Thursday, April 22, 2010

Adventure in the Woods

circa April, 1854*

Lina and Kirsten quickly scampered outdoors, having just finished their chores. The two were practically inseparable when they were together, though they usually couldn't spend much time playing. Lina lived on the farm over from the Larsons and worked as a servant girl with her family. She was busy on the farm and had to work most of the time. The Larsons' neighbor, who owned the farm, was Johnathon Rhodes, a rather mean old man. He didn't let Lina off of chores very easily. The two still maintained their friendship, though, and were now, on a rare occasion, off to play.

It was a beautiful day, and they walked over the field, which was dotted with colourful wildflowers. The two girls giggled and picked the blooms as they approached the woods. They made their way into the cool shade and cover of the trees where reality seemed to disappear. After slipping off their boots and stockings, Lina and Kirsten splashed in the creek and played various games during the sunny afternoon. Too bad it couldn't always be this simple...

*As stated, this short story (which is poorly and quickly written) takes place in the 1850s. Sorry for the mild hints of slavery/servantry (more servant than slave!). I don't mean to offend anyone or get political, etc.
Minnesota, where Kirsten is said to live in the stories, was technically a free state, but it wasn't admitted into the Union until 1858. With its admittance to the Union, it was a free state, but I supposed there could have been some form of slavery or at least servants years prior. I have been writing about Lina and Kirsten on/off for a while, and thought I'd share.

Happy Earth Day! :D

PS: Sorry for the other dolls/myself taking over Avery's blog. I promise she IS alive, though there hasn't been any photos of her (and many others) since Valentine's Day... :( My poor, neglected dolls!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Crafitness Continues: Picnic Table

I may not be very good at sewing, but I do well with wood, haha! For some reason I've been feeling extremely creative lately, and decided to make my own version of Chrissa's Picnic Table.

With some scrap plywood, glue, nails, screws, and green/white paint I was able to make a pretty good rendition of the table, adding my own touches and adjusting measurements as well. It may not be perfect, and turned out a little smaller than I would have liked, but still, not too bad. I think it is pretty good for a quick afternoon project, and the dolls are glad to have a new table.

Since I've had zero spare time, a photo shoot will probably not be happening all that soon, but I just thought I should post. A spring party will be in the hopefully near future.

Liberty Jane Patterns Take 2: Military Green Modeled By Amelia St. Clair

Our second shirt was made in a green fabric. I thought it was more of a military green, but possibly it's more olive colored. In the photos it looks almost gray, but in person it has much more of a green tone. Either way, it's another colour not used much by American Girl, so I'm glad to be able to add it to the dolls' wardrobe.

Anyways, all I can say about the second shirt is that it was a lot easier to make. The mint shirt took me about three to four hours (yeah, pretty sad), but this one only took an hour and half. I was able to fix the neckline, the sleeves came out better, there was no 'ruffle', and overall it turned out really nice. The fit on this version is better, too. I think it helped that I actually tried it on the doll as I was sewing :P There was only one careless mistake made, so I'm very pleased with this!

I know these shirts probably look extremely amateur and mediocre, especially to all you seamstresses out there, but I'm extremely proud of them since it's basically my first time making doll clothes, and they actually look good!

I immediately chose Mia to model this because of her pretty hazel eyes. They go great with the colour of the shirt. We paired the shirt with some distressed Liberty Jane jeans, flip flops, and accessorized with a blue necklace. I actually made the necklace last night as well. The beads were incredibly small, but it looks very nice.Both shirts turned out surprisingly well. I'm actually kind of amazed at how good they actually look! There's a lot of people to thank for the recent inspiration, including Libby/Nicki, Rose, Melody Valerie, and Sitara, among others. And of course, a HUGE thank-you to Liberty Jane for the pattern. It fun, easy to follow, and there were great results!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Liberty Jane Patterns Take 1: Cool Mint Modeled by Nicolette Fleming

Due to various things, I was feeling rather crafty last night, and well... decided to try my hand at sewing.

Basically this was my first attempt at sewing doll clothes, and, though it isn't perfect, I'm very pleased with the outcome. Not too bad for someone who barely know show to operate a sewing machine!

The first shirt I made is in a cool, green/blue mint colour, perfect for summer. The shade almost reminds me of a breeze, or perhaps the crash of waves... Either way, I really like the fabric, which can look more green or blue in different lighting (in the photos, it's taking on more of a blue tone, but in reality it is more green). It is a relatively light weight, knit cotton that I thought would work nicely. The dolls here are in desperate need of some casual warm weather clothes, and I jumped at the opportunity to use a colour that American Girl rarely does.

After choosing my fabric, the next step was the pattern. I'm using the Liberty Jane T-Shirt pattern, and overall, it was really nice. They include good, step by step directions that are easy to follow (even for me, and that's saying something!). The sleeves were a bit of issue, but I was able to do all right, I suppose. I did have some trouble with the neckline, though, and getting the shirt to lay right. It was bunching up, and just kind of... wrong, for lack of a better word. I had to a little 'creative', per say, in the back with the snap closure to get it looking right.

Well, several somewhat frustrating hours later, we have a slightly wonky, but definitely acceptable shirt! It actually turned out quite nice, I have to say. Not couture quality, that's for sure, but a good start, considering it is our first.

The fabric, when hemming the bottom, actually 'ruffled' a bit. I think it was because the type of material used. It wasn't supposed to do that, but I actually kind of like it. The ruffle at the bottom gives it a nice touch, though it may be a little too young and girly looking. It makes our shirt a bit more unique, since everyone and their mother/sister/cousin/aunt/friend/etc. is using the pattern to make their own shirt. Liberty Jane warns about the type of fabric that stretches, and I think that was the kind we used, which is why the shirt has the weird looking bottom hem.

Nicolette, more commonly known as Nicki, was glad to model the new shirt. She got outside for a photo shoot, wearing the new top. We paired it with a jean skirt and western style boots for the warmer weather, and accessorized with a simple green necklace. I was surprised Miss Fleming actually wore a skirt, let alone her hair down, since she's quite the tom-boy. Nicki is one of those dolls that just loves to be outside. As she spends more time in the sun this spring, her freckles are getting darker and more apparent, and her sandy blond hair is lightening up a bit. Though, we weren't able to stay outside long because of rain!
Anyways, I think it turned out pretty good for our first real attempt at sewing any type of doll clothes. What do you think?

Up next: Liberty Jane Patterns Take 2: Military Green Modeled By Amelia St. Clair

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Feeling rather crafty at the moment...

Due to various things, I'm feeling rather crafty at the moment. Said various things would be:
  • The absolutely lovely swathes of couture that I have seen lately!
  • Inspiring posts from Nicki and Libby, Sitara, and Rose, just to name a few.
  • A recent, early spring photo shoot has also gotten me in the artistic mood. I wish I could share the pictures with you, since I think they turned out pretty good, but they're on my private blog and I'm too lazy to upload them all to here as well.
  • I've got quite a lot of time on my hands. Perfect for starting big projects!
Well, because of all this, I'm in the mood for sewing something. Now, just a heads up, I cannot sew to save my life. I can somewhat stitch by hand, and I barely know how to operate a sewing machine. The one mildly successful attempt at sewing can be seen here. To this day, I'm not quite sure how that turned out so well, haha!

Anyways, despite all this, I thought I would try my hand at sewing and become one of many people to use the Liberty Jane patterns. I have some lovely, dark military green knit cotton, and some mint green/blue as well, so I will be making some t-shirts (hopefully) tonight. It's some really nice fabric, so I hope I don't totally butcher it.

So, this is my project for tonight. It may possibly take longer than that, though. If I can even get a shirt made that looks like a pillow case with sleeves, I'll be thrilled. So, though the shirts may look horrid, humor me :)

Be prepared for a post showing off my mediocre talent as a seamstress in the near future.

PS: Thank you so much to my 51 (update, make that 52!) followers, and everyone who comments/reads the blog! You guys are the best. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Holy Toledo! That was fast!

I just can't believe that the Melody Valerie Couture Spring Line is practically sold out all ready. Curse me for having a life and not being able to order the second they popped up online! Haha, just kidding! They were absolutely stunning dresses, though. My favorite was the 'Mint Vivacity', closely followed by the 'Sweet Darling'. Sadly, both are sold out, though the other dress, 'Stripes Ahoy!' is growing on me. Although I'm kind of depressed about the fact that the dresses I liked sold out (sorry to sound all spoiled-like here), I know that the people who did get the dresses will love them! Congrats on an extremely successful spring line, MVC! I'm so happy that you sold out so quickly!