Thursday, February 12, 2015

Back to Work

Well, Hello. Seems that I have taken a rather long hiatus from both this blog and working on the dollhouses. If you know me, you have been following me over at Welcome to the Garden Spot where I post at least weekly, generally participating in Mosaic Monday hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage each week. Sometimes if I have anything to say, I will submit a post on Wednesday.

There, we are mostly gardeners whiling away the days until we can get out into the garden. Until then I have been keeping busy unwinding from the holidays. I put away all of the dollhouse tools so that I could work on Christmas gifts and cards. Then I spent a lot of time creating cloth valentines for the little granddaughters and their mommas and pretty cards for the grandsons.

 I also did some sewing for Barbie. My friend has sent me dozens of hankies from her dear aunt who past in her '90s a few years ago.  Aunt Rose was much my Aunt as my own aunties, so I wanted to do something special with the hankies. I decided to make Barbie dresses out of the hankies for Aunt Rose's two little great-great nieces. I had a Barbie pattern and bought another one at an antique store. One of my pastimes that I indulge myself in along with my daughters is my addiction to thrift shopping. I have very specific things that I look for: dollhouse furniture (which is very hard to find), very special pieces of glassware or china--no chips, cracks, dents, stains or made in China pieces. Lenox and Lefton figurines, especially swans. At Christmas, I was drawn to Christmas village houses.

And Barbie. Some years ago I began rescuing them from the Goodwill. I gave up the rescue for a long time since I figured that I had plenty and they just ended up a tub that the little granddaughters now play with. Then I began again. I have been looking for the perfect ones to make the hankie dresses for to send on to my little friends.



The two are my latest finds. Barbies are generally naked packaged in plastic bags at ARC. I look for ones that appear not to have been play with too hard with decent hair.


I love this one's curly hair. They each get a bath in Dawn dish washing liquid, hair included then I soak the hair in very hot water with my own hair conditioner in it. The tangles come out very easily. I have not to been able to learn how to style Barbie's hair. Often it looks decent when I comb it out.




I think they like to watch me sew. One my rescues was this lovely ballerina. I was determined to make her a tutu. My first try didn't turn too badly, the blue one. I had a pattern for a long formal gown, so I cute the skirt down and added lots of layered tulle underneath. I used material that I had one hand. For Barbie, the material has mohave small print and fine texture. Fat quarters for quilting work well.

Barbie patterns are so delicate and small and even hard to work with, so I have tried a couple of ways to preserve them. I scan the original cut out pattern and print it on regular printer paper, which works fine, but I like even better transferring the pattern to interfacing. I use pencil to transfer the markings. The interfacing lasts and can pinned and repined and it holds up to the use of a tracing wheel, if you use one to mark patterns. 


For this second tutu, I used an iron on facing material to give the fabric stability and to limit the frayed edges. It turned out fair. The top is nice, but the skirt was uneven as I gathered it onto the bodice. Sewing for these very small dolls requires patience, but the clothing goes together much like sewing for a real person, but it is very tedious.



This dress turned out so cute. I made two of them, the print dress and blue satin.








I still have not made the hankie dresses. What I thought would be a simple project turned out to be quite challenging trying to get the pattern pieces aligned on the hankie to make the most out of the pretty printed material. I will keep working on that project. 

Now, I am ready to down to work on the dollhouses. I have much to do.

I have ballet studio back on the craft table ready to put the finishing touches on it. I use a solvent based liquid nails  to glue on the shingles. I am excited to get the studio finished. I also have the big farm house that I bought just before Christmas at the junk store to restore. (You can see it in the background of some of the photos here). It needs the tape wiring repaired. I replaced some of the tape wiring and will add more. I want to add the lights and paint the interior walls. Right now I don't know that I will wallpaper the house. First, I must remove the remnants of the old wallpaper that a previous owner had stripped out and some of the interior door jams have been removed, leaving globs of old glue that I have to figure out how to remove.

I do promise to spend more time here at Dollhouse Dreams. I've had a break. I am ready to get some work done before it is time to head to the garden.

Thanks so much for visiting. I love it when you leave comments--all two or three of you. (LOL)

Happy Valentine's Day.