Monday, May 31, 2010

American Girl Knit Sun Dress

Mom and I have teamed up to dress some dolls this year. Our latest project is a Springfield doll. I got Mom started with the book this pattern comes from for Christmas and just loaded her up with a bunch of in print and out of print knitting and sewing patterns for 18" dolls and Barbie for her birthday and Mother's day. There will be some very well dressed dolls this Christmas. This dress is from the book below. I am anxiously awaiting the sewing projects Mom has cut out is working to assemble. She has promised me a pair of jeans so my doll will be decent when taking sweater and top pictures. I have yet to find a bottoms crochet pattern that does not require crocheting over elastic. While I am determined to learn, Mom and I agree it is best to keep the model modest when posting.

Mom is even heading home with her own Springfield doll to use as a model. We have both realized in working with Barbie the invaluable benefits of having a doll to try on the clothes as you are working on them. As I mentioned in a previous blog about my first dress attempt, if not for having the doll to try the dress on, I would have had no way of knowing the outfit did not fit. As frustrating as it is realizing I had to redo the dress top, it would have been far worse to mail the dress off and have the child not be able to use it.

For those looking for free patterns please check out the free
American Girl and 18" Doll page for crochet, knitting, and sewing links.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My American Girl and 18" Doll Projects

Barbie has her own page and now that I have started working on American Girl and 18" Doll projects they require a page as well. I am finding it more challenging to find projects that are within my range, but have recently bought elastic to experiment with so I can make more of the crochet patterns. Mom has also been sharing her work with me so I will be featuring some of her knitted and sewing projects here as well.


Blue Pilgrim Dress

Colonial Girl

Colonial Outfit


Holiday Dress

Pilgrim Dress


Poncho and Black Pants

Poncho and Pink Skirt

Red Dress


Santa with Holiday Yarn

Sun Dress

Valentine Dress

Loom Knit:

Loom Hat

Loom Hat and Scarf

Mom is kind enough to knit and sew doll projects for family members on my husband's side of the family along with projects for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I have been documenting Mom's projects with my own.
Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Mom's Contributions:


Christmas Sweater and Pants

Evening Gown

Redsox Cheerleader




Barbie and American Girl Doll Free Patterns are listed on my blog at these locations:

Barbie Crochet and Sewing Page

Barbie Knitting Page

Ken Page

Kelly/Skipper Page

American Girl Doll Crochet and Sewing

American Girl Doll Knitting

Additional Doll Patterns also Available on the Holiday Blogs:





Halloween Page



Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

American Girl Doll Crochet Sun Dress Crochet

I was still looking for a simple project when I took on my second American Girl outfit. This Sun Dress pattern can be found in the free
American Girl 18" Doll Pattern Links.

I loved variegated colors and decided to do so as an alternative to the suggested pattern colors. I loved the pattern idea of using cotton dish cloth yarn. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I hit several great sales and had stocked up on a variety of colors. I thought it would be fun to try to pattern that utilized the cotton for a dress.

My husband's comment was the doll needed a shirt for underneath the gown. However, other than the lace that I did not add this is pretty much the pattern as described. I do have a white sweater I can add before sending the dress off at Christmas.

The hat was fun to make and looked so cute when it was finished. This will be a great pattern to add to other dresses that need a cute hat, but do not come with one.

I liked the style of the shoes, but have a terrible time keeping them on the doll's feet. I am going to continue to look for a pattern that fits better and then make some different colored shoes to go with the outfits that both Mom and I are making for the various kids who have both Springfield and American Girl dolls.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Frog Bath Mitt Crochet

I wrote about making crochet bath mitts for Easter and never got a chance to take pictures before the package needed to be mailed. Since I have a longer lead time before Christmas presents must ship, I will have a better shot at getting pictures uploaded to the blog.

This pattern is from Annie's Attic Fun-Time Bath Mitts, 879512. I found the patterns to be easy to follow and enjoyable to make. The kids seem to like the combined idea of puppet and wash cloth. It makes for a fun and practical bath toy. I have found some great sales on the dish cloth cotton yarn so I have a supply ready to make more. I am working on new ways to take the basic pattern and add new faces to create new characters. I want a Halloween theme. If it works out you will see the pictures here.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Girl Doll Crochet Dress

I was searching for a very simple dress for my first attempt at an American Girl pattern. My model and the doll owned by the child I am making clothes for is a Springfield doll. I started with the idea that patterns would likely be based on the designer's own crocheting style and the specific dolls they work with and expected adjustments.

The pattern I stared with is a free wedding pattern. This pattern and others can be found in the American Girl Free Pattern Links page. I realized my crocheting style or the doll this pattern was originally designed for were not compatible as written. I worked the upper part of the gown as written and the poor doll could not squeeze in. So, I increased the hook size. While the doll could get into the gown, there was a sizeable gap in the back. I increased my chain by eight stitches to accommodate the width of the doll. When making the next doll I would decrease this by at least two chains, as the dress was too large with eight.

I chose green and I shortened the dress because I was looking for a basic doll dress, not a wedding gown and it suited my purposes. It is actually an easy dress for the child to put on and take off. I am thinking about adding sleeves on my next attempt once I have the exact chains nailed down.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Amigurumi Bear Finger Puppet

As promised, I am posting the finished bear puppet. For those that want to see the previous blog post on putting this fellow together the post is here.

I am really looking forward to completing more projects in this leaflet and then trying to adapt other small Ami patterns to finger puppets. This leaflet lays out the process fairly clearly. If I am successful, I will document my progress.

This was created from an out of print pattern, Leisure Arts Leaflet 435, 1986, Finger Puppets 12 Designs to Crochet by Susan Pippin.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Little Barbie on the Prairie

While never a fan of the tv show, I was a huge fan of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House book series as a child. I read the books before the series and our teachers brought the books alive with costumes, plays, and events designed to engage us not just in the stories, but the time period that surrounded the life the family led.

When I saw this pattern online, it was a chance to share with the next generation not only my love of the stories, which I have by making sure each family has a complete set of the books, but to share the fun of engaging in the play that goes along with the stories.

This outfit was challenging because I was substituting Luster Sheen for thread. I played with the gauge and thought I had the correct hook for the project based on the gauge requirements. Unfortunately, the arms are larger than I wanted. For the next one I will use the same hook for the body of the dress but decrease hook size for the arms.

For those looking for the pattern it is an out of print Annie’s Fashion Doll Club Pattern, Prairie Dress FC20-01. From my searches, it appears to be frequently available on most vintage fashion doll pattern resale sites.

If you are looking for free Barbie patterns please see the Barbie Fashion Doll Page for links to free patterns.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free Doll Patterns Bratz, Dora, Air Freshener, and Vintage Patterns

As I was researching American Girl and Barbie dolls I kept finding other doll outfits that I wanted to list for interested crafters. I never found enough for any specific doll to have a page so I am creating a page that will combine the dolls until I find enough to spread them out. For the moment these are all crochet, but I will add knitting and sewing patterns as I find them.

Bratz Dolls


Donna's Crochet

Orble Dress

PJ's and Teddy Bear


Sewing Tips no Patterns

Shawl Design no Pattern

Berenguer Dolls/5"Dolls


5" Thread Dress


Several Patterns for Itty Bitty 5" Dolls

More Patterns for Itty Bitty 5" Dolls



Cindy 6 3/4" Fibre Craft:


Dress Thread



Impkins Artist

Dora 15" Doll:


Beach Outfit

Capris, Tops, and Hats

Chef's Outfit

Dora is My Darling


First Communion

Hat Cornflower Cozy

Overalls, Shirt, Shoes, Jacket, Hat, Mittens

Parade Outfit

Postal Notes

School Uniform

Spring Has Sprung

Skating Outfit

Skirt and Top

Striped Dress

Wild Rose

GI Joe can be found on the Ken Page

15" Fashion Dolls:


Native American Doll

Monster High:


Making Patterns Tutorial

Shoe Tutorial

Tube Dress and Jacket



Blue Dress Scroll Down

Red Dress Scroll Down

Misc Doll Patterns and Sizes


Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Air Freshener Doll

Blushing Ripple

Christmas Bride Doll




Jack and Jill

Juanita 11" Doll

Little Bo Peep

Little Red Riding Hood

Mint Melody

Queen of Hearts

Rose Bud Lavender Pattern

School Girl 13" Doll

Tooth Fairy Doll

Topsy Turvy Doll Pattern Red Riding Hood and Grandma

Vintage Doll Patterns

Check out the Holiday Pages for More Patterns:


Picture Credits:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Amigurumi Finger Puppets

I have been looking for more finger puppet patterns since I made the dragons for Easter. I found a crochet book, but nothing that really appealed to me. Then I discovered an out of print pattern in my vintage pattern hunt. These finger puppets actually were created to look like Amigurumi animals that were not finished as animals but as finger puppets.

The cap next to the bear is the item crocheted for the actual finger puppet. The pattern than calls for the person making the item to turn the finger cap inside out creating a lip that can be sewn to the opening of the puppet. This allows the body of the puppet to be sealed. The head and body are one piece, but since the finger does not come near the head at all, safety eyes can be used on the project instead of sewing eyes. The pattern uses moveable eyes, but since I cannot find ones to sew on and I do not like the possibility of them falling off, I like the idea of substituting safety eyes.

Creating the finger cap was a creative way to make more detailed finger puppets. Many of the books and patterns I have looked at have had disappointing details in their patterns. Those that are detailed can be challenging to work on because of the small areas that they create the features. This patterns utilized skills I was already using in making my Ami's and added the basic finger puppet to the mix.

This bear still needs to be assembled but I wanted to document the process prior to putting him all together. The pattern has twelve creatures to create, but I can see how this technique could easily be applied to other small ami's.

See the finished bear blog entry here.

This was created from an out of print pattern, Leisure Arts Leaflet 435 1986, Finger Puppets 12 Designs To Crochet by Susan Pippin.

If you are looking for free finger puppet paterns please see the Finger Puppet Free Pattern Links Blog Page.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Amigurumi Progress

I have been reading books and blogs to improve my Amigurumi techniques. I continue to struggle with stuffing my Ami's so they are properly shaped, but the stuffing does not show through. One suggestion was to use a smaller hook to make the holes smaller, eliminating the stuffing showing through. This proved successful on the larger body areas. However, I am still struggling on the smaller tighter areas like the tail and arms. I have concluded it is not the hook size as much as it is the struggle to work in tight places and make the stitches tight and uniform that creates the issue.

The experiment continues, but he still is awfully cute and one more Christmas project completed on the list.

If you would like to see a complete set of amigurumi dinosaurs please visit the Dinosaur Amigurumi Project blog entry.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fashion Doll Outfit Packaging

I make fashion doll clothes as gifts and I am finding as I get them ready to wrap that some are more complicated than others for children to put on the doll. When I was working on the outfits I had the completed pattern picture to work from when crocheting the project and then dressing the doll. I realized my recipients might also benefit from assistance so I decided to package the gifts so that the recipient could see how the outfit was supposed to look on the doll, not just have a series of clothing pieces.

During a discussion with my Aunt, she suggested this was a great idea to share with others, so I decided to take some pictures of the Pilgrim outfit packaging before it begins its journey. It is nothing fancy, but it does give the girl a picture of how the doll outfit looks when worn.

The process was as simple as printing the digital photograph I had already taken for the blog and sliding it into a storage bag. I had no idea that copy paper would even fit in a storage bag without needing to be sized. The baggie protects the dress for shipping or even provides simple storage. The child can keep the picture or not, just as they do with commercial packaging.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Barbie Pilgrim Outfit

I love sending little packages to celebrate the smaller holidays to the nieces and nephews. It can be challenging to find cute, affordable, fun items. I was excited to find this Pilgrim outfit in the Timeless Fashion Doll Wardrobe, Vol. 1, #495 from Shady Lane. This is a current pattern still available at
Shady Lane. I now only have two more to make before Thanksgiving.

The pattern calls for sports weight yarn, but I think I will try a different brand the next time I attempt this pattern. This was a little heavier than I would have preferred, although I liked the darker color. The shawl pattern worked out nicely and I plan to use that pattern for other doll outfits as well.

After finishing this blog I found free patterns for Barbie and Ken Pilgrim outifts. I still have not mastered crocheting over elastic, but these may be of interest to those who can handle that crocheting skill. Check out the Thanksgiving blog page for those free patterns.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fashion Doll Sock Yarn Dress

As I stated in an earlier entry, my journey with doll clothes has led me on a search for fingering yarn and acceptable alternatives. I went to a knitting store and purchased the sock yarn used in the skirt of this dress. The pattern is the same basic pattern as the Peasant Dress I wrote about earlier. However, for the sake of this experiment, and the cost of the yarn, I opted for a summer dress by shortening the skirt and not adding an apron. I left the sleeves off the gown.

This was a wool based sock yarn and I enjoyed working with it although it was more challenging than the acrylic yarns I normally crochet with for doll clothes. It split easily, which was challenging. I learned to work with it as I progressed through the skirt. I liked the look, but the feel is much different from traditional fingering yarn. I have ordered some less expensive brands of sock yarn over the Internet to try on some retired patterns I have purchased recently, so I will have a chance to see how they work. I have also ordered some Lustersheen yarn to see how that works, as well.

I have just about filled the birthday order with this outfit. I am not sure I will have time to complete anything else prior to shipment.

This dress is based on the Polish Peasant Dress in Fashion Doll Wardrobe International 87D10.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Granny Square Baby Ball

I wanted to experiment with granny squares and I need baby toys for Christmas. I started with the goal of making blocks. My first attempt created a toy ball. I am still working out the kinks to get square corners, but I really liked the festive colors and a ball is a customary toy for kids.

What I want to do is make a series of different colored blocks that would work for various holidays to add to the child’s supply. For instance, I am working on some squares now with fall colors and will experiment with a different method of getting them joined to maintain a square. I was thinking perhaps some Halloween and eventually Christmas colors again would make for some fun toys and decorations.

For my first step into the world of grannies I was not too disappointed.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fashion Doll Shorts and Top

One thing I have discovered working on fashion doll and Barbie clothes is that I end up with other outfits as I work on new patterns. When I started, working on the gauge for the Peasant outfit Barbie ended up with several summer tops and I realized it actually made a cute top pattern. I was looking for an additional birthday gift so I crocheted a pair of shorts that I wrote about recently to give with the new top. I even made an additional top to keep for a Christmas present. The original top unfortunately was a clear indication that the hook and yarn I was using did not match the gauge I was attempting. I ended up increasing the top hook by two sizes and keeping the skirt size as listed for best fit.

The top in this picture was created using the upper part of the Polish Peasant Dress in Fashion Doll Wardrobe International 87D10. The shorts are from Leisure Arts Hawaiian Honeymoon Fashion Doll Wardrobe, 2132. I am actually considering using the long sleeved shirt to go with a pair of ski pants I have made. I will post a picture and details if I complete that task.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fashion Doll Polish Peasant Dress

One of the challenges I faced when I started this pattern was the realization that fingering yarn is not as easy to acquire as it once was in local stores. I have since been experimenting with alternatives and trying to buy equivalents online, but it has been challenging. This gown was made with remnants of yarn purchased at a Church sale. Unfortunately, while I had enough to finish the dress, I had to finish the apron in white. Somehow, it seemed like a realistic solution that might have been made if someone had in fact run out of the required resources. If I can find the right pattern of variegated fingering yarn, I would love to match the original pattern as it makes a pretty outfit. This was fairly close to the look I wanted, just lacked enough yarn.

The pattern used to make this outfit is the Polish Peasant Dress by Frances Morse. It can be found in the out of print Fashion Wardrobe International 87D10, Annie’s Pattern Club, published by Annie’s Attic, 1983.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Fashion Doll and Barbie Projects

Just as I created a blog entry to track my toy projects, I decided Barbie needed her own page since I have been working on so many projects for birthdays and Christmas presents. I have found many vintage patterns to try and have been experimenting with different types of yarn to deal with options that are no longer available. Therefore, I am sure there will be plenty of new entries added. I have several new dresses to add to the blog as soon as the pictures are taken and I will add those links to the page as soon as they are ready.

Barbie :

Christmas Caroler

Christmas Caroler Black Jacket

Colonial Outfit

Easter Outfit



Pilgrim with Free Pattern

Polish Peasant Dress

Prairie Dress


Santa One Piece


Shorts and Top

Sock Yarn Dress

Spring Dress

Strapless Gown Purple

St. Patrick's Day Dress

Valentine Ball Gown

Valentine Pink Ball Gown

Winter Formal



Ken Pilgrim



Cat Costume


Pink Skirt and Top

Red Pants Pink Shirt




Party Dress

Skating Outfit

Sun Dress

Mom's Contributions

Mom and I have been working on dressing dolls for kids. These are pictures of the outfits Mom knitted to be given to kids on the other side of my family. The Valentine's photo has one of my first Barbie attempts, a crocheted hat.

Valentine's Barbie

St. Patrick's Day Barbie

Barbie's Knitted Easter Outfit

Barbie Knit Christmas Sweater

Barbie and American Girl Doll Free Patterns are listed on my blog at these locations:

Barbie Crochet and Sewing Page

Barbie Knitting Page

Ken Page

Kelly/Skipper Page

American Girl Doll Crochet and Sewing

American Girl Doll Knitting

Additional Doll Patterns also Available on the Holiday Blogs:





Halloween Page



Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Crochet Train in Crochet World

I am always looking for new patterns to create for birthdays and Christmas. This year I am in need of baby toys as it is the first year I will be crocheting for a little one. Trains have always been a popular item in our family and I like the idea of big crocheted trains designed for baby.

These are not Amigurumi trains. They require creating separate pieces and sewing them together. The foam blocks are a bit intimidating at my current project level. I am considering trying the first set and just stuffing them and seeing how they come out. I understand that the foam will make them a better toy, I am just not sure that I am ready for that level of project, yet.

The pattern is in the June 2010 edition of Crochet World. If you do not subscribe or do not wish to purchase, check out your local library. Many libraries have interlibrary loan even for magazines if your library does not purchase Crochet World.

Another item I explored after reading the magazine this month was the web bonuses patterns that are available each month to subscribers. You need to go to Crochet-World and sign up by giving them your subscriber information. There is a note, this month people who purchase the magazine can use a code from the magazine to register. The patterns go back to 2008. I sent several to my email to download later. A castle with finger puppets is most definitely on my project list. The dragon puppet is actually different the one I currently have published on my blog. It will be fun to provide the recipients with multiple beasts.

I promise to post pictures of the actual train when I get to it.

Picture Credit:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Amigurumi and Toy Projects

I started listing my personal toy projects on the toy links page, but they were starting to take up too much room. I wanted a page where I could direct family and friends to see pictures of my finished toy projects. A blog page with links to all the projects seemed a good choice. It is a great place for interested guests to view as well.

Please see the free Crochet and Knit Toy Blog entry for free pattern links.

Blue Bunny


Carrot Rattle

Ducks and Chicks

Easter Eggs

Graduation Bear

Granny Square Baby Ball

Mouse and Cookie

Mr. Pilgrim Bear

Mrs. Pilgrim Bear

Pilgrim Weeble

Pig and Pancake

Seahorse Pilgrim

Seahorse Santa

Seahorse Witch



Frog Bath Mitt

Frog Finger Puppet

Teddy Bear Finger Puppet

Fairy Tale Finger Puppets:


Dragon Finger Puppet

Dragon Finger Puppet 2

Knight with Red Plume

Knight with Shield

Princess Pink Dress

Princess Yellow Dress



Colonial Lady


Green Hat Lady

Victorian Lady

Victorian Man

Three Little Pigs

Pig Finger Puppet

Wolf Finger Puppet

Toy Sets:


The Dinosaur Set

T-Rex and Brontosaurus




Wooly Mammoth


The Farm Set

Cilo Bag


Chicken or Rooster



Farmer Boy

Farmer Girl





Pirate 1


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cooking with Crochet Eggs




Hello Kitty

Christmas Caroler

Patriotic Kitty



St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day Free Pattern


Hello Kitty Purse

Kitchen Items:

Cookie Sheet

Frying Pan




Little People:

First Projects

Monster Amigurumi

Count Dracula

Female Vampire





Star Wars:



Baby Set

Train Set


Box Car

Coal Car


Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Amigurumi Farm

This farm project was a fun, creative learning experience. I was excited about the way each project developed and thrilled by the reaction the projects received. The highest compliment I received was a comparison to Fisher Price, which is what I was aiming for when I first saw this pattern online and purchased it. I thought it would be great to recreate the Fisher Price Farm in crochet. While it lacks a real barn, I think these animals would fit in any barn play structure a child might have to play with and these animals would be a great addition to any play set.
Like the dinosaurs, I already have another set scheduled to make for Christmas. The small yarn requirements and the fact I already have purchased the pattern, make it a great economical choice to add to my Christmas present stash. I have learned a few new tricks since this project began that should make the next set even better than the first.

If you want to see the individual blog entries and additional pictures for this project see the links below.

Amigurumi Pig

Amigurumi Chicken or Rooster

Amigurumi Goose

Amigurumi Cow

Amigurumi Horse

Down on the Farm

This is an out of print pattern. For those who are looking it is Annie's Pattern Club Pattern, 87B54 Down on the Farm.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

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