Thursday, January 7, 2021

So My Hair Got Caught In A Bobbin

How to even begin to explain? I was trying to multitask, see. Foot on the pedal winding a bobbin on the machine while leaning over to plug the lamp in. In hindsight not a good combination. Had to look trepidatiously in the mirror later to assure self that there wasn't a gaping hole in my hairline (no, there wasn't and yes, I'm OK). Even more traumatic was having to unwind the bobbin to get the hair out so I wasn't inadvertently sewing human keratin into my seams later. Gross. Why do I do stuff like this? 

Anyway, sorry if you guys were expecting one of those Oh Look At What I Accomplished In 2020 In Spite Of It Being A Crummy Year And I Can't Wait To See What Me And My Sewing Machine Can Create Together In 2021!!!! blog posts. Me and my sewing machine made a creepy horror movie prop, is what. 

Hope your year is off to a less embarrassing start! See you back here soon for a mitten tutorial! 😊

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Medical Dolls Now in the Shop!



Hello everyone! 

Am happy to announce that you can now buy my Medical Dolls in my Etsy shop! I know I said I'd list them a week ago, but it turns out that taking and editing photos took a lot longer than I'd anticipated. I'm sorry to have kept you waiting! 


Anyway, they're in the shop now, with time enough to be shipped in time for the holidays, to US addresses, at least. 


There are three sets in the shop i.e. each set comes with a medical center and a girl doll. 




If you were looking for boy dolls, there are also two in stock, each with a full set of medical accessories. 


I apologize for there not being a boy-doll-medical-center-set combination; I happened to have three girl dolls and three medical centers ready to ship, and it seemed a convenient way to pair them up. As always, if you're purchasing multiple items to be shipped to the same address, Etsy should combine those and save you some shipping costs; if that doesn't show up in your order, I'll manually refund you any significant difference.

I've also been wanting to share some updates on Kate's digital art endeavors. Some of you might remember from this post that Kate has a Redbubble site on which she sells her adorable kawaii art on a variety of print-on-demand items. This has been great fun for her to do, but she realized she was missing out on the hands-on aspect of direct selling, such as photographing stock, listing items and personally packing an order and shipping it out to customers. 

We're excited to share that you can now also buy her stickers on Etsy! Come visit Blissful Bunny Co


where Kate has stocked her stickers. 


You'll be able to buy the same stickers singly as you would on her Redbubble site (and yes, they're waterproof, too!)




but because she's fully in control of the printing format, she's also able to offer full sets of her stickers (at a discount) and ship them to you more quickly. 



So do check out both her sites for fun ideas for gifts for your wee ones (or anyone who's young at heart). Shipping is free in her Etsy store, and she's excited to be able to personally print and pack stickers for you!

Quick links:

Visit LiEr's Etsy shop for Medical Dolls: ikatbag

Visit Kate's Etsy shop for stickers and sticker sets: Blissfulbunnyco

Visit Kate's Redbubble site for her art on print-on-demand items: Bunnybubbles

Thank you for being such awesome cheerleaders for me and my kids over the years, you guys. Your solidarity and support have encouraged them and helped them believe in the value of handmade, first by watching my blog readership and sewing adventures grow, and now by venturing out themselves as independent artists. We appreciate you!


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Lavender Chai's Holiday Kits & Sale


Psst . . . 

 . . . there're some fabulous things going on in Emily's Etsy store Lavender Chai this weekend. If you've just joined us, Lavender Chai is my daughter's Etsy store, where she sells gouache and watercolor mini painting kits containing a paint dot card, taped watercolor paper and instructions to create a painting that's about the size of a Polaroid. The all-season kits are always in stock, but she's also added some seasonal kits for the holidays - kits to make beautiful pictures



and gift tags.


She also has a gorgeous advent-calendar style bundle, The Twelve Days of Mini Painting Kits, which features exclusive holiday kits and a curated collection of her most popular all-season kits, a paintbrush and handmade packaging.


For just 50c, you can add a customized gift wrap to any of your purchases.


Mini-painting kits are wonderful stocking stuffers and can be popped into an envelope and mailed to friends and family for the price of a first class stamp. Emily's kits have also been requested for birthday parties, weddings, office gifts and more. 

And this weekend, there's a storewide 20%-off sale


That's 20% off everything.


And then there's the free stuff. 
Like a sticker and free shipping with every order.

And if your order's over USD$35, you'll get this free exclusive Eucalyptus mini-painting kit on top of everything else.


Spread the word, tell your friends and visit Lavender Chai here



For bulk prices, you can convo Emily via her Etsy store or contact her through any of her social media accounts

Thank you for supporting Emily!


Monday, November 23, 2020

Medical Doll Set Kits


Hello, all! 

Today I'll be telling you about the kits I'm planning to put together to go along with the sewing pattern for the Medical Doll Set


If you're just only joining us today, here is where you can read about the Medical Dolls (and see all the photos) and here is where you can find out all the details of the sewing pattern.


I'm creating these kits primarily because I love sourcing for good materials for people to work with. Some years ago, I collaborated with a company called Take&Make to produce a limited run of kits for my Owie Doll sewing pattern. Those kits are no longer available, but it was an incredible experience to produce a kit commercially, and I so enjoyed being able to choose exactly what would eventually make it into the boxes. I no longer have the luxury of a team of people mass-packing and shipping for me, but I still like to offer kits when I can, even if in much smaller quantities. I think of it as another way to help people who're disinclined (or unable) to gather all the materials themselves, so that they can dive right into the making. Which is really the best part of a project, isn't it?

It's a fact that materials of higher quality will cost a bit more, but I believe that if I'm going to invest time in a project, I'd like it to last. This is especially true if the project is a toy that will be played with over months and years. Let's take felt as an example. 100% wool felt is wonderful to use in making toys, especially when working with small pieces. Unfortunately, 100% wool felt is not a staple at many big fabric stores, which tend to stock only acrylic felt. It's understandable - acrylic felt is considerably cheaper and since many people buy it for craft projects for which longevity is not important (such as those constructed with hot glue, single-use Halloween costumes and the like), the quality serves its intended purpose for the low cost. However, this same acrylic felt, when used in detailed sewing projects, or in the construction of toys meant to last, holds up quite poorly. Here is a side-by-side comparison of acrylic and 100% wool felt against a black background (you'll get the same effect by holding them up to the light). You can see the clear difference in quality - the density of the 100% wool felt is much higher; the fibers more tightly packed together so they do not disintegrate, and are able to hold stitches better.


Inch for inch, 100% wool felt can cost about ten times that of acrylic. Fortunately, many sewing projects utilize only a little bit of felt - either they're small to begin with, or require only small scraps for embellishment. For that reason, many felt stores (such as those on Etsy) offer wool felt in small sheets in addition to yardage on bolts. This in turn makes enjoying a better-quality product totally affordable. There are of course instances when materials of higher quality are difficult to find, or cost so much that we may decide to go with the cheaper option (or any available option, really!)  However, where possible, choose materials of as high a quality as are within your means. 

Let's now talk about the kits themselves. 

Each kit will essentially be a custom order of materials needed to make the projects in the Medical Doll Set sewing pattern. 

In the photo below, for instance, you'll see different colors of solid and accent cotton fabric, and the rolls of fusible and foam interfacing. The actual fabric yardage in your kit may differ from that shown below - for the photoshoot, I just grabbed a stack of my uncut cottons. The interfacing and solid cottons are the standard inclusions - the colors are specified in the pattern. You can make requests for the colors of the accent cottons, though - these will be used in the reversible sleeping mat, so pick your color scheme and I'll try to look out for those.

Here are the colors of flannel I have on hand. You can make requests for these in your kit. 



You'll also be able to request the weight and color of yarn you'd like for your doll.

Unlike the skin flannels, I don't have a stash of yarn from which you can pick your favorites and will have to go shopping with your orders. Go ahead and let me know if you'd like black, dark brown, light brown, red, gold, amber/dark gold, etc. and I'll look out for that in the store. 

Here's the list of what will be in your kit. Where not specified, the sizes/yardage will be at least what's specified in the materials list in the sewing pattern. The items in bold can be customized; the rest will be the same (fixed) in every kit.

FABRICS
  • Flannel in skin color, 1/2 yd
  • White flannel, 1/4 yd
  • Light blue cotton, 1/3 yd
  • Grey cotton, 1/2 yd
  • Red cotton, 1/4 yd
  • Print cotton, 2 fat quarters or equivalent
  • White medium-weight cotton, 1/2 yd
  • Pellon Flex-Foam interfacing, 3/4 yd
  • Pellon Craft Fuse, 1/3 yd
  • Smaller pieces of black cotton and fleece in white and 2 other colors
  • 100% wool felt in grey, black, white and five other colors, various sizes
  • Clear vinyl 

NOTIONS
  • Embroidery floss, one skein in each of 9 colors: dark red, black, white, green, orange, blue, yellow, dark grey and a color that coordinates with the skin flannel
  • 6mm black safety eyes, 1 pair
  • Yarn 
  • Red bias tape 
  • Blue bias tape 
  • Measured yardage of      
            -1/4" black ribbon
            -1/8" blue ribbon
            -1/4" cord
            -1/4" flat elastic
            -1/8" flat elastic
            -hook and loop tape


I'll put together your kit, and list in my Etsy shop as a reserved listing in your name. If I'm unable to find what you requested, I'll let you know and suggest alternatives before I finalize your order. 


To order a kit, send me an email at lier.koh@gmail.com and be sure to mention:

  1. your preferred skin color (use the numbers 1-6 in the photo above
  2. your preferred yarn color
  3. whether you're planning to make a boy doll (chunky yarn) or girl doll (medium yarn) so I can select the correct weight of yarn for you
  4. The two preferred colors you'd like for the accent cottons
The cost of the kit is $75 plus tax and shipping.

If you'd like to make a second doll with the kit, let me know also. They can both have the same hair and skin or you can request different skin and hair colors for the two dolls. I will put in enough materials for an additional doll, gown, arm bandage, arm sling, foot cast, cap, mask and sleeping mat.
The cost for the two-doll kit will be $90 plus tax and shipping.

I'll be accepting kit orders until Sunday Nov 29th, and aim to ship them by the second week of December.



Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Medical Doll Set Pattern on Sale!



I am excited to announce that the Medical Doll Set sewing pattern is available for purchase!

You can read all about the story behind the pattern in this earlier post. Today, let's dive right into the nuts and bolts.


What are the dimensions of the projects?
A  The doll is 16" tall from the top of its head to its feet. When seated, it measures 9" high. The medical center/storage bag is 10" x 6" x 6".



Q What can you make from the pattern?
A The pattern contains instructions to make a soft fabric doll (both boy-with-short-hair and girl-with-long-hair,

or no hair),

nine accessories, including a bouffant cap, gown, thermometer, reversible sleeping mat,

arm bandage, arm sling, foot cast, rolls of wrapping bandage,

and face mask; 

and a 2-in-1 storage bag and interactive medical center, 

which features and EKG/ECG monitoring system

a blood pressure measuring system,

and an ultrasound scanning system.


Q Are the projects sewn by hand or with the sewing machine?
A They are designed to be sewn with the machine, although there are a few steps in which hand-stitching is required, such as the embellishment of facial and other surface details, and other steps in which hand-sewing is suggested as an alternative to machine-stitching that allows more control and precision.


Q What sewing skill level is this pattern suitable for?
A Some experience with a sewing machine is necessary. These are the prerequisite skills needed to tackle the projects in this pattern.


While an intermediate-level seamstress would find this quite manageable, adventurous beginners could also enjoy this. There are many individual projects in this pattern that would be considered entry-level, in that they involve sewing a single straight or curved seam on flat pieces of fabric, and hand-embroidery. Quite a few of the pieces are rectangles or squares. The recommended materials are easy to work with (most are light-weight cotton, fleece and felt). There are no zippers. You'll need to be familiar with the technique of bias tape binding, but there are links in the pattern to my online tutorials for bias binding and common hand embroidery stitches


Q Would this be suitable for my teen who loves dolls? She's made face masks and scrunchies.
A The projects in this pattern are three-dimensional. In that respect, they will be a new level of challenge for a seamstress who has worked primarily on flat projects. They should be able to accomplish a good proportion of the projects in this pattern on their own, and the rest with help from someone with more experience in the techniques that are less familiar to them. An important tip for success with these projects is precision and accuracy. Taking the time to measure and cut accurately (i.e. a 6-1/2" square should not be "eyeballed" as a 6-1/4" x 6-3/4" rectangle) will increase the ease of the sewing process and produce the best-looking final product.


Q What's the format of the pattern?
A The pattern consists of 1 cover page, 58 pages of step-by-step text instructions and annotated full-color photos, and 7 pages of full-size templates.


Q Is it just text instruction or are there pictures, too?
A There are almost 60 pages of text instruction interspersed with over 100 color photos (with annotations).  Here are a couple of sample pages:




Q Will I need to enlarge the templates or stick them together with tape?
A All the templates are full-size and need no enlargement. Most can be used as is; a few must to be placed on double-folded fabric and the piece cut out unfolded to its full size.


Q Are seam allowances included in the templates and cut dimensions?
A The templates do not include seam allowances. Some of the templates will be used to cut out fabric pieces (which require seam allowances) as well as their associated interfacing pieces (which should not have seam allowances). For consistency, the seam allowances were omitted from all templates. Reminders are placed throughout the instructions to add seam allowances where applicable. Seam allowances are included in the given dimensions of other cut pieces which do not have accompanying templates.


Q What materials do I need?
A Here are the lists of recommended materials, including fabric, notions and equipment.




Q  What if I can't find some of these materials? What can I substitute?
A  Alternatives are suggested in the following pages:



Q How is the Medical Doll Set pattern different than the Owie Doll pattern?
A The full list of differences is tabled below. Three of the main differences to highlight:

1 Both dolls are structurally different and constructed differently as a result. For example, the Medical Doll has yarn hair and a round (3D) head while the Owie Doll has felt hair and a flat (2D) head. The Medical Doll has integrated feet (no added pieces) while the feet of the Owie Doll feet have attached soles. 


2  The Owie Doll pattern contains instructions for the Owie Doll and accessories (including the sleeping bag and storage bag). It does not contain instructions for any medical equipment. The Med Hub pattern, which contains instructions for a medical station, is an add-on pattern that must be purchased separately. The Medical Doll Set pattern is an all-in-one pattern containing instructions to make the doll(s) and accessories as well as the dual medical center/storage bag. 

3  The projects in the Medical Doll set involve slightly simpler construction techniques than those in the Owie Doll pattern.




Q What is the cost of this pattern?
A The Medical Doll Set pattern costs $16.


Q Where do I buy it?
A All my sewing patterns can be found in my e-junkie shop


Buy the Medical Doll Set pattern here

You can also find my patterns through the "Patterns For Sale" tab at the top of my blog homepage, right under my blog banner. On that page, you will also find technical information about the download process, and read more about each sewing pattern. Follow the links below each pattern image to purchase that pattern as well as access earlier posts containing photos and stories behind each project.

If you are in the EU, please email me directly at lier.koh@gmail.com to purchase the pattern via Paypal invoice (which is instant) or an Etsy listing (allow a couple days to process payment).


Q  Can you tell us more about the kits?
A Yes, I can! I'll share more details tomorrow - what's in them, what parts you'll be able to customize and how to order them.


Happy making!