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Showing posts from August, 2015

My Little Sister's Birthday Present(s)!

There's a chance I might just spoil my little sister when it comes to presents. I love making her gifts for her birthday and Christmas. For her birthday this year I had a plan, one gift that I knew she would love.

Since last Christmas I have been planning to make her a doll-sized dress form. She loves to come up with dress design ideas, and really likes American Girl Dolls, so I figured it would be the perfect gift. After reading an online tutorial or two I came up with a general idea of how I would make one.


I started with a paper towel holder, a coffee can lid, fabric, and stuffing. The body of the dress form I made by altering a doll coat pattern. I made 2 backs of the coat (so that there would be no front opening), added a high neck and sewed circles over the arm holes and neck.

To stiffen the arm holes and neck so that they would hold their shape I underlined the circles with cotton pads, the kind used for makeup and nail polish removal. They worked great! The arm holes and …

The T-shirt quilt

I don't quilt. My quilting skills leave more than a little to be desired. So when, a few months back, a mom from my former youth group contacted me asking if I could make a t-shirt quilt I almost said no. She had collected over 10 years worth of youth group t-shirts and wanted to make a quilt out of them as a thank-you gift for my former youth pastor. Now I really wanted to help, as my former youth pastor is a great guy and this quilt seemed like the perfect thank-you for him, but I just wasn't sure I could get this t-shirt quilt to turn out as awesome as it should be. Well after discussing ideas with the youth group mom I decided to take on the project. I would make the quilt in the same way I made my brother's flannel quilt for Christmas. No actual quilting required.
First I cut all the shirts into 15 inch squares, as the largest design was about 14 inches and I needed to allow room for seam allowance. I cut a 15" square of simi-transparent material that I laid on …

Following Patterns

The (modern) dresses I make myself? You may have realised that they very rarely resemble the picture on the envelope of the pattern I start with. Typically I come up with a design idea, find a couple patterns to mash together, or sometimes just one to majorly alter, then I make the dress in my head rather than the one the pattern is supposed to make. However last week I actually made not only one, but two dresses that look like they came straight out of the pattern book. And I really like them!

First off this swingy, red, halter dress made from a reprint of a 1940's pattern.


Butterick B5209 to be exact. I picked it up at a pattern sale a couple weeks ago, as there was nothing 40's inspired in my wardrobe and I decided there ought to be.  

The red fabric is a very soft, lightweight, synthetic of some sort. I'm not exactly sure what the fiber content is, it feels too soft to be polyester (which often feels plasticy), but it's definitely a synthetic of some sort, as it doe…

Accessorizing the Ball Gown

At the beginning of the month, as you may remember, I finally finished my Civil War Ball Gown! I love it and am so pleased with how it came out, but it wasn't done. Well, the gown itself was, but it takes more than just a dress to look like you stepped out of a different century. What I needed to complete the look was accessories. The Historical Sew Monthly challenge for July? Accessorizing. The perfect challenge for me this month. I actually managed to finish three items this month for this challenge! A headdress, a pair of lace mitts, and even a pair of stockings. (I have written up detailed posts about the making of each item, this is just a summary.) 


First up, the headdress.

When I started considering what accessories I wanted to make to go with my gown, my first thought was a headdress. So I looked at picture after picture of evening headdresses from the mid 19th century.

I couldn't decide on just one that I really wanted to recreate, so I decided to combine a few differ…