Archive for the ‘Dolls’ category

Quit Bugging Me Maplelea

September 23, 2016

I can’t believe it. After asking to be taken off their mailing list nearly three years ago after this happened, I received a catalogue in the mail, forwarded from my old address.

I was not selling anything, it wasn’t a cold call.

I have one Maplelea doll, Saila, whom I like. She is currently packed away while I look for a storage cabinet for her and some other dolls. I have not bought anything from Maplelea since e-mailing their dismissive employees to suggest it would be great for them to provide some sewing patterns that fit their dolls.

AND I still refuse to buy anything from them. Whoever is designing their clothes lately has no sense of colour and no imagination. Each doll has a set colour palette which they use to design clothes, but it gets boring after a while. No imagination.


Oh, and you know, no one has really offered a good sewing pattern for Maplelea dolls. I saw one for nightwear which looked nice, but the fabric of the body showed, which ruins the illusion for me. After all this time, sewing patterns for these dolls really don’t exist. It would be nice to have a decent wardrobe-builder of a dress, that you could change or embellish to make more styles.

Sewing patterns for humans usually feature different views and sleeve lengths. Most doll patterns don’t do that which is short-sighted. Instead of a $5 pattern, someone with pattern drafting skills could release a multi-pattern, priced accordingly. I have several doll books with patterns but they don’t fit these Maplelea dolls and require endless adjustment.

I’m telling you, someone could make some money offering properly fitted sewing patterns for clothes that are specifically sized for these Maplelea dolls.








Rue and Strider Shop for Shoes

February 16, 2015

After several years of lying undressed and shoeless, Strider has insisted that he get some shoes. Rue volunteered to help as she is stylish and due to owning her own boutique, knows several local shoe store owners.


After some consideration in various shops, they are buying these shoes. Strider likes a nice boot.


Hey Strider, Rue is all dressed up, maybe you could lose the casual look? There’s sporty and then there’s menswear letdown.

Sigh. You can’t tell these independent guys a thing.



Poppy Examines the New Sock Situation

October 26, 2014

A picture says a thousand words…the spouse bought me some new socks in a spontaneous gesture of shopping mania.


And you thought your life was exciting.




Patterns for a Doll for an 18-inch Doll

October 6, 2014

Finally, Gini Simpson is offering the patterns I wanted in PDF format for download. Last year I tried to buy these from the States. Each pattern is only four pages but it would have cost me about $20 for one pattern, so I put it off the burner.

This year she had them at her Etsy shop, including a 20% discount if you bought two patterns so I bought these two as an early Christmas present. You can alter these or paint them differently, there are all kinds of possibilities for customizing them. I bought two styles, one with conventional stuffed arms joined with buttons, and one with twigs or similar for legs and arms. Plus, one is a cat, we all like a cat pattern, right?


I am looking forward to making these for Saila’s doll collection. She is too. I guess this means I might sew her a new dress to go with her new dollies.

Hug Maud close Saila, you will soon have some other toys.




Always Something New To Do

June 13, 2014

I’m all over the place as usual.

Finding that I need some Cadmium Red for painting my tutorials, I have had to wait until this weekend to get to Curry’s to buy some. I’m also tired of knocking over glasses of water when I’m trying to paint, so I’m going to investigate some kind of water bucket with a flat bottom and compartments. They don’t have a great selection in little brush basins but they have a couple for about $6 to $7.

I have a few projects in mind and decided I needed a small boost in informational books. It’s hard to believe but I bought one more embroidery book. I liked this one because it is set up like a textbook where you follow each exercise chapter by chapter. Crewel Embroidery: A Practical Guide by Shelagh Amor has been ordered but will take a few weeks since it’s coming from Book Depository.


I am doing a small knit-along for a doll outfit for my Les Cheries doll Poppy.The first version of the top was too big and I’ve just finished the second one which looks like it will fit, so it’s on to the dungarees/shorts.

I like this because at the neckline I bound off in rib stitch as instructed but I mixed them up so instead of knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches I did the opposite. It gives it rather an eyelet-y look that I like. It seems to suit this shorter top.


Lots of plans, lots of dreams.


Saila’s New Bubble Gum 40’s Dress

March 30, 2014

I bought this pattern in February 2013 and never got around to sewing it. In March of this year I asked another woman if she’d like to do a sew-along for this pattern and she agreed so we’ve been doing that all month.


She made a complete dress the first time and we were devastated to find that the yoke was too wide. It buckled and showed the doll’s cloth body under the neck and didn’t seem to work up at all like the picture on the pattern cover. She tried it on her American Girl doll and the fit was iffy on that doll too.

So I thought about it for a few days, and then redrew the yoke a few times in order to sew a “muslin” out of scraps to put on my Maplelea doll Saila to adjust the fit.


The first adjustment (above) was still buckling a bit and the body was showing.


The second adjustment was much better so I went with that and tried a fitting with the entire bodice put together after shaving off a bit on the centre front of the main bodice just to ensure that no buckling of the yoke would occur.


This seemed fine although the front yoke is slightly deeper. I didn’t want to get into trying to redraw the whole pattern. Everything after this point was fine and I did no adjustment on the waistbands. For the skirt I added a bit in length so I could turn a deeper hem and hand sew it as I don’t like the look of machine sewn hems and I wanted some extra weight on the hem.

At this point I developed benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and had to stop everything for over a week as I couldn’t keep my balance and my eyes kept going kerflooey. Lucky me!

I bought two sewing patterns from an Etsy seller in the interim, and took a chance and asked her if she had any 1/4-inch red buttons for this outfit I was making. I can’t buy this sort of thing in Canada and I was already spending money on a money order for the patterns so didn’t want to try ordering from somewhere else with yet another money order. She had them and sent them along! People are so nice.

And here is Saila looking very summery with her Criss Cross sandals that I bought from Maplelea.


This was a frustrating project because of the ill-fitting pattern but it turned out well in the end and I derived some satisfaction from forging on and making the pattern fit better. I might make another one after doing some sewing for myself.



Better Than a New Car or Diamonds

March 15, 2014

Oooooh, I just got a prezzie from the spouse that is more precious than diamond necklaces or new cars or anything fancy. It’s a whole 36-inch x 20 yard roll of tracing paper. Plus a Monster High doll called Operetta. The double whammy of joy. Total cost about $29.


Remember men, sometimes it’s the smallest things that have the most impact and meaning to women.

Operetta needs to get busy and sand and urethane our pine floors. In the meantime she’s relaxing with the other gals Page and Skelita. (Click to enlarge)