It Came From the Basement

This is the second installment in a series I lovingly call ‘stuff we found at grandma’s house’. These items were a total surprise to me. It all started when we noticed a rotten smell coming into the bathroom. At first, we thought one of the cats had hidden a dead animal somewhere in the area. After an extensive search and thorough cleaning, we didn’t find anything. When the smell became worse, we realized it was coming from the basement.

Nobody likes going down to the basement. My parent’s house is 120 years old, and the basement is unfinished. It has brick walls and a cement floor. There are always spiders and numerous spider webs on the stairs leading down to it. Occasionally, you will see a mouse or snake hanging out in there. It is pretty gross. Despite all of that, bad smells will make you do extreme things. We bucked up and went down to investigate.

When we went into the basement, the source of the bad smell was obvious. There was an inch of stagnant water sitting on the basement floor. It was overwhelming at first, but things improved when we used the wet-dry vac to remove the water. Because of mold and bad smell, we also had to empty everything out of the basement that we could move. Thankfully, there isn’t much down there: only emergency supplies, a hot water heater, and a few storage boxes. We moved everything onto the front porch to air out. While we were moving things around, we found this green tub filled with toys.

Long story short, the standing water in the basement didn’t come from rain. It was from a leak in the water heater. We replaced the heater, and that solved the bad smell problem. It took a lot of cleaning and a week of airing out the basement, but the moldy smell went away. The only thing left was to sort through boxes to see what had been ruined. Most of the items were salvageable, and we found some gems in the green tub filled with toys.

I was delighted to see the contents of this box. Unlike the other things we found around the house, I had no idea that my mom held onto these things. I thought these toys had been given to charity when I was a teenager, but it turns out they were tucked away in the basement for over a decade. I was delighted to take inventory, and these are the Barbie toys in the mix.

Growing up, I had two Barbie cars. One was a stretch limo and the other was this glorious beast. I remember that I received the limo for my birthday when I was 6 or 7. I was so upset because my younger cousin, Derek, sat on it and tried to ride it. I thought he was going to break it! Luckily, nothing bigger than a cat has tried to get into this car. In fact, I have fond memories of when my sister and I would harass our cat, Ariel, with it. She was a good cat who grew up with 2 rambunctious girls and all our crazy antics. It was a wonder that she ever let us pet her.

The car itself has held up well; it even still has the remote. It is somewhat faded, but the wheels move without any problems. It also cleaned up well and no longer smells like flooded basement. The car is battery powered, and I haven’t been able to get it working. My husband said he would crack it open and see if there was anything he could do to fix it. I found an eBay listing stating this is a 1993 pink Barbie convertible RC car. I wasn’t able to find anything else about this model elsewhere online. If I find anything more concrete, I will update this post.

Up next is an adorable Ariel doll. The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie growing up, and I had several dolls from the movies. This doll is a Hair Fashion Ariel doll made by Tyco in the early 90’s. She is shorter than the Ariel dolls made by Mattel, and her face looks younger. I wasn’t able to find any web pages or blog posts about this doll, but I did find this photo by PrincessMermaid. It shows a picture of the doll in her original box. Isn’t she pretty?

My Ariel doll is a bit worse for ware. She is missing a few accessories, and when I took its clothes off for cleaning I realized that her leg was broken at the joint. I am fairly sure that this break happened before I found the doll because I hadn’t tried bending any of her joints. However, I can’t rule out that some of the other people in the house handled her before I was able to start cleaning.

I don’t know if it is going to be something I can fix because of where the break is located. I am sure that I can glue it back into the joint, but I am fairly sure the glue would fill the entire socket and the doll would lose the ability to pivot in that area. With her tail on, it isn’t a big problem. The leg stays up and can bend into different positions, so I am keeping it as-is for now. This vintage Ariel doll is just hanging out with the other Disney princess dolls for now.

The other doll in the box is a veterinarian Barbie. Growing up, I loved animals and I insisted on having the veterinarian Barbie doll. She was released in 1996 and is called Pet Doctor Barbie. If memory serves, I received her as a birthday gift from my mother. I remember that she came with a cat, a dog, and a basket that made noise. While we seem to have lost a few pieces from the original set, her outfit is surprisingly intact. She has the matching shirt and pants. I don’t entirely understand why a veterinarian would wear a cropped off shirt, but then again it was the 90’s and Mattel did some pretty crazy stuff with some of their dolls. This Barbie even has her watch! Can you believe that such a small piece stuck around for so long? It would have been cool if she had her stethoscope, but I wasn’t that lucky. I am excited to have her to pass on to my daughter. I hope that she loves animals as much as I do and enjoys this doll as much as I did.

This Barbie doll and the Ariel doll didn’t lose the basement smell from airing out alone. These two dolls smelled terrible for longer than anything else we found. They smelled the worst out of everything in the box when we first found them, but I managed to solve that problem. First, I cleaned them and their outfits with dish soap and let them air dry. While I was cleaning Barbie, her pink plastic hair band disintegrated. The plastic was old and I think it had hardened with age. I picked out all the bits of pink plastic from her hair and, once the hair was dry, I replaced it with a brown plastic band. Cleaning with soap wasn’t quite enough to remove the smell, so I soaked both dolls in a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water overnight. Then I let them air dry on the front porch. I repeated the soaking three times before the smell was completely gone. I like using vinegar. The slight acidity of the solution killed any microbes that were living on the dolls. The vinegar solution didn’t discolor the skin or hair of either doll or their clothes. It took some effort, but I am happy that I was able to salvage both dolls.

This next find is something special. It is my walking Barbie horse. I received this horse for either my birthday or Christmas in the 90’s. I remember how delighted I was by her and her ability to walk. I also remember how much our cat disliked her and would attack her when she was walking on the kitchen floor. Luckily, she was cured of basement smell with just a scrub down and airing out on the front porch for two weeks. Her hair was a bit worse for ware, but I’ve seen worse. To fix her hair, I combed it out and gave it a hot-water dip. That managed to tame it enough for me to braid it with my friend, Gwen. I did the tail and she did the mane. We were like little girls again, sitting on the living room floor braiding a doll horse’s hair. It was fantastic.

This horse can walk! Luckily, her internal electronics are still intact and running. This makes me extremely happy, and it brings great joy to all of us to see my toddler running after it. As far as identification, I wasn’t able to find an exact match for this horse online. I believe it was just called ‘stepping horse’ or ‘walking horse’ because I don’t remember the name Tawney at all. I can see that the horses released over the last decade or so all seem to be named Tawney. I was able to find several horse gifts sets that were released in the 90’s, but none of them rang a bell to me. I remember that my horse came with a bridal, a saddle, and some pendants for her hair all in matching pink. I was able to find a similar set, but all of the horse’s accessories were in red. Oh well! You can’t win ’em all. For now, her exact identity will have to be a bit of a mystery.

The craziest part about this horse is that I bought another horse exactly like her from a flea market nearly a year ago. I bought the flea-market horse because it reminded me of the Barbie horse I had as a child. I am just blown away that we were able to find that original horse after all these years. Now that we’re home, I managed to find the second horse and I braided her hair, too.

I need 4 more Barbie horses and we can reenact the Kentucky Derby. If I can find them, I will make sure to make outlandish hats and dresses for the dolls in attendance. Anything less would be improper.

The final item I will share with you today is a doll quilt. This quilt was made for my by my paternal grandmother when I was a little girl. I don’t remember when I received it, but I am fairly sure that all the grandkids got a small quilt for Christmas that year. This quilt is too large for a Barbie doll; it was made to wrap a baby doll into when playing. I adore it! It makes me want to dabble in quilting. I have considered making a pot holder or a Barbie sized blanket. We shall see how my other sewing exploits go before I commit to a big quilting project.

I’m not sure if or how I will incorporate these into Barbie Who?, but I thought it was fun to share this unexpected blast from my past. Currently, I am grounded from knitting and crochet because of an injured wrist. I was in a car wreck, and the steering wheel was none too kind to my body. I am trying to spend the down time writing on the blog and doing some sewing. Sewing is more of a chore because of the wrist brace, but I am confident I can adapt. Depending on my ambition, the next update will probably be a sewn garment for the second Ood doll. If not, it will be another tidbit from our summer back home. Until then, cheers!

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Ood Jacket

Horray! Another Ood Update! I finally finished the Ood jacket, and I am very pleased with how it turned out. While part of me will miss her floral shirt, I am happy with how this doll is coming together.
A knit jacket made for an Ood doll

This jacket is made with size 10 crochet thread and size 0 (2.00 mm) knitting needles. The pattern I used for this jacket is from the Sticka till Barbie website, pattern number 913. I would rate this pattern for intermediate knitters. It didn’t have anything crazy, but it wasn’t easy either. For me, the hardest part was picking up stitches for the sleeves. It was difficult to do this with such fine thread. In all honesty, I had never picked up stitches before this pattern, so I had to look up a few tutorials on YouTube in order to get an idea of how it worked. After failing to do it with the knitting needles several times, I wound up using a small crochet needle to do the work. It was awkward to work with a knitting and crochet needle at the same time, but I managed to make it work.

Beyond that, I had a bit of drama that set me back at least a week on this piece. I found some black crochet thread at a thrift store. I was excited for it, I thought it was a great buy, and I was incredibly naive. About halfway through the back of the jacket, I realized that this thread had problems. It would break when you tugged on it. This is something I have never seen in thread before. Just a light tug and poof! It would be broken. I learned this when the toddler grabbed and yanked the thread as I was working on it and it made a meter long length of string fray badly. Then, I took the thread and gave it a light tug. It broke clean-through. I unraveled part of the ball and tried it again; same problem. I am completely stunned and upset. I had at least 4 hours worth of knitting into the piece when I realized the yarn had this problem. I checked the rest of my cache to make sure that none of the other skeins have this flaw. Luckily, it was only this odd-ball black thread. Overall, I am happy I realized this problem sooner rather than later – I would have hated to finish the jacket and have it fall apart when my girl is playing with it down the road.
an Ood doll with yarn and knitting needles

After the yarn problem came to light, I had to buy a new skein of black crochet thread. This was the biggest time sink for this project; I forgot it the first time I went shopping and didn’t have time to go again until a week later. I went to a Hobby Lobby since they were having a sale on thread that week, and I bought a new skein of Artiste brand size 10 cotton crochet thread. The color is coal black, and it does not disappoint. It didn’t snap when I tugged on it, and it matched the color of the previous skein. This stuff will is well suited for doll clothes. Fabulous! As a side note, I am so glad to be living somewhere with more than one craft store. Our old small town had a family owned craft store and the city (an hour away) had a Hobby Lobby, but this area has Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabric, Hancock Fabric, and Michaels. I am amazed by the sales and coupons that I now get to use.

Beyond that, the only other eventful thing to happen while knitting this piece was with the toddler. She managed to get into my craft cubby and ran off with the knitting needles. Luckily, the stitches came off cleanly and I was able to get them back on a needle without having to re-knit any rows. Even if it had been worse, it happened within the first few rows of the final sleeve and wouldn’t have been hard to restart the sleeve if she had done more damage.A Barbie doll wrarinf an Ood mask and outfit.

This Ood is almost complete! I have to make her hindbrain, shoes, and gloves before she will be complete. I think I will tackle her shoes next because I have a crochet pattern in mind to create them. I am also going to begin work on sewn pieces for the other Ood doll. It should be interesting to see how sewing goes. I am not accustomed to 1/4″ seams, so it will be a new experience. Fingers crossed that it will go smoothly. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day!

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A New Frontier: Sewing

Wow, what a summer it has been for us. As I have said before, my family recently moved south. Moving is always a challenge, and there are always casualties along the way. This time around, my sewing machine was the biggest loss. It was a Europro I had bought at a thrift store. I think I spent $25 for it and another $35 to have it serviced and a part replaced. The people at the repair shop said it was a fairly new machine and would have cost $350 if I had bought it from their shop. I rolled the dice and would up winning with this thrift store find. It was a solid machine and it served me well for many years; I was sad to see it go. The movers did pack it well, but the box it was packed in was crushed under something heavier. This caused some bending of the case and some of the machinery inside. It made a terrible crunching sound after I powered it back up, and it was at that moment I knew it was beyond repair.

The moving company paid out a little over $100 for the value of the machine. Isn’t it fun how insurance works? It pays for how much they think the item is worth and not how much it would cost to replace it. While I certainly got my money’s worth out of the machine, I was shocked by the various options and prices for a replacement. Do I want to spend $1,000 for a good quilting machine? Do I want to thrift a new machine and roll the dice again? What brand do I want? Mechanical or computerized? Where will I get the best deal? There were so many considerations.

I didn’t take this decision lightly. I researched different types of machines, different brands, and other factors. I decided that I didn’t do enough sewing to buy an extravagant machine. I didn’t want to spend a large amount of money on an expensive new machine because we will likely be moving several more times during the lifetime of the machine (it’s just a reality of my husband’s career). I wanted something that meets somewhere between quality and affordability. I narrowed it down to a few machines I was interested in, and then I went to a local sewing shop.

The lady at the shop was very nice. She showed me several machines and gave her opinion on them. I told her my needs, and she said that a Brother machine would probably be best for my needs as an occasional seamstress. She showed me several models, and in the end I spent $150 on a Brother CS-6000i. This model has been out for several years, and it seems reliable. It has so many positive reviews; people seem to enjoy it. The lady at the shop said that she often sells this as a starter machine because it travels well (for going to and from sewing classes) and it can do a little bit of everything. She said she wouldn’t recommend making a large quilt on it, but it can do smaller projects. This fits me very well. I was impressed with the various feet and accessories it came with, too. I have used exactly 2 of them, but it’s nice to know they’re there if I ever need them. I saw a beautiful quilted pot holder on Ericka Eckles’ blog, and I would love to tackle that type of project with this machine. I am currently making drapes for our new home, and I hope to use scraps from that project to attempt a potholder of my own. We shall see how it goes!

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Over the last few weeks, I have used the machine for some minor hemming and curtains. It is a nice machine, and I look forward to using it in my home and beyond. One thing I learned from chatting up other bloggers is that you can buy sewing patterns for 11-1/2″ fashion dolls. I looked online, and I made a short list of the different patterns currently offered by the main pattern manufacturers. Then I waited. I have been around craft stores long enough to know that most patterns will go on sale for $1-$2 every few weeks, so it is just a matter of time for them to become affordable. Last week, my luck struck! Hancock Fabrics had a 5 for $5 sale on Simplicity patterns, so I went there to stock up! It was my first time at their store, and I was happy with the experience. I was able to pick up all the patterns I wanted at an excellent price.

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Simplicity 1242 (MSRP $18.95)
Simplicity 5785 (MSRP $13.95)
Simplicity 4702 (MSRP $14.95)
Simplicity 4719 (MSRP $14.95)
Simplicity 1955 (MSRP $16.95)
Simplicity S0734/1234 (MSRP $16.95)

That is a total MSRP of $96.70, and I paid $6.00 for them all. That is a 94% savings. I feel like a savings ninja! Pattern sales truly are the only way to buy patterns. I don’t see how any seamstress could afford them otherwise.

As of right now, I plan on using the pants and jacket from Simplicity 1242 for the second Ood outfit. I think that it would be interesting to have two outfits that are stylistically the same but made from two different mediums. It should also be much faster to sew an outfit than it is to knit an outfit, too. This will help me finish the Ood dolls and move on to something else. Right now, I feel like a wedding is calling me. I have many patterns from my mom that could apply to a wedding scene…. It is so, so tempting. I’ll try not to get too far ahead of myself, though. I need to focus on one character and one outfit at a time.

Currently, I am making solid progress on the knit Ood jacket. I hope to have it finished this week! With some luck, I should have it posted next week. I am excited for how it looks, but I also know that I am about to tackle the hardest part of the pattern. Hopefully the sleeves and the neck area will go smoothly. I look forward to sharing the next update. Until then, I hope you have a fantastic day.

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The Mad Woman in the Attic

Hello everybody! I am so glad to be back in the swing of things. I have been making good progress on the Ood shirt. I adore the look of Sticka till Barbie pattern #913, and thus far it has been smooth sailing. We will see how I feel when it is time to stitch it up, but for now I am making steady progress with it. Luckily, this isn’t what today’s post is about. Today’s post is about some of the neat things we’ve found while visiting family.

In the first installment in a series I lovingly call ‘stuff we found at grandma’s house’, I bring to you a cool cache of doll patterns. My mother is an avid crafter, and growing up she made us girls a myriad of doll clothes and accessories. During those years, she accumulated a bunch of patterns in books. For those of you who are too young to remember a time before the internet, we used to be limited to the patterns we could find in books at the local craft store or library. My mom amassed quite the collection over the years, and she still uses them to this day. Under the bed in the guest room, tucked inside a plastic container, I sorted trough various crochet, knit, and plastic canvas patterns to find all of the patterns designed for Barb- *ahem* fashion – dolls. I was not disappointed! Here are pictures of everything I found.

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The Needlecraft Shop Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Carry & Play Craft Room

The Needlecraft Shop Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Carry & Play Wedding Chapel

The Needlecraft Shop Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Carry & Play Floor & Tote

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Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Beauty Salon 3104

Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Living Room 3085

Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Hearts ‘n’ Flowers Bedroom 3140

Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Country Kitchen 3083

Crochet Fashion Doll Ruffles & Ribbons Bedroom

Fashion Doll Family Room

Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Nursery 3095

Fashion Doll Playhouse

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Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Vanity Boxes

Crochet Collection Costume Volume 1

Fashion Doll Moments in Time Edwardian Era Garden Stroll

College & Career Fashion Doll Wardrobe

Crochet Fashion Doll Tooth Fairies

Fashion Doll Birthday Belles Vol. 1

Crochet Fashion Doll Southern Belle Trinket Boxes

Fashion Doll Birthday Belles Vol. 2

Unbelievable, non? I am so lucky to have a mom who kept these over the years. We haven’t decided exactly how we will share them, but I am confident that we’ll work something out. I am just so excited about the new possibilities these patterns open. With internet patterns, it is hit or miss on whether they are well written. You generally have much better luck with printed patterns, so I am all the more motivated to finish the Ood dolls so I can dive into some of these.

The pattern I am most excited about is the College & Career Fashion Doll Wardrobe. It has 17 patterns that cover everything from nurse to Victorian era lady. I can think of several episodes of Doctor Who that tie back into the patterns in this book, and chances are good that I will choose one of them once I finish the Ood dolls.

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I absolutely adore the details on the last doll’s blouse. It reminds me of the movie Pollyanna. I also think that the winter ensemble is lovely.

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That nurse outfit is right up my alley! I am trying to remember whether or not there was a nurse in the Empty Child episode. That episode was amazing in so many ways. I loved the costume design and the overall story. If I can find more children and teenage dolls, I may have to try my hand at making characters from that story.

I am also excited by the plastic canvas patterns. I plan on making a few Ood accessories from what is in there. It is just a matter of deciding which one is the most fitting. Ood at the beauty parlor? Ood getting married? So many delightful possibilities.

The wedding chapel would be awesome to make to go with the first episode of New Who to make me cry, Father’s Day. Call me an old softie, but it was such a touching story. If I can find a good ginger Ken to be Pete, I will have a go at it. I could make the entire wedding party! It would be extravagant and crazy and just my style. Or Donna! I’ve wanted to do Donna’s wedding since the beginning of the year. Either would make for a fun set.

I also like the larger ‘birthday belle’ dresses. I know my mom made one or two of them for my birthday in the 90’s. I keep hoping we’ll find a box with a few more dolls and they’ll pop up. I remember she did one in a peach color, and it was such a lovely dress. There is one more location where they may be hiding, so fingers crossed that I have a bit of luck finding them.

That is everything for today! I hope you enjoyed seeing these because I certainly enjoyed sharing them. It is always fun to have a blast from the past, and these are very nostalgic for me. I suppose much of Doctor Who gets me that way, too. The mix of new stories and nostalgic throw-backs has always kept me intrigued, even if it takes me a while to warm up to a new Doctor. Until next time, I hope you have a fantastic week.

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Straight-Leg Pants Pattern

This pattern is designed for a belly-button typed 11.5″ Barbie doll, but it also fits the older narrow-hipped dolls fairly well. It should fit most of the different Barbie doll body types if you take care when knitting the top half of the pants and cast off with enough slack.

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Supplies:

– Size 10 Crochet Thread
– Size 0 (2.00 mm) Knitting Needles
– Size 0 (2.00 mm) Cable Holder OR an extrea Size 0 (2.00 mm) Knitting Needle

Here are a few notes before you begin:
– This pattern can be modified for length – you can easily subtract rows for a better fit for a Skipper or Disney doll.
– Slip the first stitch of every row for a nicer edge that sews together better than a rough non-slip stitched edge.
– k2p2 is optional as you cast off; I didn’t notice a big difference in the finished product between only knitting the cast off row and alternating that row between knits and purls to match the previous rows.

Abbreviations:
P – Purl Stitch
K – Knit Stitch
k2p2 – two knit stitches followed by two purl stitches; repeat this pattern through the end of the row
p2k2 – two purl stitches followed by two knit stitches; repeat this pattern through the end of the row
Stockinette Stitch – A technique where you knit one row and pearl the next row to make a smooth piece of fabric
K2tog – Knit 2 stitches together

– Leg (Make 2) –

Row 1: Cast on 28 stitches

Rows 2-71: Stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl the next) for 70 rows, beginning with a knit row (28 stitches)

Row 72: Cast off 2, knit remaining row (26 stitches)

Row 73: Cast off 2, purl remaining row (24 stitches)

Row 74: Cast off 1, knit remaining row (23 stitches)

Row 75: Cast off 1, purl remaining row (22 stitches)

DO NOT cast off – once this leg is finished, place it on a cable holder or set the needle aside while you stitch the second leg
DO cut the thread and leave a tail on the first leg so that your thread is available to work on the second leg – the second leg does not require the thread to be cut – you can move on to create the top without cutting the thread on the second leg

– Top –

Row 76: Knit 21 on the second leg, join the final stitch of the second leg with the first stitch of the first leg with a k2tog, knit 21 on the first leg (make sure that you keep the right and wrong sides of the fabric on each leg facing the same direction – the fabric created by stockinette stitch has a front and a back and it will not look right if one is backwards) (43 stitches)

Rows 77-79: stockinette stitch for 3 rows (43 stitches)

Row 80: K10, k2tog, k8, k2tog, k9, k2tog, k10 (40 stitches)

Rows 81-85: stockinette for 5 rows (40 stitches)

Row 86: K12, k2tog, k12, k2tog, k12 (38 stitches)

Rows 87-89: stockinette for 3 rows (38 stitches)

Row 90: K11, k2tog, k12, k2tog, k11 (36 stitches)

Row 91: k2p2 (36 stitches)

Row 92: p2k2 (36 stitches)

Row 93: k2p2 (36 stitches)

Row 94: p2k2 (36 stitches)

Row 95: Cast off (do this loosely so that the top has some stretch – do not repeat my mistake)

– Finishing –

Finish the pattern by sewing the seams together. I find that it is easiest to sew the back of the top from top to bottom first, and then work your way down both legs. It is easier to work from the top down because then you won’t end up with uneven ends in the crotch area. It is much easier to regulate the stretch of the fabric as you work down the legs, and you can adjust it as needed to keep it even. The hardest part things in this pattern to sew is the crotch area, so make sure to take your time so that you don’t sew the wrong edges together. Once the pants are sewn together and you have worked in any loose ends, your doll will have a sweet new pair of slacks.

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That is it! Once you complete these steps, you will be in possession of a lovely pair of straight-leg Ood pants. I am happy that I was able to share this with everybody. I look forward to sharing the Ood Mask pattern with you all once it has been perfected.

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 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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Ood Pants, Take 3

Finally! Something Ood! This is long over-due, but I finally bit the bullet and got pictures taken of the Ood pants. I know they don’t look great because the lighting here leaves much to be desired, but I’m going to go with it for now. For the next few weeks we will just have to make due with what I have available (the joy of moving!). So, on to the pants!

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Where to begin with these…. It feels like I’ve been working on them for ages. Looking back at the blog, that seems painfully accurate. I remember that when I first started them, just as an experiment, I tried to make this pattern in the round with my set of metal double pointed needles (DPNs). While this technique can work with larger sized yarn, it doesn’t work well with crochet thread. The problem I ran into was that the slack between DPNs didn’t get absorbed back into the surrounding stitches as I was knitting. This caused large holes in the sides, which was not aesthetically pleasing. I suppose I will reserve that technique for larger gauge yarns and stick with the regular way of making doll pants. Because that experiment didn’t go well, I made these pants with regular single pointed needles and sewed it together at the end. I found that slipping a stitch at the end makes the edges much easier to work with. I made sure to note that in the pattern, too.

Once I got started with my regular needles, I ran into a few other problems. I finished the first leg, I set it aside, and my daughter found it. As any toddler would, she started waving the needle in the air and pulling at the string, so it was pulled entirely apart by the time I got home. This happened while her father was in charge, but it was ultimately my fault for not putting them somewhere toddler-proof. I had to start it over again after that setback because of how unevenly it had unraveled. Luckily, I didn’t have any other toddler-related incidents after that. I did have a bit of trouble when we were packing and moving, though. At one point, my work was misplaced and I feared it was in a box destined for the moving truck. Luckily, it surfaced before anything happened, but it was frustrating not having it to work on for those days.

These pants used up almost all of the black thread on its skein. I have a few yards left on it when I was finished, but I was worried about running out as I knit the second leg. Luckily, skeins of crochet thread have a deceivingly large amount of thread on them even when they look barren. On that same note, something cool happened just after I finished this garment. I was at a thrift store with my mom and she I found a skein of black yarn! Same gauge that I use for my doll clothes and only cost $1. Forget lottery tickets, my luck guides me to cool thrift store finds. It may be a little thing, but I’ll take it.

I created the pattern for these pants. I didn’t like the look of various patterns I found online because they were too form fitting, so I had to make the pattern myself to fit the Ood aesthetic. I went for a straight-leg pant that went down to the doll’s ankle. My first draft needed some tweaks, and the adjustments resulted in exactly what I wanted. The biggest changes I did was lengthening the legs and adjusting the rows around the waist. In this picture, the first draft is on the left and the finished product is on the right.

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Here is a link to the pattern. It is a fairly straightforward method, and I hope you enjoy it! I look forward to when I make another pair for the second Ood doll. Before I start on that, though, I am going to make the jacket for this doll. I have been browsing the Sticka till Barbie website, and I found a few promising patterns. I will try my hand at one or two of them and go from there. Once that is done, it is just a matter of making shoes, gloves, and a brain for this Ood to be complete. It seems like a lot more when I write it down. Wow.

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I think she is looking better every day! For me, the biggest difference came when I cut her hair so that the mask would fit better. All she needs is a proper Ood shirt and the whole look will really pull together. Keep an eye out! Next week I will talk about some of the stuff that we found in my mom’s attic. We also just found a box in the basement with some gems, but they may be ruined. Some items were in a plastic box in the basement, and the basement flooded when the water heater broke. The box is covered in mud, but everything inside is relatively clean. The items are dry and not moldy, but they smell terrible. I am going to let them sit out for a week and then I will clean them. From there, I’ll decide if they’re worth keeping or if I have to let go of a fascinating flash from my past. I’m sure I will write about it either way, so we have that going for us. Anyways…. I adore you all and hope you have a fantastic week.

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With a Heavy Heart….

I am very sorry that I didn’t post last week as expected. My copious amounts of free time that week evaporated because a beloved family member, my lovely Auntie Marie, died suddenly. Although there was no foul play, it is devastating none the less. I have found myself caught up in grief and sadness with her passing, and far away from where I expected to be during the last fortnight.

Marie was a lovely woman. She is the oldest of my mother’s sisters, and she lived near where I grew up. She was one of the aunties I saw quite often, and she was always a happy woman. She loved her family deeply. The biggest tragedy in her life was the death of her husband, David. They had been together since they were both teenagers, and I remember how stunned and lost she looked at his funeral. I don’t think she ever really recovered from losing him. Even though I was young at the time, I knew how much he meant to her. Their love was special, and I can’t imagine the pain of losing your partner so early. My Auntie lived for 14 years without him. During that time, she beat breast cancer and showed me how strong you can be if you set your mind to it. I will remember her most for the moments of strength she had even when she felt broken. The only thought that brings me peace is knowing that she is finally reunited with her love and in that they are both whole again. Auntie Marie, may you be at peace. Always.

I will be the first person to admit that I don’t deal well with death. Although it is intertwined with life, it is one that I struggle to come to terms with. As I continue to wrestle with it now, I do have to say that nothing puts life in perspective quite like death. It has helped me reevaluate the things I’m doing with my life and the choices I’m making for my family, my friends, and myself. As I see my cousins grieve, I can’t imagine myself without my mother. Also, I can’t imagine my daughter’s life without me. I want to give her the best in life, and I know there is more I can be doing for her and for us to make that a reality. I want to be a better person for all of them, for all my family.

I know this post is quite off-topic, and for that I apologize. I felt you deserved some explanation for my disappearance this time around. Some good news is that the box of Barbie Who? dolls is with me and I have had a chance to do work with them. I didn’t bring along my box of crochet thread, but my mom is an avid crocheter and said that I can use anything that I need while we are here. She has an incredible amount of crafting supplies, too. We also plan on digging around in her attic to find the old magazines and patterns she has collected over the years – she assures me that she has quite a few with instructions for making Barbie-sized clothes. The next few posts will include some neat things that she has given me and my daughter, as well as a write-up on the finished Ood pants. I am currently trying to find a good place to take pictures of everything. The lighting in most areas isn’t up to par, especially since we’ve been getting so much rain. Once I get a decent lamp, I will be able to take pictures, write posts, and get them published. This blog is something very dear to me, and I know it has been neglected since the move began. I am going to redouble my efforts to be here and work on this thing that I love so much. I need to make time for this, and I hope that ya’ll haven’t given up on me amongst the chaos that has been happening lately. I thank you all for your patience. I hope you have a fantastic week!

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