Monday, January 31, 2022

My Life Valentine Dress

I always love adding holiday outfits to the donation when time allows. This is a quick project despite the many pieces and you can purchase the pattern from Adoring Doll Clothes here.

I've not done it in the past but looking at the pattern this year I'm considering trying the outfit in other colors without the heart as a non-holiday pattern as a quick way to increase my doll outfits. The jacket is a nice addition to lots of outfits and it works up quickly.

I'm pleased to say this was another chance to dive into the left over yarn balls from last year's projects. I finally finished off a ball of red and had to start a new skein to finish the jacket. It feels good to see that pile slowly starting to shrink. In years gone by the yarn often got wasted if I didn't put it directly to a project. Now I have a place to seek out the yarn before I start and I'm targeting skeins that aren't balls that have been to long in my collection as well.

Friday, January 28, 2022

16 Inch Doll Diaper Round 2

While I do add new patterns and sometimes new dolls to the donation each year, there are routine tasks to finish because for some child this doll set is new and not something experienced before so they do want all the goodies that the last child received. So I come to the need to make the little diaper bag accessories each year. I try to spread them out across other doll projects because they can be repititous but they do add some fun to doll play.

To save myself time and to get some items I just can't make I added the Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Time to Eat Feeding Set several years ago. It has the magic feeding bottles, play baby food jars and a feeding set. I used to make the bottles but these are more fun and far less time consuming for me to make. I still make bibs because I've found the generic ones that come with these kits don't always fit the various sized dolls.

I continue to make diapers because they fit the dolls I send and its just another fun pretend play aspect of having a baby doll made easier. Parents can debate cloth or disposable diapers when it comes to real children but for toys if your doll is not one that wets having cloth is a much easier plan.

As I mentioned in my previous post I've adapted this free pattern still available on the Wayback machine here to fit the JC Toys - La Baby 16-inch Baby Doll using worsted weight 4 yarn and an I hook. I finally changed the hook size on my printed pattern as I still went with a K hook for the first one this year and it is a bit roomy. I need two more for the second 16 donation doll and I can move on to the other baby dolls.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Chelsea Romper

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to adapt Rebeckah's Treasures free Simply Bluetiful Chelsea pattern found here into a Romper for the Chelsea Can Be a Builder donation doll.

For my own notes I did not decrease in round 7 but joined with a ss. I also did not increase in Round 10 which I did previously with both dresses as this made the pants section balloon out too much. Instead when I reached the leg section I chained 4 and joined at the half way point for the legs and added 3 rows to each leg for the romper.

I finished the back before adding a snap to close the romper. I would definitely consider adding this to next year's pattern selection as it works out quite well. I'm still thinking of using the top section for a top and adding shorts for the donation. It also could work as a top and skirt combination.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Barbie Two Color Sundress

I finished another outfit for the Barbie Pet Vet donation doll. This was made with another free pattern found here. This free pattern uses UK terms so you will need to be aware of that if you are used to US crochet terms.

I made some changes to help with the fit of the dress as I found it was too large with any of the weights of yarn I had on hand. I switched to Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet, Cotton Size 3, Warm Rose and Sage. I used a 3mm hook through out the dress and ended up adding a row to the top to reduce it. I would use a c or b hook for the top the next time I try this dress for the top and then use the next size up for the skirt to get a slightly better fit.

I chose not to join as I went and instead sewed the seem up through the first color change. I tried joining but I found it didn't work well. As much as I try to avoid sewing when possible this was a better option for this dress. I closed the top with a snap after finishing the opening.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Chelsea Variegated Dress

I mentioned after fininishing Rebeckah's Treasures free Simply Bluetiful pattern for the Chelsea donation I was going to try to adapt it to expand my wardrobe donations for this doll for 2022. You can find the free pattern I used as the basis for this project here.

While working on the original dress I had thought the dress would also be cute at a shorter length. I'm continuing to work from my stash and I thought a variegated look would be fun for this dress so I chose Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread Size 10-Monet for this project.

As with my previous use of this pattern I used a 1.8mm hook to make the dress fit and did not decrease the stitch count as this Chelsea is slightly larger than the previous doll this pattern was written to fit.

I finished the back closing and used a snap to close the dress. I'm hoping to make a romper splitting the dress into short legs. I'm also considering a shorts and top outfit from this pattern as well. I struggled mightly to find something easy that fit Chelsea last year so I'm going to stretch this as far as I can take it so she leaves for the donation with a decent wardrobe.

Monday, January 24, 2022

15 Inch Rag Doll A Dress for February

While I donated 2 Rag dolls last year the goal was to decide on one model for 2022. I settled on Factory Direct's model and added a Glitter Girl doll in place of the second Rag doll.

This is a free dress pattern designed to fit Dora the Explorer found here but it has turned out to be adaptable for both the Rag Doll and the JC Toys - La Baby |16-inch Baby Doll with minimal adaptations.

I use a K hook for the top of the dress and an I hook for the skirt. It closes in the back with a snap.

Friday, January 21, 2022

16 Inch Doll Diaper

They are not the most exciting projects in the world but I do try to get an early start on them every year because I try to send 2 with each of the larger baby dolls so they can be "changed." The crocheted diapers may not be as realistic as traditional cloth diapers but they are more practical than the disposable doll diapers that one has to keep buying as it can be hard to reuse them. These are pretty sturdy and they give allow for pretend play.

I need 4 diapers to send off with the JC Toys - La Baby16-inch Baby Doll diaper bags this year. I'll need 2 for the 14 inch dolls as well.

I've been using this pattern forever because its free and easy. I have to keep checking because its only available through the Wayback machine but thankfully as of writing this post it was still there to share with you. You can find the free diaper pattern here.

I used a K hook for these but I made a note last year which I missed to try a smaller hook perhaps an I to see how they fit. If they are too small they will likely fit the JC Toys - Lots to Love 14" Baby Doll.

The diapers are going to be another left over yarn ball stash busting project as I have a giant ball of white to finish off.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Barbie Crochet Strapless Flared Dress

As I've become more comfortable using thread I've found more free Barbie patterns to use for the donation. I came across Be a Crafter who has several free Barbie patterns. You can find this one here.

I used the suggested size 10 thread and size 2 crochet thread hook for this project. I wasn't able to get the elastic to work but I did decrease the rows on the top to make the top section fit tighter. The waist line is a bit loose. If I make this again I might decrease more at the top and increase out as I go to make the waist looser.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

16 Inch Doll B & B Sweater Set

Every year I work at using up my stash yarn but this past fall I decided to get more organized to enhance the process. I started the ongoing process of sorting through my yarn, but this year instead of burying the left over balls of yarn from my doll projects I put them in a place that is easily accessible and I've started to think about projects for the dolls that could use the left over balls of yarn. I've been going there first to find yarn that might work for my project before going to a full skein of yarn.

That is how we ended up with this purple sweater set as the first outfit for the JC Toys - La Baby16-inch Baby Doll donation. I had a large lighter purple ball and a medium sized purple ball of yarn and decided those would be my colors for the free B and B sweater set that you can find here. The picture is a little misleading while it shows a hat for the set the pattern is not included. I looked at her other free baby doll patterns and used the hat pattern from the Mon Petite Chou free pattern here.

I used an I hook for the sweater, the shoes and the hat. I followed the directions pretty much as written except I didn't use the top button on the sweater. I chose to go my own path with the pants.


I used an H hook

Ch 56 and Join

DC for 7 rows

Split evenly for legs chain 4 and join.

DC 2 DC dec around leg

sc chain 3

Repeat for other leg

These are just my notes in case I lose the pattern. They are not designed to be a written pattern. I am just finding having more written notes to be helpful.

I'm left with a medium sized ball of the light purple yarn and enough purple to use for trim for a project. I'm going to be looking for opportunities to finish them both off as my donation projects continue.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Chelsea Simply Bluetiful Dress

Last week I mentioned that I was determined to send Chelsea off with a wardrobe this year after such a sad showing with the 2021 donation. I found a great free pattern here that required just a little adapting as it is designed for a slightly smaller Chelsea doll.

I stuck with the size 10 Crochet thread. The pattern calls for a 1.65mm or 1.75mm crochet hook I used a 1.8mm to make guage and I found the fit worked well for the doll. Row 7 decreases the stitch count from the previous row and I won't give away the designer's secrets but I found this was too small for the Chelsea I'm working with so I kept with the previous rounds stitch count and joined the row with a ss and continued on with the directions.

I like the look of this style and the way the dress comes together. I'm thinking of making another dress shorter without the finishing at the bottom. I'm also thinking about splitting the skirt for shorts and making this into a romper style outfit for Chelsea. The more outfits the better. I prefer a style that goes together quickly and easily.

I have never tried making shoes for fashion dolls before. However the website also has a free shoe pattern for Chelsea here. Not sure I'm a fan yet but at least she has shoes. I used the 1.8mm for the shoes as well.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Glitter Girls Doll Ruffled Top and Skirt

Last year I ordered Rag dolls from CR Crafts and Factory Direct because I wasn't sure which one I wanted. Having decided I prefer Factory Direct's model the next step was to decide if I was going to drop a doll for the donation or find a new type of doll to work with as I didn't intend to donate two of the same Rag doll.

I'd been interested in the Wellie Wishers dolls even before they stopped making them but they were never a realistic donation doll. I'd never quite found the subsitute in the size range I liked for a price that seemed sustainable for the donation. This year as I was looking at dolls I came acrross the Glitter Girls Dolls by Battat and decided I had to try them out for the donation this year.

I'd seen free crochet patterns for the Wellie Wishers on ABC Knitting and even adapted one for the Rag dolls last year for the donation. I was excited to see how they'd work with the Glitter Girl doll as everything I'd read online indicated they were a similiar size.

It is unusual for my guage to match the designers so I was pleasantly surprised to find the top fit the doll using Aunt Lydia Crochet Cotton Size 10 , White and the suggested 1.5mm crochet thread hook.

The skirt was a very different story. The pattern called for chaining 70 and I am seriously thinking of trying this pattern for the 18 inch doll as written because I think it would be an interesting skirt. The pattern does call for a tie to pull the skirt in at the end but with 70 chains I could have fit 2 dolls into the skirt. The bulge would have been huge when I pulled it in with the tie. I reduced it to 56 stitches and this made for a nicer waist fit but I didn't end up with the ruffled skirt. I was OK with that. If I make this again I can fix the skirt pattern if I want the ruffle. I rather liked the straight skirt look.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Chelsea Dress

I mentioned in the previous Stacie post that I was trying to use an old free Fibre Craft Cindy pattern, found here, to make a dress for Barbie's Chelsea Can Be Builder Doll . Clearly since I made a Stacie post out of my first attempt I had to make a second try to get it to fit .

I'd purchased a selection of size 20 thread from Creative Yarn Source last year for making Barbie clothes. It proved the right choice for making this outfit work for Chelsea. I needed my .4mm thread hook to get the size right for Chelsea. I also added two rows of purple prior to changing to yellow to give the dress the length it lacked likely from the smaller thread size and the smaller hook size. I chose not to use the collar or the buttons suggested for the Cindy doll. I tried the collar on the Stacie outfit and found it was too large. The Cindy doll has a slightly larger rounder head and the collar fits better on her.

I will be keeping this pattern for both Stacie and Chelsea. I have my notes on my blog and the printed copy of the pattern for both dolls so I should be able to find them again and repeat for future donation projects. I'm working on hunting down more easy to make Chelsea patterns as I did feel bad she left with only one dress last year.

Along with getting a dress made earlier in the donation cycle I'm also pleased to say I found some Mattel branded Barbie items specific to Chelsea at the Dollar Tree that will be headed out with the donation as well. I've had luck there for Barbie with shoes and other various Mattel specific accessories but this January was the first time I'd seen stuff targeted to Chelsea so I stocked up for this year and to have stuff for future donations in case this was a one time only situation.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Stacie Shirt and Pants

Last year I failed terribly to provide Chelsea, the smallest of the Barbie dolls, with much of a wardrobe. To correct that I decided to start the year focusing on patterns I thought might work for her. I had found a free pattern for the no longer available Fibre Cindy doll that used to come in the package with the doll here and never got around to trying it. While Cindy is clearly larger than Chelsea I thought the pattern could be adjusted. Why then a post about Stacie you might ask?

I forgot a lesson I learned last year while making Barbie clothes. Thankfully, I still have the tools I acquired last year even if I forgot about some of them. In this instance I trusted the directions that said to use size 10 crochet thread. Experience has taught me, which is why I have a bag of size 20 thread purchased from Creative Yarn Source. However, having started on this project it seemed a shame to waste it and with multiple sized dolls one almost always fits the outfit. In this case instead of a dress it made a nice top for Stacie.

Thankfully unlike Barbie and Ken I was able to get the same donation dolls to match the models I used last year for Skipper, Stacie, and Chelsea so no new additional dolls and I don't have to relearn sizes for these dolls. When I saw the size of the top I had a good idea that it would be a good fit for Stacie. For my own notes since I will likely come back to this pattern at some point in the future I used a .75mm thread hook with size 10 crochet thread for the top.

Now having a top I needed bottoms and I turned to a pattern I used last year for shorts from an out of print Annie's Fashion Doll Sister and Me 87D21. I used a 1.25mm hook for the shorts and then just continued with the leg rows until they were pant length. There is a snap in the back to close the pants. There is an additional finished row to the pants opening that I continued around the top of the pants to finish off the starting chain.

This works as a simple pants and top outfit or could also be pajamas depending on how the child wishes to play with the doll she gets from the donation.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Barbie Peach Gown

I often tell people if you see a pattern, download it, save it, and print a copy because sites disappear or people remove patterns. This pattern was available as a Ravelry download here but is currently unavailable. I list the link because it could go live again. If I find the pattern I will add a link for my own records and to share with others.

For this pattern I started with Bernat Baby Big Ball Sport Yarn, Peach Blossom but I needed a heavier weight yarn for the project. I had a free shipping coupon for Herrschners a while back and after discovering that the yarn works well for the smaller dolls I picked up a supply in various sizes. I wanted to stay with peach and decided to try out the Herrschners Baby Yarn that is a 3 weight. This proved to be a better fit.

Since the Barbie Farmer doll was no longer available to purchase I moved to the Barbie Pet Vet for this year's donation and am finding like last year the doll is a different size to fit than my old doll.

As with all Barbie/fashion doll patterns you need to fit the pattern to the doll. You can never make the outfit thinking it will fit. I also made some changes do to how I prefer to construct outfits.

I used an e hook for this project. To make this outfit fit this particular Barbie I kept the stitch count for the bodice at 22 and did not do the decreases from rows 8-12. When I tried the decreases the dress was too small. I continued on with the increases as written. For my own preferences I joined the dress after the first 4 rows and worked the dress in the round not joining with slip stitches as I didn't like the line the ss left on the dress. I used a snap to close the top of the dress.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Lil Cutesies Picnic

A funny thing happened while I was working on my Christmas presents. I started Mary Maxim's Teddy Bear picnic pattern for the Lil Cutesies Baby Doll. You can purchase the pattern here.

It soon became clear there was no way I'd finish two before my deadline. One of the benefits of doing the doll donation is there is always room for doll clothes. So instead of this becoming part of my Christmas project it is now the first finished item for my 2022 doll donation.

I used Herrschners Worsted and Baby Ombre yarn for trim. I use an H hook for this pattern.

The blanket for this pattern is a C2C pattern I've been using a seed stitch pattern for years. The picnic basket was made with brown sport weight acrylic yarn.

While I hadn't intended this to me my first donation project of the year it is good to have one finished and ready to go for 2022.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Lil Cutesies Pink Dress, Knickers, and Shoes Christmas Gift

This was the last of the outfits I made for the Lil Cutesies Baby Dolls for the 2021 Christmas season. I used pink baby yarn and the suggested hook for this pattern.

Having worked through the UK directions once I did a better job getting the stitches to create the pretty skirt pattern.

You can purchase the pattern here.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Bell Ornaments

These bell ornaments were made from a free pattern from Saturday Breakfast you can find here. The pattern includes a crochet clapper, I chose to use jingle bells as I knew the small kids in the family would enjoy the ornaments making noise. Either option works.

I add little chains to the top of my ornaments so people can use metal hangers if they wish or add string hangers as they choose. I tend to use metal hangers so I like to give people options. This pattern calls for Aran yarn and a G hook. I found this to be large. I went with sport cotton and a D hook.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Purple Dress Monkey Finger Puppet

I started finger puppets to be given as a gift with Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed back in July.

After finishing the first 4 I paused after making the head when the family moved as I was preparing the October birthday and Halloween boxes.

I postponed the Halloween box a year but decided I'd still deliver the birthday gifts late. As the dates got moved off for delivering the gifts I put the last monkey aside to finish up the doll donations.

Around Thanksgiving I realized I'd forgotten the monkey and started working on pieces of the monkey between doll donation projects. When finished I took pictures but never posted the project. Since this blog has been a great way to keep a record of my projects I decided it was time to get a record up about finishing the project.

I'm very glad I finished the puppets as they were a HUGE hit. You never know what will be "the" item but the monkeys were a good choice. The puppet pattern is available for purchase here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Lil Cutesies Peach Romper Christmas Gift

When it was time to make the second Romper outfit for the Lil Cutesies Baby Doll Christmas gift I went looking in my baby yarn stash for an alternate color to Bernat Baby Big Ball Sport Yarn, Baby Yellow. I settled on Bernat Baby Big Ball Sport Yarn, Peach Blossom since I had it on hand and it seemed like it would be a good match with the yellow size 10 thread I had.

This is a Shady Lane pattern you can purchase the digital version here or a print copy here. As I've previously mentioned I follow the suggested hook size for the dress and shoes but use a D hook for the headband. This flower would work well with the purple dress I wrote about on Monday. I works up quickly and is an option for the dress when I make it for the donation next year.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Bear Ornaments

We always had kid friendly or what my Mom optimistically called unbreakable ornaments for our Christmas tree. These were ornaments my siblings and I were less likely to break in our excitement to "help" with decorating the tree. To honor that tradition over the years I've tried to make ornaments for people with young kids so they too have their own "unbreakable" ornaments to put on the tree.

This year I stumbled on a free ornament bear pattern you can find here. As you might notice from my first attempt my bear was rather large for an ornament. I had used worsted weight yarn and a g hook not the 6mm hook suggested but my first bear became an office decoration for DH's home office. Always glad to provide him with some holiday cheer but that wasn't really the goal of the project and as always with the holidays if I don't make the ornaments in the summer I'm pushing a deadline for Christmas.

I headed to my stash and pulled out some Hobby Lobby sport weight yarn with colors I could alternate for the sweater and shifted to a D hook to get the size I wanted for an ornament. To avoid getting the ornament tangled in the tree I also decided to not add legs. I thought they made cute ball ornaments.

I also changed the pattern by using both saftey eyes and noses. I hoped they'd wear better over time.

The house boxes make for a fun holiday village for kids. Not unbreakable as cardboard is easily destroyed. However far less dangerous when destroyed than the ceramic houses so popular this time of year. I find my gift boxes at Dollar Tree. They make great play villages after the gifts are opened.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Lil Cutesies Purple Dress, Knickers, Hat and Shoes

I took time off around Christmas to take care of all the wonderful and busy tasks that come with the holiday. I've since updated the pictures on the Christmas post as I use these posts to remind myself of projects I've made in previous years. I come back and post about the projects because the pictures merely show what I made they don't describe anything I might want to remember about the project.

I gave 2 Lil Cutesies Baby Dolls as Christmas gifts and then made clothes to send with them. I was able to post about some of them before Christmas but I want to finish posting the outfits so I'll have my notes for the donation projects next year.

This is a UK pattern from Petite Dolls that you can purchase here.

I've been getting better about reading patterns with UK terms but I did make notes at the top of each page to remind myself of the US translations as some of the terms were not the standard UK DC to US sc and that made the pattern easier to follow. I didn't need to write the terms above each direction as I used to but I found trying to work without any hints was less than succesful.

The pattern calls for 4 ply yarn I used baby yarn for this pattern and the fit was fine with an e hook. While this pattern shows a flower on the hat there is not a pattern. I have at least 2 patterns for flowers and hopefully next year when I tackle this pattern for the donation I will add one. I was on a fairly tight deadline to finish these for Christmas so I chose to finish and keep moving with these final outfits for the holiday.

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