Coming Soon… a Make-A-Long Tale

As I’ve mentioned before, I’d love to some day do a childrens book with my toys. It is so much fun (with a little frustration and anguish thrown in of course) creating personalities and props for the dolls and then staging them in their own real/fake world scenarios. So I had this neat idea for a book that would be part children’s book/part craft book.
The protagonists are dolls and the tale is told in photographs of the dolls staged in adventures. Sort of a less creepy (you know, with no spanking) Dare Wright type of thing. That’s the first half of the book. The second half is comprised of the patterns to make all the things that are in the story — the dolls, outfits, etc.

I’m loving this idea so much! It’s everything I love doing all wrapped up in one big dorky bow, making up stories, plotting tiny props, making patterns. So I thought I’d give it a whirl here on the blog and see how it goes. For this next foray into self publishing we’re going to try the PDF route. As much as I love printed matter, this way we won’t be held back by turn around time and the installments can flow naturally. So it will just be a paypal and download deal. No reprints necessary! Although… there will be perks and benefits for early adopters ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m really really excited about all the possibilities. Every installment of the story will have a new project or projects that is featured in the action. The first pattern available will be for our hero and heroine and then from there we’ll see where the story takes us. There will be outfits, knitting patterns, embroidery design, accessories, hats (that’s why no buns), sidekicks, versions of the projects that are for doll and kid both, like matching quilts, oh the list goes on and on. I’m so relieved to finally have the dolls the way I envisioned them so I can share with y’all. I’ve been jumping all over Tim the past few weeks in an agitated excited sort of way — how bout this! and then we could this! and wouldn’t that be cool! we need to find a tiny thermos, get on that! — and I think I’m wearing him out.

Please meet our leads, Olive and Archie…

We’re aiming for the week after next for these first patterns and have given ourselves a deadline of September 15th. You can sign up on the mailing list to be notified when they’re in the shop.

96 thoughts on “Coming Soon… a Make-A-Long Tale

  1. Allison says:

    I’m so happy to hear that this will be a pay-download-print dealie. No more missing out just because I’m away from my computer when the sale starts!

  2. Charmaine says:

    Wow!!!!! Go with it! I am so happy you are doing what you like…all rolled together. I am sure it will be a success. Looking forward to the first one!

  3. carol says:

    This is so cool. I think this will prompt me to buy my 8 year old a real sewing machine for Christmas…what better way to be inspired than to read and sew/craft, especially for an 8 year old girl! I will of course will be following VERY closely behind.

  4. Isabella's Mom says:

    That is the coolest idea I ever heard – and it makes me want to log onto e-bay right now and find a tiny thermos – but I will re-frain. And besides, that might be more photo-shopping. I still can’t see the pictures. Don’t know why. Probably my company’s stinking security featurs. But I love, love, love the idea!

  5. Amanda says:

    Holy cow! I can only reiterate everyone else’s enthusaism……AND MORE! I’m so excited!
    And a boy doll too! My son and daughter will be so happy!
    Marking the days down on my calendar (whilst trying not to hyperventilate)….

  6. JoAnn says:

    Olive and Archie.I love them both! What a wonderful idea. And I love Archie’s blond hair ala Oscar. Can’t wait. I’m sitting here w/a big smile on my face just thinking of you and all the ideas you come up with. Truly Amazing!

  7. Mary-Heather says:

    I think I might just send you my credit card number and you can automatically charge me every time you come out with one of your amazing ideas. This is really delightful, I can’t wait!

  8. Denise says:

    Oh, I can’t wait for these! I posted yesterday about wanting the first Stitchettes reprinted – if you can’t do that then is there any way you could do a PDF of them, too? I don’t mind transferring the patterns to fabric myself…

  9. Melissa says:

    Love this idea, and will definitely be buying the stories and patterns!
    PS Are you planning to have the Stitchettes embroidery patterns available again? Would love to get some!

  10. QueenK says:

    Yay!!! This is just the sort of thing I dreamt about when I was a kid (and still do). I’m so excited I’ll get to play NOW when I have my own sewing machine and can pick out whatever fabrics I want. Thank you so much for making such wonderful things and offering the patterns up for all of us to have fun with.
    Is it wrong that I’m glad I don’t have kids yet and won’t have these cuties poached from me as soon as I make them? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. caroline says:

    what a fantastic idea – and what a good idea to go the PDF route although it will sadly mean none of that excitement wondering if today’s the day a Wee envelope will plop through the door ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. susaninfrance says:

    that is so exciting but I am so far behind I have not even made anything from the FIRST pattern book!! I always thought your creations lended themselves to children’s lit and the crafty add in is really super. glad for the boy too! So nice you are making it doing what you love, what an inspiration to us all!!

  13. Tamar says:

    I’ve been a quiet fan of w.w. for some time now, but I can’t be shy about this one. A picture book with dolls and miniatures? With a how-to-make-everything section in the back? Nothing short of the culmination of a girlhood dream. In a word, awesome!

  14. stephhung says:

    that is such a great idea! when i was in tokyo, there was a similar japanese book: part story, part instruction boolet. it is by mico’s design, and the book is at “” the book was about animal friends getting ready for a party, and the stuff you could make included the clothing, the gifts, etc. (i don’t read japanese though, so that’s as much as i got)good luck with your book!

  15. mary says:

    It has been so amazing to watch you find your “YOU” over the past few months. Kudos to you for taking all these chances and putting yourself and your work out there. This latest venture of yours is truly inspired and will make you the crafty star you should be. Thanks for sharing the adventure with us all and ispiring us all to find our “You”.

  16. Wooliejicks says:

    You have pure creativity in your veins – I’m so inspiried by reading your blog every couple of days. I don’t know where you get your energy and enthusiasm but if you ever decide to bottle it and sell it give me a call! Well done for a brilliant idea Hillary – can’t wait to see it.

  17. laeroport says:

    Hillary! You amaze me! Count me in – such fun!!!!! I predict that my kids will to be pestering me anew with each installment – “Mom, make it NOW!” And I love the name Archie – it is the name of one of our cats (Sir Archibald McKink is his full moniker.)

  18. hillary says:

    sweeeeet!!! I was so excited to come home and find enthusiastic yes’s! now if I can just figure out a clever way to *easily* attach these doll legs we can move on the the photo taking part. First up is a photo shoot on the train with Oscar in tow. I’ve got my fingers crossed!

  19. Laura says:

    You always amaze and inspire me, but this is extra fantastic. I hope you’ll package it up and send it to Chronicle Books when you have a few pages finished because this is the kind of unique book they do so well. You’ve got it girl!

  20. Beth says:

    I cannot wait for this to come out. I know it is for children, but I think I will be the one to get the most enjoyment out of it. Em will love to play with it, but it will be I who will love putting it all together : )

  21. Miriam says:

    Very, very cute! My mother sewed little cloth dolls for me and my twin brother when we were little, these two remind me of those dolls a little. Our dolls were named Bobby and Milly. Bobby met an untimely end, aged about 4 I guess, when our older brother tried to hurl him across the room whilst another sibling (confused?) was still holding onto Bobby’s other arm. Foam chips everywhere.
    PS, *love* the name “Archie”, that’s what we named our kitten!

  22. kate says:

    Hillary- Have you seen Salley mavor’s work- her books and little people? her books are soooo cute! SO excited about yours!

  23. erin says:

    What will you think of next? I am completely and totally amazed by your creativity each time you post a new project. Can’t wait to see this one unfold…yippee!

  24. Heather says:

    I, like the others here, am completely thrilled with this. And also let me say I’m all about being able to download and save it. Especially with little children involved. I can’t wait!

  25. JanetinPortland says:

    What a great idea! Can’t wait. Are you the first person to do this kind of pattern/project/story on the web? Fabulous!

  26. lla says:

    can’t wait…
    (although, for a slight subject change, may I venture forth the idea that the creepy undertone is what made the Dare Wright “Lonely Doll” stories so wonderful?)

  27. Velvet Van Bueren says:

    love the idea! especially the fact that it will be available for everyone. no rush to order. looking forward…

  28. Jennifer says:

    How did you keep such a brilliant secret? So this is what you meant by plotting about books and dolls in the shower? Love it.

  29. Jenny says:

    I love your dolls and can’t wait to see the stories and patterns..count me in! I do however like the Lonely Doll books, heck, I grew up reading them and still have my childhood copies. But, yours really are sweeter and I’ll be looking for them soon!

  30. hillary says:

    jenny & lla,
    I LOVE the Dare Wright books but I mean less creepy in that there will be no spanking by mr. bear. also it’s all a little more offputting when you know her “dark and painfully poignant biography”

  31. Heather says:

    Ooh! I’m so excited! I’ve been hoping you would offer patterns for your dolls – I love them so! I simply MUST be a part of this. I can hardly wait! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Barbara C. says:

    I leave for Ireland Sept. 15th and with myself on the West Coast, I’m so afraid of missing this event. Pleas, can I cheat?
    Barbara C.

  33. brandie says:

    oh, i think that is a perfect idea! every time i see the photos of your dolls i think they would make perfect stories. they have such character already! good luck to yoU!

  34. Barbara says:

    Besides Dare Wright’s Lonely Bear series there were other books in that genre called “Living Story Books” that were published in the 60’s & 70’s. Wish I kept the 3 I owned..I was able to replace one from Ebay but they are hard to come by. There were very “Rankin and Bass” looking. You can see and example here:

  35. Barbara says:

    oops..I meant The Lonely Doll series!! I guess some think there is a creepy quality to them, but I like them anyway..some of the later ones are not so “creepy” ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Dawn Castro says:

    Oh I just can’t wait for your “book” to come out!!! I just love this idea of yours!!! You stuff is just too cute!!! Good lucky and waiting very impatiently for Sept. 15th to come!!!

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