Monday, July 30, 2012

Love Knot Nightgown for Bleuette

This nightgown pattern was created several years ago, when I was first bitten by the Bleuette bug.  I'm posting the pattern here, but it may be a bit rough.

It will fit both Reproduction and crocheted Bleuette.  If you are not familiar with the Love Knot stitch, I recommend looking it up in a good crochet stitch dictionary, or Google it for instructions.  I can do the stitch, but I'm not the best person to try to explain it!

Enjoy the day, and enjoy the crochet :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pretty dresses for Bleuette

Here are a couple of very simple dresses you can make for your Bleuette or crochet Bleuette, using the basic camisole as the bodice.  The drop waist dress has a crocheted skirt, and the short waist dress has a fabric skirt.

Simple dresses for Bleuette

With this bodice, you can make any number of outfits for Bleuette.  Shorten it a bit more, add a long fabric skirt, and you have a sweet nightgown.  Or, pair the long waisted bodice with the pantaloons to make cute rompers.  These are some of my favorite outfits to make for dolls.  They are simple, and look sweet :-)

Enjoy the day, and enjoy the crochet!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Basic Crochet Undergarment for Bleuette

I love dolls in dainty undergarments.  Undergarments are the first thing I make for a new doll.  Not only does it get her decent quickly, but it also lets me figure out the basic garment construction; how many stitches around the waist, how long the bodice needs to be, how large to make the armhole openings.

Basic Undergarments

So now your Bleuette, or your crochet Bleuette, can have a camisole, pantaloons, and socks.  The camisole pattern makes a lovely bodice for a sundress, a drop-waist dress or rompers, and the pantaloons can give you a good beginning for shorts or pants.

Enjoy outfitting your Bleuette...more to follow :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meet Bleuette

As mentioned in my last post, I've had the idea of creating a Bleuette doll in crochet for a long time.  Bleuette is a doll with quite a history, and an even more amazing wardrobe :-)

She started life in 1905 as a give-away (thats right!) promotion to little French girls to subscribe to a girl's magazine...La Semaine De Suzette, which translates as 'Suzette's week.'   The magazine's publishers were devout Catholics, and they were worried that the secularization of French public education would be detrimental to the development of young French womanhood.  Thus the magazine, and its aim to help promote their (the publisher's) ideals of what a young Frenchwoman's accomplishments should be.

One of these things was a proficiency with needlework and hand sewing, and Bleuette is the perfect little companion to sew for!  La Semaine De Suzette published hundreds of patterns, from 1905 thru 1960, for their little Frenchwoman, Bleuette.

There is a lot more to Bleuette's history, and her now incredible popularity.  In 1905, 20,000 Bleuettes were initially produced by the French company SFBJ, but 60,000 subscriptions were received before the first issue was even published!  Bleuette continued to be produced until 1960.  Now, many talented doll artist create reproduction Bleuettes.  The doll in the middle of the picture above is one such reproduction, by Jackie Chimpky.

Here is the pattern to create you own Bleuette in the medium of crochet.  I used a size D crochet hook and both Vanna's Choice and Red Heart Super Saver to make these dolls ;the Super Saver worked up slightly larger (and was harder on my hands!) than the Vanna's Choice.  This is a very tight gauge for worsted weight yarn; 5 single crochet  to 1 inch; but it creates a very firm fabric for stuffing and jointing.  Crochet Bleuette is 11 1/2 to 11 3/4 inches tall with her wig.

Crochet Bleuette

She is jointed using strong craft thread; two strands doubled (so you are passing four strands through the need this strength).  Other supplies you will need are  a three inch dollmaking needle, 9mm acrylic eyes, and a plastic lid from a yogurt or cottage cheese carton to stiffen the bottom of her feet.

I used purchased wigs for this doll, in size 7, which is the head circumference.  Here are a couple of sources for wigs:

There are a number of online sources of information and patterns for Bleuette;  a Google search will turn up many.  Here are some of my favorites:

The Bleu Door  a free repository of many of the patterns published by La Semaine De Suzette, and maintained by Janie Hile

Bleuette Manikin  This is a wonderful free pattern offered by Judi Ward.  It is a simple manikin doll pattern with Bleuette's measurements, but it also makes a very charming, Bleuette size doll (without the joints).

Bleuette in Cloth online class  This is Judi Ward's online class for making a Bleuette in cloth, complete with joints!  It is a great dollmaking class.

Bleuette Sewing Club  This is a yahoo group dedicated to sewing for Bleuette.

Grab a hook and some yarn, and make your very own little piece of doll history; enjoy the day, and enjoy the crochet :-)

Friday, July 6, 2012

A new work in progress

A new work in progress; Bleuette in crochet!  Elbows and knees are jointed in a manner to imitate how Bleuette is jointed, and her head is jointed to move as well.

The body proportions are shaped and similar to Bleuette, even down to her cute little butt :-)

This doll is my first prototype; she's a little long in the torso, and her shoulders belong on a football player.  Mark II should be tweaked to take care of these.  Still, all in all, I'm happy with how she is developing :-)

I've had the idea for this doll in the back of my mind for some time.  I'm fascinated with Bleuette, her history, her wardrobe, and her little-girl look.  When I'm happy with the results, the pattern for her will be freely available here, just in time to celebrate the third birthday of this blog, and over 1000 followers!

More on Bleuette, and the pattern, coming soon :-)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Poppy, a modified Lily Sugar&Cream doll

Poppy, a crochet doll based on the Lily Sugar&Cream free doll pattern.  I used Vanna's Choice for her body, and wool single ply yarn to embroider her short hair; reminiscent of a young Audrey Hepburn :-)

Leg joint technique is courtesy Dutzie, and she (the doll) also has a move-able head.  You can find tutorials for  both these techniques on the left sidebar of this blog, under "Tutorials by Joyce," and 'Tutorials."

I didn't like the directions for the jacket in the Sugar&Cream instructions, so I made up one as I went along.  And, I knit her a sleeveless blouse, instead of crocheting the blouse on her; I've always loved dolls with remove-able clothes :-)

This is a great basic pattern to make as is, or to modify with your own special techniques.  Enjoy the day, and enjoy the crochet!