Monday, June 24, 2013

Dolls! Mostly About Bears

I don't let myself go to the op-shops as much these days, or my house will turn into one. However I had a bit of time today, and went to my favourite local one which I had not been to for a long time. The trip paid off and I got this slim hard cover book by Judy Sparrow on the history of the teddy bear. The photos are gorgeous and the text informative.

The back cover has photos of modern Steiff replica bears.

I also got this Avon hot water bottle cover bear - he is rather square-shaped.  I am planning on giving him to my niece as it is really clean because it was still inside it's original sealed bag.

Then again, I might not be able to part with him...

Finally, look at the this photo from an old issue of Threads magazine (no. 35 June/July 1991) that I got in the same op-shop today.  It is of a porcelain doll made and dressed by Emilliene Duncan. The detail and the amount of work involved is mind-blowing!  She sews most of the garments by hand and the article is worth tracking down for detailed descriptions of the hand sewing techniques that she uses and the best fabrics to sew with for dolls.

Phew. Two posts in one day is unusual for me, but I thought I had better do them now while I can.  Happy sewing everyone.

Little Animals Fleecie Dressing Gown - Butterick 5537

Butterick 5537
Every couple of years or so, I buy a new winter fleece dressing gown, usually from Best & Less. When I saw their plush gowns in store this year, I was not impressed, so set out to make my own. When I told some non-sewers they were shocked and proceeded to tell me where I could get a great dressing gown. I had looked at all the catalogues that make their way into my letter box, and again, I was not impressed with what was on offer. Fleece seemed to have given way to Plush.  My house is too cold for a Plush gown, so I bought Butterick 5537 and set about making my own.

I went on the look of the dressing gown picture on the pattern cover (I am making view A) and did not stop to check whether it could be sewn up using fleece. They recommend single sided fleece but not double. I have never sewn with fleece and when I checked Sandra Betzina's book More Fabric Savy, she states that you simply cannot iron the stuff. So imagine the fun I had getting those patch pockets on the front. I had to hand baste the corners and then pin the blazes out of them so they stayed in place while I sewed them on. The result is not too bad, but it explains why my bought ones have in-seam pockets.

Shawl collar
I also got tempted at Spotlight and bought some fleece (also double-sided) to make another one. This fleece is anti-pill, and is designed for out-door wear, so it should make a cosy dressing gown. I gotted 'sucked in' by the cute animal pics on this brown fabric which I think is more suitable for my 6 year old niece, but I like it.

I cut out the same owl motif for each pocket.  I lightened the previous 2 photos so you could see the detail, but didn't for this photo.

Cute fox motif:

Despite the no-iron issue, it is coming together well, and I should have it finished soon.  Then I am planning to make a winter top for myself as those dolls have been getting so much, my wardrobe is looking decidedly patchy.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dolls! Patons 1970's Knitting Pattern Book for Dolls

I was quite a long way from home earlier in the week getting some footwear for work.  After I had done that I walked around the drab little shopping strip that happened to be full of op-shops.  There were four all up and I went around to each to see what was on offer. The only find was this little pattern book for dolls using Patons knitting wools. It was sitting on the top of some magazines in full view so I didn't even have to try hard to find it!

I don't recognise any of these dolls, and I would say they are from the 70's as there is a Peasant Outfit for a 24 inch Wendy Walker doll.  I did a quick google search for Wendy Walker dolls, but just found a few of them on ebay and couldn't identify them for sure.  In my mind, the hat that goes with the Peasant Outfit places this book in the early to mid 70's.

Peasant Outfit for a 24 inch Wendy Walker is on the right

The Patons wools used for these doll fashions

Don't you love the fashions for these Sindy dolls.  Notice how some of the Sindy dolls have eye lashes and some don't.

The book is really useful for identifying the dolls as most of the instructions name the doll the outfits were designed for.  These two in the pic below are 16 inch Wendy Walkers, and I wouldn't mind one of these for my dolly collection.  I have been ebaying off some quite gorgeous knitting wool that I can't use because of my dodgy back, but I reckon I could just about manage making the little outfit on the left which is knitted in  Bluebell wool.  Not sure about the crochet part, but I might give it a try.  Isn't the bag gorgeous!

There is also this kinda creepy baby toddler doll called Sally-Ann. A lot of people say to me when they know that I collect dolls that the eyes creep them out. Well I rarely have that problem, but this Sally-Ann doll's eyes do creep me out. Pattern 19 in the bottom left pic below is called a sleeping bag.

These two dolls don't have names clearly stated in the pattern design, but when you get a little further down to the doll measurements section, they are described as "Nacho".  I had a quick look on google for these dolls, but couldn't find them, so maybe Patons gave the doll that name.  I do like the cable and striped jumper and of course the overalls.  The dolls have strange squashed faces though.

Finally, for Audra, here is a pic of two Teddies.  They state in the instructions that they were purchased from David Wang, whover he was.  I think the blue outfit is a Sherlock Holmes outfit, but they just call it Coat, Cap, Boots and Scarf.  Patons could have got a bit more imaginative I think and called it a Sherlock Outfit.

My sewing and blogging out-put has been low due to a bit of a bad back episode which has calmed down and general blah about sewing anyway. I am still studying and that takes a bit of time out of my week, but I am determined to sit down and do some work on my owl and fox fleecy dressing gown which has been giving me a bit of grief.  I hope to blog about that in the next couple of days.
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