Not Your Grandma’s Doll Clothes

When I was a little girl, I liked to play with dolls.

One of my fondest memories is looking through the Sears catalog each December, circling all of the doll clothes and accessories that would make my dolls’ wardrobes complete.  I don’t recall receiving any of those items that I wished for, but several times my mom and sister surprised me with handmade doll clothes.  My mom did the sewing, while my oldest sister did the knitting.  Those doll clothes, stitched with love, were among my favorite Christmas gifts ever.

In December 2013 when my sister asked me to sew up an outfit for her granddaughter’s American Girl doll, I rediscovered the magic of beautiful doll clothes and accessories.  I was hooked and couldn’t wait to sew more outfits for dolls.

Naturally, I just had to buy myself a new doll!  After all, somebody was going to have to model the new clothes I was going to make.   I chose a Madame Alexander doll, whom I named Flavia (after one of my favorite mystery heroines), and she is just beautiful!

My 18" doll

In my search for patterns to use for making doll clothes, I happened upon The Liberty Jane Company and Pixie Faire, their website for doll clothes patterns.  I fell in love with their contemporary styles and easy to use patterns.

Adding handmade doll clothes to my custom sewing business has been a fun venture for me.  My goal is to provide American made doll clothing and accessories that will last for years to come.  I have chosen contemporary styles and high quality fabrics and trims to bring your girls the doll fashions of their dreams.  These are not your Grandma’s doll clothes!

If you are interested in seeing the items that I am selling, please “like” my Facebook page where I will be posting the photos and prices.

 

 

A Scarf That Doubles as a Bib

Have you ever been out to eat and dropped food on your clothes?  That happens to me way too often!

I used to carry one of those Tide stain sticks, but I never had much success removing a stain with one of those.  Sometimes I use my napkin dipped in water to try to remove the offensive stain, but that just leaves me with a large wet mark on my shirt.

There have been times when I’ve resorted to tucking a paper or cloth restaurant napkin into the neckline of my shirt to avoid the inevitable.  But not any more!

Wearing my scarfkin at Texas Roadhouse.

Now I wear one of my cover up scarves.  My scarf is made from a washable silky fabric and  is wide enough to cover the front of my shirt while I’m eating.  Each side of the scarf measures 8.5″ so when slightly overlapped, I have approximately 14″ of coverage on the front of my blouse.

Any food or drink that happens to fall on my scarf totally misses my shirt!  This silky floral scarf looks so much prettier than a napkin tucked in my neckline, too.  Nobody at the restaurant suspects that I sort of ….. okay, I really need to wear a bib.  I also use my scarf in the car when I’m drinking coffee.  I hate arriving somewhere with a coffee stain on the front of my shirt!

I have several of these in various colors.  I keep one in my purse at all times so that I’m always prepared.  Each time I drop food on my cover up scarf (which is practically every time I wear it), I simply toss it in the laundry to be washed.

black floral scarfkin

I make these scarves from washable silky prints or plain fabric.  The scarves sell for $9.

scarfkin serged edge

Wrong side of scarf serged edge

The edges of the scarves are finished with a four thread serged finish and a 1/4″ hem.  The serged edge stands up well to repeated laundering.

Scarfkin 1/4 inch hemmed edge

1/4 inch hemmed edge

If you are prone to food falling from your spoon, fork, or travel mug, then one of these cover up scarves could be just what you need!

These are the fabrics that I have available right now.  I will also take custom orders if there is a particular color combination or fabric that you would prefer.  If you need one of these scarves, you can contact me here using the form on the “Contact Me” page.  Or you can contact me on my Facebook page.

These scarves make great gifts, too!

animal print

animal print

 

black geometric

black geometric

navy print

navy print

autumn hues

autumn hues

How often do you drop food on your clothes?  Don’t be afraid to admit it here! 

 

 

 

Tea Dying Cotton Fabric

Last month, a customer asked me to make her a cross body messenger bag and a matching Two Zip Wristlet.  No problem.  Then she asked me to make it from black and beige fabric.  Just black and beige.  She prefers paisley and polka dots.  Yikes!  I spend a fair amount of time looking for and at fabrics, and I wasn’t able to recall a vast selection of paisley and polka dots in black and beige.

Surely there had to be something available at my local quilt shop.  But there wasn’t.  I found black and beige polka dots, but how boring!  I left the shop with two yards of the same black and white fabric that I had used to make my niece’s diaper bag.  I reasoned with myself that the white wasn’t really all that white, and the print included paisley and dots.  Three out of four isn’t so bad!  

As I was driving home, an idea flashed in my mind.  I’m sure the idea was from God.  It was certainly the answer to my prayers for just the right fabric for these projects.  The idea was this:  tea dye.  I just knew it would work!

Here’s a travel bag that I made with the fabric in black and white:
black and white travel bag

And here’s the black and beige wristlet:
tea dye fabric wristlet

Isn’t it pretty?  I have to admit that I wasn’t all that enthused about black and beige since I love bright colors and cheery prints, but I really like this tea-dyed fabric!  It has a classic look, and it’s perfect for the lady who ordered it.   The tea dying was fairly simple, and it’s a process I wouldn’t hesitate to use again to achieve just the right color of fabric.

In addition to the wristlet, she wanted a cross body messenger bag.  This particular messenger bag is made from a pattern that I designed myself for my friend Ann who described to me exactly what she wanted.
messenger bag

It’s a smaller bag measuring approximately 8″ x 9″ x 1.5″, but it has plenty of room, too.  This particular messenger bag has a zippered pocket in the front under the quilted flap.
zippered pocket on messenger bag

Four pockets line the inside of the bag.  These interior pockets are large enough for a checkbook or sunglasses.
messenger bag interior

I added a pocket to the back of the bag, too.  This pocket that is free from any kind of closure is so convenient for keys, coupons, or a shopping list.
messenger bag, back pocket

These bags are on their way to Florida, and I sure hope the recipient likes them as much as I do!

What do you think of this black and beige fabric?

 

A Zip And Go Bag

I never sew without a pattern.  Some people think that anyone who knows how to sew can just whip projects up out of thin air, and some seamstresses are gifted at that.  I’m not one of them.  I never sew without a pattern.  Never.

With all of the great patterns for sale, I don’t ever really need to sew without a pattern.  One of my favorite pattern designers is Erin Erickson who blogs about and sells her PDF patterns at Dog Under My Desk.

My most recent project made with one of Erin’s patterns is this Zip and Go purse, and I love it!
zip and go purse

The Zip and Go is a small cross body bag that measures approximately 9.5″ tall X 7.5″ wide.  It has a 30″-55″ adjustable strap.  

This Zip and Go bag doesn’t hold a lot, but it will hold the essentials.  The long cross body strap makes this the perfect hands-free bag.  I still love my wristlets, but sometimes I don’t want a wristlet dangling from my arm.  For those occasions, I now have this Zip and Go!

Zip and Go

The main section of the purse measures 9.5″ x 7.5″ and the front pocket
measures 6″ x 7.5″.

Zip and Go

This Zip and Go is now my go-to bag for shopping.  It holds a bit more than my wristlet, but it’s not at all heavy or bulky.   I’m definitely going to make one is bright colors for spring and summer!

When would you use a Zip and Go? 

 

Diaper Bag or Travel Bag

Traveling Tote

This is the latest diaper bag (or travel bag) that I made using the Traveling Tote pattern from Palm Harbor Patterns.  My sister commissioned me to make this bag for her youngest daughter who was expecting a baby around Christmas.  My niece and her husband opted not to find out the sex of their baby ahead of time, and that made choosing a diaper bag style and fabric a bit of a dilemma for me.

Since my niece would be carrying the bag for two years or so, my sister and I decided that we should let her in on the color and pattern selection.  My niece decided on a classic look rather than a cute, kiddie print diaper bag.  She asked me to find a black and white print and accent it with a pop of red contrast.

diaper bag with zipper closure

She also requested a zipper closure instead of the usual magnetic snap that I use for this pattern.  I decided to use a red zipper, too, to coordinate with the red trim band on the front and back of the bag.

diaper bag with back zippered pocket

The back of the bag has a zippered pocket, and I chose to use a red zipper for that, also.  To me, the bag looks more like a girl’s diaper bag than a boy’s, so I was especially happy when, on December 27th, my niece gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and named her Eliza Jane!

I sure hope Eliza likes her bag!

 

 

My Florida Bag, a Two Zip Hipster

When I found out that my sisters and I were going to be taking a road trip to Florida and that one of our destinations would be Disney World, I knew that I needed to have a Two Zip Hipster to take along.

Why did I choose a Two Zip Hipster?

1.  I wanted a hands-free cross body bag.
I love the long adjustable strap on this bag, and it’s perfect for shopping trips or outings where you don’t want to be fussing with a shoulder or handbag.
Two Zip Hipster

2.  I wanted a secure closure on the bag and the exterior pocket.
Two Zip Hipster for Florida

A zipper is the most secure closure for a purse, and that’s important when traveling.  This Two Zip Hipster has a recessed zipper across the top and a zippered exterior pocket on the front of the bag.  A pouch pocket is included on the front of the bag, too, and that is a nice feature, too.

3.  I wanted an bag that was small, but roomy.

Two Zip Hipster interior

This bag is tall and just 1.5″ deep but there is plenty of room for the necessities for a day of shopping or touring.  The pattern gives directions for one interior pocket that is divided into two sections, with one being the perfect size for a cell phone.

I opted to add another pocket to the other side of the interior of the purse.  I divided the pocket evenly, and it is the perfect size to hold two credit/debit cards.  I’m not sure if I will use these pockets, but I wanted to add them just in case.

The orange floral fabric that I chose is a premium quilting print that I bought at Joanns.  The lining and pocket fabrics are coordinates, and I love the way they look together.  I wanted something bright and cheery to celebrate my trip to Florida.  I’m very happy with the way the bag turned out, and I know it will come in handy!

What kind of bag do you like to carry while shopping or traveling? 

Many Hands Make Light Work

This fall, the director of  the children’s Christmas program at church approached me about helping to sew some costumes for the Christmas program this year.  I was certainly willing to help, but after a bit of brainstorming, we decided that it just might be more productive and more fun to enlist the help of volunteers and hold an old-fashioned sewing bee.

When we made the announcement and hung up our sign-up sheet, we were pleased to discover that a fair number of women were willing to come to our aid and lend a hand with this project.  We set the date for November 19th and hoped that we would be able to make seven or eight new costumes and refurbish a few of the old ones.

The day began with stacks of fabric and patterns in the middle the room.

piles of fabric

As our volunteers arrived with sewing machines, scissors, notions, irons, and ironing boards, our work began.

the cutting table

Three of our volunteers did most of the cutting, while our seamstresses got busy hemming shepherd’s head covers that had been cut to size last year.  In addition to cutting and sewing, there was plenty of talking and laughing going on, too!  We even had two home school student among us who served as models for fittings.

Sewing Bee

Sewing teamwork

It was amazing to see each lady using her talents and creativity to help us reach and surpass our goal.

Sewing bee

Our group of busy sewing bees constructed fourteen costumes for shepherds, townspeople, and kings and refurbished eight or nine angel costumes that were too large for recent years’ angels.  We also finished ten or more shepherd’s head coverings, two crowns, and swaddling clothes for Baby Jesus.

I’ve always been very thankful for my church family.  But days like this one make me feel blessed beyond measure to be a part of a group of people who are willing to give of themselves and their time and talent for the good of the church and the glory of God.

Many hands certainly do make light work.  Many hands make work fun, too!  

 

 

 

 

A Stacked Pocket Wristlet

One of the most popular items that I sell is the Essential Wristlet.  This wristlet pattern is my personal favorite, too, and it was designed by Erin Erickson from Dog Under My Desk.  Erin’s patterns are the best pdf patterns available, in my opinion.

I’ve made dozens of these wristlets all with an interior pocket.  Recently I’ve made several wristlets with two interior pockets, one smaller pocket stacked on another larger one.  stacked pockets in a wristlet
Personally, I LOVE having this extra pocket!  It seems like such a small thing, but it makes a difference in the functionality of the wristlet for me.

I like to keep my debit or credit card in that small pocket and my cell phone in the larger pocket.  That leaves the main part of the wristlet for the other small items that I carry.  stacked pocket wristlet
While we’re looking at this wristlet, let me just say that the zipper application on this wristlet is amazing!  Because of the way the zipper is sewn into the end seam on the left, the wristlet opens wider than most.  So even though the wristlet is fairly small, the stuff inside is easily accessible.

exterior zipper pocket
This zippered pocket on the front of the wristlet works great as a wallet.  I keep my money safely zipped inside this pocket.

Two zip wristlet
I can’t say enough about this two zip essential wristlet.  It’s certainly an essential in my accessory collection.

Wristlet prices are as follows:
One zip essential wristlet       $17
Two zip essential wristlet       $20
Stacked pockets                add $4

(This wristlet measures 7.75″ wide X 5″ high.)

You can see my available wristlet fabrics here and here.

 

 

 

A Walker Caddy

walker caddy

If you’ve ever used a walker, you know how convenient it is to have a walker caddy attached to your walker.  After having foot surgery several years ago, I was required to use a walker for several weeks to avoid putting any weight on my foot.  At that time, I’d never even heard of a walker caddy, so I struggled though that time by tying a basket to my walker.

Two ladies at my church are now sporting walker caddies that I made using another lady’s walker caddy as a pattern.  This walker caddy pictured here is my most recent attempt to provide a caddy that is convenient and pretty.

For this project, I chose an off-white canvas for the base fabric.  I think it is important to use a sturdy fabric for the body of the caddy.  For the pockets, I chose coordinating 100% cotton quilting prints.

walker caddy, back

On the back of the caddy, I made one large pocket that is big enough to hold a magazine or newspaper or even a small purse or book.

walker caddy, front

The front of the caddy has four stacked pockets offering plenty of space for papers, cards, pens, glasses, remotes, cell phones, and the like.  This allows the user to keep all of those necessary items within reach without depending on someone else to fetch and carry.

After securing this caddy to the walker with the attached ties, the owner is ready to roll!

 

Chevron Peasant Dress with Pumpkin Applique

I wanted to make a fall themed dress this year for a special little lady who turned two yesterday.  I wasn’t sure just what I wanted to make, so I turned to Pinterest and did a search for “toddler fall dresses”.  Let me just say that a lot of people have some amazing ideas for toddler dresses.

I settled on a little peasant style dress in black and white chevron with a pumpkin applique at the hem.  My first step was to choose my fabrics for the dress and the applique.
Fabric for a fall dress
One really neat thing happened the week I was working on this dress.  Just when I thought I would have to try to design my own pattern or print a free one that was available online, I found a vintage Simplicity peasant dress pattern at a local thrift store.  I paid $.25 for the pattern that just happened to be the size that I needed.  I love it when that happens!

Here’s my finished project:
Chevron dress with pumpkin applique
I am pleased with the end result, though I do think that the applique is a little too large for a size one dress.  It worked for us, but next time I will pay closer attention to the applique size before I sew it on the dress
.

To adhere the applique to the dress, I used Wonder Under, and sewed it to the dress using a blanket stitch.  I should have taken a close up photo of the applique.

This dress was a dream to put together.  It was a quick and easy pattern that I will probably use again.  In fact, I’m thinking of making one in a Christmas print with a large offset bow at the neck.  Yeah, I was searching Pinterest again.

I was happy that Justine chose to wear this dress on Aaliyah for some of her two year portraits.  It fit her perfectly, and next year, she may be able to wear it as a tunic with some black leggings.

Here she is:
Aaliyah's portrait

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