Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I haven't abandoned my blog.  I just gave myself writer's block by saying I would do top patterns and then getting too busy to take the photos and write it all up.  I've finally decided that that post/s will happen but I'm still able to write about other things in the meantime .

So a very quick post and photo from sunny Australia to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope you all enjoy your day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I hope everyone had a happy Mother's Day (whether you have human children, animal children or doll children - it all counts).  I spent mine sewing - not for me but for the dolls.  (I'm not really complaining, I did have a happy day.)

When the dolls heard I had agreed to make another wedding dress, they chucked a wobbly.  (I'm not sure if that's an international phrase or just an Australian one but think of two year olds and temper tantrums and you'll get the idea).  They said I hadn't done any sewing for them for ages, that the amount of fabric I had to sew into doll clothes was getting bigger than Mt. Everest and they DIDN'T HAVE ANY NEW CLOTHES!
"I've got the tiara.  Now where's my dress?"

So I decided to refine a design I had at the beginning of the year.  I was trying to design some very quick and easy outfits that anyone with very little sewing time or experience could create.

And so here's my first tutorial - for this very quick and easy skirt.:

It's a variation of a pull-on tube skirt so you need to use stretch fabric.  And because you see both sides of the fabric in the finished skirt you need a stretch fabric that looks good on both sides and that stays lying flat when it is cut. (The edges of some stretch fabrics roll around themselves when they are cut - don't use them for this design,)  Here are some of my selections:

I found the following measurements where the ones that worked with a wide variety of stretch fabrics.

For Barbie,  cut a rectangle that is:
           10cms (4") wide  (this is to go around Barbies body so make sure the fabric stretches this way)
            12cms (4 3/4") long

For Monster High dolls, cut a rectangle that is:
           8cms((3 1/4") wide (again this has to be the stretchy way)
           11 cms (4 3/8") long

Fold this in half so that the two long sides are together, and the right side of the fabric is to the inside.  Pin from the top down to just over half way down to the bottom.

Using a 6mm (1/4") seam sew from the top down to the pin and back stitch. (Use a ball point or stretch needle).
Now cut through the seam allowance to your stitching line but not through it:

Now turn your tube of fabric inside out and pull the uncut part of the seam to the outside.  It should look like this:

Again using a 6mm (1/4") seam, sew from the point where you finished stitching last time to the bottom of your seam.  Make sure you tie your threads off at the top and bottom of your stitching so your seam doesn't come undone.

You've now finished sewing your skirt.  What you have to do now is turn the skirt back to the inside (the way you had it when you first started sewing).

Now roll the top part of your skirt down over the bottom part until you can't see the seam and you are happy with the length of the two layers:

If you want to, you can sew a couple of hand stitches at the sides of the skirt to keep the layers together the way you want.  Or you can leave it so you can adjust the layer length for different looks when your doll wears the skirt.  Slide your skirt onto your doll.  It should stretch to fit over her hips but then shrink again to fit close to her waist. 

No, I didn't leave them topless.  I also designed three easy tops to go with the skirts.  I'll tell you how to make them in my next post.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


There is a very good reason why I am publishing this post today - I'll tell you why at the end of the post.

I have always been fascinated by languages - all languages not just English.  But just lately,  I've been noticing (and finding extremely interesting) the variations in the English language used by different English-speaking countries.  I always knew there were differences but  the more American blogs I read, the more things I'm noticing.  And I keep asking myself, "Why?"

Why do Americans say "trash can" and Australians call the same item a "rubbish bin" (this was probably the one thing that sparked my attention)?  And why is the food I call a "biscuit" the same thing Americans call cookies?  And even more interestingly, why is it that Americans use the word "candies",  English "sweets" and Australians "lollies"  and we are all talking about the same thing? (Sometimes I'm surprised we can even understand each other!)

And I've found out that sometimes when I think I know what you are talking about, I'm close but I'm not quite right.  For example, Americans use the word "bangs".  I only just found out what you are talking about!  In Australia, "bangs" are side pieces of hair that are not quite as long as the rest of your hair.  To an Australian, this:

is a 'fringe'. 

And did you know that when we read "Little House on the Priarie"  and books like that  which talk about little girls wearing calico dresses,  most Australians have a picture of little girls wearing dresses made  of this:

because this is what Australians call 'calico'.  (Americans call this "muslin".)   The fabric Americans call 'calico", Australians would probably call a 'liberty print'.

It works the other way too.  When an Australian says they are wearing thongs, they are NOT talking about their underwear.  A 'thong' is underwear, but these are' thongs':

Yes, I know, everyone else calls them 'flip-flops' (which is probably a more accurate name).

A while ago I was at our local Officeworks store and I found an (almost 1:6 scale) Australian-type rubbish bin.  It even has wheels that roll.  So, for your information,  here is an Australian rubbish bin.

Actually, it's three rubbish bins - the other two are people-sized.  Why do we have two?  The one with the yellow lid is for recyclables, the other for general rubbish. And as you can see,  Barbie puts her own bin out for rubbish collection just like everyone else.


And why did I think today was a good day to post about the fun language differences that I'm discovering?  Well, today is "Hug an Australian Day".  Isn't that amazing, there is actually a  special day for doing that (it's every day for me really)!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I've been thinking about opening an Etsy shop for quite a while now (probably at least a year and maybe even longer).  But there was always something else to do (life's been very busy) and so it just didn't happen.

And then, a few weeks ago, Etsy sent me (and probably a million others) an email suggesting I open a store.  They even offered free listing for the first 20 items if the store was opened within two weeks.  Well, there's nothing like a deadline and a free offer to get me going.  So I have finally opened my Etsy store.

"Doll Heaven" sells doll clothes.  At the moment, I have mostly listed American Girl/Journey Girl doll clothes because that was what I had ready.   The pictures below are just a selection:

I have a few Monster High and Barbie outfits as well.

I haven't made it to 20 outfits yet but at least I've started and I will add more as I make them.  I also plan on adding clothes for other dolls like Ken and my Tonner girls.  So thank you Etsy, I hope others took advantage of your offer too.