Monday, November 30, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...


A few of the Christmassy things around my house...

Paper wish stars have taken over my beach rock dish.

Birds have taken over the mantle.

And I'm enjoying this year's Christmas stamps from Canada Post.  Can't wait to put them on on Christmas card envelopes.  (I love the shimmery snowflakes that show up as you tilt them under the light.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Doll Clothes - Hooded Towel

This hooded towel would be perfect for use after having a bath or swimming.  It looks so cozy I almost want to sew one in my size!

What you need:

  • terry cloth (I used an old shirt that is only loopy on one side, this worked well for reducing bulk on such a small garment)
  • sewing machine or needle and thread

Step 1: Cut your fabric. 

If you are using an old garment and can cut your pieces along the hem use these measurements:

  • two body pieces: 10" x 12" (existing hem along a 10" side)
  • one hood piece: 6 1/2" x 12" (existing hem along a 12" side)

If you are using yardage of fabric use this measurements:

  • two body pieces: 10" x 12 1/2"
  • one hood piece: 7" x 12"

If you used the second measurements hem the one of the short edges on the two body pieces and one of the long edges on the hood piece.

Step 2: Sew the shoulder seams.
Match the two body pieces right sides together (hems at the same end!) and using a 1/2" seam allowance sew two inches in from each edge. 



Step 3: Sew and attach the hood.
Fold the hood piece in half lengthwise, right sides together, so the hemmed edge folds on itself.  Pin and sew the opposite side.

Turn the hood right side out and pin it to the body piece.  I took photos of this step but they are more confusing then helpful so bear with me, this bit is wordy!  First, find the centre back of the neckline and mark it with a pin or a dot from a dissapearing fabric marker.  So far there has been no front or back to this garment so just pick a side.  Now match the seam you just sewed (the back of the hood) to this mark and pin in place.  The raw edges should match up and the bulk of both pieces should be hanging down.  Continuing out from this centre mark, pin the rest of the hood along the neckline.  When you're finished it should be something like this:


Sew a seam, 1/2" from the raw edge and remove the pins.

Step 4: Finish the neckline.
With your towel right side out and all attached find the centre front of the neckline and make a little snip down this line, about 1" starting from the raw edge.

Fold back the fabric on either side of the snip and sew the resulting triangles down.  Cut off the flappy bits after you've made your seam.  (The picture shows the seam before I cut off the extra bits.)

Step 5: Finish the edges.
Turn under 1/2" along each long side, pin and sew. 

You can finish here or add a little modesty by closing the sides - fold your towel in half lengthwise (so it looks as it will when it will be worn) and sew along the middle of the "side hem" for about 3 inches leaving a space for the arms to go and a flap at the bottom. 


And you're done!  Your doll is now ready for the beach, pool or bathtub!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giveaway Day!

Have you heard?  Sew, Mama, Sew is having another Giveaway Day!  Beginning December 2nd and running until December 6th all sorts of amazingly crafty and creative people will be giving away wonderful prizes.  Visit Sew, Mama, Sew for more details and be sure to check back next week for my giveaway!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I'm so excited - I just finished setting up my Etsy shop.  It's been in process for a long time... I started playing around with product possibilites in the spring!  A few weekends ago we had some sunshine and I got the pictures taken (now that the days are short there's no hope of taking good photos before or after work).  Tonight I had time to set up my shop and get some listings up.  More to come over the next couple days.  Also another tutorial on doll's clothes and new on the Christmas crafts I've been working on.

I almost forgot - if you want to have a look at my Etsy shop you can find it here:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Inspiration

I've collected a wonderful variety of materials (felt, thread, beads) in Christmas colours that are sitting in my workbox ready to be made into ornaments.  I'm thinking of trees, holly, bells and stars.  Maybe each one will be different, maybe some will be the same, I don't know yet.  Some may become gifts but I think I may get too attached to give them away!


Here's what kept me busy most of October and into November...

A 39 piece wardrobe for my cousin's Cabbage Patch Kids!  I had a lot of fun designing and sewing my first "collection" and now I am happy it's done and I can pack it up and move onto other (more festive) crafting.  And I've regained desk space.  And I can see my floor again!

When did the madness begin?  In September when my cousin was here visiting (we live 5 provinces apart so I don't see her nearly as often as I'd like to) and requested, as she always does, to play with my CPKs.  I also got out their wardrobe and she kept busy dressing and redressing the dolls as they went through a variety of activities.  At one point she made a comment about how much she liked the backpack and I could see she was thinking her CPK would like to have one.  So I thought I would sew her an (improved version) backpack and send it out.  I mulled this idea over for a few days and thought maybe I would add some clothes in as well.  A message to my aunt confirmed that some CPK clothes would be very welcome as they haven't been able to find any in stores and my cousin has to be satisfied with changing her CPKs into an old baby shirt or nothing at all.  And so I began.  And kept sewing.  And cutting.  And sewing.  With a little knitting thrown in until I finally said enough!  Which was after I'd made:
  • 2 pairs underwear
  •  1 pair of tights
  • 4 pairs of pants
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 2 skirts
  • 1 blouse thing
  • 1 hoodie
  • 2 rain jackets
  • 1 pair rain pants
  • 1 winter coat
  • mitts and a scarf
  • 2 pairs of pyjamas
  • 1 nightie
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 hooded towel
  • 6 dresses
  • and the backpack that started it all
In a way, sewing these doll clothes has been a bit of a continuation of a family tradition.  Most of my CPK clothes came from my grandma (the one I share with this particular cousin).  Often when we went for our family vacation at my grandparent's cottage my grandma would have some new clothes for my and my sister's dolls.  A good deal of my CPK wardrobe was made by Nana and playing with our Cabbage Patch Kids was one of my & my sister's favourite things to do.  Nana passed away several years ago and so now I'm the one sewing the doll clothes.  Which is part way to fulfulling my 5-year-old self plan of becoming a grandma when I grow up "because they get to bake cookies and make doll clothes."  A good ambition, no?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Around Town

I felt like I experienced three different seasons while I was out today...

Fall leaves against an autumn sky.

Poppies from Remembrance Day.

Snowflakes getting set for winter.

Signs of Christmas.

And it felt like spring - warm enough to be outside without a coat or sweater!  A wonderful combination!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Doll T-shirt Tutorial

I meant to have this up earlier but I forgot to take pictures when I was sewing a week ago and with the daylight disapearing so early these days I had to wait for the weekend to get some decent shots!

What you need:
  • knit fabric (an old T-shirt will do nicely!)
  • serger or sewing machine (serger preferred, needle and thread would do in a pinch)
  • pins

Step 1:
Print off the pattern.  It should fit a letter size (8 1/2" by 11") piece of paper.

Step 2:
Cut out your pieces.  You need two sleeves, two body pieces and a strip for the collar.  Ideally the bottom of the body pieces and a long edge of the sleeve pieces gets cut along the hem of your T-shirt.  (If not, don't worry, see the notes at the end of the post.)

Step 3:
With right sides together, match up your body pieces and serge the shoulder seams.

Step 4:
Measure around the neck opening and cut a piece of collar the same length plus a 1/2" seam allowance.  You can measure with a measuring tape but I just used the collar piece to measure, added the seam allowance and cut.  With right sides together serge along the short ends of the collar.

Step 5:
Fold your collar in half, wrong sides together, to make a thinner circle.  Pin this in place against the right side of the shirt...

And serge around.  Be careful to keep the rest of the shirt away from the knife!!  When you're done it should look like this:

Step 6:
Lay your shirt out flat, right side up and pin a sleeve to an armhole, keeping right sides together and the nice hemmed bit at the opposite end of the armhole!

Serge this seam and repeat for the other sleeve.

Step 7:
Fold the shirt in half, right sides together, and pin the side seams lining up the hem of the arm and the hem of the body.  Do this on both sides.

Serge both side seams and you're done!


  • If you can't cut your pieces from the hem of a T-shirt or other garment don't worry!  Add about 1/2" to the length of the sleeve (which is the width of the rectangle) and the bottom of the body.  Hem the sleeves before you start and the body at the end.
  • This shirt could be made without a serger but it keeps the seams nice and stretchy for getting over large heads.  If you're using a sewing machine try a zig zag stitch which has more give then a straight stitch.
  • Have fun embellishing if you wish!  Freezer paper stencilling, applique, embroidery would be nice additions to the shirt.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In the Moment – November

As an exercise in enjoying all times of the year (and not spend all winter wishing it was over) I’m going to start each month blogging about what I am looking forward to. 

Things to enjoy in November:
  • The daylight when I leave for work (due to the switch back from Daylight Savings Time).  It won’t last long so I will enjoy it while I can.
  • The last few fall leaves – what beautiful colours!
  • A trip to the One of a Kind show.  So many lovely things, crafty things, tasty things.  Try not to buy too many “self gifts” this year!
  • Digging out my much loved winter hat, thrummed mitts and enjoying the warmth a winter coat brings.
  • The extra enjoyment and comfort the cold weather brings to hot drinks (tea, steamers, hot chocolate, London Fogs).
  • Wearing a poppy in the days leading up to November 11th (Remembrance Day in Canada).  This year I was able to purchase mine from a cadet vs. a box on a counter somewhere.  I miss the days when the veterans were out selling them – it added extra meaning to the poppies I thought.
  • Christmas preparations!  I’ve already started work (knitting, sewing) on some presents but in November I’ll start:
    • Making lists (and checking them twice!)
    • Christmas crafts (such a long list of things I want to try!)
    • Card making
    • Baking (maybe – for sure I’ll be deciding what to bake)
    • Decorating (house lights, trees up!) Since we have artificial trees (I know, I know, but real trees wreak havoc with my sister’s sinuses) they can go up any time now.
    • Playing Christmas carols on the piano and listening to them played by people who are much better then me.