Tag Archive | fairy doll

Live and Learn

Far be it from me to ever lead you to believe that everything I make turns out awesome every time. It’s not “crafting fearlessly” if I’m too cowardly to discuss mistakes or shouldabins. So let’s go back and look at a few of the things I’ve made over the past year and see how they’ve worked out.

The infamous thumb holster

I made two of these last summer to cover Rana’s thumbs in an attempt to keep her from sucking them. First lesson learned: There is a reason why sinew (real or fake) is used to sew leather. The thread repeatedly wore through and I ended up having to repair these several times. The concept was good and actually worked up until the point where Rana “lost” the covers sometime this winter. I recently found one in the bushes outside. heh. And wouldn’t you know it, now it doesn’t fit her anymore. She’s a cagey one.

Little corduroy pants

These pants were among the slew of clothes that I made for Rana at the beginning of the school year (that seems forever ago!). Something was never right about the crotch so they were uncomfortable for her to wear. Fortunately, there was a solution! I took out the crotch seam, whacked the pants off at the knees and made it into a skirt. It was a cute little skirt. Unfortunately, it cramped Rana’s playground style — too hard to climb stuff — so she never wore the skirt. I guess I should just give it to Granota.

Falilla the Fairy

This fairy doll was Granota’s 4th birthday present back in September! She was not met with the excitement that I had anticipated, but after a couple of days Granota fell in love with her and named her Falilla. Falilla looks so pretty here; it’s almost a shame what she looks like now. Granota insisted that I put her hair in a ponytail so that it would be out of the way of her wings. Now Falilla is losing copious amounts of hair. I’m going to try to run a line of fabric glue along the underside of her roots to slow down the balding. It’s a good thing I gave her so much hair to start with. Interestingly enough, Jessie the cowgirl doll that I made for Rana has not had any hair-loss issues. Maybe Falilla needs a fairy hat.

Looks beautiful, not practical

In November, I made each of the girls a new winter coat. These coats, as you can see, are very full. Wonderful for twirling, not wonderful for buckling into car seats. The other problem is that I did not make the center front pieces wide enough — they just barely overlap enough to button. That means it is highly likely that these coats won’t fit the girls next year. In a way, that’s ok, because I am pretty sick of struggling to get everything flattened and mashed down enough to get them buckled into the car. If we lived in Europe and walked or took public everywhere, these coats would be fantastic, but as it is, I’m going to have to use a different pattern this fall.

Not all they’re cracked up to be

March brought my attempt at recycling all the broken crayon bits in my kids’ coloring box. I melted them down in muffin cups and right off the bat I could tell these weren’t going to be as awesome as I had hoped. As you can see, they were already beginning to break after they had cooled. I’m pretty sure that there is not one left whole anymore, which pretty much defeated the whole purpose of melting the little bits together.


Most recently are the new pajama pants I made. I had this ingenious idea to elasticate the cuffs. Y’know, to keep them from riding up and twisting around my knees at night. Well guess what? I didn’t make the pant legs long enough, so once I bent my knees, the cuff rode up and then got stuck right around my calves. Thanks, elastic. The other night it was driving me so nuts, I seriously considered going downstairs and taking it out right then and there at 2 a.m. But since the cabin is basically one giant room, I knew Mr. Gren wouldn’t appreciate me turning on the light; so I just toughed it out the rest of the night. But the elastic is out now! Hopefully it will feel better tonight. I think it was still a good idea, but next time I’ll know to add some extra length in the pant legs.

So there you have it. A little rundown of some of my not-so-perfect projects. It’s all a learning process, isn’t it?

Yee ha!

Sunday was Rana’s 6th birthday! She has been telling us for weeks that she wanted all kinds of cowboy-related things, including a cowgirl doll. If you remember from Granota’s birthday, my original intention was to make them both fairy dolls, but I was willing to switch gears. I used a slightly different doll pattern because a cowgirl and a fairy shouldn’t look the same. Somewhat ironically, the pattern I used for both the doll and the shirt were for an Indian girl. Hmm. Maybe someday the cowgirl will have an Indian friend. I don’t know if it will be anytime soon, though; I’m a little burnt out on doll-making. So many fiddly little bits!

I never want to sew a cuff that tiny again.

For the most part, the doll went together pretty well. Sewing the tiny little clothes was kind of a hassle. Then I started running into bigger hassles. About the time the doll was ready for hair, I checked local thrift stores and ended up going to four before finding one with a donor Barbie head. I was feeling a little desperate, but should have checked more closely: this was a knock-off Barbie which didn’t have nearly as much hair as the one I had used for Granota’s fairy. Even though the cowgirl doll’s head was smaller than the Barbie, she has some painfully obvious bald spots. Suddenly, a cowgirl hat was no longer just an accessory, but a necessity! “Here, sweetie, I made you a doll! Also, she has mange.” And right there, your birthday party is over.

I messed around trying to sew a hat, but it looked more like a fez. Granted, it didn’t have a brim when I gave up on it, but I think even that wouldn’t have put it over into cowboy hat territory. Next step was to check around at craft stores for tiny little cowboy hats. Two craft stores, a pet store, a toy store, and a Build-a-Bear later, not to mention two hours of my time, I was still hatless. Back to the drawing board. I checked online for tiny crocheted cowboy hat patterns and still no luck. I did find a doll hat pattern that I thought might possibly work with a little bit of pinching and shaping. I was up until 11:00 Saturday night working on that, but ran out of steam before sewing it onto the doll’s head. And now I’m glad I did.

Sunday after church, I disappeared into my sewing room to finish this last step, except… I decided I didn’t like the crocheted hat anymore. It was slightly too big and seemed to lose its shape too easily. I attempted steam-shrinking felt, but just gunked up my iron on accident (note to self: clean iron before next project). Then, in my doll pattern book, I found a doll wearing a high-crowned hat. Think Pilgrims. I shortened it a little and tacked up the brim on the sides and lo and behold! A fair approximation of a cowboy hat! I like it much better than the crocheted version.

Corduroy cowboy hat

Rana had the best cowgirl birthday a 6 year old girl could hope for. She got all kinds of cowgirl stuff from family and then, the moment of truth…

She didn't fling it across the room, so already that's an improvement!

She likes the doll. She named her Jessie (after we vetoed “Lily” because just about everything else in the house is already named Lily). I think they’re going to have a good time together.

And, an update on Granota and the fairy: They are friends now. Granota named the fairy Falilla and has enjoyed playing with her very much since I assured her that I did not use human hair on the doll. Yes, that’s right. Granota was actually repulsed by the fairy because of the hair. Thankfully we got that all cleared up! I love walking by her bedroom at night and hear her whispering to Falilla. Exactly what I had hoped for.

Finished fairy doll part 2

Or, Capricious Four-year Olds.

The girl who dresses up as a fairy all the time all of a sudden doesn’t like fairies anymore. The doll was the last gift. Granota flung out the tissue paper and then grabbed the fairy by the hair and flung her out, too.

She was a little wound up, so she may have just been putting on a show, but she definitely wasn’t excited about the doll. Sigh. In one of our multiple trips back upstairs after “bedtime,” Mr. Gren said Granota told him that she likes the fairy, but doesn’t want to touch it yet. And that also, it needs shoes. He asked her if she would like it once it had shoes and she assured him that she would. Who knows. Guess I’ll be making fairy shoes in the hopes of redeeming the past two weeks of my time!

Head and shoulders, knees and toes

Granota’s 4th birthday is coming up in early September, so I needed to get started on making her birthday present. I’ve had in my head for awhile to make each of the girls a fairy doll for their birthdays. Back in December, I was the recipient of tons of sewing and crochet patterns and part of the haul was this great stuffed animals and dolls book:

For being from the '70s, the toys are surprisingly cute.

There are no fairy doll patterns in here, but really all I needed was a doll body pattern; I can figure out the dress and wings on my own. I chose the Alice in Wonderland pattern because it looked to be about the size I would need.

This is why I save all tissue paper.

In the past, the thought of turning these tiny pieces right side out once sewn would have turned me into a sullen grump. But! I discovered a new tool. Maybe you’re already aware of these fabulous inventions, but I only just got one a couple of months ago. The hand-dandy tube turner! Even Mr. Gren knows that one of the things I hate most in life is turning tubes. But with this thing, it’s positively fun and my fingernails stay intact during use.

Insert blue plastic tube into fabric tube and poke it through with the stick.

Ta dah!

Twenty seconds later, I have a freshly-turned (albeit rather wrinkly) tube. I think this one was an arm.

Have I mentioned yet that this is the first real doll I’ve ever made? I don’t think there’s a tremendous learning curve, but you can tell by looking at these two finished arms that I had already made improvements from the first to the second.

Teeny weeny little arms

Pretty soon, I had lots of teeny weeny body parts. I felt a little like Dr. Frankenstein.

"Why would a man leave his apartment three times on a rainy night with a suitcase and come back three times? "

The head is now attached to the body and all body parts are stashed in a bag of fabric where Little Miss Snoopy won’t find them. Coming soon: embroidering the face and making a teeny weeny fairy dress with teeny weeny wings.