Daisy Pillow Case Dress

This dress I am not as pleased with.  It was a well washed vintage pillow case in pale blue with white daisies and purple dots.  I should have made a white pan collar and kept it simple.  But with the purple dots, I remembered that I had an Angel patch I could use and then I embroidered purple trim.  It just doesn’t look as charming as the collar would have.  I am certainly not going to pick off all the embroidery!

2011-06-27 001  But the feel of the dress is really nice, I just loved this kind of cotton.  I used the opened edge of the pillow case as the bottom hem of her dress, using the full go-around, opening up the one seem on the side and putting it in the back to make a larger opening to dress her in.  I used snaps on this dress as my pearl shell buttons are only going on the best dresses.  This pattern I drew up is very simple and suits her very well.  The 3/4 length sleeves cover to to her vinyl an are snug enough to stay put.  Later, after I took these photo’s I removed the Angel patch and left the embroidery.  Better, but something is still not right. 

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It appears that Joanie Claire is much more of an old fashioned girl than I realized.  Pants seem all wrong now, as I had put her in them before I started sewing for her and it was causing me to see her short legs as a distortion.  Now, with full dresses, her legs are not at all too short or distorted.  Her hair being down gives me that delight of seeing her look so Victorianish with the big bow.  I had bought small barrettes at the craft store, so I can make permanent bows since I don’t have an iron to periodically straighten out tied ribbons.

I have been looking at the Shirley Temple pattern I bought.  I can see that they are too small, which is easy to adjust, but also way too short in the dress length.  This pattern is for 13 inch Shirley, but I think maybe the 15 inch pattern would fit better.  The thing I have noticed about vintage doll patterns is that they used more seam bindings, facings and rolled hemming and not a lined bodice, which I prefer.  Facings are fine for coats and jackets, but in a dress, I think they are more work than just doubling up the bodice pattern pieces and having a nice finish to the dress.  On an A line dress, I still create the lining, but let the inside lining become the slip, usually in white with lace at the edge.  Anyways, I will be looking more carefully at the Shirley pattern to see what I can enlarge for Joanie and it if will suit her.

I have a few ideas for Joanie, the dress style will probable stay the same for the most part and I will make them different with collars, trims and such.  I also think I can change up the looks with pretty pinafores, where I can put some time into hand embroidery.  I also think Amish style caps will be perfect for her, and Juliet caps too.  I will be looking into patterns for them. I also would love to do some smocking and white work embroidery.

Lastly, I want to make another onsie, this one with snaps around the waist so that I can make a petticoat that can snap on.  Her waist is too easily scrunched and I cannot help think how uncomfortable that is!  lol. 


Wallpaper for the Soho Loft

I decided to order some contact type paper to cover the walls of Joanie’s room.  I wanted to keep a whimsical look to it, not relegating it to strictly old fashioned and boring, nor making it so modern that she doesn’t seem to fit in it. The predominant colour is orange in the current painting (the floors are orange and white checks and the edging around the walls are orange.  You can flip the flooring over and it is solid orange. 

Contact paper is generally for lining cupboards and drawers, so the selection is not great.  I thought at first I would wait until I was once again at a Walmart and see what they have, but I thought how there probably would only be 2 or 3 selections and what if nothing would suit a little girls room?  I went to eBay and looked to see what they had.  For children, a vintage Holly Hobby which was TOO green and a Winnie the Pooh, but it was a modern version of the characters and not enchanting.  Then of course all the usual fruits and strips and wood/marble and solid colours.  A few florals too.  Nothing really struck me as fun and different for a fun and different room.  I then saw this one:

greenshot_2011-06-25_13-43-19  I thought…how whimsical!  The off white furniture would go with it, the orange would be incorporated and the blue would mellow it all out.  There are modern oranges (whimsical) with old fashioned labels.  So I bought two rolls of it.  I will in the meantime make a blue bedspread and hopefully this will all pull together.  At least with contact paper, it can peel right off and I can chose something else at another time.  What I also like is that it is a fun theme to use fruit in Hawaii, perhaps when we get home next year a different theme will be more appropriate.

Freshly Washed Hair

Last night I took down Joanie’s braids and was not happy with the condition of her hair and decided to wash it with conditioner.  I used lukewarm water and was amazed to see how much sand was in the sink afterwards!  Next time she goes to the beach, she will be wearing a bonnet!

Since her hair had been braided, with a part down the back, I was sure that it was a permanent part created in the wig.  Nope. Once washed and I carefully picked out the hair into a straight line, it disappeared and her hair dried into wonderful curls and waves, it was shiny and the bangs curled up so sweetly!  No more frizz and dull hair!

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2011-06-23 027  I was so pleased with her look, and that Zwergy attitude really blossomed!  I couldn’t stop holding her last night, the weight in my hands, the softness of her body, the way she makes me smile every time I look at her face.  I had no idea I could change her hair like this, and I love it.  I love the colour and the style.  I can just see a big floppy ribbon bow on the side!  I haven’t any thick ribbon, but I will be sure to hunt some down.

Sigh, what happiness she brings me.  My little ray of sunshine.

Tea Towel Coat And Bonnet

I didn’t think I would have enough fabric to make the bonnet, but I did.  I lined both the bonnet and the bodice part of the coat.

2011-06-23 0072011-06-23 0082011-06-23 0092011-06-23 0102011-06-23 0112011-06-23 0122011-06-23 013 The coat is not a dress up coat, but a travel duster type, meant to protect her clothes and hair when riding in my purse. I wanted her bonnet to protect the sides of her face and her hair.

I love the red hearts and when I can find read heart buttons, I will replace the tin ones I added today.  I also would rather have red ribbon, so that might get replaced too.  Using what I had on hand.

Joanie is different to sew for.  I have to consider her curved body and the shortness of her legs and of course her cloth parts.  So I think these longer dresses give her the appearance of length and help with giving her a bit of bulkiness that suits her soft body.  I love it though, she seems to fit into her very own look which is fun for me to explore.

Joanie Moves In

Last night, I planned on putting the Soho Loft room away in it’s box, when handling it, I realized that the surface of the walls were smooth and shiny.  I thought that instead of painting it, I could consider contact (sticky backed) drawer paper, if they still make it (foam matting seems to have replaced contact paper).  That idea made me think that maybe this whimsical room could be used as Joanie’s room, especially if I could find some with rosebuds or something less bright and bold.  So I played with it last night, setting it up on the table (it was down on the floor) and I folded the pillow case to see what it would look like as bedding, and suddenly I realized that it made a great room for her!  It was the bright modernistic furniture that was too overwhelming, her furniture toned down the room a bit. 

2011-06-23 001 Up on the table, I laughed to see my “play area”. 

2011-06-23 002 It works pretty well.  I would love for it to be higher, but this is all I have available in my room.

2011-06-23 003 The space in the room is fine, I was able to fit her furniture in it.

2011-06-23 004 I hung up her bird cage. Her old fashioned things don’t really fit the style, but I still like the whimsy of the wall shapes.  Sort of reminds me of an Alice in Wonderland room.

2011-06-23 005 Her toy play area.  A little kitchen stove and muffin mix box,

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Today I am going to try and make a summer coat out of this tea towel.  It is a heavier weight, a bit too heavy for a dress.  This is the one I have a matching pair of socks.  If I don’t have enough fabric for a coat I will make a jumper instead.  Too bad I don’t have two of these, I would have loved to have made a matching bonnet too.

Kitty Kat Pillow Dress, Bonnet & Hawaiian Shirt

I was on a roll today.

2011-06-22 013 I made a bonnet.  This is for traveling, to keep care of her mohair.  Since I like to slip her into my purse, this will be so much easier than wrapping her in a blanket.

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2011-06-22 014 2011-06-22 015I really liked the look. It wasn’t meant to be a part of her wardrobe, but I think I will make more.  I think one in a crochet or lace would be nice.

Then I made a shirt from a baby’s pull on diaper cover.  I had just enough for one set of panels, then did another set in white cotton, so the shirt if completely lined.  I used the elastic gathered ruffles on the leg openings as her sleeves.

2011-06-22 016 2011-06-22 017The white dress is premade, but as you can see, it was completely open on the back.  It has a Hawaiian print (white one white) and to pull the two pieces together, I added a red and white trim to the dress and to the bottom of the shirt.

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Then, my plan was to make a nightgown with the kitty kat embroidered pillowcase.

2011-06-22 020  Because the edging was so wide, I Thought the kitty design would be lost. I knew I had to use the whole bottom of the pillow case, since there is a crochet edging around it.  I thought it would be gathered to full, so that it would be nightgown.  For fun, I embroidered her name on the front and not it doesn’t look like a nightgown, so it is a dress.  I swear she smiled an extra big smile when she saw her name!

2011-06-22 021  2011-06-22 023I cannot wait to hit the thrift shop again, I will be pillow case hunting! 

Pillow Case Clothes

I am loving pillow cases these days.  I had bought a few at a thrift shop, because that is where one can still find the soft silky pillow cases that have a high thread count and have been washed over and over again.  I am loving the feel of them and finding delightful designs that can be incorporated into doll clothes.

First…..how perfect is this pillow case for the doll room?

2011-06-22 008 Mind you, I am not completely convinced I like such a brilliant and wildly coloured room.  I prefer soft and delicate, but to find a pillow case that matches the room was astounding!  I could make cushions for the couch and curtains for the window.    Joanie is sitting in the room for a scale perspective.  She is 13.5 inches tall.  Here is one with Ken:

2011-06-22 009 You can see how large the scale is.  A perfect room for MSD, 16-18 inchers and even an SD.  I am not sure what to do with it yet, I thought it might make a fun “play room” for Joanie, but I am leaning towards a softer vintage look for her.  I may just pack it up and send it home for another day.

Back to pillow cases.  I drew up a basic onsie pattern for Joanie and made her undies.  While sewing for her, her shoes came…..I scored 8 pairs of vintage leather shoes for $8!  Wow, I expected them to be ratty, but they are gorgeous!  I was right, the oversized shoe look for her helps balance out the smallness of her limbs against her big head.  She has on a pair of the new shoes:

2011-06-22 007 There are little white ribbon roses on the sides.

The dress is from a pillow case.  I used the scalloped edge as the bottom of the dress.  Because the flower was too far into the pillow case, I had to create a hem tuck, but that added to the charm.  I drafted this pattern and it fit the first go!  2011-06-22 002 Once I saw her in the dress and the shoes, I was so enchanted with her Zwergy look.  The width of the dress was one side of the pillow case. 

2011-06-22 005 She is also just the right size that I can sew button holes.  This dress is completely hand sewn, button holes and all.  I put on antique shell buttons. 

I have another pillow case that has a cross stitched cat.  Because the embroidery goes completely from side to side and the bottom is hand crocheted, I will be making this a nightgown since I will have to use the full open edge of the pillow case so that I do not cut through the crochet.  I have another with a soft lavender flower print and the tea towel that I found matching striped socks.  So far, I am paying about $1.49 for each pillow case, a lot cheaper than buying new fabric and it has the benefit of soft, worn fabric, not fabric stiff with sizing.

Also, the bag of doll clothes I had found, had that white Hawaiian print sun dress (open in the back), had a red and white pair of infant pants that I cut up last night to make a Hawaiian print blouse to go under the dress.  I almost tossed those pants away, but it was able to cut a top out of it.  I am working on that today.