Friday, March 11, 2011

1982, Revisited

Since Christmas I've been enjoying a second childhood with my daughters' new dolls - Brianne and Leonie of the "Maplelea Girls". This line is Canada's version of the ubiquitous "American Girl" doll - equal in quality and price (a nice, round $100), albeit definitely a country cousin as far as the comprehensiveness of the line goes. There are only five Maplelea Girls, whereas the American Girl line, with their 'customize your doll to be exactly like you' option, is basically limitless.

Anyway, down to business: the clothes.

I'd be embarrassed to tell you how many hours I've spent dreaming up outfits for these dolls, so let's skip that part and get to the first one I've actually made - a gift for a friend's daughter, whose birthday party is today and whose Maplelea Girl will be the lucky recipient of this.

It looks better in real life.
A pleated wool skirt and an alpaca cardigan, made with the remnants of a 100 gram ball of Socrates alpaca sock yarn.

The wool is scrap from a skirt I made for myself this week, and was done in about 2 hours, altogether, most of it spent pleating. I just cut a 33" piece, marked it at 1.5" increments, and pressed 1/2" pleats all along the length, then stitched two lines at the top and a 1/8" hem at bottom, and added the braided microsuede trim to give it a firmer edge at the top. Two 1/4" snaps close it at centre back. This was SUPER FUN to make...luckily, because my daughters both want identical ones for their dolls.

Cardi for Brianne
Pattern: Retro Cardi by Caroline Dlugy-Hegwer, for 18" dolls
Yarn: Alpaca With a Twist Socrates in kind of a purpley colour...have lost ball band.
Tension: around 7.5 sts per inch
Needle: 3.00mm bamboo
Notes: Turned out too big. It looked slimmer in the pattern photo, so I'm wondering whether my tension was incorrect, or whether my eyes simply deceived me. So, once it was done I cut it under the arms and removed 3 inches of width, in total. Seamed it with a sewing machine. Shoulders are still too generous though.

This project was so fun, I've already started a Fair Isle vest that measures 12 inches around and 6 inches cute! I'll show you next week. Today's Mr HalfSoledBoots' birthday, so I'm off cake-making right now.


kate said...

Fun because you got to press all those pleats, you crazy press-lovin' woman :)

I love home-made doll clothes, my mum used to make such lovely outfits for my dolls. Can't wait to see the fair-isle!

Annalea said...

I keep hoping my girls will take an interest in dolls . . . but so far they've been a VERY occasional plaything. (But they've never had anything really nice. Hmmmm...)

I love the skirt & sweater (even if the sweater is too big).

But even more, I love seeing that you're starting to blog a little more often. It makes me think you're coming back out into the world a little more. I've missed your posts.

And I hope that Mr. HSB has a wonderful birthday. :o)

Cynthia said...

What a great outfit! My Charlotte got the American Girl toddlers for Christmas but I have yet to sew/knit them anything.

Today's my birthday, too. Happy birthday to Mr. HSB.

Jadekitty said...

Soon you will be working on the sets of movies like Coraline! Happy Birthday Mr. HSB, I hope it was a great day.

Gwen said...

LOVE the skirt. And ditto to Annalea -- very happy to see you posting. XOXOXO

Rona said...

These are wonderful! Like Kate said right up your alley! You, that loves to press things :)

Looking forward to more bloggyness from you and seeing the mini fair-isle!

Also a Happy Day to the Mr. :)

lizbon said...

Wow. Gorgeous.

Dave Hingsburger said...

OK, I'll admit it dolls kind of creep me out. This one has an expression on her face to me that says, 'I come alive at night, I've had and idea and ... there will be blood.' But, then, again, maybe that's just me. said...

Totally amazing! It makes me want to purchase one of these dolls and dress them too! The sweater and skirt look terrific on the doll, as well as off. I bet that the little girl who received them was SO happy!
Happy B-day to Mr. HSB. Was that his cake fire that sent the fire truck past our place?! Ha!
Looking forward to the FairIsle Vest.