Tuesday 1 August 2017

Lottie Week - Day 2 - Pretty in Pink

I loved the idea of making accessories and toys to go with the clothes as I wanted to make it a fun thing to play with as well as a dolls dressing up box. The ideas behind this set were driven by three things; Firstly I made Little Miss E a Mary Rasch fleece hat at Christmas and I wanted to re-create it in miniature, secondly, I wanted to play with the Pipsqueaks book again, and finally, and perhaps most importantly, Little Miss E currently loves pink!

Lottie pink set

Initially I wanted to make a full circle skirt so I measured the waist and the length and cut out the fabric, but when I inserted the elastic I found out that it was too small to go over the hips. I think that using such a small piece of elastic reduces the stretch. I also used cotton, and not jersey, fabric which would have had more stretch and made it easier. I decided that I should make a ¾ circle skirt instead. I cut it out and fastened at the back using the no snag Velcro that I talked about on Day One, and although the Velcro used is not as flat as the low profile velcro it is easy for little fingers to get on and off , and should not snag the hair which is the important thing. I trimmed the bottom of the skirt with a little bit of lace I had in my stash and the waitstband was finished off with ribbon. By adding on the trimming I got to avoid any complicated hemming (for now...) and I added a tiny button at the top.

Spotty skirt
I made the top by adjusting this pattern. I was using cotton again and not jersey so I made the pattern slightly bigger and I used a scrap of pillow case to test it out, and when that worked I used a scrap of fabric covered in flowers, owls and ladybirds. I used a white patterned cotton for the sleeves, and in this case the Velcro went at the back. The hem here was a tiny rolled hem with a lot of very small stitches.

Lottie top

The cardigan was made using a beautiful cardigan that had been knitted by a friend of our family. The cardigan had been felted by accident during the "new baby chaos" and I never had the heart to throw it out. I made the cardigan pattern by expanding on the dress pattern used in Day One. I added long sleeves, the length of Lottie's arm, and cut the dress off at the waist. The back piece was a basic T shape and the front had the T cut in half with some shaping added around the neckline. I used the rib at the bottom of the original cardigan for the bottom of the mini one. This added texture and stability. Normally I would have inserted the sleeves into the shoulders but with the thick felt I decided this would be far too bulky so opted for the basic option. Although the wool was well felted I added some stitches around the edges to stabilise it and for decoration. I chose to add a little Scottie dog button on the back, I could have embroidered something here but I have a soft spot for the little tartan wooden buttons. Dogs pop up all over the place in these sets so it was fun to add another in. I did look down at Lottie in her cardigan and think "Well at least she will be warm… "

That was when I knew it was time to sleep...


Scottie dog recycled cardigan

Making the hat was done mostly by eye. I have made a lot of these fleece hats for children so I am rather familiar with the construction. I measured Lotties head and divided it by two and added a small seam allowance. This gave me the length of the base of the two pieces needed to construct the hat. I added in the curves using something in between 'guess work' and 'muscle memory'. If I had been less confident I would have measured the original and calculated the ratios to draw the hat. Fleece would have been far too thick to work with on such a small scale so I opted to use felt. It looks similar, handles well without fraying and is much thinner.

In the child version the plaits that hold the monster hands are made out of strips of fleece but for this I used embroidery thread as it was thinner and the felt would not have been strong enough cut so thin. I was really pleased that I managed to make the horns into little cones as I was worried they would have to be 2D. I used a tiny button instead of a bead for the pupil although if I hadn’t got the right button a French knot would have been fine. I decided to line it so that my stitches could not be seen and to make it a little more stable and once again I gave everything a good tug to make sure it can be played with. I have promised to fix anything that doesn’t cope with 'play time'.

Little Miss E's fleece hat

Lotties Felt hat

I have made quite a few boho bags in the past so I decided that it would be nice if Lottie had a little reversible boho bag. I made it using cord left over from raffle prizes I had made for the Shetland Folk Festival (Little Miss E’s family are very involved with the festival) and added felt to help stabilise it. I had to make the strap very long to go across the body and once again this was the product of an old pillow case and a lot of trial and error. Turning through such a narrow strap was very tricky so I had a much bigger turning gap and a lot of ladder stitching to make it all secure. The other colours used were designed to match Day Three (spoilers!..) In the original design the two ends of the straps were sewn one inside the other but I was worried this would be too bulky so I opted for a very small press stud, and I hid the stitches for the press stud using tiny colour co-ordinated buttons. 

Mini reversible boho bag
Pipsqueaks bunny
I then got to add things from the Pipsqueaks book. I decided to make the tiny bunny using grey felt and fabric left over from the skirt. It is such a simple pattern with the joy being in the small scale and amazing detail. I love the belly button and the tiny pom pom tail. The French knot pupils make the bunny look as if she is mischievous and I adore the fact that you can get so much expression in something so tiny. It is only 3.5cm tall, and over a third of that length is ears.

Pipsqueaks icecream
I also made the icecream using Pipsqueaks – I had made them before for earrings but the detail in the waffle cone and sprinkles were still very fun to stitch.

 I was happy with the mix and match nature of this set and had similar plans in mind for Day 3...

Icecream in the garden
Wrapped up warm

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