Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dresses & Dolls

I have been busy making little girl dresses and dolls!
For Christmas each of my little girls gets a new dress from Gramma Bubbles.  I have the first one nearly finished - just the zipper and snap left to do. 
This one my daughter found the picture and said "Oh isn't this cute!"  So I have been trying to replicate it without a pattern.  Needs a belt I think. 
The second one my daughter in law bought a bonnet and asked " Can you make a dress to match?"  I found the fabric and pattern.   Will be working on it in November - Oh yes - this is November !!  It will be fun.  
I have been working on an Elinor Peace Bailey doll - Celtic Mist - for my doll club challenges.  She has many parts that are done differently than I usually do them.  It has been a challenge!  But isn't  that what challenges are all about? 
Then I came upon a Dollmakers Journey class by Angela Jarecki - Madame Mori - that I couldn't resist.   I have wanted to stay up with the class so have been working on Madame Mori too. 
I found a new fabric that I want to try for dolls, however, am not sure it will work for the face technique in the Madame Mori class -so I am making two dolls.  One from woven cotton and one from my new fabric which is nylon & polyester.  So far I like my new fabric better.  Less fraying at closely trimmed seams. 
This is Saturday night progress.  One of the dolls got her skirts on Sunday.

The cotton woven one is on the left. 
This pattern has many new techniques for me so it has been a challenge also.  The arm joints are unusual and can't wait for the finished doll to see if I like it. 
I worked all weekend on Madame Mori and on Celtic Mist.  What a wonderful weekend I have had!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Girls and Ladybugs

Ladybug dress are done and the girls wore them last weekend.  Cousins as cute as can be! 

Both dresses turned out to be big which is okay - room to grow.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


I found the cutest fabric with ladybugs and - bonus - it's a cotton-poly mix.  Wash & Wear.  Fortunately I purchased exactly enough to make two little girl dresses.  AND I found that if I cut out the size five first then the size two - I can use the same pattern without having to copy the pattern. 

This was a really quick and easy pattern to make.  One day each for the assembly, not counting the hand work. 

I still have the zippers and hand work to finish.  Will get them done before we get together at Great Grandma's house.

Just hope the dresses fit so the girls can wear them at the same time so Gramma Bubbles can get pictures.  

The dresses may be too big.  That is much better than too small.   I am now adding a different opening to the last birthday dress so birthday girl can get in and most importantly out of it!!

She did it!

Serendipity was selected for Trunk A in the traveling exhibits of the 2014 Hoffman Challenge.
I am honored to be among some of the best doll makers in the world!!

Congratulations to all that entered the contest and those that won prizes and those that were selected to travel.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Serendipity is Ready to Go!

She is complete!  I have finished my entry to the Hoffman Challenge.

She was really fun to make - I love her!
I used the Betts Vidal pattern called Ping ... The Sugar Plum Fairy but added my own touches.
Here is her close up just before I secured her headdress.
When I wrote to the pattern designer, Betts Vidal, for permission she responded with the nicest reply.  I was so touched with her reply I am including in this post.
"Hello Ronda,
   What a sweet email! I'm pleased that you decided on my Ping pattern for your Hoffman challenge entry. I wish you the best! She is lovely...especially those big blue eyes and the floral applique on tulle...nice touch.  It was so kind of you to ask for permission to enter the doll and also to acknowledge me as well. Believe me, this is a rarity for pattern designers and we all appreciate the few like you who have exemplary ethics.
   I'm so glad you had your own ideas when constructing her. It's the interpretation that sets one doll from the next. The added accessories are the "fun" part of doll making don't you think? It's the point that all doll makers work towards.
   Your doll will shine at the exhibit, enjoy meeting all the other dolls and also being admired by so many viewers. The doll exhibit is a long standing tradition that attracts everyone...doll maker or not.
  Thank you for your request and best wishes..".

My thanks to Betts for your lovely note and for her blessing to use her pattern.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Serendipity - a fortunate happenstance. 

When the 2014 Hoffman Challenge fabric came out last fall I immediately had an idea for my doll.  I bought the fabric,  gathered trims and props to fit my idea. 

Alas............ I couldn't put my idea together into a finished , travel worthy doll.  I was thinking that I may not enter the 2014 Hoffman Challenge. 

I have a new idea and I think I can get it finished in time to enter!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Birthday Dress

Another birthday, another dress.

I am so excited to use this starry fabric I found in Portland several years ago.  Also from my stash I found a plaid with the same colors as the stars fabric.   Bonus - this dress doesn't have a zipper!!
Just have the hand work to do to finish. 
From the plaid I made a skirt and a purse trimmed with the stars. 
One more dress is cut out and ready to be assembled.  I'll be sewing a lot this week to be done by Saturday's birthday party!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, all on a summers day
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts, and took them clean away
The King of Hearts, called for the tarts, and beat the knave full soar
The Knave of Hearts, brought back the tarts, and vowed he'd steal no more.

The Queen of Hearts with most of her tarts

Friday, May 2, 2014

Gathering My Resources Around the Hoffman Fabric

The treasure hunt has begun -
I have  the fabric by Hoffman Challenge 2014.
I have an idea!  That is sometimes the hardest part.
I am gathering my resources!  They are coming together.
I have the pattern with the author's permission! 

Now all I have to do is start!!!!!

First things first -Baby's birthday dress and doll are done.  Neighbor's great grandbaby quilt is done.  (But I forgot to take pictures)  May Doll Club challenge will be done this weekend. 
Then look out - Hoffman Challenge here I come!!!!

She should go together fairly fast.  The time consuming part will be embellishments and final details.  That is the fun part of the challenge.  

Stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Birthday Doll

Kodi's birthday doll is finished.

She has an embroidered face, yarn hair and a dress to match Kodi's.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Birthday Dresses

I've been working on a 1st birthday dress by special request.  Up to now, baby girls get heirloom style dresses, however, this one is just fun and by special request.

Its nearly finished.  Just want to add an embroidery to it to make it extra special for her.  And then the zipper. 

For her birthday present I am making a doll.  The doll is about 24 inches tall.  Almost as big as baby girl. 

Started with the matching birthday dress!

Normally I make the doll first then dress her but the dress was calling to me after I got the baby girl's dress started.     I also want to do a small embroidery on the doll dress.

The dresses are nearly the same size! 

Both are fun!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Spirrit of Christmas Past - Finished!

My online class from A is for Artistry by Barbara Schoenoff was great!  I thoroughly enjoyed making this doll.  I am pleased with how she turned out.
Spirit of Christmas Past

She is standing on one leg with the other pointed out behind her.  This picture looks like she has one leg!!!!  
Here is a side view.
The other leg is somewhat visible.
In this class I learned to use a wire armature which makes the arms and legs more pose-able.  Normally I stuff my dolls firm enough I don't need the wire support, however, they only hold one pose.  I thought it was difficult to insert the wire into the body the way it was stitched.  Also had to be careful to stuff around the wire so it didn't show. 
The second lesson that I learned was using a large upholstery needle instead of a dowel to mount her to her stand. The drawback is that she is not firmly attached.  She spins around.   This method would not work for a show doll.  When I use a dowel in the leg the doll is fairly secure in her mounting.  However, I haven't gotten  a really nice finish to the leg stuffing the few times I have tried the dowel.   More practice!!! 
Back view
I used the pre-glittered tulle by the roll.  I think I used a bit too much tulle but am happy with her anyway.  I do have glitter EVERYWHERE in my house! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Online Class

I signed up for an online doll making class by one of my favorite doll artists.  I have  made several of her patterns and liked them all.  When I saw Spirit of Christmas Past by Barbara Schoenoff  I did not hesitate to sign up even though I knew I didn't have time before Christmas to start a doll. 

BUT, after Christmas!  I had time.  And I needed to start my January Doll Club challenge doll.  The theme "Silver & White" fit exactly with "Spirit of Christmas Past". 

Here she is so far.......................

Spirit of Christmas Past
She is posing in her underwear in front of the roses and poinsettia, waiting for her base and costume to be finished. As usual I am not really happy with her face. Although it looks better from a distance than it does up close!   I need to do the exercise that Rita Keiser recommended '30 faces in 30 days" to practice, practice, practice!  Have never been very good at practicing - I just want to DO!
The circle beside her is her base - waiting for the glue to dry.  I like to put the doll's name & my name on the bottom of the base for posterity.  I glued the paper onto the base, then modge podged it,  Next I will spray with clear acrylic paint to seal the whole thing. 
However, overall I LOVE her!!  Will finish her this weekend.