Crochet rag doll project

Crocheted toysOver the years, I’ve crocheted a lot of different things – some with better success than others. I’m not very good at following patterns and tend to look at a few patterns and then pretty much make it up on the fly. A bit like my cooking really…

Anyway, as a child my mum knitted me a sort of rag doll for Christmas one year. I used to love the doll. All soft and raggedy. I had the idea that I’d try to make one for my little girl.

I spent a bit of time googling patterns and looking on Ravelry and Etsy. I couldn’t really see exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something all loose limbed and without one of those prettied up faces.

I settled on a freebie pattern but not long after I’d started, it just didn’t seem to be working, so I did what I usually do and started to make it up. Yeah, I know that takes longer really, but I get something more like I originally wanted.

Well, saying that she didn’t end up being quite as I intended, but hey she doesn’t look too bad! The hair was a whole different matter, so I think I’ll write about that in a different installment, but let’s just say she has plenty of it!

I did make some little shoes to match the dress, but they already seem to have gone missing…

Taggy obsessions – a baby sewing project

My little girl is obsessed with all things taggy – tags on clothes, bits of ribbons, bits of string, cables and even stray bits of cotton on clothes. She can’t find any taggy on any toy, even in her sleep. Every new item is turned and turned around until she finds its taggy. Every day her toys get a ‘taggy inspection’.

It inspired me to try my hand at some little taggy comforters. These are the results of my efforts!

They have worked out quite nicely. I have made one side in a soft fleece and the other side in a bright cotton.

taggy blanketI’m always loosing things so I thought it would be a good idea to use my new Kam snapper and create a little strap so the taggy can be attached to a pram or bag. I actually made the little straps myself from the matching cotton rather than use a ribbon – I think it looks pretty cool (and it’s a bit more sturdy).

For the taggies I used a mixture of textures as it all about the texture for babies! Soft fleece on one side and bright cotton on the other. There are different widths of ribbons and some velvet, plus I crocheted some pieces like twists and knots. Lots of things to be twirled around in little fingers 🙂

For extra safety (and neat freakness) I top-stitched the blankies too. It also helps them lay nice and flat.

My sewing machine also does embroidery so I’m thinking I might have a go at doing some personalised ones next – when I get a spare moment or too from tidying away all the toys after my little girl has finished her daily taggy inspection!

Crochet Doll Toilet Roll Cover

I get more requests and click-throughs on this website and my Etsy site for this one thing – crochet toilet roll dolls!

I first started making them quite a while ago and blogged about how it was impossible to find a good pattern. That started me on making my own pattern for these retro dolls. I’ve been making the dolls and selling them on my Etsy site and various vintage and craft fairs for a while. They are always popular. I make them in all sorts of custom colours!

I’m constantly asked where I got the pattern and the dolls from. Well, I’ve finally got around to writing the pattern up. It’s now available for immediate PDF download on my Etsy shop. Happy crocheting!

I might eventually get around to writing up a few more of my patterns… maybe it will be the zombies next 🙂

 

So, I’ve just dyed a doll’s hair…

Bride crochet toilet roll dollAs you know, I make all sorts of things. Some of the most popular of my creations are the toilet roll covers and toilet roll dolls.

I have been using the same dolls from the same supplier for quite a while now. It can be quite hard to find the right size (at the right price). The dolls are all white and blonde and I’ve just not seen any others.

A couple of weeks ago I had a custom order from my Etsy shop for one of my bridal toilet roll dolls, but a brunette. Well, I searched and searched and managed to find one but the price was ridiculous!

So, I had a sudden flash of inspiration – could I dye the doll’s hair? I tentatively started to Google, thinking I wouldn’t find anything, and low and behold found quite a few links to how to do it. Mainly on how to create a goth doll, but I didn’t let that put me off 🙂

Anyway, a couple of links were suggesting acrylic paint for vinyl dolls and I used to do quite a bit of painting so dug out my acrylics. I chose a raw umber for the dye and gave it a go. The first attempt was a bit wishy-washy, but I tried it again with a bigger blob of paint and less water and it seemed to work quite well. What do you think?

The biggest tips I can think of for doing this is:

  • Pop the doll’s head on something like a pencil if you can – it makes it much easier to handle
  • Pop some vaseline on the dolls face so you don’t dye her face too
  • Use a brush or something similar to do the roots
  • Comb the paint through before it dries, otherwise it clumps and is a pain in the bum to sort out.

I’m really pleased with the results and it wasn’t even difficult to do – every day’s a school day!

Oh Etsy, why?

Quirky Purple EtsyJust a moan really…

Etsy swapped a few menus around a little while ago and I’ve only just got used to them. It just wasn’t as quick to get to my Shop Activity. I don’t know about you but I really like to keep looking at this. I love it when people favourite my things and then someone else favourites it.

I’ve just popped onto Etsy today to add my hot water bottle covers back up now that the weather is getting colder and it’s only gone and bloody changed again!

Arrrgggh, all the menu bits are now on the right-hand side rather than the left so my finger keeps twitching the wrong way for the menu.

Now, don’t get me wrong – those new little icons look really cool and I particularly like how my purple logo is used up there. But, yeah you knew there’d be a ‘but’, right? Now I have to do 2 clicks to see my shopfront?? It’s another thing I like to keep an eye on and change my featured items and I like to look at the shop to do this so I can see it how potential buyers will see it.

Is this just me? I’m not really a computer luddite and over the years I’ve changed enough large websites myself to know that you can’t please everyone all of the time. I guess there’s been a lot of user testing on something as big as this, so it probably is just me 🙂

I’ll shut up now and go and bath the baby…

First sewing projects

Well yesterday I had a play around with my new sewing machine. It’s been years and years since I had a decent machine. For my first project I chopped up an old dress and made a simple skirt.

Today I wanted to try something different. My little girl loves all things ‘taggy’ so I thought I’d have a go at a taggy blankie.

I’ve used soft fleece on one side and cotton on the other. I think all little ones like different sorts of taggies (silky, textured, knotted etc) so I tried to come up with something different to the usual bits of ribbon that you see on them. I’ve noticed at the moment my little girl likes knotted things as she’s teething, so I included a few of those too. Also, as crochet is my usual weapon of choice, I crocheted a few taggies too.

One thing I find useful with toys is to have something to attach them to the pram with. Imagine losing their favourite toy or blankie! So, I made a little strap and I just need to pop the Kam popper onto it. Actually, it will have a dual purpose as my little girl currently has an obsession with all things strap-like. I guess you could also use it to attach a dummy?

Anyway, I also top-stitched it so it has a double set of stitches to keep the taggies safe and I think it makes it look better too. Oh and I had to use a scooter fabric 🙂

What do you think?

I’ve bought a new sewing machine!

Woo-hoo!

I have finally stopped procrastinating and bought myself a new sewing machine! Yes, that was another exclamation mark. Look, there’s another one!

Brother sewing machineDo you get the impression that I might be excited? Yeah, I am just a little bit.

I’ve just finished my first little project on it. I just wanted something simple to get used to the machine. I’ve got a dress that I like the pattern of but never wear it as it just never seems to fit right. I’ve chopped the top off and turned it into a simple skirt. Looks OK too. It’s nothing special, but it’s helped me to get the feel of this fab machine.

Did I mention that it threads the needles for me? Oh, and the geek in me is pleased too as it’s also got a touchscreen. My other half saw it this morning and said “Oooh did you know that it’s got a USB slot?” Dur, yeah, that’s why I bought it 🙂

Anyway, must go and check out some YouTube videos on how to use all the fancy features…