Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

McCall's 7268 Tent Pattern and New Natterer Dolls Join the Doll Family!

The young ladies in my sewing class expressed an interest a while back in sewing this pattern:
I am pleased to say that I finally got around to making it!  And just in time, too, since I will be teaching my students to make this in a just a few days.
Here is my version (which I think is much cuter than McCall's version!):
It has a zippered front opening, real screen on the windows, and rolled up window shades.
Detail on the upper front.
Door flaps opened and pulled back
McCall's did a good job with all of the cute details on this pattern.  However, I chose to omit the almost 6 yards of bias binding which they used for accent...I didn't feel like it was necessary.
Back of tent with screening in upper window.
Side view
Felicity is interested in this new contraption.  She wonders how it will work for her...
Hmmm...not bad.  There's even room for a friend!
Felicity says this would be more comfortable if I would have made her the matching sleeping bag shown on the pattern envelope!
Of course, I almost NEVER make a pattern exactly like are the changes I made:  First, and already mentioned, I omitted the decorative bias binding.  I also chose to construct the windows differently, sandwiching the screen in between the main fabric and lining, instead of just sewing it to inside of the tent.  To do this, I folded in 1/4" seam allowance along all edges on the windows of both the main fabric and the contrast lining...I carefully placed the screen in between the two layers and then edge-stitched around the window opening, catching all the layers.  I also had to cut my main tent piece pattern as two pieces which I then added 1/4" seam allowance to on one edge before sewing back together.  The original pattern piece has you placing it on the fold and cutting it out as one piece.  However, since my fabric is directional, and I didn't want my deer heads upside down on one side of the tent, I remedied this by cutting two pieces.  I omitted the dowels in the bottom of the window shades...this was unintentional...I simply forgot to add them until I was all finished!  But the shades don't really need them, so all's good.
And are just a few pictures to show the newest members to have joined our doll family today:
Petitcollin dolls sculpted by Sylvia Natterer, one of my favorite doll artists!
13 1/2" tall.  Isn't she precious with her fuzzy pink coat?  I have wanted this doll for SO long.  But she has been on back order for a long time, so I had to be patient and wait.  When she finally came back into stock at , I snatched her up right away. 
13 1/2" tall.  Doesn't she have the most beautiful coloring?
Mona also comes with her own, little doll, made like the original Petitcollin celluloid dolls of long ago.
11" tall.  While the other two dolls have vinyl bodies, this little sweetie has a cloth body with vinyl limbs.  She makes the perfect little sister.  Her hair is quite wild, though!  You can't see much of it in this photo since I have it tucked into her hood, but trust me...there's a lot of it and definitely needs some styling.
I REALLY love all of the Natterer Petitcollin dolls.  I already have my eye on a this cute, little fellow:
13 1/2" Antonin
And this lovely lady:
19" Melanie
Oh, so many dolls, and so little money!
I will be back soon with a post that goes more into detail on these lovely Petitcollin dolls.  They just arrived today, and I was too excited not to share them with you!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Dolls: My Life As...Asian Ballerina and Tonner Little MissMatched!

One of the things I love most about shopping at thrift stores is never knowing what you're going to find.   There's such an air of expectancy when you walk through the doors, and I almost always hold my breath as I round the corner to the toy aisle.  Many days there's disappointment, but sometimes you find something that's really wonderful, or at least intriguing.  Today I stumbled across this trio, stuffed together in a clear plastic bag at Goodwill.  And because their sticker had the half-price color of the week, I got them all together for only $3.50.
Do you recognize them?  No?  Well, don't feel bad, because neither did I.  In fact, I saw this bag of dolls two weeks ago and passed them by, because I didn't want to pay $6.99 for dolls of unknown origin.
But when I saw them again today, I decided to take a closer look.  I noticed that they each had "2014 Tonner Doll LLC" imprinted on their back waist.  This piqued my interest, since while I am familiar with the Tonner Doll company, I didn't know that they had made a line of play dolls like this.  And being that they were half price, I decided to take a chance and bring them home.
They stand just a little over 15" tall and have 10 points of articulation.  They have nice quality, rooted hair and darling expressions.  After some research, I found out that Tonner Dolls partnered with the Little MissMatched Company, which creates colorful, quirky clothing for little girls.  These dolls were sold at Toys R Us, FAO Schwartz, and the Tonner website, for somewhere around $30-40.  There were four in the series...I am missing the dark-skinned one. 
Here is a stock photo of the four.  They didn't have names, other than "Uptown Girl", "Artsy Girl", "Rock 'n' Roll Girl", and "Sporty Girl".
As far as I can tell, the redhead is "Uptown Girl", the brunette is "Rock 'n' Roll Girl", and the blonde is "Sporty Girl".  The blonde has some black staining around her upper and lower arms which I will try to remove.  The other two are clean.  Their hair is nice quality, and the shoes are adorable!  They kind of remind me of the short-lived "Hopscotch Hill" dolls put out by American Girl many years ago.  While I think they are very cute, I will most likely be putting them up on Ebay soon to find a new home.  I just can't keep every doll that comes home with me!
This next doll is not from the thrift fact, I even paid FULL PRICE for her (gasp!).  She is, in fact, a doll which I thought I'd never buy...a "My Life As" doll from Walmart.  Now don't get me wrong...I don't have anything against Walmart dolls!  In fact, I think many of these dolls are very pretty.  It's just that I have SO MANY 18" dolls already, I really haven't wanted to add to the hoard collection.  But then I saw this ballerina doll a couple of weeks ago online (I love ballet!) and the Asian face sculpt (I have a weakness for ethnic dolls, especially Asians), and that was it.  I decided I needed to have one!  However, none of my local Walmarts carried her! And you couldn't order her online, either.  When I called Walmart, they told me she was currently unavailable.  So I figured that was that, and went on my merry, albeit slightly disappointed, way.
But lo and behold, what did I spot on the top shelf in the doll aisle at my local Walmart last night, while just making a quick run to pick up a hair brush for my daughter?  This!
I may have let out a little scream in excitement--I can't remember.  There she was, alongside the other two ballerinas in the collection, a Caucasian and an African American version.  Of course, I grabbed the Asian one as fast as I could.  I was so surprised to see them all up on the shelf...they must have just been put out since I hadn't seen them last week when I was there.
I'm not sure her features are as "Asian" as I would have liked, but she's pretty, all the same.
Back of the box which shows the three ballerinas near the top, along with a ballet studio available as a separate purchase.  Our Walmart had this studio!  What a neat accessory for any little girl who loves to play pretend with her dolls.  Unfortunately for me, space is at a premium, so this stayed behind.
Some of the new dolls, pictured along the bottom of the box.
She was not hard to remove from her box--just had to snip a few rubber bands and ties.  However, what the heck is the plastic stuff SEWN into her hair?!?  I know why they did it--to keep her hair in place in the box.  But boy, what a pain in the neck to try and remove it!  There was no way to rip it off without damaging the hair, so I finally grabbed my trusty seam ripper and removed it that way.  Seriously, Walmart.  Please stop with sewing things into the doll's hair!  It's annoying!
After removing those annoying plastic strips (there were two of them), I gently combed out her hair and it fell into soft waves.  Very pretty.
Speaking of combs, I recently picked up this wire doll brush at Target for $5.  I highly recommend getting one.  It has a wooden handle and is just the right size for a child to hold, although it felt very nice in my hand as well.
And for $5, I thought it was a pretty good deal.
Now, back to "Anna", which is what I have decided to name this beauty:
I can't decide if she has a completely different face mold from the other My Life As dolls, or if it just looks that way because of the painting at the outside corners of her eyes.
I love her outfit.  So classic and pretty.  Exactly what I picture when somebody says "ballet outfit".  And it doesn't hurt that it's pink--my favorite color!
Cute leg warmers and ballet slippers
The rosette trim at the waistline is a nice touch.
I was a little worried that these new dolls would have an all-vinyl body, like the boy dolls in this line do, but I'm happy to report that their torsos are still cloth.  Something about a cloth torso just makes them feel more quality and cuddly to me.
One last picture.  I really do like this doll--a lot.  And for $27 and some odd change, I am pleasantly surprised with the quality.  Now that American Girl dolls cost $115 for a basic doll (and $200 for one you design yourself!), I think Walmart dolls are a good alternative for families who can't afford that higher price tag, or who don't want to start out with such an expensive doll for a child who might not take good care of it.  I do think that AG dolls are wonderful, but are they $115 wonderful?  I suppose each one will have to answer that question for themselves.  In the meanwhile, I am glad to have this new, serene face looking back at me from my doll room!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

And MORE Etsy Stuff!

Okay, I promise that this will be the last post about my Etsy listings for a bit...I don't want you to expect that that's all I'm going to blog about!  But I have listed a few more items, and guess what?  I've actually sold four of them now!  I'm so excited.  It's really validating and humbling to think that others are willing to spend their hard-earned money on something I made.  I did a major happy dance when I discovered that I had made my first sale on this little item:
A sweet dress for my Wellie Wisher, Emerson.  (I call her Emmy)
How cute is this fabric?!?  Vintage puppies frolicking across a pink background--this just makes me all kinds of happy!
This dress also came with coordinating pantalettes.
This set is still available:
Willa is my model this time.  I called this set "Summer Quackers" because of the adorable duck print.
See what I mean?  Cute!  I used a contrast, yellow fabric on the hem band and upper bodice.
It also has coordinating pantalettes.
This dress reminds me of cotton candy...something about those delicious pinks and blue, I think.  It has a double layer skirt with a pink ruffle underneath for added fullness.  I also made a matching hair clip.
The bodice has extra detail with silk ribbon flowers sewn across the pink, contrast band.  This is another dress that has sold!
This one is still available and one of my favorites!  Something about a drop-waist dress on a little girl just makes my heart melt.  Funny, when I first started sewing it, I didn't think I was going to like it...I mean, the background is a greyish-black color and the trailing rose bouquets are a little larger scale then I usually like for doll clothes...but once I added the underskirt with the coordinating, pink ruffle and the pink waist band with the ribbon bow--well, I just fell in love!  The colors just pop and the whole look is so sweet.  I honestly won't be sad if it doesn't sell because it looks so great on my Caroline doll.  There is also a matching hair clip.
I've also sold this dress for the Disney Animators from my previous post:
And this one:
Whew!  I guess it's time to get back to my sewing machine and crank out some more doll clothes!  I recently drafted the cutest pair of "shortalls" for the Disney Animator dolls, along with a knit t-shirt to wear underneath, so I think this will be the next thing I list.  I will also create it in a size to fit the 14" dolls like the Wellie Wishers and Hearts 4 Hearts girls.
I currently have four, Bitty Baby size dresses in various stages of completion on my sewing table--I should really finish them first so that I can sell the Bittys on Ebay.  As I look around my sewing/doll room, I realize that there are SO MANY dolls for which I want to create clothing, and so little hours in the day!  Do any of you feel that way, too? 
Oh, and I almost forgot, this past weekend I got to attend another doll show, and I came home with some neat treasures, one of which is a doll (well, duh!)  She is the cutest, little, German, celluloid head on a composition body, probably made in the first decade of the 1900's.  She's about the size of a Bleuette.  I will try to show her and my other treasures tomorrow, as it is getting quite late now and I need to head off to bed.  Have a great evening!
p.s.  I suppose I should mention again that my seller name on Etsy is DotsydoodleDollies, just in case you want to check it out!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

More Stuff in My Etsy Shop!

I did it!  I added more items to my Etsy shop today.  I'm proud of myself for getting it done so quickly, too, especially since I had other things "come up" today that needed my attention.  First, I sold 22, 18" dolls to the same person on Ebay.  Yes, I said 22.  These were dolls I had picked up at thrift stores here and there and planned on dressing to resell.  Well, I finally came to the realization that I'd rather just sell the clothing, so I put the nude dolls up in lots and sold them that way.  I'm so glad to be clearing out and making room!  But 22 dolls needed a rather large box, and by large, I mean HUGE.  Lucky for me, I remembered that my husband had just bought a new Coleman Cooler, and that box fit the dolls perfectly, with no room to spare.  It took me the better part of an hour to get them all securely wrapped and packed, and print out a shipping label.  After that, I had to start hemming a bridesmaid dress for my daughter who is in a wedding this weekend.  Three layers of chiffon and other synthetic fabric...UGGHHH!  I hate sewing with that stuff!  It gives me nightmares.  Give me cottons and other natural fibers any day.  3 1/2 frustrating hours later,  I finally got it done.  Half my day was now gone, although I did feel accomplished.  Now, I could finally work on listing more Etsy items!
Sweet little Mulan, a Disney Animator doll, modeling a dress I designed myself.  I just love the big pockets at the side panels of the skirt.   The purple fabric has darling, lavender bunnies hopping across it.  So cute.
Rapunzel looking demure in a sweet sundress with a scalloped hem band.  Another design of my own.
Jasmine looking dainty in blue and white.
Belle modeling a dress made from fabric that's been in my stash for years--it's a 1930's print depicting "Little Boy Blue".
And I didn't forget the 18" crowd:
I think I might have shared this sweet Gotz doll before...I actually had her for sale on Ebay, but she never sold.  After sitting in my sewing room for a while, I've grown to really like her, so I think I'll let her stick around for awhile!  She's wearing a dress made with Simplicity 8314.  Of course, I tweaked it a bit (left it sleeveless, added rick rack to the hem, and lined the entire dress instead of using neck and armhole facings), and it's become one of my favorite patterns.  It goes together quickly and easily.
All of the A-line dresses come with matching, reversible, knotted headbands.
So, in case you're keeping track, that now makes NINE items for sale in my Etsy account!  I hope to add a little more every week so I can build up a good inventory.  I have more things I want to sew for the Wellie Wishers, but I also want to try my hand at sewing for the 13" dolls, like Dianna Effner's Little Darling dolls.  No, I do not have one of these dolls...yet!  They are so beautiful and on my wish list.  But they aren't cheap, and it takes up to 3 years of being on a waiting list after you've placed your order before receiving one! (They are hand-painted by skilled artists)  I do, however, have a 13" Faith & Friends doll which has almost the exact same measurements as a Little Darling, so I think I can use her as a model.  We'll see.  I don't know if I've ever showed her to you before, so maybe that'll be my next blog post.
I'd also like to create outfits for the 18-19" slim bodied Gotz dolls, as well as Sasha, and maybe some vintage outfits for antique dolls.  So many possibilities.  I do know I won't run out of fabric any time soon!
Here's a link to my Etsy page, just in case you want to visit:
Have a great evening!