Meet Sadie, Mae, and Elsie

First off, I'm working on new toy patterns!  It's been awhile since I've been so inspired.  My husband claims he hasn't seen me this excited about a project in well over a year.  I only have sketches right now, but the ideas are clear.  And cute!  Now it's time to start drafting and sewing...and redrafting and sewing.  I actually like this part.

I'd love to be able to offer these patterns as PDFs in the future.  Hopefully, in the coming months.  Stay tuned!

Until then, I thought I'd occasionally post a few of the book projects that I typically receive emails about.  I've had several inquiries asking whether the doll pattern I use for my larger dolls is in the book.  The answer is YES.   

I made three dolls for the book using this pattern, shown up above.  Meet Sadie, Mae, and Elsie. 


Sadie was named after and made for my oldest niece.  My niece doesn't want or need a doll at her age...but I wanted her to have one to pass along to her own daughter or niece or Granddaughter someday.  (I gave her the doll last month in a storage box so she can stash it away until then).   I used Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in "Tan" for Sadie's body and Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky Yarn in Cafe Au Lait for her hair. One skein is more than enough for those ponytails!


Mae, pictured above, was named after and made for my youngest niece, who is just two years old.  Her shoes are 18'' doll shoes found here.  (Sadie's shoes were also found on this site).  Her body is Kona Cotton in "Wheat".  And I used a Lyra Rembrandt Aquarell white pencil to shade the outer white parts of her eyes.


Elsie, named after one of my husband's grandmothers, was made from Kona Cotton fabric in "Sand".  Her hair is Crystal Palace Iceland Yarn (bulky).  The basic pattern for her felt shoes is included in the book, as well as instructions and patterns for all the dolls' basic shirt/dresses and bloomers.  My oldest daughter has claimed Elsie as her own.  She makes a natural "sister" to her Marie doll.

There is also a marionette pattern in the book that is a similar, but much smaller version of Sadie, Mae, and Elsie.  I actually used the marionette pattern to make my youngest daughter's Gumdrop Doll last summer (sans marionette strings, etc.).  In fact, the doll's dress, bolero, and shoes were also made using the clothes patterns for "Jill".  I just added straps to the shoes, fastened by a few stitches and a little button.

Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions.  I got behind there for a few weeks, while our family dealt with the flu/winter colds.  Hopefully, we're done for the season.  I'll catch up soon on the emails.  I'm happy to help.  Thanks to all of you who have sent such kind words :).


New Year, Long Recap

Compared to previous years, this was a slow holiday season.  It still flew by in an instant, but unlike the past 7 or 8 years, I deliberately scaled back on my "to-do/to-make" list and focused on enjoying each day with my family.

I don't know about you, but I typically only finish 3/4 of the projects that I set out to make anyway.  I tend to procrastinate and I'm overly ambitious around the holidays. This = a stressful combo in December.

That wasn't really a problem this year (though I'm still finishing projects I didn't complete in time!).

I did make a batch of bunnies (the pattern is in my book).  The three below were for my daughters.  It's hard to tell from the photos, but the one on the right is pink, with a cream belly.  My youngest named her "Peppermint".  The other two are "Snowflake" and "Sugar".  The girls have been clutching these bunnies since Christmas.  They are stuffed with wool and so, so soft.

The red scarves are from the same old maternity coat I have used now for many projects, including the Valentine's Bear from a few years back and Little Red's hooded cape pictured below.  It was a huge coat :).  And I still have lots of it left to recycle.

Source: C&T Publishing

I sent this pair of bunnies below to a niece and nephew in Seattle, along with a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, and their matching cousin Christmas pajamas.  Maybe I can get the girls to knit two scarves to send for the bunnies next Christmas.  I think the bunnies look cute in scarves...at least during this time of year.

Quick photo before RUSHING to the post office...with mere minutes to spare.

While I scaled back on my "to-do/to-make" list, my oldest and middle daughters had lists of their own.  I ended up spending almost as much time in our sewing space as previous years.  I was just helping my daughters on their projects instead of my own.

I love sewing with my kids, but as many of you know, it can be a bit trying some days.  I needed to take a quiet long breath once in awhile, after re-threading a needle (for the umpteenth time) or untangling knot after knot after knot.  It takes patience.  My kids get frustrated enough on their own sometimes with sewing - no need for them to see any frustration on my part.  And while I was tempted at times to just say "here, let me do it" (which would be easier), I wanted them to finish all their sewing on their own.  Even If I had to undo knots and wonky stitches (I'll undo stitches they don't like) over and over again.

I tried to focus on the fun and that wasn't very hard.  We did have fun. We had our Santa mugs of tea.  We had our Christmas music.  And we worked together.  It was good.  And it definitely helped that I didn't have a ton of projects hanging over my head.  I could focus on helping them without feeling like their projects were getting in the way of my own.

This is the first year that my middle daughter has worked on her own handmade gifts.  She picked out this project from Fa la la la Felt.

I traced/cut out the pattern pieces.  She did all the sewing and stuffing on her own (except for the features and buttons).  She works very, very slow - but she is so deliberate in her stitching. 

She used pins to mark where she wanted the french knots, buttons, and beads placed.

The two above were sent to her cousins up north.

For her older cousins, we reduced the pattern and she made ornaments, instead (one Gingerman and one Sugar Friend).

My oldest is still working on presents for her younger cousins up north.  For her older cousins down in Ojai, she made these s'mores ornaments, with a little embroidered inside family humor :).  Making s'mores is a cousin thing they do...anytime of year.  Freezing nights?  S'mores outisde by the fire?  Sure!

I don't think I've ever shown our Christmas pajamas before  Mostly because they have been so simple most years (knit nightgowns, knit tops/bottoms, or flannel PJs).  Well, this was my ninth year making them for this group and they were as basic as ever (I make a lot of basic things), but I'll go ahead and post the photo this time.  The two little faces on the computer screen are the cousins up in Seattle.  

My husband made the shirt decals...and even made matching "Dog 1, Dog 2, and Dog 1/2" bandanas for the family dogs.  Teamwork :).

I have a few more photos/projects to share, but this post is already so long.  I'll try and get another post up soon.

Happy 2013!