Belinda and Lucinda

>> Tuesday, March 29, 2011

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been looking forward to making this sweet pair of Edith Flack Ackley dolls ever since I saw the picture advertising the pattern. This vintage pattern makes a surprisingly small pair of dolls. Well, I was surprised, but also delighted by how nice they are. Also the clothes are removable which I always prefer.
This picture with a teacup gives you an idea of their size.
Like my previous EFA doll, these have a dress, petticoat and pantalettes. The pattern also suggests a necklace and I thought it would nice for them to have matching glass bead necklaces.
If you're thinking of making this pattern yourself I did make some small changes. First of all the pantalettes seem very wide so you would probably want to reduce those - just shave off from the side of the pattern (thanks to Margaret for that tip!). Also the petticoat is not as wide as the skirt so you could make it wider if you want it to be fuller. On the other hand as the doll is so small this can make it bulkier around the waist. For the dress I found the front bodice to be a little wide so I tweaked that too.

Don't be discouraged part way through once you've turned the doll right side out and it seems pathetic and too narrow. Once you firmly stuff and stitch at the joints the doll has a very nice shape. Also I recommend FrayBlock at the areas where you need to trim the seams very closely such as under the arms.
I made a few little changes just to suit me. For example the pattern suggests drawing the shoes on with ink, but I ended up sewing fabric directly on the foot to make the shoes. I thought the wool felt I had on hand would have been too thick. I also stitched a little seam on the arms, just once, so that they bend at the elbow. Just little changes like that.

I love how they turned out and must thank Margaret once again for kindly sharing her pattern.


First Edith Flack Ackley doll

>> Tuesday, March 15, 2011

To Greet a Little Girl - my 1st EFA doll
Another long time to-do item for me was to make a doll from Edith Flack Ackley's wonderful 1938 book, Dolls to Make for Fun and Profit. This book has a lovely collection of cloth dolls to sew charmingly illustrated throughout by Edith's sister Telka Ackley. I've had this book for a long time but didn't get around to making any of the dolls until now.
detail of her embroidered features
One thing that's refreshing about the book is that Edith encourages her readers to make the dolls to sell themselves. It's something I'm considering but I've found after making this first one that they're quite time consuming to make if you're fussy like me, and want the clothes to be removable and the hems finished by hand etc. This particular one has six garments, an undervest, pantalettes, petticoat, dress, pinafore and shoes.
back view
I joined the Yahoo group (edithflackackleydolls), which I recommend if you're interested in these dolls as you can see all the great photos of other dolls made by people in the group. That's also where I found the pattern for this doll, called "To Greet a Little Girl". The book has patterns as well but this one was nice and complete with more specific instructions. I always appreciate it so much when people take the time to share things like this!
the dress without the pinafore
I was inspired by Margaret McInnes' beautiful "Belinda and Lucinda" dolls made from a EFA pattern from 1934. Margaret was kind enough to share her copy of this pattern which you can find on her blog: A Doll Shop of my Own.
Undergarments: undervest, pantelettes and petticoat
So Belinda and Lucinda are the next Edith Flack Ackely dolls I'll be working on. It's hard to explain why a particular thing will captivate you, but this sweet pattern has, and I can't wait to make them.


Magnolia branches

>> Tuesday, March 01, 2011

This kind of thing doesn't usually happen to me, but the other day Bradley brought home a branch he found on the sidewalk. It was Valentine's day and he was bringing me some flowers, but noticed the branch and thought I might like it too.

We thought it was a pussywillow branch. I didn't know what would happen but I put it in a vase with some water and clipped the bottoms of the branches. Then I gave up and took the branches out a few days later to wash the vase, but then Bradley noticed one of the buds seem to be opening a bit so I put them back in the water.
The buds kept getting fatter and the furry shells popped off. And inside there was some pink! Then today, the biggest one opened up all the way and revealed itself to be a magnolia flower! I love magnolia trees so much. Someday I would like to have one. But in the meantime I can't believe how pretty this branch is now. It doesn't quite seem real.

I took lots of pictures because it's so lovely, so here's a side view:
In other flower news, the orchid has bloomed at last!
There are two flowers so far. I didn't take a great picture but this one will give you the general idea.

Speaking of not-great pictures, my photos keep having shadows in the corners. Is my camera dying or am I doing something wrong?? If anyone knows I'd love to hear from you. I can fix a bit of vignetting easily in Photoshop, and sometimes I like the effect, but maybe something's not right here.


  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP