picture of her all decked out.
I’ll see if I can remember where I got all of the patterns. The witch’s hat pattern was a free download at youcanmakethis.com. The vest was adapted from an original Pleasant Company pattern, Felicity’s Pretty Clothes, which you may download here. I didn’t use the sleeves or the ruffles, straightened out a couple of seams in the back, trimmed it as needed to even up things and top-stitched 1/8 inch on all the edges without using facings or a lining since it is made out of faux leather. The long-sleeved tee is the same pattern I used for the skeleton tee except I just hemmed to neckline instead of binding it and made the sleeves much tighter. The sleeves are made from the same fabric as the leggings. More on that later.
The skirt is the Bubble Skirt pattern from Liberty Jane that you can purchase on pixiefaire.com as well as the boots which are a Miche design.. The leggings are made from a woman’s knee high (the other knee high was used for the sleeves). I used the tutorial from AG Doll Crafts. Worked out beautifully.
Now that Maggie’s costume is complete, the girls are ready for trick-or-treating. Here they are in costume with their bags which was a free download from dolldiaries.com.
I had a lot of fun making these costumes. I hope that you enjoyed following my progress and that you will try some of these projects for the dolls in your life.
Lana, Daisy, Lily, Nikki, Maggie, and Pansy
I had to take a short break from working on Halloween costumes for my girls. But Halloween is less than a week away, and I can put them off no longer. The tiger costume for Lily and the lion costume for Daisy are now finished. The tiger costume is made out of cotton, but the lion is made from suede and real fur cut from the collar of an old coat. These were very difficult materials to work with and you might ask why I used these particular materials.
I sometimes run across a box of fabric at a yard sale for a mere pittance. If there are any quilting cottons in the box, I will buy it but have to take the whole box. Most times there are other goodies in it. It’s almost like opening a Christmas present going through all the stuff in these surprise boxes. One of those boxes had some suede scraps, and another box had the fur collar. And since I am on a mission to use up the fabrics in my stash before buying more, I decided these would make a perfect lion costume. See for yourself if I was right or not.
Lana, Daisy, Lily, Maggie, Nikki, and Pansy
It’s October! The month for fun costumes and trick or treating. I started making costumes for my girls in September as a sew-along with one of my Yahoo groups, SGOTs_American Girl Doll Group. We have a lot of fun creating for our 18″ dolls.
My goal was to make five costumes but only completed two so far. The third one is almost complete, the fourth one is cut out, and the fifth one is still swimming around in my head.
Nikki chose the spookiest costume. She saw the pattern for this skeleton costume on the Many Small Friends website. The tutorial and pattern can be found here.
Pansy was very excited when she found the pattern for her leopard costume on Wren Feathers blog. Scroll down the page a bit to find the picture of the tiger and bear and follow the instructions for getting the pattern. Jen designed her pattern for stretchy type fabrics, but I used leftover drapery fabric for Pansy’s costume. Since the fabric was firmly woven, I had to make a few adjustments such as not attaching the hood to the body of the costume. I also had to add 1 1/2 inches to the front of the hood as Pansy’s head is a bit larger than the American Girl. It is the molded hair. I would also lengthen the legs for an American Girl doll as Pansy is only 17″ and the costume was almost too short for her.
I am currently working on two other costumes from Jen Wrenne’s animal costume pattern – a lion and a tiger. The lion costume is for Daisy, and the tiger costume is for Lily. Maggie wants to be a witch but a pretty witch. Still working this one out in my head. I will do my best to finish the last three costumes and do an update before the end of the month.
Lana, Daisy, Lily, Maggie, Nikki, and Pansy
Since my blog passed the 1000 hits mark yesterday, I am celebrating by sharing with you how I made the 3-ruffle skirt for Nikki.
I started by googling for an online pattern or tutorial. Here is the one that I used as a jumping-off point:
Of course, this tutorial is written for a little girl’s skirt, so I had to make a few alterations. Here is what I did:
1. Measure around your doll at the widest point that the skirt will have to go over. My doll measured 11 1/2″ at the lower hip (her widest point). Add 1/2″ to this measurement for ease and 1/2″ for the 1/4″ seam allowances. My final measurement was 11 1/2″ + 1/2″ + 1/2″ = 12 1/2″.
2. Measure how long you wish the skirt to be. I wanted my doll’s skirt to be 5″. I wanted the top section to finish at 1″. Then I added 3/4″ for seam allowance and turn down at the top when the elastic is sewn on. So that measurement was 1″ + 3/4″ = 1 3/4″. Then I cut the top piece which measured 12 1/2″ x 1 3/4″.
3. Now I have 4″ left for the ruffles (the skirt length minus the finished length of the top piece; mine was 5″ – 1″ = 4″). Next divide that measurement by 3 to find determine the finished length of the remaining 3 sections (4″/3 = 1 1/3″). But how much is 1/3 of an inch? So I used 3/8″ since it is very close to 3/9″ which is equal to 1/3″. Now I need to add my 1/4″ seam allowance. My ruffles need to be 1 3/8″ + 1/4″ = 1 5/8″. But I don’t want to have a hem. So I multiplied the ruffle length by 2 so that I could fold them in half making a very nice finished edge. That means the ruffle piece will be 2 x 1 5/8″ = 3 1/4″. Okay, the hardest part is done. Way to go!
4. I decided that I wanted generous ruffles, so I needed to cut the ruffle 3 times the length of the top piece in step 1. My top piece was 12 1/2″; multiplying that times 3 gives a length of 37 1/2″. If you want less generous ruffles, you can multiply by 2 or 2 1/2. So I cut 3 ruffle pieces at 37 1/2″ x 3 1/4″.
5. Now for the lining pieces that we will attach 2 of the ruffles to before putting them on the skirt. In step 3 we determined that the ruffle pieces when folded would measure 1 5/8″. I didn’t want the lining pieces to show below each ruffle, so I subtracted 1/8″ from this measurement to arrive at 1 1/2″. The lining pieces are cut the same length as the top piece and a little less in width than the folded ruffle. Mine were cut at 12 1/2″ x 1 1/2″.
6. For each ruffle:
- Sew the short ends together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seam open.
- Fold in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
- Gather the double layer of fabric along the long raw edge.
7. For the top piece and each lining piece:
- Sew the short raw edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance and finish the seam with your choice of finish.
- Press the seam to one side. Tip: To reduce bulk I pressed the seam of the top piece and one of the lining pieces (this one will be on the bottom) in the same direction and the other lining piece (this one will be in the middle) in the other direction.
8. Matching up the back seams and using a little less than a 1/4″ seam allowance, baste the top ruffle to the bottom of the top piece. Baste the middle ruffle to the bottom of the middle lining piece and the bottom ruffle to the bottom of the bottom lining piece in the same manner.
9. With right sides together and matching up the back seams, sew the top of the middle lining piece to the bottom of the top piece using a 1/4″ seam allowance. The ruffle will be sandwiched between them. Finish each seam as desired. Press the seam up and topstitch 1/8″ from the seam through all layers above the seam so that the seam will stay up when pulling the skirt on the doll. Repeat these steps for joining the top of the bottom lining piece to the bottom of the middle lining piece.
10. Now for the elastic waist:
- Using 3/8″ elastic, wrap very snug around your doll’s waist. Tip: You want this very snug because elastic stretches when you sew on it.
- Cut the length that you decided on. Overlap the ends and sew with a zigzag stitch.
- Determine 4 points (the back center, the front center, each side) on the skirt that are equal distances apart. I did this by using the back seam as center back and folding. Do the same thing for the elastic.
- Matching these points, pin the elastic to the right side of the skirt a little less than 1/4″ from the top edge. Sew along the edge of the elastic that overlaps the skirt while stretching the elastic to fit.
- Fold the top of the skirt to the inside so that the elastic does not show from the outside. Stitch along the other edge of the elastic while stretching it to fit.
You have a beautiful new skirt for your doll.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I will gladly help as best I can.