Knitting Patterns by Lyndell

Design-Your-Own Dress Recipe - free download now
Halter-Neck Dress for Blythe Dolls - free download now
Gumnut Hat in HandSpun for Blythe Dolls - free download now

Who? What? eh?

This is the blog of a constant crafter - a 'showcase' for some of the things I make, some hints for crafting & recylcing - lots of photos and some words. I hope it will inspire.
Please Note: all photos are Copyright.

My Blythe Dolls have their own blog where they are showing lots of photos from our holiday in France - it is here.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Petite Blythe Dolls - there are now 14 !

 A little Dolly Story post today ... because this parcel arrived ...

"Eeeps - do be careful up there Bird!"
Julia: "Yep, red hair just like mine - let's get you outta there."
The first out of the big cardboard box was a red-head ... Zucchini Flower, Julia and Petal rushed to meet her.

A few things to note during the de-boxing - 
her feet were tied with ribbon!  so much nicer than wire.

And in the bag with her stand was a Blythe Coin? 
Eventually I figured out that this wasn't a bribe or special prize - but a weight for the stand - this little petite has a rather heavy costume.

Because - she is a squirrel.
Takara released "Squiggly Squirrel" in February 2008 - already 8 years old

I'm calling her  
Cecilia 'Squiggle' Ècureuil

Cecilia because it is the most sibilant name I can think of, Squiggle after the Wendy Boston squirrel I have had since I was a bub and Ècureuil because that is French for squirrel and a word I find completely unpronounceable.

Love Cecilia's dark eyes & red hair and that outfit is hilariously cute - I even love the tail which reminds me of a prickly pear - only non-prickly!

Julia: "Now you are being silly Zucci - Cecilia's tail is not a beard!"

Meanwhile: little Margaret was talking to someone through the plastic window of her packaging ...
"Don't hurt yourself breaking that plastic - we'll get Bird to help you."

"See, Bird is really good at this sort of thing."  

And I'll interrupt the little 'uns here - This doll is a 'Totally Tartan' released by Takara in September 2003, PBL-22, quite an early petite. 
And despite plastic wrapped tight about her arms (it was difficult to remove) the black trim on her dress has stained her shoulders.  These things happen - even when NFRB these dolls can deteriorate - plastic is never completely stable.
 Personally I don't mind, in fact, those stained shoulders helped me find her name ... Fenella MacTavish.  Fenella means 'white shoulders' - and MacTavish because it sounds like swirling tartan & bagpipes with haggis.

Back to the Little 'uns now -

Fenella: "Hello but I'm sorrry you'rre all a blurrr to me - I'm rrreally short sighted ..."

Bird: "Do you need these?"

 Fenella: "Och aye, that's much betterrr."

Bird: "Here, you had best have your handbag too ...   Now, let me introduce you to Margaret and Vivien ... "

And we'll leave the girls to their introductions while I show you some of her stock outfit.  She came with a petticoat, dress, red jacket, handbag and glasses - the boots are painted on.
I love the way the dress is cut-away at the back to reveal the red lace frills of the petticoat - it also has red bead 'buttons' at the back. 

And here is a portrait of little Fenella MacTavish

Meanwhile:  Hilda could hear faint meowing ...
"Bird, Look!  there is another box in here!"

 De-boxing ensued and Wilhelmina was delighted to see a girl with 'fantasy hair' ...

Interrupting again - she is a 'Feline Fancy' another Takara release from 2003 - this time from December.  And these petites are notorious for staining from their black outfit ... again there was a lot of hard-to-remove plastic but there is still staining, mostly on her shoulders and some stripes to her pretty green hair. 


Again I'm not worried about it - was expecting this staining - and again, it has inspired her name.  

Because she is a tabby cat I'm calling her Tabitha d'Khat.  Khat is the name of the very clever Siamese cat in a favourite childrens' book - 'Midnite' by Randolf Stow.  


Although it caused staining I rather like her outfit - the little dress and helmet are black velvet - decorated with silver stars on chains and the dress has petite embroidered across the front - the boots are painted on.  I also really love her pursed up little smile - just like my daughter's when she was very little - I called it her 'triangular smile'. 

Now for some group photos - the 3 new girls:
Tabitha d'Khat, Fenella MacTavish & Cecilia 'Squiggle' Ècureuil

The Red-Heads

Petal d'Fleur (Lily Wild), Zucchini Flower (Muchuahua Zukin), Cecilia 'Squiggle' Ècureuil & Julia (LPS Lemons 'n' Honey)

The Fantasy Hair Girls:

Tabitha was worried: "Is she ill?"
Chloe: "Nah! Viccy is just a baby, she is always needing a nap."
Wil to Viccy: "Would you like a glass of milk?"

They are - Victoria Amelia (Pajama Party keychain version), Tabitha d'Khat, Chloe (Clionetti) and Wilhelmina Blue (a customised 'Spirit & Spice).

Perhaps I have a 'thing' for petites with green eyes & red lippy?

Vivien Lee is a Rosie Red keychain version - so not sleepy eyes and as you can see, her eyelashes are quite different, her lips are also slightly larger, Tabitha's lips are darker and look a bit smaller even than Fenella's ... giving her that 'triangular smile'. 

 And to end this post - a group photo with all 14 of the little 'uns - 12 Takara Petites, 2 LPS and 1 LPS on an Obitsu 11cm body.  I like the number 14 - perhaps this is now my complete collection of petites or perhaps this is just ...
The Class of 2016? 

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Smallest Room of the Dolls' House is Finished

My cabinet dolls' house has been an on-going project for nearly 30yrs and this is the first room that I am declaring - Finished - Done - Complete.  It is the smallest room.

The dolls' house was started for my daughter but she quickly dis-owned it and over the years, many things that we could not afford in the renovations of our actual house (or that were simply too grandiose) I did in the mini house.

Victorian era prettily painted bathroom fittings were one of those things - indeed in the full-scale house there isn't even enough space to have a bathtub!  But the bathroom set was one of the first things I bought for the dolls' house... I painted all the flowers on about 12yrs ago

cosmetic bottles made of beads
The doll's house bathroom has marble tiled floor, fancy tiles (I painted those flowers too!) and a view of Pont Alexandre III  out the window.  Well, every house should have a view of a Parisian bridge from the bathroom window!! 

Some things I made myself.  The light-fitting is Fimo, towels & face cloth sewn from a stretch toweling baby onesie, lots of beads...
towels sewn from baby-suit

Enjoying a sense of closure here - just so long as I don't think about the other 8 rooms!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

A Sewing Space of My Own Again

We spent the first few weeks of this year sorting, de-stashing, rearranging and I once again have a sewing / creating space ...
It is cozy rather than spacious but I've natural light and access to all my machines and a little ironing space / cutting table ...  Also ... I can now find things again.

So far I've made 6yr old grand-daughter a Sun-dress

Had fun with the 2 sizes of this print and the pale green really suits my GD.  

However, I was really glad I checked the bodice before I sewed it up - it would've nearly fitted me!  Added some tucks (had to remove 7cm - 2.8" in width)  then we went to All Buttons Great & Small (love that shop!) and got buttons to match the fabric.
The pattern looks recent though I found it 2nd hand - Simplicity 2994.

Grandson loves buttons too ... he really liked the bow-tie buttons and we decided one would look OK on the hat I made him last year (a fabric 'spy' hat or Humphrey Bogart hat) - especially if we also put some feathers there ...

 Back home we got out the box of feathers and he chose this collection ... a partial red-dyed chicken feather, a tuft of white ostrich, a tan brown chicken feather that curves the wrong way and a spotty guinea fowl feather ....  I must say that all together they look really cool.

I'm also making daughter a race-day hat -


 Well it isn't going to look like that - though I really like that wind-swept look.  I blocked that very old felt (a failed hat) it'll be the base / the foundation ... covered with fabric and lots of frou-frou.

 And here is the collection of fabric & flowers & frou-frou sitting on the dress

Now, this might be one of the cheapest hats ever - the felt & wire were an old millinery failure, the fabrics & veiling were 'gleaned' from the rubbish bins at Tafe, some of the flowers were gifted, some bought about 30yrs ago.  The only 'new-buy' for this hat was the blue bell shaped flowers ($2.50 for the bunch). 

So happy to be able to make something from all the stash that I can now find with ease following the great big tidy-up.  And perhaps an advert for never throwing stuff out ???   though 30yrs maturation in stash could be seen as a little excessive.
Of course, when 'gleaning' from bins you find that trash sometimes needs a little TLC to restore to 'Treasure'. 

A bit of steam will restore a battered silk rose -

Careful ironing can restore old veiling -

The finished hat (shown on an old 'head' shape that has no hair!)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Mending an Hand-Knit

One of the easiest and most rewarding things to mend is that lovely old hand-knit.  Sometimes the garment has sentimental value and mending a hand-knit can give you a lovely feeling of connection with the original knitter.   They are also quite easy to mend ...

Recently I mended this hand-knit jumper / sweater ... it really has had a life!  All those safety pins mark holes or areas of weakened yarn, about to become a hole.  There was a huge laddered area on one sleeve and some of the seams had gone.  (I must also apologise for the photos showing this jumper as all sorts of shades of green - different light at different times of the day and my having to use a phone camera - my digital one died!)

Re-sewing up seams is easy enough - use mattress stitch.  Sometimes the trickiest part of mending an old hand-knit is finding new yarn to match the old.  Going for a thinner yarn is always a good idea - I used a lace weight variegated yarn (Schoppel-Wolle) selecting the parts where the green was almost the same shade.

Sewing up the under-arms again - and in this photo you can see some old mends done by someone else a long time ago.

 I left one of those old mends & strengthened it but re-did the other - and this photo shows the front of the jumper with all mends and strengthening done.  This is pre-washing - blocking and some of those specks of paint didn't come out with a simple wash.

Such an old, much worn and loved knit will never look brand new again - but it can be given many more years of usefulness.

Here is how to mend an area that has gone to ladders.

First - catch all the stitches at the top and bottom to stop them laddering further.  Putting them onto safety pins works well -

Now re-knit up those ladders - and this is the same technique you use if you've dropped a stitch while hand-knitting.

Take one of those stitches from the bottom of the area onto a crochet hook and thinking of those loose strands as rungs on a ladder, work them up, one rung at a time, taking care to get the 'rungs' in the correct order. 

In case you are wondering - that isn't even an official crochet hook.  Everyone under the age of 12 seems to be making "Loom Bands" these days and most bags of those little elastic bands come with a hook ...

When re-knitting up a ladder you are working a sort of chain stitch - hook goes through the loop of the stitch, hold in front of the lowest 'rung', catch rung and pull it through loop - and it becomes your new loop, hold it in front of the next rung ... ...  repeat till you get to the top.  Where you will need a sewing needle and matching yarn to stitch together the stitch / loop from your ladder and the corresponding stitch at the top of the area being mended.

Most of these laddered areas start from a hole and you will probably find some broken yarn somewhere in the middle ... sewing needle & yarn will be needed there.
This photo shows the mend pre-washing

And now, after a wash ... a few more washes and I think the mend might be practically invisible.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A Big Mail Day for Dollies

Yesterday was a very big mail day ....
First some Takara stock clothes arrived - I've been buying some of the older stock outfits for my girls as the quality was really good back then!   (and I must apologise for the low quality of these photos, my digital camera died and I'm using the phone camera now.)

My girls got a very nearly complete set of the stock for "I Love You It's True" (yep, Takara does do some odd names!)  Lots of pretty items in shades of blue plus sandals, funny pink socks and pretty undies (we like pretty undies!).  Also, most of the red evening outfit from "Love Mission" - evening dress, bustier, shawl and red shoes.

While Audrey and Imogen were trying on the new outfits another parcel arrived!
Audrey: "Can you do my dress up Imi?  I can't reach."
Audrey adores red shoes!!

Audrey: "Uh, now I can't bend, quick Imi, do up my shoe then we'll help Meerkat with the new parcel."

Meerkat: "I don't think this is yet more clothes ... it looks like a box here."

Imogen: "What, another sister!  Nah, that's quite small."

Imogen: "Ooooo nice cheese."
Audrey: "Hmmm, a shopping trolley, I guess that'll be useful for grocery shopping!  Nice red apple though."
Meerkat: "Bread - and it smells so good."

From inside the box, very muffled: "Hello there - can anyone hear me ... Hello ..."

 Some time later ...

Zucchini Flower: "Hi there, we can hear you, we'll get you out of there.  (quieter) She's another proper petite - I won't be the only Takara little one now."
Julia: "I guess this is why our Mummy Giant bought the extra crochet dress, wondered why she bought 4 sets when there were 3 of us."
Hilda: "Yes - there are matching bloomers too ..."
Meerkat - very quietly: "Lah dee dah - this baguette is going to be yummy with my new tapenade ..."

Zucchini Flower: "She has a nice dress already - but I think she likes pink things."

Julia (in the middle): "Looks like she's been in that box for Ages and Ages."
Annabella, still in the box: "A whole 9 years girls - I'm a 2005 release. And I really want to be released ... please hurry!"

Zucchini: "Annabella, you are like me - you've 2tone hair too and pretty coloured eyes like me."

Meanwhile, Julia and Hilda have found Annabella's pet / backpack ...
Julia: "Is it a rabbit or a kangaroo?"
Hilda: "hmmm, very confusing, the ears could be either and she has a pouch ... but no tail at all!!   We'll have to ask Auntie Bunny, she'll know."
(ed: Bunny is a Neo Blythe "Welcome Winter" and very knowledgeable about all the different breeds of rabbits)

 And we'll leave this post with a portrait of Annabella.  She is a Takara Petite "Tatianna Black" released in November 2005, so she has been exactly 9yrs in her packaging.
Her stock dress and bonnet are really pretty, as is her pet / backpack BunnyRoo.
She has lovely violet coloured eyes and 2tone blond hair that curls.