Monthly Archives: December 2010

Daily, 12/31

Best sibling toy ever!

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Holiday Card 2010

All photos by John Stephens of Iris and Light.

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Daily, 12/20

We are sitting down for breakfast, Stephen explains that he is going to work for a little bit today and then he will be home all week. I chime in that in a couple days we are going to Auntie Linda’s house for Christmas.

To which Bean says, “I need some new toys.”

Completely unprompted by me. We have said nothing of the sort about getting new toys for Christmas or Auntie Linda getting her new toys. Seriously, how did she figure this out?

This kid is getting too smart for her own good!

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Turning a girl sized pattern to American Girl sized

If you remember, back in July I made my niece a dress.

Well, when I found out she was getting an American Girl doll for Christmas (Shhh… it’s a surprise), I decided that I would try to make a matching dress for her doll. Her mom agreed that she would probably love it. I had a bunch of fabric leftover from my niece’s dress, so no need to buy anything new. However, I did not have a pattern. I tried to see if I could find one online, but did not encounter much luck.

So. I did math.

I was never really all that great at math. I do think part of it stems from some pretty terrible teachers in junior high and high school. Because some of the equations that I did figure out have definitely stuck with me. Like the proportional equation. And some geometry stuff that helped us out when we put in our own hardwood floors.

Give me a few minutes and I may be able to explain some math to you AND help you figure out some pattern making skills.

I still had the pattern pieces from the dress I made from “Project Runway Inspired” Simplicity Pattern 3510. I also still had my niece’s measurements and I found a few different websites that listed the dressmaker’s measurements for the American Girl doll.

So, I took all my measurements and the pattern pieces and started doing math and some drawing.

In order to do this I would measure a portion of the pattern piece, say the width of the armhole, and then plug it into my proportional equation (I am really not sure if that is the correct name for this equation, just go with it) along with some of the other measurements. This is the kind of math where there are knowns and unknowns and you have to do a little figuring to find out what the unknowns are (X).

So let’s go with the armhole example (FS = Full size, AG = American Girl):

FS armhole width               X (AG armhole width)
—————–            =       ———————
FS chest width                     AG chest width

So to find X you have to break down the equation until X is left by itself on one side of the equal sign.

2 1/8″           X
—–       =    —–
25″              11.25″

Now I’m not really sure the whole theory behind this, but you multiply in an X across the equal sign.

(2 1/8″) * (11.25″) = (25″) * X

Then to get the X by itself you have to divide both sides by 25 which eliminates the 25 on the X side.

(2 1/8″) * (11.25″)
——————       =        X
            25″

In this case X = 0.956″

So, then you know that when you are drawing the armhole, that it needs to be about an inch wide for the American Girl dress.

So, like I said when I was doing the equation I was also taking into consideration where on the body the measurements occured and using corresponding measurements. You wouldn’t for example, use the dolls height in the above equation over the chest measurement. And you want to use the width measurements with other width measurements and height measurements with other heigh measurements.

Or, if you were making a dress with sleeves, you would want to use the wrist and arm measurements when figuring out how wide and long to make the sleeves.

Does that make sense? I hope it does.

Here were my final pattern pieces:

I actually cut out the matching mini pockets for the American Doll dress too, but when it came down to actually sewing them, it was much too hard, even hand sewing them. They were soooo tiny. The dress isn’t an exact match, but I think it turned out pretty good.

I was also concerned about whether the doll version would fit over the doll’s head, so I decided to put a snap in at the back to give more room for pulling it over the doll’s head.

A few of the sites I found that talked about making doll clothes to match big kid clothes said to make it more accurate you should find coordinating fabrics with scaled down versions of the pattern (quilting cottons are a good place to look for this). I just wanted to use up some of the extra fabric I had on hand, so I didn’t do this. I think it looks alright. I did, however, scale down the size of the binding around the armhole to 1/4″ binding. I think on my niece’s dress I used 3/4″.

Anyway, it really is just a matter of knowing a little math, maybe having a calculator on hand if you can’t do math in your head like me, some blank paper, a ruler, measuring tape and a bit of drawing skills. Or if you are not super impressed with your drawing skills, you could make a rough drawn version by hand, scan it and clean it up in a program like Adobe Illustrator.

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Daily, 12/17

Kitty had to join us for breakfast this morning and she fed Kitty some of her food. Then when she ran out of her own food she ate Kitty’s food.



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Daily, 12/16

Look who crawled onto the foot of my bed and fell back asleep this morning…



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Christmas presents for one of my favorite little families

Finally, I can blog about and reveal some of the things I’ve been working on.

I definitely overcommited myself on the handmade gift list this year. So, a lot of it got scrapped. I gave first priority to people that I knew would actually appreciate handmade gifts. The second priority is keeping it real and knowing what I’ll actually be able to finish in time.

Anyway, last night one of our favorite little families held a Christmas gathering for all our friends and I gave away their gifts. Yesterday kind of turned into the day from H-E-double hockey sticks though so I was completely lame and showed up with my gifts in a slightly tangled pile in my arms, not even wrapped. Life happens. And a lot of life happening has been happening around here lately. It’s just that way. I know Cara understands and that is why we can be friends.

Oh, and I forgot to take photos of these gifts. So, Cara had to do that for me too. Here goes…


Here is sweet William, the cutest Beatles fan ever and one of Bean’s best friends, sporting his new airplane shirt. It is just a simple thermal from Old Navy that I added the vinyl airplane and script to. Actually, Sprout has the same shirt, sans embroidery.


This scarf I made with fleece for Cara’s husband John. I got the basic idea for it from Scandinavian Needlecraft and had actually planned to go in a slightly different direction with it, but Stephen helped me out with a concept and I went with it instead. Oh and John, Stephen says if you do not want your scarf, he will gladly take it off your hands.


Then for Cara I made these embroidered dish towels. I bought the towels at Target and the embroidery templates are from Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection. There are so many cute ideas in that book that are all so very Cara that it was hard to narrow down what I was going to do. I decided to make her some dish towels because she was very much in love with the woodland animals onesies that I made for a few friends. I told her that I would make some for her next babe, but that could be awhile. She needed some cuteness now.

Alright, hi-ho, hi-ho, back to Santa’s workshop I go…

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