My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Archives for May 2017


Here it is! Finished!

As planned, I set in the sleeves of my coat Sunday night and then inserted my sewn lining.

After sewing the lining together (with sewing machine) I pressed down the seam allowance on each side front and around the back neck. I handsewed that (using regular sewing thread) to the little “ridge” that was created on the wrong side of the coat where I picked up stitches for the front bands and collar. That gave me a perfect edge to sew the lining to, without having to worry about stitches showing on the outside of the coat. So the front bands (and of course the collar) are unlined. I left the bottom of the lining free — I had hemmed it up with the machine, and did not attach it to the bottom of the coat. The bottom of the lining hangs at about the top of the bottom ribbing of the coat. I also just tacked the hem of the sleeve lining to the sleeve seam right where the cuff ribbing ended.

Here’s an in-the-mirror pic of me trying on the finished coat.

I am extremely pleased with the coat. Having a lining sewn into the coat gives it some much needed stability, so the shoulders stay put and I don’t have that feeling that it is going to slide off my shoulders that I often get with heavy knitted sweaters and coats.

Now I have to put it away until next autumn.

In other news . . .

My mom had her 90th birthday on May 30! Happy birthday, Mom!

We should all look so fabulous at 90, am I right? I’m lucky to have such good genes flowing through the family tree!

I can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by. Here is my blog post on her 80th birthday! Coincidentally, her 90th birthday party was at the same restaurant where I took her out to lunch for her 80th birthday.

Loki says:

Look at me! look at me!

Almost Aspen

Here is my plan for the evening:

This pile of fabric and knitting is my Aspen coat. I finished all the knitting a couple of weeks ago and decided to wait until Memorial weekend to make the lining and put everything together.

I cut out and sewed the lining this afternoon. I created a pattern for the lining out of brown wrapping paper by laying the knitted pieces of the coat on the paper and drawing around them, then cutting out the paper pattern. This morning I cut my fabric pieces and I sewed the lining together this afternoon.

What remains to be done is for me to set the sleeves into the coat and sew up the side seams. Then I need to sew the lining into the coat and sew on the buttons. I may be able to finish this tonight, but if not, I can complete it tomorrow, since tomorrow is a holiday.

I did some sewing this week:

Elizabeth is wearing a cute Edwardian style dress. I used a Japanese cotton print for her dress. I deliberately selected a somewhat sombre color because this is supposed to be a servant’s dress. The outfit also has a pinafore:

The pinafore is made from Liberty Tana Lawn.

A couple of you asked in the comments how I rehabbed dolls’ hair. American Girl dolls hair is a wig that is glued on, and it is relatively easy to remove the wig. You can easily glue on a new wig using craft glue. There are several doll supply places where you can order new doll weeks. In fact, I ordered a new wig for Elizabeth because her hair is not in great shape and I haven’t been able to bring it back to acceptable condition using steam and conditioner. I decided she is going to be a red head.

Another question was where I get these doll. They were all purchased second-hand via eBay. The more rehab needed on a doll, the cheaper it is, of course.

I’ve told Loki it’s a long weekend and Momma will be home with him tomorrow. He seems pleased!

Paging Doctor Molly

She’s all ready for the O/R!

Actually, the doctor scrubs are not for Molly — they are on their way to someone who is in the middle of an extended hospital stay. She has an AG doll (Julie) who will don the scrubs to cheer her up!

My other project this week:

This is a Samantha doll — not mine. She came to be with her hair hacked off for me to restore. The girl who gave her a haircut is an adult and having a birthday soon and her mom is giving her back her Samantha. The doll was in nice shape — I just had to give her new hair and clean a few marks off her. I think she looks very happy in her bright new dress!


Some questions from recent blog comments . . .

Lee asked: What are you working on to and from work now?

The answer is nothing — I read a book, and have done so for years. The train is usually too crowded and uncomfortable for me to knit.

Barbara asked how/when I learned to sew and knit. I learned to knit before I learned to read — my mother would cast on some stitches for me and I figured out how to knit from pictures in a “How-to” book. As few sewing., I’m not exactly sure how I learned, but I learned how to use my mom’s sewing machine when I was pretty young. I made my first dress at around age 9.

And I did take Home Ec where we were taught to sew . . . except I already know how and was pretty much making my own clothes at that point. This was in 7th grade so I guess I was 12 or 13 then.

Gina in the SF Bay Area asked what group I am in for Camp Loopy. I am a brontosaurus!

And P.S. to Anita — thanks for the offer — I’ll email you and let you know the types of things I am always looking for in case it’s something you happen to have in your inventory!

And Loki says a sleepy hello!

Slow Fashion

On my last blog post, in response to my showing sewing projects, Gail commented: You must have a terrific machine because it can’t be easy on the ol’ needle sewing through faux shearling.

I do have a terrific machine — a top-of-the-line Viking, but I make all my doll clothes by hand. As in, I sew them by hand with a handsewing needle and thread. The only thing I use my sewing machine for in the doll clothes process is to overcast the raw edges of the pieces after I cut them out. After that, all sewing is done by hand, by my hand. So my dolls are wearing couture clothing.

And no, it was not easy shoving the ol’ needle through the faux shearling. 😉 Not so much because there was any resistance — the faux shearling was surprisingly easy to pierce — but because the fluff got in the way and made it very difficult for me to see what I was doing.

I spend many a happy hour scouring etsy for fabric and trim finds and I am particularly happy when I can find vintage or re-purposed materials that I can use to make doll clothes.

So my dolls are part of the Slow Fashion movement: they wear clothing made by hand from recycled materials. I try to follow their example and purchase clothing from ethical and socially responsible sources.

Monica commented: I’ve so enjoyed seeing all your beautiful period doll clothes. Are you thinking of publishing any of them?

Thank you very much! My doll clothes are all made from other peoples’ patterns (or at least based heavily on them) so I cannot claim them as my own.

So far this week, I have just one doll outfit to share:

Molly is all ready for a sleep-over!

I did finish the knitting on my Aspen coat and that did cut into my sewing time. I still need to sew the coat together and make the lining, and I will do that sooner rather than later, perhaps over Memorial weekend. (P.S. to Brigitte — that is a pocket in the Aspen photo on my last post. I too love how the cable pattern continues despite the break for the pocket!)

I want it complete in time to focus on the next knitting event: Camp Loopy 2017!

Loki is resting up so he will have the energy to provide supervision.


Knitting Again

After a long hiatus, I picked up Aspen and am close to finishing it!

I am knitting the front bands, and I have just a few more rows to go. Once that is done I will need to set in the sleeves and sew up the side seams, then construct and insert the fabric lining I am planning.

We have had a cold snap this weekend so knitting the 500+ stitches of the bands and collars with the body of the coat draped over me has not been unpleasant!

Since I’ve been knitting this week, I’ve not done too much sewing. But here is what I completed in the past couple of weeks.

Elizabeth is modeling a set of “combinations” — an all-in-one Victorian undergarment. I actually made two of these. Here is the back view:

I think they are just so stinkin’ cute! I’m planning on making a Victorian dress and apron that a little servant girl would wear, so the combinations are perfect underwear for that outfit.

Next up:

A pair of overalls and gingham checked blouse, modeled by Maddie.

Then Maddie traveled back in time to the 18th century:

This is her “Outlander” outfit and I love this. This is by far the nicest doll outfit I have sewn. It fits beautifully and I just love everything about the design.

Then back to the 20th century:

Elizabeth is wearing her new shearling jacket.

I do have more doll clothes in progress but sewing is taking a back seat until Aspen is done.

Loki says:

“Happy Mother’s Day!”