Saturday, 29 August 2015

Custom American Girl Doll Number 44 ~ Michelle ~

Custom American Girl Doll Number 44 ~ Michelle ~

 I think it's time I start introducing properly my American Girl dolls collection. Over the past several months I've been rescuing TLC (Tender Loving Care) American Girl dolls with the view to restore, fix, and (some of them) customize them, as it's much cheaper than getting a brand new AG doll or one that is in an excellent condition. Some of those dolls are for my children, but some are just for me :D. Here's one of my favourite custom AG dolls...

Michelle, my custom American Girl doll #44 is one of those "just for me" dolls. She came to us in a semi-bad state with some extra furniture I needed for our AG doll house. I could have restored her hair, but I had a spare Cecile wig waiting for somebody special, and I thought it would be perfect for her!

American Girl #44
So I cleaned her up, gave her Cecile's wig and eye swapped her hazel eyes for brown. Michelle was born!

Custom American Girl Doll #44
Cecile wig and eye swapped brown eyes
Custom American Girl doll Michelle in Grace's sightseeing outfit

Her name inspired by Michael Jackson, as I am a huge lifelong fan, and of course, today would have been his 57th birthday, so Happy Birthday MJ, wherever you are ~ You will Always & Forever be in our hearts!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

American Girl Doll sized mini bulletin board

American Girl Doll sized mini bulletin board

Today I've been making a mini bulletin board for our American Girl doll house. Of course, it can be resized to be suitable for any dolls, not just 18" dolls.

Based on the fabric pattern, I think you can pretty much guess what room it's going to be in....

Supplies for Mini Bulleting Board

I found a pack of 4 self adhesive cork wall tiles 12"x12" in a local shop, and combined it with the fabric, a bit of wadding, and a ribbon, I set to work as follows, but please bear in mind I'm improvising as I've never made a bulleting board before :)

Step 1 Cut the fabric & wadding about 2" larger than the cork board
Cut to size to cover the board

Step 2 Pin or glue the fabric & wadding around the board. I was in luck my boards were self adhesive so the glue was already on the back, but I still pinned it.
Pin it
Step 3 Cut ribbons complementing the colour scheme (I used 4mm grosgrain ribbon in red) and lay it out roughly 2" apart

Step 4. Pin the ribbons on the back of the board, making sure they are taut. I pin all ribbons in one direction, making sure they are spaced evenly, and then in the other, diagonally.

Step 5 Where each ribbon cross, pin a thumb tack in the colour complementing the board fabric (I used red again)
Thumb tacks

Step 6. Pin a little ribbon loop at the top back to help it hang
Hanging loop

Step 7. Step back and admire your very own unique doll sized mini bulletin board:
Finished board
You will get different effect depending how you arrange the ribbons to cross:

In the next post, we'll be setting up the American Girl doll house room for this mini bulletin board to hang in!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Mini Maryellen American Girl Doll joins the household

Mini Maryellen American Girl Doll joins the household

I pre-ordered a mini Maryellen and mini Josefina AG dolls off Wordery UK a few weeks back and expected them to arrive some time after 28th August. To my complete surprise, they arrived today! Yay! That are so super cute, I just love AG minis:

I've made a custom American Girl doll a few weeks back, to be our Jessie from Toy Story (she was originally MAG #33, with RubyRedGalleria RRG Light Auburn wavy wig, and hazel green eyes). She's currently our stand-in Maryellen, until I decide if I want a big American Girl doll version of her after all :D. Here's a little photo-story of their first meeting: 

 - Hello, I'm mini Maryellen, I'm new around here. And who are you?
- Well, I'm the big Maryellen of course! I'm surprised you had to ask!
-You're NOT Maryellen!!! You're an imposter!!! Look at you!!! You're nothing like me!!! Your hair is all wrong colour, your outfit is nothing like mine...and WHERE are your side bangs ?!?!
Oh, all right then...I'm Jessie....but can't we just pretend for a bit that I'm Maryellen? Pretty Please???
Oh, OK then, but only till 'mum' decides if the REAL Maryellen will join us or not, you can stand in for her till then, I guess...

Then end :)
And just because we had a little free time on a rainy day, the above photo story has now been converted into mini American Girl Stop Motion video:

Thank you for watching! x

Saturday, 22 August 2015

American Girl Doll Size Paris Theme Bunting for Grace's Mini Bakery Room

American Girl Doll Size Paris Themed Mini Bunting for Grace's Mini Bakery Room

Today, I've completed my first ever American Girl (or 18" doll size) mini bunting to go with Grace's mini bakery room in our AG Doll House. So I thought I'd share with you the steps and the final results, in case you're a complete beginner just like me :D

Step 1. Find the fabric that you'd like to use. I found this Paris-themed cotton fabric in a local Hobbycraft UK store. About 0.5m was enough to ensure all unique pictures were included.

The "postcards" design were just big enough for a mini bunting so I 'fussy cut' each picture out (I did not worry about exact measurements but it's about 3 x 4"). Because of the design, I chose to do rectangular bunting rather than the traditional triangles.

Step 1 Fussy Cut your fabric to include the pattern you want on the mini bunting

Step 2. Pin the cut outs onto the backing fabric, right sides together (or good sides facing each other). This is much faster than cutting the backing fabric to match the front of the bunting!
Step 2 Pin the fabrics facing the right sides
Step 3. Sew around each cut out using 1/4" seem allowance leaving a small gap un-sewn to allow for turning the fabric right way out
Step 3 Sew rights sides together leaving a small space for turning

Step 4. Cut out the sewn bunting and trim the corners, Turn inside out and press flat (I just finger pressed)
Step 4. Cut it out
Step 5. Tuck in the seem allowance in the opening and top stitch all the way around, closing the opened gap
Step 5 Top stitch all the way around
Step 6. Space your mini bunting to your liking - I placed them about 1" apart
Step 6 Decide on your mini bunting spacing

Step 7. I know proper bunting is sewn onto a bias tape, but since it's only a doll-sized mini bunting, I decided to just sew it onto a 4mm wide ribbon using a zig zag stitch. The ribbon and tread were in the color matching the fabric theme (red in my case).

And that's it, the American Girl doll-sized mini bunting was finished, ready to hang in our Paris-themed room for our GOTY 2015 American Girl doll Grace Thomas:

Since our AG Doll house is basically an Ikea PAX wardrobe, and Grace's room is at the top, I could just tie the mini bunting around the top screws. You can see the final result of Grace's room aka Little Bakery / La Petite Patisserie in our AG doll house room tour video:


Thursday, 13 August 2015

American Girl Doll Caroline Meet Dress Dyed Red

American Girl Doll Caroline Meet Dress Dyed Red

For those of you who are not keen on American Girl Doll Caroline Abbott's pink meet dress, you can always dye it, and the choice of colour is entirely up to you! And if you don't like Marie-Grace's flaps on her meet dress, please read on!

Notice: Do not do it without permission of the owner of the doll's dress :)

We used a fabric dye from a local craft shop, and we chose Dylon "tulip red" fabric dye. We threw in a men's T-shirt and Marie-Grace's meet dress too, just to see what's going to happen.
Dylon "Tulip Red" Fabric Dye

I am amazed how well Caroline's meet dress has dyed, leaving the original ribbon colour intact. To be honest, we still have the pink version, we just dyed the spare dress we had. What do you think of the result?
American Girl Doll Caroline Meet Dress Pink or Red?

Marie-Graces dress, did not dye at all, as expected, with exception of the cotton ribbon trim, which you can see around her neck line. I have removed the front flaps, and added a ribbon as a belt. As usual, I kept an original meet dress intact. I am quite happy with the result too, even though it did not dye, but at least we have an unique dress, instead of two identical ones.
Marie-Grace meet dress - flaps or no flaps?

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