Friday, May 28, 2010

First of Five


Rosey Anne, the first of five new Prairie Flower girls is finished. With their bodies all nicely stuffed, they are a blank canvas; they have the potential to be anything, just like a young child.

The first doll was inspired by Raggedy Anne, with her cute triangle nose, embroidered heart, and sweet smile. I'm hoping to find a light pink gingham to make her a pretty apron. It is almost as much fun thinking about the next doll as making it :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More Prairie Flower Finery

The Bleu Door pattern site ( www.thebleudoor.com ) continues to be a gold mine of patterns to adapt for the Prairie Flowers. Here are a few new patterns, all of which (with the exception of the crochet sweater above) have been adapted from these patterns.

First, there is a simple nightgown from 1920. This is made of a pale pink batiste, with a sprinkling of crochet flowers around the neck, and featherstitching around the bottom. The pattern is here:

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFNightgown.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

The bedjacket is just a simple sweater crocheted from laceweight mohair yarn. I developed the pattern originally for Waldorf dolls, and have adapted it for mini-free spirits, and now the Prairie Flowers:

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/Crochet_Sweater_for_PrairieFlowers.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

Next is a simple shirt and jumper combination. The shirt has 3/4 length sleeves that are not set in; the neck and sleeve edges finished with either purchased or self bias trim. The pattern is here:

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFBasicShirt.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

The jumper is also super easy, and from the same 1920 pattern as the shirt:

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFJumper.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1


These cute and simple overalls are from a 1917 pattern. I made them from an old pair of my husbands blue jeans...the straps here were a little narrow to easily make up, so on the pattern I've widened them a bit. And added a touch of embroidery to the legs. Same simple shirt with these overalls as above. The pattern is here:

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFOveralls.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

Close up of the overall embroidery. A Prairie girl should have Prairie flowers blooming across her overalls :-)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pansies, pinks, and peonies

I strolled around the house yesterday with my camera, and took some pictures of what is blooming. 13 peony bushes, a shrub rose on steroids, and several volunteer pinks from last year, to name a few.

Peonies are wonderful; plant them (not too deep) and they take care of themselves and bloom for years and years.

Pansies always have such cheerful faces, and the yellow ones I got this year are particularly sunny :-)

Flowers always amaze me. Why a device to lure pollinators should be so wondrously beautiful to us seems to me a signature of God.

"...if eyes were made for seeing, then Beauty is its own excuse for being..." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bleuette fashions for Prairie Flowers

I'm not a very good pattern drafter when it comes to sewing doll clothing, so I asked Janie Hile at www.thebleudoor.com for permission to adapt some of the wonderful original Bleuette patterns for the Prairie Flowers, and she kindly said yes.

The adapted patterns for the apron and jacket above are here:

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFApron1.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFjacket.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

The jacket pattern is from 1913, and the apron pattern from 1909.


Here are the two basic A-line dresses:

Both of these patterns are from 1912. I've made them simpler than the original, with little embellishment. But that is the neat thing about a simple pattern, some lace and ric-rac, or contrasting fabric panels can change the look entirely.



http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFLong%26ShortSleeveBasicDress.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1




I also dearly love dainty underwear for dolls, so here are a couple of patterns called 'combinations,' which are just what the name implies - a combination of chemise and pantaloon. The one on the left is a 1918 pattern; the one on the right is from 1916.

Made up in lightweight batiste, with perhaps a touch of embroidery, and they are lovely underwear. In a cotton calico, they could be rompers or overalls.

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFCombinationsPattern.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

And lastly, some simple underwear; panties that can be worn under the dresses, and a dainty camisole.

http://sites.google.com/site/designbybethann/home/links/PFUnderwearCamisole.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

Thank-you, Janie, for providing such a wonderful, and historic, pattern site, and for letting me use the patterns for the Prairie Flower dolls. Some styles are simply timeless, just like the love of dolls :-)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

We're back in business

So I'm learning the hard way that not all document readers are created equal :-) Of course, for crochet patterns it is not an issue, but with a sewing pattern it is quite important that what you print out is scaled properly.

To that end, the Prairie Flowers doll pattern is back on the site with these recommendations when printing out the pattern:

First, use Adobe's Acrobat Reader (free) to view and print the patterns. If you do not have this reader, you can get it here (you will need to know the operating system you are using on your computer):

http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/

And next, when you get ready to print the pattern, on the Print page you must set the "Page Scaling" (about the middle of the page) to NONE. This will allow the pattern to be printed out just as I drew it. If this is not the default, change it to NONE, otherwise you will get a small, blank border around the pattern that will change the scaling of the pattern pieces.

I hope this hasn't screwed anyone up. I'm getting ready to test this on both Windows and Mac operating systems (I use Linux, which I doubt many of you are using). I don't expect there to be any problems, but you never know with computers...

Back to the drawing board

This will be a quick post. When I created the PDF file for the Prairie Flowers cloth doll pattern, the pattern became distorted. I only found this out as I was creating the clothing patterns. Not sure if this is occurring when I export the file to PDF, or when I print it out with my document viewer.

At any rate, I've removed the pattern from the site for now in order to get it 'right.' If you have copied it already, I would not use the pattern and wait until I have the corrected pattern up and available. It won't take long...the pattern is fine until it gets turned into a PDF, so if nothing else I will make it available as a Word document.

I'm so sorry if any of you have already started making the doll. The pattern would still make a cute doll, she just wouldn't be quite the right size for her clothes :-(