Friday, March 28, 2014


No, we're not talking soccer. One of my personal sewing goals was reached this past week! I have officially sold doll clothing. :D (And she said she loves it, so I hope she meant it! haha!) Oh, my confidence got a boost! Always such a wonderful feeling when your work is appreciated, isn't it?

So, here are some pictures of the wardrobe that went out this past week!

Abigail in a bright, spring peasant dress with some Easter friends, and having a Princess Pony Party in a pink and purple party peasant dress! Say that last bit 10 times fast! ;)

Abigail, if you remember, is The Plush Plum's "prototype" doll, the first one ever made, and I have the honor of having her model for me.

Here is a kimono sleeve party dress, complete with a red satin sash - who doesn't love a big bow?

Two retro A-line dresses, and two more with kimono sleeves! 

A tee and pants set - perfect for a zoo picnic!

 And finally, a pretty tee and shorts set, great for walking the dog on a warm day, and a funky nature print set with capris!

I have more planned, and I can't wait to finish more styles for Abigail and her doll friends!
See these and follow along with future updates (including 18 inch doll clothes, coming soon) on my Facebook page!

*Pants/shorts/capris made with a self drafted pattern block. Shirts and dresses are made using modified Dolls & Daydreams or Bit of Whimsy patterns*

Monday, March 24, 2014

Little Kiwi's Closet: Bella Bolero Review

LKC again! I love Lydia's patterns!

A while ago, I made four of the Tara Tiered Sundress (buy it here), but for some reason it still isn't warm enough to wear them. At least, not without some tights, and a sweater of some sort - which is where the Bella Bolero comes in!

Bella comes in three styles, with four sleeve options! So many mix and match opportunities to create the perfect finishing touch for all those gorgeous spring dresses.

Here are a few that I made during the testing process: View A, with long sleeves on Sam, and 3/4 sleeves on Natalie. View A is a classic bolero style, where the sides curve outward over the chest. (These two pictures made the tutorial and tester pics, too - :D I'm ridiculously happy about that. It might not be a big deal to some people, but it is for me - first time that my tester pictures have been shown!) They're also showing off two of their Taras here, as well.

View B, with the sides curving inward, and a tie at the base (long sleeves for Natalie this time) - excuse the outfit. She, um, chose it herself. ;)

...and View C, a ballet wrap style with long ties! The wrap can go to either side, depending on preference. This is the sleeveless option, which is great for those sleeveless dresses on a warm-but-breezy day. Plus, it has a little bit of a "sporty" look! Sam's wearing a store bought dress, here.

 This is an all-knit pattern, with the option of using fold-over elastic for the edges and ties. I used old t-shirts and sheets for all of mine -a great way to upcycle and create something new out of those old, worn-in pieces you have sitting around! Plus, they're nice and cozy - my girls love them!

See how happy she is about her Bella and Tara?

Sunday, March 16, 2014


The create3.5 facebook page is up and running! Well, it's at a slow jog anyway. ;)

Click over and follow me there! I'd love to hear suggestions and requests!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Free Pattern Friday: Sewing Mama RaeAnna's Cuddle Bouquet Peasant Dress and Ruffle Pants

With all the patterns available (many of them free) for peasant tops/dresses and ruffle pants, it's kind of amazing to me that in the time I've been sewing I've made ONE peasant dress
I've decided that, while I'm decidedly NOT a fan of the double and triple ruffle pants so common in "boutique" clothing for children, I do love peasant tops/dresses. And after I tried out the free pattern from Sewing Mama RaeAnna for a coordinating set, I think that a single ruffle is pretty cute!

Especially on such a cute little model. ;)

This pattern was designed for stretch fabrics, specifically Cuddle (trademark Shannon Fabrics). It's a size 2T, which would probably be perfect for Natalie. However, I had two coordinating half yards that I was dying to use for Sam, and I hadn't come across the perfect pattern for them yet! Until now.

This is non-stretch, woven cotton, so I knew it would fit a little differently right off the bat. I used a slightly larger seam allowance (5/8", the pattern calls for 3/8").

Get this monkey outta here.
I ended up with an adorable little outfit that fits Sam wonderfully! (She wears 9-12 or 12 mo in ready-to-wear clothing.) If anything, it's a *tiny* bit big, which just means she'll wear it a little longer - I hate to make such cute clothing and have it worn only once or twice!

Sassy Pants wouldn't look at the camera; her sister was much more entertaining.

What a great pattern - free, so cute, and it even converted me (just a LITTLE) to ruffles! ;)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Introducing the Floral Fairy Messenger Bag!

Last summer, my sister Abbey asked me for a drawstring bag. Sure, easy enough, I thought. Problem was, she wanted to carry school books, library books, and other "stuff" in it. So it had to be lined, for strength. The drawstring would have to be thick. And it had to be big enough! I wasn't ready at the time to commit to buying a pattern that I didn't know anything about, for something that I may never make again, but all the free patterns I was finding were for kid sizes - not something that's going to be right for a teenage girl.

I thought a messenger bag seemed like a better fit. Sturdier, bigger, and more comfortable to carry a bunch of "stuff" around in than a drawstring would be!

I found a free tutorial here, and I followed it almost exactly. I was working with half yards, so I had to adjust the size of some of my pieces just a little. If I make it again, I'll definitely have a yard cut on hand for the back and flap piece, because that front flap could stand to be a little longer. :)

A little outline topstitching on the strap, for detail.

But I think Abbey will love it! The outer prints came in my fabric order from Lani (aren't they cute??) and when Abbey saw the fairy print she claimed it instantly, so I had to make it work! The lining fabric I had sitting around in a tote, and its unobtrusive color and print made it the perfect choice - it doesn't compete with the other two at all.

Abbey's been waiting a long time for this bag, and I think it's perfect for her. She likes reading and drawing, and the pockets on the inside are just the right sizes for a novel and her drawing pencils. The inside is roomy enough for a combination of school books and sketch pads. And the strap is nice and wide, so it'll be comfortable to carry even when loaded up!

She's been so very patient, and I can't wait for her to finally get her custom bag!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A dress for Abigail (and some pretty cute bloomers!)

This is Abigail. Abigail is the sweet, special, very first dolly created by The Plush Plum, custom dolls and animal friends for the sweet, special little ones in your life. I fortuitously came in contact with Lani, the owner, after buying some of her destash fabric (gorgeous stuff, too!) on Facebook, and we've been working out a business relationship of sorts for about a month now. All those dollies need clothes - that's where I come in!

Very exciting for me, as I've been planning and plotting (haha) a doll clothing business of sorts for some time. This is a big break for me!

Abigail needed a dress, and Lani had a special request for a denim jumper for her. Since Abigail has no shoulders, I couldn't use typical doll clothing patterns that I would use for 18 inch dolls. Her dress is more of a shift. The fabric that I was given was a bit too narrow, though, so she ended up with an open back...

abigail's doing some funky yoga here

so of course, she needed some little bloomers to go with it! (Those are teeny tiny embroidery scissors, to show you just how small we're talking!)

I drew a little pattern using the skirt that Abigail came to me wearing, and just traced around it a shape that looked a little like a pair of boy shorts. I added on a little piece of that beautiful embroidered ribbon, to match the dress, and the green fabric pulls out the leaves and stems of the flowers on it.

ignore those notes about the elastic. i ended up using WAY different measurements, but you gotta start somewhere!

I attached the trim first, then sewing the pieces right sides together on the sides and middle (where those nice red lines are, thank you, Paint program! I know. I'm such a techie.)

that close up option shows the dust on my walking foot a little too well...

Attaching the elastic was really a labor of love. I used 1/4" elastic on the waistband, and 1/8" - sooo tiny! - on the legs. I folded the hems over once and stitched them down, then stretched and stitched the elastic right over the fold (on the inside, of course) rather than using a casing method. Why? I don't know, laziness probably. But if you can ignore the way the inside looks, I love how it looks on the outside! You get the most perfect little gathers, and such a neat looking waistband - almost like those "paper bag" pants/skirts that are so popular.

ignore my big ol' fingertips in there ;) just gives you a scale of how TINY that elastic is, especially when stretched!

But oh, does it look messy on the inside! When you roll a hem over like that to the inside of the bloomers, it twists and curls, which isn't a problem if you're using elastic and it's going to get all scrunched up anyway. But this method, it's a little more obvious, at least on the inside. If I were making these to sell, I'd definitely reconsider that casing method!

I think Abigail likes them anyway, though. :) They sure look cute on her, peeking out from underneath her little tunic!

wonky stitching courtesy of sewing-while-tired

And of course we have to finish it off with my special twill label, courtesy of Inked Papers etsy shop!
Love them! They're oh-so-tiny labels, to fit perfectly on oh-so-tiny clothes!

Saturday, March 8, 2014


I'm prepping, and it's taking up a LOT of my time.

See my paper trimmer hiding under the piles of patterns?
No, not for disasters. (I hope, anyway.) Sewing! After looking at the - um - very large number of patterns I own, I was getting a little overwhelmed. There are so many that I haven't used yet! (Probably should quit buying them now, right? Hahaha!) Soo..I figured, why not take a few days off from sewing and go through them? 
This is just part of what's jammed into a big drawer in my desk.

I've spent the last week or so poring over my pattern files, picking out several wardrobes worth the ones I want for spring/summer, and printing, printing, printing, cutting, cutting, taping, get the idea. The only downside to PDF patterns is the assembly - but the great thing is, once it's done it's done! I print mine off, trace the sizes I want, and use them until the folding and refolding (to stuff in a drawer) makes them fall apart, before I print them again. (Printer ink isn't cheap!) 

Now I just have to alphabetize. Haha!
So even though I've taken up a lot of precious sewing time, I figure in the long run I'm saving myself a lot! :) Pattern prep is no one's favorite part of sewing (though I'll admit, it can be therapeutic in its own way) - why not take a few days and get it all done at once? Now I can focus on sewing them all!