Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Small-scale sewing endeavours

I'm slowly limbering up to sewing more regularly. As ever, my problem is that when I do get some free time, instead of sitting straight down to sew I ponder all the projects I've been planning, then decide what I'd planned probably would have ended up being a disappointment, and pack everything away again for another day. I have a sketchbook brimming over with (poorly drawn) ideas for bags and tea cosies, aprons and quilts and yet none of them ever get made. There's also the small matter of two almost-finished patterns, one for this bag and the other for these wallets that just need that final push to get them finished and ready for sale.


In the interests of getting back into the swing of things, albeit on a very tiny scale, I've been trying to expand my little girl's wardrobe of dolls' clothes. The doll is one that I bought for her having seen a similar one in an issue of Marie Claire Idees - they're sold through the Marie Claire Idees shop as Marie and Claire dolls, and are made by Corolle in their range of Les Cheries dolls. Ours is a Chloe, purchased here, she's a 30 cm / 13 inch doll with oodles of glossy hair and what's more she's vanilla-scented! I'm all for playing with dolls, and can totally see the draw of the Blythe dolls I've been seeing all over flickr - the possibilities for hairstyles and miniature clothes are endless! With the aim of providing Tulip, my daughter's doll with a range of outfits to rival all the other well-dressed dollies out there, we bought the book of knitting and sewing patterns designed by Marie Claire Idees,Tenues de poupée. It's with some hilarity that I noticed the difference in the style stakes between chic Parisian Marie (in her beret on the right) and the dowdier Marie a Londres (on the left)! On the whole though, there are some very sweet designs.

'London' dolls' outfitParisian doll's outfit

Here's what we've come up with so far, first up, a dress for a garden party, which my daughter says reminds her of Alice in Wonderland. I've been looking for an excuse to use this gorgeous mushroom/toadstool fabric (Willow Shroom from Alexander Henry) for ages - and the best thing about dolls' clothes sewing is there's still plenty left for another day!

Dolls' dress

I also made this Summer holiday outfit, a smock top and some turned up blue jeans for city sightseeing. The blouse fabric is an offcut of Tana lawn I bought in Liberty some years ago, which was made into a gypsy top for my girl (outgrown but ready to be passed down the line to the baby sister!) and also put in an appearance in my Chinese coin quilt. It's a real favourite of mine so it's been nice to put the final scraps to use here.

doll's outfit

Lots more plans are afoot to make tiny fairisle jumpers and hats, a great way of ploughing through my collection of leftover yarn. It's nice to see something through from start to finish in an hour, and even I can't procrastinate too much about fabric choices for a dollswear!

Now would someone please shout at me to do some proper sewing instead of playing with dolls? And maybe I'll get those sewing patterns finished in time for Christmas too.



  2. I agree when the precious moment arrives and you get a chance to sew it is all too easy to end up not sewing - faffing about requires little effort or committment.
    Get the patterns sorted!!

  3. Oh I hear ya. I have a bag pattern that has been on my burners for almost two years! Maybe if we give each other a push and set a deadline of the end of April for one pattern a piece??

    & yes, I must reply to your email as well!

  4. GET TO WORK MISSUS! Actually I am the last person to be telling you that - I am the queen of procratination and have now got to the point where my WIP (or more like to be WIP) pile is so large that by the time I've finished hunting through it for the thing I wanted to work on the time I had to do the sewing is long gone and it has to get stuffed back into the pile again. Really must either start using up some of this stuff or do a major de-stash so I can actually find the space and materials to do some sewing.

  5. p.s. very cute dolls clothes!

  6. I have to say, that doll is much better than the Blythe dolls. Those Blythe dolls are SCARY LOOKING! Go on, make one more outfit, then do the patterns!

  7. oh i just the love the dolls clothes :)

  8. Hi Helen,

    The doll's dress and clothes are adorable. I'm looking forward to seeing all the knitted clothes and accessories you make too. I have a Blythe doll which I'm hoping to find some time to sew/knit some clothes for her. Are you planning on getting one?

    I better stop being a bad influence now. Yes, go and finish sewing those purse and bags for your shop!

  9. I've just bought my daughter a Les Cheries doll and have spent a lot of evening making time knitting new outfits!! I can completely understand where you are coming from!!!


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