Archive | Children’s sewing RSS feed for this section

Little girl apron dreams

24 May

Oh these are so sweet! I want to make one for myself my little girl. Which one would she like the best, I wonder?

Ok, enough dreaming, I must get on with my trial wedding dress sewing…

A dolly called Lollie

5 May

My mother and I made two “jemima dolls” recently, one for my 5yr old little girl and another for her cousin a few months younger.

My sister has a rag doll mum bought for her when she was two, at one of those impromptu fetes often held outside polling booths on election day. She’s similar to Jemima from the ABC’s children’s show Play School although a lot more worn and threadbare.

Portrait of Jemima

A few years ago my sister’s Jemima had a makeover by my mum, who redid her (sadly threadbare) hair and made her a new, very sweet, dress.

I was given my rag-doll, Lilly, when I was almost 7. Being  a bit older when I got her she’s fared a bit better. But recently she too got a new set of clothes – a pair of short pantaloons (Silk, from an offcut of some sewing project) edged in lace, and a short-sleeved dress, sprinkled with small flower-fairies of the Cicely Mary Barkervariety.

Michael Miller fabric Petite Fairies flower fairy

For my daughter and niece’s dollies, mum and I road-tested a number of patterns, some op-shop finds, some from online. We settled on one from the op-shop in a tattered plastic bag, obviously pulled out of a Golden Circle magazine. She was gorgeous! The only issue was her head didn’t stay upright, so we examined Lilly’s neck shape, realised it was very very wide, providing adequate support, and adjusted the design accordingly

I also showed my daughter a small selection of pretty floral fabrics, asking which ones she liked best.

“Why mummy? What are they for?”

“Oh,” I replied nonchalantly “I just thought you might like them.”

“Oh yes, mummy! I do!”

A few days later my daughter came across Lilly. She took one look at her, and eyes wide, her arms reached out for her.

“Oooh, Mummy!” She hugged Lilly close. I was startled by the pure instinct of her reaction. She tentatively asked “Can I have her?”

“Well, no, she is mine, you see. But you can cuddle her.”

A few days later, after numerous requests for her own “jemima doll” my fiance gave in, and explained Granny and mummy were making her a doll. “Remember the fabrics Mummy showed you? She wanted to know which you would like best for her dress.”

One happy little daughter 🙂

To me she asked “Mummy, what is her name?”

“I don’t know what her name is. Maybe you will have to ask her when you meet her.”

After a moment’s thought she said “Maybe it is Lollie.”

“Maybe it is.”

Once finished, I put the dolly on her pillow as she slept in the morning. When she woke she came racing out.

“Mummy! Mummy! Look!”

A dolly called Lollie

Then she paused, looking uncertain, “Is she your dollie, mummy?”

“No, she is yours! See, her dress is made of the orange fabric you liked so much.”

“Lollie has brown skin just like me!”

“Yes, Granny and I made her especially for you.”

And then … “Mummy, could you make her a pink dress too?”


Here is my niece’s dolly too. Mum did the embroidered faces. I am allergic to that sort of thing 😛

There are a few subtle differences in eye colour and hair colour – and of course dress colour, to match the differences in the girl’s looks etc. My niece hasn’t got her dolly yet. I look forward to that moment 🙂

My niece’s dolly

Fabric flowers are a good distraction

4 Feb

My darling daughter, aka DD’s dress is it totally cut out now, the speed of the project increased markedly when I suggested DD could help me by cutting out little prints of roses from one of the fabrics (with her own little scissors that she can use with her tiny hands). This kept her occupied while I quickly cut out the dress with the big fabric scissors.

She cut out 3 flowers this morning, quite well actually. It is amazing how easy it is to use tools effectively when they are matched to size for the person. And rest assured, DD will be ‘helping’ me by cutting out more of of these flowers before the dress is finished!

Now I have to find some way of including them in the dress –  Sooo not what I had planned when starting out. But experience has shown that the best-laid schemes ‘gang aft agley’ can produce some fantastic garments.

What do to with the fabric flower motifs?

Some thoughts:

  • Get my fiance to get some felt, some hair clips and a hot-clue gun from Spotlight (because my fiance in Spotlight is a great source of amusement for me and the staff there) and turn them into hair clips that match the dress.
  • Or instead of hair clips, glue them onto safetypins so DD can pin them on her dress and arrange them and rearrange to her heart’s content.
  • Asking DD to arrange them on her dress where she wants them, then sewing them down (I wonder if she could do the hand-sewing herself, if encouraged and shown?)

DD also fondly believes she will be helping with use of the sewing machine too. Um… um… gonna have to get creative on this one too.

Her auntie, who has a little girl a similar age to DD, is also making her daughter a dress, said it worked quite well to have her daughter on her lap uh… helping … her feed the fabric through, while she herself works the foot pedal. Maybe this will work for DD too.

My Daughter’s Dress and The Artistic Defacing of a Pattern Envelope.

30 Jan

Day 5

More tracing out of the pattern onto pattern-trace.  my DD helped again, a few more wonky lines drawn with the utmost attention, myself cringing as she crawled over the paper pattern, almost tearing it at times. (Where else does one trace patterns off with the help of kids, but on the floor?)

She stopped after a bit and disappeared into her room, leaving me to trace in peace (and clarify for myself which bit of the wonkiness she had drawn was the actual cutting line) presuming she had gotten bored.

But no, she reappeared not long after, and as I traced I saw her out the corner of my eye sit down beside me and start busily doing something. When I was able to look up from the line I was drawing, I realised she had gotten her coloured pencils and was busily ‘colouring in’ the dress in the pattern envelope picture over the original colours, with the colours her dress is going to be. Blue on the sleeves, pink on the main bit and purple ruffles on the skirt.

Looks like she has finally worked out how we are making her dress with the colours of fabric her Daddy brought for her rather than the colours pictured on the envelope.

%d bloggers like this: