Thursday, 27 April 2017

Ezri chooses the fabrics for her quilt

   The cold weather has continued this week and, despite the blue skies and sunshine, that north wind is bitterly cold. So Ezri and I decided to stay indoors where it's warm and make a start on her quilt. The first job was the hardest- choosing the fabrics. I have a big bag of leftover bits and as Ezri's quilt won't take much fabric there was sure to be something in there. Ezri had a good root through the bag. Decisions, decisions...

It was very difficult deciding which colours she wanted and which fabric patterns she liked best

Pretty flowers

This one's interesting with the hands and hearts

This will go nice with the other two

After what seemed like hours, Ezri finally decided on the colours she liked best. Russet, gold, cream and navy

   Now I get the fun bit. I sketched a quick idea for a simple strip quilt and I've decided to have a go at piecing this one entirely by machine. I haven't used my machine a great deal, so this will be good practice. I might still do the quilting by hand, but I'll think about that when I get to that part.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Where did spring go? Ezri's new cable sweater

   I have been doing a bit of knitting this week. The cooler weather that has returned has kept me indoors more. So I had a root through my wool stash and found an almost full ball of James C. Brett Legacy 100% wool ( # denim blue ) from a sweater I knitted a while back. I decided on a simple top-down, seamless raglan, as this is my preferred way of knitting ( I love knitting, but I hate the tedium of sewing up ) This little sweater features a simple 4-strand, celtic style open cable design. I like these open cable patterns as they stand proud of the background and look so cool. It's back fastening with 5 little MoP buttons. You can find this pattern in the gadget bar on over there on the right in- 'Get Knitting'
   I also want to get around to making Ezri a pair of jeans. I think jeans look great on Sasha dolls. I have 2 pairs of old jeans lying in the bottom of the wardrobe, but I am loathe to hack them up. I got them 14 years ago and they are literally washed and worn to shreds ( I know people pay a fortune for tattered jeans ) I wore a pair last week, with thick magenta tights underneath, which were visible through the rips ( very trendy, although I feel I may be to old for this look now ) so I am trying to steal myself to cut them up to make jeans for Ezri.
Ezri's new sweater

Thursday, 13 April 2017

A little more time for experimentation

   Although I'd always knit and sewn for my dolls ( up until my late teens ) all my efforts were rather basic ( elasticated waist skirts and ribbon strap tops sewn by hand ) and over the years I've carried on with some knitting for my children and grandchildren, but with little time for leisure, it was never very much. Now I have ample time on my hands, and with Ezri's help, I am going to do more!
   This week I have fashioned another pair of trousers. They are very simple in style, with a couple of darts for shaping and a waistband rather than elastic. I made them from a James Pringle cotton/linen shirt that my husband had outgrown! I added a few of the buttons for decoration too. I think next time I will shave about 1cm off the pattern to make them a little narrower. I mentioned last week that I was experimenting with shapes and pleats using patchwork fabric. I made a smock with ruffly sleeves and a mock button-band ( inspired by some of the wonderful creations I have seen on other blogs ) I made the mock button-band separately and stitched it on, but I wonder if it could be done all-in-one, like a box pleat. My creations are far from perfect, but I am very happy with them. The colour of the smock also goes well with the new wig. I'm getting used to it now and resist trying to do anything with it as it just makes it frizzier!
   I feel a bit of knitting coming on next!
...and other musings
   The warm spring weather has given way to cool, wet and windy. However, this hasn't deterred us from getting out in the garden and preparing the veg beds for this years planting. We got 800kg of top soil ( all in 20kg bags, so no heavy shovelling and no mess! ) to refresh all the beds, the herb bed and the greenhouse beds. Now we wait until the seedlings are big enough and strong enough to go out.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A new wig? Maybe, maybe not...

   Last week I ordered a new wig for Ezri. The photo, with the wig on a disembodied head, looked quite good. A light auburn/blonde shade with a bit of curl. It was only £3.99 inc P&P, so I wasn't expecting to much of it. The description said there might be glue in the cap and that it measured 8.5". The wig arrived today. The cap is very, very small and very stiff with a lot of old glue and the hair is very frizzy rather than curly. I gave it a gentle wash and trimmed off about an inch of the worst of the frizz at the ends then hung it out on the line to dry.  
   In the meantime I have also been doing some sewing. I'm doing a bit of experimenting with shapes and pleating, so I'm just using old patchwork fabric from my stash and making notes as I go. If I like it and it works out OK I'll use some proper dress fabric. No sense wasting good fabric.
   So, back to the new wig. It didn't look all that bad hanging on the line ( bottom right picture. It looks darker than it actually is ) However, as it dried it frizzed up again. I tried to tame it, but it only got worse. It's alright if you like the wild and unruly look. It doesn't look that bad in the photos, but the slightest touch and it slides off. I put a piece of blue-tack inside to try and hold it on! As you can see the cap only just perches on top of her head! Keep it or not?

... and other musings
   This quilt I have been working on during the summer months for the last couple of years. I rooted it out for this summer and it needed a good press. It's made using Mary's Triangle blocks. There are 324 triangle blocks ( 2 in each fabric colour to mirror image ) then 76 edging blocks with 2 colours and a plain strip on each one. Some pieces are still individual squares and some are joined into 4 and then into strips and so on. It wasn't going to be this big, but as each piece only takes a very small amount of fabric, it got bigger and bigger! The whole thing is entirely stitched by hand as it's for when I'm sitting in the garden and I can just work on it in my lap. It's going to take a couple more summers yet!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

How I got my Sasha doll

 ( Oct '15 - Jan '16 )
   OK, so here is my very first ever blog. I'd been thinking about trying a blog for some time, but I'm not at all tech savvy and trying anything new is quite scary for me. I'm sure many of you reading this will know how it is. However, the world is changing so fast and I'm trying so hard to keep up.
   So why am I creating this blog?
   I have been looking at all the lovely Sasha blogs since acquiring my own doll. I've sighed over the beautiful dolls; some that are still original and some that have been completely changed. Those that have been re-rooted, re-painted, re-strung and all the beautiful new clothes that their owners have lovingly created for them. How the dolls have been 'brought to life' with photo scenarios and stories! I have commented on many of these blogs and I have decided that I'd like to share my own 'Sasha Story'.
   About 14 months ago ( Jan '16 ) I finally got a Sasha doll; or rather, a Prince Gregor. Like so many before me I had first wanted a Sasha doll when I was a girl. However, I grew up, got a job, got married, had children, the children left home, the grandchildren came along and any thoughts of a Sasha doll had been put on the back burner a long time ago.
   Then one afternoon ( Oct '15 ) whilst idly browsing through ebay my search brought up a Sasha doll and my interest was piqued. I looked more closely and I couldn't believe how expensive they were! I told my husband how much I would like one and he said if I could get one cheap enough, OK. Well, over the course of about 3 months, I put on bid after bid on various dolls and was always outbid. I realised I would never be able to own one. Then one day a Prince Gregor, in his beautiful blue velvet outfit, was offered quite cheaply. I waited and waited and no one was bidding on him. At the last minute I bid the asking price and got him!
   It was about a week before he finally arrived. I was actually trembling with excitement and anticipation as I opened the parcel! When I finally held him he was more than I had been expecting. I hadn't expected him to be so beautiful or so heavy! ( the dolls I had as a girl had been thin plastic and very lightweight ) I held him for a while then settled him on the side table and admired him. Later I took some pictures and shared them with my family. I had expected them to say 'WOW!' 'Cool' 'Beautiful', but actually it was more 'Why have you bought a doll at your age?!' My husband said ' Now you've got one, what are you going to do with it?' I hadn't planned to do anything with him.
   So, over the past year I have been sharing my passion with other Sasha owners on their blogs. I have seen how their owners have lovingly transformed their dolls into works of art and given them life and love 💗

Prince Gregor Jan '16

( Jan '16 - July '16 )
   So, Prince Gregor stood on the side table for quite some while. I'd pick him up and admire him from time to time. Then one time, as I was holding him, his hat and hair fell off! He was wearing a wig! Now I hadn't even realised this; I'd just assumed his hair was rooted like any other doll's. I began to wonder then if Gregor had had a 'life'. If his wig had been removed had he worn other wigs? had his suit been removed? had he worn other clothes? Had he played a part in his previous owner(s) 'Sasha stories'? In his 30 years ( he has 1985 stamped on the back of his head ) surely then he must have.
   Suddenly I felt less timid about him. Perhaps he didn't need to just stand on the side table. Maybe I could bring him to life again! I decided then to remove his velvet suit and packed it in tissue for safe keeping. Having some knitting and sewing skills, I took his measurements and fashioned a simple pair of trousers and a hat and sweater. Now I felt as if I might become a part of the Sasha doll world!

The first sweater and hat I knitted for Gregor in July '16

( July '16 - Nov '16 )
   After some thought I decided maybe I would give him a new name. Most doll owners had named their dolls, so it seemed the logical thing to do next. I finally, after a few weeks, settled on Ezri.
   My youngest daughter was starting to warm to him a bit and approved of his new name. However, she said he was too pretty to be a boy and looked more like a girl!
   I had noticed how many Gregors and Calebs had been changed into girls by there owners and I thought maybe Ezri could be a girl too! I decided to knit a sweater-dress to see how he would look.
Sweater-dress Nov' 16

( Nov '16 - Mar '17 )
   So we come right up to date. A few weeks ago I bought a blonde plaited wig from ebay ( by Thomas Baeker. It's a little large at 9-10", but it looks OK ) I've also been honing my sewing skills, starting again from the very basics, and I got my first sewing machine too! I made a basic sleeveless dress ( using a pattern from Phoebe&Egg ) and knitted a cream cotton shrug to go with it. You can find this pattern in the gadget bar on the right- 'Get Knitting' 
   Now my doll can be a boy, Ezri, or a girl, Zephyrine. So please meet my Sasha doll - Ezri Zephyrine ❤💗💜