Monthly Archives: October 2014

Random Shorts

In all the excitement of the yarn I found earlier this week, I decided to make a pair of shorts for my dolls!

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I used this pattern from Crochet for Barbie to create this. I basically used her pattern using only pink yarn and a slight alteration to the top. The final round of decreases on the top made it too small for my dolls, so I omitted the last round or decreases. I also added an extra row or two to make the top longer and omitted the decorative buttons. Still, it is a nice pattern and I am happy with how it turned out. I finished mine with a clasp and it fits great!

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The stripes are pretty and gives the pants a lot of stretch. I think I will techniques from this pattern to make pants for the Ken doll I found. I think that would make for a very cute pair of pants for him (his nakedness bothers me – same with all the other naked dolls, actually).

Beyond that….. Well, I am almost done with the jacket. I am working on it right now, actually. I am having trouble making the collar look the way it does in Doctor Who. Hopefully I can work that out and do the finishing on the entire outfit before October ends. I am cutting it close, but I am cautiously optimistic that it can be done.

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Yarn!!

I feel like a total geek because I get excited when I find good yarn at thrift stores. I am particularly excited because the yarn I came across is vibrant and in usable colors! The stores I frequent each have a bin of yarn, but most is it is white or beige. It is harder to find colorful yarn, and even rarer for more than half the skein to be there. The four that I found are colorful and mostly intact. I couldn’t ask for a cooler find!

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I have a few ideas in mind for this yarn. Various outfits worn by Peri Brown and Melanie Bush would work well with these colors. The darker pink especially reminds me is Peri’s shorts. The variegated yarn will probably be used in a skirt or a generic piece of clothing (likely as I test or make a pattern before using the proper color). It is always exciting to find good yarn at the thrift store! There are just so many possibilities. Keep an eye out! I am inspired and may try to make something tonight. Between Halloween costumes and the jacket for Cofelia, I need a change of pace.

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The Search (For Shoes)

I have learned many things while searching for and buying Barbie dolls at thrift stores. First, most are naked. I don’t know is this is because the people at the store strip them to sell the clothes separately or if the previous owners stripped the dolls before donation. Either way, the clothes are harder to find than you’d expect. The second thing I have learned is that the only thing rarer than a clothed doll is a doll with shoes. Barbie shoes are small and easily lost, so it is fairly rare to see a doll with a pair of matching shoes. Out of all the dolls I have, only two came with shoes. Seeing as I am fairly sure that characters on Doctor Who don’t walk around barefoot, this causes a rather unique problem.

My first instinct was to buy doll shoes online. It would be futile to try and get them second-hand, and I am not good enough at using polymer clay to make a matching pair on my own. Then I saw the prices for Mattel shoes and almost fainted. After getting over the shock of a pair of doll shoes being $2 plus shipping, I looked at alternatives. Thank goodness for eBay! I fall in and out of love with eBay regularly, but this is one of my better experiences on that website. I found a seller in China who had 20 pairs of shoes for $1.50 shipped. You can’t beat that price by a long shot.

Most of the negative experienced I’ve had with eBay involved international sellers, but since it was such a small amount of money I was willing to chance it. My logic is that since I am getting 20 times the shoes I would get from a state-side seller, I could afford to be burned once or twice by random foreign sellers. I am very happy that I took that chance because the shoes arrived today!

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They are exactly as advertised, and I am one happy lady! It took about a month for them to arrive, but that is pretty standard for international packages. Honestly, I thought it would take longer. I am very excited that it arrived because it gives me plenty of shoe options for the ladies of Barbie Who? There is a perfect set of closed-toed black heels for the Cofelia doll. We are one step closer to completion!

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Blink

I found the very first doll I bought for Barbie Who? today. Well, honestly, I hadn’t decided to make a blog at the time. I also planned on making her into a prop for family pictures. Wow, this is getting complicated, so let me explain.

About six months ago, we planned on having a family portrait taken. We were going to get the normal, boring pictures as well as some pictures in fun outfits. For the fun outfits, we were doing a Doctor Who theme. I was going to be the TARDIS by wearing a blue dress and accessories. My husband was going to be the 4th doctor (sans curly hair). The baby was going to be a Dalek (courtesy of a popular dress pattern found on Revelry). I also wanted some fun props to really add life to the pictures. I crocheted several adipose plushies for the baby to interact with, I wrote words in Circular Gallifreyan on sticky notes, and I wanted to make a weeping angel.

I found an amazing tutorial for a weeping angel on Pinterest and started keeping my eyes out for Barbie dolls at thrift stores. It took about a week, but I found her at a Salvation Army store at the bottom of a random toy bin. There was another doll, too, that was wearing a cool dress. Because I thought the dress would work well for the Weeping Angel look, I bought this doll and the dress for about a dollar. I liked this doll more than the other doll because she had articulated arms. This would make it easier to properly position the arms and hands to cover the eyes (it would be easier to cut and have fewer sharp edges by my thought process). Once I found the doll, I started looking for the more mundane supplies (glue, primer, polymer clay, etc.). The problem came when I couldn’t find the textured spray paint needed to cover the doll. The texture is what sets it from a spray painted doll to a very convincing statue. Because of that, I never made the mini-angel and she managed to get lost in the clutter of daily living.

Fast forward to today. I was rummaging through the garage when I found her. She is still wearing the dress, too. I’m happy that I was able to find her; she is a gorgeous doll.

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Upon further inspection, she isn’t a Barbie doll at all. I thought she was a Barbie when I bought her, but now I believe she is a Taylor Swift doll. The markings on her back and neck are by the Jakks company and she looks like the dolls they sell on Amazon. I’m rather happy that I didn’t spray paint her. She has a unique look compared to the other dolls, and I would hate to hide it by making her a weeping angel.

Although I bought her before I conceptualizer and created this blog, I still consider her the first doll I bought for the blog. I don’t have any immediate plans for her, but in time I am sure that inspiration will strike. Until then, I will continue working on Cofelia for Barbie Who? I am on the right track with the jacket, but it is tedious work. Keep an eye out for updates; I will do my best to get it done in a timely manner.

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Short-Sleeved Peasant Blouse Pattern

I created this pattern for a Barbie doll, and it will fit most 11.5″ fashion dolls. It is a quick pattern and can be easily modified if needed. For example, the placement of the snaps at the end can be adjusted as needed to make the shirt have a more tailored look. You can also add a row or two at the end to add length if needed.

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Supplies:
– Size 10 Crochet Thread
– Size 6 (1.80 mm) Crochet Hook
– Size 4 Snaps

Here are a few notes before you begin:
– I suggest that you leave extra-long tails on the yarn when making this so that you can use the tails to sew snaps at the end. This isn’t required, but I find it easier to do it that way than to join in a new piece of yarn just for the snaps.
– This pattern isn’t the most solid, so I suggest only using it for under-shirts. If you want to make a more solid shirt, you would want to do a pattern with single crochets instead of double crochets. When I have some free time, I will make a pattern for it.

Abbreviations:
Ch – Chain
DC – Double Crochet
Sk – Skip

Pattern:

Chain 37

Row 1
DC into third chain from hook,
DC 6, ch 2,
DC 6, ch2,
DC 8, ch 2,
DC 6, ch 2,
DC 8, turn
(43 stitches)
(DO NOT skip stitches in the base chain after you chain two in the pattern – you will be making holes to work in during subsistent rows – if you need to skip stitches it will say so in the pattern)

Row 2
Ch 2, Skip first stitch,
DC 8, ch 2,
DC 8, ch 2,
DC 10, ch 2,
DC 8, ch 2,
DC 9, turn
(51 stitches)
(Work the increases directly into the ch 2 holes made in the precious row)

Row 3
Ch 2, Skip first stitch,
DC 9, ch 2,
DC 10, ch 2,
DC 12, ch 2,
DC 10, ch 2,
DC 10, turn
(59 stitches)

Row 4
Ch 2, Skip first stitch,
Dc 9,
Join the next two ch2 loops together with a DC (skipping 16 DC – you’re joining two loops made by the ch2 in the precious row)
Dc 12,
Join the next two ch2 loops together with a DC (skipping 16 DC between them)
Dc 10, turn
(33 stitches)
(This may be confusing, but you are making the arm loops – I will post a picture of this the next time I make a shirt with this pattern to help make it clearer)

Rows 5 – 6
Ch 2, Skip first stitch,
Dc 33, Turn
(33 stitches)

Row 7
Ch 2, Skip first stitch,
Dc 11, sk 1,
2 DC, sk 1
Dc 2, sk 1,
Dc12, turn
(30 stitches)

Row 8
Ch 2, Skip first stitch,
Dc 11, sk 1,
Dc 3, sk 1,
Dc 12, turn
(28 stitches)

Row 9
Ch 2, Skip first stitch,
Dc 11, sk 1,
Dc 1, sk 1,
Dc 12, turn
(26 stitches)

Rows 10 – 11
Ch 2, Skip first stitch, DC 26, turn
(26 stitches)

Row 12
Ch2, Skip first stitch, DC 11, increase, DC, increase, DC 12, turn
(28 stitches)

Row 13
Ch 2, Skip first stitch, DC 28, cast off

Finish by sewing in snaps and working in the loose ends.

I finished this top with two snaps because I only had two snaps available to use. Three snaps is what I recommend using when finishing this shirt.

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This is my original pattern and protected by copyright law. These instructions may not be duplicated, distributed, or sold in any form. You are welcome to create and sell the items that you make using this pattern; I kindly ask that you link back to my blog if you choose to do so. If you make this pattern, please let me know! I would love to see your work, and I will update the pattern as needed with the feedback given.

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Cofelia’s Top

Wow! October is flying by. I haven’t had as much time to work on Cofelia’s outfit because I had a few commissions for baby hats (I have to support my crafting hobby somehow). I am also working on our Halloween costumes (our family will be The Avengers this year – and yes, it will be awesome). In addition, I am having a terrible time making the jacket. Still, I managed to make some time to make a shirt for the Cofelia doll!

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I didn’t want to do anything fancy with this; I just needed something to go under the jacket. I have been working on the jacket off and on for the last few weeks. Now that I have something worked out, I believe the main body of it will fit better with an undershirt. Hence why I created this! I decided to use black yarn because it will help reinforce the color of the jacket (though I was tempted to use a wild color since I am convinced Cofelia has a wild side below her matronly exterior). I made a peasant-style top based off of techniques I learned from a child’s vest pattern. It is fun when you pick up little tricks to transfer between works.

This blouse took about 2 hours to make, but a decent amount of that time went towards jotting down notes and revising the pattern. I’m sure that it wouldn’t take nearly as much time if I were to make another one. This shirt one of those small details that won’t be easily seen. It may not seem very important, but it all adds up to the finished Cofelia doll.

For the ambitious reader, here is a link to the pattern I created for this shirt. It isn’t anything fancy, but I am more than happy to share.

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The Impossible Man

I have had a fantastic day. An absolutely fantastic day. Why, you wonder? Well, it has happened! I finally found a Ken doll. Words cannot describe the happiness if felt when he went into my shopping cart this morning. The many months of searching has finally paid off.

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Ken isn’t the only great thing to happen today; let me start from the beginning. My husband and I went around to thrift shops in search of pink things for a decorating contest at his office. We wound up going to three different shops, and both of us found useful items.

The first shop was a bust for dolls, but we found some good winter clothes for the kiddo. The second shop had some fun games (Quelf, anyone?) and a wonderful surprise. I found a generic doll wearing a lovely dress. It was the same dress as a doll that I had growing up, so I absolutely had to buy it. I am a sucker for sentimental things like that!

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The third shop was hands-down the best place for both of us. We were encouraged because they had a 50% off sale on everything in the store. Half off! You can’t find a better deal than that unless someone just gives it to you for free. It was fabulous; I bought 8 Barbie dolls, 1 Ken doll, and one Bratz doll. They were bunched together in groups of two, and each doll only cost $0.50! There is only one store here where you can get a better deal than that. The Bratz doll will be donated (I don’t like their big heads – too uncanny), while the rest will be used for the project. The ten new dolls will nearly double the number of dolls I have to use for Barbie Who?

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The best part is the sheer variety of dolls that I found. Only one of them is bleach-blonde, four are a darker blonde, and four are brunette. Seven of them are Mattel dolls, two are Disney princesses (Snow White and Belle, I believe), and one is a generic fashion doll. They will all be assets as I continue to move forward.

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I am very excited! I know that winter is coming, so I will have more time cooped up in the house to work on the dolls. Having a good stockpile of dolls to pull from makes my job easier, and it gives my kiddo more dolls to play with. The only possible downside is that Arachnid Guy has another man to compete with. Regardless, Cofelia will have plenty of friends to scheme with and against in the coming months.

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