a new year

Back to work! The kids went back to work on Monday which was also my birthday and that was a great present, just getting back to a normal routine and starting to dig into some new projects. I spent the first half of the day writing out a bunch of ideas and plans in my bullet journal (I’m using that term very loosely – more just like a book of lists)

So the first thing on my list for 2020 is to do a stop motion video of a bunch of Make-along dolls and outfits. So I’ve been trying to finish up a few dolls and outfits and I’m almost ready to go. I made the top above from the “Spring it On” pattern. I need to make the jacket to go with it. I need an outfit for the fellow below and I made a “Holiday Sparkle” dress for blondie (below). Her hair is Cascade 128 Superwash yarn in lemon and I’m loving this yarn for doll hair, so soft! People on IG were asking me about the felted kitty that I’m using as a pincushion. She’s from a Japanese felt kit. I have another two Make-Along dolls ready for hair and face and outfits and I’ll be ready to go. Then I just need to figure out how to do a stop motion video! 😂 I know how to take photos but I’m not sure how to string it together.

I made this little guy below from my favorite brown linen that I get at Joanns and some fuzzy soft alpaca boucle yarn (Drops Alpaca). I need to make a few more boy dolls so that I can get pictures out there to show the Make-Along Sewing pattern can be used for boy and girl dolls.

The other project that I started over Christmas and am working on in the background is reviving some of my cross stitch patterns. I really like my patterns that I have in the shop, the little sets of girls, but they’re very basic so I’m redesigning them to go into larger scenes. I’m very excited about this project. I’m working on a cuckoo clock design for the Storybook girls and then I’m going to do a barn for the Farm Folk girls. I made a Christmas cross stitch for my mom for Christmas and that really sent me down the rabbit hole of cross stitch. And then my friends told me about floss tube and oh dear. I will have lots to say on that soon (with lots of links to share!). I’m happy to be spending time over there. It’s just a really calming creative space to be living in and I’m really enjoying it right now.

Here are some of the supplies I’ve got going for the cuckoo clock design.

One thing that I’ve been wanting to do and working towards since the kids went back in the school in September was to get my blog updated and running well so that I can use it again. I’m not gonna say that I don’t like Instagram but I kind of don’t love it. And I miss having a community and talking to people and having a space that is mine not owned by Mark Zuckerberg. So I’m going to try to do more blogging. And I’m hoping that by being in this space that I can drag people over here with me and we can hang out.

Pincushion Girl

New to the shop this week is the pattern for a girl you’ve probably seen around in a lot of my photos over the year. My trusty sidekick, Pincushion Girl. She’s hand sewn from wool felt and is super fun to make. You can embellish her so many different ways, with or without bun or embroidery on the skirt or even a little collar.

Stuck full of pins or just sitting around looking cute, Pincushion Girl is a fun, quick hand sewing project that makes a great gift. Share your creations with the tag #pincushiongirl to see what everyone comes up with. Here’s a fun addition, sew a tiny magnet into your bow for a needleminder.

Handmade Christmas Ornaments

Phoebe and I got a little crazy for Christmas this weekend. We got out the hot glue gun, the “Christmas Craft” bin (which I’ve been steadily transferring over the years from school party supplies to craft store bops and vintage fripperies), some glitter, and went to town.

Here is vintage santa head on a ornament ball riding an ice spear and holding a candy cane.

vintage cotton spun and pipe cleaner elf with a flocked tree on a peppermint sphere.

This guy I really love. He was a little cotton spun head on a flat wood stick. I gave him a twill ribbon hat a beard made from wool yarn wrapped around pipe cleaners.

Years ago, the kids and I painted paper pulp ornaments from Paper Source and tucked their favorite tiny toys into them. This one had lost its friend so we gave it a ceramic deer from Phoebe’s room and added some teeny tiny trees that we decorated with sequins.

This is another of the vintage elves from above. This one is riding a pipecone we glittered and hung to the tree with a glittered pick from the craft store.

Another Phoebe masterpiece, vintage snowman elf guy sitting on a glitter snowfake snapped off a craft store pick, with a little deer (from Smile Mercantile) and a tree topped with a mushroom.

wrapped wool ornament

I’m not 100% sure what to call these little christmas fellows. I made them many years ago with unrolled cotton balls standing in for cotton batting. I was surprised they held their shape as long as they did but it’s been long past time to update them.

I redid the first one with wrapped wool roving. I needle felted it just enough to hold in place but I really wanted a smooth wrapped look. I love how it turned out. Time to do the others.

Free Doll Pajamas Pattern for the Make-Along Club

It’s that time of year when getting cozy in a pair of festive pajamas is a top priority. These pajamas are worth the extra effort to get them just right. They would make a perfect holiday present for your Make-Along doll. Made with or without piping they turn out super cute.

Download the pattern pieces here and follow along below for instructions. You will need 26″ x 20″ of cotton fabric, 9″ of 1/8″ elastic, three 3/8″ buttons and either snaps or velcro closures if you don’t want to make buttonholes and an optional 45″ of 1/4″ binding tape to use as piping. If you can find tiny piping that will work too but general piping for adult clothing is too big for these little pjs. Seam allowances are 1/4″ unless noted. Cutting instructions are on the pattern pieces.

First, make the collar. With right sides together sew the two Collar (D) pieces around outer curved edge. If you want piping, pin it to one piece with outer edges matched up. Then pin your other collar piece on top and sew at 1/8″ from edge which will leave half of your 1/4″ wide binding tape showing as piping. Be sure the folded, not open, side of your binding is facing inward when you pin it so that it will side showing when you turn right side out. Turn collar right side out and press flat.

With right sides together, sew the Facing Back (F) to the Facing Front (G) pieces at the shoulders. Press seams open and pink inside edges of the facing.

With right sides together Sew the Top Back (B) to the Top Front (A) pieces at the shoulders. Press seams open.

Pin the collar to the neck edge of the Pajama Top lining up the centers.

If you are doing the version with piping here is where you add it to the front edges. Pin two pieces in place along the Pajama Fronts lining up the edges. Clip the binding tape pieces just as they overlaps the Collar.

Pin Facing to Pajama Top with right sides together, lining up edges and shoulder seams. Sew Facing to Top, if you are not doing piping use a 1/4″ seam allowance. If you are doing piping you’ll want a 1/8″ seam allowance along sides where the binding is and then you can go to a 1/4″ seam allowance along the collar edge. Turn facing to inside and press flat.

Make the cuffs on the Pant (E) legs and Sleeves (C) as follows. First press under 1/4″ to the wrong side and top stitch at 1/8″.

Next, press under 6/8″ to wrong side to make the cuff and then flip your piece over and fold up 1/8″ tucking the binding tape. inside the fold with 1/8″ showing. Topstitch along the edge of the cuff catching the binding tape in the stitches. If you’re not doing piping just top stitch along the folded edge. Repeat for all cuffs.

Pin the Sleeves (C) into the Pajama Top with with right sides together. Sew in place and clip or pink seam allowances. Press seams toward sleeve.

With right sides together, sew Pajama Top front and back together along underarm and side seams. Clip or pink seam allowances and press open.

To finish Pajama Top press under 1/2″ along bottom and topstitch at 1/4″. Sew 3 buttons to the front and either make button holes or sew snaps or velcro closures inside.

To finish the Pajama Pants, with right sides together sew Pants (E) pieces together along front and back center seams as shown. Press seams open.

Next, with right sides together sew pants together along under leg seam as shown. Then make the elastic casing around waist by pressing under 1/2″ and sewing at 1/4″ leaving a 1″ gap for the elastic. Thread elastic through casing, pull as taught as you’d like and clip ends and sew them together. Then sew up the gap and turn right side out.

Scandi Trio – new hand sewing patterns

I’m so excited to offer these new hand sewing patterns in time for Christmas, The Scandi Trio. It is a hand sewing pattern for a Christmas Pig, Yule Goat and Tomte. I’d made the little pig years ago and was recently trying to figure out some friends to make for her. Well of course I had Christmas on my mind. And I have so many Scandinavian Christmas decorations including a really cute wooden pig ornament. And I’ve always wanted to make a goat so I went with a Yule goat and a Tomte had to go along with them as well. I hope you guys like them! They are so much fun to make and they just make me laugh. 

The Yule Goat in his lederhosen.

They are between 9″-11″ tall and made from wool felt. You cannot use acrylic felt but wool or wool blend felt will work. Two great places I’ve bought felt from recently are Benzie Design and Felt on the Fly.

The Tomte in his tall hat and button down coat.

The Christmas Pig in her wraparound apron.