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.