Hello pretty dolls and goodbye blue dresses…

Now if you’ll go back and read that last sentence of mine from yesterday, I never actually said the doll was “mine,” just that I had a new doll to share. You all jumped to the conclusion that I had bought a new doll…but it wasn’t me… it was Ingrid! Let me introduce you to Danielle, painted by Magalie Dawson. She is a cutie and Ingrid must surely be awestruck by her. She has the prettiest blue eyes and if you click on the pictures, you can see them even better! These 2 pictures were the “proof” pictures sent to Ingrid to make sure she was okay to send.

Well done, Magalie and WELL DONE Ingrid! You picked a really sweet girl!

As I was writing this post, I also received a picture from the winner of the Springtime in the South dress… She put it on her Cecile doll and doesn’t she look fabulous in this lavender color next to her dark skin? I think you’ll agree! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Do you remember a while back I showed you the black velvet and white lace dress that was my “boo boo” dress?

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The woman who bought this dress from me, put it on her doll and the doll became stained somehow from the velvet or the lining or the thread… we aren’t sure. You can see that post HERE. Well, VERY fortunately, that customer was so kind and patient with me; more than I ever could have hoped for. She loved the dress and wanted it fixed if possible… so I added a lining in white, all stitched in place by hand and mailed it back to her. You can see how I fixed it HERE if you missed it.

Well, I told the woman if she’d like, I would also make her an additional dress to make up for the headache and just down right scariness of her doll being damaged. She mentioned she’d love to have a little Spring dress in a pretty blue. SO… when Noel’s dress went up on Ebay,

…this woman emailed me and asked if I had any more of the blue fabric? I said I did and told her if she was the winner of the dress, I’d make her that blue dress to match Noel’s… Well, I’m sorry for those other bidders, but it was too good of a deal for this lady and apparently she was “determined” to win this one… and she did.

I worked for a few days and finally got them finished… Wanna see the girls together? I took these pictures late at night, so they aren’t super good, but I think you can get an idea of what they look like together.

My first “sister set” and nobody got to see it, so that’s why I decided to share it with you! As I packed it up, I was thinking about how those black stains on her favorite Little Darling doll could have turned out so differently. I’m so thankful for Removes Zit and my wonderful customers!

Good bye sweet blue dresses…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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A pretty little dress for that pretty pink hat…

PLEASE NOTE:
My first dress for sweet little Noel is ending this evening on Ebay. She’s my newest little model, and stands just 10″ tall. This was my first dress for her, and she will be so sad to learn what happens around here… you model and then the dress will be sent off to some other little girl to wear… but *alas* your turn comes up again and you get to show off another pretty dress… it’s not too bad…

If you’d like to see her dress listing on Ebay, you can click on the picture at the right side bar, or you can click on this link that will take you to the listing…

~ Sweet and Petite ~

You’ll be happy to see what I’ve gotten done on the dress that goes with the pink hat I showed you yesterday. If you didn’t read the comments you might not know, but that fabric the hat was sitting on was the fabric I was planning on using for the dress. I’m not finished, as I’m sure you’ll see, but you can see how the set is starting to take shape.

The sleeves are puffed and heirloom lace was added to the elasticized edge. My favorite Swiss Batiste lace is sewn in at the waist and you can see the embroidery floss I’ve picked out… any guesses what that’s for??

I left the skirt about tea length and hemmed it by hand.

I forgot to take pictures of it, but there are 3 tiny red buttons on the back covering the hidden snaps.

The inside bodice is lined with a white cotton fabric and all the edges are whip stitched in place.

Here’s one last picture to hold you over till tomorrow… and hopefully I’ll have more to show you.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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How Christmas Elegance was fixed … Part Two…

Day before yesterday I showed you Part One in this story about a doll who became stained because of a black lined bodice on a dress I made. You can see that post HERE.

When I left you then, I told you I had talked to Dianna Effner, the artist who sculpts the Little Darling dolls. She recommended I buy this cream called Remove-Zit. You can bet I did. I ordered the cream and the Formula 911 and sent it to the dress owner and she wanted to try it herself. (So I actually have never used the cream myself) I’ll just be telling you the story from the owner’s perspective. Do you really want to know how hard I was praying??? You actually use a cream and apply it to the stained area on the doll and let it set for a day or two. It apparently becomes hardened, something I’m guessing like maybe fingernail polish. As it hardens the stain comes up in the cream, drawing it away from the doll’s vinyl. Then you have to use the Formula 911 to get the hardened cream off.

Here is the website of the Twin Pines Remove-Zit and the Formula 911. Both products are on the top row…far right and far left.

Twin Pines of Maine

After using the Remove-Zit 4 or 5 times, the stains were gone… Can I hear an AMEN? The owner said it worked but it was a few days process and as much as she was grateful to me for sending her the product, I was 20 times more grateful that it worked and the woman was such a nice and sweet person to have worked with. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how awful this could have turned out. I was astounded at just how patient and kind this woman was and I will NEVER forget her sweet spirit though this whole thing.
I don’t have pictures of the “unstained” doll… so just imagine… an unstained doll! :o)

Okay, so in the meantime, this woman decided she wanted me to try as best I could and fix the dress… I wondered what I should do… give her her money back, replace the dress with a new one, replace the bodice or the lining, make the bodice out of a different fabric… she didn’t want her money back she just wanted the dress fixed because she loved her doll in the dress. (I did tell her I would like to make her another dress to make up for this mishap and she said she loved pretty florals that were old fashioned looking. Guess what she’s getting?)

She decided to send the doll dress back to me and try to fix it somehow… but this is what happened…I procrastinated and procrastinated…I just kept thinking I’ll do it tomorrow, but didn’t know how I was going to do it…I was very bad…very bad! Finally last week, I gave myself a talking to and said, “JUST DO IT! FIX HER DRESS!”

First I took out all the black stitching along the edge of the dress… Then decided to use some really fine, almost headscarf-like fabric and just cut a square of it big enough to fit over the whole bodice area in there… I hand manipulated it and took teeny tiny snips of fabric away until I had it almost an exact fit except for the over hanging edges. I then basted it about 1/4″ along the edges, maneuvering it as best I could…turning under about 1/8″ of the fabric and with tiny stitches I whip stitched it as close to the edge as possible without the white showing. I filled in the whole bodice this way.

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I realized there was stitching on the inside that needed to be covered up…side seams, armhole stitching…so I used some flexible lace to cover the sleeve seams and tacked it in place so threads wouldn’t rub on her dolls vinyl.

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I had to come up with a solution for the sleeves next. There was stitching along the edge where the elastic was encased. How could I cover up that seam? The only thing I could think of was to add a little bit of lace extended into the sleeve, stretched over my fingers as taut as I could hold it, stitched over the seam, and then restitched close to the edge so it wouldn’t roll back to the inside so it looked sort of ruffly like.

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So that’s how Christmas Elegance was made and “re-made!” I wouldn’t recommend it… just use a white lining to begin with. I debated in the beginning about making a whole new bodice, but thought I’d give putting a lining in it first. It wasn’t necessarily hard, but it did take some time… probably about 5-6 hours… all by hand stitching and finger shaping.

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The lining was sheer enough that it didn’t compromise the design of the dress…I am happy with the way it looks and will get it shipped off to the winner for a second time! (White linings from now on from me!)

Thanks everyone…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

P.S. The very last thing I want for my blog to turn into is a “Poor Jeanne and George, going through this cancer journey…and have post after post about what’s going on.” I have decided to occasionally tell you what is going on, but for the most part, I want to keep this lighthearted and about dolls and sewing.

So let me just tell you… today was day one of the Chemotherapy and my hubby did just fine. In fact when we were walking though the doors of the Cancer Institute, he took my hand and said, “we’ll just think of this as a day at the spa!” :o) That’s why I love him! They even served us a box lunch at the place… so I guess we could call it a date! :o)
He’s sleeping right now, which they said he probably wouldn’t do this first night, with the 5 1/2 hours of drugs he was given…so already he’s “going against the grain!”

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I have TOO many dolls… HELP ME thin out some of them, please?

I know what it’s like to want every single new doll that comes out, but it’s just not possible… WELL, it’s not possible for ME! I only have so much space on my dolly shelf and I HAVE REACHED MY LIMIT, I think! I have 27 dolls in all, which isn’t too terribly bad, considering I know some ladies who have over 100 Ellowyne dolls! I can’t imagine that. Anyway, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed at them all laying and standing and sitting on my doll shelf, not being shown like they should be… even just standing in the nude is better than being laid on top of another doll. If I made 2 outfits a week, it would take me 13 weeks to get through all my dolls. That’s too long to make everyone wait for their doll to come up again.

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Poor Nyssa and Hope have to lie in their box on the shelf underneath the other girls. They miss out on a lot being “down under.” (Sorry that’s a pun about the artist of Nyssa and Hope…who is Kaye Wiggs, from Australia.) :o)

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So I pulled them all off my shelf and took inventory of what and who I had…This is everybody…

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Now, some of these girls are a no brainer … I’m definitely keeping my Effner girls…

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And I just bought Willa, so I think I’d like to keep her…

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I don’t sew for her very often, but I don’t think I could sell Nyssa…she came from Kaye Wigg’s personal doll collection…

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These 6 American Girl dolls get the most attention from me… so I think they are keepers…

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Okay, that puts me at 11 dolls for sure that I want to keep… now I have 16 others that I’m questioning… Let me tell you my thoughts on them…

I’m pretty sure I’d like to keep Ten Ping…although she’s not a big money maker for me… I do enjoy dressing her up, and everyone needs at least one tiny doll…

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Joy just sent me Betsy McCall and lots of ladies have Betsy so it’s nice to be able to show what I make fits the Little Darlings and Betsy…so I think she’s a keeper.

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I had a regular Patsy and thought I just HAD to have a bendable arms and legs doll and when Trixie came up at a good price I snagged her, but do I really need 2?

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The new Hearts for Hearts Dolls are available right now and are very popular and are a very good price at $39.99. I know lots of ladies who collect them and who are buying them for their daughters. They are almost the identical size of the Wellie Wishers…so it’s nice to show both dolls can wear the same size clothes. I bought Nahji on Ebay for the low price of just $24.95 and think she’s very pretty, but she’s a little harder to photograph with her darker skin tone. Would I be better watching for a lighter skinned doll or do I need her at all. I’m not certain she’s going to be a big money maker for me…

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Then there’s 10″ Elin, by Iplehouse. I painted her and thought I’d never sell her, but she’s not very popular and I always forget to show the outfit of her when I make something for Patsy Tonner.

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Next I have my 3 Ellowyne dolls. I have a brown eyed Ellowyne, that I’ve never used as a model before, a green eyed doll that I’ve used once, and the one I always pick is my Ellowyne, Wigged Out, Too! Maybe I should sell the 2 and keep the one, or even sell all of them, as I have a harder time coming up with “19 year old Fashionista” clothes.
I do love how she can be posed though…

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Now, for some of my American Girl dolls… I have Saige, Lily and Eden… all whom have been used as my modern girls and Eden, sometimes as my 50’s girl. I’m not sure I need all 3 of them and wonder which one is the most versatile. I love Saige’s auburn hair…it’s beautiful, I love Lily’s dark blue eyes and her layered blonde hair, but it’s not very easy to fix in any kind of style, and then Eden is pretty, but her dark green eyes sometimes get lost in my photographs. Her hair is sort of in big curls and is sometimes hard to style. It can seem a bit fluffy or like she took hot rollers out and then it’s some big Betty Bouffant style. I have been debating about selling all 3 of these girls and possibly going with Ruthie, whose gray eyes show up better…but I’m wondering if her hair is the same as Eden’s…just a thought…She could be my 30’s and my 50’s girl and also my modern girl.

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Then I have Josefina, Julie, and Kit. While I love them all, they aren’t big money makers… I love making peasant tops and fun colorful skirts for Josefina, but she’s not super popular and her things don’t sell at very high prices. I was in high school in the 70’s so coming up with ideas for Julie is pretty easy, but she doesn’t have a very big following either, so her dresses don’t sell that well. And then there’s Kit. I have to admit I never was a big fan of the Kit doll. My first Kit was kind of drab and didn’t have much color in her face… that made her kind of homely to me. So I sold her and then I bought this one that had the gaudy painted pink lips that I redid, and while she had more color in her face, she still doesn’t rock my boat. I think maybe her eyebrows are too light, or maybe I’m just not crazy about her freckles. I’m not sure. It’s funny, because of all the AG books I read, I LOVED Kit’s the most… figure that one out!

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So that leaves one last doll, Hope…my resin BJD from Kaye Wiggs. She was a limited edition and all the proceeds from her went to help human trafficking (somewhere I forgot). I’m not crazy about her Aboriginal look, but always wanted to repaint her face. I have the pastels and have seen some beautiful dolls with a faceup that makes them gorgeous, but I’m not sure I ever will…

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I realize my pictures are just quickie shots of the dolls and on some there are just wigs helter skelter and some without wigs… but I just wanted to put a face out there so you would know who I was talking about. This is a big decision and I could really use some help. I realize someone who collects Ellowyne dolls and buys things from me, isn’t going to want me to sell them, but there are just as many people who only buy AG things from me who could care less about Patsy Tonner or Willa. I just would like to consolidate my dolls so I get the maximum use out of each doll and have some that do double duty if possible. You know me and what I do best, so what is it I need to focus on or let go of? You won’t hurt my feelings… so go ahead and say what you think…
I’ll be interested to see what any of you think about my post today…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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