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.
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!
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.
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.