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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Look what I got in the mail!!!

It feels kind of like Christmas this week around here. I decided to use the free shipping offer from American Girl last week to place a small order and it arrived yesterday.

So this I suppose is a haul blog, in a way I photographed the opening but I have to admit I had already opened the box before it got anywhere near a camera! LOL

Don't you just love to get packages in the mail??

You see it came in the mail and since I get all my mail at the post office that meant driving to the post office. My oldest son's girlfriend rode along with me and there was no way we were even leaving the post office parking lot without tearing into that box! We had to at least peak at everything right away. So this morning I did my best to get everything back into the box so you could see how it looked when it arrived. 

What do you suppose is in here???

The biggest thing I got was one of the new puppy dogs. I absolutely fell in love with them as soon as I saw them in the catalog. I decided to get the chocolate lab and it is sooooooo cute! Just as the catalog description states she is possible. She can almost sit, not quite but close enough. The fur covering her is so soft and her face is so sweet. I love that they have included a magnet in the nose area of the new animals so they can carry their toys. I have some plans for making some more pet toys that will take advantage of this. 


Also for the puppy I got the Treats and Eats Pet Set. This contains two bowls, a mat, a pile of doggy treats, and a canister to hold more treats. It also includes a sheet of stickers to decorate the canister and bowls with if you so desire. I am sure I will be making some more little dog treats, there will probably be a tutorial for them in the future so keep your eyes open. 

What could this be?

So much easier to see out of the packaging
Showing the sheet of stickers


You can expect to see a new Allison's Journal blog post about the new puppy in the near future too.

Also in this order was a pair of doll size sunglasses and a Seattle AG store shirt. I recently purchased a pair of sunglasses at Joann's made by the Springfield company and I wanted to do a comparison of the two pair. I am curious how different they are in quality, the price is different for sure.

they are packed nicely

so cute

they even have a case

Since AG recently put the store logo t-shirts on the sale area of their site I decided to pick up on for the dolls from the Seattle store. I was actually in Seattle in March and had planned to get up to the AG store but between bad timing and bad weather we just didn't get that far. Hopefully another trip is in my near future and the AG store will be at the top of my list this time for sure. In the meantime the girls can share this shirt.

Hard to see in the package

so much easier out of the plastic

Molly shows off the t-shirt and sunglasses.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I've Been Sewing This Week

It seems like lately I have just not had the time to do any sewing and when I sat back and realized that fact I also realized how much I missed it. I decided that this last week I would definitely be fixing that situation so I got out some of the patterns I have been hording and picked through my stash of fabrics and found some things that I felt would work together.

I have a couple more things cut out and in various stages of completeness but I did finish 2 dresses so I thought I would share them with you all here today. Both of these are made with patterns from Liberty Jane and they are both patterns for a sewing challenge on a doll sewing group I am on this month. 


If you sew for your 18” dolls and haven't discovered the patterns by Liberty Jane I do urge you to check them out. The Liberty Jane patterns for the most part are very contemporary and look like what the girls of today are or want to wear. Many of the styles are greatly influenced by the very stars the pre-teen and teen girls love to watch. The patterns are for the most part are very fitted and can be too snug on some dolls (in fact the green dress pictured here was too tight for my American Girl dolls- more on that later) The nice people at Liberty Jane even have some free patterns so you can try them out before you actually spend any money. Also for the last few months they are having their fans vote on some choices and then the winning pattern from that group has been free on Fridays. Just follow either their blog or their Facebook page to learn the details. If I remember correctly both of these patterns were part of previous giveaways.

Now onto the patterns and the dresses I made with them. Like I said I have been hording patterns of late so I figured I had better get started using some of them. I belong to an online sewing group for the 18” dolls and we have what is called a sew-along each month. For this sew-along we are given one, two or more pattern choices at the beginning of the month and we have until the end of the month to make up the pattern and post pictures. It is so much fun to see how different everyone of the outfits turn out. I haven't had much time to sew lately so I have gotten to participate in a couple of months. This month I decided to get started right away so I could get at least some sewing done.

The first dress I made was this green one the pattern is called “Aspen's Party Dress” and according to the pattern it is rated as requiring a medium sewing skill level. The pattern shows a couple of suggested variations on the dress. I knew since this has a rather full skirt and is completely lined I wanted to pick a fabric that was very lightweight and that draped really nicely. I pulled out this green fabric that I have had in my stash for at least 4 or 5 years. I picked it up at a little independent fabric store because it was just so pretty. I have no information on the fabric I am not even sure of the content of the fibers in it. I love the pretty flowers and the embroidery on it too. I made the pattern exactly by the directions and it came out a bit too snug for my American Girl dolls, I had a feeling it would when I started though. I knew if that was the case it would fit Jazmin, my Our Generation doll because she is much slimmer than the other dolls. For the lining for this dress I wanted something light colored and again very drape-able, I happened to notice that I still have some really lightweight unbleached muslin on hand from a project about 20 years ago, it worked perfectly. Being off white instead of pure white I think it blends with the green a lot better and it doesn't change the appearance of the green fabric either. This pattern did sew up pretty quickly, just from reading some of the directions it was a bit confusing but a glance at the photos and I knew exactly what they meant. I think if I make it up again in the future I will make a couple of changes. First I will add just a bit to the circumference of the entire dress so it will fit the American Girl dolls and I will cut the skirt lining a bit shorter than the over-skirt so it is easier to hide it. On the cover picture on the pattern they used a really pretty embroidered ribbon for the sash and on one of the variations they showed some cool beading that could be used. I decided to just use my fabric for the sash because I didn't want to detract from the design of it.

The next dress, the pink one, is from the pattern “Sandy Lane Maxi Dress” and I am loving how it turned out! It is kind of funny because when I had looked at the cover photo on the pattern I really didn't think I was going to like it at all. I only got the pattern because it was free and then only made it because it was part of the sew-along. The fabric I used has been in my stash for about 21 years, I made a dress from it for my daughter when she was a baby and still had a large chunk of it left. I remember I got it at a sale at Dasiy Kingdom, when they used to have a store here. I sure do miss that store and the wonderful fabrics they had. Anyway this fabric has a very pale pink background with some tiny little yellow, dark pink and blue flowers on it. I decided that the version of the dress with the tiered skirt was the one I wanted to make and I am so glad I did, I think that is what makes this dress so cute. The pattern had 2 suggestions for the straps to either braid narrow pieces of fabric or make plain straps and knot them just above the front of the dress. I started to do the knotted version and decided I wanted to add a bead in place of the knot. I chose some off white pony beads, I really wanted pink ones but didn't have a pink I thought looked right. I am glad I did the ones I did though in the end I think they are perfect. If I make another dress like this I might actually do 3 beads on each strap I think that would be really cute too. This pattern was also made exactly by the pattern and it fits the American Girl dolls just fine, so you do have to watch the patterns and do some measuring before you commit your fabric.

I several more outfits cut out so watch this space for a few more posts of what I am getting sewed.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Doll Size Light Fixture

I was shopping at Joann Fabrics today and happened to go down the aisle where they were selling the back to school stuff. My eyes were drawn to one item in particular this cute little light fixture that is supposed to go into a school locker! It is super cute and designed to look like a real chandelier like you might find hanging over a dining room table. Since it is supposed to be for a teen's locker it runs on batteries and this one has a motion sensor.

The original price is marked at $24.99 which in my opinion is a bit on the high side but all the back to school stuff is on 50% off right now and I had a coupon for another 20% off my entire purchase including sale items! Yeah!!!!

I am always on the lookout for items I can use with the dolls especially items that would be hard to make myself. I think this little chandelier is going to be perfect for use with the story posts on this blog. So keep your eyes open for it to show up in a future “Allison's Journal” post. I guess I had better be figuring out a dining room table and chairs sooner than I thought. LOL

The fixture is powered by 3 AAA batteries in a compartment in the part that hangs from the ceiling. It also has magnets to hang it in a locker, I think I will be using those to hang it for the dolls too.

I do want to thank my youngest son (Erik) for helping me with the pictures today. I just could not get them to look good but he is a much better photographer than I am and he took these with not problems. 

as it comes from the box

with the lights on