Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Bathing Suit for Lorraine

I know it's the wrong time of year, but when I saw this little bathing suit (size 18 months) at the thrift shop I thought of Lorraine.

I had already started to cut it apart when I thought to take a picture.
It seemed like it would be very simple to cut it down for her.

I cut off the side seams, turned it inside out, and folded it in half.

Then I sewed up the center to make it smaller across her chest. I didn't want to move the straps, so that's why I didn't cut down the sides to make it smaller.

Then I draped it over her to see how it was fitting.

Much too long. I folded it half again and cut down the leg holes.

Then I turned under the raw edges on the leg openings and sewed up the sides. Auntie Berman suggested tying the two upper straps behind her neck, instead of trying to cut down the straps to make them fit, so I cut them off where they joined the back of the suit.

Yes, I know the print on the back of the suit is upside down, but that's the way it was originally.

I didn't want to cover up her swim suit after I just made it, but it's kind of cold so I put her seersucker capris (which is what she was wearing when I got her) on her and added a little bolero vest from an American Girl.

I think she's almost smiling!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Clothes for Lorraine

Lorraine was complaining that she had nothing to wear but summer dresses (and her Christmas dress, and her jacket, and her robe), so I made her an outfit.

"These shoes are ridiculous!"
The pullover sweater is made from a thrift store sweater. I used an American Girl pattern, unfortunately forgetting they have bulkier bodies than Lorraine. So it's a bit large for her. The pants are actually the right length for her, but the shoes make them bunch up. I used a combination of several patterns to get one that fit. I also made her a pair of panties but she refused to let me photograph them. Then she needed shoes, so I tried my hand at making them. I used this as a guide but got everything too big, including the tongue of the shoe. When I first got Lorraine, I made her a pair of slippers using this pattern, adjusting it for her larger foot.

"At least these are decent slippers."
They are a better fit, but more slipper-like than shoe-like. So, I saw another pattern here and thought it looked pretty easy. I am out of printer toner so I couldn't enlarge and print the pattern but I drew a reasonable facsimile of the upper part, found a piece of upholstery fabric and the glue gun, and gave it a try.

"Why is my Mommy so incompetent?"
They don't look bad from a distance but I couldn't find the Fray Check to keep the edges from raveling and I was getting glue all over myself and Lorraine. And I was getting tired of the whole project so I decided I would try again another day.

I had made a previous pair of pants for Lorraine that were too short, so I gave them to Pollyanna Sunshine.

"I don't care if they're way too big."
I will have to cut them down for her, but she was thrilled to have more clothes, even if they are hand-me-downs. Of course she's thrilled about anything.

Now you're all anxious to know about the new Barbie. I have named her Mallory Storm. I was researching some family history and came across a long-ago relative named Mallory Storm Hickerson, who died at age 13. No one on the forum seemed to know if Mallory was a girl or a boy, but I think it's a marvelous name.

I made her a dress out of purple velvet, which matches her lips so I guess I won't repaint them. I actually already had the top made so I just cut four triangles from another piece of the velvet, made a gored skirt, and sewed it to the top. Now I have to find some bling to spice it up a little.

"She should have made it ankle length."
And now I must tell you how it's entirely Auntie Berman's fault that I have yet another Barbie.  We were in Goodwill Bargain Bin and she said "There's a nice Barbie"  or words to that effect. I had briefly noted the Barbie and was walking on by when she (Auntie Berman) spoke. So of course I picked up the doll and I really, really liked her.

"At least someone recognized that I have star potential."
We thought she looked kind of like a 40's movie starlet. She had no clothes but I found a blouse and skirt in a nearby bin. Her hair was very tangled but I brushed it out on the way home, using Auntie Berman's hairbrush, which she doesn't need any more because she got all her hair cut off. When we got home I dug out this lovely Chinese coat for her to wear. It came from the Dollar Tree and was for a wine bottle. Apparently some people like to dress their wine bottles, although I think dollies are more fun.

"This is the life I was meant for."
I am going to make her a cowgirl outfit. I have a piece of thin fringed rawhide that was part of a purse, I think, and it's the perfect size. It's just pinned on here, not yet made into a skirt. Now she needs a Western blouse, a hat, and maybe a vest.

"I already have the boots. Maybe I can be in a movie with John Wayne."
I hope I can keep up my enthusiasm for making clothes for everyone.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do You Ever Have Conversations With Yourself Like This?

At the Salvation Army Warehouse up Valley Road:

Me:  Oh, I like that Barbie!

Myself: You don't need any more Barbies. You just got rid of a dozen of them.

Me: But she's really pretty and she looks kind of wistful. And she has a smudge on her nose.

Myself: You can't start collecting Barbies again. You have two and you promised No More!

Me: I like the way her hair's been cut, even if it is a little uneven. She doesn't have any bite marks on her or gouges on her leg, like that other Barbie.

Myself: Absolutely not.

Me: I don't really like the color of her lips but I could repaint them.

Myself: You'll never get around to doing it.

Me: Ann just got a Barbie. I should get a Barbie.

Myself: That's Ann's one and only Barbie. She doesn't compulsively buy Barbies.

Me: She might start, now that she has one.

Although this conversation seems to last a long time, it only took a few moments to go through my mind and I was asking Auntie Berman's opinion. Auntie Berman said weakly, "Well, if you really like her . . . " Later she said "Now I suppose you'll have to get a Ken to go with her."

Of course the Barbie was naked so I wrapped her in a scarf Auntie Berman bought. I think this may be a Bob Mackie 2005 Holiday Barbie. She has 2005 on the back of her neck and 1999 on the back of her waist. There is also what appears to be a serial number above the 1999.

She actually looks very nice in purple, so maybe I shouldn't try to repaint her lips.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pollyanna Sunshine

This picture was supposed to be last but I was having difficulties arranging things.
Since I couldn't decide between the two names, she is Pollyanna Sunshine. I worked on her hair with a pink doll brush from Salvation Army Warehouse.

I was supposed to section off the hair but it wasn't easy to do. I just took a hunk and started brushing, from the ends up, against my well-protected leg. Then I tied each section off with string.

Almost done!

Her hair is a bit, um, fluffy.

Her jeans are, I think, for an American Girl doll. I had to take two darts in the waist to make them small enough for her. She is quite a bit daintier than AG dolls.

"I feel like a princess!"

The Graysons Move Into Their New Home

Due to impending bad weather, I went ahead and moved the new doll house inside without waiting to repaint. If you click on the pictures you can see how poorly it is painted.

The Greenleaf website shows this house divided into four rooms, but they would be awfully tiny rooms, I think. So we will say this is just a small part of their huge mansion and someday maybe they really will have a huge mansion.

This is the left side of the downstairs. I was going to put the fireplace back in the corner but unfortunately I have misplaced the fireplace. I'm sure it will turn up.

Tiffany thinks carpeting would be nice.
"I know we're supposed to be babysitting, but let's party!"
The girl in the purple hat is another mini Liv doll. She and Tiffany are best friends. The little boy is a mini Bratz boy. We accidentally lost one of his feet on the way home. He is Dr. Grayson's son from a previous marriage, which Dr. Grayson forgot to tell Mrs. Grayson about. The first Mrs. Grayson died under Mysterious Circumstances.

"I had so many things on my mind when we got married that I forgot to mention Evelina. She died in a tragic accident."
Dr. Grayson has a lovely cloak made of soft vinyl. It may have been for a Batman figure.

"I understand, Dr. Grayson," said Beatrice. "And I'm sure Cedran and the baby will like having a big brother."