Thursday, June 30, 2011

personalised doll tutorial

So, here is a really really rough tutorial showing how I made the initial Jackson doll, and now a Connor doll as well. You will need to download the pattern pieces  and then come back and follow the instructions. Imagine making the whole band - and then having a little photo shoot ? I sooooooooooooo need some more hours in my day . I use Matilda's Own Ink jet Printable fabric to print the face and any other accessories you might want. This will only work with an ink jet printer but it just runs through like a piece of paper - super easy. I have to apologise for that scary head but when you ask Mr 16 to let you take a photo of his good self for the blog...well you know its never going to end well. Arrange all the pictures you want and print on regular paper first to check out sizes etc. The printed area of Connor's head is approx 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches here.
You will need a piece of fabric about 10 inches square for the shirt and sleeves. Cut from the square a strip measuring 4 inches and put it aside for the arms, cut another 2 inch strip and put it aside for the collar. You should now have a piece left measuring 10 x 4 inches. Cut this into two 5x4 inch squares. These will be the shirt. Create a tiny fold in the centre of one of these squares, this will created the front false overlap for the shirt. Sew in place, close to the edgeCut out two shirt pieces (right sides together). With the right sides together, place the trouser fabric in place and sew in place according to the line on the sewing pattern. Open out and press seam. Repeat for the shirt back.
Place the shirt(and pant) sections right sides together and sew around leaving the bottom open. Stuff firmly (no really, I do mean firmly) and pin closed.
OK time for the head. On the back of your head picture, trace lightly the outline of the head. This will be your sewing line...You can fudge around the hair a bit. Place your head piece right sides together onto a piece of fabric that will become the back of the head. (Unless you are very clever and took a photo of the back of their head as well). Sew around, but make sure you leave a suitable opening at the neck. if you make this too narrow, turning will be a nightmare! Clip your seams carefully and turn the head out the right way.
Stuff the head firmly and pin it in place on the body. Poke the neck of the body up into the head. Sew this in place but don't get too stressed about neatness as the collar will cover this join.
Take your paper collar pattern piece and place in on a folded piece of fabric. Trace the collar onto the fabric and sew directly on the traced line. Cut out the collar outside your sewing lines and clip the little collar notch. Turn collar right sides out through on of the ends and press. You can top stitch the collar on the outer edge if you like. If the collar looks to large , just fold under a little bit from the top before hand sewing it in place over the head and neck join.
To make the arms, we need to sew the arm strip of shirt fabric to a strip of white fabric, along the long edge. After pressing the seam open you might like to top stitch on the shirt fabric. Now place the arm pattern piece on the fabric with the cuff line aligned to the seam. Cut four arms.
Place two of the cut out arms right sides together and sew around leaving a turning gap. Clip around the arm and turn right side out. Stuff and repeat for the other arm. Ladder stitch the turning gaps closed.
Check this out . Does it make sense? This is basically how you do a button joint. Secure your thread (under the arm is good so it wont be seen)then you just go in and out through all the pieces shown a few times.Pull your thread firmly. You will know you have it tight enough when the arms will hold a position if you move them (This is why I said to stuff firmly- we don't want to squish it all into oblivion).
The legs are two simply tubes. Sew them, turn them, and the hand sew them into place, closing the base of the body as you go. After they are in place you can stuff them.
To make the feet you simply sew two pieces of felt together using the pattern piece supplied. Clip , turn and stuff. Hand sew them to the bottom of the legs. Super easy !
In the photo you will see Connor also has some buttons - simply sew them in place. The belt is a strip of vinyl and a small buckle (I think the buckle might be a scrap booking embellishment)

I took one look at the narrow neck of that guitar and realised I would never be able to turn it through, so for the guitar I simply interfaced the guitar to be reasonably stiff and then used Steam-a- seam to adhere it to some felt.
I know this tutorial is really rough , but I figured if I showed every single step we would be here for a month. The scarf is just a bit of knit fabric chopped to length - no sewing at all. You know you could just go on and on with these guys - hats, jackets, bags, friends, pushbikes.......

ooh a plush pushbike.......

Monday, June 27, 2011

Slight pause

The tutorial is on its way I promise, I just need one more photo and I'm done , so hopefully I'll post it tomorrow. In the meantime , I had an awesome fun exhausting day in Sydney at the ASG Industry day. I met some wonderful people and got to share a few things as well.

This is my new pattern, the Work-In-Progress bag - a super simple bag to hold whatever it is you are working on. Of course I would need to be making these by the dozen to keep up with the amount of stuff on the go in the sewing room at the moment.The pattern is brand spanking new and already available at Under the Mulberry tree . Also while we are talking patterns, my patterns are on sale at Ballarat Patchwork as part of their stocktake sale if your interested.

This bag is also being completely kitted by Merrilyn of Threadneedle Craft Daylesford if you want to drop her a line. Sheesh I think that's it for the blatant self promotion tonight guys. Tutorial tomorrow and then finally the new toys I have been promising !

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In no particular order

  • This Saturday I am flying to Sydney to speak to the ASG at their Industry Day. Just thinking about it makes me clench at both ends. Why oh why do I say yes to these things and stress so much ?

  • I am working on a tutorial for the little dude in the last post but I ran out of light for photos so it might take me a few more days as I grab photos before and after work. It'll be a pretty rough tutorial , otherwise we'll need about 50 photos.

  • I am teaching at Amitie next month - and hoping to use it as an excuse for a long weekend in Melbourne.

  • I recently met two of the finest eggs you can imagine.

  • I am hanging out on bookface sometimes, come and like me (how weird is that as a sentence ? I mean really do we ask people to like us these days ? ........this stuff makes me feel old.)

  • I joined pinterest but it hasn't grabbed me.This also makes me feel old

  • The thought of going to work tomorrow makes me feel like this...................

  • Friday, June 17, 2011

    Mother of the year

    This is Jackson, in his funky liberty shirt.

    He has a scarf, beanie, coat and man-bag.

    Inside the man-bag is a teeny tiny music book.
    Jackson is in the band you know

    He plays keys.

    God help me when the drummer has a birthday.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    The lure of the Lilliputian

    Dear friends, I think I might need an intervention

    Parsley and Beet pattern reduced to 50% in size..

    If I start talking doll houses-just shoot me.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011


    Once again I seemed to have failed in the photography department on the weekend. As you can imagine it was a dignified affair, lots of quiet sewing and sharing of ideas. Rumours of people line-dancing and swimming laps in their spa are grossly exaggerated.
    Tales of busted zips, failed french knots and people finishing their swap projects at the breakfast buffet are also to be taken with a grain of salt.
    I met some great people on the weekend,learnt heaps from stitchers far more experienced than I, ate quite a lot and drank some as well. and I laughed, and laughed. I snickered, chortled giggled and guffawed for the best part of three days. I laughed loud and long, I clenched the lady muscles at times and I snorted more than once. If the level of exhaustion I feel now directly correlates to the amount of laughing I did on the weekend , then I am happy to feel so tired.In boring health news, the toothache that doesn't exist is not a sinus problem , the scan showed no problems at all. So we are back at the start, and looking at another visit to the dentist. At my chirpiest I am fine - a few painkillers a day and its all manageable , but at 2am when it wakes me up and I either get up for painkillers or try to go back to sleep I am ready to remove all my teeth with the first kitchen implement that comes to hand.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    What's the time?

    On the Craft Clock ?
    Time for the Daylesford craft Experience !