Friday, December 14, 2012

Easy to Make: A Doll-Sized Cookie Sheet with Gingerbread Men!

This project is so easy... it's barely a craft at all!

What Holiday season is complete without baking cookies?

Made with 3 ingredients, and in 2 easy steps!

I found these aluminum disposable pans with lids at the Dollar Store. It came with 3 pans and lids. The lids measure about 5 3/4"x8 1/4". After you make this craft, you can use the aluminum pans to store some real cookies!

Next, I found the foam stickers with 12 (a perfect dozen!) Gingerbread Men. These stickers are about 1 3/8" long.

Step 1- Take two aluminum pan lids. Using a glue stick, cover the nonmetallic side of one lid completely making sure to get the edges well covered. Press together the non metallic sides of the two lids. Wipe off any excess glue. 
Step 2- Peal the paper backing from the stickers and press onto the "cookie sheet".
That's it! Easy!
Happy crafting (and baking)!
Creatively Yours,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Very Stylish Knit Doll Dress from a Missy Sweater!

I bought a fine gauge missy sweater at a church sale for 50 cents. I never had any intention of wearing it (it's not my style and kind of boring- yawn), but I thought it would be great for a doll's dress! This is what I came up with:

...And this is what I started with (pretty boring-right?):

It was made in a fine gauge knit. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, basically it means the knit stitches are very tiny and perfectly doll sized!

The width of the front cable panel was perfect for a doll dress- about 5 1/2" wide. I decided that I could also use some of the cables for a fun neck trim. Because I was making the neck trim from a "non-rib", I needed to make the neck lay right on the doll, so I treated it like a casing, and added a 1/8"wide elastic inside. I adjusted the length of the elastic once I put it on the doll and finished sewing up the casing. To keep the elastic in place, I sewed a blind stitch along the upper edge of the cable by hand. The elastic keeps the upper edge for the collar from flaring out and lays nicly on the doll, yet still has enough stretch to fit over the doll's head.

I used the original sweater neck trim for the sleeves and front pockets. I kept the rib double for both the sleeves and the pockets, as was the original neck trim. This way I eliminated a need to hem.. and I hate to hem!
I sewed the entire dress by hand, using a chain stitch and a 1/4" seam allowance. Sewing by hand gave me more control and the chain stitch has a good stretch to it. (And I could work on this while "relaxing" on my very comfy LR sofa!)

I apologize, for not making this a detailed tuto, it was a busy summer and fall and I didn't take pictures when I made this!

I like the way the texture stitch from the original neck trim peeks out at the shoulder.

I think that the pockets are what really make this style! And there is that texture stitch from the rib neck trim again on the pockets! I added mini "horn" buttons to really finish it off!

And just a sneek peek...  my new pdf pattern eBook for making a School Backpack and bonus matching Lunch Bag is now available! 

This is a step-by-step guide for making a School Backpack and bonus Lunch Bag, with a printable pdf pattern. It is a revised version of the Back-to-school Backpack from last years post. I have made some adjustments to the pattern so you do not need to find existing bags to cut up and sew like I did for my post (although you can still use this pattern for recycling old bags!) I have encluded a bonus pattern for making a matching Lunch Bag! I also added a couple of new optional but fun finishing touches.
This pattern, and more soon to come,are now available for purchase at my new Etsy shop:

Creatively Yours,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Some News...

Well it has been a busy summer and now a busy first month of back-to-school! But I am back and I have a lot to share with you!

First, I know that this is NOT doll related, so please forgive me for this here on a doll blog, but I am very excited to have opened an Etsy shop to sell my artwork:  Donna Peterson Neff Studio Here is a sampling of my work that I offer on my Etsy shop:

The above painting of the Nautilus Shell, has been featured on this Website:
It was used in a collection of images in a "mood and inspiration board" called "Tribal-remix". Check it out! 

Second, I am working on some pdf patterns and guidebooks that will soon be available for purchase! I am very excited to be able to offer you patterns for 18" doll accessories and fashion! So keep a look out for them soon!

Creatively Yours,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

I've had my old Barbie dolls from when I was little packed away for so long that I forgot what I had saved. When I say "Barbie dolls", I mean Barbie, Skipper and Francie. Francie was my favorite and she was the one that I did most of my designing for. I think that I thought that some day if I had a daughter she could play with them. Then I began to think that they actually might be worth something, and I've even considered trying to sell some of them someday and so I put off letting my daughter play with them....

Well, the other day I dragged them out and let her play with them with the idea that she can play with them only when we can do it together. It was a real walk down memory lane!!!! I must have saved everything that I ever had for the dolls. I am amazed at how well the clothes and accessories used to be made. Now, I am risking giving away my my age, and it is a little scary to think that the toys I played with as a kid are now considered "antiques" (yikes!), but these doll clothes were made in the late 60's and early 70's! I even had a Twiggy doll! For those of you too young to know who Twiggy was, she was a famous British model and she was very MOD!

So, as I looked inside of boxes and boxes of stuff, and I found two shoe boxes filled with doll clothes that I made and designed all those years ago! I also found two patterns (that you see below) that got me started. When I looked inside the envelopes, I was in for an even greater surprise... I kept the patterns that I designed and created, complete with my very youthful cursive hand writing!

Please indulge me as I take this memory trip...

This is the pattern that I used the most: like I said, Francie was my favorite doll! She was Barbie's younger sister or cousin (I can't remember) so she wasn't as, shall I say, well endowed as Barbie. These patterns also fit Twiggy.

I made a few things for Skipper, but not as much and I didn't do as much designing for her either.

Here is the stash of patterns I designed, actually this is only a partial showing. As you can see, I used whatever paper I could get my hands on:  lined paper, tracing paper, plain white paper. I had to chuckle at the notes I wrote on the skirt pattern you see at the bottom right. It is for a 5 gored skirt, I have grain lines for plaid (on the diagonal) and straight for solid and print. At the hem, I have a note that says, "hem according to desire". When did I ever talk like that???

So, thank you in advance for letting me share this with you...

The navy hat and matching dress are made from a bonded fabric... perfect for those of us who don't like to hem! I avoided hemming then, and I still do! That's why I like working with recycling clothes and using existing hems! I noticed that almost all of the clothes I made back then weren't ever completely finished; they were left unhemmed, had no closures, had unfinished edges and I mostly used straight pins for closures. Basically, I was in too much of a rush to get my ideas out to actually finish anything!
The strapless eyelet top was my attempt to use the existing scallop edge of one eyelet lace for the bust line with added side darts. I did not, however allow for seam allowance and the back edges are unfinished and it doesn't even actually close in the back! I actually like the idea... hmmm, I just might be inspired by my past self!
The red gored skirt is made from the pattern I talked about above.

I remember that this is the first time my mom taught me how to do beading on a garment. She showed me how to draw a pattern on tissue paper, pin it to the garment, and sew the beads on right through the paper. Later the tissue is pulled off. As you can see, I got bored with this project and was on to another idea before I finished. I did, however make a matching purse for this!

For this outfit I used the rain coat pattern from McCall's which I lined and designed a hat to match, the rest are my own design. There's that 5 gore skirt again! I must have liked that blouse.. I made several versions of it! 

I think this must have been a very early design... it looks rather crude.

Hat, dress and bag are all my design. I cut out some of the flowers from the dress print and glued them to the hat.

I think that this was one of my later designs...judging from the amount of detail in this.

This is a maxi dress, made from the McCall's pattern.

This is a quilted satin robe, my design. It is lined. I think that I had some trouble working with this fabric; you can see the fraying at the gathers.

I remember designing the top skirt to match a skirt that my mom made for me! It was really a kind of  short made full to look like a skirt and had panels on the front and back to complete the illusion of a skirt.

The scarf is an early knitting project. The bag is made from bonded fabric and beaded handle. And a shift dress.

The Maxi dress is from the McCall's pattern, but the headband is my design. They are made in Dotted Swiss. 

Both the hat and dress are from the McCall's pattern. I loved that bonded fabric! No need to finish edges!

I can't say what I was going for here with this top (or was it a jacket or a dress?)... perhaps this was a lesson learned on making sure to allow enough for seam allowance and facings!

The coat is another version of the rain coat... Coat and boots are McCall's. The rest are my design.

A beach towel, pillow and beach cover up made from a wash cloth.

I also made clothes for a 16" doll that I had. Here are two dresses and a scarf  that I had made for that doll.

I even tried to design some shoes for the 16" doll. This is what they looked like. The sole and heel are made from cardboard.
So I hope I didn't bore you too much with my nostalgia... thanks for humoring me!

Creatively yours,

Friday, June 1, 2012

Easy Sundress and Shawl

This sundress and crochet shawl were SO easy to make...
each piece was made in only two steps. Both were made from thrift shop finds and cost less than $1.00 each!

This is the Infant top I started with in size 3-6 months. The straps were already adjustable so no need to do anything with them! The body length from top of neck ruffle to bottom of hem ruffle was 7 3/4". Don't be afraid to use a large print for your doll's dress- it can look very modern, but do choose a print in colors that look more grown up!
STEP #1) Pin a small tuck at each shoulder strap front and back (4 tucks in all) I did about 1/4" deep tucks, but adjust to fit doll.
STEP#2) Hand sew with matching thread along tucks in just the gathered area and let the tuck open up for the skirt area.

That's it! No hemming. No sewing side seams. You're done!

And now for the shawl...
This is a crocheted doily that measured 14 1/2" wide and cost 99 cents.
STEP#1) I first decided on a neck opening width (between 4"- 4 1/2") and noticed I could cut out the center section so that what remained had an opening of 4 3/8". I carefully used a seam ripper and cut only the center section making sure NOT to cut any of the threads of the piece I needed for the shawl! Weave any loose threads back into the shawl.
STEP#2) To add interest, and to allow adjusting the neckline, I added a matching tie that I wove through the holes, that were already part of the crochet, using a large needle. I used a cotton tape yarn that looks like a ribbon, you can also use a ribbon or yarn, and it can match or be contrast. I started with a piece 40" long and trimmed as needed.

Done! No sewing! No crocheting! Just a little cutting!
Hmm... This could make a cute skirt, too, just pull the tie a little tighter!

So that's it for the quickest outfit I have ever made!

Creatively Yours,

Monday, May 7, 2012

Results of My One Week Challenge!- Five Doll Fashion Pieces from One Junior Top!

This is the original junior top that I started with...
  ... On my last post, I gave myself a one week challenge to see how many doll clothes I could make from this one 50 cent thrift item... and here are the results (I did finish in one week but it is taking me a while to get this post finished!)...

Item #1- Peasant top
This was made from the bottom hem for the body, and for the sleeves I used the original sleeves of the top with their existing elastic cuffs.
Item#2- skirt
This simple skirt was made from the middle stripe, I cut a 8" wide and 22 1/2" long rectangle and I added an elastic casing and a machine stitched hem. The finished skirt length is 5".
Item#3- Banded waist skirt
For this skirt I used the middle stripe pattern cut 8 1/2" wide and 22" long folded in half horizontally. By doing it this way I eliminated a need for a hem! I considered making this a reversible skirt but I didn't care for the pattern on the other side. The waistband is made from a purchased knitted headband 1 1/4" wide that I adjusted to fit the doll's waist and attached to the skirt with a stretch zig zag stitch. The finished skirt length is 4 3/4".
Item#4- Sundress (with sash)

Item#4- Sundress (without sash)
This dress was made from the back of the dress using the patterned yoke already attached to the dress skirt. I used the front V-neck edge details for the shoulder straps and collar. I added 3 little buttons from my stash. For the detachable sash, I simply cut a length 26"long of the original 2" wide tie.
Item#4- Sundress (back view)

Item#5- Headband
For the headband I cut a piece of the 2"wide tie 10" long and gathered each end by hand and added a 4" piece of 1/2" wide elastic and sewed in place.

Here is how the top looks with the green skirt...
...and with pink Capri pants.
The green skirt with a cream colored top. I made the cream top from an old knit top of mine: I cut and braided strips of the knit fabric for the neck trim.
The black striped skirt with the cream top and headband.
The dress with the sash.
The dress without the sash.
The headband.

And in the end I only had a little of the cream patterned fabric left over! I love the way the  multi colored striped patterns enabled me to create so many different looks and how some of them even have a border print look!

I hope you enjoyed this challenge... I had fun doing it!

Creatively yours,

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