Monday, February 24, 2014

For Swaps: Three Things Finished!!

Got a lot of sewing done lately, which makes me happy.  All are for swaps.

First up, two dotees.

Night and Day Dotee

The challenge was to make a two sided dotee, one side day and one side night.

Day (full view)

Close up of the face.

I went very simple with this dotee.  I wanted to get back to a more classic look for this doll.  I also wanted to focus more on the colors (yellow for day, blue for night).  So I went really monochromatic for day.  The base fabric and the felt are very close in shade and I did all the details in a bright yellow, too.

Double tail.  I did deviate from the color scheme a tiny bit for the night tail.  I had three cute star beads so I just used them not worrying about the colors.

Night full shot.

Night close up.  Again, very simple.

I did try to make a double hanger, too, but because the white ribbon was so wide it mucked up the point on the diamond body shape and made the second loop (which was yellow) get all wonky.  So I was able to remove the yellow loop and I'm glad I did.  The hanger is still wonky but I kind of like it that way.

Next up:

March Unique Holiday Dotee

March 13th is Popcorn Lovers Day.  Mmmm, popcorn.

So why not make a box of felt popcorn to celebrate.

You can see, it's a pretty big dotee.  It's really pushing the size boundaries, but with these Unique Holiday swaps, it's kind of expected.  And the partner I have isn't all uptight.  She appreciates funky dotees like this.

I have to give a shout out to our dear friend the internet.  I got the box as a free printable (just print, cut out and fold up) and I found the tutorial for the popcorn kernels online, too.  Though I did have to do a bit of trial and error to get the kernels right, but the basics of what shape to use and how to sew them was from a tutorial I found (really, just google "felt popcorn" and you'll find all kinds of great stuff).

Don't spill my popcorn!!

Eh, it can't spill.  I stuffed the box with a bit of fiber fill and then made a cover for the top (just a square of felt that I did a running stitch on the edge so I could gather it a bit so it curved over the stuffing).  I ran the hanger up through the felt cap (and added a dab of glue to make sure it wouldn't pull out) and then hot glued the cap into the box (so it was just below the top edge of the box, so the kernels would have some space to sit down into the box).

Then I grabbed all the kernels (there are 12 of them) and just jammed them into the top of the box.  I fluffed them about a bit and then took them out (a few at a time) and glued them back in (I felt I'd be too anal and try to line them all up perfect if I just glued directly--jamming the handful in all random like that helped make it feel more natural).


All dotees need a face so I had to decide if the face was going on the box or the kernels.  I didn't like the idea of the face sticking up off the box (if I had stickers I could have drawn a face and it would have been more flush to the paper, but I didn't have stickers so it would have been a felt face which would add too much dimension).

But let's be honest, faces on the kernels is way more cute.

AND, I have some groovy new fabric pens so I was itching to try them out.

Smile, you're about to be eaten!

I can't remember now if there are three or four faces.  I think there are four.

Oh, all the kernels have "butter" on them, too.  I used the yellow marker in my new set to trace the pattern so I had a bit of yellow on the kernels to start.  Then I just brushed the maker over the felt a bit to even the color out.

Sidebar:  I love my new markers.  Their not super fancy, either.  They're just Rose Art fabric markers (a five color set).  But they don't run and. . AND. . .you don't have to heat set them.  I LOVE that.  It's hard to heat set on felt or on something like this project.

I'm super pleased with how this dotee turned out.  It wasn't that hard at all and the popcorn kernels really do look a lot like actual popcorn (they're a tiny bit bigger than real popcorn but not by much).  I was tempted to make caramel and cheese corn to go along with the butter (using colored felt) but I didn't have a nice caramel brown so I opted to just go classic butter.

NOW, last but not least:

Rag Doll.

This was for another swap.  You just had to make a doll that had some type of clothing on it (the clothing didn't have to be removable, but it just had to be there).

Two full body pics, one with the hair pushed back so you can see the arms.

If this doll looks familiar, you're not nuts.  It's the same pattern I used to make Jackie (the doll in the oil painting in the background of the banner pic for my blog).

I knew I was getting myself into some serious hand stitching work when I decided to do this pattern again.  But this time it wasn't as horrible as I remembered.  I think my improved sewing skills are to thank for that.

The body is wool blend felt sewn with three strand embroidery floss.  Nothing difficult there.

The face is buttons and an embroidered mouth and marker for the freckles and blush.  Not difficult (especially when you can hide the button stitching under the wig!)

The wig isn't hard, either.  Well, making it and sewing it onto the head isn't hard.  Styling it was annoying, though.  You just have to be patient to get the strips to lay right before you tie the pig tails down.  I didn't want to glue it, either (glue could have made it easier but I didn't want to run the risk of it messing up the head and having to re-make the whole head).

The dress, however, was tricky.  Not "hard" exactly, but tedious.

OH, wait one second.  Let me take back one little thing I said about the body.  Those little panties are a royal pain in the butt.  I think part of it is my altering the pattern (the original pattern has you use cotton for the body and you sew and turn the pieces--so I had to adjust the underwear to accommodate the smaller size of my doll because I was surface sewing, not turning).  I think I worked those undies three times before I got them right.  Not "hard" but frustrating.

Ok, back to the dress.  It was less annoying than the underwear and less annoying than I remembered.  I used the machine to sew the major seams (shoulders and down the sides) and the fold overs where the snaps go.  I hand stitched all the "hems" (around the collar, the arm holes, and the bottom hem).

Again, I had to alter the pattern a bit to make the dress longer because I had altered the body pattern a bit (my doll is longer in the torso so I have to make the dress bigger for modesty's sake!).

This dress is much improved over the original dress on Jackie.  Neater stitching and just proof that my skill set had improved.  It's also a little cuter, what with being polka dot.

I opted to not make the boots and handbag for this doll.  I just didn't want to, to be honest.  I also like the idea of this doll being a cute little tomboy who runs around barefoot in her little dress.  Jackie, on the other hand, thinks herself very fashion forward so she accessorizes with the latest items from the Pacy Derm line (she's a slave to the labels!).

I'm so happy to have all three of these done.  Now I just have to make two sets of Wacky 9 Patch blocks and I can take all of this stuff to the post office (a lot of these need to get in the mail by Friday--chop chop!).

Next up after that?

How's about a pile of poo.

Yeah, you read that right.

More details on that later.


  1. Both are fabulous, but the popcorn dotee takes the cake! I've had such a rough month that I can't even remember the one I made for that swap. I was commissioned to make a plush popcorn ornament and found it rather daunting, so popcorn day was a no go for me. I saw the doll on the SB front page and knew it was yours and I was right (as usual). I've missed you during my internet absence. <3

    1. If I had had to make more than a dozen kernels, that dotee would have been a drag. It's all the cutting out that I dislike. So boring!

    2. Cutting is my downfall. I suck at it. I so need to get my crafting mojo back. I think some TM patches are in order. Already working on Johnny Cash.