Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Splish Splash Scraps!

Two scrappy ladies (in different lighting--the sun was coming up while I was taking these pics--poor gals smiled so prettily while standing on a cactus--OUCH!).

Meet Sarah and Angelina.

Ok, true confession.  I had no clue what to name these sisters so I did a google search for "famous sisters" and learned all about the Grimke sisters, who were early advocates for abolisionism and women's rights.

PERFECT!  (and I love their last name, too)

Sarah, with the blue tail, is the oldest (meaning I finished her first--only a few days before Angelina).

Sarah is the more understated of the sisters, with her fabric marker lips (what I consider "natural") and more natural tail design.

(another true confession:  I made a stitched mouth on Sarah but I stitched it BEFORE stuffing and once I stuffed it pulled out.  See, that's why you should follow the directions, which called for stitching the face on after stuffing.  The more you know!)

Since Sarah was my first go 'round with the pattern (from the "Wee Wonderfuls" book), you can see a bit of the learning curve.  Like here on her tail where the side stitching is very visible.  I don't hate the look (it does have a kind of ruffled tail edge look to it) but now that I've been through the pattern twice I see exactly how I should sew the two tail pieces together (more on that when I show off Angelina's tail).

Even with being the first off the assembly line (so to speak), Sarah is very cute.

OH, and both dolls are made from the scrap fabric I just bought from JAQS Fabric (their studio scrap bundles).  Fun fact:  Sarah's tail fabric is also what I used on the back of the "shhh" pillow.

Angelina is the more "flashy" sister, with her red stitched lips (that kind of have a lipstick feel) and a noticable part in her hair.

Her tail is also quite fabulous.  I used a scallop stitch to make the scale effect.  (woot! learning new stitches on my machine!).  And I used flashier fabric.  It's the last bits left over from the cloth bag!  I also stitched the tail together differently.  Let me backup for just a second and describe how the tail is made.  The tail is more like two tails sewn together (you make each side of the tail out of two pieces of fabric stitched on the wrong side, turned and then quilted). 

On the blue tail, I followed the directions and whip stitched the two tail tail sides together, that's why there are noticable stitches (that and I used white thread on blue fabric, that was on purpose).  For the orange tail, I used a running stitch hidden into the existing quilted edge stitch.  So it hid the stitches very well.  BUT. . .the edges of the tail aren't really snug to each other so. . .

I think I need to use a ladder stitch and only catch the bottom sides of each piece of fabric so the stitches will be totally hidden and the edges will be very snug to each other (not come apart a little before you get to the seam).  Ladder stitches are how you attach the tail to the body and the hair/wig to the head (again, catching only the inside piece of fabric, not both pieces).

That's another thing that's noticable on Sarah.  When I sewed her hair/wig on I brought the stitch all the way through both layers of the hair a few times so you can see the stitch (but I used a mathching thread so it's not as noticable).

I plan to make one more mermaid to go with my octopus, Molly.  She's going to have dark brown suede/flannel-ish hair, tan skin (cotton), and a green argyle tail.  I plan to start work on her in the next day or so and hope the work I did on these two fabulous girls will mean this third mermaid (yeah, I already named her Miriam) will be THE BEST.

(I'm also toying with making a different hair design for Miriam--it shouldn't be too hard).


  1. they are adorable!

    i love all the stuffies of your background image as well. i guess it's time for me to read your archives... ;)

    1. Not all the stuff pictured in the background are featured here (the blog is relatively young).

      None of the conjoined twin sock monkeys (two sets are featured on the background) are listed here. They're far older than this blog!

  2. I love those they look wonderful. Thank you for linking up to LAFF.