Spring Trunk show

>> Wednesday, May 25, 2011

rcboisjoli bowl with Beside Herself doilies
As always, the Spring Trunk show was so good. I love going to the Workroom, but now that I'm living in the east end it's a bit more travelling and I don't visit as often as I'd like. The day of the show was awkward because the marathon caused streetcar delays and the construction at Bay subway rerouted the trains. But it was well worth the extra effort!

As usual I was tempted throughout the day by the contents of everyone else's trunks. I came home with a nice little collection of treats. Happily I was able to swap a little bit as well.

First up the beautiful bowl featured at the top of this post. I've been admiring the creations of rcboisjoli for some time now and was thrilled to come home with a bowl with a polka dot carousel horse decorating the side. I love the overall pleasing shape and colour of this bowl. Right now it graces my coffee table where I gaze at it from time to time in the day.
Also adorning said coffee table is a pretty set of coasters made from a sweet vintage blue floral print by
Knotted Nest.
Also from Kristen's trunk, some floral fabric, two sweet linen napkins with yellow roses and an embroidery hoop framed machine embroidered house picture. So sweet! This will be perfect for display on my craft room shelves.
From Becky's trunk, a vintage scarf with a pretty colour scheme and elegant pattern, and last but not least a long necklace with delicate pink tassels made by the lovely Debbie Arruda.
I chatted with Bianca from Kid Icarus, the result of which is that I now have my things for sale in her shop! The shop is so nice, it's right across from Lettuce Knit in Kensington Market and I've always liked it. I gave her a few of my wool embroidered brooches, wristlets and coffee sleeves which are available there now.

Thanks so much to everyone who visited despite the rain throughout the day.


Spring treats

>> Saturday, May 14, 2011

Don't forget, the Spring Trunk show is on tomorrow!

City of Craft & the workroom present
Spring Trunk Show
Sunday May 15, 2011
the workroom
1340 Queen Street West
FREE Admission

I'm busy getting ready, including creating something especially for this show. I wanted to make something that would be right for Spring. They're tiny pincushions made with miniature baskets and special scraps from my fabric stash. Each one has a little set of coordinated pins.
Of course I had to save one for myself... Anyway, hope to see you tomorrow!


Millie - Mimi's Purl Soho doll pattern

>> Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So this is another doll pattern that's been in my to-do archives for ages. It's a free pattern that the amazingly talented Mimi Kirchner created for Purl Soho. As you probably know, Mimi works with wool felt and embellishes her dolls with applique and embroidery to make them extra special.
This pattern is perfect the way it is, but I ended up making a few changes for mine. Bradley had bought me a beautiful felted wool fabric pack for my birthday which I was dying to use. But this felt wasn't the dense commercial kind that won't unravel. So I added a seam allowance when cutting out the pattern pieces.
I also decided to make the doll a wee bit smaller to fit in with the size of dolls I've been making lately. So I printed out the pattern at 80%. And as usual I did the face and hair a little bit in my own way. This was my first time stitching a raised nose, it's so simple and effective.
Then lastly I didn't have a big enough piece to do the dress as is, so I used the light blue felt for the body and arms so it looks like a sweater, then made a dark blue skirt in the style of the pattern. Mimi does this with some of her girl dolls and it's so charming.
Lastly I added extra pieces, a little coat and bag, also inspired by Mimi's creations. I love the sweet little feet for this pattern, I embellished the boots with embroidered laces. A big thank you to Mimi for sharing this lovely pattern.

You can make this doll yourself, just nip over to The Purl bee for the pattern. And while you're at it, be sure to visit Mimi's blog for an endless array of beautiful and inspiring work.

If you get the chance, you're invited to the Spring Trunk Sale at the Workroom. One day only, 12-5pm on Sunday, May 15th. I have a table there, and will be bringing everything in my shop plus a few extras I have tucked away and even some sewing themed rummage!


Mary Poppins doll at last!

>> Friday, May 06, 2011

So Mary Poppins put on her white gloves and tucked her umbrella under her arm–not because it was raining but because it had such a beautiful handle that she couldn't possibly leave it at home. How could you leave your umbrella behind if it had a parrot's head for a handle? Besides, Mary Poppins was very vain and like to look her best. Indeed, she was quite sure that she never looked anything else.   --Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
I've finally finished the Mary Poppins doll. Well except for the umbrella... I'm still thinking about that. Don't worry, I do know it's important.
Of course I made a few changes, so I will show you the details. From the top, I absolutely love how her hat turned out. The pattern has a hat sewn from felt but I had the notion that I would like to make a straw hat for her.

Then one afternoon I just happened to be in a dollhouse shop in Cambridge (as part of a birthday treat day trip that included my favourite flea markets). And I found a tiny packet that had very dark navy blue miniature hat straw braid. There was only one colour, only one size and it was absolutely perfect.

So I looked it up online and sewing up a straw hat is pretty simple in the end. You can look it up yourself and find a tutorial that suits you, but the main tip, the thing I didn't know before, is that straw hat braid has a thread inside it that you can pull so that it curves.

The hat band is a tiny brown scalloped trim that was described in the dollhouse shop as "fairy lace". Now how on earth could I resist that?? Then I added some tiny white flowers I had already which I trimmed to look more like daisies.
The scarf was crocheted from pearl cotton with a tiny crochet hook. I matched the colours to the movie scarf rather than the pattern suggestions. That was a very finicky job that took a long time but as I often do I just worked on it while watching movies in the evening.
The boots are meant to be made from felt but they just turned out too bulky. So I copied the foot pattern and sewed it from black cotton fabric, hemmed the top, then embroidered the scallop edge and added the tiny black beads for buttons. The foot for this pattern has a funny shape but it's kind of charming in a way so I kept it that way.
Another little change was stitching lines to make fingers on her hands. And I decided not to bother with the mittens or stockings.
Lastly the carpet bag is meant to be made from blue fabric and embroidered. But I found the perfect little floral print at The Workroom that looks more like the carpet bag from the movie, and sewed it up from that instead.
There's a bit of wire sewn in at the top which you bend down to give it that doctor's bag shape. So charming!

So there she is.


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