Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Barbie Poncho and Pants



I have written about several of the Michelle Ratman patterns I purchased for both the Barbie and 18 inch doll donation. I'm slowly working my way through them adding new items to the doll bags.

This outfit combines Michelle's poncho pattern that can be purchased here with a pants pattern found in an out of print White Birches leaflet Crochet Wardrobe for 11 1/2 inch Fashion Dolls.

Notes:

While the pattern calls for cotton 4 weight yarn for the poncho I went with acrylic because I either have "kitchen" cotton or sport weight for my ami's on hand. I don't have a brand or color because this was a great project to work on using up a left over ball of yarn from a previous project.

The worsted acrylic required a change to an e hook to fit this Barbie model.

The last time I made the pants from the House of White Birches pattern for Barbie in 2021 her sister Skipper ended up with them and I made a note to try Ken's pants to see if the fit would be better. Barbie sizes change over time and this Barbie fits the Ken size better than the pattern written for Barbie. I'm hoping to make the complete winter sets for Ken, Barbie, and Skipper in the near future.

I used a C hook for the pants crocheting over an elastic band. The pants are made with Knit Picks Palette fingering yarn.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Lots to Love 14 Inch Baby Doll Sweet Baby Mine Dress



I've been working my way through Darski's free baby doll patterns for the various sized dolls. The Sweet Baby Mine set for the Lots to Love 14 inch Baby Doll can be found here. The shoes are from an out of print Amy Carrico pattern Spring Jacket and Dress.

Each year I try to use up orphan or abandoned yarns that I purchased and never used. This is Mainstays Acrylic Pink blend. I think I orginally picked it up to make scrubbies but it lost its way in my yarn stash and was repurposed for this outfit. The need for solid pink worsted help me finish off a ball of yarn left over from previous projects. The shoes are made with Baby Bernat Sport pink and white.

Notes:

I followed the suggested hook size but ended up adding rows to the skirt to get it to knee length.

The headband also required additional rows to get it to fit around the dolls head.

I joined the row after the arm holes were made and finished back before adding one button to the back.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Lots to Love 10 Inch Baby Doll Sweetly Dress



I've been trying to rotate through the baby dolls to make sure they all leave with wardrobes. I mentioned previously Darski wrote 2 pattern sets for the Lots to Love 10 inch Baby doll. This doll dress pattern is from her free Sweetly set found here. I used Bernat Big Ball Baby Sport in Pink and Baby Baby. Notes:

The suggested hook sizes worked for me.

The panties ended up a bit longer than I wanted as it took me an extra row before I could join the crotch. It works but I'd combat this by adding and additional row to the dress before adding the trim next time. I did row 10 inn a contrast color and I'd do that again for a future project.

I changed the shoes to make them fit better. I would suggest an e hook next time as I had to sew around the top to tighten them.

Complete row 1-3 of the booties.

Row 4: sc evenly

Row 5: sc in back loops around

Row 6: sc reducing 4 times at toe

The bonnet worked as written.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Lil Cutesies Nightgown



Darski created two free pattern sets for the Lots to Love 10 Inch Baby Doll. The first she called BBL which is where this outfit came from and the second is Sweetly. Both pattern sets have nightgown patterns but I find one fits the Lots to Love doll better than the other. I guessed wrong and the Lil Cutesies doll ended up with a nightgown this year.

For future reference this is the nightgown from the BBL pattern made with a G hook. Since I will likely adapt it again for the Lil Cutesie doll I'd likely use an F hook the next time. I'd gone up to a G trying to get it to fit the Lots to Love 10 inch Baby doll in the back but it just wasn't working for me. I decided to see if I could save the time and resources invested by adapting it to the smaller doll. I'd never used it for the smaller doll and it with some adjustments the pattern fits. I just think the smaller hook would make it a bit less bulky.

Notes:

I believe this is made with Bernat Baby Big Ball Baby Baby. I've been collecting the sport yarn as I can find it and the colors seem to be disappearing. It's a great weight for the doll clothes. I don't always keep the labels once opened so I try to make a good guess at the colors. I prefer the variegated/striped yarns for some of the doll projects. It's not always easy to find a great selection so I'm hoping this line isn't being discontinued. I picked up a lone Lavendar at Walmart even though I didn't really need it as I noticed it was the last one they had and I haven't found it online.

As I mentioned above I used a G hook but I'd likely go with an f for a future Lil Cutesies nightgown. I'm working on how to adapt this for the smaller Lots to Love 8 inch doll.

To finish the outfit I did a row of sc around including the collar prior to adding the ties using the directions. I chained 30 rather than 20 for the ties. Mine tend to be short and I find them harder to tie. After I finished a complete sc around in pink I finished the pink and followed the directions for the ties changing from 20 to 30 chains. I decided to add a chain 3 decorative collar. I did a sc in first sc ch 3 sk 1 than sc in the next. This was done in the front loops of the previous row of sc. When I reached the end I finished with chaining 30 for the second tie.

The sleeves are also finished with a row of constrasting color sc and then an additional row of sc chain 3 skip 1 sc around.

I wanted a finish for the bottom I chose a sc skip 1 sc 5 dc shell in next stitch around.



Friday, April 12, 2024

Lots to Love 14 Inch Baby Doll Spring Dress and Jacket



This year I've been seeing old patterns I haven't used in years, patterns that get used almost every year, and new patterns that I've either purchased or have found as freebies on the Internet. It makes for a change of pace to keep the project engaging. I enjoy revisiting favorite patterns like this out of print Amy Carrico pattern but I also enjoy trying something I either haven't done in a while like the Barbie Winter formal or the free dress pattern I adapted for the Lots to Love 14 Inch doll and the Rag Doll.

This year I've done probably the best job in tracking items made for the dolls but one hole in my system in color tracking. I have pictures of the items but I don't always think to check accessories for colors. This doll now has two sets of purple shoes as I had forgotten I used this pattern to make shoes for the free dress pattern and used a solid purple rather than the striped yarn I used for the dress. Not a huge issue as shoes tend to be some of the fist items lost when kids are playing with dolls, but I do try to vary the colors so they can mix and match. Something to note for my future lists.

Notes:

I used Bernat Big Baby Sport Lavendar. Oddly I have the best luck finding this at our local Walmart. I can get pink, white, and blue almost anywhere but they always seem to have the colors like purple, yellow and the variageted there as well. I know each Walmart supply is different but I mention this as I was struggling to find purple online as I buy most of my yarn online but stumbled upon it at Walmart and I try to get the hard to find colors there because they are helpful for my doll projects.

The jacket/sweater and headband are made with Lion Brand's Ice Cream Yarn Black Cherry. I've been using Ice Cream yarn quite a bit recently for the baby dolls and the Rag Doll for various outfits.

Changes:

I use a G hook for rows 1 and 2 for both the dress and the the sweater finishing both projects with an E hook.

I added finishing rows to the arm holes inner and outer this year for the dress.

I did a sc row around the arm holes prior to adding the dc arms for the sweater.

The panties need to be worked to 32 stitches at both ends before joining. This year I added a few extra rows to the top once joined to make it fit up and over the diaper. I finished with a row of hdc. I did a row of sc around the legs to finish the leg holes and then did sc chain 3 skip 1 around the leg openings.



Thursday, April 11, 2024

Our Generation Monet Dress



A while back I stumbled upon Michelle Ratman's doll patterns on Etsy. I picked up some Barbie and 18 inch doll patterns that were easy to make and inexpensive to buy. A wonderful combo for someone looking to make stuff to donate. While I do like a challenge occasionally to learn something new for the most part my goal is to complete as many outfits as possible for the dolls I donate that kids will enjoy using with their new Christmas dolls.

This was a really straight forward pattern. This is a one piece, no buttons or snaps required. In the future I may experiment with that to see if I can get a better fit for the My Life doll but it worked really well for the Our Generation doll as written. I'm thinking if I don't join I might get a better fit for the shoulders with the My Life. I plan on experimenting with this later to see if I can get an outfit from this for the My Life doll as well.

The pattern does not come with shoes. The shoes are from an out of print Sweet Silver Creations pattern.

Notes:

I used an F hook for the Our Generation Doll.

I mention the Monet Red Heart Super Saver because I've been using lots of striped yarn and this requires more of a variagated yarn than striped. I wanted to remember what color worked for this project.

As with many of my projects I needed to add rows to get to the knee length.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Glitter Girl Kennedy's Sweater Dress



I generally search for Wellie Wisher's crochet patterns to find something to fit the Glitter Girl doll. The dolls are close enough in size that I can generally make the patterns work.

Kennedy's Sweater Dress is the main pattern for this outfit and can be purchased here. The shoes are from and Adoring Dolls dress pattern I made previously that you can purchase here. I am lazy about shoes when I find a pattern that is easy to make and works up quickly it often appears in outfits that don't come with shoe patterns.

Notes:

I used the suggested f hook for this project.

Not having Yarn Bee Hint of Silk I used Herrschners Worsted Aquamarine. A note for myself I would consider ordering grey and other lighter colors duing my next Herrschners order for this dress and a couple of other outfits for next year. This pattern specifically requires a lighter color. I tried it with a dark blue and the texture gets lost and it becomes rather drab so I frogged it and went with aquamarine.

I only needed one button hole for the outfit.

I did add some rows to the skirt to get it to knee length.

I used an e hook for the shoes even with the lighter worsted.

It is time for the Glitter Girl Doll to get some pants so I plan to use one of Adoring Doll's patterns to solve this problem. I have a couple different options for tops but pants have been elusive. I think I have a summer shorts pattern I should tackle during the warmer weather as well.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Rag Doll Hookfully Dress



I mentioned when I made the Lots to Love 14 Inch Baby Doll Outfit that I was interested in seeing if it could be adapted for the Rag Doll as well. I tried it on the doll and while a little long that was easily dealt with by reducing the total rows.

I donate one of these Rag Dolls that can be purchased from Factory Direct each year. I post teh information because I often see cute items that have generic names like Rag Doll rather than a brand name that is easy to search online. So I like to tell people where I find the odder items if they are available so they can decide if it works for them.

There are no specific crochet patterns for this doll so I work on adapting patterns for other dolls that seem like they'd be a good fit. When I finish an outfit and it looks like it might fit or be adapted to fit the Rag Doll I put the pattern aside for future use for the Rag doll.

This is a free baby doll pattern found here.

I followed the notes from the previous outfit I made with some basic changes:

Notes:

I used the suggested G hook for this outfit.

The pattern worked for me through row 7 as written.

Row 8: With row 7 established I worked a row of hdc even.

Row 9: Repeat row 8 joining at the end of the row.

After finishing row 9 I returned to the directions row 9 continuing without changing colors as I was using striping yarn. I wanted this dress to be shorter than the baby doll dress so I measured it against the doll as I worked it.

To finish off the bottom of the dress I did a sc skip 1 followed by a 5dc shell around joining at the end.

The dress was a bit tighter so it required more finishing rows in the back prior to adding a button hole. Using an H hook might be an option for the Rag Doll next year.

I finished the arms with a sc chain3 sc around the arms.

I used Lion Brand's Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Yarn for this project. I'm finding this brand to be rather helpful with the larger baby doll and Rag Doll projects.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Barbie Winter Formal Dress



I went back to look for notes for this project and the last time I made this outfit was in 2011 for a now adult niece. However, I did realize one challenge has remained the same. The original directions for this dress don't fit the Barbie I'm using. The Barbie I used back then and my current model are slightly larger than the Vet model I used in previous years. I'm going to try this with the directions as written to see if it would fit Skipper without changes I needed to make for Barbie.

This pattern comes from an old out of print Annie's pattern club leaflet, Fashion Doll Quick and Easy 87D20. The original pattern uses trim for the skirt, top, shawl, and as an outline for the dress. Oddly there is no mention of what kind of trim or how to attach it. The trim in the pattern picture creates a beautiful illusion of there being an under and overskirt but with the time and resources I had on hand the trim wasn't an option.

When I previously made this dress I made limited mention of the changes I needed to get the outfit to fit the doll. I plan on a more fuller explanation for my own purposes because I will return as Barbie has become a more fixed donation and this is a quick outfit to add.

Notes:

I followed the skirt pattern and the shawl pattern as written with the exception of the trims. I eliminated the trim for the skirt as I've yet to figure out how this can be done easily without directions.

For the shawl I used size 5 crochet thread and a D hook and used a shell pattern of dc ch1 dc ch1 dc (3 dc with a chain between them) around the edge of the shawl spaced as evenly as I could. One change I would make is to make a larger shell at the spike of the shawl. I had ended it off before I realized this would have been a better option and didn't wish to go back. This would work well for next time. The shawl closes with a snap.

I tried a variety of yarns for the dress to see if I could get it to fit the waist line before resorting to my old trick of using elastic for the waist and crocheting around it.

I have an old big ball of Red Heart sport yarn that I used for this project. I picked it up back in the time I was still making Barbie clothes and really haven't touched it since. I'm hoping to utilize it for more Barbie projects and finally send it off.

I measured the elastic around Barbie's waist and sewed it together.

It took 29 sc to cover the elastic join and continue to join for all bodice rows.

From here I worked up the bodice section.

Dc 5 decrease around

DC 4 decrease around (21)

DC 3 decrease around (18)

DC even for 2 rows I might reduce this to one with the added trim.

I would use the size 5 crochet thread next time for the top. I didn't come up with the idea until working on the shawl.

Creating the bodice this way makes the dress slide on and off with no need for snaps or buttons.

I followed the skirt pattern as written although I believe mine was short on rows as the bodice was longer. It's a trade off I need to work on. As I mentioned above I'd likely reduce a row on the bodice which would start the skirt higher giving it a better look.



Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Stacie Winter becomes Spring



I began with idea of making the sister pattern from JudysDollsPatterns for Chelsea in thread.

I had started down this road with Stacie originally but I couldn't get the waist to fit. It ended up large for Chelsea but by the time I'd finished the edges it fit Stacie this time. I'd decided to go with size 20 thread for the shirt for Chelsea as the size 10 thread was huge. I found the 20 actually worked better for Stacie as well but as with the skirt during the finishing stages I needed to add some space around the neck to close as I'd decided not to add the winter finishing collar. The colors I had on hand just had more of a Spring feel so it seemed a good choice finish it as a Spring outfit.

The Christmas Playtime set can be purchased here.

Notes:

I used a 1.8mm hook for the skirt and a .9mm for the shirt.

I changed multiple rows trying to get it to fit Chelsea so this would be something to explore when making this again for Stacie. I'd start with the larger hook for the skirt but likely reduce the hook size to the .9mm once past the waist line to avoid some of the puffy feel and to get the details of the alternating colors to work better.

Usually I use snaps for Barbie and family but I picked up some tiny buttons and a button hole was a better choice for this project based on the challenge of getting the neck to fit right.

I plan on trying the overalls pattern for Stacie. I had hoped it would work for both dolls but after this experience I don't think it will work as hoped.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

My Life Rivulets



I discovered I'd missed this Darski pattern last year and wanted to make sure I included it again in this year's donation.

I struggled a bit with yarn thickness this year. I made this with left over Red Heart yellow yarn last year and had no issue. I started with Red Heart this year and the yarn wasn't heavy enough to hold the pattern. I tried a different color thinking I might have grabbed Joann's Big Twist which generally is lighter but having grabbed a skein right from the labeled package I was sure it was Red Heart I was struggling with and was some what confused as I had no problem the prior year.

Then I pulled an old Caron Pounder out of my stash and it was thicker than my current stash of Red Heart. No idea why but it was holding the format of the dress so while my intention wasn't to go with dark green for the dress, it was the only shade of Pounder I could quickly lay my hands on for the experiment. The white is left over Mary Maxim yarn from a baby afghan I've been slowly using up on projects like this one.

One thing I've started doing for myself is documenting more details of how I adapted patterns to get the outcomes on my blog enteries because I'm finding I come back to these and there is more room to document here than on my pattern sheets sometimes. I also find I take more time to clarify for myself here than I do on my quick pattern notes.

Notes:

I went with a Caron Pounder for thickness this year. I'll experiment further to see if I my issue with Red Heart can be adjusted. When I run out of the Mary Maxim yarn for trim I think I can substitute Bernat's Big Baby Sport Yarn which I always keep here for the baby doll projects.

I used the suggested I hook for everthing but the top trim. I used a g hook for the trim on the top as it tended to poof with the larger hook and the lighter yarn. I might use a g hook for the trim on the bottom next time as well as it got a bit bulky with the I hook.

Don't increase beyond four dc between the post stitches as the skirt gets to be huge. The last row is all dc before adding trim. I missed this and the trim sits better from dc row.

The bottom trim rows need to adjust for reduced number of increases.

After finishing the dress directions I finished the back and top of the dress with the primary color yarn before adding the white trim. This made for a cleaner back and made adding the trim easier. It also makes the arm holes look cleaner when completed.

Be careful not to split yarn changing from chains to dc for arm holes. The white yarn is soft but it needs to stay strong for the arm holes.

I need to do a V stitch in the end stitch of each end for each row of the shawl, not in the chain stitch. I struggled with this last year and caught the direction this year.

Last year I didn't make shoes for this outfit as I was crushed for time. These were made with an out of print pattern from Sweet Silver Creations.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Lots to Love 14 Inch Baby Doll Hookfully Dress with Add Ons



I'm always happy to find free patterns for the doll donation. Over the years I've learned even when a doll pattern is written for a doll of a similar length it doesn't always fit the doll you have because length doesn't include other measurements when you are are making doll clothes. However, if you are willing to adapt you can find something new to try.

You can find the free pattern for the dress here. The shoes and panties are from a no longer available Amy Carrico Spring Dress pattern. The hat is a work in progress design I haven't quite mastered yet of my own making.

I chose to adapt this pattern in several ways because the Lots to Love 14 inch doll is likely more chunky than the doll the designer was using.

If you check out the website you will discover this dress is made in solid colored stripes. It is an adorable look. The challenge with this format for me was I had no idea what modifications I was going to need to make to the pattern so it was difficult to know where to make the color changes to keep the pattern even. I chose instead to go with a self striping yarn Lion Brand Ice Cream Black Cherry.

I had originally purchased this yarn for doll blankets but have found it to be a great yarn for both the baby dolls and the Rag Doll dresses. I tried this dress on the Rag Doll and while I'd choose to make it slightly shorter it is a good fit for her and I have another pattern that will work for her donation as well.

Notes:

I used the suggested G hook for this outfit.

The pattern worked for me through row 7 as written. It got to be too big after row 7 so I made adjustments.

Row 8: With row 7 established I worked a row of hdc even.

Row 9: Repeat row 8 joining at the end of the row.

After finishing row 9 I returned to the directions row 9 continuing without changing colors as I was using striping yarn. I don't remember if I finished all 19 rows. I kept measuring it on the doll for length.

To finish off the bottom of the dress I did a sc skip 1 followed by a 5dc shell around joining at the end.

I finished the back of the dress and added a button hole.

The shoes and panties are from a currently unavailable Amy Carrico's Spring Dress pattern. The hat is based on dc increases with a fpdc row to set for the brim. The brim is made with one row of dc in front loop of fdc stitches.

The panties were made with an e hook and Baby Bernat Sport Pink I need to work to 32 stitches for both sides of the panties for them to fit this doll.

The shoes were made with an e hook and Baby Bernat Sport Pink and White.

Monday, March 25, 2024

My Life Ready for Spring



I hadn't realized that it had been a while since I made this dress until I tried to pull up my notes from previous years for this project. With that in mind I made more detailed notes for future projects. This is one of my older 18 inch doll patterns from Maggie's crochet and it still can be purchased here.

Notes:

I used Caron One Pound Lilac for the main portion of the dress and Herrschners Worsted Baby Tiara for the contrasting color.

The gauge was a bit tricky for the dress. I made gauge with an H hook but the dress was still snug with an I hook. I'd consider making the dress with a J hook next time and reducing to a H hook after passing the hips for my next attempt.

In the past I've used contrasting kitchen cotton but I didn't have any of the appropriate colors on hand so I went with the Herrschners yarn. The outcome works but if I have the cotton in the future I'd go with the cotton it rests better.

I used a G hook for the shoes. They are a bit large. I added a chain 5 skip 1 ss trim around. Then I took a long piece of yarn and using a yarn needle threaded it around the top of the shoe starting from the front so I could tie it off in a bow in the front. I knotted the ends to keep them from fraying..

I played with the basket pattern a bit. I used one of each of the colors with an H hook. When I got past the bottome section I worked a dc in the back loop and started reducing in each row until I was happy with the shape. At this point I made a simple handle.

The headband was made with the above listed colors and a G hook. I'd consider an F hook for the next attempt.

Collar works best if the sc are worked so they face the back side of the dress as this helps when you turn to add the chains. I tried putting the sc in the standard form and I couldn't get the collar to lay flat.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Chelsea Summer Play Set



I've been working on a few more complicated doll outfits so to give myself a break I've been throwing in a quick Chelsea outfit when I reach a "milestone" on a bigger project.

I found this free Amelia Thimble pattern a few years back and while the outfit wasn't a complete match for Chelsea, I was able to turn the top into a dress for Chelsea. It has become a great quick project and adds another item to Chelsea's donation bag.

You can find the free pattern here. Notes:

This pattern is the base for the Chelsea dress but do to the differences in dolls I've made significant changes.

The pattern calls for size 30 thread I use size 10 for Chelsea with a 1.8mm thread hook.

I follow rows 1-4 of the pattern as written with the changes in thread and hook size.

Following row 4 I continue row 4 for an additional 4 rows joining after completing 8 rows.

I changed the pattern's written row 5's V stitch to 2dc ch1 2 dc instead of dc ch1 dc I kept the skip stitch in place.

The dolls are different sizes and I never counted the skirt rows. I continue until the dress fits passed the doll's knees.

To close the back I use a snap after finishing the back with sc.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Skipper Sleeping Bag



I'm slowly working my way through the sleeping bags using them as my travel/waiting/appointment projects. I've been rotating between the Barbie family and the 18 inch dolls and it was time for Skipper to have hers.

Every year I try to finish off balls or small skeins not yet made into balls left over from previous projects. I don't remember the brand this particular yarn came from but it was used on several different projects before being finished off for Skipper's sleeping bag. The yarn has an odd striping pattern and it had some large patches and other small ones. It was a bit of a game of yarn chicken and I did end up adding some purple to the bottom to finish off the sleeping bag when I lost the game. However, it was worth it have another partial skein turned ball finished off.

This is a free pattern for a fashion doll slepping bag found here.

I used an I hook for this project and wished I had read my project notes from last year as I wrote it needed to be 12 inches long but not knowing I had previously measured I ended up carrying Skipper with me on my various outings.

This makes a great travel/waiting project. I had it almost complete after my last outing and decided to finish it off Sunday night so I could start on one for one of the larger 18 inch dolls. They are less great as travel projects when they get to the end as you have to be more careful about not making them too long and then finishing them off. It is easier to travel with a project that is past the pillow stage where it needs to be stuffed and before you reach the toes where you have to start being careful as to where to end. That's when I tend to pull it out of the bag and finish it off. I still have a few more to make so I will have travel sleeping bags for a little while longer.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Stacie Winter Outfit



As I mentioned yesterday with my post about Ken's winter clothing I wanted to see if I could get the Christmas Sister pattern to fit Stacie.

I am no Barbie expert. My interest first was in finding outfits that would fit my nieces' dolls and in recent years finding patterns that I could make that would fit the current models I could donate. I know the names, sizes, and availabilities of the Barbie family have changed over the years, but mostly I try to find patterns that I think I can work with for the models I'm currently using.

The current Stacie model I'm using is around 9 inches tall. The Chelsea model is around 6 inches tall. The Christmas Playtime set from JudysDollandPatterns has a 7 1/2 inch sister and brother pattern. I hope to adapt both for Stacie and Chelsea.

You can purchase the Christmas Playtime set here.



Notes:

I originally tried the 1.8mm hook and size 10 thread that had worked for Ken thinking that while the doll may be taller how much bigger is she? This proved a bad choice. The skirt didn't come close to fitting at the waist. My mistake was not trying it on Chelsea. I'm currently trying the pattern with Chelsea now with adaptations because she is not as tall as the doll in the pattern.

I tried adjusting hooks but size 10 was clearly not the answer. I decided to try Knit Picks Palette which is a fingering weight yarn and my 2mm thread hook. This made for a slightly bulkier look but it is a winter outfit. After experimenting with a Chelsea outfit, I plan to try for another outfit for Stacie using size 3 thread. I had started it but changed to the palette as I needed more time to experiment with hook sizes because it wasn't flowing at all.

Unlike the Ken pattern the sweater forms the arms as you go not sewing them together after the fact. I generally prefer this but the challenge for this pattern is the ribbing instead of being formed as you go is added at the end which seemed a bit strange. That being said I was able to add the collar which I couldn't do for Ken since the neck area was more even.

Just a note about the ribbing, I'm already reducing the number of stitches for the ribbing for Chelsea as it is just too big. I'd do that for Stacie and Ken for the next time I make these outfits. I like the ribbing but it's just too large for the overall outfit.

I changed the skirt pattern. First I didn't want a full length skirt. Even if I had been going for a full length with the fingering yarn the texture changes weren't as smooth as they might have been with thread so I decided to end the skirt after the 5dc row. I tried adding the next row and the texture just wasn't right.

The hat only has one row completed because it just became too big with the yarn. I realized the ties as written wouldn't tie after I made the first side and decided to treat it more like a scarf wrapped around the head for warmth and closed it with a snap.

I'm currently trying to adapt this with size 10 thread for Chelsea and experimenting with size 3 or maybe 5 for Stacie to give her an additional outfit in different colors for the donation. I lack many options for Stacie so exploring options for something different is important.

At some point I'd like to try out the sweater and skirt for Barbie. I'd likely try Ken's hat on her to see if it would fit. I'm not as crazy about her hat pattern.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Ken Winter Clothes



I'm always on the look out for patterns for the Barbie family that I think I will actually make. I especially wanted this pattern for Ken and possibly Stacie as I lack patterns for both. There is a Todd pattern with him wearing overalls that may also fit Stacie since the version I have is a camping doll she's clearly active. There are parts of the Barbie pattern I like and I may make that as well. Lately I have also had luck getting stuff to fit Skipper from the Barbie side so we will see.

This is JudysDollandPatterns Christmas Playtime Pattern that can be purchased here.

While I often include holiday themed outfits in the donation. I find them fun to make and I hope the kids enjoy being able to dress their dolls for the holidays, I try to make sure the dolls have enough daily outfits before focusing on the holiday treats. This seemed like it would be a great option for a winter outfit for Ken if I avoided the Christmas colors. It hopefully allows more potential for these pieces to be mixed and matched with other Ken items.

I made a "ski" outfit for him a few years back with Knit Picks fingering yarn and I'm thinking about pulling that out of print pattern out and giving Ken a nice winter wardrobe.

Notes:

I used various brands of size 10 crochet thread for this project.

I used my Tulip Etimo 1.8mm hook for everything but the sweater sleaves when I went down to a 1.5mm hook as the sleeves were too bulky.

While the sweater appears large in the front it isn't in the back where I added the snaps to close it. I added a finishing row and it closes but it is a nice close. I'd experiment with a 1.5mm next time to see how the fit works perhaps going up in sizes in certain places and using a smaller hook in others.

I suspect I had an issue when I made the shoulders for ths pattern because the arms are made and joined and I couldn't get the arm to set. I then reverted to sc around the armhole and made the arm going down from the shoulder. If this is a problem in the future I suggest making the cuffs ahead and adding them at the end. In this instance I alternated with dcfp and dcbp to get some texture for the cuffs. It would be easier to make them and join.

Had a similiar problem with the collar and used the same solution. For next time I would suggest sc around the collar to even it out and count how many rows of the collar I'm going to need to make it fit.

I chose not to add the fringe to the scarf or hat. I had no intention to try with the hat but I did try with the scarf and wasn't thrilled with the look so I pulled it out.

Regarding labels for dolls Ken is listed as Christmas Boy with size (12") listed under title. This confused me until I saw the 12". I likely will make this same mistake next year so a note is useful. Barbie is Christmas Girl, Stacie, Christmas Sister and Todd, Christmas brother.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Our Generation Boy Harry Potter



I was gifted Adoring Doll's Harry Potter set back in 2022. I made Hermione for the My Life Doll for the 2022 donation and haven't been back to the pattern since. This year as I was searching my pattern binders for patterns for the Our Generation Boy, Harry Potter came up as an option. You can purchase the pattern set here.



This project has multiple pieces so I've been working on it as I made other clothes. I started with his scarf which looks simple enough but with multiple color changes there are plenty of ends to sew in before it is finished. I moved on to the hat and shoes. Finally I attacked the coat, finishing with the sweater.

Notes:

Pants:

I used an H hook for the pants. I only needed 25 rows for the legs. I finished with a ss seam. This keeps legs from catching on shoes.

Shoes:

It's been my recent experience that I need a smaller hook for shoes with the Our Generation doll than with the My Life doll. This proved to be the case here I used the suggested G hook.

Shirt:

I started with an I hook for the sweater but it proved to be tight, I found the K hook worked best for the outfit. I used an I hook for the sleeves to keep them from being too large. Coat:

I needed a K hook to get the coat to fit. I used an H hook for the finishing outside trim.

Scarf:

I used the suggested G hook for the scarf. Just a reminder to myself there are 19 sections.

Hat:

I used an H hook for the hat with the suggested dark grey. I used black last time and I will go back to that the next time I make either outfit. It looks better.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Chelsea Drop Waist Dress with Flared Skirt



This is on of Char's Pattern for Chelsea that can be purchased here.

I made this one two years ago with Creative Yarn Source solid colors as I didn't have any Lizbeth size 20 on hand. I couldn't find Watermelon when I did finally order but I did get a variety of variegated colors.

Oddly when I searched for Lizbeth 20 this year it isn't really available. I don't know if it has been discontinued or if it is a supply issue but it is kind of sad. While Creative Yarn Source has lots of amazing solid colors the don't the same mix of colors in their striped thread. Their stripes tend to have limited colors for size 20. Not exactly what I want for these projects. The fashion doll projects don't take much thread so I'm hopeful my size 20 Lizbeth supply will hold out for a bit.

When I made this last time it was a bit larger than I wanted. This year I opted for a .9mm Tulip Etimo Thread Crochet Hook. I've made a habit of recording the mm of the hook for the thread hooks rather than the size as I find the thread hooks vary far more between brands for the thread hooks than they do for the larger yarn hooks.

Notes:

When I made this previously I made it with all solid colors from Creative Yarn Source. This time I mixed Lizbeth and Creative Yarn Source. I found when I went to add white trim with the Creative Yarn Source size 20 yarn it seemed bulkier than the Lizbeth and I pulled it out as it looked fine without the arm trim.

The pattern includes a dress, hat, panties, and shoes. Last year I made the hat, but this year I just found it was akward trying to get it fit over Chelsea's hair and opted to frog it and not include it with the donation. The outfit is cute without it.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Our Generation Madison



Darski's Madison pattern from her Howdy Neighbor pattern set has become a go to pattern for both the Our Generation and the My Life doll. It is a quick and easy pattern but with the spike stitches it has a fun summer look to it.

You can find the free pattern set with additional patterns here. The shoes are part of a pattern set no longer available from Sweet Silver Creations.

Notes:

I use a J hook for the bodice section of the dress returning to an I hook once the dress has been joined. The skirt gets very puffy if I continue with a J.

Row 3 should read sc 9 not 19 as the numbers do not work for the stitch count without this change. I love it when there are stitch counts.

Row 11: Row 10 sadly doesn't have a stitch count so having made this a number of times now I'm making this note for myself others may find it works differently for them. I dc in 5 in order to get a stitch count of 55.

Rows 12-16 I increased to 20 for the length I wanted. Thus making row 17 row 21

Bodice trim and strap changes:

Instead of slst in 5 I sc in 5 then I chained 8 for the arm strap. This was just a better look and feel for me. This changes the next chain direction to chain 8 ending with sc 5 at end.

I chose to finish back with green not white trim. I also closed it with a snap which is why the sc are more important at the top as it gives a better spot for snaps to sit.

I feel like I'm getting a bit more balanced in finishing outfits for all the dolls rather than focusing on certain dolls and leaving some neglected.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

16 Inch Baby Doll Dress, Hat and Shoes



This outfit was made from free patterns. The dress and hat patterns are available from Linmary Knits here. The shoes are my go to pattern for the JC 16 Inch Baby doll from the Peachy Keen pattern found here.

For the Linmary pattern I used Bernat Baby Big Ball sport yellow and white. The shoes require a heavier worsted 4 yarn so I used Red Heart Super Saver Lemon.

Notes:

I used the suggested hook sizes through out the pattern and this year it worked.

The pattern uses English (British) crochet terms so if you are used to American crochet terms you will need to remember. I've actually written the US changes on top of the English terms as I tend to forget when I'm tired.

In past years I wrote instructions for the row repeats for the dress, this year I finally wrote them for the hat. Still not sure I have the hat exactly as written but it works for my project intentions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Ken Farmer



My motivation to learn to crochet was having both a niece and a great niece who got into dressing their dolls about the same time. In some cases there really wasn't much available at the time to buy for the dolls. In other cases what was available was a bit pricey for kids who weren't happy with a few outfits but wanted complete wardrobes. When they outgrew dolls I started donating dolls and clothes because I had found a hobby I really enjoyed.

Shirley Jean Wright was one of the first designers of Barbie clothes I tried because the clothes were made with bulkier worsted yarn and not thread, which at the time I didn't have the proper hooks to make working with thread practical for me. After I stopped making clothes for the nieces I moved more towards the larger dolls for donation as the outfits were easier to make.

I believe it was 2021 when I finally started donating Barbie's family and started returning to my binders to find projects that would work for the dolls. However, I never did go back to these patterns, likely because I had discovered thread. Thread is great but finished outfits are still a better option for kids who like to dress up dolls.

As I was looking for ways to add items to Ken's donation this year I came across a free out of print pattern for called Ken's Overalls that is still available through the Wayback machine.

She has a huge treasure chest of Barbie and Ken outfits still available through the Wayback machine. The downside is the Wayback Machine doesn't have the pictures for the patterns. I'm trying to locate the patterns I originally downloaded so I can continue making more of them, but I may have to think about resorting to trying some without the pictures if I can't find the Ken ones as I really don't have many Ken patterns to begin with and many are just not quick and easy. I tend to rely on pictures when I crochet to confirm I'm following the directions so I'm hoping that somewhere in my Barbie binders I have the copies of the patterns.

With help from the Wayback machine you can find Ken's Overalls pattern here.

Notes:

I would make this again for the donation. It fits my quick and easy project goal. I would think about another shirt for this project just because this pattern is bulky but it works.

I used a D hook with Red Heart Super Saver for the Overalls and the Shirt. The hat is made with Herschnerrs Baby Worsted Peachy.

To get enough length in the legs I went from 14 rows to 17 rows.

I used a C hook for the hat and ended up playing with the pattern to get a look I liked. After row 4 I did a row of dc post stitches. It gave the hat a little more form.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Our Generation Boy Prince Charming



My Life had pretty much phased out their male dolls when I thought about adding a boy 18 inch doll to the donation. I looked to the Our Generation line and discovered Daniel.

Last year I didn't do as well as I'd hoped with his clothing. This year I decided I needed to make Daniel and Ken priorities because it takes more time to search out patterns and then make them fit the male dolls. There are fewer options and sometimes it takes patience to adapt them to the doll you are donating.

I had actually forgotten about this set which is why this year before I started the donation I made a point of returning the doll patterns to their binders and then I started going through the binders to look at real possiblities for patterns I hadn't tried or haven't done in a while.

This pattern is from Adoring Dolls Snow White set that can be purchased here. It includes Snow White, the Evil Queen, and Prince Charming. However, you can also purchase the Prince as an individual pattern here. Just a note the crown is actually part of the Evil Queen pattern but I wanted a crown for the Prince since the outfit can be used with multiple stories. I just like people to know where items come from when they want to find the items to make themselves.



Notes:

This outfit was made with Red Heart Super Saver.

I made multiple changes for fit and to make the outfit work for children rather than a display. The ability to get an outfit on and off is always important when I'm putting something together.

I used a I hook for the Pants and Shirt section. I added an additional 2 rows to the pants section. In the future I might make that 3.

The hook for the boots suggests a G and I stuck with that as the Our Generation feet generally do well or go smaller than the hook size. This was a good size for the boots.

I substituted black for brown. The browns I had on hand weren't a good fit for this project.

This is were I made a design change to the pattern for the sake of little hands getting the clothes on and off rather than displaying the doll fully dressed. The shirt and pants are made as one piece and this is easy enough to get on and off. However, the pattern calls for the boots to be attached to the pants once they are made.

This sounded like it was going to make the outfit hard to put on as boots tend to be solid not like soft footed Pj's. After making the first boot and trying it on my suspicions were confirmed. If I attached the boots to the outfit it was going to be frustrating for a child to take it on and off. However there was no reason to sew Prince Charming's boots to his pants. It works with the boots as a separate piece.

The second change I made with the boots came as a result of not sewing the boots to the pants. I worked the first round of the boot cuff in the front loop so it would bend over the top of the boot. Then I continued on with the pattern.

I ended up using a K hook for the belt. Also to make it easier to get on over layers I added a snap rather than joining the belt. It made it easier to add to the shirt/pants combo or over his tunic. I like to decrease frustration and wear on the outfit when possible. The friction of sliding the belt on and off would likely leave it with a short life span. Again the difference between a play model and a display. To fit this doll I needed to chain 50 to get the belt to fit.

I used a K hook for the tunic and a G hook for the trim.

I used Amethyst for the cape instead of Red. I wanted that Royal look and purple is royal. I needed a K hook for this item as well. I used a g for the black sections.

As I mentioned previously the crown is part of the Evil Queen pattern. Daniel's hair is pretty puffy so I'm not sure if that was the issue with needing a huge hook to get this to fit. I'm hoping to make the other patterns for the female 18 inch dolls so we will see if their heads are any smaller with their hair styles. To make this fit Daniel I need an M hook. I didn't use the red yarn. I just didn't see the need. This look suited my project.



Friday, March 8, 2024

Chelsea Mint Dress



I mentioned in last week's post that I was experimenting with the pattern I used to make Chelsea's Valentine Dress. I haven't had the outcome I wanted but no loss as Chelsea now has more outfits for her donation bag.

You can purchase the pattern for the dress here.

Notes:

As I mentioned in the St. Patrick's Day post I moved to using Thread Art's size 3 crochet thread rather than 2 strands of size 10 crochet thread together for these last two dresses. Just for the record while I called this a mint dress, when I checked the color on the website it is Aqua.

After making the St. Patrick's Day dress changing the stitches I decided to go back and try a single colored outfit using size 3 crochet thread rather than 2 strands of size 10 thread together. I have never achieved the texture shown in the picture for the pattern, but I've liked the look of the dresses for Chelsea and they have the benefit of being easy to play around with and quick to finish to add more outfits to her donation bag.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

16 Inch Baby Doll I Feel Pretty



The main part of this outfit for the JC 16 inch Baby Doll comes from Darski's free I Feel Pretty Pattern found here. The shoes are part of another of her free pattern sets found here.

Notes:

I used an H hook for the dress and panties. I used a G and F hook for the hat. The shoes are from the Peachy Keen pattern and I needed an I hook.

I used Herrschners Worsted 8 and Worsted Baby for everything but the shoes. The shoes require a heavier worsted so I used Red Heart for the shoes.

The hat doesn't list chains for the ties I used 30 and it was just a bit long I'd try 25 next time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Lots to Love 10 Inch Baby Doll Summer Dress



I discovered this pattern last year and it was a great outfit for the Lots to Love 10 Inch Baby doll. You can purchase the pattern here.

I've been fortunate to catch some shipping coupons from Herrschners as they sell some of my favorite yarns for the smaller baby dolls.

This outfit is made using their worsted 8 yarn. I've also bought their Worsted Baby, Baby, and Afghan yarn for my doll projects when I can get it on sale with a shipping coupon. It isn't my favorite for human projects but it works up well for doll projects. I can often find colors, especially in baby, that I can't get in traditional brands.

Notes:

I used an H hook for this project with the exception of the shoes where I used the suggested G hook.

In the future I would use the H for the Dress and panties and the G for the Hat and shoes.

I've been doing this more with patterns but when I started the skirt row, I marked the chain spaces. This just made finding them in the next row much easier for me. Also the shells alternate in row 5. I believe I missed this when I made the pattern previously. It didn't change the outfit in a big way but something to note for accuracy. I believe this is the only row I need to note for my next project.

I tend to finish the neck and back unless there is a reason not to regarless of pattern directions. Reminder to myself that this pattern has very good directions for finishing the neck on final page of dress directions. I almost missed them. I finished back on my own.

I made this with pink and yellow last year which I really liked. However, I've always had a fondness for the summer watermelon colors of pink and green. Both stick to the summer theme of the outfit. While I often reuse patterns from year to year it is fun to change it up a bit with color.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Glitter Girl Purple Dress



Adoring Doll Clothes has several patterns that are designed for both the 18 inch and the 14.5 inch dolls. While the Glitter Girl is listed at being 14 inches tall I've found that most of the patterns designed for the Wellie Wishers dolls seem to fit well. You can purchase this pattern here.

Notes:

The pattern is designed for summer white but I find keeping anything white clean that gets played with frequently is challenging. I use it as an accent color and I use it for the baby diapers but I rarely make a whole outfit in white just for this reason.

I'm not sure which brand of acrylic worsted this purple is as I pulled it from my left overs to be finished pile. It's a softer yarn so I'm thinking it may be I Love this Yarn but I would have no idea what color I'd be looking for if I wanted to make this again with this shade.

I used a G hook for the dress and an e hook for all the accessories.

For Row 2 of the dress I could only skip one stitch to get the count to come out correctly.

This was a nice quick project to make after the more detailed Cinderella dress I made for the My Life doll.

Monday, March 4, 2024

My Life Cinderella



I have several versions of crochet Cinderalla patterns that fit the 18 inch dolls but Sweet Silver Creations is my favorite. It has a balance between being elegant and achievable for a donation project. I like the Adoring Dolls one I made for the Our Generation Doll because it is quick and easy but it lacks the elegance of this outfit. I have an Annie's one that is one my some day list but it requires more time and patience than I have at the moment.

This pattern, as do all her princess patterns, takes a significant amount of yarn. I went through a good bit of the dark shade of blue in a Caron Pounder for this project. This is a note to myself to have a Pounder on hand to start the project. I've gotten by with left over balls of the light blue for this project in previous years. This year I had a full skein and no left overs to use up.

You can purchase the pattern here. I used the shoes from her School Uniform pattern but sadly that pattern is no longer listed on her Etsy site. It's a quick and easy pattern when I don't want shoes with a strap.

Notes:

I used an H hook for the dress and an F hook for the shoes. This year despite the pattern directions I finished the back with a button hole and closed with a button instead of a snap. I just was in the mood for a button. I did use a snap for the collar.

I also choose not to follow the pattern directions for creating the arm holes. The pattern ends the yarn and continues. I skip the stitches and continue in the style I normally make arm holes. I just find this to be an easier way to create the arms. I continue to follow the directions for creating the arms in the same row the yarn is written to end. It all works out for me.

With an H hook I ended at row 20 this year as the dress had reached floor length. Not sure if I've done this on previous projects but I'm making a greater effort to record my steps for future projects.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Chelsea St. Patrick's Day



I've been experimenting with the pattern I made for Chelsea's Valentine dress. You can purchase the pattern here.

I was trying to achieve the texture found in the original pattern so I decided to use hdc and dc instead of sc and hdc. I crocheted between the stitches and came a little closer to the look found in the picture for the pattern. At this point I've decided a few extra dresses for Chelsea aren't a bad choice.

Notes:

I used Thread Art's size 3 thread to avoid using two size 10 crochet thread strands together. It also allowed me to use the variegated garden greens yarn to give me a bit of holiday colors for St. Patrick's Day.

The hook for this project was E.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ken Sleeping Bag



These sleeping bags are great travel projects. Ken's made waiting for several appointments much more relaxing as I was focused on finishing a project and not on how much time I was waiting or anticipating the appointment itself.

Last year was the first year I added sleeping bags to the donation so I didn't do much experimentation. The fashion doll sleeping bag pattern found here uses row upon row of sc's to make the sleeping bag. There is a Beanie Baby pattern that has an option for two sets of patterns. You can make the traditional sc option or it offers a shell pattern that I've used for the smaller fashion dolls. I decided to experiment and use the shell pattern with Ken's sleeping bag to give it a bit more texture. You can find the directions for the shell stitch version here.

Notes:

I started out with the fashion doll pattern completing the pillow and the first established sleeping bag prior to switching over to the shell portion of the Beanie pattern.

For this sleeping bag I used Red Heart Super Saver Fall and an I hook.

Once the pattern is established I no longer count rows. The doll travels with me and I measure as I think I'm getting close prior to closing at the bottom.

I had a ball of yarn I can't identify left over from a previous project that I set up for my next travel project. The pillow section is done and I've started the sleeping bag portion leaving the rest for my appointments. This one is slated for Skipper.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Skipper Dress



After making this dress for Barbie and liking how it came out I decided to see if it could be adapted for Skipper.

Going down in hook size was not an option with Sinfonia Cotton yarn I had used as a substitute for the Grace Patons the pattern suggested for the outfit. I tried using a smaller hook for Skipper but it was bulky and large.

Thankfully over time I've acquired a large selection of sport cotton yarns for making amigurumi's so I decided to try Schachemayer Cantania for Skipper and once I got done to a D hook the dress fit her.

You can purchase the pattern here.

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