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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Anyone interested in Blythe, Momoko and Tiny Betsy McCall knit, sewn and croche? on: August 08, 2007 03:05:50 PM
I've been building a collection of knitted and crochet 1:6th scale patterns for Blythe and Momoko. I'm intending to extend the patterns to Tiny Betsy McCall too. I also pattern cut original patterns for my dolls.

I started out making clothes for Barbie when I was 11 and I moved on to Blythe when I was 24. I work with UK 2 ply yarn with 2 mm and 1.5 mm knitting needles, and 2 mm crochet hooks. Using a finer yarn gives more scope to design intarsia (picture knitting), cables and lace. But I don't know if there are any other Blythe or Momoko collectors, who also knit or crochet who would be interested in making the clothes in such a fine yarn. The finest yarn most people seem comfortable with is UK 4 ply. 

My question is would anyone be interested in a downloaded PDF file with them in? I'll be having some as free downloads on my blog when I've finished a few more, with knitted, crocheted and sewn outfits. I'm going to post a way to make 'real' furniture using plastic canvas as an internal frame, with wadding and hand stitched covers, to make sofas, beds, armchairs etc. To complete the household section I'm going to add patterns for a range of homewares, such as 1:6th scale patchwork quilts, cushions, duvets and duvet covers, pillows, table linen, rugs, curtains and anything else I can think of.

I'm going to have to sink a lot of my free time into this and I was just looking to see if there were people out there that would be interested before I start getting even more obsessed over it than I already am Smiley Craftster has been a real inspiration to me to crack on and do this.

Some of my things are in this post http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=174267.0. Are there any other pattern makers/writers out there for these dolls? It would be great to  get to know some of you!

Liz A.
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Crocheted 2 ply silk lace on: June 22, 2007 04:12:17 PM
My friend has asked me to make a signature piece of his final collection at London Fashion Week next February. I need any tips on working with and blocking out very fine silk yarn. Also any links to specifically silk lace that people might have, of any era.

I'm thrilled and scared about the challenge this project presents. He's being supported by Alexander McQueen and Phillip Treacy, both of whom he's worked for this past year. He finishes studying at St Martin's in London next summer. If this project goes well he's asked me if I would do all of his knitting and crochet work in the future.

I've crocheted with 2 ply cotton and wool yarn many times before in miniature, for Blythe clothes, as well as some bigger pieces for babies, but nothing on this scale. He's going to pattern cut the item and send me the pieces so I can work each piece. I'll be blocking and making up the dress and spending the 2 weeks around Fashion Week in London with him doing the fittings.

I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that I'm not completely crazy for agreeing to this. If anyone else has made crocheted fine silk lace I'd love to here from you Smiley

Liz A.
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Different type of crocheted tampon on: June 21, 2007 10:32:27 AM
I made the prototype for this a few weeks ago after reading this thread about alternative menstrual products http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=82588.0.

I wanted to address the possible problems with reusing a filling or stuffing of a crocheted outer tampon, so I had a think and this is what I came up with.





EDIT: It's been brought to my attention that the washing and care instructions I had previously were sub optimal. I suggest looking online for instructions on how people care for cloth diapers or cloth menstrual pads.

Here's the pattern I made. Please respect my copyright. I'm happy for anyone to make them for their personal use and/or amusement, but please don't make them to sell. I spent a long time working on the design.

Also I am not a medical professional. I make no guarantee that they won't kill you or make your genitalia unhappy with you. You use them at your own risk and I accept no responsibility for their (mis)use.

I used some Rowan 4 ply cotton I had on hand, but a much better yarn would be be an unbleached 4 ply Hemp. Some sources I know of are http://www.houseofhemp.co.uk/acatalog/Natural.html which is 100% hemp yarn and http://www.lanaknits.com/usahempton.html which is a 50% cotton 50% hemp mix. House of Hemp are based in the UK and Lanaknits are based in Canada but both sell worldwide.

Using hemp would make the tampons ultimately compostable and the hemp plant is very good for the ground it's grown in. The yarn when you buy it is often crisp and coarse feeling, but once washed it becomes much softer and more comfortable on the skin, which is fairly important for this pattern Smiley

If you'd prefer cotton or are having difficulty finding hemp, them please use an unbleached 4 ply cotton yarn. 

4 ply 3 mm hook

Ch 47

Turn and dc (US sc) into 2nd chain from hook through back of chain stitch

Make 26 dc (US sc)

* Turn and chain 1. Make 27 dc (US sc)

Repeat from * for 12 more rows (14 in total)
 
Make 26 dc (US sc)

In next st make 2 dc (US sc)

Continue making 6 more dc (US sc) down the side of the rectangle, 1 into each row. Turn and make 1 ch

Dec 1st and 2nd st of row, 4 dc (US sc), dec 7th and 8th st, 4 dc (US sc), dec 13th and 14th st. Turn and make 1 ch

Dec in 1st and 2nd st of row, 2 dc (US sc), dec in 5th, 6th and 7th st of row, 2 dc (US sc), dec in 10th and 11th st. Turn and make 1 ch

Dec in 1st and 2nd st or row, 3 dc (US sc), dec in 6th and 7th st. Turn and make 1 ch

Dec in 1st and 2nd st, 1 dc (US sc), dec in 4th and 5th st. Turn and make 1 ch

Dec in 1st, 2nd and 3rd st.

Turn and slip st 5 sts, 1 st per row. Turn and make 1 ch.

Dc (US sc) into each slip st, then continue dc (US sc)1 st per row, down to end of rectangle.

Slip st into the back of each st in the chain cord.

Cut yarn and carefully untie the slip knot at the bottom of the chain. Pull both yarn ends through both chain loops. Pull tightly and trim ends.

To use, tightly roll up the rectangle and tuck it's top end into the little 'hood'. Carefully push up in the bottom of the roll to make it easier for insertion.
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Take some beads, buttons, wire and chain.. EDIT: Many more pics added! on: June 06, 2007 02:38:34 PM
.. and make a pendant!



What do you think? It's a present for a friend. I've got about 7kgs of buttons and beads to make into jewellery next to me and I scored 14 rolls of some heavier weight florists wire to make them with.

I love the organic nature of making them, building and wrapping the piece, adding dangles, crystals, chain and charms. It's very soothing to see the pieces become a whole.

EDIT: I took pictures of some of the other pieces I made.

















I'm still trying to decide which ones I do and don't like and why. Opinions?
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Blythe Doll clothes or My doll's clothes history [IMG obese!!] on: June 03, 2007 06:13:15 PM
My mum, aunts and grandmas have all knitted, crocheted, embroidered and sewn all my life. Every birthday and Christmas I'd receive a pile of clothes and accessories for my Barbie, Ken and Skipper dolls.They also made me household things like bedding, rugs, towels, kitchen goods, even coats for the dog! I remember mum making them for my cousins. I was fascinated at the tiny stitches and the detail that could be created.

My own adventures in making dolls clothes started when I was 11. I was ill, off school, and bored out of my tree. I'm dyspraxic http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/services/ad_symptoms.php and I find detailed work a real challenge. But my mum had an ex-library book full of patterns for Barbie and Sindy doll clothes. So I got out some sewing scraps and made my first dolls clothes.

I made clothes for my Barbies, especially once I finished high school, obsessively practicing and refining my stitches and the details I could create. At the same time I was teaching myself to sew and make corsets and wedding dresses, especially for plus sized women like myself. I learnt flat and draped pattern cutting, using my dolls as miniature models and learning aids, being able to create intricate outfits with little expenditure.

I finally taught myself to knit and crochet 3 years ago and immediately used my new obsession in Blythe and Momoko to use them as my new muses. I used to hang out on the This is Blythe forum http://blythe.swedenunlimited.com/newforum/ For the 18 months or so that I was a regular there, I made a whole series of outfits and sets.

Without further ado, here are a some of my Blythe dolls, my old Susie Sad Eyes and my repro vintage Barbie. I'm trying to decide whether to start making new clothes for them.. I miss it Sad



I wrote the pattern for this hoodie, but I'm now working in 2 ply with 1.5 mm and 2 mm needles to get a better sense of scale. So I'm going to re knit it and alter the pattern, so it doesn't look so tight and stiff.



My girls are modelling it for your viewing pleasure Smiley





I love to hand embroider and hand bead dolls clothes. I just wish I could get and use beads that were small enough to look 'in scale'.









This white crochet coat I made in 3ply cotton with a 2mm crochet hook.



This biker jacket I made in 1995 for the doll who is wearing it. I made her a pair of cropped turn up hem jeans to match. The fake leather was hand stitched and all the seams were top stitched. It was very stiff to work and next time I'm going to make it in soft glove real leather.



I really enjoyed making the pants and cropped top set. I use hankerchief weight white cotton as linings for all my dolls clothes so that there is no issue with staining or the seam allowances fraying.



My Susie Sad Eyes. I found them too poorly made and easy to damage so I cleaned her up and clothed her.



Two of my girls on a trip out to Edinburgh Botanics. I love to photograph them in the Alpine gardens.. the miniature plants and landscapes really set them off Smiley



My Blythe girls are currently mostly in pieces in their boxes waiting to have new make up and matt sanding. I need to motivate myself to rescue them from their solitude, so they can come downstairs and go on display with the furniture I bought and made them.
6  U.K. AND IRELAND / SCOTLAND / List of Edinburgh craft resources on: May 19, 2007 09:46:01 AM
Edinburgh craftster here! Edinburgh itself is a little thin on the ground for crafting, especially on a budget. However there are places to try.

Knitting and crochet:

John Lewis in the St James Centre (Usual range of John Lewis, fabrics, yarn, sewing machines and haberdashery. I only bother when they have a sale on)

Jenners on Princes Street (Yarn department and haberdashery. Sadly no longer sell fabrics)

Edinburgh Bargain Stores on Clerk Street (Cheap acrylic yarn, lots of cheapish cooking pots for dyeing, a treasure trove of fairly cheap tools, picture frames, glass jars for fimo coverage, candles, votives. Many cheap things!)

Handknits on Bruntsfield Place (Generally high end yarn. Very very knowledgeable and friendly, both women who work/own it are professional knitwear designers, Jeanette Trotman and Carol Meldrum. If you see Carol, say Hi! from Liz)

Pins and Needles on Home Street (Sells yarn through the back of the shop, cheaper than HK but not only acrylics. Also sewing fabrics and haberdashery, sewing patterns, good alterations service. Say hi to Serafina from me!)

Ali's Cave next to the Festival Theatre (Similar to the Bargain Stores, but not as big a range or generally as cheap)

Dainties yarn shop on Causewayside (Owned and run by a very elderly eccentric woman named Hilda. You need to go, just to see what a knitting shop used to be like!)

McAree Brothers on Howe Street (Mostly mid range yarns, with some higher end stuff. Also have a good online ordering service.)

Drummond's on Haymarket (Sells sewing machines, yarn, haberdashery and offers a limited number of classes. Overpriced and a little unfriendly and unwelcoming)

Fabric:

Edinburgh Fabrics on Clerk Street (Big Indian shop, friendly and helpful)

Mandors on East Claremont Street (Small but with a large range, especially of more luxurious and dressy fabrics)

The Cloth Shop Bonnington Road (Warehouse with the downstairs full of upholstery fabrics and upstairs the dress fabrics. Has reasonable sales)

Various Indian shops on Leith Walk

John Lewis (As above)

Pins and Needles (As above)

Beads and jewellery making:

The Little Bead Shop on Bruntsfield Place (Also sells Silver Clay and offers classes)

Helios Fountain in the Grassmarket (Expensive for beads and findings but handy)

Scrapbooking and stamping:

The Edinburgh Craft Shop on Slateford Road (Stamps, embossing powders, ink pads, brads, paper, wooden box and shape blanks, craft buttons. Friendly owner)

Stampers Grove on Grove Street off Fountainbridge (Pretty much anything you need for scrap booking or stamping from paper to stickers, rubber stamps with a custom service available, ribbons, card blanks, die cutters and stencils)

Charity shops:

Shelter on Clerk Street (Good for fabric and old jewellery to remake into new designs)

St Columba's Hospice Shop on Morningside Road (Yarn, needles and patterns. Many good yarn bargains over the years)

Hospice of Hope (Romania) on Home Street (Sometimes fabric, yarn and needles. Mostly craft books)

Edinburgh Methodist Mission on Earl Grey Street (Books, yarn, needles and fabric. Also sewing patterns for all you retro and vintage fans)

Bits and Bobs Scrapstore at Lairdship Yards at Broomhouse Road (Recycling project in an industrial estate. Sells *everything* although you need to purchase a membership either as an individual or as an organisation. This, however, is cheap as chips compared to the bargains you can get there. Run, do not walk!)



We also have a Stitch and Bitch on a Wednesday night at Chai Teahouse on Merchants Street from 7pm. Also we meet on alternate Saturdays and Sundays at Double Dutch. We're mostly knitters and crocheters but any stitch crafts are welcome and encouraged! Check out http://www.cityknitty.net/!

I'm always happy to meet new craftsters if anyone wants to get together. I knit, machine knit, crochet, sew, pattern cut, make corsets, print, dye yarn and fabrics and generally use fabric and yarns any which way I can. I make beaded jewellery, button jewellery, fimo jewellery, beads, felted stuff, wire work jewellery, bags, recycled objects.. anything I can think of really. If you're into any of those things then please get in touch!

Liz Ashton
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / First post - Japanese inspired corset and tail back shirt on: April 30, 2007 04:53:50 PM
I made this a few years ago for a college project. These photos are from the exhibition it was subsequently shown in: 'Wow! Best Fashion Shop' in Chinatown in Leeds, UK.





The main shirt fabric was hand dyed cotton. Each of the appliques on the shirt and the corset fabric was hand decopaged out of paper images, photocopied onto iron on paper transfer sheets and fixed onto cotton fabric.

The front of the corset has a busk, with 5 buckles covering it, is fully boned in spring and straight steels and has a ribbon lacing the back.

I was really into the Fruits book at the time.. can you tell? Smiley

Hope y'all like it!

Liz A.
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