Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Monday, August 22, 2016

Liberty Jane Ruched Hoodie Pattern, plus an Upcycled Dress for American Girl Dolls

I've had this pattern for awhile, and finally got around to making it.  It's the "Ruched Hoodie" pattern by Liberty Jane.

Cute, right?  I was particularly intrigued about installing a separating zipper, since I had never done that before.  The pattern calls for a 5" doll-sized zipper which can be purchased over at Liberty Jane's website, but of course, I couldn't wait.  I wanted to make it NOW.  So I headed over to my neighborhood JoAnn's and found they had a fairly decent selection of separating zippers.  The smallest size they carried was a 7", which I figured I could just cut down like a regular zipper.  I went with a white, plastic coil zipper since the metal ones had pull tabs that were just too big and out of scale for a doll outfit.
Here's the finished product.  I am very pleased with how it turned out!  The pattern instructions are very clear concise, and each step is illustrated with a photograph.  While this has more pattern pieces than an average sweater/coat, the instructions were very easy to follow.  From start to finish, this took me less than 2 hours.
I did take extra time with installing the zipper (I even ripped it out once because I wasn't happy with the placement at the bottom of the hoodie), but it turned out better than I expected in the end.  I wish I had a "before" photo, but the material for this hoodie was a thrifted, women's knit shirt in a lovely, soft shade of light green with a beautiful texture.  I picked it up at Value Village once when they were having a 50% off sale on all their clothing.  They have these sales quite frequently, and when they do, I try to stock up on knit clothing items which I can later upcycle into doll outfits.  It's kind of hard to see in the photo, but there's a pretty, floral ribbon which binds the raw seam on the inside of the hood.  I found that to be a very nice touch.
Back view...isn't that ruffle adorable?  The hoodie jacket is self-fabric lined, but the hood is not.
Marie Grace's hair cannot be contained in this hoodie!
Hood up.  This pattern is adorable and a little more "special" than ordinary jacket patterns with all of it's extra details.  I highly recommend it.  You can purchase it as an instant download over at .  If you sign up for Liberty Jane's newsletter, they will send you one of their patterns FREE every Friday.  That is how I got this pattern!
Marie Grace also scored a brand new dress to wear with her new hoodie.  The skirt portion was also thrifted from a teenager's skirt.  It started it's life as this:
I knew when I first saw this skirt that it had the potential to become several, cute doll dresses. 
I used a "fancy cotton" for the bodice, to which I added a couple rows of the skirt ruffle to pull the look together.
The back closes with snaps under decorative buttons.  The skirt also has an attached, cotton lining.
Adorable, right?  This dress was super-simple to put together.  I love the combination of pink and white--so feminine and pretty.
I have been picking up more and more cute clothes at the thrift stores for the express purpose of turning them into something charming for dolls.  Most times, this is the only way I can find nice knits...our local fabric stores don't carry many knits at all, and never in any cute prints or textures.  So if you love to sew, don't overlook thrifted clothes as valuable resources for doll clothing!

Amelia as "Alice"

"Oh, Dinah, how could anyone possibly like a book without any pictures in it?"
"Mr. Rabbit, wait!  Please wait!  Where are you running off to in such a hurry?"
How very curious!  A tea party, in the middle of nowhere.
"May I join you?"
"You are late!"
"Late for what?" asked Alice.
"Why, the 'unbirthday' celebration, of course," announced the White Rabbit.
"Oh, dear...this table is rather large, or perhaps, I'm too small...I can't quite reach the teapot..."
The more I've been enjoying my Girl for All Time Amelia, the more I realized that she would make the perfect "Alice".  I had the perfect blue, cotton sateen fabric in my stash for her dress.  It is trimmed with vintage trims and closes in back with snaps under decorative buttons.
Many, vintage, Alice illustrations picture her wearing black & white striped tights.  I made her a pair using a thrifted, women's knit shirt.  So easy and gratifying.
The skirt and bib for her apron are cut from a vintage hankie.
My "Alice" collection is growing bit by bit.  Next month, Hubby and I are going to Disneyland (by ourselves!) to celebrate our 30 year wedding anniversary.  I can hardly wait!  I hope to come home with a few more Alice things for my collection.  I will also take along my mini Disney animator Alice doll as a travel doll.  I plan on taking lots of pictures with her at all the places we visit.  Did I already say I can hardly wait?!?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Little Red Riding Hood Matilda!

Lately, I've felt the urge to create storybook costumes for my dolls.  Matilda looked like the perfect character to portray Little Red.
I created her cloak from a thrifted women's skirt.  At first, I thought it was a lightweight wool, but the tag listed it as 100% silk.  It has such a nice, nubby texture and drape.
The cloak is fully lined with quilter's cotton.  I didn't get a close-up photo, but it is a lovely, muted shade of greenish brown with tiny red flowers.
I made a self fabric ruffle to frame her pretty face.
The hood is oversized because I like the look of a drapey hood.
The ties are also made from the same fabric.
Of course, Matilda needed a new dress to go along with her new cape!
I used the same pattern I drafted for the puffed-sleeve dresses I've made, only this time, I made long sleeves.  They are two part sleeves--the uppers are puffed and then gathered to a long, straight cuff.
I love the pinafore. It was made from a piece of vintage linen which had already been cut and sewed into the basic shape.  All I had to do was add the shoulder straps (from another vintage linen), add a back opening with a placket which closes with snaps, and hem it.
Oh, how I love the sweetness of this look!
And finally, here is what the dress looks like without the pinafore.
I used another piece of antique, eyelet embroidery from my stash for the bodice.
The cuffs are edged with another eyelet.
It closes in back with snaps under decorative buttons.
I used a vintage, crocheted lace to edge the hem.
Matilda has the prettiest, long hair.
Sewing for these dolls is so much fun!  They are so easy to pose and have wonderful proportions.  I've already determined that my next outfit will be "Little Bo Peep" for Amelia.  I have a pretty, pale, pink thrifted skirt in my stash which I think will be just perfect!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Dress for my Girl for All Time MATILDA

Matilda was acting a little indignant that I had made a new dress for Amelia but not for her.  So out came my stash of clothing and vintage linens I buy just for the purpose of turning into doll clothing.
The dress was cut from a skirt and the apron is made from two different linens stacked together.  I also had a beautiful piece of antique lace that I applied to the bodice.
The dress without the apron--the reason I bought this skirt to begin with was because of the tucks and eyelet--I immediately knew it would make a cute doll dress!
Of course, no outfit is complete without the proper undergarments.  I made her an identical slip to the one I made for Amelia, and pair of pantalets from a vintage table linen.
Petticoat slip
Matilda decided to spend some time outdoors with Flora and Fitzgerald.  I recently found Flora the sheep at Goodwill.  Fitzgerald is the goat from American Girl Josefina's collection--I think it's name was Sombrita?  But I think he looks more like a "Fitzgerald" to me!
"Oh, no!  Flora, where did Fitzgerald go?  I can't find him anywhere!" 
Here you can see that Matilda's dress closes in back with snaps under decorative buttons.  The apron simply ties at the waist.  I was going to make another pinafore, like Amelia's, but I didn't want to cover up the pretty lace on Matilda's bodice.
"Where, oh where did that naughty little goat run off to?" 
 I added trim to the bottom tuck of Matilda's dress to match the trim on her sleeves.  Her apron is two layers of vintage linens, since I couldn't decide which one I liked better.  I actually love how it turned out.
I was so pleased that I had a piece of embroidered linen in my stash that had the same shade of green in the embroidery as the color of the dress.  Perfect!
"I found him!" exclaimed Amelia.  "He was eating the wildflowers near the chicken pen."
Sweet little Fitzgerald, back in the fold.
Amelia decided to add wildflowers to Matilda's hair while keeping a close eye on Fitzgerald.
So pretty.
Have I mentioned how much I love these dolls?!?  They are so fun to dress and photograph.  They easily stand on their own and hold lots of fun poses, thanks to their multiple, tight joints.  Their hair is gorgeous.  And to think that I didn't really even like these dolls when I first saw them!  I would like to try making them some Victorian style coats, next.  I'm going to take a standard pattern and try shrinking it down a bit.  I'll let you know how that goes, since these dolls are shorter and much slimmer than most of the standard 18" dolls on the market. 
Hope your dollies are able to enjoy a little time outside today as well!