Doll Diapers – another big sister gift

Poor Josiah… he often gets jipped in the gift department.  Girls are just so much easier to buy for!  Or, in my case, make for.

A while back I pinned these really cute doll cloth diapers – I love all the little details!  Now that Gwen will be a new big sister I thought it would be a great idea to whip up some cloth diapers for her dolls since we’ll be using the real deal with her baby sister.

I decided to find a simpler pattern and use flannel on the inside rather than the more-expensive chenille.  I used a 40% off coupon for a yard of flannel at JoAnn’s – just plain white so it would be versatile – and paired it with some of my cotton prints.  I got some inspiration from both Bee In My Bonnet and Probably Actually, both of whom utilized Skip to My Lou’s doll diaper tutorial.

For the first diaper I cut out the pattern pieces and sewed around with a small seam allowance, but found it was a little snug on one of Gwen’s bigger dolls.  For the rest of the dipes I did what one of the other mamas suggested – trace the pattern, leave it uncut, and sew on top of the pattern line, thus eliminating that extra allowance.  I ended up running out of velcro but tried to make it as adjustable a fit as possible with a long width of velcro across the front or two strategically-placed pieces, rather than two smaller spots on the sides.

They’re so cute!  I packaged them along with Gwen’s doll carrier – and an Angelina Ballerina book, since I got the whole set at a consignment shop and have been gifting them periodically.  She’ll be getting Angelina’s Baby Sister when the time comes!

In other news… I went to the doctor’s today and am 3 cm dilated!  Much better than two weeks ago when nothing was happening.  She decided to “sweep the membranes” to see if anything happens, during which she said she felt the baby’s fingers up near her head!  So weird.  She said I could go into labor today or tomorrow, but so far I feel fine.  We’ll see!

The Princess and the Pea Set

It’s finished!  I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to finish Gwen’s birthday gift in time!  I go through sewing phases where I have the sewing machine out for a while, but then I clean everything up and pack it away and don’t get around to it for a while.  Well, it was all put away and I still had four more little mattresses to make.  When the kiddos were out yesterday I cut fabric for the finished pieces – plus a little pillow! – and finished them up last night.  Phil made me a beautiful little wooden ladder to complete the set. 

I’m so excited!  I hope she loves it.  She better love it; if she doesn’t, I’ll play with it!  Instead of wrapping it I’ll probably set it up somewhere for her to find.      

Sewing: Zippered Clutch

I made another zippered clutch for a family member’s birthday recently – my second zipper project! – and I love how it turned out.  I simplified the process this time around, leaving out the divider and opting to zigzag the felt layer to the outside pieces so they wouldn’t shift around.  To dress it up I added a handle and simple matching zipper pull.

The last time I made one of these I hated using the zipper foot, but this time around it worked much better – not sure why.  Gotta make some more of these and use up the yummy-colored zippers I got from zipit on Etsy.

A Peek at the Princess…

A while back I got the idea to make a “Princess and the Pea” set for Gwendolyn to go along with the book.  I really wanted to learn how to sew dolls, and these beautiful felt dolls by Gingermelon had me salivating at the mouth.  I love the Pocket Pixie pattern she sells on Etsy and adore all the beautiful little details, like the clothes and the hair, and may break down and purchase it in the future.  But that requires a heck of a lot of hand-stitching!   

I knew that if I did some digging I’d find some free patterns out there.  While researching some amazing “Princess and the Pea” sets that other ladies created – like this one at Girl. Inspired.

– I stumbled upon Martha Stewart’s Black Apple Doll pattern.  It looked easy enough, so I saved the pattern, figuring I’d eventually get to it.

Getting out my fabric for my recent projects, I remembered I was going to make a whole bunch of little “mattresses” to go along with a fabric doll.  I figured I should make the doll first to get an idea of the dimensions, so yesterday I sat down and tackled the pattern.

Using some of mmmcraft‘s suggestions for putting together a Black Apple Doll, I sewed the legs before cutting them out and made the arms a bit longer.  I’d love to play around with the pattern and create my own unique version (I mean, dude, check out mmmcraft’s Pippi doll– isn’t that so Gwendolyn?), but this was my first go and I LOVE how it turned out.  Actually, I did make some changes from the get-go… like a different hairline, yarn braid, button bow and ruffle on the bottom of the dress.   

Meet the Princess, awaiting her bed of mattresses…


Isn’t she so sweet?  Since I sewed her up before doing the face, I settled for painting the features instead of embroidering them.  I kept staring at the blank canvas, not wanting to mess up the pretty doll I had just made!  And I need a bit of help with my not-so-invisible ladder stitch to finish hand-sewing the doll, but other than that, I’d say she isn’t too shabby!  I see some more doll-making in my future.

I hope I can hold out long enough for Gwen’s birthday in November!  When I asked her if – hypothetically – she would prefer a princess doll with open or closed eyes, she said open.  I asked her why.  She said, “So I can look at her and she can look at me.”

*Check out my Pinterest board for Gwen for more inspiration.

Sewing: scrappy fabric cuff bracelets

I am so excited about this next project!  Recently a faraway friend with whom I correspond found out about my sewing endeavors and said she would love something handmade.  Her birthday just happens to be coming up, but I just couldn’t imagine her using a clothespin apron, reversible headband or any of the other items I’ve sewn recently.  I decided to revisit my Pinterest boards for some inspiration.  

A while back I had pinned JCasa’s Mama Chic Wrist Cuff pattern and tutorial, probably when I was looking for some scrap-buster projects.  I decided this would be a fun time to try it.  I immediately fell in love with it and got to experiment with patchwork.  I made a couple with JCasa’s pattern and decided to whip up one of my own design, following the simple concept of starting with a wide end and narrowing down on the other side. 


Let me say that I am not usually a bracelet person, but I’ve been wearing my guinea pig versions constantly!  And I already got a compliment on it.  They’re comfortable, both casual and trendy at the same time, and the mood of the piece can change depending on the fabrics and buttons utilized. 


This has been a great way to use up some of those scraps that are too small for bigger projects but that I simply can’t bear to throw away, as well as repurposing denim (leftovers from the bibs!) or any other suitable fabric.


I plan on making a bunch more as I have time and may play around with adding ruffles, pleats or other accents.  And how about a version with pearl snaps?  I love that there’s visual appeal from every angle – whether the button closure is on the top or bottom, facing in either direction. 


Sewing: a zippered pouch

I have been scared to attempt any sewing projects that had a zipper but figured it was high time I faced my fears.  I used Noodlehead’s Gathered Clutch Tutorial – the same concept I applied when making the wheat berry heating packs – and for the most part it was pretty easy.  

Probably the most time-consuming aspects are picking the fabric(s) and cutting out all of the pieces.  And I wasn’t too crazy about all the little steps putting in the divider and credit card pockets.  I would love to try something similar but would probably opt for simplifying the interior, perhaps sewing one pocket to the lining as in one of the last tutorial photos.


In looking at various sewing tutorials involving zippers, it seems you either love or hate your zipper foot.  This was my first time using it and I wasn’t crazy about its performance.  Though the foot is designed to sew as close to the zipper as possible without getting caught up in the zipper teeth, I found it didn’t keep the fabric pressed down under the foot, so as the fabric fed through the machine it pulled away, messing up the seamline and creating little folds.

All in all, I’m pleased with the way it turned out.  I’m imagining all sorts of other fabric and zipper combinations.  In the market for some colorful zippers yourself?  I had heard only good things about zipit on Etsy and finally chose a 10 pack of 8″ zippers in an array of sumptuous colors.  I was beyond pleased!  Not only was the owner super nice and helpful, she threw in some extra goodies, including one of her kaleidoscope zipper pulls which I used on the purse.


Here are some other zippered sewing projects that are on my would-be-nice-to-make list:
Oh Happy Day’s thrifted fabric pouches
Noodlehead’s boy’s drawstring backpack from khaki pants
A Lemon Squeezy Home’s sleepover pillowcase
The Cottage Home’s boxy dopp kit
The Purl Bee’s zippered hand warmers

Sewing: Another Knitting Needle Roll

A longtime friend-of-the-family has a birthday coming up.  She moved away a number of years ago but has always kept in touch, sending us beautiful handmade creations when we had our kiddos.  I decided it was high time I gave her a little somethin’ handmade!

I love my knitting needle roll, and since she also loves to knit, I figured she might appreciate one for her stash of needles.  Since I already practiced the pattern on myself I knew what to expect and it came out much nicer this time. 


I filled the top pockets with needles for the sake of the photo, but I found a bunch of extras for the lower pockets – some of them vintage from my grandmother’s stash! – in my collection to pass on.  Again, I used Made by Loulabelle’s tutorial with a few tweaks of my own, and I got the pockets right this time!  I wanted to personalize it, so I put together a little quilt tag and and finished it off with some freehand embroidery.

If I ever get my Etsy shop up and running again, I’d love to sell some of these.