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1  Wire-framed rag dolls: with tutorial in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Tropic_Rose on: November 11, 2012 08:34:08 AM
 Ever since I was 6 or 7, I've wanted to make a little doll that could be but into different poses. I've made various attempts through the years with varying amounts of success. I made these last year with my daughter and am finally getting around to posting.


I started with two pieces of wire bent into a configuration like this: One piece branches off to form the arms. The other goes down and is bent to make the legs and feet.

Then I secured that skeleton with crochet thread.

Using some fluff from a pillow, I draped it over the frame and wrapped and tied it in place.

I wrapped a ball of fluff up in a square of netting or tulle that I had and tied that on to the little neck part,

And continued wrapping the thread until it looked like this.

I cut skin from old t-shirts to make arms and quasi-footie/legs and sewed them together.

The head was a rectangle piece folded over(wrong side out), stitched to fit, then turned and the extra fabric sewn to the arms/sleeves.

You can probably tell I was making it up as I went along.  Grin

When it looked like this, I could get to the fun part...

...hair and make up! More t-shirts made this girl's tresses:

And black yarn for this curly 'do

And fabric paint for the faces.

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2  My first tutorial: Jeans Shorts To Kids' Backpacks in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Tropic_Rose on: September 13, 2011 10:32:44 AM

I made backpacks from old pants, shorts and one shirt for the kids for Eid. I was sewing till the last minute so I only managed to round 6 of the 8 total for pictures after I gave them out.

Here's how I made the backpacks:

I cut a sheet of paper into the biggest circle I could and that determine the size of the packs. At the bottom I cut off a little bit to let them be able to stand up when finished. I used one size circle for the front and back and cut a pattern a bit smaller for the plastic canvas I used to hold the shape. I estimated the length of the sides and divided that in half to make the pattern piece to be cut on a fold. I determined the size needed for the base and made a slightly smaller piece for plastic canvas so I could assemble it without sewing on top of the canvas.

I cut one circle for the front along with a sort of half circle for a pocket, and two for the back, one for the outside back and another as a lining to encase the plastic canvas. I did two of the base as well one for the outside and one to line it.

The long strip for the sides was cut from sweatshirt. I originally planned to put a zipper on top, but ended up not having time for that. I used denim from jeans shorts and a cotton button down shirt for the other pieces on this backpack.

The straps were made from some ribbons that I guesstimated the length for. I would have made them from denim if I had more time. They weren't very substantial.

After I did a few this is the assembly method I settled on:

 First, I topstitched to pocket to the front piece, reinforcing the corners.

 I turned down the upper edge and stitched it down stopping about an inch away from the pocket on either side to leave an opening.

 I took the two pieces for the base a sewed them to the bottom of the front. I sewed on the lining and outer piece to the other side of the base piece.

I sewed the side strip to the front piece, leaving a gap where I topstitched for the opening. I reinforced the sides so it wouldn't pull apart easily

I sandwiched the canvas between the lining and outside back, remembering to place the straps before pinning it to the side strip and sewing them together.

Then I flipped the whole thing right side out

and put it onto a cute model

And I was done!
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3  A skirt from a pillowcase in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by Tropic_Rose on: September 01, 2011 12:13:20 PM
I needed a skirt for my dd stat so I opened a pillow case lengthwise and attached the bottom half of a white tee shirt (4T). A little elastic, some lace a shiny buttons and there it was!

It actually took a while because I hand sewed it all. If I had had the machine running it would have been much quicker and I probably would have hemmed it, too! I have a matching shirt but I'll have to catch it after laundry day and edit it in.
What do you think?
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4  A mini siamese cat doll in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Tropic_Rose on: September 01, 2011 12:04:15 PM

 I made this as a gift back in June but just got the pictures uploaded. She's about 6 inches tall, made from the same pattern I drafted for the Miss Mousie and the other minis in that post. I did have to reshape the face a bit and make pointy ears to make her a cat.

 Here's the bow on the back of her dress and you can see the cut down lace I trimmed it with.

 Here's her built-in PJs.

And  a close up of her face. The birthday girl requested the blue eyes.

 I was rather harried while making her, but fell in love once I put her dress on her. It's just so cheerful!
 Please say something nice about her to make my day.
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5  Some Barbie outfits in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Tropic_Rose on: June 01, 2011 02:50:44 PM
 I sewed these up a few months ago to try to help stem the nude Barbie epidemic in my household. I made a pattern for the bodice by tracing the top of a ball gown that was falling apart. I was waiting to post when I had scanned the pattern to share but have procrastinated that forever, so here are the dresses at least.

 This was the first one. I used a woven material, salvaged from a toddler shirt and shorts. The top is a halter and the ruffle never lays right. I figured the skirt wrong so I had to ad a modesty panel in the back.

 This one is a knit material, so  I found it easier to work with. The panel was just layered on top for visual interest. It is a skirt and top. The customers were demanding their wares, so I only bothered with one strap.

 This one is a dress with, I think, a half circle skirt. Knit material, again. The Barbie model seems to like it!

This dress is actually a chocolate brown, with the purple accent, though it looks black in the picture. A-line skirt, strapless. I had to be a bit more careful with the fit.

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6  Faria the Fair Fennec Fox. in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Tropic_Rose on: April 27, 2011 06:20:06 AM

 Here's a stuffed fennec I made for my DDs B'day.

 I had it cut out ahead of time but it was a rush job, sewn the night before and painted the morning of her birthday. I used the same pattern as my bigger mouse, only increasing the head size a little for extra cuteness. However, I didn't have sweatshirt fleece in the right shade, so I substituted knit from a ruined skirt.
 And it stretched quite a bit. She turned out bigger than I planned.

I had trouble with her face shape, modifying it several times.

I put thin plastic in her huge ears to hold the shape and painted the facial features with fabric paint. I love how her eyes turned out.

I didn't have time to make clothes so I dressed her in a baby hoodie and wrapped a piece of lace as a mini skirt.

Since she is from North Africa, I gave her an Arabic name. Faria mean "beautiful, kind, loving," or so the internet tells me.
My kids didn't know what a fennec was so I'll include a picture here for reference.
DD loves her even though she an official teen now.
What do you think!
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7  Taste the rainbow. Rag bag organization. I'm inordinately proud of this. in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by Tropic_Rose on: April 16, 2011 05:33:30 PM

I keep old clothes for making dolls and other crafts. I had been storing them in a small duffle bag, which of course, means I had to dig through the whole thing to get what I needed. I finally got tired of that and sorted it all out into these old dresser drawers I've been saving for another project.

Here's the whole spectrum. I tried to crop out most of the junk on the floor.

close ups of the different colors

As I said, I'm absurdly pleased with how it came out, and I thought I'd share it here.

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8  I thought I made this up! Green Elmo. in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Tropic_Rose on: April 16, 2011 11:41:56 AM

I made two Elmos as gift last year and made one the usual red and the other one green so they could be easily told apart. I dubbed the green one "Melo."
I didn't post them here because I didn't take pics before giving them, and no sense getting the PBS goons on me for copyright infringement!  Tongue
Recently, I was watching Sesame Street videos on Youtube and saw this

Elmo really is green! So I had to post and show how the "stole" my idea.  Grin

And here's a slightly more recent Spiderman toy. I wasn't totally thrilled with how he came out, but was all out of time. He was/is quite a hit, though.

And a group shot, just for fun. The kids love to see their toys on Craftster.

They are all pretty worn out, after being heavily played with by 3 year olds. I used fabric paint on wooden beads for the eyes for the Elmos. Which doesn't really work all that well as you can see. On the latest repaint, I gave Melo green eyes, as a change.

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9  Not entirely a recon.: Trimmed denim bag. in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Tropic_Rose on: March 27, 2011 01:11:51 PM
I hope this is ok here. I didn't make the bag, just added trim and another pocket to it. But, I thought it came out really cute and wanted to share. It was part of my gift to my  daughter.
The pink patterned material is the new pocket. The ladybug charm is new, too. It fell off a bracelet. 

A little crochet trim on the side pockets.

Here's what went inside.
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10  Re: Let me see your Denim Jeans Bags! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Tropic_Rose on: March 25, 2011 09:41:30 PM
Here's a toddler back pack from a year ago:

It's made from a pair of black jeans and plaid shorts.
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