Category: patterns and kits

tiny rag doll nation

tiny rag doll by dawn

tiny rag doll by dawn

The  tiny rag doll pattern was not something I planned on or saw coming but I’m so glad I followed the impulse – it has been and continues to be a very happy thing.  A happy thing for me to make and a happy thing to share. I think it strikes a cord – a point of connection so many of you that show up here have in common with me and each other. It’s the kind of sewing I grew up doing – slow hand stitching.  There is sweetness, simplicity and nostalgia about it.  I came across this thought from Dawn – a tiny rag doll maker – she puts it perfectly:

I love the quiet peacefulness of stitching by hand, using a thimble, putting the tiny pieces together just so.  I feel a connection to countless other hand stitchers who came before me.  I think it comes through in the dolls.

The doll above – forward looking and ready for adventure is by Dawn ( as well as the next 3) and below I’ll share some other wonderful tiny rag doll work by customers. You can find more and add  your own to the ann wood handmade by you Flickr group – there are lovely things happening there – all sorts of ideas and details and variations being shared (including adorable crocheted wigs – a pattern from another fabulous tiny doll maker Beth – scroll all the way to the bottom of her page for the link).

I think it’s the perfect moment for a tiny doll revolution – the world needs more tiny handmade rag dolls  – an army of hand stitched little ladies who mean business.

P.S. If you’ve made a tiny rag doll and have details, variations or tips you’d like to share please do in the comments or email me and I’ll add it to the post.tiny rag doll by dawn

tiny rag doll by dawn

tiny rag doll by dawn

Below – tiny rag dolls by Karen:

tiny rag dolls by karen

 tiny rag dolls by Karen

Read More

doll experiments from the workshop and tiny rag doll : print-edition

cedric randolf moth

tiny rag doll print pattern

Briefly – as there is much to cover today – the very first print pattern is in the shop. I’ve turned the tiny rag doll sewing pattern into a 16 page hand illustrated booklet accompanied by three pattern sheets. To celebrate this (for me) huge milestone – the first 25 purchasers will get some bonus items with their pattern.

mr. socks on vacation

It’s the first day of fall – it doesn’t feel like it but it will by Sunday and I’m looking forward to it – it’s been an airless summer in NY.  I got an excellent dose of forest, air and space at The Squam Art Retreat and so did mr. socks.  I also came back with lots of creative energy –  I love watching people move through their process and  getting glimpses into their imaginations. I taught two experimenting with dolls workshops and was impressed by the willingness to truly experiment and try things – to pick up a thread and follow it. It certainly isn’t easy but can take you to interesting and unexpected places. I’m deeply grateful to everyone who participated for their willingness to be open and vulnerable – I loved being part of it.  I’ve shared many dolls below and some were still being worked on – I hope to show you those soon- good things were happening…..

enchanted fish

Sondra’s enchanted fish

cedric randolf moth

Tif’s (dottie angel) gentleman moth –
“my name is Cedric Randolf. i am a moth, I fought in the Boar War. i am quite wise and quite old. in one eye i have a cataract, with my other eye i see only goodness”

rabbit girl

Rabbit Girl (in process) by  Tricia

moon

The moon – and all her phases…. by Jaime (fancy tiger crafts)

edwardian_lady

Vanessa’s Edwardian lady

(lots more photos after the jump)

Read More

tiny rag doll and wardrobe pattern

tiny rag doll sewing pattern

Find the pattern here.  And she has a tiny wardrobe : dress, reversible pinafore apron, bloomers and a camisole – there are full instructions for all. It’s a huge pattern with more than 80 color photos and tips to make small sewing easy and beautiful – like turning tiny pieces and hiding your knots.

tiny rag doll sewing pattern

tiny rag doll sewing pattern

How about those little clothespins? You can get your own here. They might be the best thing in the world.

tiny rag doll sewing pattern

And she has perfect tiny hair – the pattern shows you step by step how to create  it  easily – and the technique would work for other dolls too.  The sample page below ( page 17 in the pattern) is the end of the hair section and beginning of the feature section.doll pattern pageI hope you make tiny rag dolls and lots of outfits for them ( a winter wardrobe will be available later this year).   If you do I’d love to see – send photos to info at ann wood handmade dot com.

If you’re not inclined to make your own I’ll have some  more tiny rag dolls in the shop next week – sign up here to be notified when new things are available – there all all sorts of new things coming up in the next few weeks,

tiny rag doll pattern

 

tiny rag doll sewing pattern

how to make my signature frothy lace cake topper bird gown

fancy bird gown tutorial

bird wedding gown

There are lots of cake topper birds on my worktable right now. It’s been 10 years since I made the first set  and I guess-timate that I’ve made more than two thousand pairs.  That’s a lot of dressed up birds. Today I’m going to show you how to make my frothy little gown for a cake topper bird or any other formal bird occasion.  The bird is made from my little bird sewing pattern but I think you could use the same technique on other birds – just adjust the size of the lace.  I think it’s helpful to read through all the steps before beginning and you can click the images for a larger view.  You will need a basic sewing kit and some lace scraps – something soft and not to stiff or heavy is best – I’m using cotton tulle.

bird gown 1         bird_gown_2

1. Cut a piece of lace or tulle – a rectangle that is 7 and 1/2 inches by 3 and 1/2 inches.

2. Place the lace on the bird so there is a long and a short side – you want one third on one side and two thirds on the other. Fold the raw edge under and pin the lace to the back seam of the bird neck.

bird gown 3        bird gown 4

3. Starting with the short side turn the raw edge under and pin into the seam at the side of the neck and then again – right on the seam – about half way down the from of the bird body.

4. Repeat on the longer side – pin once at the neck and then bring the lace across the body – folding the raw edge under  and meeting the pin on the other side – use that pin to hold both sides in place.

bird gown 5        bird gown 6

5. Begin stitching the gown to the body where the sides meet – make a couple tiny stitches here and knot once – keep the thread attached.

6. Using tiny whip stitches stitch all the way around the neck twice. It’s important to go around twice to make sure the neckline stays in place.

bird gown 7        bird gown 8

7. Pin the short side of the lace back out of your way and pull the long side around the body. To make the fancy ruched front gather the top 3/4 of an inch or so with your fingers into little folds – pin in place with one or two pins and sew the folds in place along the seam ( these stitches won’t show).

8.  Use your finger to pull the long side of the lace around the body ( you may need to take out the pin holding the short side) and stitch the rest of the  lace to the seam, stitching towards the tail – again these stitches will not show.

bird gown 9        bird gown 10

9. Stop stitching where the body meets the tail and trim the lace – just leaving a small edge. Stop trimming about one half inch below top (where the little folds are) and leave a long piece of lace. (save your little scraps – we’ll use them later).

10. Pin the long piece you left out of the way and pull the short side of lace across the body. While holding the lace across the body stitch in the same place as the previous side, right on top.  Read More

sailboats : a new sewing pattern and a sample sale

sailboat sewing pattern

The Sailboat pattern is here! Charming boats to sew. They twirl in the breeze and cast lovely shadows. The boats are a great way to use fabrics that are special to you – make a little memory vessel – there is lots of opportunity to personalize and embellish and create an heirloom. I also love to make them from old quilt tops that I pick up at fleamarkets and sometimes on Ebay. The pattern is in the shop now as well as a sample sale of some of the boats I made along the way and some french hens.

I hope you make sailboats!

sailboat sewing pattern

handmade sailboat and pirate

patchwork sailboat

 

 

french hens

handmade hens

handmade blue hen

Suddenly a chicken appeared! Or more specifically  a hen, a french hen. It occurred to me that maybe the merry wobbler sewing pattern could be modified to make a hen – and it can!  Of course they need nesting boxes too and I created a little template and tutorial on how to make the box and modify the wobbler. Both are super simple – find the template and instructions below after lots of hen pictures –  I couldn’t help it  – I love them.

handmade hens

handmade french hens

hen house

blue and white hen

french hen posteriors

You can download the template for the nest box and hen parts here.  

And you will also need the merry wobbler sewing pattern or, if you like, come up with your own bird to chickenize.

Other supplies are:  felt for hen parts and the nest, a glue stick, cardboard  and embroidery thread- I’m using dmc 8.

nest box 1

Beginning with the nest box – cut out 2 of the felt shapes for the nest and one cardboard bottom – cereal box weight cardboard.  Read More

houses for mouses

mouse house party

So many nice mice! Thanks so much to everybody who made mice from my pattern  and shared their photos – on instagram and Facebook etc. as well as emailing me – I can’t tell you how helpful it is and how much I enjoy it – a nice way to end the year.  I love seeing what you make.  Check out the fantastic mouses and houses!! by readers below – I love them – every little detail.   This multi level affair is by Maura for her son – I can’t stop looking at it.

mousehouse_maura

mouse house

mousehouse_maura_2

mouse house

mousehouse_maura_3

And A little house in a box by Mama with a Needle and Thread for her little girl – so freakin sweet. Good night little mouse!

mouse house

mama_baby_mouse

Susan added little wooden bases to her dinner place card mice – it’s such a happy crew.

place card mice

happy mice crew

They survived a perilous journey across the couch – stay in a group little mice, stay in a group!

perilous mouse journey

And finally from Larissa – mmmcrafts –  slippers, mittens and snowballs  – I love it.

larissa holland mice

handmade christmas

ann wood christmas tree

ann wood christmas treeI had pretty much talked myself out of a Christmas Tree – one more thing to do- that sort of thing………  And then all of a sudden talked myself right back into it. I already had a tree so why not. Last year I got a living tree – a little Norfolk Pine – and it’s still here, a much more charlie brown sort of affair than it was when I got it last December but alive and pretty well. I’m so happy it survived – they often perish post Christmas and I’ve gotten very attached to it. I got it on a whim (down the street at a deli for 30 bucks) without knowing much about Norfolks; hot, dry, semi sunny New York apartments are not ideal environments for them. When it began to struggle last year I got a tip from a reader (thanks Sally!) to give it a cool shower once in a while and that did the trick. Decoration-wise I wanted to be gentle with it so I kept it simple – mostly things I made (pattern resources are listed at the bottom of the post) and a few heirloom treasures like my Mom’s pink glass beads.  It’s twinkly and festive and makes me happy.  I’m so glad I did it and I hope the tree doesn’t mind to much.

handmade boat ornament
fancy bird ornament
shooting star ornament

ornament pattern resources:

very nice mice : pattern and instructions (and it’s free!)

very nice mice pattern

little green mouse

I’ve made you something! A free sewing pattern for some very nice mice. You can download the pattern here and all the instructions are below. So little – just 3 inches tall.  They are quick and very easy. And they love to go boating – they are the perfect size to captain my little felt boats.

very nice mice : sewing pattern

boating

nice mice supplies

pattern notes:

I designed this pattern specifically for hand sewing and felt.  The seam allowance of 1/8 inch is included.  I recommend  small, tight, straight stitches with cotton thread.

material list:

pdf pattern

felt ( wool or wool blend)

matching sewing thread ( I think cotton works best)

embroidery thread

stuffing ( I like wool)

pencil or disappearing fabric marker and – optionally – pink colored pencil

sewing and embroidery needles ( a sturdy sewing needle is helpful for sewing through multiple layers of felt)

pins

chopstick for turning and stuffing

mice_1_2

1. Cut one back and two side pieces from felt.

2. Mark both side pattern pieces with the guide dots on the pattern.

mice_3_4

3. Cut out the small pieces – I used a lighter scrap of felt for the tummy oval (textured wool or cotton is nice too).

4.  Stitch the side pieces together from the tip of the nose to the bottom guide mark –  your stitches should be an 1/8th of an inch from the edge of the felt.

mice_5_6

5. Optional – use a colored pencil to add a little pink to the ears.

6. Open the side pieces you sewed together.

mice_7_8

7. Place the top of the back piece (the narrow end) in the center, matching the top edges. Insert the needle 1/8th of an inch from the top coming out  on one side of the center seam (the side you intend to sew first). Make one tiny stitch and knot tightly.

8.  Turn the back piece to one side and begin to match the edges and sew the seam-following the curve and  maintaining an even 1/8 inch seam allowance.

mice_9_10

9.  Stop sewing and knot your thread just before the pattern guide dot on the side piece – leave there needle and thread attached.

10. Fold the bottom of an ear together – with the pink inside.

Read More

gather ye scraps – the forest folk pattern is here

forest folk pattern

forestfolk_pattern_lg

The forest folk pattern is in the shop. Little creatures that fit in the palm of your hand and are cozy in your pocket. I’m so excited to share this pattern with you – it is a satisfying project to make and, if you are inclined, a jumping off point for making all sorts of other creatures. The pattern has full instructions for a bunny and squirrel and with little modifications to the fabric colors and tail and ear patterns you could create skunks, beavers, gophers,chipmunks! raccoons….. you get the picture. I’d love to see what you make and you can send photos to ann at ann wood handmade dot com.

handmade forest friends

The squirrels and bunnies can be hand or machine sewn – I think hand sewing is best for beginners and it can be a nice travel project- I’m making lots for gifts this year – I pack up some cut pieces and sew them on the subway. The little bunny in the center is made from a worn cotton velvet that started its life with me as a skirt when I was in my twenties. About 15 years ago it became a pillow cover  and now it’s becoming a flock of little velvet bunnies because who doesn’t need a little velvet bunny? The velvet was more difficult than wool to sew but I couldn’t resist it.  (These creatures and some others are in the shop now if you  are not inclined to sew your own).

so long little bunny

so_long_bunnySo long little bunny!

forest folk sewing pattern

very little bunny

little bunny

little bunnyUpdate  – find the sewing pattern right here.

I love his littleness – he is just 3 and 1/2 inches tall and would be very cozy in someone’s pocket. I’ve been working on a sewing pattern for a basic forest creature body for weeks without success. I wanted it to be very little, detailed but not fussy and easy to make. After a bazillion drafts and failures I’m satisfied, very happy with this little fellow, and ready to dive into shooting the steps.  The pattern will also have little modifications to make a squirrel, and maybe some other pocket sized  little forest folk.

little woolen bunny

so long little bunny

So long little bunny! Check back for the pattern next week-ish or hop on the mailing list if you’d like an email when it’s ready to go.

star folk sewing pattern

The star folk pattern is here!  Six pink cheeked little stars ( including grumpy and shooting) and a sleepy moon to sew. They are lovely as ornaments or a garland and make a devastatingly sweet mobile. Devastating.  It’s an easy pattern – nothing complicated and there are tons of photos to illustrate the steps if you are a beginner  and a resource list.

star folk sewing pattern

If you don’t see the mobile video below click here to check it out.  I love the way the different expressions and the movement work together.

 

star ornament

shooting star ornament

starfolk sewing pattern

I hope you make stars!

star folk and crate and barrel ornaments

shooting star

I’m shooting pattern steps for some sweet little star folk – there are five stars with different expressions and a sleepy moon. They can be ornaments, a garland, a twinkly mobile or someone could be an adorable meteor shower for halloween.  It’s a quick and easy project – look for the pattern early next week.

starfolk ornaments

shooting star

And in other ornament news – I know it’s early – but in 2013 and 14 I tried to wait until what felt like a festive and civilized time to mention my Crate and Barrel ornaments and they were sold out before I told you about them.  So I’m not taking any chances. You can find the sleepy goats and lambs and baking mice online now and they should be in stores by the end of the month.  I’m pretty excited about them.

sleepy goat and lamb ornaments

baking mice ornaments

holiday survey results

grandma moses birds

grandma moses birds

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the mini holiday ornament survey – I’m so glad I asked!

The questions were:

When should holiday patterns be available?

Is there a particular ornament you would like?

And do you prefer kits or downloads?

Regarding timing there were equally strong opinions for early and not too early. A lot of responders do not want to hear the word Christmas until October at the earliest but I was surprised at how many people answered July or June – about 1/3 of responders. That ship has sailed for this year ( I’m shooting for mid September) but I’ll keep it in mind going forward. If you are somebody that likes to start early there are three patterns from last year available – a little boat, a whale and a bird.

The overwhelming majority of responders would love to see woodland creatures and nature/ botanical inspired things. You’re forest people like me! I love it. There will be a woodland creature ornament pattern coming your way soon and for now the little mushroom pattern makes a great ornament. Just add a hanging string and I love using wool scraps for ornament fungi.

mushroom ornament

On the question of kits or downloads – downloads win by a landslide.  But you would like to see some hard to find or specialty materials available as an optional purchase – great idea! I’m on it.  If you’d like an email when new patterns or supplies are available you can join the mailing list here.

I also learned that I have incredibly kind readers. There was email after lovely email with marvelous ideas and insights and in addition to the survey responses personal notes that stunned me with their care and thoughtfulness.  Thank you – I appreciated every word.

hand stitched mushrooms : a new sewing pattern

mushroom pattern

The mushroom pattern is here!  And I’m so excited for you to make these. The pattern scales easily up and down – so you can make a variety of fungi.  Beyond making fabulous toadstools I hope you take away some new ideas about shape building in textiles. (photo by Chistine Chitnis)

little mushroom pattern

little mushroom sewing pattern

toadstool sewing pattern

If you make mushrooms I’d love to see – I’m @annwood on instagram if you’d like to tag or you can use #annwoodmushroom. Or email if you like to:  ann at ann wood handmade dot com.

I hope you make mushrooms! And if you’d like to be notified when new patterns are released you can sign up here.

ann wood mushroom pattern

toadstool pattern progress

little mushroom sewing pattern

The toadstool pattern is just about done.  I’ve got a few steps to reshoot and then a little more work on the document and it’s ready to go. I’ve taught this class a couple of  times and that definitely helped in writing the steps.

toadstool pattern work

It took two years of experimenting to get the shape I wanted in my toadstools. Two years of almost there but not quite.  I am pathologically persistent – relentless. The most difficult part was finding a reasonably efficient way of making the concave shape for the underside, reasonably efficient and reproducible. I tried so many things – some with interesting results – like foam padded bra inserts – but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  What I ultimately came up with is simple and has a lot of flexibility – the shape and effect can be varied with little adjustments – it’s fun to play with.

squam toadstool workshop(photo by Andi Schrader)

I loved teaching the class – the steps seem odd until all of a sudden a toadstool appears. I hope one of the takeaways from my botanical experiment classes and this pattern is thinking innovatively about shape building and materials.

So stay tuned and if you would like to be notified by email when new patterns are released you can sign up here.

made by you

made from ann wood handmade craft patterns

I’ve put together a little collection of things made from my patterns – I love seeing these – beautiful work and tons of imagination. Thanks for sharing your photos!

A dear lamb by Evie Barrow.

evie barrow lamb

A fantastic boat by Alla  (this boat is made from my free boat pattern).

paper mache boat

The paper mache ships below are by Val – she used chalk paint – I love the pale, matte colors.

val's ships

An owl family! So many wonderful details – they are by Mama with a Needle and Thread.

handmade owl family

A magnificent paper mache ship by Kileen.

kileen paper mach ship Read More

sleepy lambs and goats : a sewing pattern

lamb and goat sewing pattern

I’m so happy to finally publish this pattern! I hope you enjoy it. A dear little lamb and goat to sew.  What’s cuter than baby lambs and goats – nothing- absolutely nothing.

Please meet Smokey and Pearl:

lamb and goat sewing pattern
lamb and goat pattern

Pattern details:

Skill level is advanced beginners and above – requiring basic hand and machine sewing experience. If you don’t have experience sewing 3 dimensional shapes this is an opportunity to learn about darts and gussets. There are tips along the way for beginners, and the instructions are very detailed.

Included:

full sized pattern pieces
detailed step-by-step instructions
color photographs – there are 54 instructional photos
resource list with links
A small glossary of terms for beginners

lamb and goat sewing pattern

lamb and goat sewing pattern

lamb pattern page

lamb and goat sewing pattern

I hope you make lambs and goats! I feel like if you show up at a baby shower with your own handmade Smokey or Pearl you should be prepared to revive people – they are so sweet it’s almost too much.

P.S. – I’m having a sample sale at the end of the week of some of the many prototypes I made along the way  – check back for details.

*Update – sorry for the delay – the sample sale will be up tomorrow – 4/30.

lamb and goat sewing pattern