When I got the legs done and started to sew them onto my new doll, I realized that all you would ever see was the back of her.

Think about it.

A doll on her stomach, unless you display her on a high transparent shelf, will be viewed from above.  She’d make a cool photo if you got the camera angle just right, but photos just aren’t as satisfying as looking at the real thing.

For display on my doll shelf, Vanessa needs to be sitting.  Fortunately the legs being bent at the knee meant she could become a shelf-sitter very easily!  The difficulty was that the head and the body were already sewn into a belly-down position.

You know that’s no problem for a sewing woman. We buy our seam rippers in bulk!


To position her on her stomach, you include some weight in the lower belly.  (Mine is a small bag of pebbles.) I’ll have to say, I didn’t like having to rip open her belly to reposition the weight.   That seam has a lot of strain on it and there’s a risk of making holes in the fabric.  Unfortunately she’d never sit up straight with the weight pulling her forward.

We’ll see how it goes when I finish the restitching.  She’ll have on clothes, so if I have to patch things it won’t show.

They call me ‘Vanessa’


With summer weighing me down and the need for new clothes nonexistent, I found a baby troll to work on when I’m feeling sewy.

According to a note I bought the class in 2011, though it apparently has been expunged from public record since then. I can tell from the class materials that the doll class was called Aubrie & Averie, but the name of the author is nowhere on the lessons. Nor is there a finished photo of the doll.


I did find a copyright notice by SHawkey on the pattern, and am guessing that this was designed by Shelley Hawkey.  I would love to see some finished photos, as I only vaguely recall what this will look like when completed.

Fortunately my lesson files are all here, so I’m pressing on!

As usual I am falling more in love with this little mite the more I work on her.  Her head was mostly done when I found her again, so I’m working on her body and putting things together as time permits.  It’s great fun!

And to think, a few days ago I was thinking of donating all my doll supplies.


I just couldn’t stop!

There are now not 1 but 2 Tara Tank dresses hanging in my closet!  The first one will be my birthday dress.

Dress after laundering to "bloom" the bindings

It took some ripping and restarting for me to get happy with my binding choices, but what’s a sewing project without some ripping?  I first thought that using raw-edged tan binding would give the eye a place to rest with all these prints.  Turns out, it was just kinda “blah.”

You can see some in-progress photos on Instagram, and I’m sure you’ll agree that the tan bindings were all wrong.  I didn’t want to trash them entirely because the tan’s raw edges bloomed so nicely.

I could see that I needed a colorful binding on top.  I had used the dappled print for the waistband but didn’t have enough of that for the bindings.  Fortunately I had plenty of the coordinating striped fabric and layering it over the tan worked out just beautifully.

(I don’t think you can tell anything about the bloom from the photo above, but if you click on it Flickr! will allow you to enlarge the photo.)

When I finished the birthday dress, there was this chambray that raised its hand politely asking to be another Tara Tank dress.  Since I was on a roll and had the construction down pat, I indulged it.

Chambray version

I’m not sure about that ruffle, but I’m letting it stay for now.  Once I’ve worn the dress, I’ll decide whether than stays or goes.  I’m not sure a woman my age needs ruffles about her knees.  It does make the dress cover my knees, so that’s a plus.

I may be done with this pattern for a while.  Don’t lay any bets, but I think I’ll move on now.  ;-)


Ta Daa!

Tara & Frankie

I’m totally sold on the Tara Tank Dress and don’t get me started on the Frankies. This is a perfect summer outfit!

At this point I’m scrambling to finish a dress version of the Tara Tank before Saturday. You can see a couple of bodice photos over on Instagram.  I expect I’ll start putting some of my in-progress photos over there as Flickr! has become a colossal pain lately and I’m weary of referencing the photos in blog posts the way I’ve been doing.


I said it.

After 18 years she’s tired of it.  I don’t think I’ll stop entirely, but nowadays there are easier ways to share my sewing.

Instagram may be my next wave

or not.

Tara’s Tank Take Two

Tara tank take 2

This kind of top reminds me of toddler clothes–fun little details, trims, and all matchy. You can’t see the matchy part yet because I haven’t made the Frankies to go with it, but here’s my second run at Tara’s Tank Dress.

This time I added the bodice tucks, though I didn’t use the pattern piece for that.  I simply measured the pattern’s tucks, tucked the fabric, then cut my plain, altered pattern piece from the tucked fabric.  That worked great and was easier than trying to alter the tucked bodice piece to match my previous success.

I must say that my other Tara/Frankie outfit is fun to wear and I find myself reaching for it over and over again.  I expect this one will be the same.

The next Frankie pants will be made from the tan linen that trims the top, another fabric from my Craftsy haul.  These will be the third pair.   I haven’t shown you my second, sewn from gray linen, which are exactly like the drawing I made.  This one:

Frankie Plan

This next time, I’m eliminating the back yoke and pockets.  I learned from the second pair that I don’t use those back pockets. (Wha???) The fabric has so much drape that the pockets sag when a phone is crammed in them.

And the front pockets hold the phone just fine.

I suppose I could put some decorative pockets back there, but I’m kind of in a hurry.  My machines are going for their annual trip to the health spa on Friday, so I’m hoping to speed through the Frankies tomorrow or Thursday so I can wear them this weekend.  I’ll let you know how that works out.