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Friday, September 30, 2016

Sew Happy

Button Emporium and Ribbonry in downtown Portland is a small storefront where I could spend hours browsing for treasures.  It was the proprietor of the shop who planted the idea to make dolls for Portland's children's hospital.  I started making dolls in August. On a beautiful Portland Fall day last week, Howard and I rode Portland Streetcar and Tram to the OHSU campus to deliver five dolls and a dragon.  We hope the children receiving these toys enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.  

Nola Hart 

Nola Hart dolls are fun to make and girls of all ages love them.  I made five several years ago when we had young granddaughters and nieces.  Those dolls were featured in my September 2015 post, Toys in the Attic.  

For these dolls, I made carry bags using organza and fabric matching the doll.  Only two of the three Nola Hart dolls were eligible for donation.  The blue doll's dress is made from one of several silk ties purchased on eBay for crafting purposes.  I already had her completed before I realized that the dolls could not be made from re-purposed items.

Although the fabric is Indonesian, this doll was inspired by traditional African dress.

If I were naming this doll, she would be Diversity.  She may be a victim of over-embellishment!

This once ugly tie makes a great dress....already lined!

Oh Sew Dollin

For little girls, I made three dolls using "Everybody Say Cheese" pattern purchased online from   To be safe for little ones, these 14-inch dolls were made without buttons or paint.  It is a cute pattern and easily customized.

Before cutting, I stabilized the fabric and used free-motion stitching on my machine to embroider the facial features.   After that, the pieces were cut and constructed according to instructions. The pattern suggested using crayon to blush her cheeks.  It is non-toxic and can be touched up if the doll needs to be washed.

The pattern for dress and bloomers was included with the doll pattern.

The red hearts fabric came from Sew Lux Fabric.  They have nice fabrics and great on-line service.

This doll has a matching soft flannel nightcap and fuzzy slippers.  

Kells Wyvern Dragon

It was in the Button Emporium and Ribbonry that I first saw the pattern for this dragon designed by a local artist, Melinda Small Paterson.  Her dolls and patterns are available online at  When the tail is straightened, the dragon is about 4 feet long.  He looked intimidating, but I wanted something for a boy, so decided to give it a try.  He took almost two weeks to complete and there were a few struggles, but the finished product is very impressive.  His wings and claws are attached with buttons so can be positioned.  I do not think the dragon would hold up as the best friend of a young boy, but he would look pretty amazing hanging like a mobile!  

I worried that the wings would not remain upright.  Since finishing this dragon, I have seen pictures of other dragons made from this pattern where the wings are folded out to each side.  It looks like he is in flight!  

Tags with care instructions and warnings about paint, buttons and wire were attached to all the dolls.  

Up Next!

Feedback on the UrbAnimals was very positive.  Thank you!  Several of you suggested new animals and I listened.  I have two more UrbAnimals (or I should say, Urb-Birds) in the works.  They will be ready to show in a couple weeks!   I hope you will come back to visit.