knitting for Disney Animator dolls (cropped photo)

I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent (what’s new?) and been buying more dolls (second hand on ebay) . . . all because I saw the most adorable knitting pattern that I just had to buy!

The pattern is by a Canadian lady, and can be found here:  CSKraft4Dolls, if you’re interested/curious.  I believe she also sells on Ravlery, but I prefer to buy on etsy.

Anyway . . .  Disney Animator dolls are 16” tall, and very tubby, younger looking versions of the well-known Disney characters.  This headless pair being Belle and Rapunzel.

animator knitting cropped 07

I promised I wouldn’t spook you out with dolls on this blog . . . so I cropped off their heads, to show just the knitting.  If you’d like to see the dolls themselves, then just hop across to Claire’s Collections, which is my new blog, dedicated entirely to my doll collection.   I personally think they’re adorable, but I realise I’ll probably be outnumbered.  That’s fine . . . the world would be a less interesting place if we all liked the same things, wouldn’t it?

You’ll notice, from photo, that the two outfits don’t appear to be the same size/fit.  They’re not.  I started out knitting the outfit on the right, using a 3.75mm needle and DK yarn as recommended . . . maybe my tension was too tight? but the shorts ended up way too snug, and the top turned out too short (for my liking).  So, I moved to a 4mm needle for the second attempt, and added a few stitches to the shorts, and a few rows to the tunic. 

Great thing about the pattern, apart from being nice & easy to follow, is there are also instructions to make a dress . . . and more instructions to make the dress with a knitted yoke and a fabric skirt.  I will definitely be attempting both of those!


happy unbirthday Debbie Rose!

What with crafting for birth of Baby Viking last year, followed by xmas, which was then followed by invitations to 2 weddings for 2019, I wasn’t able to find the time to keep up my “unbirthday” scheme.  In fact, it’s been way too long since any unbirthday gifts were made & posted . . . so time to try and get back into the routine!

For July, I sent a little something to DebbieRose.


A little cross stitched card (design by Helz Cuppleditch and published in Cross Stitch Crazy) and a cross stitch kit.  “Quilting Angel” by Jim Shore.

DebbieRose does many needlecrafts, including patchwork and cross stitch . . . so hopefully, this lovely design will be right up her street!

39°C in the shade

It’s 39°C in the shade in this corner of France today (that’s 102°F) and I’m melting.  I realise some of my readers, especially those in Australia & the US are used to extreme heat, but most homes in France aren’t equipped to deal with such hot weather.  We don’t have aircon, and all we can do is keep shutters & windows closed to try and keep the heat out . . . but even then it’s 28°C indoors (84°F).  Anyway, not much we can do.   Weather forecaster is promising some cooler weather as we get closer to the weekend.  I do hope he’s right!  In the meantime, I’ve been mooching around indoors and honestly not feeling up to doing much. 

Luckily, I have some sewing to share with you, of something I made before this second bout of heatwave.  


Lookee here!  I splashed out on some stretch jersey fabrics (cotton & elasthane) and, drafted my own pattern from a pair of 3/4 length leggings that fit me.  I deliberately went for stripes . . . horizontal stripes, because they remind me of the seaside and old fashioned swimming costumes . . . and I’ve decided that stripes can look fun with anything!


So, here I am, and yes, I do go out looking like this . . . in my red & white stripey leggings, complete with yellow shoes AND red ankle socks lol.

legging green

And then in my green & white pair, standing in the shade of our local church wearing my green shoes, no ankle socks. 

I wish I could say they’re lovely & cool, but they’re not.  However they are lovely & stretchy and I am really quite excited to have overcome my fear of stretch fabrics.  

ScrapHappy # July (beware contains photos of dolls).

It’s 15th of the month, time to link up with Kate and Gun and share a ScrapHappy post!

Followers may remember some past clothes-making projects . . . which always provide many scraps for future projects.

Way back in June 2016 I made myself a wrap-around skirt


which left me with lots of scraps.  And in April of this year, I made a shirt

shirt 05

which also left me with scraps.

Both lots of fabric scraps called out to me when I saw a free pattern by Antique Lilac, to make doll dresses.  And since I had only recently unboxed some of my BJD dolls . . . it seemed like the ideal occasion to use a few scraps.  I had said I’d try and keep my doll hobby separate from this blog, and recently started a new blog especially for my dolls: Claire’s Collections.  But since today we’re talking about scraps . . . I’m afraid you have to put up with spooky dolls photos in order to appreciate the sewing.


Hence . . . one pretty summer dress in pink floral for Erin and one in more autumn shades for Kyra.

Erin, on the left, is approx 43cm tall but has quite a large bust. Kyra, on the right, is approx 45cm tall but has a very narrow torso and wide hips.  I therefore made alterations to the bodice part, as well as making a longer skirt for the pink floral.  Dolls look the same height in photos because Erin has proper BJD shoes with quite a thick sole & heel.


Whereas Kyra is wearing a pair of lace-up ankle boots I made, in the same fabric as her dress!  Found a tutorial for that here:  Sneakers.

summer sewing with a smile (McCall’s M7458)


I bought a few more clothes making patterns recently, with our grand daughter, aka Baby Viking, in mind.  She’s 10 months old now and getting about on the floor as well as pulling herself up on furniture and trying to take a few steps.  So, with this pattern, McCall’s M7458, I decided to make view A (the short bodied tunic top) and view E, the 3/4 length leggings.  That way, her little knees will be protected, and the skirt part of tunic shouldn’t be too long that she’ll get her knees caught up in it while crawling about.

The leggings were ever so quick & easy to make and I made a fine job of them, even if I do say so myself.  Made in a lovely orange stretch cotton.

smiley 03

I invested in a special “twin stretch fabric” needle which was absolutely brilliant for giving a really professional finish to the top stitching on hems and waist band.

And for the tunic top . . . a minor pattern alteration.

smiley 02

I made a sleeveless tunic, and used a minty green bias binding to finish neck & armholes.  The reason I went for sleeveless wasn’t laziness, nor fear of sleeves (since I have now mastered that technique) . . . it was simply that I wanted to use this smiley print fabric, and I only had a FQ which was just enough to cut pattern pieces for the bodice front, backs & skirt, but not enough for sleeves.

And here is Baby Viking, modelling the tunic.  I’ve cropped the photo to respect family privacy, but that happy grin says it all really.


happy retirement

A French blogging friend, La Pie Kikou,  has recently started a new chapter in her life:  retirement.

What better excuse (if excuse be needed) to send a little gift her way.  And as luck would have it, I had the perfect little card kit to stitch up for the occasion.


The design is by  Helz Cuppleditch, and kit was a freebie in Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.  Seeing this little mouse, relaxing, and twiddling his toes in his hamac, was perfect to wish a happy retirement.  However, I know La Pie won’t be twiddling her toes, as she will be busy settling into her new home, and (I hope) filling her days with crafting.  So . . . a mini charm pack of the range “Whitewashed Cottage”  was also sent, and I’m sure La Pie will make something fabulous with it.

Beau & his Belle

In May, I showed you this photo

blue unicorn 01

A little boy unicorn, I christened “Beau”, crocheted following the pattern by ANABU CROCHET, published in the book “Unicorns, Dragons and more fantasy amigurumi”.

Reading your comments, I realised I wasn’t alone in thinking that Beau needed a pretty lady friend to keep him company.  Unicorns might be mythical creatures, but they’re very sociable creatures, and poor little Beau was feeling very forlorn.  So . . . out came my hook, and . . .

belle unicorn 01

Belle was born!  I chose a light purple instead of baby pink because I didn’t want to go for the cliché of “blue for a boy, pink for a girl”.

belle unicorn 02

However, I did let rip with the really bright variagated Marriner DK yarn for mane and tail. 

belle unicorn 03

belle unicorn 04

Now, whether or not there will be any baby unicorns remains to be seen.  Beau & Belle have already left home . . .

belle and beau

but are living in the house just opposite, so I should get regular news.  Here they are, all packaged up as part of a food basket . . . a gift to our neighbours who got married on Saturday.  Neighbours being the parents of my little sewing apprentice, Cléo, and her toddler sister, Mona . . . and who, I am sure, will claim Beau & Belle as their own.