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Doll Fashion

I believe a great deal of wonderful articles have already been written on the topic of Waldorf doll-making and, seeing that my own dolls follow closely in the steps of tradition in terms of their anatomy, with the same tightly-rolled wool for the head and similar stylized arms and legs, all made from natural materials, I have decided, instead, to write on doll fashion.
It is the making of a doll’s wardrobe which allows me to fully pursue my creative fancies and develop my own ideas. After perusing many fashion catalogs and blogs, I strive to create garments which would reflect my love of the simple and yet elegant, of beautiful warm color combinations, and of small intricate details. I make doll dresses with the same careful attention and love with which I clothed my own daughters when they were younger. Sometimes, I may be inspired by a simple combination of colors, such as a pattern of complementary bright orange and blue which I used in creating Solène. Placed side-by-side, they seem to invigorate each other and endow the doll with a unique personality of its own, bright and sunny as her name implies.

Other times, my eye may be caught by a work of art in a museum, such as a masterpiece by Amedeo Modigliani, in which I, again, may fall in love with the color scheme. One of my earlier dolls, another redhead, reveals this love of mine for working with soft yellows and browns.

Although I prefer working with contemporary styles, sometimes, especially after visiting an exhibition featuring historical fashion, I may get inspired to re-introduce a style from the past. The blue lace dress I recently made, for example, was inspired by a 19th-century French ball gown, and, in making it, I used the finest silk, lace, and delicate little pearls I could find to create the most authentic experience possible for the doll which had decided to grace a ballroom with her presence.

2 in one
Sometimes, a character from a story may strike my imagination, such as in the case of Sarah from A Little Princess by Frances Burnett. In her white silk, pleated, low-waist dress, soft linen coat, and small hat, she envelops herself in elegance and grace so appropriate for a little princess.

Finally, I love finishing off monochromatic outfits with a bright dab of color. With her bright red beret to set off her black-and-white couture dress, this doll seems ready to join the casual strollers in the boulevards of Paris.

As a thank you to all of you, wonderful doll-makers and doll-lovers, I would like to offer a give-away of one of my tutorials/patterns to dress your doll. The winner will have the option of choosing between a Dress or a Hooded-coat pattern found in NobbyOrganics etsy shop, which will be sent via email as a pdf file. Both patterns are for a 18-20” doll and are easy to follow.

To enter, visit the shop, then come back here and leave a comment saying which of the two patterns is your favorite, along with a way for me to contact you if you win. The giveaway will run until 9:00 pm EST June 10, 2013. The winning comment will be selected using a random number generator, and announced here on Tuesday, June 11.

If you would like to learn more about my work please visit Petit Gosset Blog and FB Page! Thank you!

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Last Minute Door Decoration Tutorial

This week’s How-To is a Last Minute Door Decoration Tutorial by Natalie from Woolhalla.

That’s right… it’s just a few days before Christmas and I’ve been so busy I haven’t done much decorating. This is a simple decoration that I like to do each year, and I just started it this morning (yes, today!) and you can too. If you have access to some trees you can cut, tools to cut, and somewhere to hang what you’ve cut you can make this decoration in a flash. Then you can add small decorations you have already or make a few small ones to add. Below is a template for a simple FELT GNOME that you or your kids can make to add. Remember, this is supposed to be a fast, fun and easy activity… that’s why we don’t have our glue guns out!
My front door already has a hook screwed in as I like to hang up things all year round. So put a screw or nail in your door for this if you don’t have one. If you’re door isn’t wood or you can’t put something in it, get creative with tape and fishing wire or string.
My door also has splotches from wet tennis balls my kids shoot at it while playing hockey…. oh well!!
Tools you might need. I didn’t need the little saw, but if your branch is thicker than your pruners can handle a saw will do the trick.
Here’s a lovely fir branch under the snow. It has a fork in the end of it. Other trees that work well are cedar and holly. Use what you have, what you can find, and what you’re allowed to cut!
Branch shaken off a little before cutting.
I like to make an offering to the tree I am taking part of. This tree is in my yard and I love looking at it each day, watching birds sit in it, and am very thankful for its beauty and oxygen making :o) Thank You Fir Tree!
After cutting I hang the branch up on the screw on the door. Not only does it look lovely, it covers up those pesky tennis ball splotches!
Depending on your piece of branch you may already have enough decoration already provided by mother nature.
In my case I’d like to add some decorations. Pictured above is a felt gnome I had from last year ready to hang. As the day goes on I’ll maybe make some stars or my kids might make some items to hang up. Small tree ornaments always look great too.
Here is a pattern to make your own little felt gnome. You might want to cut the face opening up more for a larger face. You can enlarge the template for bigger gnomes.
To make a gnome: 1) Cut the paper template out. 2) Cut a the shape out of felt with the template. 3) Fold the shape in half (one side will be straight, the other will have the face openings lined up). 4) Sew the top angled piece, which is the hat section. 5) sew the straight piece below the face opening. 5) DO NOT sew the face opening or the bottom, just leave them open. 6) Take a piece of wool roving, a few inches long, fold it in half. Insert it in the bottom of the gnome, pushing up past the face and into the hat. If you don’t have enough wool to fill out your gnome, just pluck it out, add more wool and restuff. 7) To give your gnome more definition gather a thread around the ‘neck’, this is just under the face opening. Pull gently and knot off. 8) Stitch a thread through the peak of the hat to hang. 9) Hang your cute little gnomes up!!
Happy holidays everyone! Hope you have fun decorating!!

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla.
You can also visit my blog at: Woolhalla

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Friday Feature with Harvest Moon by Hand!

Today’s interview is with Ann, of Harvest Moon by Hand. Enjoy!

Tell us little about yourself!

I am a stay-at-home mom who homeschools my two daughters (ages 9 and 7). Both of my daughters were born in China, and adopted at 11 months and 10 months respectively.
I have always enjoyed crafting – especially embroidery, needle-felting, needlepoint, crocheting, and cross-stitching. I hope to pass the joy I feel when I craft along to those who purchase my items. My other interests include: photography, traveling, reading, cooking/baking, and bird watching.
My home is in Scandia, Minnesota (a small rural town about 35-40 minutes northeast of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul) on a ten-acre hobby farm. With a miniature horse, pony, two dogs, and five cats…there always seems to be a lot of activity here.

What do you make?

The most popular item in my store is by far the translucent window stars. These are some of the first items that I started with when I opened my store, and I continue to add new patterns and colors each month.

I also sell:
– art kits and supplies for creative people of all ages (children to adults);
– all-natural children’s toys (e.g., felt food, small stuffed animals that tie into children’s books);
– supplies for sewers and homeschoolers (e.g., fabric-covered buttons, needlebooks, patterns);
– handmade gift items (e.g., fabric gift bags, eco-friendly postcards, greeting cards featuring my photographs, Christmas ornaments);
– paper bags made from vintage children’s books; and
– educational supplies (e.g., postage stamp sets).
In addition to these items, I also do custom orders based on what people see in my store or on my Flickr site.


 How long have you been creating?

As a child, I loved to color, draw, and do crafts. My parents were very supportive of creative expression, and registered me for summer school arts and craft classes. When I was junior high, I took a lot of art classes – including pottery, calligraphy, and rug making. Now as a mother, I enjoy crafting with my daughters and seeing their enthusiasm for expressing their creativity.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the creative work that I see on Flickr and Etsy. I also like browsing through craft books and magazines that I check out of the library.

Living in a rural area, I’m always inspired by nature and wildlife.
Last, I’m inspired by my daughters. It’s interesting to see what they use when they play, what their play centers around, and what they tend to gravitate towards when we go shopping. I try to create all-natural items that they and other children would enjoy playing with and using.

What got you started working with the window stars?

When my daughters were younger, I took them to a weekly program at the local Waldorf school. The windows were decorated with a variety of the sun catchers, and I thought they looked so beautiful with the sunlight shining through them.
While the children were playing, the parents would attend a “class” about different topics. One session was focused on creating a calming and beautiful home environment for children. I immediately thought of the stars and how they could enhance different rooms in the home.

How long have you been on Etsy, & how has it been for you so far?

I opened an account in February 2008 after reading about Etsy in our local paper. In Spring 2008, I began listing items in my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand. Being a part of Etsy has been wonderful. It has given me an opportunity to create and sell my work to people around the world.

What advice would you have for other Etsians?

Try to stay visible by listing often, by listing a variety of items, and visiting the Forums. Include your business card and a small promotional item with each order.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?

Being a part of the Natural Kids group keeps me aware of the breadth of natural, eco-friendly toys and home furnishings that are available. If people are looking for a place to get a well-made, handmade toy that they will be safe for their children, I always refer them to the Natural Kids website.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?

Because both my daughters love to play and use their imagination, I make many of their toys by hand – all from natural materials (primarily wool and cotton). Knowing they have quality, safe (and lead-free) toys is important because I know they won’t adversely affect their health.

Natural toys – in addition to being safe for children to play with – also seem to be more open-ended which fosters deeper and more imaginative play. Children are not limited by what a toy does (e.g., makes a particular sound, can only be used one way), but rather can use natural toys in multiple ways in their play and daily life.

Your links:


Today’s interview by Kat, of kats in the belfry.
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How To: Knit a Pumpkin

It’s Fall! It’s October! It’s pumpkin time! Dust off your knitting needles for this great little pattern by Linda. Her original post on her blog, Natural Suburbia, has plenty of pictures for step-by-step guidance and some handy suggestions for pumpkin use.

Materials Needed:
Wool needle for sewing up
Circular needles
2 double pointed needles
Orange yarn for your pumpkin and green for your stem.
Fleece for stuffing

I have knitted this pumpkin using the magic loop technique.

With circular needles cast on 9 stitches.
Round 1: Knit the first round.
Round 2: Increase into every stitch in the second round, you will now have 18 stitches.
Round 3: Knit 1 round.
Round 4: Increase into each stitch in the 4th round, you will now have 36 stitches.
Round 5 to 9: Knit
Round 10: Knit 2 together all across the round.(18 stitches)
Round 11: Knit.
Round 12: Knit 2 together all across the round. (9 stitches)
Round 13: Knit.

Leaving a long thread, break yarn and thread onto a wool needle, thread your wool needle through your stitches, stuff and pull tight. Do not overstuff as this might make your pumpkin look too round, I understuffed my pumpkin and the convolutions of the pumpkin’s skin showed up quite nicely. The wool I knitted him in was also a little on the chunky side and handspun and this worked quite well:)

Once you have closed the top opening of your pumpkin, take your needle, push down through your pumpkin, pull out on the other side and pull tight. This makes a depression on the top of your pumpkin. Sew tightly underneath.

Pick up 2 stitches in the middle of the top of your pumpkin, attach your green thread and knit an I-cord for a stalk.

Sew in all your ends and you are finished, enjoy!!

(This pattern is for personal use only 🙂

Linda gives her four children the credit for inspiring her to create the wonderful Waldorf inspired knitted and wooden farm animals, gnomes and other toys that inhabit her Etsy shop. Knitting patterns for toys and finished treasures are all available from Mamma4earth.