Monday, May 30, 2011

Dolls! Painted Cloth Doll

This is a photo of a cloth doll pattern from my favourite doll patterns book Making Cloth Dolls edited by Dorothea Hall. I really like this book as it gives you some basic ideas which you can develop, or simply follow theirs.

In the book, they have painted the clothes, shoes and face of the doll with watered down acrylic paints, but I am going to try almost full strength teal coloured paint for the shoes, and then probably water it down a bit for the garments and face. I am not sure yet, but will try out some ideas on a piece of scrap fabric before I work on the doll. I am making 2 dolls so I can try out more than one idea if I want to. They are very small; only 27cm/10.5 inches high.

I am using some calico that I used for a toile or test of a jacket I made a couple of years ago. I washed the calico to make sure that there were no residue chemicals in the fabric as I want to make sure the paints adhere to the fabric properly.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dolls! Finished Outfit for Dianne's Original Ponytail Swirl Barbie

Modelling by my reproduction ponytail swirl Barbie
Here are the photos of the outfit that I have just made for my friend Dianne's original Ponytail Swirl Barbie that she had as a child. She still has the box, but not the clothes.

Close up of jacket

A day out in Paris!
I used patterns from the time when these Barbie dolls were made.

On the weekend, I was in the patchwork fabric store Drapers of Mt Macedon, and was lucky enough to meet the designer of the Ric Rac label, Jodie Carleton. Jodie was taking a workshop, and I wish I could have stayed. Wow, my first meeting with a real life designer! If you are out Gisborne way (which is in Victoria) any time soon, make a trip to the Drapers of Mt Macedon store as it is an Aladdin's cave of fabric delights.

Now I just have to think about my next project, and getting ready for my Blog Anniversary Competition coming up in July. Stay tuned...

Finally, but not in the least bit less important, I have a new follower this week; a talented knitter from France, Isabelle. I am a hopeless knitter, so I really appreciate what she does.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dolls! Dress for a Real Ponytail Swirl Barbie

My reproduction Ponytail Swirl Barbie

I am working on this dress for a friend who has an original Ponytail Swirl Barbie, which was made in 1964 according to my copy of the Blue Book by Jan Foulke. I have already made this dress for my reproduction Ponytail Swirl Barbie, but as I originally thought she was made in the 1950's, I went for a longer look. Jan Foulke's book shows a photo of the box for the original Ponytail Barbie, and the day dresses with fitted bodices finish just below the knee. I shortened the skirt and the band of contrast fabric to keep it all in proportion. You can't see it from the photo, but the contrast fabric has a print of ladies dress gloves on it, which is very pretty and vintage.

I think she looks like she needs a jacket to finish the look, so I am thinking of this pattern which is a re-release of an original Simplicity pattern from the 1960's by the look of the styles. I will make the jacket in the top left of the photo using the white fabric.

And just for a laugh, look at this pattern I got from ebay. I just love these old patterns for the art work. The figures don't look like dolls at all, more like a young teenager. It is a lovely look at popular styles from the 1970's.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dolls! Book Review for Hankie Couture

Hankie Couture: Hand-Crafted Fashions from Vintage Handkerchiefs
Image from

You must all know by now that I like a good reference book. This new one by Marsha Greenberg titled 'Hankie Couture' is about the unique concept of using vintage handkerchiefs to make clothes for dolls roughly the same size as Barbie. The book gives the reader an abundance of ideas for making vintage style clothes using these hankies. The prints are divine and whimsical. There are patterns included for dresses with 3 different bodice designs, a wide brimmed hat and a purse. Go to Amazon and preview a portion of the book online using the Look Inside function to get a good look at the dress designs, as the author has been generous with the amount of images she has supplied.

I don't know if I will be able to track down too many vintage handkerchiefs, but modern craft prints might do the trick, especially if I can cut around the designs to create scalloped edges, and use the satin or zig zag stitches on my sewing machine to finish the hems. The author also uses embroidered linens, tea towels, lace doilies and more in her designs, so I will keep an eye out for these items on my travels to the op shops.

The only designs I am not mad about are some of the long floral dresses, but some people might just love them. It is a fabulous book, and I am glad I found a copy at the book store.

I am working on a secret dress design for a vintage barbie at the moment. I should have it stitched up and ready to show you next weekend. The colour theme is black and white and I am thinking of adding a splash of colour in the form of a wrap.
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