Evalina Rose and her little sister Posy Anna are the main characters of a series of children's stories that I am writing. In this blog I will share the final stages of crafting their half scale house--Honeysuckle Cottage--and the miniature stuff that will make up the settings of their stories.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Goodbye to Violet

Violet and her groom are finally married and of for their honeymoon.  There is a baby if you recall, but in the world of dolls, this is not a problem; all stages of life can exists at once. 

 I made a special presentation box to hold the tiny family.  The label is hand painted and similar to the wallpaper for Evalina's cottage.

  I am looking forwards to summer and getting back to my blog.  I miss you all and hope you will come back to my blog for summer fun.

15 more days of school and Annabelle and I are free, see you in the summer.
Hugs and blessings,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Violet's French Dress

I have not posted anything for a while, so I thought that I would show you Violet's new dress and her baby's bassinet. 
 I am not done with either, but I like to show things in progress.  I am going to add some more embroidery to the hem line and bodice of the dress.  The bassinet will get some flowers added to the rim and a pillow. 
 This project is growing in some interesting ways and I will share them in the future. 

I decided to join the Marie Antoinette craze. 

Violet and her baby

Back of the dress

I made the bassinet in the same manner as described in my Basket Tutorial. I made a special form to work on , and I am very happy with the results.

Have a great week,

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hat and Basket Tutorial

Last Easter, I was trying to come up with a way to make a small basket for tiny treats.  I wanted it to be a real basket, to be woven with real sides.  I usually do my best thinking as I am falling asleep, and when I went to bed one night, I came up with this idea.  It is really quite easy , and it does not take as long as it looks.

I am always looking for little things to place around my half scale house. The basket is for Violet and is made with a finer cotton than the hat.  The hat is made with one strand of floss.

These baskets are one inch scale.  I changed the size by using double strands of floss.

This is Evalina's basket.  I used one strand of floss.

Before you start, find a bead that is the basic size and shape of the basket that you want.  I have used pictures from the empty one inch scale basket above.  I made the bead out of dirty Femo.

The first step of the tutorial is for the bottom of the basket...this is also for the first steps of making a hat.

First I cut a circle out of  cereal box cardboard, and draw lines that intersect in the center.  This gives me  an even amount of marks around the outer edge...I add one extra mark that does not have a partner across. I usually have
 16 +1 slots ( there are 14+1 here)
I clip tiny slots at each line around the outside of the circle.
I  Cut 8 threads that are long enough to go across the circle and dangle over the edge.

I place the threads so that they cross over each other. I will call these spokes
I have an even amount of  spokes, and I need an uneven amount to weave in a circle,.  I had you cut an extra slot.
decide what color you want for your basket...This basket has pink and green.
I thread the green thread through a sewing needle and knot the end.
Pull the weaving thread through the extra slot, and bring the thread up the the intersection of threads...you now have an uneven amount of spokes.
You are going to weave through the spokes in a circular method.
I occasionally dab a bit of glue at the beginning of a row, so that it will hold its shape better.

This is the bottom of your basket, or the crown of a hat.

If you are making a rounded hat, weave loosely  If you are making a basket or a flat hat, weave more firmly.
dab some glue to the last round of the basket bottom.

This next step seems time consuming and weird...it may be, but it works.
make sure that you add some glue to the last part of the basket bottom.
Carefully remove the spokes from the cardboard..looks like an octopus.
Place the bottom of the basket onto the bead.
one by one, thread the spokes into your needle and bring the thread up and down the center of the bead and through the bottom of the basket.
when you are done, all of the threads will come through the bottom of the basket.  This give you a nice piece to hold onto, and it brings the spoke into the right position to weave the sides up.
weave your thread around until the basket is the size that you like.
I changed colors so that it would be festive.
Make a solution of tacky glue and water.
Completely saturate the basket with this mixture.
For this basket, I made a braid of all three colors of my basket and used the braid for a handle and as a decorative rim.  I saturated the braid with the glue mixture and shaped the handle and glued the braid directly to the edge of basket.
when everything is completely dry, pull the spokes out of the bead and basket one by one.  The threads come out easily.  There is no picture, but you will see that you have a basket with lots of threads hanging off...cut them off  and glue the handle which should be stiffly formed into a U.

for a hat, you should follow the first part of the basket tutorial.
Take a pin, and carefully pierce the center of the woven circle.
find a bead that is the same size as the head you plan to put the hat on.
take your pin and place it through the bead.
slip the pin and bead directly under the woven circle and pierce the cardboard under it.
Make a mixture of glue and water.
saturate the woven circle with mixture and carefully drape it over the bead.
when the crown has dried, start to weave again.
pull the first two rows firmly so that crown is drawn down.
weave around until the brim of the hat is the size that you want.
Saturate the whole hat with glue and water mixture.
carefully remove the hat from the cardboard and clip the threads.

I made some tiny roses with Femo.
I glue a thread around the brim of hat...if I was to make a larger hat for a one inch scale doll, I would use a double thread for the spokes and the weaving thread, and I would use a braid to go around the brim.
I used my pin cushion to hold the hat down while I attached a little bow to it.
The tiny roses are a last touch...I will carefully glaze the roses with triple thick so that they will have more substance.
I love to use colorful threads for Easter baskets, but I plan on making some kitchen baskets with natural colored threads at some point.  I am also planning on using beads of different shapes for other kinds of baskets.  I think that I will make a square basket by weaving in a square first and then using a square bead as a form.  I have made some of my own bead out of Femo to make the shapes that I like.  I hope that this tutorial make sense to you...if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Have a great day,

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Promise for New Tutorial

We are starting our February vacation tonight, and waiting for more snow to come tomorrow night.

 I love to have my children home, but I never get as much done as I hope to.

  I have a little more work to do on Violet...I hope my children will let me do it!

I have started to make a new kind of hat.  It is woven in the same manner as my baskets. I will put a tutorial for both the basket and the hat onto my bolg soon.  The flowers are made of Femo, and I will show how I made those at the same time...I am really happy with this new hat.

Violet's wedding gown.

I will also put a tutorial for the tiny shoes.

Some close-ups of  roses.

Violet's sailor outfit.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Violet gets some more clothes

I have been busy making Violet's wardrobe, and shoveling out of 26 inches of snow.

Violet's dressing gown is made of 200/2 silk thread.  I knit it from the neck down and in one piece.

Violet's bathing suit and cap were tricky, as the thread kept breaking. I am wondering if black dye weakens the thread, because the other colers in the same brand are very strong????

I am working on the  to accessories to go with her clothes.
  I will redo my basket tutorial that I used to have on my tutorial page.  I can make very tiny baskets that are actually woven.
The hats are made in the same method as my hat tutorial that is posted bellow.  I will add tiny bows to the hats.
I have placed Violet with some of my 1/4 scale furniture...she is almost 1/4 scale.

Happy Presidents day,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Violet's wardrobe

I have been working on Violet's wardrobe for her new mother.
Here is a list of what she wants:
A navy sailor's dress with a matching coat and a hat.
A peach dress like Liliyas.
 (If anyone knows how to spell Liliya, please tell me.  I think it is a Russian name.)
A Red dress like popy's dress as well as her hat and bag.
A lacy wedding gown with an empire waist line.
I have done all the knitting and have finished sewing up the seams.  I am now going to add all of the little details to the dresses and make a couple hats and a carpet bag.  I am having such a great time!

I have to re-block a dress  onto the doll , so that it will hang correctly.  I lightly  dampen the garment and then tie it in place.  It looks like I am not a very nice person, but it has to be done.  

Violet's mother wanted the coat to match the dress, and chose to reverse the color scheme   I  made three button holes and am going to make  little blue buttons out of Fmo.  

I am not going to make a collar for the coat, because it will be too bulky, so I am using the dress collar .  After I block the coat,  it will drape better.  It is very hard to dress a little doll like Violet.  I had to use needles to pull her coat sleeves over her dress.  I was afraid that I might pull her sweet little arms off.

Violet's mother wanted her to have an outfit like Poppy's.  Violets dress is done and I let her borrow Poppy's carpet bag and hat for the picture.

This dress is like Liliya's dress.  I am thinking of adding a ruffled collar...I will ask her mother.

This is the first wedding gown that I have made.  The dress is knit of Medeira #80 cotton. This is my favorite cotton to knit with.  Unfortunately it only comes in white and pastels   I love the way it drapes, and after I block this dress, I will show you and you will see what I mean. 

I knit a  train...making it a wedding gown..

A plate full of work.

Have a wonderful week,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Violet's New Wardrobe

In my last post, I showed you Violet and her little doll baby.  Well Violet has a new Mommy and before I send her off, she will get a full wardrobe.  I have a tendency to go too far, to want to add too many details, so I usually have to stop myself and move on to the next project.   I am so happy to be able to continue to make Violet more clothes.  I thought it would be fun to share the process with you.  
One of the dresses that Violet's mother would like is a sailor's dress with a  matching coat and hat. 
 I have a lovely navy  Gutermann's silk, which I have used for the body of the dress.  I made a stripped insert for the v of the sailor collar out of blue and cream Gutermann's cotton.
A closeup of the stripped insert of sailor neckline.

After I make a dress, I dampen it slightly and wrap it with thread, so that it hangs correctly. This is what it looks like before I have done that.  As you can see it looks stiff.  As a miniaturist  I am always trying to get my knit-work to drape nicely...it adds to the realism. 

A back view
I have discussed the method of how I  knit a dress on October 8 on  my Needlework blog    http://mini-needle.blogspot.com/ 

All of the components of a sailor dress: body, collar and insert.  After I knit, I block my pieces before I sew them. This makes them stiff and manageable, but it ruins their drape.  This is why I reblock the dress onto the doll.  I will show you a picture in the next post.

Next, I will Knit the coat.

Have a wonderful weekend,