The Latest News… July 2018 6


It has been quite of summer for us thus far.  In June, we sent our first child off into the world and I am now a proud military mom.  It was hard, but I waved goodbye, shed my tears, and am ready to write this new chapter in my life… I plan to make it a good one! Over the last year, as my son’s departure grew closer, I’ve not only been looking back, reflecting on our family’s earlier years, but have also been looking back at my earlier patterns.  I have grown as a designer, writer, and illustrator since I first began publishing patterns over six years ago – thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along the way.  As I wrapped up my A Long Winter in Dakota Territory book, I decided it was time to go back and rework all of my older patterns to better reflect where I am at today.   The covers of the new and updated patterns will have the colored bars with the timeline running across the top and you should start seeing more and more of these as the months go by.  Be sure to check out my Sacque Back Gown and Pet en l’ier Jacket (notice the slight name change… a little more research showed me that a Caraco Jacket has a more fitted back!)  This pattern went though a complete revision and now fits nicely over the Underpinnings (which, incidentally, have also been revised and updated, though not as extensively as the Sacque Back Gown).

Martha Washington


Wollaston, John. Martha Dandridge Custis Washington. 1757, oil on canvas. CAP Ref. 1951.117. Lee Chapel & Museum, Washington & Lee University.

Martha Washington’s place in history has always been tucked quietly behind the immense shadow of her husband George Washington – and that would have been just fine with her since she never did care to be in the public eye.  The ultimate success of the American Revolution rested heavily on those who would never be lauded for their service and sacrifice to the cause and Martha was by no means a passive observer of what was going on around her.  Martha was a remarkable woman who had developed shrewd business skills when the sudden death of her first husband left the young mother of two very young children the responsibility of managing their vast plantation by herself.  Her decision to marry George Washington rested just as much on his innate business acumen as natural affection to her children.  What began as a partnership grew into a deep affection for one another.  Like George, Martha was an avid supporter of the fight for American independence and spent most of the war at her husbands side – entertaining generals and tending to the needs of common soldiers – despite the constant risk of her being captured by the British.

While researching women of the American Revolution, I came across a painting of Martha as a young woman shortly before her marriage to George.  The painting depicts her as a lovely and vivacious woman dressed in a fashionable flowing gown called a Robe Battante.  Such a contrast from the matronly Martha that is generally portrayed alongside President George Washington.  I found the woman and the gown so fascinating that they must be included in my women of the American Revolution series. Look for it later this summer!

Young Martha Washington

Eleven Reviews and Counting!

Can you help me get fifty reviews on my A Long Winter in Dakota Territory book? Fifty reviews is the magic number for to pick it up in their search algorithms.

I am planning some sort of celebration once I get there.  Perhaps a custom made outfit from the book?  Let me know if you have any suggestions of your own!


Marcy, Rebecca, Penny, and Elizabeth for winning the random drawing from May’s newsletter a copy of A Long Winter in Dakota Territory, the complete George Washington PDF pattern collection (four patterns in all), OR four PDF patterns of your choice!!  They will each get their choice of a Be sure to look for the giveaway in this months newsletter so that you can enter that drawing.

Keepers Dolly Dud’s Designs Presents…

The 19th Century Collection! Check out Eve’s newly released pattern book. A wonderful collection of her most popular Keepers Dolly Duds 19th century patterns for 18-inch dolls: Regency Dress with Pinafore and Fichu, 1850s Jacket and Bonnet, Civil War Dress and Apron, Prairie Ruffles Dress with separate Pinafore and two Fancy 1850s Dresses. It is available with a full-color or black and white interior. Be sure to leave a review!

A Girl for All Time Elinor.. Wardrobe by yours truly


I have been waiting on pins and needles for this doll to come out! I can’t believe it’s been nearly three years since we began work on this project.  My beautiful doll arrived a few weeks ago and I am so eager to get started on some new Tudor and Elizabethan designs for her.


For My Gluten-Free Friends

I’ve added a few new recipes to the collection!  The rhubarb here is in full bloom, so we enjoyed the Rhubarb Crisp with our barbecue on Sunday… this recipe was adapted from one Tom’s grandma used to make.  Delish!

Whether your are gluten-intolerant or not, you may find recipes you will enjoy and appreciate. All of our recipes are made entirely from scratch, minimizing processed foods, packaging, and cost. Because we prefer to spend our time outside of the kitchen we have worked hard to keep our recipes simple, hence the title – Simple Fare. Enjoy!



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6 thoughts on “The Latest News… July 2018

  • Sheila M Ryan

    I love that designers like yourself are making patterns for the Girl for all time dolls.I have Clementine and Sasha(courtesy of your competition).I now also have Bex.I would love some forties clothes for Clementine.Good luck with all your endeavours.
    Sheila Ryan

  • Sue

    This newsletter came at such an appropriate time. Today we received the diagnosis of Celiac Sprue for my son meaning he has to cut wheat, rye and barley from his (and our) diet. He and I are overwhelmed by how much we will have to change in our life. Then while reading to the end of this newsletter there is this lovely gluten free recipe and then an entire dropdown menu of recipes!! What joy! Many of the people I have spoken to today have said how heavy and nasty tasting gluten free foods at the grocery store are so finding your recipes is an absolute ray of sunshine for us. All the lovely gorgeousness of your outfits and patterns, the incredible history you give us on fashion and then the added bonus of food I can make for him, thank you SO MUCH!

  • Mary H

    I have not yet bought the Underpinnings or Saque Back Gown pattern, though I’ve been meaning to. I’m glad that I’m going to be in time to get the revised versions.

  • Marcy Mahle

    First of all a huge thank you for all the wonderful patterns I won. I feel very blessed to have won. I love all your patterns and as always I look forward to your new patterns. I received my Elinor doll a few weeks ago and I did not know that you designed her outfit. She is beautiful with her long red hair. I love all the AGAT dolls. Once again you have given us a bit of history. That is one of the best things I love about your patterns too. Many thanks again and good luck with all your future designs.

  • Carole

    Your patterns look amazing and thanks for the GF recipe. I want to try that once it gets cooler here.

  • Penny T.

    As one of the recipients of your generosity, I want to say thanks and tell you how excited I am to receive the George Washington patterns. I will be looking forward to Zmaryha’s gown too.