Altering Patterns to Different Sizes

Hello! Today I will be blogging about how to alter sewing patterns to fit different dolls. It’s really an easy process.

I have a collection of patterns that fit different dolls: WellieWishers, American Girls, Journey Girls, etc. But I had to print out a new pattern from a different website each time I wanted to sew something in a different size. Now I’ve realised that there is a much easier way to create identical patterns in different sizes.

In the above picture, the leggings the dolls are wearing are actually the same pattern, but printed at a different size. I really like leggings, and found an American Girl pattern, but it only fit one type of doll. I wanted all of my dolls to wear leggings! So I printed the pattern again, but at a different size.

To change the size of the pattern, you must know the height of each of your dolls. In this example, I am altering the 18″ leggings pattern to fit a 15″ doll. To change the size of the pattern, divide the new doll’s height by the other’s (in this case, 15 ÷ 18). The decimal you get will be the percent to print the pattern (in this case, 0.83). In the settings before you print the picture, select ‘More Settings’, and under the Scale (%) control, write the decimal you got as a percent (remember that when you change decimals to percents you end at the hundredths, so this percent would be 83).

 

The pattern will then change to the right size for your doll. Print and enjoy!

This works for making patterns bigger, as well. If you have a small pattern and want to alter it to fit a larger doll, you would divide the larger doll’s height by the small one. In this case, you won’t get a decimal, but something over one. This means you would print it to a percent over 100. As an example, let’s take the 18″ and 15″ dolls again. 18 ÷ 15 equals 1.2, so you would print the pattern at a scale of 120.

I hope this post was helpful and easy to understand. If you would like to access the leggings pattern I used, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Between Films

Movies are very entertaining. They’ve been around since around 1900. From action to comedy, documentary to romance, most people find a bit of joy in sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and watching a good flick. However, what many people may not think about is, what happened before the movie was released? It’s not the same for every film. There are traditional animation, digital animation, and live-action productions. Something less people may think about is, which kind of film is the hardest to produce?

Traditional animation has plenty of supporting points to argue its case for being the most difficult. Traditional animation has been around since 1906. Back then, we did not have much technology. Traditional animation does not involve a great amount of technology, but that is why it is something to marvel at. Traditional or drawn animation is completely hand-drawn on paper. Each drawing is slightly different than the one before it, giving the illusion of movement, like stop-motion. Once a picture is drawn, it is redrawn, or in later years, photocopied, onto celluloid transparent paper called ‘cels’. Then paint is applied with a colour chart predetermined for each character or element. This type of animation is usually run at 24 frames per second. Frames are the slides or pictures that were mentioned before. With 24 frames shown a second, there would be hundreds of thousands of frames, about 129, 600, in a typical movie. This means that 129, 600 pictures or slides must be drawn and prepped in order to produce a typical traditional animation movie.

One astonishing example of drawn animation is the Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This blockbuster was the first feature-length full-colour cartoon ever made. It used over 1 500 000 individual pen-and-ink drawings and water-colour paintings. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs brought a new sense of perspective and distance into animated motion pictures with a special camera used to capture the cels that took Walt Disney three years to build. This camera was able to photograph the background and foreground of the scenes accurately. It used separate pictures coloured red, green, and blue that were layered on top of each other to create a full-colour spectacle.

Digital animation is a more recent form of filming. It got big when Toy Story came out in 1995, a technological wonder. In order to play apart in developing a digital animation movie, you need a great deal of technological training. With digital animation it is possible to do two-dimensional and three-dimensional animation, while with drawn animation you can only create 2D films. One type of digital animation is cut-out animation, where characters are created using separate drawing for each part of the body, including the head, neck, torso, arms, and legs. Then these drawings are digitally rigged together, like a puppet, using a computer. Another form of digital animation is paperless animation, where you hand-draw characters, frames, backgrounds, and layouts on a computer with an electronic pressure-sensitive drawing tablet. This is similar to traditional animation, but digital instead. That doesn’t mean it’s easier: skilled artistry is still needed. A third kind of digital animation is 3D animation, where characters are built and modeled with a three-dimensional software. The characters are rigged with a virtual skeleton. When you produce a 3D production, you need a fair amount of programming to make fully formed backgrounds and characters that move. The last type of digital animation I will mention is motion capture, in which the movement of a person, often the performance of an actor, is recorded, and using the recorded information, animating a 2D or 3D character.

Live-action movies are a worthy contestant for this competition. For live-action movies, you need to find actors to play each part, including the ‘extras’ for gatherings of people in stores or streets. Casting can take a long time, because the producers have to find the perfect actor or actress for each role. Make-up artists are also needed to define each character’s appearance. You also need to film in actual locations, which means that elaborate sets need to be constructed, and there may be quite a bit of worldwide travel, which can make live=action budgets quite a bit larger. While you’re filming, you need the cameras positioned correctly, and no other equipment can be visible in the recordings. Proper technology is required, and many takes, up to several hundred, may be acted to get each scene perfect. Live-action productions require a great deal of editing. Each scene needs proper light and audio, as well as impeccable acting. Visual effects may also have to be added digitally if the movie is fantasy or science fiction or action.

All movies, regardless of how they’re created, must capture emotion, produce audio effects such as soundtracks and scores, have elaborate character planning, a theme at its core, scripts for the dialogue, and a large crew for production. No matter what kind of film it is, it requires a great deal of work.

Yet which requires the most? Hand-drawn traditional animation, techy digital animation, and elaborate live-action films all have their difficulties. Hopefully by now you can develop an opinion of your own…

Bibliography

Traditional Animation: Toon Boom Learn. learn.toonboom.com/modules/animation-techniques/topic/traditional-animation.

The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Popular Science (Jan, 1938). blog.modernmechanix.com/the-making-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs/.

“Digital Animation: Toon Boom Learn.” Digital Animation | Toon Boom Learn, learn.toonboom.com/modules/animation-techniques/topic/digital-animation.

Page, Travis, and wikiHow. “How to Make a Movie.” WikiHow, WikiHow, 3 Mar. 2021, www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Movie.

If you want more information on movies and are interested in making one of your own, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Chinese Translations

Hello! Today I am going to be blogging about Chinese translations. I am no expert on Chinese, and find it difficult to discern from  Japanese, and I suppose I can’t expect any better of Chinese with English. However, I can’t help chortling when I see some of the translations.

My family uses Amazon a great deal. We signed up for monthly things like shampoo and toilet paper. We often order little things like false nails and pot holders from there, and some are from small brands, many of them Chinese. For example, we ordered snaps for sewing, and the instructions were a bit confusing at some points:

The instructions are a bit blurry, so I will type them out:

  1. Ready buttons
  2. Perforated, put the female button
  3. After the female button is placed
  4. Press with a slightly larger force
  5. Female button part completed
  6. Perforated, put the male button
  7. After the male button is placed
  8. Press with a slightly larger force
  9. Male button part completed
  10. Accomplish

Due to the ‘slightly larger force’ part, I had thought you needed to press the perforating part in order to get it through the material, and ended up squashing its tip. It also goes a little bit into Family Life, unintendedly. I am not making fun of the workers at Suntatop, but merely amused by the translation. I suppose in Chinese ‘male’ and ‘female’ are also used to discern objects. I would also like to mention that these snaps work very well and are easy to use!

I just find translations sort of amusing. Language is fascinating, and I can’t believe how complex and individual some languages have become. If I tried to write Spanish or French, even though they, like English, stem from Latin, I bet I would make many mistakes.

If you would like to order these snaps, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

 

Tropical Smoothie

Hello! Today I will be teaching you how to make a tropical smoothie. This smoothie is really simple if you have the right ingredients, and has a wonderful fruity, tropical flavour.

  • Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Yields: 1 1/2 – 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 snack-size carton of peach, orange, or pineapple yogurt
  • 1 navel orange or 3 mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut extract

Step 1: Add all of the ingredients to a blender, slicing the banana and peeling and segmenting the orange.

Step 2: Blend the ingredients, pulsing at first, then blending on low for 30 seconds.

Step 3: Pour the smoothie into a large glass and serve. Enjoy!

 

If you want more smoothie recipes, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Township

Hello! Today I will be blogging about Township. Township is a fun interactive town-building game that can be played on PC as well as mobile devices. Here is some basic information:

  • Producer: Playrix
  • Age: 10+
  • Available on PC and mobile devices
  • Cost: free

Township is a town-building simulation game. I play it because it is satisfying to have your little world that you created and manage. It’s nice to have something that you can control no matter what.

In this game, you level up as you develop your town. With each level, you unlock new buildings. Your town includes factories such as feed, paper, fabric, dairy, and bakery factories, a wide variety of houses, from cottages to mansions, stores, facilities such as Laundromats, barbershops, and cafes. The Town Hall contains your editorial options (avatar picture and town name) and achievements. You can buy land expansions when you need more space, and build roads and pavement in edit mode.

In Township, you can personalize your town by adding decorations like trees, fences, and playgrounds. You can rearrange buildings at any time, and design complex layouts for what you want your town to look like.

Township is not just about building; you need to develop your town, provide for your citizens, and keep your population happy, too! Plant things like wheat, carrots, corn, and plenty of other things in your ever-growig field to manufacture goods in your factories. Feed your livestock to get things like wool, milk, and eggs. You can fill orders from citizens by helicopter, and trade by train for building supplies needed for constructing community buildings. You can also fil cargo holds in the airport to earn gems needed for advantages like earning more coins from helicopter orders or receiving more goods from your fields.

As you progress in Township, you can unlock features like the co-op, the mine, and the zoo. In the mine, you can dig up valuable metals and forge them into bars for building and trading. Once the zoo opens up, you can fill orders and collect animal cards to open new exhibits.

There are many interactive games in Township. Once you reach level 19 and can open or join a co-op, you and your team can compete in regattas against other co-ops for prizes by completing tasks around your town. You can also make ‘friends’ in Township. You can see your friends’ towns, and if they can’t fill an order, they can ask you for help, and if you have what they need, you can lend them items. There are also themed worldwide solo competitions such as Snow Ride in which you play levels or races to gain points and prizes, and climb in the leaderboard against other players.

Township is a very enjoyable game. You can keep on climbing levels and unlocking new privileges and options, and watch your very own town flourish before you eyes!

If you are interested in owning this game, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Valentine’s Day Handwarmers

Hello! Today I will be teaching you how to make Valentin’s Day handwarmers. They have little heart appliques which make them super adorable. These are really quick and simple to make,  and serve as a great Valentine’s Day gift for anyone, family, friend, or something more. Here is what you will need:

  • Sweater-like material
  • Felt
  • Sewing machine
  • Rice
  • Funnel
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Handwarmer pattern cutouts (PDF at the bottom of this post)

Step 1: Cut out 4 ovals out of the sweater material. You will use two for each handwarmer. Also cut out two hearts from the felt. Sew a heart onto the middle of two ovals using a straight stitch and slightly less than a 1/8″ seam allowance. Unless you’re using matching thread, make sure you outline the heart neatly, so that your handwarmer doesn’t look messy.

Step 2: With wrong sides together, sew two ovals together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a space about an inch wide along one curve (leaving the opening on a wide spot makes it harder to sew shut later) open for stuffing.

Step 3: Stick a funnel into the opening of the handwarmer. Pour about 2 teaspoons of rice into the handwarmer. If your funnel has a small opening, you may want to add the rice in small bits so that the spout doesn’t get clogged. Sew the opening shut. Repeat steps 1-3 for each handwarmer.

Your handwarmers are now finished! To warm them up, place on a plate and microwave for 30 seconds. These handwarmers can be held to keep your hands warm, or slid into mittens and gloves with pockets (such as Head hand-wear) to keep your mitts warm.

To access the PDF pattern, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Nancy Drew

‘Not many girls would have used their wits the way you did.’

Hello! Today I will be blogging about the Nancy Drew mystery series, by Carolyn Keene. First, I will give you some general information:

  • Author: Carolyn Keene
  • Genre: Mystery fiction
  • Age: 10+
  • Please note: These books contain tense moments and cliffhangers as well as light elements of romance such as dating.

The Nancy Drew books were originally published in the 1930’s. Since then, a newer series, called Nancy Drew Girl Detective, has come out, starting in 2006, that is published in first person instead of third. I have never bothered with the new series, as it is my firm belief that the original is always best.

Nancy Drew was actually published by many authors, all under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The pseudonym (a false name an author uses for his books, AKA pen name. Example: Dr. Seuss is actually Theodore Geisel) was originally taken up by Leslie McFarlane, the author of the Hardy Boys, which is pretty much Nancy Drew for boys. For the Hardy Boys novels, McFarlane used the name Franklin W. Dixon as a pseudonym.

Nancy Drew is a series of mystery novels originally consisting of 56 books, from The Secret of the Old Clock to The Thirteenth Pearl. In each book, Nancy Drew, a 19-year-old daughter of a well-known attorney, solves a mystery that often contains some mysterious object with her friends, cousins Georgia (George) Fayne and Bess Marvin. With the help of their boyfriends, Ned Nickerson, Dave Evans, and Burt Eddleton, they solve the case, after many intense cliffhangers (some of them quite literally), and plenty of danger.

I like reading the Nancy Drew mystery stories as something light and cheesy after reading something deep or slow, as a kind of ‘break’.  Because there are so many, the plots can get unoriginal. Something I chuckle at is that Nancy is the perfect girl: gorgeous, smart, athletic, and incredibly talented. There was one time when she did a spectacular twist-flip dive off a high diving board, and what sleuth knows how to do that?! But I enjoy the Nancy Drew books; they are still very entertaining, and in a good way.

Here is a list of the first ten books:

  1. The Secret of the Old Clock
  2. The Hidden Staircase
  3. The Bungalow Mystery
  4. The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  5. The Secret of Shadow Ranch
  6. The Secret of Red Gate Farm
  7. The Clue in the Diary
  8. Nancy’s Mysterious Letter
  9. The Sign of the Twisted Candles
  10. Password to Larkspur Lane

If you like haunting mysteries and easy reading, then Nancy Drew is a great pick!

If you would like more information on these books, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Stuffies

Hello! Today I’m going to blog about stuffies. However, not just the plush toy, but the word itself. Lately, I have been thinking about how weird the English language is. We have over 10 synonyms for happy. Also, why is vomit called vomit, puke, and sick? They all mean the same thing, and unlike happy, there aren’t any variations of sick. One reason we have so many words for happy is that they describe different levels of happy (content, joyful, elated). But vomit does not have variations. It means the same thing, so why are there so many ways to say it? It’s the same with couch and sofa. Another thing I find weird is that we have slangs that make no sense whatsoever, like ‘awesomesauce!’ Why is sauce awesome? Couldn’t we just say ‘great’? Many of our words also change over time, like gayGay used to mean happy or blissful. Now it means transgender. Sick used to be slang for stupid or bad, but now it means cool or radical (do you even know what rad means? It’s the long [proper] version of rad.). To francophones (people who speak French), everything we say is backwards. An example is ‘Harrison’s wife’ seems perfectly fine, but in French it would be , ‘la femme de Harrison,’ which is ‘thee wife of Harrison.’ We also give inanimate objects possession: the chair’s legs.

Anyway, ‘stuffy’ is one of those weird English things. One definition of stuffy is a plush toy, like a teddy bear. They are called stuffies because they are filled with polyester fiberfill, giving them a cozy cushioning.

However, stuffy also means congested. If you have a head cold and your nose is plugged up wiith mucus, you have a stuffy nose.

Stuffy means hot or muggy, as well. If it’s a hot summer day and your air conditioner is not working, your house probably feels stuffy.

I find it really weird that ‘stuffy’ can mean three things that are entirely different. English is so weird … one of the reeasons I enjoy learning French is because it is so different and really opens my mind.

If you would like start Duolingo yourself, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Doll Scrunchies

Hello!  Today I will be teaching you how to sew doll scrunchies. These are miniature versions of an easy scrunchie tutorial my mum  found on another website, the link of which can be found at the end of this post. They work on any doll with ‘real’ hair. Doll scrunchie are small enough to stay on an 18″ doll’s wrist, which gives your doll an adorable look. They usually aren’t stretchy enough to be used as a hair tie, so you’ll want to use a small elastic and put the scrunchie overtop for fun hairstyles. Here is what you will need:

  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Round or 1/8″ elastic
  • Jersey cotton
  • Scissors

Step 1: Cut a long strip of fabric about 16×2 inches. With the right sides together, fold it in half and sew it along the open side with a 1/4″ seam allowance, then turn it right side out. You will now have a very long tube.,

Step 2: Cut a strip of elastic 4″ long and use a safety pin to thread it through the tube. The fabric will scrunch up a great deal. Tie the ends of the elastic together so that the circumference of the inside of the circle is 2-2.5 inches.

Step 3: Fold over the raw edge of one side of the tube and pull it over the other end. Sew it together with a 1/8″ seam allowance. Your scrunchie is now finished!

Step 4 (Optional): If you wish, you can add a tie by sewing a strip of fabric and tying it around the scrunchie.

I hope you enjoyed this scrunchie tutorial. May your dolls be forever stylish!

If you would like the tutorial for the original scrunchie, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Scrapbooking

 

Hello! Today I will be blogging about scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is a fun pastime that helps you preserve your life. You can flip through the pages of your scrapbook and think, ‘Oh, yes, I remember doing that,’ or ‘Oh, yes, I remember going there.’ Scrapbooking is a fun hobby, too, and you can make your keepsakes creative.

When I do something memorable or someone gives me a special note, I tape or glue it in my scrapbook and some months later I will look back and smile. I make my own scrapbooks out of printer paper and cardstock, with a few decals to make it look nice. I use cardstock for the covers, and some 10-20 sheets of paper on the inside. I printed the title ‘Susan’s Scrapbook’ in a fun font on the front cover and added some ribbon flowers I glues together, binding the thing with ribbons wound through hole-punched paper. There are also scrapbooking kits you can get to make your scrapbook intricate and professional, with stencils, frames, and stickers.

I put literally anything in my scrapbook. I taped in my admission sticker from Skyzone, ribbons from track & field meets, notes from my sister, confetti from a concert, old drawings, and other random things that mean something. Scrapbooks preserve your life and keep memories hidden inside them to look back on and be handed on. They can help you let go of your past if something hurtful recently happened and you staple in a relic of it. I find scrapbooks precious, and I like to have one on hand.

If you want creative scrapbooking ideas, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan