Monday, February 28, 2022

My Life Bathing Suit

Every year I try to challenge myself to go through the doll pattern binders and pick out a pattern I have never made or one that I haven't made for a while to challenge myself.

Long after I was at the teach yourself to crochet kits I came across Boye's I Taught Myself To Crochet 18" Doll Clothes kit and picked it up. I passed on the Boye hooks and the other accessories have long since been absorbed or disposed off but I put the booklet in one of the 18 inch doll binders thinking I'd get to the patterns at some point.

I would argue most of these patterns are not in the category of teach yourself. I've been doing this for a few years and there are a couple of places where better directions and pictures would have been helpful in the shaping of the swimsuit.

The pattern comes with a bag and a beach blanket. I chose not to add the additional accessories as time is a factor. I have St. Patrick's Day and Easter outfits to make. I've got to read the directions for an afghan and of course there are always more doll dresses to make.


I ended up using an e hook with Aunt Lydia Size 3 Crochet Thread, White,Blue Hawaii, and purple.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Baby Doll Wipes Round 2

As I mentioned in my previous post the baby wipes are made using a no longer available Diaper Bag Pattern from Crochet n'play. If the pattern ever does become available again I will happily post it as I think it is a very creative pattern that provides great accessories for children's baby dolls.

When I cleaned out my yarn supply in January I put aside both the yarn balls I had left over from previous projects and the yarn bobbins I hadn't finished off. I often use the left over yarn bobbins on amigurumi projects but they too often have a way of getting lost over time and are not emptied when I need them for my next afghan project. So it seemed a good time to pull them all together in one location and started finding ways to use all of them up.

I made the wipes using a g hook.

The yellow became my next wipes box. I found one more bobbin after I finished this but I'm sure it will work as a trim for another project at some point.

I've written before about checking out Dollar Tree for Barbie items after reading about a Barbie bloggers finds there. Since Christmas I've also been finding play food sets and even a tea set to send off with the larger dolls for the donation. After finding a little kitchen stove top set I thought I'd share these in case anyone else was looking for little sets. I know I'd never have found the Barbie items or now these if someone hadn't shared their finds so I pass on what I've learned to you.

Even in my local Dollar Trees I've found stock differs and when it comes to Barbie and these little food sets they don't often last long. I know I stock up when I find them because I've often gone back myself to find them cleaned out.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Lots to Love 10 Inch Doll Bathing Suit

As I mentioned previously as I set out on this mission to dress the donation dolls in bathing suits I realized I had a bigger pattern collection for this project than I realized. I orginally made this Sun Suit pattern for the 8 inch doll back in 2020 from a pattern in Annie Potter Presents Sweet Baby Doll Layette available for purchase here.

I looked at my pattern notes from 2020 and it looked like it would adjust to the 10 inch doll without much of a challenge. The issue would be finding the right yarn and the correct hook size. As usual it was trial and error.


I used no longer available Red Heart sport yarn for this project. In the future when my supply runs out Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn Sport is about the same and would work as a substitute. I've been working steadily on finishing off what is a very old stash of Red Heart sport yarn and it is good to know I have a back up when its gone.

For the bathing suit everything but the leg trim and the heart I used a G hook. I used an e for the heart and the leg trim. Size was an issue for the heart and the trim.

I tried making the hat with a g hook but it proved to be too large so I went back to an e hook and it fit better.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

16 Inch Baby Doll Carrier

I rather like this project for the donation despite the fact it is rather hard on my hands as it uses threee strands of worsted weight yarn together to make a carrier strong enough to tote around a rather large baby doll. This combined with the diaper bag gives the doll and all its extras storage. I was lucky this year and Caron Pounders were on sale and I got enough for the two JC Toys 16-inch Baby Doll carriers. I'm hoping to have enough from my stash to make the slighly smaller Lots to Love 14 inch doll.

This is a free pattern from Holland Designs found here.

I've been altering this pattern for years to make it a better fit for the dolls I donate. I crochet the first 10 rows of the pattern with an I hook and then switch to a K hook for the remainder of the pattern. The original pattern was designed for a Cabbage Patch kid and I suspect the larger size was a better fit. The narrower JC dolls fit better with the smaller carrier.

For my hands sake I tried to stick to 2 rows a day. The days I went over before switching to another projcet I felt it. I don't plan on starting the second carrier before April. I have plenty of projects that need doing and I'm hoping this will give my hands a needed rest.

I haven't finished any doll blankets yet and the doll donations generally come much later in the year, but this carrier will leave with a blanket for the donation.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Our Generation Dovetailed

This is another of Darski's free patterns found here. I feel like I'm making headway with my promise to have outfits for the Our Generation Dolls this year, not leaving the task to my Mom.

My guage has been odd and I've always found the Our Generation doll to require different adjustments than the My Life dolls but these seem more extreme than normal. However, my documentation is soley for my own purposes so I can come back and figure out what I did the next time I make this outfit for this doll.

I ended up using a K hook to get the top to fit. I started with the suggested I hook but found the top wouldn't close. I switched to a J hook once the colors changed. I did not record the hook for the skirt but I did not use elastic and did measure the skirt to make sure it could slide on easily and stay up after the first 4 rows. I wrote a note to myself to remind me to do the increases on both side seams for the skirt in each row starting on row 3. I pulled out the skirt several times as I kept forgetting the side increases.

The shoes are from Sweet Silver Creations School Girl Uniform that can be purchased here. As I mentioned earlier my guage has been odd lately. I needed to use an f hook to get the shoes to fit the doll.

Monday, February 21, 2022

My Life Howdy Neighbor Madison Dress

I did warn I was on a crusade to use up the Michael's green Craft Smart yarn. The dress is another of Darski's free patterns Madison fround in the Howdy Neighbor collection here.

The shoes are from Sweet Silver Crochet Patterns School Uniform pattern that can be purchased here.

I went back and looked at my notes from last year and I didn't document either on my pattern or blog the changes I made this year. Sometimes I do just make the changes and forget to write them down so I decided this year to record as I went. Next year things like guage may be different. I find my stitches can be looser or tighter depending on when I make something so hook sizes do vary. I've gone down in hooks on some patterns and increased hook sizes on others. I'm finding it helps to have a benchmark.

Notes: I used a J hook for the bodice as it was tight with an I hook. After the joining round I returned to the I hook.

I finished the back in green rather than the white trim. It just worked better for me. I also used a snap to close the back rather than buttons.

Row Changes:

Row 3: It says sc 19 I believe this should read 9 to match the stitch count. This is why I love designers that give you a stitch count. It is so much easier to figure out what they intended when I make a mistake or when there is a mistake in the pattern.

Row 11: There was no stitch count for row 10 so I could be off, however, based on what I did in row 10 to reach the stitch count in row 11 I dc in 5 3dce in next 11 times to get a count of 55.

To get the length I wanted on the dress I added rows.

I went from 12-16 to 12-20.


I did not finish the back in white and I adjusted the top trip. I did not ss I crocheted 5 sc across back. I chained 8 instead of 5 for the strap, it was too tight with 5. Then I continued pattern as written making these changes for the other side of the dress.

Shoe notes: This might be another guage issue but I've started using an I hook for the bottom of these shoes and the Mary Jane's switching to an H hook after the 3rd round is completed. I find the shoes fit better. If I stick with one hook they are either too large or too small.

This is another quick dress if you need one for an 18 inch doll.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Baby Doll Wipes

Years ago my DH purchased a pattern from Crochet n' Play for a Diaper Bag set for my doll donation project. As with many online designers her pattern store has disappeared from the web and I can no longer direct people to her great work.

For my part I've started purchasing some items for the donation because they provide more practical play experience and they allow me to focus my time on items that enhance the play time. I've started buying Melissa & Doug Feeding Set when I can find the on sale because they provide many of the fun feeding items that don't always work as well made in crochet.

I haven't given up on making items for the diaper bags though. First as you've already seen posted I make the diapers to fit the dolls every year because regardless of your views on disposable vs. cloth diapers for real babies for dolls that don't wet, cloth diapers are just a cheap alternative, especially when they are made to fit the doll you receive. I also make the bibs. This set comes with a bib, but it made for a smaller doll and I like to make the items to fit the dolls I send out. Lastly wipes.

I've seen several attempts to make pretend wipes for kids. Sometimes its just an empty plastic bottle where kids can pretend to get wipes for the baby doll. Others have wipes that run out because they dry out. The crocheted wipes like the crocheted diapers solve the problem of running out as they are constantly reusable. They aren't even that hard to remake if you lose one. It crosses that line between the plastic container with no wipes and the containers with wipes that dry out.

This was another project that let me did into last year's left over stash of yarn balls. I've been thrilled to target this yarn and not see it disappear into the depths of my yarn stash.


I used a g hook for the wipes and container. The lettering should face outward but I wasn't redoing it.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Lots to Love 8 Inch Doll Bathing Suit

After making Char's bathing suit pattern, available for purchase here, for the Lil Cutesies Doll I tried in on the Lots to Love 8 Inch doll. The pattern directions have adjustments for the slightly smaller 8 inch doll but I found the fit to be good and decided while the pattern was still fresh in my mind it would be a good project to get finished for the donation.

I've mentioned this before but I realized I failed to note either on the pattern or my blog notes that the hook size called for is a thread hook 5. My hooks are labeled in mm not starndard numbers so looking this up several times now I've come to make peace with the closest I have is a 1.75mm though technically I believe it is supposed to be a 1.7mm. The .05mm doesn't seem to cause a huge issue with the fit of the doll outfits.

This pattern uses size 10 thread in 3 colors. The light pink is a color is still holding out although you can see the cardboard on all sides of the cone holder. I keep thinking each project will finish it off but this was not the project. I've been shopping out of my stash for projects when possible so the darker pink seemed like a great choice for this bathing suit.

The Lots to Love 8 inch dolls are interesting in that the feet and facial expressions are different on each doll. Shoes that fit one are harder to fit on the next. I've found the Lil Cutesies dolls to be a little more standard. As a result I will say I think the shoes fit the Lil Cutesies a bit better. However, considering the challenge of fitting shoes to the feet of these dolls I was rather pleased with the outcome.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

16 Inch Baby Doll Dress for March

Since last year I've been attacking a large skein of Michael's Craft Smart Yarn that I bought years ago on a whim when AC Moore closed and wasn't crazy about the yarn. Last year I decided it was time to use up the yarn and make room for yarn I do love. However, no matter how much I use it seems to grow back at night. So you can expect to see more projects this year as I'm determined to see it gone.

This set uses three of Darski's free doll patterns.

The Dress is a Dora Pattern: A Dress For February found here

The Shoes: Peachy Keen found here

The Hat: Sunny Days found here

Just as an aside we just put together a list of Darski's free doll patterns found on Crochetville for a variety of dolls here. It's a great starting point if you are looking for free patterns, especially for the 18 inch American Girl type dolls or baby dolls like this one.

This pattern was designed for the Dora the Explorer Doll so clearly adjustments have to be made for the different shape of the JC Toys -16-inch Baby Doll. I use a K hook for the bodice and an I hook for the skirt. I join the outfit after the 7th round. In row 1 I chain 8 not 6. This leads to a change in row 3 of sc 7 never 6 to reduce the stitch count. I close the back with a snap. I added one additional row to the final color stripe. I'm not a huge fan of the white body suit showing on this doll and try to cover it when possible.

For the shoes I use an I hook for the main portion of the shoe and a H hook for the straps.

I used a J hook for the hat.

This is a fairly quick outfit to make for the dolls and I usually make one for each of the 16 inch dolls and this year I've already completed one for the Rag Doll to donate.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Our Generation Let the Sunshine In

I mentioned in a previous post that I had not done well by the Our Generation dolls with my donations last year despite my Mom's generous box of clothes. I decided this year to make sure I didn't neglect the dolls as I worked through my crochet projects.

Next up we have Let the Sunshine In part of Darski's free Weatherby pattern set found here. This is the same pattern set the bathing suit for the Our Generation doll came from and I decided to continue working from the set and add the dress set to the Our Generation donations.


I used a K hook on the dress for the bodice and an I hook for the skirt. I used a K hook for the Bolero jacket.

I'd only made this jacket once before and the notes I made said it was different but I didn't write down how. This time I took pictures for something that might be obvious to others but had me confused. I knew I'd made this jacket before but I couldn't figure out how it was large enough to fit the doll. The directions for the collar need to be completed prior to adding the arms. The collar increases the size of the jacket working completely around the outside of the jacket. It will eventually bend to form a collar at the top but it is not what one thinks of as working a collar at the top of shirt or jacket.

I took these pictures because I do know when I come back to this project for a future donation I'll appreciate the visual cue to remind me along with the notes I left on the pattern.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all

I'm celebrating by remembering my holiday themed projects

Friday, February 11, 2022

16 Inch Doll Diaper Round 4 Two Sets Completed

The diaper sets for the JC Toys 16-inch Baby Doll are completed for the 2022 donation. I'm going to move on to some of the other diaper bag accessories before moving on to the smaller doll diapers. It's nice to have a little variety. Since I've started buying the Melissa & Doug Feeding Sets for the donation I don't make bottles anymore. However, I still make the crocheted wipes and I do make the bibs as the ones in the kits don't tend to fit the dolls I send. I do like having the magic bottles and the play food as part of the donation and while I've tried making them over the years, the effort is better spent on other aspects of the donation.

This is a free crochet diaper pattern still available through the Wayback machine here. I use an I hook and snaps to close my diapers. I found snaps were easier than buttons.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Our Generation Bathing Suit

I tend to neglect the Our Generation Dolls as the box of knitted clothes my Mom sends every year tend to fit the Our Generation dolls better than the My Life dolls and provide a fairly substanial wardrobe for the donation dolls.

I did better in 2020 as I made an effort to fit more of the 18" doll patterns I have to the Our Generation doll. Last year after seeing my Mom's donation, I sadly only finished one outfit for the Our Generation dolls. This year I'm starting early in hopes of doing better at getting more of my own outfits in the Our Generation box.

I mentioned previously that I've been on a kick to get donation dolls ready for summer with bathing suits as a means of dealing with the cold here. This bathing suit is one of Darski's free patterns found in her free Weatherby pattern set here.


My guage has been funny lately so these are strictly for my purposes only, not in any way intended as directions for others to follow.

I used a K hook for the first 2 rows of the bathing suit as I couldn't get it to slide over hips with smaller hooks. I went back to an I hook after that and the bathing suit fit fine. For similiar issues I used a K hook for cover.

I am pleased to say I'm still working from last years left over yarn ball stash. This project was made completely from left over yarn. This has turned into a creative project to find ways to turn these left overs into doll projects.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Glitter Girl Doll Bathing Suit

I mentioned in yesterday's blog after a cold winter January storm I decided I'd think warm thoughts and outfit some of the donation dolls with bathing suits. Next up is the Glitter Girls Doll with another Wellie Wisher pattern designed by Char that you can purchase here.

I used Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet, Cotton Size 3, Warm Blue for the main part of the outfit. The challenge is finding variagated thread in size 3. The pattern suggests Lizbeth and I do have some on order but since you can also use 2 pieces of size 10 crochet thread together I scrambled to find two of the same variagated thread cones to finish off the swimsuit and the visor. I ended up using Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread Size 10-Monet and it was a nice contrast to the blue.

As unusual as it may be for me I worked this pattern as written. After finishing this pattern I actually have a better feel for the Lil Cutesies pattern and will use that information for the Lots to Love 8 inch doll bathing suit which is on my to make list.

I have a couple more of Char's Wellie Wishers patterns to make for the Glitter Girl doll but I'm hoping to wait until my Lizbeth order arrives. While I didn't mind the look and feel of the two strands together for a trim, I'm not sure I'd be thrilled trying to work a main section of a pattern with 2 strands of thread. Both patterns have main sections with variageted sections so I'd rather wait. I still have bathing suits for the other dolls to make so I have time for my order to arrive.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Lil Cutesies Bathing Suit

As a snowstorm was hitting New England at the end of January I had this contrary idea of starting a bathing suit project for the donation dolls.

I began with Char's Swimsuit pattern that can be purchased here for the Lil Cutesies Baby Doll but expect to see it again. I tried this finished outfit on the Lots to Love 8 inch doll and this pattern will work for that doll as well.

This pattern uses 2 solid colors and one variegated color of size 10 thread. I chose colors I had on hand. The light pink is close to being finished off and I've been trying to target it for smaller projects.


I Worked row 16 in hdc rather than sc as it made the bathing suit ride just a little higher in the back leaving the doll's bottom completely covered.

For my own notes row 17 is worked around the complete doll in the back loops. This is the row the ruffle will be added to around the doll.

I chained 60 for the ties. I found them short at 45. This could just be how I crochet.

Monday, February 7, 2022

My Life Hearts and Flowers

I'm working on using up yarn I have left over from last year's donation projects and Darski's free Hearts and Flowers pattern found here was a perfect choice to attack my stash yarn.

I used a larger hook K for the first 4 rounds swithching back to the I hook as this is a slip on dress and it was tight at the waist when I started. I did end up needing to decrease using the I hook at the top as it was larger having started with a a larger hook but it is neither too loose or too tight at the waist.

This could just be a challenge of my current guage. After years of making the doll diapers with a K hook I switched to an I hook this year finding they fit better. These notes are strictly for my own use when I make these outfits again.

I changed the flower trim to just one flower and I have it tie in back of the doll's head rather than at the back on the top of the dress as Darski does. It was just a simpler solution for me.

When it comes to shoes I tend to be a creature of habit unless there is a pattern that comes with shoes. These shoes are part of of Sweet Silver Creation's Sailor Dress pattern purchased here.

Friday, February 4, 2022

16 Inch Doll Diaper Round 3

Well three diapers down and one more to go so each JC Toys -16-inch Baby Doll will leave with a diaper to wear and one to change. Why document each one. Well sometimes I don't. Last year I did them in batches but this year, I'm trying to look at how and when I got stuff done to give me an idea when I look at this next year what worked and what I'll do differently the next time.

For this year I've accepted using an I hook for the free pattern you can find here. For this 3rd diaper I added a decrease row at the crotch for an overall extra row. Not exciting stuff to read but it does improve the item over time. Especially when I read the notes I write here and record them on the pattern as well.

I'm hoping to finish of the diaper bag items early this year and have the chance to try patterns I've not tried for the donation and gifts this year.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Lil Cutesies Valentine Dress with Headband

I needed two Lil Cutesies Baby Doll outfits for my Valentine package and I was able to purchase both from Char Patterns. You can find this one here.

After having made the first one in size 10 crochet thread I was surprised to find the second called for Aunt Lydia Fashion Crochet Thread Size 3, White,Warm Rose, and Scarlet. I've been on a quest to use up thread I've acquired for projects I've never made and was thrilled to have all the required colors I need on hand. For those of you who aren't crazy about thread sized hooks this set uses an e hook with the size 3 thread.

This pattern set works up very quickly and I will be coming back as there are variations in the pattern set to make more outfits for the donation dolls. A great way to attack my thread stash and when that is done a good excuse to stock up again.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Chelsea Summer Play Set

Every so often I find a link to a pattern on a blog or website and while I'm there I look around to see if there is anything else that catches my eye, especially for the doll project. I found a pattern free pattern for a 4 inch Amelia Thimble doll here on a blog when I went to visit to find a baby doll pattern. I thought perhaps this might work for Chelsea Can Be a Builder Doll and put it on my to do list.

Pattern notes:

I made considerable changes to the pattern but I wouldn't have even thought about making the outfit without the starting point of this pattern.

The designer used size 30 cotton thread and a 1.1mm thread crochet hook. I changed to size 10 crochet thread and a 1.8mm hook.

I only used the dress portion of this pattern. I started with the first two rows which created the arm holes and determined I had a wonderful fit for the dress. The designer started the the skirt at row 4 leaving a high waist line. I chose to add 4 more rows to the top bringing the waist line lower as I wasn't adding pants to this project. I joined the top at the end of 8 rows.

I started with the designers V stitch pattern but swtitched to a 2dc ch1 2dc V stitch for row 2. If I make this again I'd begin with the 2dc V stitch as it makes the skirt a bit thicker. I continued with rows until the dress was just below knee length. After finishing the back I used a snap to close the dress.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Lil Cutesies Valentine Outfit

I decided to send Valentine's themed outfits for the Lil Cutesies 8.5" Baby Doll I gave as Christmas presents.

For the first dress I settled on a pattern from Char Patterns that you can purchase here.

The more I work with crochet thread and hooks the more I appreciate when people use mm measurements for hooks rather than sizes as I'm finding the number sizes vs mm sizes in thread hooks are not as consistant as the letter sizes in the larger sized hooks. This pattern calls for a size 5 thread crochet hook. I don't have one labeled 5 and from what I've checked online this translates to a 1.7 mm hook. I have a 1.75 mm hook and I found that worked well for the dress and panties. I plan on using a smaller hook for the hat and shoes when I make this for the St. Patrick's Day outfit. The shoes and hat would benefit from a smaller size.

I was very pleased that this was another stash project. In fact I played thread chicken as I had just enough thread to finish the last shoe before I finished off the thread container. I had another one but one of my goals has been to use up some of my thread supply. Over the years I get interested in thread projects, stock up, get distracted, and I have a substantial supply that needs finishing. This was a win on the war on fiber stash. It is nice though to be able to pick up a pattern and have the fiber on hand to make it.


I did not close the back with a tie as suggested. Once I finished the collar, I finished the back and made a button hole below the collar and sewed a button on the opposite side to close. You have to start the collar without following the tie suggestions.

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