Saturday, November 3, 2012


Mabel is a 17 inch Schoenhut Miss Dolly.  When I found her, she had on antique clothes and an old mohair wig.  Mabel is named after the main character in Harry Thurston Peck's The Adventures of Mabel. Here's a link to the book.

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher read a bit of the book every day to us.  I purchased the current 1963 copy at a local bookstore and read the book on my own.  I still have the book, safely stored in my bedside table. 

So...this is Mabel.  She's wearing a dress made from a baby's dress.  Mabel has tried on several wigs, and has chosen this one.  Although she likes the early 20th century styles, she LOVES being dressed in contemporary clothes.  All her joints work perfectly.  Her eyes are original (painted) and her face has been conserved carefully. 

Here's a closeup:
Mabel has lots of adventures planned to share.  I hope you like her.  She can be quite the character.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More than just Doll Clothes...Gluten Free Biscuits

Rather than making this blog only about doll clothes, I am going to post other things.  I'm a Christian and always learning about Jesus.  Also, my husband, one of my sons, and myself are all gluten free for health reasons.  I love to read and research through the internet.  Some of that and more will show up here.  Blogs are about getting to know about the people that write them, and it's time mine got more personal.

Here is a new recipe that I have come up with for Biscuits.  Being from Georgia (in the deep South of the USA), I grew up on biscuits.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks...there were always biscuits available.  I remember blueberry roly-poly desserts made with biscuit dough.

Most everyone I knew made "cat head" biscuits, not rolled and cut ones. I've tried so many gluten free biscuit recipes.  Maybe the authors weren't Southerners...or maybe they've never tried a Georgia or Alabama biscuit.  My husband ate them but he didn't exactly smile.

So after lots of tries, I finally made a batch that DID make him smile...and eat half the pan at one sitting.  Success.

My flour mix is from Carol Fenster's Sorghum blend found here:

I used the corn starch instead of potato starch because I was out of potato starch.

Miss Connie's Southern Cat Head Biscuits
makes 10 medium 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare baking pan by lining it with parchment paper, then greasing or
spraying the paper.  You could also grease the pan directly.  The pan can be 9 x 9 square, or a round pan, or a rectangular brownie-type pan.  

Mix in a bowl with a whisk:
1 1/2 cups sorghum blend flour 
1/2 cup tapioca starch (or other starch)
1 T sugar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 T baking powder

By hand, cut in
2 Tablespoons crisco or other shortening.

In another small bowl, mix
almost 1 cup milk (animal or vegan)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Or use 1 cup buttermilk  
          Note: you most likely will not use all of the milk but you never know...


Add milk, about 1/4 cup at a time.  Gently and quickly begin working your dough. As the milk absorbs, add some more, work it in.  Continue adding a bit of milk at a time until all the flour is dampened.  There's a certain texture that just feels "right".  You'll recognize it after a couple of batches. Kneading is not necessary and would overwork the dough if you used that method. 

Pull off a piece about 2 1/2 inches around.  Gently compress into a ball between your palms, pressing softly.  Mash softly to make a circle that's  higher in the middle than the edges.  Your hands (cupped palms) should naturally form this shape.

Place on prepared pan, continue with the rest of the dough.  Usually there's enough for one final "baby biscuit"  that's smaller than the rest.  This is a perfect treat for a child, or a hungry friend who doesn't want to wait until the bread is served.

Put a tiny bit of butter or dab a little oil on the top of each biscuit for a wonderful crust.  Bake until the top of the biscuits are lightly tan /browned.  My oven takes 15-20 minutes.  Each oven is different, so timing your perfect batch is more a matter of sight than the clock.

Let the biscuits cool until you can comfortably hold them. They should be pretty well set by then. Then if you want to split them the crumb will be not so gummy. 

I'd love to know how yours turned out.  And feel free to ask any questions. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wonderfully Happy

Sometimes there are things in life that are just plain settling to the soul. 

There's a British TV show called "Doc Martin".  Here's a Wikipedia link to the show.

The setting, characters, and plots (both main and subplots) hit just the right note in my self.  I've watched many of the episodes, and am currently watching the 2 prequel movies. 

The second wonderful thing is this blanket which I am knitting in an addictive way.

See, I have 3 rubbermaid boxes full of yarn.  They're random bits and pieces, some from 30 or more years ago.  Lots of the yarn is worsted weight.  Since I usually knit in lightweight yarn, with size 0-4 US needles, the thicker yarn has been just waiting and waiting. And waiting. My larger needles have been collecting dust as well.

The blanket is not hard.  Learning to knit the corners was a bit of a challenge until my eyes could discern the turns.  As soon as I got that skill down, I couldn't stop knitting.  So far in 2 days I've used up 4 oz of worsted.  It will most likely take 24 oz at least to get the size blanket I want.  The pattern is clever and it makes me happy to see the blanket grow round and round.

Here's the #3 wonderful thing:  My Schoenhut Miss Dolly.  I finally found the perfect wig for her.  She sleeps by my pillow and talks to me a lot during the day.  Usually my dolls want lots of clothes.  They're constantly asking for things. 

But Mabel asks for nothing but me.  I don't have a picture handy of her, but here is a link to another Miss Dolly:

My Mabel has brown eyes, a dark brown synthetic wig similar in style to the picture, and is 16" tall.

The perfect #4:  Elizabeth Zimmerman.  I purchased the commemorative copy of "Knitter's Almanac" and already owned "Knitting Without Tears".  Reading EZ's work and dreaming about her garments settles me and makes me excited all at once.  I want to own every book she ever wrote.

The Best, Most Wonderful thing though, is Jesus.  Talk about Soul Settling.  I've had the opportunity lately to study writings from several gifted authors (and our pastor too) that have opened new avenues of thought.  Sometimes it feels overwhelming, like a huge feast.  It takes some time to settle in the belly, but soon you want more food.

All these things add up to making me wonderfully happy.  Our life on Earth has so many pleasures, as well as trials.  I feel so blessed. 

Now to knit some more on my blanket before bedtime.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gifting Dolls

Since my collection of dolls is way too large, I decided to gift a couple of ladies at our small church with some little purse companions.

 The first lady was so thrilled. I gave her two Strawberry Shortcakes and a Ty teeny bopper. She brings the Ty doll to church each Sunday and I bring different dolls from my collection to show her.  She has also bought a few thrift store dolls for herself.  What's interesting about this is that I would not have "normally" chosen her to be a good friend.  However, after finding that we both love dolls, she and I have become closer and now I consider her a great buddy. (scroll down to the G's (Glitzy Gabby)

The next lady received a doll and some clothes.  I think she sometimes carries her SSC clone but mostly I haven't heard her mention it.  She's a lovely elderly woman and giving her a doll was mostly for me to show her I cared about her.

The third lady is someone I don't know very well at all, and haven't had the chance to talk to very much.  She has had a run-in with cancer and is in remission.  I had to leave early one Sunday after "big church" and asked the lady from paragraph one to deliver the little SSC clone.  This was a couple of months ago.

Just last week, I was told by the church secretary in an "Oh, by the way" comment, something that I wanted to share here.

The lady still has to go in for checkups every month, sometimes more often.  She always without fail keeps her little gifted doll in her purse.  During times at the Dr's office when she is nervous about what procedure or result or prognosis she will undergo, she holds the doll in her hand and prays.  She calls the little $2 gift her "prayer doll".  It calms and soothes her as she remembers her church friends and how much they love her, and especially the Lord's love for her.  She lifts up her fears and anxieties to God while holding the tiny plastic token of human affection in her hand. 

I was very moved by this report.  There was no way to predict how much a small doll would affect a woman going through one of life's most severe trials.

All this makes me want to share and gift so many more of my dolls.  Gifts of toys are pure luxury: not one of the necessities.  I stand amazed at how God has used these trinkets to help a couple of women in ways I never would have imagined.  He can use the least thing to show His love through us to others, can't he?

I am humbled.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Sweet Underrated Doll

Something about this little one has captured my heart.  This is Ideal's Little Miss Marker Sara Stimpson doll. On the back of her head is a date of (get the old bifocals out) 1978 or 1979. Sorry, I still couldn't read it well.  She is sculpted by Vincent J. DeFilippo.  He also sculpted a Shirley Temple the same size but it was never produced.

Her head is on a ball on her neck, like Penny Brite and Susie Sad Eyes.  It allows all kinds of poses.  Her head is oversized and I think she looks so cute in short little dresses. 

For some reason I see lots of sale photos of her online but very few active play pictures of her.  So here is one.  She's in a very simple handmade crocheted dress.  Isn't she so sweet?

I also think she's very underrated.  I think she has so much potential for cuteness.  If you have a Sara I'd love to hear from you. 

Free Knitting Pattern: Tiny Doll Shoes

I gifted a couple of friends with Strawberry Shortcake dolls and clones.  There was a problem:  I am a doll shoe hoarder and the dolls were delivered without shoes....but they had handmade dresses and hats.

I felt kind of bad (read guilty but quite selfish, as shoes this size are hard to come by) about the nekkid doll feet.  Is any girl's outfit complete without shoes?

After an extensive search for free knitted doll shoe patterns, I found only one or two.  Out there are some slipper patterns, some bootie and boot patterns, a couple for larger dolls, but none that I needed.

So, I created my own.  I began with Mary Janes and went on to Ballerina Slippers and Ankle Strap shoes.  The following pattern is the result of several hours of fun.

You're welcome to make these for your own use.  If you decide to sell them, you really should give credit to "Dollwear by Miss Connie".  This benefits you and me both. It advertises my doll clothes reputation and it makes a bit of cash for you.

Tiny Knitted Doll Shoes
A “Dollwear by Miss Connie” original design

Knit Mary Jane Style, Ballet Slipper Style or Ankle Strap Style for your smaller dolls

Fits doll feet that measure about ½” wide and 7/8” long such as:
Vintage Strawberry Shortcake and clones, Vintage Ginny (a bit tight), Susie Sad Eyes, Penny Brite and others

You will need:
     Size 0 (USA) knitting needles
     Size 7 (USA) crochet hook
     Size 10 Crochet thread or equivalent yarn
     Fray check or white glue
     Scissors, darning needle,
     Sewing needle and thread for ballet slippers.

Abbreviations:  PM = Place Marker,
 Inc.=knit into the front and back of stitch, whether it’s a knit or purl row.

Mary Jane Style:

Cast on 11 stitches

Row 1:  P5, PM, P1, PM, P5

Row 2:  Inc in 1st st, K to last st before marker, inc, K1, inc in 1st st after marker, K to last st, inc in last st. Use the diagram if it makes more sense.  Bold X = increase stitches. \ = marker.  Of course each row will have more small X/s between the increases.


Row 3:  Repeat row 2 but purl between the increase stitches.

Row 4:  Repeat row 2

Row 5:  Purl across

Row 6:  Knit across

Row 7:  P5, (P2tog) 3 times, P1, (P2tog)3 times, P5


The following instructions may look complicated, but once you do it, you will see it make sense and is really very easy.

Row 8:  Bind off all st but DON’T CUT THE THREAD.  Leave a loop on the knitting needle at the last bind off.

  1. Replace the knitting needle with the crochet hook in this last loop. 
  2. You are at the top of the heel.  With right side facing out, slip stitch in the first stitch opposite the vent.  This connects the back seam at the top of the heel.
  3. With right side facing you, sc in next 4 bound off knitted stitches.
  4. Chain 5.  Try to not twist the chain.
  5. Find the 5th  knitted stitch from the back on the opposite side.  Sc in this stitch and the next 4 stitches.
  6. Join with a sl st to the previous sl st.

Finishing:  Cut thread about 8”  from the shoe.  Pull thread through the last sl st.  Turn shoe right sides together and sew the heel and sole seam.

Tie a knot, place a tiny drop of fray check or white glue on the knot.  Weave in a bit of the leftover thread, cut, and apply fray check or glue on the end to permanently fasten. 

Ballet Slipper Variation

Follow rows 1-7 of the Mary Jane shoe.

Row 8:  Bind off all stitches at the top of the shoe.  Join with a sl stitch at back as in 8 - A and B.
              Finish as in 8 - G.

To the center back seam at the top, sew a ribbon or crocheted chain long enough to wrap around the ankle and tie a bow. 

It’s very interesting to research how ballerinas tie their pointe shoes. Search “Tie pointe shoe ribbons”

Ankle Strap Variation

Follow rows 1-7 of the Mary Jane Shoes.

Row 8:  K4, Bind off 9, K4

Row 9:  P4, cast on 4, p4

Row 10:  K across

Row 11:  Bind off all stitches.  Finish as Mary Janes instruction 8 – G

Examples of Other Doll Foot Sizes:

For a doll foot that measures about 1 3/8” long by 3/8” wide, use size 2 needles and sock yarn.
For a doll foot that measures about 2” long by 1” wide, use size 4 needles and DK yarn (or lightweight worsted)
Larger and smaller thread/yarn and needles can be used for smaller and larger doll feet.

For Fun, decorate the shoes with pearls, ribbons, buttons, sequins, beads and embroidery. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Two New Patterns for Kidz n Cats Dolls

I have finished two new patterns for Kidz n Cats dolls.  The first is a very well fitted bodice (so I've been told).  The pattern includes a front, back and long sleeve and instructions for a skirt.  You can make it as is or use it to compare to other patterns for adjustments. Besides instructions, I've included a tutorial sheet to show you how to make the easiest facing I've ever used.

Here's a cotton print example.

The second pattern is for fitted pants.  Again, fit is the most important thing for me to share.  The tutorial for this pattern is how to lengthen or shorten a pants pattern to make capris, bermuda or shorter shorts.  These directions can be used for basic length adjustments for sleeves, bodices, skirts, and other pattern pieces. The patterns acts as a design sloper if you cut off the seam allowances. I suggest you print several copies of the actual pattern pieces so you can play with design.

Here is a photo of  finished pants paired with the free camisole pattern here on my blog.

Each pattern is $4 PDF email or $5 paper mailed to you.  Contact me via email if you are interested.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Your Wish List and mine

I've had requests for a pattern for Princess Seam dresses, an easy starter dress, and a hoodie with capris.  What's on your wish list for patterns for Kidz n Cats?  Do you have other dolls for which you want patterns? 
Leave your suggestions in the comments box and I'll put them on The List.

Progress: Almost done with the Princess Seam dresses pattern (thanks for the idea, Pauline). 

On my Wish List is a tester who can commit to a 24-48 hour turnaround on trying out my sewing patterns.  The upside: free patterns.  The downside is finding the flaws (if any) and critiquing my work.

If  you want to help as a tester, you can contact me via email or in the comments.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Free Kidz n Cats Crochet Tank Top or Camisole

Here's a quick little top for your Kidz n Cats doll. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour for an experienced crocheter. I'm new at blogging, so I need to learn how to make a "Printer Friendly Version". In the meantime, I guess the only option is to highlight the pattern and print or save it.

Have fun, and if you get a chance, let me know how it worked and if you had any problems with the pattern.

Quick Tank Top / Camisole

For Kidz n Cats

And other slim 18 inch dolls

a Dollwear by Miss Connie Design

Materials: Size G (4 mm) crochet hook, DK (size 3) yarn. I used Caron’s Simply Soft for the purple example. The peach is made with British DK yarn, brand unknown.

Begin: Chain 54 (“Foundation chains”)

Row 2: Dc in 2nd ch from hook . Dc in next 5 FC. Ch 6, skip 15 FC, Dc in next 12 FC, Ch 6, skip FC, Dc in last 6 ch.

Row 3: Ch 2 (counts as first dc in this and all following rows). Dc in each dc and chain across

Row 4: Ch 2, Dc in each dc across.

Rows 5-7: Repeat Row 4 Note: You can crochet 7, 8 or 9 rows for different lengths. Models are shown with 8 rows.

Back Vent and Straps: Working along the back vent, 2 dc in each dc-post to the top corner. 3 sc in corner FC.

Sc in top of next 5 dc. Decrease over the next 2 st (dc and FC). This makes an “inside corner” that reduces the angle for straps that stay on the shoulders better. All the Decreases will involve one dc and one FC, whichever is first.

* Sc in each stitch up to 1 st before the next inside corner. Decrease over the next 2 sts (a ch and a dc, or vice versa).* Repeat from * to* 2 more times.

Sc to last dc. 3 sc in corner. Work 2 sc in each dc post down the other back vent.

Optional: If you would like to edge the armholes, attach yarn at underarm and sc around to the first st. Join with sl st, neaten yarn ends. Make sure both armholes have the same number of stitches.

Cut yarn, weave in loose ends to neaten. Fasten tips of yarn to inside of the Tank Top with a small drop of FabriTac glue or other fabric friendly glue.

Add 3 snaps or buttons on back vent for closures. Use the dc posts as buttonholes.

Decorate as desired.

Buttons, Bows, Rhinestones, Lace, Ribbon, Glue-On fabric pieces, Felt cut-outs, Fur, Feathers, Fuzzy Yarn……

Purrr..ty Please


What About the Cat?

Use the same hook and yarn as for your Kidz.

Chain 27 (foundation chains = FC)

Row 1: Dc in 3rd ch from hook and in next 3 ch (5 dc)

Ch 2, skip 4 FC, dc in next 8 FC.

Ch 2, skip 4 FC, dc in last 5 FC

Row 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1st dc). Dc in each dc and ch across (22 dc)

Row 3: Ch 2, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next 2 dc.

Dc in next 8 dc, 2 dc in next 2 dc,

Dc in last 5 dc.

Back vent and straps: Ch 1, 2 sc in each dc post to the top corner. 3 sc in corner FC.

Sc in next 3 FC, dec in next 2 FC

Sc in next 2 FC, dec in next 2 FC

Sc in next 6 FC, dec in next 2 FC

Sc in next 2 FC, dec in next 2 FC

Sc in next 3 FC, 3 sc in corner.

2 sc in each dc post down back vent.

Finish as for the Kidz top, but use 2 snaps or buttons. Decorate to coordinate with the Kidz top.

Thank you to Anne who tested the pattern for me.