Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Easy Handmade Sylvanian Ribbon Dress (for sister figure)

I created this tutorial myself, based of a picture in a Japanese book scan my kind friend Santie from Lollipop's Sylvanians sent me when I was ill earlier in the year.

I made an adult's version earlier this year (shown above). Once you have made this dress, perhaps you could try making a bigger one for an adult figure as I did. 

This super-simple tutorial will show you how to make a pretty dress for a regular sister figure :) I think that a child could make this with adult supervision and help on a few steps.

You will need:
- 1cm wide ribbon
- Rick-rack (or other similar sized trimming, such a miniature crotchet or lace)
- 1.8/2cm wide ribbon (the colour does not matter - you can't see this when the dress is finished)
- 2-3mm wide elastic
- 3-4mm diameter button
- White cotton and/or clear thread

In the photo above from left to right: 1.8/2 cm ribbon, rick-rack, 1 cm ribbon.

Cut a piece of the 1cm wide ribbon to around 11cm. It should fit loosely around shoulders of the figure the dress is intended for (in my case - Renee Sparkle).

Take the ribbon, and cut this piece in half, making sure one half is slightly longer than the other. Sew the miniature button on the end of the shorter piece, and make a button hole on the end of the longer piece.

Cut a 10cm length of the 1.8/2cm width ribbon, two 10cm lengths of rick-rack (or other trimming), and two 10cm lengths of the 1cm ribbon.

Take one of the pieces of rick-rack and sew it along the very edge of the wide ribbon. You do not need to be really neat as it will not show, however it is important you avoid sewing on the outside edge otherwise it will show.

Take a piece of the thinner ribbon and sew it on, overlapping the rick-rack and covering the previous stitches. Then do the same with the other piece of rick-rack.

Sew on the last piece of the thinner ribbon. It should meet up exactly with the edge of the wider ribbon. For a more professional finish, you may want to use a clear thread, or do a neat backstitch in white cotton.

Turn the ribbon the wrong way up and seam it 2/3 of the way up, then split it into two seams (by folding it back on itself). Sew some elastic onto the top of the skirt to create a "tail hole". You need to measure the figure and try it on to work out how big a seam allowance to leave.

Make sure you regularly check the dress on your figure! 

Take the 'strap' piece you made at the start. Ensuring the button is directly in the middle of the back of their neck, decide how you would like the strap to go and pin it together.

Sew the strap pieces onto the skirt. Again, to make it look neater you could use clear thread.

If you would like to make it a bit more formal, you could sew a bow (made of narrow ribbon) onto the front, or some beads along the edges :)

Finished! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it easy and enjoyable, please do leave a comment or subscribe via email to find out when I make a new post! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will happy to help you :-)

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Adorable winter knits from Woolly Woodlanders!

I recently received a package from the lovely Hazel from Woolly Woodlanders, who sells miniature knitting patterns and kits she designs herself for Sylvanian Families (Calico Critters).

Although I can knit, I felt my older sister could do the patterns far more justice than I could, so she kindly volunteered to knit them for me.

It's getting very chilly in Little Chestnut so I had quite a few volunteers to model the new clothes!

Cameron Moss is wearing a snuggly jumper from the 'Playing in the Woods' kit.

The problem with Winter is that as much as you want to wear pretty dresses, it's just far too cold! Maria Buckley can now wear a dress that is not only warm but ornate! ;)

One of my favourite patterns are the trousers! Rupert Buckley finds them suitably insulating when skiing.

Tilly Dappledawn loves her warm hat because it doesn't squash her ears!

Juniper Moss and Abbie Keats love taking winter walks! The spotty jumper has to be my all-time favourite :)

These are just a few of the clothes, I will be sure to show some more over the next few months. There might even be a special Christmas Story up in the next few days featuring some more of these adorable clothes, so keep checking back (or you can subscribe for free to be notified by email when I publish a new post - see the toolbar on the right).

There are several options when buying from Woolly Woodlander's website: patterns, kits (which include the patterns and all of the needles/wool/buttons etc) or if you're not quite confident at knitting yet, ready-made clothes. Hazel is only happy to help, so feel free to send her an email if you have any questions before purchasing.

Woolly Woodlanders website, and Etsy.
My older sister's handmade baby clothing company: Tiny Bluebird on Etsy

Please Note: I have not being paid to make this post, I just feel Hazel is extremely talented and deserves some attention :)

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Autumn in Little Chestnut

It was a mild but windy early Autumn day, and Mortimer Bramble the hedgehog was doing some last minute re-potting and pruning before Winter came.

Then suddenly, a gust of wind came. One minute Mortimer was watering his tulips, the next him and his lovely neat garden were covered in leaves!

"Oh no! The garden looks so untidy now!" Mortimer exclaimed. I better sweep it up, he thought to himself.

They must have all come from that tree from the Dappledawns' garden next door, Mortimer thought.

Soon, all the leaves were in a nice pile ready to be cleared up. Mortimer smiled with satisfaction.

Then, another gust of wind brought lots more leaves, and sent the leaves in Mortimer's nice, tidy pile all over the place!
"Oh for goodness sake!" Mortimer said, slightly crossly.

"What's wrong, dad?" Asked Maxwell. Maxwell and Abigail, Mortimer's children, had come to see what he was doing.
"I just swept all these leaves up and now the winds messed it all up again!" Mortimer explained.
"Oh dear!" Abigail said as they laughed.
"There's always going to be leaves in the garden in Autumn!" Maxwell said, and Abigail nodded.
"No matter how often you sweep them, they'll always come back. There's no point worrying about it," Abigail said, wisely.

Later on, as Mortimer and his wife Eleanor were getting into bed, Eleanor said "Darling, why are there so many leaves in your prickles?".
Mortimer sighed and started to explain, but Eleanor had already dropped off to sleep...

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Decorated Dress Shop

It's been a while since I updated - sorry, life's just been very busy! The summer holiday starts in just over three weeks, and seeing as it's six weeks long, hopefully in the summer holidays I will be updating lots more.

Featured in this post is a new resident (well I say 'new' but I've had her for weeks...), who I have named Primrose Cottontail. She's a Japanese promotional figure, and I'd love to say she's rare but I really don't have a clue haha!

I (finally) finished decorating my Dress Shop! It's one of the hardest buildings I've ever wallpapered to be honest (seriously not worth the trouble, guys!).
I forgot to take progress shots, so here's the official stock image to show you what it looked like before.
And the finished product!:

I used pink Cath Kidston card as the wallpaper which was the perfect scale for Sylvanians. I'm really not a pink fan, but there was only colour that suited the shop and unfortunately that was pink. It looks kinda cute in my opinion! I would really like to change the flooring, but in the end I just couldn't decide what colour felt for the carpet (any help would be appreciated - please don't say pink though!).

I borrowed some of the accessories for something else I was doing, which is why the shop looks a little bare in places!

I changed the awful yellow changing room curtain to this pale pink spotty one which I think goes much better. I also made a little frilly lace curtain for the door.

The dress shop not only sells pretty dresses for every occasion, not to mention shoes, hat and accessories, but it also sells luxury candles and perfumes! I hate the yellow top of the table though. I plan to make a little tablecloth when I get the time.

Oh! A customer! It's Primrose Cottontail.

'I'd like to buy these shoes please, Mrs Brighteyes!' Primrose inquired.
'Of course! They match your dress perfectly.' Mrs Brighteyes beamed as she packaged them beautifully in delicate tissue paper, lightly perfumed by one of the shop's new fragrances.
'Lovely! Thank you so much.' Primrose smiled.

The front of the shop. I love how quaint the lace in the door window makes the shop look.

Luckily it sits perfectly on top of the bakery, so no space issues there. In stories etc, it won't be kept on top of it, it's just that there is literally nowhere else for it to go right now ;-)

I really recommend the Dress Shop, especially if you can get it cheap (I got mine for just £20) because it's so small and cute. Although it comes with a lot of accessories I think it should've come with more dresses. Considering it is called a 'Dress Shop', it came with two dresses and a wedding dress - very under stocked! But still, totally adorable and well worth the money :)

Monday, 3 June 2013

New blog background!

You may have noticed that I have a new background on my blog! I loved my old jelly bean background, but I finally decided that is was unrelated and unprofessional ;-)
Instead, I got my art stuff out and had a go at drawing some Sylvanians. I'd say my result was okay, I definitely can make a few improvements to it however I like the slightly rustic/hand-drawn look!
Please tell me what you think in the comments - any feedback is really really appreciated :D

There will be some more quite major changes happening to the blog in the next couple of months, so stay tuned!

I apologise for the lack of a proper post, I just looked at my course work (just for Art!) for the next few weeks and nearly fainted, so I'd better start drawing what I'm supposed to be drawing! And all my other subjects...(no, honestly, I can manage ten subjects...)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A New Face in Little Chestnut: Mrs Hazelwood Part 1

Mrs Hazelwood walked into the village, heaving her heavy suitcase. The bus had dropped her off just outside the village, but the walk felt very long and tiring.
When she reached the village, the villagers recognised her immediately as a new face, and all rushed to be the first to greet her!

The person nearest to poor Mrs Hazelwood was kind old Mrs Bramble, the hedgehog.
'Welcome to Little Chestnut, I'm Eleanor Bramble!' Mrs Bramble kindly welcomed her.
'My name is Karen Hazelwood.' Replied Mrs Hazelwood, as shy as a mouse.
'What a lovely name, Mrs Hazelwood! Are you here in the village on a trip or have you moved here?' Mrs Bramble asked inquisitively.

'I've just moved here, it seemed such a lovely place and I really wanted a change.' Explained Mrs Hazelwood.
'Excellent! I'm sure we'll be good friends.' Mrs Bramble beamed, and Mrs Hazelwood smiled back.
'What a lovely welcome, thank you, Mrs Bramble. I'm a wash lady so I'm looking for work?' Inquired Mrs Hazelwood.
'There is a vacancy at the hospital, what a coincidence! It's just up this main path, second on the left - they'll be happy to have some work and the pay is reasonable.' Smiled Mrs Bramble, only happy to help.
'Thank you so much, Mrs Bramble! I'll head there right now,' Mrs Hazelwood said, happily, before setting off down the road as people kindly greeted her and introduced themselves.
Mrs Hazelwood soon reached a pretty little cottage; although slightly rundown it looked very quaint. Politely, she knocked on the door.

Seconds later, a kind looking nurse arrived at the door.
'Hello! How can I help you?' The nurse said, inviting her in.
'I was directed to come here by Mrs Bramble - I'm new to the village and I'd like to apply for the job vacancy.' She requested.

'Which one?' Laughed the nurse. 'We are rather short staffed in all areas!'
'Well I am a wash lady, but I can cook and clean just as well, if that helps?' Wondered Mrs Hazelwood, aloud.
'Brilliant! You sound like the perfect candidate!' Said the Doctor, who appeared to be writing out some prescriptions for patients.

'R-really?!' Mrs Hazelwood said, sounding very surprised indeed.
'Yes, you're exactly what we're looking for. You're hired!' The doctor said, smiling.
'How wonderful! When do I start?' Mrs Hazelwood beamed.
'Whenever you can, preferably as soon as possible,' The nurse said.
'I can start right now, actually,' The little mouse said, happily.
'Great! I'll talk you through everything!' The nurse said.
Mrs Hazelwood was given a very short tour of the hospital (which was tiny), and Nurse Nightingale explained what she had to do.
Mrs Hazelwood quickly discovered all the villagers were very kind and awfully excited about meeting her - newcomers in such a remote village were rare.
'I'd better get on with my work,' Mrs Hazelwood said, scurrying to the washing tub.
The washing tub was in the upstairs of the hospital. There was a lovely view from the balcony, which Mrs Hazelwood enjoyed as she talked to old Mrs Cottontail who'd been bound to her bed since she'd taken a frightful tumble. Mrs Cottontail had been given the room upstairs so she could enjoy the beautiful view as staying in bed gets very boring! Luckily Mrs Cottontail didn't mind having the washing tub in her room as she was rather deaf anyway.

Mrs Hazelwood hung some of the washing inside.

Then she went outside and pegged lots of washing to the line.

Her next job was the sweep the floors - dust can make chest infections much worse!

Finally, she began work on a soup for the patient's dinner. To Mrs Hazelwood's slight inconvenience, the 'kitchen' was located in the ward, and the only facility was a stove - not even running water!

Nurse Nightingale offered to serve the soup, so Mrs Hazelwood could go and get the washing in from the line.

'My gosh, what a busy day - I do hope every day isn't quite as busy!' She thought to herself, as she un-pegged a towel and put it in the basket.
Finally, her first day was over!

To be continued (probably)...

You may have noticed something that Mrs Hazelwood seems to have forgotten..Where is Mrs Hazelwood going to be living?! Post your ideas in the comment box below!

Do you like having new purchases introduced like this? I think it's really fun :-) 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Just a reminder...

If you'd like to use any images or content from my blog, could you please email for my permission first! I do have a copyright notice at the bottom of my blog - please could you respect and give credit for my work. Taking photos without my permission and using them on your own website/blog can be classed as copyright (stealing).
You can find my email address on the 'about me' page.
(P.S. Sorry for the boring post but I needed to do this)

Friday, 17 May 2013

Membership Renewal Gift

Just a short post today guys, because I am ill (yet again), which totally sucks.
Luckily, my renewal gift for my Sylvanian Families Club Membership came through in the post today to cheer me up :-)
It's Peppermint Chocolate (older sister) with her dresser box!

Sylvanian Families Club Membership Renewal Gift Peppermint Chocolate Rabbit Dresser Box

Peppermint is a little shy of the camera, but really she loves being dressed up!

I really wanted to buy this anyway, but then they offered it as a renewal gift!
Her dresser box is cute but it's a shame it doesn't come with any accessories or dresses. Instead I filled it with some of the things from my dress shop for display purposes :-)

Sylvanian Families Club Membership Renewal Gift Peppermint Chocolate Rabbit Dresser Box

Peppermint's dress really needs ironing!

Sylvanian Families Club Membership Renewal Gift Peppermint Chocolate Rabbit Dresser Box

Her dress is just so cute - I love love love it!

As with all JP figures, they are so much softer than UK figures, and much higher quality (although they collect dust like crazy!). The wallpaper is so cute!

I'm really pleased with it and I think it's the best renewal gift available at the moment. It is also very good value at just £9.99. My parents paid for it as a treat because I did really well in my maths test ;-)

Peppermint may have some new relatives soon, and there will be a few new arrivals in Little Chestnut very, very soon which I will introduce as soon as they arrive :-) I have decided to introduce any new products or figures I get as a story on here from now on.

Other news:

I finished decorating the Dress Shop! I just need to set it all up and take photos and they'll be a post up on that.
The last Sylvanian Village story is almost finished, just a few more photos to be taken :-)
Also I have begun work on another big, multi-chapter story (like the Winter story), but it still needs a lot of planning/writing/editing before I can start taking the photos.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Sylvanian Village: The Shopping Trip

One day, Mrs Moss went shopping in the village of Little Chestnut.
The centre of the village, where the various shops and stalls were located was just a short walk from Mrs Moss's front door, so she tucked little baby Bonnie in the pram and set off.

Sylvanian Families Moss Reindeer Baby Pram

First she went to the bakery and picked up some freshly baked goods from Mrs Brighteyes.
'Good morning Mrs Moss, how may I help you?' Mrs Brighteyes said, attentively.
'I'll have two iced buns, a loaf of your best bread and one of those little cakes for my dearest Bonnie, please' Mrs Moss said.

Sylvanian Families Village Bakery Belinda Brighteyes Moss Reindeer Baby Pram

'Of course!' Mrs Brighteyes packed everything neatly into a brown paper bag, beaming at little Bonnie as she gurgled back. 'That will be five pounds and twenty pence please, Mrs Moss.'
Mrs Moss counted out her money, although she was careful not to flash the large amount of cash in her pretty little purse. After all, everyone knew that the Moss family were the richest in the village - they owned the Mansion! But despite all their riches, they were delightfully lovely and often make sizeable donations to local causes.
'Thank you very much,' Mrs Brighteyes smiled. 'Have a nice day shopping!'
'And you! Thank you,' And with that, Mr Brighteyes opened the door for Mrs Moss, as she pushed her pram out.

Sylvanian Families Village Bakery Brighteyes Moss Reindeer Baby Pram

Mrs Moss had hoped to purchase a new frock at the dress shop, however she was disappointed to see that it was currently under renovations.
Instead, she headed to the shoe stall outside Orchard Cottage.
'Mrs Moss! And her beautiful daughter Bonnie,' Mr Bramble the hedgehog greeted her. 'How can I assist you on this fine sunny day?'
'I would like to purchase a new pair of shoes please,' Requested Mrs Moss.
'What sort of occasion would you be wearing them too, Mrs Moss?' Mr Bramble enquired.
'I want a comfortable summer shoe I can wear everyday that's cool and airy, please,' Mrs Moss described, carefully. Mr Bramble briefly browsed his large array of shoes before picking out a pair of lovely white sandals.

Sylvanian Families Village Shoe Shop Moss Reindeer Baby Pram

'How about these, Mrs Moss?' Mr Bramble switched into 'sales' mode. 'These sandals soles are literally like heaven, my wife tells me. Made of high quality materials from organic sources, they protect your feet from the often harmful sun, whilst being the most ventilated shoe currently on the market!'
Mrs Moss inspected the shoes interestedly.
'Mrs Moss, not only do these shoes ventilate your feet to prevent unsightly sweating, they also have some ground-breaking technology in the soles! Feel that, Mrs Moss? Fully cushioned sole! And if I'm correct, I recall these are your exact size!' Poor Mr Bramble was desperate for a sale.
'They are indeed my size Mr Bramble, can I try them on please?' Mr Bramble immediately obliged, helping her put on the shoes.

Sylvanian Families Village Shoe Shop Moss Reindeer Baby Pram

'My, my, Mrs Moss don't you have such lovely feet! If I may say so, the sandals really do make the - complexion? - of your feet really stand out, and the colour is a - um - perfect contrast to your skin colour,' Mr Bramble stumbled as he tried to compliment poor Mrs Moss' feet.
'They'll do perfectly thank you, Mr Bramble,' Mrs Moss smiled, taking them off and handing them to Mr Bramble. 'How much are they?' Little did Mrs Moss know, Mr Bramble seemed to be hastily peeling off the price label (which read £20).

'Um - well they were sixty pounds, but as a special offer to my favourite loyal customer, they are just forty pounds,' Mr Bramble said, in a rather rushed voice. Mrs Moss frowned. She liked to have nice things but she thought unnecessary luxuries were silly. 'Honestly Mrs Moss, my motto is 'a premium price for a premium product'. I promise that these shoes are a steal at forty pounds - the cheapest price you'll find in the village!'
Mrs Moss knew it was the only price she'd find in the village because there was only one shoe shop.
'Alright, alright, I'll buy them,' She handed him the money and left.

As she was leaving, she heard Mr Bramble saying to another customer: 'I promise you, this stall has the cheapest shoes around! We don't bother with organic materials or special technology - we just sell basic shoes!'
Mrs Moss sighed, now knowing full well she'd been cheated of her money.
'Hello Mr Thistlethorn, can I have two bottles of milk please,' Mrs Moss sighed.

Sylvanian Families Village Milk Moss Reindeer Baby Pram

'Here you are, Mrs Moss,' He handed her the bottles. 'One pound and fifty pence please,'
As Mrs Moss was counting out her coins, Mr Thistlethorn (a family friend), made conversation.
'You look a little glum today, Mrs Moss?' Mr Thistlethorn asked, thoughtfully.
'I've just been sold a pair of shoes by Mr Bramble, and I am now beginning to question the price I paid for them,' Mr Thistlethorn nodded knowingly.
'His prices do seem to vary on the customer, I will admit. Don't worry, I find his shoes are usually of good quality, if rather on the expensive side,' Explained Mr Thistlethorn. 'I suppose he's just trying to make a living - he's got four children you know,'
'Yes, well, good day, Mr Thistlethorn,' Mrs Moss nodded and left.
'Thank you!' Mr Thistlethorn called out behind her. Finally, she headed to Highfields Farm, where the Hunter-Smyth Chocolate Labradors always have their stall set up.
'I'd like to buy some rose seeds please, Camilla,' Mrs Moss said to her good friend.
'Excellent choice Mrs Moss, that's fifty pence please,' Mrs Hunter-Smyth smiled. 'Your baby looks as beautiful as ever Mrs Moss!'

Sylvanian Families Village Flower Shop Stall Highfields Farm Moss Reindeer Baby Pram

'Thank you ever so much, she's ever such a good girl sharing her pram with all my shopping!' The two women laughed.
'Goodbye!' They chorused. It took minutes for Mrs Moss to arrive back home.
Gosh, what a busy morning - it's good to be home, she thought, as she unpacked her shopping.

I hope you liked the story, even though I'm afraid it's a little heavy on the words ;)
I think Mr Bramble might have been a little bit of a crook, but I love him really, I do!
I've got several posts planned for the next couple of weeks, the final 'Sylvanian Village' story, and some other posts that I hope you'll find interesting. :)