Tag Archive | Granota

Granota’s Fairy Blog

You may remember how proud Rana was to share her unicorn & rainbow picture here a few months back. Well, Granota has been pestering me continuously to contribute her own blog entry. She colored a few fairy pictures last week, so now we’re putting them up for everyone to see. From here on out, I’m her scribe.

I love my fairies. And I love it very much. I don’t know why she has that, but it’s very funny.


It’s a beautiful butterfly. Butterflies are beautiful and pretty. Their wings are very pretty and colorful. Different colored butterflies are very pretty.


I don’t know why it’s playing a fiddle, but it’s very funny and I love it. It’s upstairs in my bedroom. I was wearing that shirt with my lily pad ring.


I love this flower and it’s very beautiful. I don’t know why bumblebees are talking, but it’s very beautiful. It is part of my fairy coloring book.


Me and Miss Darby colored that. I love it and it’s very beautiful. Flowers are talking everywhere and that fairy is lovely. The skin I colored by myself. Miss Darby colored her wings and the hair. This fairy is the queen of flowers. We are done!



Talar du svenska?

My horizons were widened last year when I received a Hanna Andersson catalog in the mail. I had never even heard of them and I don’t know how they got my name, but somehow I ended up on their mailing list for at least one season. And I’m so glad I did. Normally I would flip through something like this and then toss it, but this catalog really caught my eye. The clothes were so different from what you normally see in stores. Classic, cute, and still modern children’s clothes are becoming harder to find if you don’t rake in the big bucks. It didn’t take me long to notice that I cannot afford to outfit my children in an entire Hanna Andersson wardrobe, as much as I would like to. But! Fortunately I have this super power known as sewing. <insert heroic music here>

There were several little outfits that I adored, but I especially liked these dresses.

They're just so... Swedish!

Ikea is fine and all but I never really gravitated towards that Scandinavian aesthetic until Hanna entered my life. The color contrasts, the little motifs — ahhh, happy sigh.

You may remember that Granota informed me recently of the lack of warm dresses in her closet. When I was searching for the dress I had begun for her last fall, I found a yard and a half of royal blue pinwale corduroy. I had originally bought it to make her a Madeline costume for Halloween last year, but she never liked that idea and insisted on reprising her role as a Milka bar from the previous year.

I really like the applique on the original Hanna dress, but I didn’t want to do a straight knockoff. I cut out a heart from some white fleece and embroidered a vaguely Scandinavian design.

My embroidery still leaves something to be desired, but it’s ok. I think the stray fuzzies on the fleece will disappear in the wash.

To make the dress itself, I had to resort to some creative Franken-patterning. Yes, it’s a pretty simple dress as far as the cut goes, but I did want to make sure that all pieces turned out as mirror images of each other and in the correct size. So I combined these two patterns to get the effect that I wanted.

4107 + 5118 = Hanna

I didn’t have time to add the white band around the bottom because Granota was desperate to wear the dress to church the next day. I think I will put it on whenever I can sneak the dress out of her room. Here is the final product.

Granota was less than cooperative when I tried to get an action shot of the dress, so just imagine a (normally) sweet 4 year old with lacy bobby socks and Mary Janes skipping around in a blue tunic dress. Framgång! And I’ve been inspired to try and recreate some of the other pretty little dresses from the catalog. I might not be able to afford the real thing, but I can make a fairly decent approximation. Does that make me the Swedish Chef of the clothing world?


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!

Finished fairy doll part 1

Two weeks ago, I began making a doll for Granota’s 4th birthday. You can see the beginning stages here. This week I sewed up a little fairy dress, embroidered the face, and sewed on the hair. Whew!

The hair was the most interesting part of this process. In the past, I’ve seen little bags of doll hair at the thrift store, so I went trolling back when I started this project and couldn’t find any. I did, however, find one of these big Barbie heads.


I got it for $1.99, which is a pretty good deal, especially considering that this doll bust has enough hair for at least three other dolls. That is some thick and luscious hair. As artificial hair goes, that is. Next step: hair transplant.

I found this tutorial that explains how to make wefts of hair. After smuggling the Barbie head up to my sewing room, I began cutting off hanks of hair as close to her head as possible.

Oh say can you see my eyes, if you can then my hair's too short

This was going pretty well and I got a few locks sandwiched between tissue paper like the tutorial says, adding more as I sewed along until I ended up with this.

Shining, gleaming, Streaming, flaxen, waxen

I measured around the fairy doll’s head and cut that long strip of hair into sections that I could sew onto the doll. At this point, my sewing room was a mess. There was hair all over my sewing table, all over my cutting table, all over my lap, and the floor, and every now and then, some of it made it to the trash can. Making the wefts wasn’t particularly difficult, but it certainly was messy.

Last night, after Granota was asleep (because it’s not enough to wait just until she’s in bed. Bedtime with my kids is like the Whack-a-Mole game at Chuck E. Cheese) I finished embroidering the face and managed to get most of the hair sewn on. I sewed on the last weft and the part today. This fairy has one thick head of hair! Here she is, all finished:

For the most part, I’m pretty happy with how she turned out. There’s something weird with the lower face. Either the lack of chin or too-long neck. I’m not quite sure. Also, it bugs me that the stuffing wouldn’t stay in the nose. Hopefully Granota is not as picky!

I used purple thread on the eyes (she’s a fairy, why not?), but it doesn’t really show up now that they’re done. Oh well.

Two-tiered petal skirt

The dress was made from green and teal shimmery polyester of some sort that I snagged out of the remnant bin. I had to line the bodice of the dress with a thin piece of pale blue cotton because the pink of the doll showed through the green too much and made a rather putrid color. The silver wing fabric was also a remnant bin find. And, now that I think about it, the doll itself was made out of an old crib sheet. So how about this for a cheap project, huh?

Tomorrow is Granota’s birthday, so I will post part 2 after she opens her gift. I really hope she likes it!

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.