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Category Archives: Sewing

I’ve been hunting for supplies and sites to help with the making of dolls for the Dolly Donations for Japan. Thinking some of you might be unsure how to proceed as well, I’m including the best-looking plans I’ve found in my hunting. I’ve never sewn a doll before, so we’ll see how it turns out. I went to the local thrift store and bought some incredibly soft 100% cotton sheets to use for the dolls themselves, and will use leftover quilt fabrics for the clothes.

The two patterns I purchased (only because they were on sale):
Burda 7611
Simplicity 2809

Helpful Things I Found Online:
How to Make Dolls Hair

Make Easy Rag Doll

FlatTops Rag Doll (Hmm, I’m sensing more dolls in my future, this time for breast cancer patients.)

Miss Gioia Rag Doll Tutorial

Miss Gioia Rag Doll Pattern

Making My First Rag Doll Part I

Making My First Rag Doll Part II

I’m very tempted to buy a french book, Poupee en Chiffon, after seeing this great blog posting about the adorable dolls you can make from the patterns. They just have a certain European flair, don’t they? I do realize that importing a book from France is MORE than I need to do at this point. If you cannot resist, you can try your hand at making it through the ordering process for the book.

Good luck with your Dolly making!

“Their toys are alive and can sometimes come to their aid, or get lost and Olie has to find them. They go to other planets. They go to the ice cream planet.” – William Joyce


NekoMade sent this along to me. She’s trying to organize a craft day where a bunch of us get together to help out Curious Lottie and her quest for dolls for Japan.

Curious Lottie’s Dolly Donation for Children of Japan — Deadline July 16

Curious Lottie was inspired by Sarah’s Doll Drives

Goodness knows I have plenty of fabric lying around, and you probably do too. There is a simple (and FREE) doll pattern on Sarah’s site, or you can purchase one of her other patterns off of her etsy page.

If you have some spare time and basic sewing skills, please consider adding a doll or two to the bunch being sent overseas for Japan’s children.

“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.” – Mark Twain quotes

There are lots of folks around the world who need our help right now. I wandered through a yarn shop today, didn’t buy anything although I was tempted, and will instead be sending today’s savings to a charity that needs it.

Today I also dropped off a woven scarf and some knit wrist warmers to a local group. The items will be auctioned off to raise scholarship money for paraprofessionals to attend trainings. And I’ve completed some chemo caps. One more on the needles then I’ll be sending these off as well.

Chemo Caps

Chemo Caps

That’s one of the really nice things about these fiber arts; we can give enjoyment and comfort to complete strangers through the things we make.

Oh, forgot to mention that tomorrow (Saint Patrick’s Day) is sale day at the new-found Harriet’s Treadle Arts. They also have lists in-store of items you can donate to Any Soldier. A staff person at Harriet’s is collecting things and will get them sent off where they need to go.

Current Audiobooks: Magyk, Flyte, and Physick (Septimus Heap books) by Angie Sage

Currently Reading: Imagined Worlds by Dyson

“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.” — Audrey Hepburn

The amazing Great American Quilt Factory in Denver is closing this Saturday. They’ve had a 30 year run and the owners are retiring. If you are in the area, I highly recommend running over there in the next couple of days.

I was lamenting the fact that they were closing and worried that there aren’t a lot of quilt shops left around here. I had to run an errand today, and when done, I drove right past a shop I’d never seen before called Harriet’s Treadle Arts. Thinking maybe it was a weaving shop, I pulled a u-turn, parked, and went in.

Hello, Harriet Hargrave! How on earth have I managed to miss this one through the years? New local quilt shop here I come!

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” — Audrey Hepburn

Third try at Alexandra’s Needle Case, this time for myself.

I went to find needles for the chemo caps, only to discover I couldn’t find what I needed. Time to get organized.

Knitting Needles - Before

Knitting Needles - Before

Knitting Needles - After

Knitting Needles - After

“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” – Marcus Aurelius

I am very anxious for it to finally be Fall. Who wants to work with fiber in the middle of summer heat? I’ve started Fall Tidying-and-Cleanup early and have come up with yet another box of fabric.

Apparently I think I always need more fabric, then all this loveliness sits in a box uncut and unsewn. I’m pondering what to make of these yards, most likely charity quilts of some kind. But thought I share the wealth by way of a photo of all of these pretties.

Wealth of Fabric

Wealth of Fabric

“Use a make-up table with everything close at hand and don’t rush; otherwise you’ll look like a patchwork quilt.” – Lucille Ball

“Go on, prove me wrong. Destroy the fabric of the universe. See if I care.” – Terry Prachett

I ran over to JoAnn Fabrics to get 1 yard of rust fabric. Ended up with 2 yards of fabric, one of which was the required rust.  I put back 6 other bolts of fabric that I decided I did NOT need. I keep buying fabric, putting it in boxes, and never having time to sew things. Typing of which …

I also ended up with 5 new Simplicity patterns.  I wandered over to the pattern area and discovered that Simplicity patterns were on sale 5 for $5.  Really, who can’t find 5 sewing patterns they’ll think about sewing for $1 each? 

Simplicity Sale

Simplicity Sale

I’m guessing they were good choices because the 20-something sales clerk wrote two of the pattern numbers on the back of her hand – so she could buy the same patterns herself later.

I focused on very simple patterns with a few big pieces.  I’m going to attempt to weave fabric, cut it apart (horrors), and actually sew a piece of clothing out of fabric I’ve made.  I haven’t managed to take the class in how to sew your handwovens so will need to seek input.  I’ll keep you apprised as I have no idea whether or not this will work.

“We live in a web of ideas, a fabric of our own making.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

Spring cleaning this year has involved taking all the boxes of craft supplies out of the closet and organizing things. Put all the sewing supplies in one box (Five rotary cutters? I have five rotary cutters?). Put all the knitting yarn in one set of containers, the weaving yarn in another set.

Spring cleaning has also involved finishing up some long-delayed projects. Getting those UFOs (UnFinished Objects) out the door. One of these projects was the Labyrinth Quilt lap quilt, from a pattern by Laurel Reinhardt,

You can see my version here:

Labyrinth Lap Quilt

This quilt has been sitting around for a couple of years, patiently waiting for me to finish hand quilting along the walking path of the quilt. Soon the new owner will be able to trace the path of the labyrinth with her finger, from the entrance through to the center and back again. Hopefully it will provide warmth and comfort, even if it is arriving in time for summer.

“He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life.” – Victor Hugo

I’ve made a second attempt at Alexandra’s Needle Case

Knitting Needle Case Take Two

Tips this time around if you’re thinking of making one of these:

1) Leave enough extra around the backing fabric to fold it over and make the outside binding.

2) Make the double-pointed needle strip shorter to fit shorter DPNs.

3) Cut each strip a little taller than suggested, to fold it over twice and make a simple binding at the top of each strip. This makes it easier to sew the channels for the needles themselves. You have to turn everything face-down to sew the channels, which means you’d have to pin down any binding on the front carefully (lest it turn up whilst you’re sewing on the opposite side).

4) I ran over to HotTopic and got some skeleton shoelaces, which I think will make great ties for the case.

If I was better with a sewing machine I would have sewn this all with blood red thread, but I think NekoMade will like it anyway. And hopefully it will be useful to her with all of her own crafting!

“Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.” – Richard Bach quotes

The loom cover is now complete and a relative success.

Completed loom cover and accessories holder

I had barely, barely, barely enough fabric to cover the loom using the Martha Stewart curtains from ARC. If you decide to make one of these for yourself, measure your loom ahead of time (height, width, and length both top and bottom). Then bring your measuring tape with you to the thrift shop so you can measure the curtains – or coverlet, sheets, or blanket – whatever you choose to purchase.

I was a little too generous when measuring for the seam allowance, so guard against that. You only need 1/2 inch for the seam allowance, and it may turn out that you need that extra inch or two somewhere else. I ended up using the scraps – top of one set of curtains and bottom of another set – to make a fabric accessories envelope for the other loom pieces. I’ve secured both the cover and the fabric envelope with large snaps, which I sewed on by hand. Overall, it took my brain a long time to figure this project out, but I’ve ended up with a solid, washable cover to protect the loom from sunlight – plus a holder for the spare reeds and other loom parts. Let me know if you try this!

“I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living.” – John D. Rockefeller