The Latest News… March 2016 41


I can just feel spring in the air… well at least I could before the snow rolled in this morning.  Still, it is one of those warm heavy snows that carry with it the scent of spring so I am far from discouraged.


Congratulations Rhonda…

… for winning the drawing for the Charlotte Doll from last month’s newsletter!


Thank You All so much!

Keepers Dolly Duds Designs’ sale was a HUGE success!  We so appreciate your business and look forward to bringing you many more patterns.

A Girl for All Time Dolls Now Available at Pixie Faire!

And there is an extra special bonus with every purchase.  Buy any A Girl For All Time doll from Pixie Faire and receive three FREE Thimbles and Acorns patterns designed specifically for A Girl for All Time dolls!



A Girl for All Time Kickstarter starting this week!

Big news!  A Girl for All Time is getting ready to release a brand new line of Modern Girl dolls, and to get this project off the ground they are sponsoring  a special Kickstarter event that will begin tomorrow.   To see how you can get involved, find their project at and search for A Girl for All Time or Your Modern Girl.  

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Our Charlotte Pattern is Now Available!

This easy to make pattern not only includes instructions for making a doll just like Laura Ingalls’ beloved rag doll Charlotte but also a darling dress that is designed with beginning seamstresses in mind.  In fact, it is currently being tested by my elementary age sewing students!  As an added bonus, make a Mini-Charlotte for your dolls.  The large Charlotte is designed to fit standard 18-inch doll clothes so she can share clothes with all your other 18-inch dolls.  Mini-Charlotte is exactly 35% the size of Charlotte so if you have a little sewing experience simply reduce your 18-inch doll clothes patterns to 35% and adjust the seam allowance accordingly.  I would love to see your creations, so please feel free to post them on my Facebook page!


9-Patch Tote Pattern Coming Soon!

I created this 9-Patch Tote Bag to go with my Little House on the Prairie themed Beginning Sewing class and it has been a big hit.  My 6-year-old student finished her bag yesterday, and the look of accomplishment that glowed from her face when she turned it right side out and saw the finished project will stay with me forever.  I designed this tote specifically for my students to carry their sewing projects, and because most of our projects are for dolls, I included instructions for a smaller doll-size tote as well.  One of my pattern testers had so much fun piecing the tiny 9-patch squares on her Mini Tote that she used them on her larger tote in place of the large squares.  The result was beautiful!

Tote made by SewBig.

Tote and Mini-Charlotte dolls made by SewBig.

Because we enjoyed this project so much, I decided to share it with you as a free… yes, you read that correctly, FREE!… pattern.  You will be able to find it and download it at any time in the Free Resources at or in the Free Patterns at pixiefaire soon!


On the Drawing Board

As always, there are several projects on the drawing board here.  I have a Lil’ Darlings doll that has come for a short visit that I am playing around with.   I was a little unsure about working with such small details, but seeing the

Prototype of our Sarah Hale dress on this Lil' Darling

Prototype of our Sarah Hale dress on this Lil’ Darling

tiny little pieces come together has been quite satisfying.  The first pattern I am doing for her is our 1830s Sarah Hale dress.  Then, if she stays long enough, I will try sizing of few of our upcoming patterns for her as well.

So, what are our upcoming patterns?  Well, I have one more 1830s dress that I want to put together as well as a series of Prairie dresses, bonnets, aprons, and undergarments.  The Prairie dresses will not only be part of my Designables collection, but also part of my PastPresent collection… meaning that not only will many of the pieces from this series be interchangeable, but they will also feature modern variations.

I had a boy join my sewing class this session, and although he said he’d be happy to learn how to sew doll dresses for his little sisters and cousins (I love this boy!), I told him I had a special project in mind for him.  Because he is so interested in the Civil War, I am going to be enlarging my Kepi Hat pattern for him – and will in turn make it into a pattern for you!  This is a new venue for me, so I may need a few extra testers to make sure I have the sizing correct!

For all you Keepers fans – and after Eve’s sale last month, I know there are a lot of you – I have seen some sneak peeks for an upcoming pattern.  Follow us on Facebook if you want to find out what it is before our next newsletter.

I simply can’t end a newsletter without some sort of giveaway!  So, if you leave a comment below, you will be entered in a random drawing for one of ten packs of our exclusive cameo buttons; that means there will be ten winners!  Each pack will include three coral buttons and three blue buttons.


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41 thoughts on “The Latest News… March 2016

  • Estela

    I love your patterns. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, and the end projects are always beautiful.
    I want to thank you for your generosity,and for sharing your talent with us.
    May you create many, many more beautiful patterns.

  • Lora Crouch

    So excited for the upcoming prairie dresses. The 9 patch tote is adorable along with the tiny doll sized tote. Such attention to detail. Thank you for offering it for free. Your newsletter is so informative. Thank you again.

  • Dee Tomczak

    I have really enjoyed your articles on fashion history. I look forward to these every time I open your newsletter. Thank you.

  • Sophie T

    It is always inspiring to read your newsletter. I’m looking forward to your new projects…. and you caught my attention with the tote bag! I have 2 elementary school girls who want to learn how to sew and this is one project that could be perfect for them!

  • Diane

    I always look forward to reading your monthly newsletter. I can’t wait to see what’s new and to learn the history of fashion and design. Thanks for being an inspiring teacher and designer!


  • gloria buckle

    As always, a very interesting and informative newsletter. I can’t wait to see your upcoming patterns. Thank you for sharing, Shari.

  • Donna Moody

    Thank you for another great newsletter! I love the fact that you have a boy who wants to learn to sew! My grandson is 9, and loves to get to my sewing machine! Maybe you have a future designer in your hands! How lucky!

  • Vickie

    I always enjoy your newsletters, I learn so much from them. 🙂 Your patterns that you design are such a delight to sew. Thank you Shari.

  • Rebecca Graves

    Can’t wait to see the new patterns! I’m working on some of my new Keeper’s Dolly Duds patterns. Such an amazing promotion! Just need to get T&A unmentionable and make a pretty slip and pantalettes to go with the pretty patterns and we will be set
    The Prairie outfits and the new undergarments patterns sound fantastic. If you ever need a pattern tester, I’m your gal!

  • Georgianne Thomas

    Your newsletters are a wonderful. I enjoy your historical tidbits and absolutely love to sew your delightful patterns. Thank you.

  • Starr

    Your patterns are wonderful.
    Request for more contemporary patterns for A Girl For All Time.
    Thank you 🙂

  • Janine R

    I can’t wait for the kepi pattern for kids. Love the venues you are branching out with.

  • Rebecca Betz

    It is always a great day, no matter the weather, when your newsletter lands in my in box. I enjoy reading about the history of fashion as well as your sewing classes!

  • Darlene Paige

    I love your newsletters! I always learn something new, and it is interesting and fun 🙂 Love the little doll and little bag!! I can hardly wait to make the two sizes of dolls and the two sizes of bags – terrific idea! It puts an 18″ doll within reach of any budget. AND, it means that each one can be different – limited only by our imagination 🙂

  • Mary H.

    I am thrilled that you are going to be making a boy-sized Kepi pattern! I have a 7-year old grandson who would love to have a Kepi.

  • RuthAnn Schultz

    Thank you for all the history lessons that include the way people dressed! I look forward to yoyr newsletters!

  • Nancy Kight

    love your patterns and really enjoy your newsletters and updates. I just received my first “Little Darling doll, Mila” . I have fallen in love with her. Please make patterns to fit the LD dolls.

  • Bee

    Oh nice, the cameo buttons are lovely!
    I’m intrigued by the enlarging of the Kepi hat! And what a sweet boy!

  • Penny Tennermann

    I am so impressed with you and your sewing students! I love the projects you’ve created for them and am so happy that you are also offering all of us the patterns you’ve developed. You are obviously an excellent teacher judging by the quality of your students’ projects.

  • Lesley from NE

    I enjoy every newsletter and read it right when I see it in my inbox!! Thank-you for your generosity with the free pattern! I want to try it with my girls over the summer. Thank you again!

  • Carolyn Bisbee

    As always I enjoy your newsletter and wait for it each month. Keep up the great work you do.

  • Betty Schultz

    Your newsletter is always full of fun facts,patterns and sometime freebies. I enjoy receiving it.

  • linda king

    Thoroughly enjoyed the newsletter this month, nice history lesson! who knew snails have purple in them! Looking forward to new patterns!

  • Carol M.

    Always look forward to your newsletters, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint! So informative, so inspirational! Thanks so much!!

  • Cora Flispart

    Love the tote bag. Can’t wait until the pattern appears. I, too, am teaching 4-H kids to sew. It would be a wonderful project.

  • Norris

    I really enjoy your updates and newsletters. I am thankful for the sale and purchased many patterns, but I haven’t started working with them yet. I’d Very interested in if you have more patterns for a girl of all time or Carpatina Dolls in the works

  • Mary Corcoran

    It is so fun to read your newsletter–very informative> Particularly love the historical patterns!

  • Mo

    Thank you for another interesting newsletter!

    Beyond thrilled that you will do pattern or two or more for the Little Darlings. These dolls are precious and it’s great fun to sew for them.

  • Elsje

    I always look forward to your newsletter and reading the fashion history item. Although I knew about the cost and labour intensity of extracting the dye from snails it was interesting to learn of the social fallout. The smell must have been terrible that a change to this career by a husband would allow a divorce if requested.
    Also enjoy staying informed of your projects via your facebook page.

  • Sue

    Your fashion history lessons are SO interesting, please keep on teaching us these wonderful snippits. I’m looking forward to trying out the tote bag pattern as I have never quilted before and this looks like a fantastic way to delve into pastime.

  • Ellen Bierlein

    How WONDERFUL you are doing Little Darling patterns! I managed to get 2 before they went wild in cost and LOVE sewing for them. New styles of patterns will be very welcome here for them. Kno I’ll enjoy the patterns as much as I do the AG ones I have from you….still holding out on A Girl for All Time, but I wonder how much longer

  • Starr

    Love your patterns – a plug for exploring Tonner Fashion Dolls. Agatha Primrose is a lovely 13″ doll without extreme proportions.
    There are few patterns out there for her. Patterns for her would go like hot cakes. HINT, HINT, HINT.