Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Now for the Doll Spa part

I decided to try my hand at American Girl doll restoration.. I found this lovely Samantha on ebay for real cheap and her poor arm had parted ways from her body.  So I bought her and fixed her up...
She was in really beautiful condition when she arrived, she had no spots or stains, just her arm was off and her other arm and right leg were about to go too.  The left leg was good elastic-wise but really floppy, so I just totally restrung her. 
Right out of the box.  

Hair is kinda straight and her arm was unattached and she smelled like crayons.

So I removed her head and washed her body and limbs.  Then I downy dunked her and set her hair in rollers:

Then I restrung her today and now she's all beautiful, smells nice and is able to hold a pose again :D
  I ended up selling her after much deliberation, she is currently being loved by a Mom and a daughter in New York.  It was a great experience, and I know I will try it again sometime.  Samantha is my favorite so it's really hard not to save them all.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Matching girl and doll PJ's

I think I mentioned in one of my previous post that my daughter had asked for an American Girl doll for her birthday, w/ pom pom uniform like her competition uniform.  I made that happen, but  I saw this Princess Tiana fabric at JoAnn's and I could NOT resist making her something w/ it.  It's so pretty.  SO I made her PJ's for her and her doll.  I did not make my daughter's top, I bought it on clearance at Target and couldn't believe how perfectly it matched the Princess fabric.  I also bought an extra clearance shirt and cut it up to make a matching dolly top, I even reused the binding from the original shirt, great deal, I think the whole shirt cost me $1.38 and it's really nice high quality knit.  The pants were a bit of a pain, I used the Liberty Jane Jeans pattern to make them and the first attempt was SO tight I couldn't even get them on.  So I could imagine the frustration my daughter would have.  So I scrapped that pair and modified the pattern to make another pair that would fit better.  Second pair worked out much better. Really cute set and my daughter was highly pleased.

Hearts and Diamonds

I saw this free sheet at the local Meijer store.  It's directions to make a beautiful crocheted afghan, with a  hearts and diamonds in the pattern.  I actually rolled passed it quite a few times.  I'm a crochet amateur my grandma showed me a few things when I was about 8 including how to make a pot holder, that's about it. So then I decided to just grab the sheet of instructions one day, because heck, it was free, and I might actually try it sometime.  For a few months it just sat on my desk, then I made my son a tie fleece blanket for Christmas, and I figured "what the heck, I'm gonna make it!".  So I went to the library and got a couple of books on crochet, because this pattern had stitches in it that I had never heard of, and I bought some yarn.   My daughter's favorite color is blue, so I made it blue on blue for her for Christmas.   I started in Sepetember.  I made one panel, and the second panel...and then I got really busy w/ Christmas shopping and kids activites, this and that...everything kept coming up and it seemed like I rarely had time to work on it.   Christmas came and it was not done, just two panels and the border on one.  I told my daughter it was for her and she graciously said it was ok, she would wait.   So I kept working on it.   In March, I got all four panels done, and started comparing them to the original two and there was one that was too long.  I couldn't just pull it out, cause that would leave half a heart.  So I made another panel, which also wasn't the same size...I pulled it all out and re did it, still wasn't right.  I was using the same yarn, the same hook...I still have no idea why it wouldn't work.  SO I just gave up, pulled out enough to make it even w/ the rest, which DID leave half a heart...but my daughter is 7 and has yet to even notice.  It turned out very nice, not sure I would make it again, but I learned a lot of new things about crochet so it was worth it.  She loves it, and that's all that really matters.  Oh yeah, I finished at the end of April... when I started in September, my husband commented, "you won't be done by Christmas...I bet you won't finish til May". There was no way I was gonna let him be right, so I had to finish before May.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cthulhu masks anyone?

OK so this blog is WAY out of chronological order, but I'm trying.  Anyway,  my oldest son saw a Cthulhu mask on the internet and wanted one.  Well the person selling it wanted $60 + shipping...uh...NO!  BUT I told him, if you can find me a pattern I can make one.  So he did, and I wasn't very hard, but the original pattern comes out quite large, so in subsequent attempts I made it smaller, soon as one kid had one...they all wanted one, all different colors of course:

 Except my middle son, who found a whole different completely more complicated project for me.  More to come on that one, I have to wait for him to bring it back from his dad's so I can take pics of it.  Let's just wasn't easy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring sewing swap!

I'm a member of an American Girl doll forum and there's a "Home Ec" section (just about my favorite place on the whole board).  Recently there was a 'spring sewing swap' so I signed up.  It took me four patterns all pieced together, and modified to come up w/ the now "Original" outfit, and I really enjoyed the challenge.  Here's the outfit that I made, I actually made two, because I loved the fabric so much I wanted to keep one.  I'm so glad I did because it turned out better than I'd even hoped, I'm so excited!:

And I was lucky enough to receive my swap from my swap partner today, and it is amazing!  It must have taken a lot of work, I only wish my pics were better so you could really see the amazing details:

There's beautiful embroidery all over the dress, that's an ADORABLE green sweater w/ sequins on it.  The petticoat is amazing, AND  a hand beaded necklace w/ a crocheted closure, simply amazing.  I'm so thrilled!  My daughter insisted that we try it on her doll first, messy hair and all.  So much fun, can't wait for the next sewing swap!

My first endeavor

I never took Home Ec. in high school, I learned to sew from my mother.  She never taught me a ton of stuff, but I knew the basics, and I love to read, so if I don't know...I look it up.   Along w/ the doll my daughter wanted for her birthday, she asked for a Pom Pom outfit that matches the one that she competes in.  Well obviously I couldn't find one that was already made that matches so that meant I had to make one.  So I set off looking for a pattern.  I finally found one that was CLOSE but not quite what hers looked like, so I had to modify the pattern.  The one I found was the Emily Rose Sunshine Cheerleader pattern.  It's pretty close. 

I know it doesn't look like it, but her uniform is purple.  So I worked at it, and I tried to come up w/ the right pattern.  I figured it was a bit over my head, so I asked my Aunt to give it a whirl.  She graciously did, and hers was good, but not good enough in my mind, I wanted it to be EXACT.  So I decided to do it myself.   I'd never done pleats in my life, and it took me a while to figure out how to get the shirt to say "Dazzlers" w/o the use of embroidery, but I got it.  The hardest part was the pleats, the neckline, and the Poms.  I ordered white tennis shoes and socks from The Dollclothes so they would look like my daughter's.  I even made the matching hair bow like her team wears for competition.  I never thought I could make something like this, but it was a great challenge and I had fun doing it.  Learned  a LOT and it turned out great and my daughter loved it. Here's the finished project:

That was my first foray into dolly couture...and it continues...another day another pattern.
So much more to come, I'm just getting started stay tuned :D


In the beginning...
I've decided to start a blog about all my doll adventures and craft stuff that I make.  My daughter for her 7th birthday asked for an American Girl doll, so I obliged.  I also tossed myself into a world I didn't know existed.  The doll collector world.  It's been interesting, inspiring, and sometimes a bit odd...but it is what it is.  I started off just doing a little research on the dolls and what makes them worth more than the 18" dolls at Target or Walmart.  Then I got sucked in.

  I didn't have tons of money to buy her a bunch of AG doll clothes for her doll, so my Mother and I started sewing for her doll.  This prompted me to buy a couple used ones off ebay so we could have clothes "models".  It's so much fun to sew and make things for the dolls, they never complain LOL, about the color, the fit, how many times they have to try it on...etc.

This is the beginning...who knows where it will end.