Monday, August 6, 2018

Hoodie Sweater for 18" Dolls




I found several hoodie sweater patterns for the 18-inch dolls and the patterns were nice except for the size of the hoodie. It would never hold all the hair of an 18-inch doll. The doll has so much hair. So I first developed the hoodie sweater with this pattern. Then I decided to put a new spin in the sweater by adding cables. That will be another post, coming soon. For now, this is the sweater that is just beaded.

This sweater is made especially for 18-inch dolls. I guess you could call it a coat sweater. I have checked the pattern several times and hope it has no problems. The body of the sweater can be made long or short.

The sweater is knitted in one unit. The pattern begins with the hoodie. It is knitted from the top to the bottom. The underside of the sleeves have to be stitched and the hoodie has to be stitched at the top. It is an easy-to-medium knitting project without the beading. The sweater can be knitted without the beads.

Different types of yarn can be used to make this sweater. I have used medium worsted weight, light worsted (DK), and sport-weight. I have also used baby weight yarn but not the super fine fingering yarn. The size of the yarn will to a degree determine the size of the sweater.

The beads I use are the Wee pony beads, which are sometimes called micro pony beads. They are
5 x 3 mm. They are difficult to find. When I find them, I order them even though I might not need them at the time. The 6 x 9 mm beads are easy to find but they are too large for this project. Sometimes I find the 5 x 3 mm pony beads at Etsy or Ebay. (See the notation in the resource section below. I was unable at this time of writing to find the opaque wee pony beads on line, but then I found a package of them in Michaels. The ones in the resource section are translucent.) Sometimes I purchase them from the online Jolly Store.



This sweater has beads knitted into the yoke of the sweater. There are several ways to bead with yarn. The particular method I used with this sweater is the stringing method. This method is shown in this video. Here is another method for stringing beads using a dental floss threader. Yes, use a floss threader that is purchased in any oral health section of drug store, big box store, etc. Watch how it is done on this video -- so easy!. I use a needle threader to string the beads before casting on. The same method as the dental floss threader is used.

The beads can also be added with a crochet hook. I don't use that method for this sweater but you can if you like to use that method. That method is shown in this video. I will be using the bead-crochet hook method in the next blog with a sweater with cables.

Update: As of August 18, 2018, I found the 5x3 wee beads at this website.



This is a shorter version of the sweater. The beads are easily seen on the yoke of the sweater.
This is the sweater I learned how to bead while knitting. Why white beads? Wee pony beads
do not come in any shade of brown.




Linda’s Beaded Hoodie for 18-inch Doll

Abbreviations:
K – knit                                    yo - yarnover
P – purl                                    pm – place marker                                    
Inc – increase                          RS - right side
Dec - decrease                         WS - wrong side

Needles #5 and #6
Use #3 yarn or light #4. Baby yarn can also be used but the sweater will be a little smaller.

Place 44 wee pony  beads on the yarn. All the beads may not be used. Those not used are pushed down the yarn as you are knitting. Should help be needed with loading the beads and the process of the beading while knitting, use the links given in the introduction for help. Either method, loading beads on the yarn or loading each bead with a crochet hook, can be used.

Hoodie
 With #6 needles (or circular needle), cast on 71 stitches.

Row 1:  Knit 35, purl 1, Knit 35 (The purl stitch helps the hoodie fold in half.) 
Row 2:  Knit 4, purl 31, Knit 1, Purl 31, Knit 4

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for total of about 38 rows, or 5 ½ inches (14cm)

Neck
Decrease the following so that there are 44 stitches on needle.

Knit 4, decrease 13 times on next 26 stitches, knit 5, decrease in next stitch, knit 4, decrease 13 times on next 26 stitches,, knit 4.

Change to #5 needles in next row.

Knit 4, work in ribbing stitch, K1P1 in the 36 stitches, knit 4. Repeat for 4 more rows.

Change to #6 needle in next row.

Yoke
Row 1: Knit across row.
Row 2: Knit 4, (right front band as wearing it), purl across to last 4 
              stitches, knit 4 (left front band)
Row 3: Knit 4, knit 2, *inc in next stitch, k2, repeat from * across to last 
            5 stitches. Inc in next stitch, knit last 4 stitches (56 stitches)

Row 4: (wrong side) Knit 4, pull up a bead to the needle on right hand, 
knit 4, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, end with pull up bead and knit 4.
Row 5: Knit row
Row 6:  Repeat row 2 (yoke)


Row 7:  Knit 4, *inc in next stitch, k3, repeat from *, across row to last 8 
stitches , inc in next stitch, knit 7 (68 stitches).
Row 8: (wrong side) Knit 4, knit 2, *pull up a bead to the needle on right 
hand, knit 5, bead*, repeat from*, knit last 7 stitches.
Row 9: Knit row
Row 10: Knit 2, yo, knit 2 together (buttonhole), purl across to last 4 
stitches, knit 4 (left front band)
Row 11: Knit 5, inc in next stitch, * Knit 4, increase in next stitch, repeat 
from* across row to last 7 stitches, end knit 7 (80 stitches)

The placement of beads on this next row are in the same position as the first row of beads. Because of increased stitches in rows 10 and 14, the beads could be slipped after the 6 or 7 knitted stitch. The total number of stitches in row 15 will still be 80 stitches. In most cases, the bead can be slipped after 6 knitted stitches but can be the 7thknitted stitch if needed.

Row 12: (wrong side) K4, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 4. (The number of stitches on the needle should still be 80). 

There will probably be extra beads on the yarn. Keep pushing them away as you knit. It is better to have more beads than not enough. It is difficult to add more beads on the yarn once knitting is started. The beads can be removed after the first sleeve is completed.


If the beads are not wanted, the following changes in the rows can 
be done this way for the yoke:

Row 4: Repeat row 2 of yoke without beads
Row 8: Repeat row 2 of yoke without beads
Row 12: Repeat row 2 of yoke without beads




Row 13:  Knit row
Row 14:  Repeat row 2 (yoke)
Row 15:  K 4, inc in next stitch, *k 5, inc in next stitch, repeat from * to last 
9 stitches. Knit 4, inc one stitch and end K 4. (93 stitches)
Row 16: Repeat row 2 (yoke)
Row 17:  Knit row
Row 18:  Repeat row 2 (yoke)

Dividing Stitches for Fronts, Sleeves, and Back

Row 19:  (RS) Place markers and increase as directed: K 14, inc stitch, pm, inc stitch, 
               K 16, inc stitch, pm, inc stitch, K25, inc stitch, pm, inc stitch, K 
    16, inc stitch, pm, inc stitch, K 14    (101 stitches -  16/20/29/20/16)

Row 20:  Knit 2, yo, k 2 together (buttonhole), p 12, slip marker, p 20, slip 
marker, purl 29, slip marker, purl 20, slip marker, p 12, knit 4.

Row 21: Knit across increasing in the stitch before and after each marker. 
  (109 stitches - 17/22/31/22/17)
Row 22: Knit 4, purl 13, slip marker, purl 22, slip marker, purl 31, slip marker, purl 
             22, slip marker, purl 13, knit 4.

17 / 22 / 31 / 22 / 17= 109 (the correct number of stitches between markers)

Row 23:  Knit 16 , increase stitch, slip marker, increase stitch, knit 20, increase stitch, slip marker (no increase), knit 31, (no increase) slip marker, increase stitch, slip marker, knit 20, increase stitch, slip marker, increase stitch, knit 16.


 18/24/31/24/18 =115 (the correct number of stitches between markers)


Sleeves

The sleeves will now be knitted. The underarm seams will need to be sewn later to finish the sweater.

(WS)  Knit 4, purl 14, slip marker, purl 24 stitches (to second pm), turn, knit back 24 stitches (to first pm).   Knit and purl in stockinette stitch for 14 more rows, total of 16 rows.  Knit 5 rows of garter stitch for cuff. Bind off. Leave a tail of yarn long enough to seam the sleeve.

Rejoin yarn at same underarm (second pm). Purl 55 stitches (to the fourth pm). Turn and knit back 24 stitches (to third pm).  Knit and purl in stockinette stitch another 14 rows, total of 16 rows. Knit 5 rows of garter stitch for cuff. Bind off. Leave a tail of yarn long enough to seam the sleeve. 

Rejoin yarn at 4 pm and purl 14 stitches, knit 4 to end round.

Knit across to join fronts and back and work in stockinette stitch with first 4 stitches in beginning of row always knitted and last 4 stitches always knitted. Continue in stockinette stitch for 4 inches. Knit 5 rows of garter stitch. Bind off. Sew seam sleeves of both sleeves together. Sew top of hood together. Weave ends into seams. 

Weave any hanging yarn into sweater.

Lightly block and sew 2 buttons on button left from band opposite buttonhole. 

Resource

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000-Mixed-Color-Acrylic-Tiny-Barrel-Pony-Beads-5X3mm-for-Kids-Kandi-Craft/292065506984?hash=item440075f6a8:g:JeAAAOSwHnFVsF0~

https://www.maxiaids.com/wire-loop-needle-threader-pkg-of-10?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlv_XBRDrARIsAH-iRJQJTjGDp9QSztsh59cs2W82SZl_fVkxxdOmgpjFWwFNsuv8uxrP9IMaAsU_EALw_wcB

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl_iGLfr6a4

https://sheeptoshawl.com/stringing-beads-onto-yarn/

https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/g-u-m-eez-thru-floss-threaders-840ri/ID=prod2385-product?ext=gooPLA_-_Personal_Care&ext=gooPLA_-_Personal_Care&pla&adtype=pla&kpid=sku302385&sst=6c5da9f5-ef86-7488-3375-00002f760044

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Knitted Vest for 18" Doll






I developed this pattern from the Beaded Sweater. Look for the directions for that sweater at the end of the post - Dolls for the Children. This sweater vest has directions for using 4 ply worsted yarn and for using sport yarn. I ordered sport yard in several colors from Red Heart to make sweaters for the 18" dolls but I have so much 4 ply worsted yarn, whole skeins, partial skeins, small balls, etc. Using the pattern I developed for sport yarn makes a sweater much too large when using 4 ply worsted. So I developed a pattern for the same sweater vest using leftover 4 ply worsted yarn. I like the product of both yarns, though, the sport yarn or DK yarn makes a more delicate looking vest.

When making this sweater vest, I learned how to make selvedge edges. I am still perfecting the method I like best. Also, using this site , you can learn several ways to make quick selvedges. For more detailed selvedges, visit this site. There are several reasons for using a knitted selvedge. I like them because it makes row counting easier and makes a sturdy flat edge, rather than a bumpy edge.

If you don't want to complete the selvedge edges, knit both the right and left edges, which would also be the first and last stitches on each row.

 It takes approximately 36 grams (1.3 oz) or  about 61 yards of 4 ply worsted to make a sweater vest and approximately 19 grams (0.6 oz) or about 52 yards to make the vest of sport yarn or DK yarn.

One pink vest sweater yoke, button bands, and hem was knitted using the seed stitch rather than the garter stitch. Since there are increases in the yoke, the seed stitch in the yoke is not a literal seed stitch. To accommodate, the increases there may be two knit stitches or two purl stitches together.



Abbreviations
RS - right side
WS - wrong side
inc - increase stitch
dec - decrease stitch
selvedge stitch - selvedge
K - knit
P - purl
garter stitch - knit each row
stockinette stitch - knit row and purl next row
seed stitch - alternated knit and purl stitches (see link)




Sweater Vest using sport yarn or DK yarn (#2 or #3 yarn standard)



Using #6 needles, cast on 44 stitches

Row 1:  Knit across
Row 2:  (rs) 1 selvedge stitch. Knit across. In last 4 stitches, knit 2 together, yo, knit 1, 1 selvedge
              stitch (button hole)
Row 3:  1 selvedge stitch, knit 5, *inc in next stitch, K2, repeat across from * to last 5 stitches.        
              Increase in next stitch. Knit next 3 stitches, 1 selvedge stitch (56 stitches)
Row 4:  1 selvedge stitch, knit across to last stitch, 1 selvedge stitch
Row 5:  Repeat row 4
Row 6:  Repeat row 4
Row 7:  (ws) 1 selvedge stitch, knit 4, *increase in next stitch, knit 3, repeat across from* to last 7
             stitches. Increase in next stitch, knit 5 stitches, 1 selvedge stitch. (68 stitches)
Row 8:  (rs) Repeat row 2 (another button hole)
Row 9-10:  Repeat row 4 (2 time) (the length of the yoke should be approximately 1 1/2 inches) If
              you want the yoke longer, repeat row 4 until you get the width (length) you want.
Row 11: 1 selvedge, knit 10, cast off 13 stitches, knit 20 stitches, cast off 13 stitches, knit 10 stitches,
              1 selvedge (42 stitches on needle)
Row 12:  1 selvedge, knit 10, cast on 9 stitches, knit 20 stitches, cast on 9 stitches, knit 10 stitches, 1
               selvedge (60 stitches on needle)
Row 13: 1 selvedge stitch, knit 58, 1 selvedge stitch
Row 14: 1 selvedge stitch, knit 2 (front band), purl across to last 3 stitches, knit 2, 1 selvedge (front
               band)

Repeat rows 13 and 14 until under arm measure 2 1/2 inches. In last row at 2 1/2 inches, decrease a stitch at each under arm and in the middle of back. (Decreasing stitches is optional but the decreases keeps the bottom edge from puffing out.)

After decreasing row, knit each row until 5 ridges have formed (or the number of ridges you would like). Cast off on right side.

With crochet hook or finishing needle, tuck beginning and ending yarn tails inside. (The finishing needles can also be found in Walmart, Amazon, craft stores, etc.)

Lightly block the sweater to give it a nice finished look. Sew on buttons.



Sweater Vest using 10 ply worsted (#4 yarn standard)




Using #6 needles, cast on 44 stitches

Row 1: 1st stitch selvedge, knit across, last stitch selvedge
Row 2: (RS) 1st stitch selvedge, knit across, in last 4 stitches, knit 2 together, yo, knit 1, 1 selvedge
             stitch (button hole formed)
Row 3: 1st stitch selvedge, knit 5 stitches, *inc in next stitch, K2, repeat across from *, to last 5
             stitches. Increase in net stitch. Knit 3 stitches, 1 selvedge stitch. (56 stitches)
Row 4-6: Repeat row 1
Row 7: 1st stitch selvedge, knit 4, * increase in next stitch, K3, repeat across from * to last 7 stitches.
             Increase in next stitch, knit 5, last stitch selvedge (68 stitches)
Row 8: 1st stitch selvedge, knit across, in last 4 stitches, knit 2 tog, yo, knit 1, 1 selvedge stitch
             (button hole formed) 68 stitches
Row 9: Repeat row 1
Row 10: 1st stitch selvedge, Knit 10, cast of 13 stitches, Knit 20, cast off 13, knit 10, 1 selvedge
               stitch (42 stitches)
Row 11: 1st stitch selvedge, knit 2, knit 9 stitches, cast on 9 stitches, knit 20 stitches, cast on 9
             stitches, knit 11 stitches, last stitch selvedge. (61 stitches)
Row 12: Repeat row 1
Row 13: 1st stitch selvedge, knit 2 stitches, purl across to last 3 stitches, knit 2, 1 selvedge stitch.

Repeat rows 12 and 13 until under arm measures 2 1/2 inches. In row at 2 1/2 inches, dec 1 stitch under each arm hole and middle of back. (The decreases helps hem of vest from bulging out and are optional.)

After decreasing row, knit rows until 5 ridges are formed with 1st stitch selvedge and last stitch selvedge. Cast off from right side.  With crochet hook or finishing needle, tuck beginning and ending yarn tails inside. (The finishing needles can also be found in Walmart, Amazon, etc.)

Lightly lightly block the sweater to give it a finished look. Sew on buttons.


The top sweater vest has the yoke, hem and button band in the garter stitch.
The bottom sweater vest has the yoke, hem and button band in the seed stitch.
Again, both sweaters are knitted with sport yarn (#2).



Resources:


"How to Block Knitting: Wet Blocking and Steam Blocking Knitting Techniques." Interweave. N.p., 21 Nov. 2016. Web. 04 Feb. 2017. <http://www.interweave.com/article/knitting/how-to-block-knitting-tips-resources/>.

"How to Knit the Garter Stitch." Dummies. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017. <http://www.dummies.com/crafts/knitting/designs-patterns/how-to-knit-the-garter-stitch/>.

"How to Knit the Stockinette Stitch." Dummies. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017. <http://www.dummies.com/crafts/knitting/knitting-stitches/how-to-knit-the-stockinette-stitch/>.

MarleneD1216. "Slip Stitch Edges - Knitting." YouTube. YouTube, 18 Feb. 2010. Web. 04 Feb. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_odMnlGeH-o>.

"Selvages." Selvages. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017. <http://www.vogueknitting.com/pattern_help/how-to/beyond_the_basics/selvages>.

"The 6 Best Selvedges for Finishing Your Projects." The Blog. N.p., 12 Apr. 2016. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.<https://www.weareknitters.com/blog/knitting-tips/best-selvedges-for-finishing-your-projects/>. 

"Yarn Weight (Thickness)." Dummies. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017. <http://www.dummies.com/crafts/knitting/knitting-yarn/yarn-weight-thickness/>.










Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dolls for the Children





I have loved dolls all my life. The picture of the cloth doll above is Betsy McCall. I made her by hand  (no sewing machine) when I was 11 years old. The pattern is now considered vintage. It was first printed in 1956. The pattern in the photo is a reprint of the original.

Since I retired in 2011, I have searched for things to do in which I can make the world a better place  . The first two years were spent taking care of Mama. After she died, I felt somewhat lost for something to do. I still missed teaching. I tried to volunteer to tutor in a few high schools but I never got "call backs". No one will ever convince me that there weren't a few students that needed tutoring in science or math. But that is neither here nor there. I am now a Durham County volunteer tutor through the North Regional Library. Love the children and tutoring. I also do science and science activities with middle school/high school homeschoolers through the same organization as a volunteer.

I found another way to spend my time that I absolutely love. I am buying and dressing dolls for charity. It is somewhat an expensive activity but there are so many rewards. I buy the dolls on sale. I also have purchased some at thrift stores and have restored them to original condition. There are several videos on YouTube to explain how to do the restorations. I am in the process of learning how to repair the dolls which have lost the mechanism to joint the legs and arms. There is a company that sell parts for repair.

 I do not buy the American Girl dolls because they are so expensive, even on sale or used, needing repair. But I must say that they are beautiful and well made. I can't afford to give them to charity. I have made sweaters for the American Girl doll for neighbors. Surely does bring smiles to the dolls' owners.

There are some dolls that resemble the American Girl doll that are nice. The hair is the problem. The hair of the American Girl doll is very good quality. The My Life dolls, from Walmart are nice looking dolls. The Springfield collection of dolls have beautiful faces but their hair is lower quality. The African-American doll in the Springfield collection should not be brushed. It comes out or becomes extremely frizzy. The Journey Dolls, from Toys r Us, are pretty dolls but they are out of my budget for charity. Another doll that I consider pretty are the Our Generation dolls at Target. Sometimes they go on sale and are somewhat more affordable, especially the regular dolls on sale. There are some Our Generation dolls that are as expensive as the Journey Dolls. Sometimes I find them for 3/4 the price at TJMaxx.

Another 18-inch doll that is reasonable in price for charity is the Dollie and Me dolls which can be found at Kohl's, Sears and Kmart. I don't think their face is quite as pretty as the American Girl, My Life or Our Generation but the price is about the same. There are the Madame Alexander 18-inch dolls which are also out of my price range for charity. They are beautiful dolls.

I have to keep my eyes open for specials, sales and dolls that need a little work. I found some Springfield dolls that had no box and knotted hair, thrown on a self in Michaels. I explained that I was giving them away for charity. I got a good deal on those dolls, no longer in a box, because the box got destroyed. It didn't take long to get them back in shape. They will be great delivered to an organization in a doll carrier or cloth bag.

I make an almost complete wardrobe and doll carrier for each doll. The wardrobe includes, underwear (some don't come with it), a couple pair of shoes, a night shirt, bedroom slippers, a short sleeve T-shirt, a long sleeve T-shirt, jeans, a denium jumper, a dress, short pants jumpsuit, a knitted sweater, socks, tights and sometimes a hoodie. I recently added shoes to the wardrobe, using old pocketbooks as a source of faux leather.

Making The Underwear

After the work of getting the dolls, the next job is to make the wardrobe. I start with the underwear.
There are so many ways to get underwear for them. I designed a way to make panties which don't require very much sewing. A recycled t-shirt can be use.


                                                            *
* The graph paper is 1/4" per block


1. Be sure that a ballpoint needle is used on the sewing machine. Using a regular sewing machine, zig zag or straight stitch 1/4" seam to the left front leg side* to right back leg side*. I can't get the close to the left back leg but you should be able to see the general location. Seam allowances are included in the pattern though they are not shown.

The hemming is done with zig zagging or a straight stitch. The top of the panties are the bottom hem of the t-shirt sleeve. No elastic is needed because the hem of the t-shirt  fits perfectly as the panties top.

The pattern is on the left. On the right is a sleeve from a recycled t-shirt.

The pattern has been cut out from the t-shirt sleeve. At the bottom on the photo is the hem of the sleeve. It
will become the top of the pants.


2. Now make a small hem in each of the leg openings. The great thing about sewing dolls clothes, it doesn't have to be perfect and practice helps. I practice making the skinny hem on a scrap of t-shirt fabric first, especially if it has been several weeks since working on knit fabric.





3. Next seam the front and back crotch together. The back crotch needs to be eased into the front. The reason for that is that the back crotch must be larger because all the 18" dolls have large rears. I think the reason for that is that it helps the be able doll to sit.  Once the crotch is sewn, you are finished. It took no more than 15 minutes. The pants can be made more elegant by sewing lace on the leg openings.


                                                           

There are more patterns for panties that are prettier but they take more time. They probably will require elastic at the waist and leg openings. If there are scrap pieces of lace, it can be sewn in the leg openings. ( My pattern doesn't requre elastic) .  Each doll will get a pair.  Simplicity pattern #4347 has a pattern for pretty panties.

Another method for making undergarment is using socks on sale. These girls show you how they make underwear for their dolls using socks.


Making Jeans and T-Shirts

The jeans aren't difficult to make. They will be a little more time consuming if pockets are on them but they are so cute with pockets. I use recycled jeans to make them. I've tried several patterns and many of the have baggy legs. The legs can't be too tight because they will be difficult to put on. I like the way I make them. I started with a pattern and ended up cuttin out the side seam allowances so that the pants weren't baggy but were easy to put on.


1. The pockets have to be sewn on first. Notice that I don't have to hem the jeans because I cut the jean pattern on the hem of the recycled pants. Saved a step.


2. Next the fronts and back are sewn together without sewing the crotch. On these jeans, I had used all the pre-hemed legs, so this section had to be hemed. They were hemmed when a front was attached to a back.

3. To hem them, I zig zagged the edges and then sew the hem facing over and stitched. Simple!


4. Once the jean sides were sewn, the crotch is sewn. The picture above shows the casing for the waist elastic be measure and pinned. 

5. In the photo below the waist casing for the elastic is being sewn 1/8 in from the top and about 3/4 inch from the  top of the casing fold. Important! Leave an unstitched space in order to thread the elastic through the casing.


6. Next, the 1/4" elastic is threaded through the casing, the ends of casing are stitched together and the unstitched space is stitched. The elastic is pinned near the opening so that the end is not pulled through the casing. If that happens, one has to start over pulling the elastic.  Jeans finished!






The Denim Jumper


The jumper is not a design of mine. The pattern is from Simplicity #  2506.   The jumpers, like the jeans, are made from recycled jeans, which could be mine, from a thrift shop, or could be yours, if you give me your old jeans. The knees and butt may be worn out but the back legs are most always good. At a thrift store I found two denim dresses in the bins which were $1.00 each. They were in almost perfect condition and I got 4 jumpers out of one dress.


I add an iron-on appliqué to the front pocket. The are no button holes because I use a square of velcro to the strap and bib. The buttons serve no purpose, except for looks.




I make them as assembly line. The pocket is completed first, with the appliqué; then the bib is made.




Next the shirt is made with the hem. There is a touch of elastic in the back of the shirt. Then the straps are attached. 

The T-Shirts

The T-shirts are made from recycled T-shirts. The sleeves of reused T-shirts are usually in good condition and the back is usually in good condition. A few of the shirts can take advantage of the natural hem of the reused T-shirt for the hem of the doll sleeves and the hem of the bottom of the doll T-shirt. After that hem runs out, I have to hem the doll shirts. The back of the t-shirt is closed with approximately 1/4-inch velcro. Finding 1/4-in and 1/2-inch velcro is indeed difficult to find. I buy the 3/4-inch and cut it vertically in half. It is then sewn by machine to the t-shirt.

Notice that I am using the original hem on the t-shirt for the hem of the sleeve.
The front and back are sewn together. Notice that the hem of the front & back are
the original hem of the recycled t-shirt. 
The sleeves are then sewn to the front and back and seamed down the sides.
Finshed long sleeved and short sleeved t-shirts. A 1/4-inch long piece of velcro closes the t-shirt in the back.


Usually the sleeves of the reused or recycled white T-shirts are used to make the undies.
It is so much easier to sew on T-shirt fabric using a #11 or #12 ballpoint needle.


The Dresses


 I don't always use this same pattern for the dresses. There are some simpler patterns for dresses and if in a hurry, I use those. They have a very simple bodice and skirt. This pattern is so cute. If I have the time, I knit or sew a shrug that will go with the dress.

The dresses may appear to be complicated but they are not. I choose coordinated fabric patterns, usually in bold colors. The bodice is simply trimmed with coordinated bias tape. The back of the dress is closed with velcro.

In this particular pattern, the skirt is made of three gathered tiers. The bodice is very simple and bound with bias tape.



Strips of coordinating fabrics are used for this dress.




Gathering the tiers of the dress

The front and backs of the bodice are sewn together.  The neck and arm edges are bound with
a color contrasting bias tape or some appropriate color of bias tape. 

The shirt is sewn to the top. The back is closed with 1/4" wide velcro.



The Nightshirt

The nightshirt in the photo above is simply made of three pieces, a front cut on the fold and two back pieces. The neck and sleeves are a simple hem stitch, as well as the bottom of the nightshirt. The back is inclosed with a strip of 1/4-in wide velcro. (Again, I cut 3/4-in or 1/2-in velcro in half, the long way.) The nightshirt pattern I used is Kwik Sew 3771.




The Tights

Tights are very easily made using women's knee socks. Each sock will make one pair of tights. From the top of the knee to the heel is used. Follow the directions on this website. I was able to get several pairs of knee high socks on sale at Walmart. I made the tights for $.50 a pair. These are good instructions for making the tights.

Not only did I get a pair of tights from this sock, I got a pair of socks from the toe.

It is important to remember to turn the sock wrong side out first. I have made  that mistake
at least one time and try not to do it any more. It is very difficult to rip stitches out of the tights.
lt is also important to use a ball point needle on the sewing machine to sew the tights.

The Sweaters

I've done several different sweaters. I will share my favorite pattern. I have done this pattern with and without beads. I really like the sweater with beads. The beads I like to use best when knitting this sweater are the 5mm Wee Pony beads or the smaller 4mm round bead. The method I like to useis strings the beads before casting stitches on a needle. The beads are moved back down the yarn until one is needed. It is then pulled up to the needle and then knit as a regular stitch. The bead will then be in the stitch just knitted. The beads stand out better is they are done on a purl row on the right side.



This pattern originally came from Janice Helge. I took off the last ridge,  increased the number of rows to the body of the sweater, added button holes, and changed the ribbing on the sleeves and bottom of sweater. I, also, knitted beads to the ridges.

I used yarn I had left over from other projects. If you use worsted yarn weight, the sweater will be almost too large. I used smaller needles and it made a usable, bulky sweater. Sport yarn works best but baby yarn works great if knitting with 2 strands, though, not all baby yarn needs 2 strands. Needles should be around 5 and 7 and the gauge will be 4-5 stitches = 1 inch.

Knitting Abbreviations:

k = knit
p = purl
inc = increase
pm = place marker
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
yo = yarn over



Using a needle threader, push a bead on the needle threader down to bottom of loop. Then, thread the yarn through the loop of the needle threader. Pull the bead off the threader onto the yarn.  Sometimes more than one bead can be done at a time, depending on the size of the bead and needle threaderl. Do this to 40 beads.

If you have no needle threader, this method with needle and thread works the same way. Here is another method I like also. Using the second method with the wee pony beads requires a very small crochet hook and sometimes it splits the yarn. That is why I use the first method with wee pony beads. Beading will be done on rows 7, 11, and 15

Using size 5 needles (beginning at neck), cast on 44 stitches.
Row 1-3: Work the 3 rows in ribbing, k1, p1; change to size 7 needles.
Row 4: knit across row, until last 4 stitches. In last 4 stitches, knit 2 together, yo, knit 2 (button hole)
Row 5: knit 4 (right front band as wearing it), purl across to last 4 stitches, k4  (left front band)
Row 6: knit 4, knit 2,*inc in next stitch, k2, repeat from* across to last 5 stitches. Inc in next stitch, knit last 4 stitches. (56 stitches)
Row 7: (wrong side) Knit 4, *pull up a bead to the needle on right hand, knit 4*, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, end with pull up bead and knit 4.
Row 8: Knit row
Row 9: Repeat row 5
Row 10: Knit 4, *inc in next stitch, k3, repeat from*, across row to last 8 stitches, inc in stitch, k7. (68 stitches)
Row 11: (wrong side)Knit 4, Knit 2, *pull up a bead to the needle on right hand, knit 5*, repeat from * to last 7 stitches, pull up a bead,  knit last 7 stitches.
Row 12: Knit row.
Row 13: Knit 2, yo, knit 2 together (buttonhole), purl across to last 4 stitches, k4 (left front band)
Row 14: Knit 5, inc in next stitch, *K 4, inc in next stitch, repeat from* across row to last 8 stitches,increase in next stitch,  end knit 7. (80 stitches)

The placement of beads on this next row are place in the same position as the first row of beads. Because of increased stitches in rows 10 and 14, the beads could be slipped after the 5, 6, or 7 knitted stitch. The total number of stitches in row 15 will still be 80 stitches.

Row 15: (wrong side) K4, bead, knit 6, bead, knit 6 or 7,  bead, knit 6 or 7, slip bead, knit 7, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 5 or 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, slip bead, knit 6, bead,  knit 4.

There will probably be extra beads on the yarn. Keep pushing them away as you knit. It is better to have more beads than not enough. It is difficult to add more beads on the yarn.

Row 16: Knit row
Row 17: Repeat row 5
Row 18: K 4, inc in next stitch, *k5, inc in next stitch, repeat from * to last 9 stitches. Knit 4, inc one stitch and end K4. (93 stitches)
Row 19: Repeat row 5
Row 20: Knit row
Row 21: Repeat row 5
Row 22: Place markers and increase as directed: K 14, inc stitch, pm, inc stitch, K16, inc stitch, pm, inc stitch, K25, inc stitch, pm, inc stitch, K16, inc stitch, pm, inc stitch, K 14. (101 stitches)
Row 23: K4, p12, slip marker, p20, slip marker, purl 29, slip marker, purl 20, slip marker, p12, knit 4
Row 24: Knit across increasing in the stitch before and after each marker. (109 stitches)
Row 25: Knit 4, purl 13, slip marker, purl 22, slip marker, purl 31, slip marker, purl 22, slip marker, purl 13, knit 4
Row 26: Repeat row 24. (117 stitches)

Row 27: (Wrong side) Knit 4, purl 14 front stitches, place next 24 stitches on a holder (sleeve), cast on 2 stitches, purl across back stitches, cast on 2 stitches, place next 24 stitches on a holder (sleeve) purl across 14 front stitches, knit 4. (There are 73 stitches for the body of the sweater on the needle.)

Work in stockinette stitch for 1 1/2 inches, continuing to knit 4 at beginning and end of each row. On last row k2 together under each underarm and in center of back. Change to size 5 needle. Work 3 rows, k1, p1 ribbing. Bind off in ribbing stitch.

Sleeves (Work with wrong side)
Slip one set of sleeve stitches from stitch holder onto a size 7 needle. Work in stockinette stitch , increases 1 stitch at each end of first row. Work in stockinette stitch for 12 rows.

On row #12 for sleeve, Decrease a stitch on stitch 1, stitch 13 and the last stitch. Change back to size 5 needle and work 3 to 4 rows of k1, p1 ribbing. Bind off in ribbing stitch. Follow same directions for completing the second sleeve. Sew Sleeve seams together. Weave all ends in entire sweater with plastic needle or crochet hook.

I have edited these directions many, many times but there could still be a error in the directions. If so, please let me know if you find one.




The Knitted Bedroom Slippers




These are a relatively easy beginner's project using the garter stitch (knit every row). A couple of pairs can be knitted in one night. They look great with the night shirt!

I use #3 or #4 circular needles with two strands of baby yarn or sport weight yarn or fingering weight yarn. I usually use scraps of yarn left over from other projects.  (Regular worsted weight will make the slippers too big for the 18" doll.) Straight needles work fine also.



Cast on 31 stitches.
Row 1-8: Knit
Row 9: Knit 12, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 12
Row 10: Knit 11, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 11
Row 11: Knit 10, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 10
Row 12: Knit 9, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 9
Row 10: Knit 8, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 8
Row 11: Knit 7, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 7
Row 12-23: Knit

Or

Row 12: Knit row
Row 13-23: Knit 1, purl 1 for ribbing (on every row, knit on knit stitch and purl on purl stitch)

Or (my favorite) Seed Stitch

Row 12: knit
Row 13: *knit 1, purl 1, Knit 1*Repeat to end of row
Row 14: *Purl 1, knit 1, purl 1* repeat to end of row
Repeat rows 13 and 14  for 15-23 rows

Bind off. Sew the bottom together and the back of slipper together with tapestry or plastic needle . Weave in loose ends with needle or crochet hook.

Shoes

These are quite simple to make. I first cut a faux brown leather pocketbook (some people say purse) apart and disposed of all the unwanted parts. I got 7 pairs of shoes from the pocketbook. I purchased a braided trim and glued it to the opening of the shoe with a glue gun. It took 1/2 day to cut out  4 pairs of shoes and sew them together.

To make the black shoes, I purchased 1/4 yard of black faux leather for $2.45 --- the sale price.
I bought a a black trim with "silver" discs and glued on the shoe opening with a glue gun. Fun and more fun!









Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lemon Pound Cake Gluten Free




I've been missing pound cake! I tried making it gluten free one day and it was a flop. A family member made a request for vanilla cake. That recipe I have not shared yet but it is based on Bob's Red Mill Magically Moist Almond Cake. That cake is so very nice in moistness, taste and texture. My daughter was so disappointed when I brought the pound cake rather than the almond cake.  I made the lemon pound cake because I wanted to try a lemon pound cake using lemon puree. I had made tangerine puree before and was guessing I could use the same procedure for making lemon puree.

I found several recipes for lemon puree but many of them called for heavy amounts of sugar. I was making this pound cake low sugar. I thought it wouldn't hurt to experiment not using granulated sugar. I made the lemon puree without any sugar. I suppose I could have used a sugar substitute, but first I wanted to try it without any sweetner -- as I did with the tangerine/clementine puree.

Directions for Making Lemon Puree

It takes two lemons for each cake. I usually do about 6 lemons because 6 aren't much more trouble nor anymore messier than pureeing two lemons. I freeze the extra puree for another time.

1. Place the lemons in water (just covering the lemons) and bring to a boil. A few recipes state to boil for 45 minutes to get rid of the bitter taste in the peel. Another said to boil for 2 hours. I boiled for an hour, poured out the water and boiled again for 30 minutes.

2. Let the lemons cool, place them on a cutting board (with raised edges), cut the ends off the lemons and open the lemons to get out the seeds. (Mine slightly split open while boiling.)

3. Place lemons with peel and any juice on the board in a food processor. Process until a paste is formed. Freeze any left over in a zip plastic bag. Press the puree flat (letting out air), freeze on a metal pan. Then the bags of  puree can be stacked. I stacked them with the clementine puree.

4. I found that there was no need to add any sugar to the puree. The sugar or sweetness in the recipe for the cake was enough. Add a sweetener of choice if you find it needs to be sweeter.

The Pound Cake

Several of the gluten free pound cake recipes stated to leave the cake in the pan until it was cool. I understand why because gluten free cakes are very delicate while hot. But the first time I made it and left it in the pan to cool, it sweat and the bottom of the cake was slightly wet with water dripping off the parchment paper. The cake needs to be removed from the pan about 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven. Lining the pan with parchment paper lapping over the side helps with removing the pound cake. The second time I made the cake, I removed the pound cake with the parchment paper. It had not sweat and it didn't fall apart. Just make sure that it is lifted with the parchment and let it cool in the parchment paper on a cooling rack.


Flavoring and Variations

This pound cake can be given any flavor you want. So far I have made it lemon, clementine and chocolate. All three flavors were great. Another time I may make it just vanilla or spice. Chocolate chips would be great in it. This cake will be very moist and will last several days in the fridge. The last slice will be as a good as the first -- within limits. The cake will need to be sliced and frozen to last longer than a couple of days. I wrap each piece in a paper towel or parchment paper and then in a plastic zipper bag. They can be stacked better if parchment paper is between each slice. I prefer the parchment paper but the paper towel absorbs moisture as the cake thaws.

Anything gluten free will usually dry out quickly. You can notice that this is a small pound cake. There are a couple of reasons for that. The cake doesn't keep on the shelf for longer than a couple days because there are no preservatives in the batter and gluten free batters just dry out quickly. Another reason the cake is small is gluten free baked goods rise better when in smaller amounts of batter. The baking pan can make the difference, also. Pans that have straight, not slanted, sides help the gluten free dough or batter rise better. I notice a big difference, especially in bread dough rising, when I bought Big Daddio's small straight-sided loaf pan. Lining the pan with parchment paper gives cake and bread batters a help in rising.

Since this cake is not made with wheat flour, do not expect it to have a tremendous smooth texture. It is smooth but not as smooth as when made with wheat flour. This pound cake is made from almond flour and will have the texture of almond flour. Purchasing super fine almond flour will help with a smoother texture but it will be more expensive. I found that grinding the almond flour in a coffee mill helps to make it finer. Be careful and not grind it too long or it will become almond butter.


The Tangerine/Clementine Puree worked very nicely in this recipe, also.

Clementine Pound Cake



I made the cake lower in sugar but it doesn't have to be. Substitute the Stevia in the Raw for regular granulated sugar and the Truvia brown sugar for regular brown sugar.











Variations:
Chocolate: add 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (or more if wanted) cocoa to the dry ingredients plus another
       tablespoon of brown sugar
Vanilla: use only the vanilla flavoring as stated in the recipe
Spices: ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, allspice
Extracts: any that you like can be used

I haven't tried it yet but I think that the pumpkin puree can be substituted for the lemon puree. With the pumpkin spices, that would make a wonderful pumpkin pound cake.

Gluten Free Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup cream cheese (4oz), softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw (or granulated sugar)
1 tablespoon Truvia brown sugar blend (or regular brown sugar)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup lemon puree
2 cups almond flour
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt




Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a 4x8-in loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving ends so that the cake can be lifted easily out of the pan.

2.  Whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and any dry spices used.

3. With electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, sugar substitute and brown sugar.

4.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla and lemon puree or any other flavoring being used.

5. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture while beating on medium speed. Pour into parchment lined loaf pan.

6. Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let rest and cool for 5-10 minutes in pan. Remove the cake from the pan using parchment paper. Do not cut the cake until cool. Otherwise, it may fall apart. Remember, gluten free products are more delicate.

7. Serve with ice cream, berries or whipped cream, if desired


Resources:

"Almond Flour Pound Cake." How Stuff Works. Publications International, LTD, n.d. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2015. <http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/almond-flour-pound-cake-recipe.htm>.

Andrews, A.J. "How to Line a Loaf Pan?" EHow. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016. <http://www.ehow.com/how_10012060_line-loaf-pan.html>.

"Culinary Parchment 101: Lining a Loaf Pan." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRJ2r3Em5aw>.

N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016. <http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes/how-to-make/magically-moist-almond-cake/>.