Monday, January 30, 2012 4 comments

Teacup Cards

I bought these teacup images as gift enclosure cards when they were clearancing them from the $1 bins at Michaels. I love teacups, and the designs were just my style, so I got a whole pack of each design I liked. After giving one of each card to my daughter to write in, I had 11 of each left.

I didn't get around to making anything with them until our cardmaking day, but when I finally hit on a design I liked, I decided to do them all (11 of each of these designs). I'm leaving them without a sentiment until I need them, so they are more versatile. (The sentiment will go on the bottom, where there is "blank space".) I've been sending a lot of small "thinking of you" packages lately, and I thought it would be wise to be able to use them for those packages or for ladies' birthdays, if needed.

Of course, I hat to cut out each of the teacups/mugs before I could use them. I used an X-acto knife for the insides of the handles.

This was also a great use for the huge pack of doilies I had bought for cardmaking awhile back, so I was very happy to use up some stash on these cards.
Friday, January 27, 2012 1 comments

Another collage-style card

After I made the Mother's Day cards, I decided to go ahead and do another collage-style card with these mini images that have to do with writing.

This one could be used for many occasions, and I decided to use a sentiment on the inside. That way, I can decide what to use it for when I need it.

I have a funny problem with my cards. I run out of birthday cards, so I make a whole pile of them. And suddenly I have a need for tons of "thinking of you" cards instead. Inevitably, the cards I just made for birthdays would make perfect "thinking of you" cards, but I already have a birthday sentiment on them. So I decided to experiment and make a few cards that I can add a sentiment to when I need them.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 1 comments

Mother's Day cards

This is the first card I made on our cardmaking day, and I'm actually quite happy with it. Since I have my mother and mother-in-law both still with us, I needed to make two of these. They're identical because I thought they "fit" both of them very well. I also tried to make them as non-dimensional as possible since they will have to go through the mail.

I had bought a sheet of these postage-stamp-style collages a few years ago, cut them apart, and then had no idea what to do with them. Then, a few weeks ago, I came across an inchie design that I thought might serve as inspiration for using them. You can see the card that inspired me (from Moxie Fab World, the first featured card) here. It was a very loose interpretation, but it really helped me out!
Monday, January 23, 2012 4 comments

VW Beetle Bug Cards

Yes, you read that right. I finally got some more cards done!

My friend and I decided to take a day (more like an afternoon) just to work on cards, and I got a lot accomplished. When she had to leave to go home, I kept right on working and ended up with over 60 cards for the day.

Now, before you get too impressed, I don't mind doing assembly-line cards when I hit on a card design I like. I made 11 each of three different designs, and a whole fleet of these VW Beetle Bug cards (14 so far). I have plans to make a few more of them - they're just too perfect!

This is the first one I made, with guys in mind (hence the blue color). Then I got a little braver and tried red ...

I think it still looks enough like a regular car that I can use it for a guy. I need some guy cards.

But I really couldn't stop there. You see, VW Beetles are my absolute, all-time favorite car EVER. When I was a teenager, a local business bought a yellow one and painted eyelashes above the headlights, and I've wanted one just like it ever since. So here is the first of the girly VW Beetles ...

And here is second one (and last for now, anyway) ...

If you're like me and don't like fussy little pieces, this card is for you! You can find the free template here on Stamp-n-Design's blog. I like to cut as little freehanded as possible (because it's faster), so I used my paper trimmer for the bumper and tires, doing a quick scissor-rounding before gluing them down. Of course, the headlights are just a circle punch.

I discovered that I can get four cards from an 8.5x11" sheet of decorative paper, and six cards from a 12x12" sheet. Of course, that's using a plain white cardstock as the shaped card base. For the plain cars, I was able to get two out of one sheet of 8.5x11" paper, using the colored paper as my card base. There was just enough room to cut the hoods from the scraps.

Over the next few days, I'll try to share the rest of the cards I made. It's been so long since I got to work on cards that I wasn't sure I was going to like anything I cranked out. Wonder of wonders, I like them all!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 1 comments

Bitty Twins Clothing: Hats and Mittens

Since it's a cold winter, even here where it doesn't snow a lot, I knew these dolls were going to need some hats and mittens. It certainly didn't hurt that I found the cutest patterns for them, either. :)

I made the girl's hat from a preemie pattern. It was a perfect fit, and I love the heart pattern!

The mittens were made from an American Girl Mittens pattern. I don't know if it's just the difference in these dolls as compared to the 18" American Girl dolls, but the thumbs on these turned out a bit too long. Oh well, she doesn't care, and neither do I. They're still adorable!

Here she is modeling them both together. I'm still looking for the perfect coat pattern. Until then, I figured we could dress her in a sweater and pretend it is her coat.

I made a hat and mittens for the boy doll, too, but I'll have to post those another day since one of his mittens went missing during our photo session.
Monday, January 16, 2012 3 comments

Bitty Twins Clothing: Knit Sweaters

As I was honing my knitting skills, I decided to knit a few sweaters for these cuties, too. I didn't get to try them on until Christmas morning, since I let my daughter take all the packaging off the dolls herself. They fit pretty well, and we were both happy.

This Poppy Cardigan was made from variegated cotton yarn. Despite the way it looks bunched up in the picture, it really does fit well. I'm still perfecting how to pose these dolls.
This cardigan was one of my favorite designs. It really turned out well, and it actually looks like a real down-sized cardigan. It is appropriately named V-Neck Doll Cardigan, and I also knit it from variegated cotton yarn. (Yes, there was a good sale on it, and I wanted to work with it.)

I'm planning to knit more for these dolls, and I think I've discovered the trick to making them look more realistic. Fellow Ravelers have suggested that the best patterns for American Girls (and Bitty Twins) are the ones that use fingering-weight yarn and smaller needles. I have a few projects lined up, and I'll share them when they're finished.
Friday, January 13, 2012 3 comments

Bitty Twins Clothing: Wrap Skirts

You probably remember the reversible wrap skirts I made for 18" dolls awhile back. Well, I discovered that I didn't have to lengthen the pattern for this doll in order to get it below her knees, so I was pretty happy about that. I made her a denim skirt from some old jeans that were in the rag pile.

I also made her a floral wrap skirt from some fabric I had purchased when my 12-year-old niece was about 2 years old. I never got around to making her the dress I had in mind, so I decided to sew a bunch of these skirts with it instead.

I just found out that there's a local group that makes doll beds and doll blankets for needy children at Christmastime, and I'm going to see if they could use the rest of the skirts to dress the dolls that accompany those gifts. I have lots of old denim jeans that I could easily donate to the cause, too, so I'll probably be working on that through the year as I get time.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 1 comments

Bitty Twins Clothing: Knitted Undies

Please excuse the fact that I'm posting my daughter's dolls in their underwear. Since they're not real kids, I didn't think anyone would mind. :)

As soon as I saw the pattern for these undies, I knew I had to knit them for these dolls. Of course, I couldn't add lacework to the boy's undies, so I did his in plain stockinette stitch. But ...
... The little girl got lacy ones.

You can probably tell that they're a little baggy in the waist. The original pattern was for the 18" American Girl dolls, whose bodies aren't as "cuddly" as the Twins' bodies. A fellow Raveler suggested that I weave some elastic into the waistbands, and I'm going to give it a try when I get brave enough.

Until then, my daughter doesn't seem to mind. They fit well enough to stay on, and that's all that she cares about. In fact, as soon as she unwrapped the dolls and the undies, she took off the blue training pants they came in and put these on them instead.

If you'd like to make some, you can find the free pattern on Ravelry here.
Monday, January 9, 2012 2 comments

Bitty Twins Clothing: Twirly Skirt

Remember these twirly skirts? Everyone seems to love them, and my daughter is no exception. I adapted this to the shorter doll by using 4" squares instead of the 5" squares the pattern calls for.

This was especially easy, since I cut my sheet/project scraps into squares. I had a huge stack of 4" squares, so I picked out yellows and blues for this skirt.

The shirt is from Simplicity #1952, and I love it so much more than any other shirt I've ever sewn for these type of dolls. Its raglan sleeves are super-easy to work with.

I got about 8 yards of this white knit material at the thrift store, so I have lots and lots and lots. I'm pretty sure most of the girls I know that like dolls will be getting at least one of these shirts this year as part of a gift.
Thursday, January 5, 2012 3 comments

Bitty Twins Clothing: Yellow Fleece PJ's

Obviously these twins need some nightclothes, right? :) I made both of their pajamas from a remnant of yellow fleece I picked up at some point. I think it was 1/3 yard, but I can't remember for sure. At any rate, it was just enough. I didn't have a scrap left!

These were made with the same pattern as the camo pj's, Simplicity #1952. I love this pattern! The only thing I would recommend is that you cut the neckband (the facing) twice as long as it shows, since the only fabric I've ever worked with that stretches that much is a knit.

If you have this pattern, or if you've seen it, you know that there is no nightgown pattern. For fleece, I didn't want anything with gathers anyway, so I simply lengthened the shirt pattern to the length I wanted it. Now they have matching jammies.

Both of these have back Velcro closures, which I highly recommend for children. Buttons can get fiddly, and zippers can pinch fingers (and dolls' fabric bodies).

I hope you're enjoying my Bitty Twins fashion show because there's lots more to come! :)
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 2 comments

Bitty Twins Clothing: Flannel Camo PJs

Now that my daughter has unwrapped her Bitty Twins, I can start sharing all the clothes I made for them in December. I'm not sure I'm positioning them in the doll stand correctly, so please forgive the awkward placement of his legs.

This set of camouflage pajamas was the very first thing I sewed for these dolls. I was sitting at my sewing table one morning and happened to glance over at the stack of flannel fabric I had sitting out. The flannel camouflage caught my eye, and I had the inspiration for this set.

In case you can't tell, this Bitty Twin (my daughter has tentatively decided to call him Ryan) is very excited about camouflage! ;)

By the way, if you're looking to sew some doll clothes, too, I highly recommend this raglan style of shirt. It's so much easier than the set-in sleeves I've tried before. ETA: The pattern I used is Simplicity #1952, which is specifically sized for a 15" doll.