Author Archives: Cindy Rice

About Cindy Rice

My wonderful husband, my beautiful daughter, and I live in northeastern Illinois with our sweet chihuahua boy. For as long as I can remember I have loved dolls and making things. I got my first Barbie when I was only three years old! My mom sewed for my Barbie dolls and taught me how to use her sewing machine when I was only seven. I cannot believe she let me near that needle, but she did. Not having enough money for my clothes habit in high school and college led me to start sewing all of my own clothes. There were so many fabric stores around back then and fabric was so inexpensive. I would wait for the 99 cent pattern sale and go crazy. Sewing for myself continued well into my 30’s. (I even made my wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses.) Shortly after I got married I left my full time graphic design position and started designing cross stitch patterns. I called my company “The Lilac Studio” and sold my botanical patterns at trade shows, through distributors which sold to retail shops, and mail order. My most popular pattern, “A Bouquet of Pansies” sold 5000 copies and won a J&P Coats Golden Needle Award! I was also featured in various cross stitch magazines and designed special projects for the magazines. When my daughter was born I didn’t have the time needed to cross stitch and design patterns all day long so I let my pattern design business slip away. And then I started discovering dolls again and I now had an excuse to start buying them. The only problem was that they were for my daughter and not for me. I soon discovered all of the adult collectors out there and decided I would be one of them. I started small at first, collecting Mattel Kelly dolls. Soon I collected over 100 Kelly dolls! After Kelly, I discovered Helen Kish’s Riley and Tonner’s Ann Estelle. I have since learned to knit doll sweaters and love an excuse to knit so most of my doll outfits include a sweater and/or hat. I love creating miniature outfits for dolls and enjoy sharing them with others. Currently I create doll ensembles for the Kish Chrysalis series (I love Bethany), Dianna Effner's Little Darlings, and Wilde Imagination's teeny tiny Amelia. I am adding a Bo Bergemann Designer Dream Doll to my collection soon and so look forward to costuming her!

“Dainty Darling”

Hello all, from grey and wet northern Illinois.  I heard yesterday that we’re having a wetter than normal spring, no surprises there.  Anyway, I’m all for pretending the sun is shining brightly. 🙂

Without further ado, here is my Little Darling, Alice.  Alice wears a sunny yellow dress made out of one of the Little House on the Prairie 2016 prints from Andover.  This print has a formal colonial look to it rather than a country calico look.  This style of print must have been intended for “Sunday’s best” dresses.  I’ve used two other prints from this collection; these were dark calicos.  You can see those two ensembles here and here.

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I highlighted this sunny yellow ensemble with the warm pink shade found in the roses.  Pink can be seen in the crocheted rose hair decoration, drawstring bag, bracelet, bows on the shrug, and waist sash.  Doesn’t pink look pretty with the yellow?

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Here’s a close up shot of Alice’s tiny accessories.  The tiny hanky is made with cotton lawn, has a fringed edging, and is folded and pressed into a classic triangle.  (Just like my grandma taught me to do.)  The hanky fits into the drawstring bag, which has lots of room for extra pretties.

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Alice’s shrug is like a whispery soft spring breeze. It is knit with lace weight mohair/silk, and is dyed to a light ecru.  It has tiny pink bows on the edges of the sleeves.  I’ve also hand dyed the rayon knit tights to a light ecru.

Where do you think Alice is headed in her new ensemble?

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“Dainty Darling” will be available tonight (May 24, 2017) at 7:00 pm CST, cindyricedesigns.com.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me today, my lovely friends.

This and That, and Hello

I hope you all had a great weekend regardless of any “yucky” weather that may have come your way.  Our weekend weather, here in northern Illinois, was grey both days, but only half wet.  (The Sunday morning sunshine disappeared quickly.)

When I look out my sewing studio window on this brand new day and work week, I see endless blue sky, which I am very grateful for.

Last week I started a new ensemble for Gracie.  While looking through my laces I found this tatting lace.  Even though it’s gorgeous, and I wanted to use it, I wasn’t sure how to apply it.  This fabric, though, is too PERFECT for it; the little circles on the lace mimic the faint honeycomb design on the background of the fabric.  Even the color is perfect.  I took some time to think about it, made a little sample, and found if I applied it by hand it would work out.  Sometimes the sewing machine needs to be put aside.

I applied the lace to the underside of the skirt.  I found that the lace “fit” in the space right under the  hemline’s seam allowance.  I used a very fine (#11 straw) needle and matching thread.  I found that putting a tiny vertical stitch through the base of each circle kept the lace in place the best.  I made sure to end with a full circle, so I could stitch the first and last ones together.  It didn’t take long at all, but I definitely needed my reading glasses for this task.

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Here’s a closeup of the underside after hand sewing.  My thumb looks gigantic!  This is very tiny lace.

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By sewing the lace to the underside, it looks as if it’s peeking out from the hemline when seen from the right side.  I am very happy with the result.  Isn’t it the perfect fit for this print?

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My brown-eyed Little Darling beauty, Alice, (painted by Nelly Valentino) wants to wish you the loveliest of weeks.  I took this photo of her last week while she was loving on her poodle.  I soon put Alice to work, however.  She is now wearing a brand new ensemble that she is modeling for me.  I will share those photos with you in a day or two.

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I want to wish you a lovely week as well, my friends.  Thank you so much for stopping by today. ❤