Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby its cold outside

Its cold in the house too. The boys are building a fire as I sit here under my cozy blankets and type.

How about a tutorial? cute on little girls!

Bloomer are fun and easy to make. I love how they look peeking out from under a dress. My youngest dd, who gets the lions share of my sewing, was needing a pair. I am making the pair that the little girl is wearing.

This is McCall's 4505. Its still available as far as I know where ever McCall's patterns are sold. I think I own three of these patterns. I wait until Joann Fabrics puts their McCall's patterns on sale for $1 each and then purchase new patterns. In my opinion this is a timeless pattern and very useful.
The next two pics are for information purposes only. On patterns you will see the markings that I zoned in on for the pic. I usually make a small clip in the fabric where the marking are, about an 1/8-1/4" clip.
Two markings denote the back of what ever you are working on. These marks are commonly seen on the back of a sleeve and bodice too. One marking denotes the front.
I have gotten, over the years, to where I mark everything on my pattern. I don't try to guess it anymore. It saves me frustration in the long run. Among my favorite sewing tools are the colored wax paper and the marking wheel. Here I am marking the line where I will sew the bias tape on for the elastic.

The pattern directions call for laying the elastic on the line and sewing it or zig zagging it down. I don't like that. At least not on garment for little girls. I like to make a casing for the elastic. Today I used some bias tape pieces that I had.
Next iron under the hem. I folded under 1/4" and then folded and press again on the 1/4". Then stitch the hem.
Run the elastic through the casing and stitch the inseams of the legs together.
The result was this. If you look closely (maybe) you can see that the leg on the left is right side out. The leg on the right is wrong side out.
I put one leg inside the other, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Meaning that when you look at this...
on the outside you see the seam allowance. If you look on the inside (after pinning) you will see the other seam allowance. I stress this b/c when working with fabric that has no right or wrong side, its easy to over look the seam allowances that are on the wrong side...(hehe I've sewed them together wrong several times in the past) Sew the crotch or the U as I call it, pull the one leg out and Viola!
I turned the waist under 1/2" and then 1". Sewed it down and ran my elastic through. I like to over lap my elastic and zigzag over it a few times. I hate it when elastic breaks in the waist band! It is usually preventable.
I have a spool of soft blue ribbon that I keep in my sewing drawer. I cut of a 2" piece and sew it into the waist band to mark the back from the front.
The finished product. Cute little girl bloomers! 15

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meet Rowan

Rowan, I love her name.
I made up the pattern for the overall construction of her vest. There is supposed to be a zig zag type pattern in the middle section of the vest and there is, its not easy to see though. I'm still learning about what types of yarns go with patterns and stitches. I found the zig zag pattern in a book I checked out from my local library, The Complete Book of Knitting. It must have over 100 different stitch patterns in it. At this point a lot of my made up knitting is trial and error. I end up hoping a lot that my knitting falls on the side of a successful trial instead of an epic error.

I made up the hat pattern too. I was attempting to go for more of a beret look but it didn't come out that way not sure what I need to do different to get the right look. I added the button holes around the ribbing just in case the hat was too big I could add the ribbon to cinch it up a bit.. I was guessing on the amount of stitches I needed to go with. I have a doll beret pattern but it is knit flat on straight needles and I wanted to do something in the round and it didn't have the beret look I was going for. Also it called for sport yarn and I was using worsted which would result in a bigger stitch. So I guesstimated AND it came out. The hat fits fine without the ribbon and it is so stinkin' cute on her.
Rowan is ready to go in my store, Folky Dots.

Simple Woman's Daybook

March 30, 2011

Outside my window...gray, overcast morning. Hoping for some sun today.

I am thinking...that 12 years ago today my son, Ezra was born.

I am thankful for...Home birth. So much better than my hospital births.

From the learning rooms...lots of reading going on. The days have been so damp and rainy that going outside isn't much fun. So the children have all been reading a lot and I've been reading "Saddles and Lariats" by Lewis B Miller out to the children everyday. Its a good story. Love Lewis B. Miller!

From the kitchen...eggs, sausage with cheese and home made yogurt for breakfast.

I am excited about...finishing a doll today and church tonight

I am praying...for secret things.

I am wearing...old, khaki skirt, black sweater, socks and sneakers.

I am creating... dolls and doll clothes.

I am going... to pick up milk today (good fresh Jersey milk!!!) and to church tonight.

I am bible.

I am get some peeps. (chickens)

I am hearing...children talking.

Around the bathroom cupboard needs cleaned out.

One of my favorite things...knitting when the house is quiet.

A few plans for the rest of the week...deep clean some areas in the house, plan Sunday dinner and dessert and finish dress for Livia.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...Ezra, my 12 year old cowboy. He was born here at home at 11:57 pm. What a blessing he has been to our family. God has used this child in my life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Echos From the Past 2

I have a friend, that every so often will come and visit the church I attend. I love her because she is a dear, helpful soul that never seeks attention for what she does but quietly goes about her business of raising her children and doing for others.

It so happened that she was at church recently and we visited for awhile. There is always something to say when there are 20 children between friends. :) I got to thinking about the first time we'd met.

17 years ago my husband and I were contemplating home education. We had 3 little children and our oldest was in kindergarten. Through a series of circumstances we were invited to go to a home school gathering that a local church was putting on. It had been advertised on the radio inviting all the home educating families in the area to come.

Back then I was not a Christian and I wasn't used to being around Christians, especially Christians of the home educating variety. I say this with the greatest affection but they were different. There was such a radical difference between them and me. I would now say the difference was Christ but back then I could only say it was clothing and the number of children. I think its kind of normal to think others are judging us (harshly maybe) for the same things we are judging them for.

My friend was one of the first to introduce herself to me. There I stood in my tight jeans and shirt, feeling like an outsider and there she stood in her denim jumper and head covering, (which I'd only seen Amish wear up until then) holding a baby on her pregnant belly and little mini's of herself and husband running around, joyfully playing.

She talked to me for awhile and I got my nerve up to ask her about having so many children, home schooling and discovered that she was just people. Standing there in her denim blues, holding a baby, pregnant, smiling, visiting with me, God ministered to my lonely soul. Without knowing God at all, I got a glimpse of his heart and I wanted to see more. It was her clothing and children that at first drew my attention. Yet, when I thought back to our visit, it wasn't her clothes or children that came to mind. I thought about how genuinely nice she had been to me.
I didn't know much about Christians but I was becoming interested and I knew enough to know that Christians were supposed to be different. I was searching and unbeknownst to me, God was fixin to surround me with real Christian women. It wasn't their clothes or children that made them different really, it was their hearts. God loved me through these women.
I became a Christian not quite a year later. My new friend, although I only saw her on occasion, always talked to me. Every time I saw her she was the same, the only change being the new baby in her arms and MAN! did I wanted to be like her.

Fast forward to standing and visiting at church. We visited for a bit and then she had to go and I gathered up my offspring and headed out to the van, reflecting on my friend and how I had so wanted to be like her. I questioned myself....did I still want to be like her? The answer? Not really. Not because she had changed but because I have changed. Somewhere along the path of life my goal made a metamorphosis. Denim jumpers and lots of children never make for a  real Christian. Christ and Christ alone is what makes a Christian. It was never really my friend that I wanted to be like. It was Jesus in her that I desired.

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Confessions of a Pattern Junkie

I confess that I love practical everyday patterns. Practical patterns that have lots of dress design or lots of mix and match outfits. Practical patterns remind me that sewing is for everyday life, not just special occasions.

Check out this practical and pretty dress pattern.
Simplicity 4924. Copyright ? I can't find one on the envelope. I'm guessing 60's as the pattern is $.50

Several years ago I made a dress similar to these for my youngest daughter for everyday wear. My older daughter and I both commented on how strange it was for me to make her a dress just to play in. Usually if I make a dress we at least wear it it church for awhile before it becomes an everyday dress. I especially like the two dresses at the botton on the right. I think I'm going to be making both styles for my younger daughter, Livia pretty soon. One for church and one for everyday. I like the tailored look the buttons give the yellow dress. I was thinking of doing that one in blue/aqua color with red bias tape and red buttons.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Meet Mary Beth

What fun I had making this sweet dolly.

I learned something new about knitting too. I learned that when picking up stitches along the front edges of a must pick up about 20 stitches, not 15. 15 stitches cause the front edges to curve a bit. It looks good and gives her cardigan a bit more character than it already had.
The black floral fabric in Mary Beth's jumper is some of my favorite fabric EVER! I had used every last scrap of it and was weeping and wailing every time I opened my fabric cupboard door when one day, one glorious sun shiny day, I found it online while browsing through fabric at I promptly ordered 5 yards. A girl has to have her favorite fabric!

Mary Beth is in my shop. :)

Maid Marion

Jenny of the lovely Little Jenny Wren Blog hosts Dolly Day Friday. Stop by and visit her blog and plan to stay awhile.

When I was a little girl, my mother made this dolly for me. Her name is Maid Marion.
She is worn and floppy but filled with love and memories. I've thought about giving her a redo. I could stitch down her hair where it is coming lose, stuff up her body a bit and stiffen up her neck, but I don't want to change anything my mother did. So worn and floppy she remains but with love and memories.

I love the retro polka dots and her dark turquoise skirt. My mother made her bloomer/shorts out of a rough feeling fabric.

I'm sure she cut up old clothes to make Maid Marion. She was like that. Great at putting together something scrappy and making it beautiful.

My mother also made these yarn flowers by the hundreds. I remember she used them all over to decorate her crafts and quilts. These ones are larger than the regular flowers she made but they hold Marions hair nicely.
Mothers are one of God's greatest creations. My mother passed away almost 7 years ago. I'm thankful she was my mother and that I still have this piece of her love for me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuesday Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Tuesdays mean cinnamon rolls for breakfast. My older daughter used to do most of the baking but then she got married and I had to start baking again. A couple of months ago, my younger daughter and I were wanting to make cinnamon rolls for the boys. We were out of yeast and because of our lack, something wonderful happened. We discovered a new (and better) way to make cinnamon rolls. My whole family says they are the best ever. We used biscuit dough instead of a yeast dough. Probably any biscuit recipe would do but we like how we make biscuits and with only one variation its the exact recipe we would use for regular biscuits.

4 cup flour
6 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (regular recipe calls for 2 tsp salt)
1 cup butter
1.5-1.75 cups milk

Bake at 450 in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. I use stick butter and I use my cheese grater to grate the butter into the flour mix. My pastry blender broke so I use my hands to work the butter into the flour. I mix in enough milk to make a nice dough that is NOT wet.

Spread flour on the counter and I roll the dough out as thin as I can get it. I don't worry about perfect measurements or perfect edges because when it all comes out of the oven, no matter how the rolls look, no one ever comments on how ugly they are...only how good they are.
Smear softened butter onto the dough. Don't be stingy with the butter. Butter makes everything better.
I mix 1 cup of brown sugar with 2 TBLS of cinnamon and sprinkle it on to the dough.
I start with the long side that is farthest from me and roll up the dough.
Cut them up and put them on a buttered cookie sheet. To grease the cookie sheet I used the wrapper from the softened butter. It works pretty well.
While the cinnamon rolls are baking, I mix up some sort of frosting/glaze. This particular morning the frosting consisted of left over cream cheese (about 4 oz) a little bit of softened butter, milk and powdered sugar.
When I went to the cupboard to pull out the powdered sugar, I discovered, much to my dismay that only a few tablespoons of powdered sugar remained in the bag...and just who put the bag back in the cupboard in this condition? My oldest daughter who was visiting over the weekend and made the cream cheese frosting to go on a carrot cake for her daddy! Anyway, I looked on google to figure out how to make powdered sugar and found it was easy and quick and only dirtied up the blender.
I made one cup at a time. Put it in the blender and set the speed on high.I did hold my blender and move it around a bit to get the sugar moving more. It only took a few minutes.

When the rolls come out they look like this. We don't put sprinkles on the cinnamon rolls. Silas thought I might want them from the cupboard so he brought them to me. :)
Then we frost them.
And the little ones look like this:
And after the pan looks like this.
I noticed as I was fiddling with my pictures to get them lined up right, that Silas is licking the rolling pin in several of them. HAHA! Just so you know, if your coming to dinner and I'm making food, I don't let my children get their paws in there like I do when I'm cooking for just my family.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

March 23, 2011

Outside my window...gray, overcast morning. Hoping for some sun today.

I am thinking...about my "to do" list today.

I am thankful for...God's unfailing mercy. Where would I be without it?

From the learning rooms...We are memorizing Psalms 51 KJV

From the kitchen...smoothies for breakfast.

I am excited about...sewing today.

I am praying...weight loss.nuff said. :)

I am wearing...old, beat up, denim skirt, black tee shirt, socks and sneakers.

I am creating...dress for Livia and dolls and doll clothes.

I am church tonight.

I am bible.

I am lose some weight.

I am boy sing in a off key, squeaky voice to annoy his brother. Its working.

Around the dresser drawers need cleaned out.

One of my favorite things...Silas in the mornings

A few plans for the rest of the week...get another dolly in the shop, make a grocery list, visit my son and daughter in law and hopefully go to a recital.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing..

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sewing and Grandbabies

My mother was a crafty person. She wasn't into garment sewing much. But I have a doll, Maid Marion, that she made for me. She made me a teddy bear when I was young too, he fell apart from much love. She was an excellent quilter. I am blessed to have several quilts that she made totally by hand. Alas, she did not teach me to sew.

When I was expecting my 3rd child my dh and I were going through a hard time. I decided I needed a project. I had this old Brothers sewing machine that I didn't even know how to thread! So off I went to WalMart to buy some fabric and a pattern. My original idea was to make christmas gifts for my friends. LOL. A dear lady, who was a good friend to me, showed me how to thread my machine and gave me some pointers on the pattern. I made a dress. The fabric was gorgeous...the dress was hideous! The waist line was super wavy, one sleeve was longer than the other, the neck facing rolled out terrible.

A couple of years later, my husband and I started attending a local church fellowship. Our Pastors wife is an excellent seamstress. She made a lot of her daughters clothing and I couldn't tell the difference between their clothes and clothes bought at the store. Not long after we began attending Karen, our pastors wife, started a beginners sewing class. I went to every one. It laid a good foundation. The more I sewed the more I loved it. That was 18 years ago.

About 10 years ago, I got interested in English smocking. So I bought a book, 155 Smocking Designs by Teresa Santoso. It's a great book to learn smocking. It has a whole section of easy geometrical designs to get started smocking. I love my book and still consult it.

I pulled out my smocking book this week because I am going to smock a bishop. A special bishop. I am expecting my first grand daughter, Miss Penelope, in May and here and there I've been working on putting together a package of handmade love for her.

Included in the package will be the following:
Smocked Bishop dress
Folky Dot design dress and bloomers
2 Itty Bitty newborn dresses and matching Mary Jane shoes.
1 Newborn knit cardigan
1 9" Waldorf style dolly.

I am currently looking for a small red suitcase, either a small child suitcase (with NO writing or embellishments on it) or much like the travel case my mother gave me as a child to play with and keep my treasures in. And boy howdy did I play with it and keep my treasures in it. I'm watching Etsy and Ebay for just the right case to put all her goodies in. I can hardly wait!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Confessions of a Pattern Junkie

I confess that my real passion for vintage patterns lies in little girl fashions. But every now and then a gem like this pattern, happens into my hands and I have to keep it because its too good to pass up. I received this "Davy Crockett" costume pattern in with some patterns I bought off of Ebay a few years ago. It was a freebie. The sad thing about this pattern is that a couple of the pieces are missing. I kept it anyway because the art work on the envelope is just too sweet to let go of.

McCalls 2008. Copyright 1955

I'm thinking about making something like this for my little boy who has a birthday coming up in May. He would be over the top with a Davy Crockett outfit and a BB gun.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


The title says it all.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Meet Saylor.

I confess to having a weakness for red haired dolls. I love red hair. Any shade of red really. Whenever I'm picking a yarn for a dollies hair I always touch my red yarns first and then have to remind myself that I always grab red first. :)
Saylors cardigan is made from a soft wool/cotton blend yarn produced by Spud & Chloe. It knits up fast and the stitches are beautiful.

Saylor is in my little shop now. :)

Pretty Mail

When I mail out doll clothes I like to create special packaging.

The first thing I did was ask all my friends to save their paper grocery bags for me.

Then I cut the bag down and sew three sides together.
I like to zig zag in red but any color or good stitch could be used.
I add a few Mary Englebreit stickers to dress it up a little.
And a sticker in the corner bearing my business logo.

I put the purchased doll clothes in a ziplock baggie and put the baggie into the paper envelope, sliding it as far as possible. (Don't want to catch the baggie in the open edge when I sew it shut)
I address it and take it to the post office. (names and addresses erased out for obvious reasons)

Customers love the packaging. It doesn't take long to make up a bunch and have them ready to go. I spend a few minutes cutting out "envelopes", I sew three sides and my daughter, Livia, puts the stickers on for me. Then all I have to do is pull one out, address it, put the doll clothes in and sew it shut. It only takes a few minutes to have cute packaging that 90% recycled materials.

This idea is not original to me. Last year I saw a tutorial on Kats in the Belfry's blog and decided to try it. The idea stuck and now I mail all my doll clothes these types of envelopes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

January Wedding Bells

Our daughter was married back in January and I thought I'd share some pictures and captions from her big day.
The happy bride and groom.
Autumn wanted her first kiss to be sort of private. So we had these parasols custom made. Purchased from a seller on Etsy. When our pastor said it was time to kiss the bride, the best man and the maid of honor stepped forward with these parasols and popped them open, shielding Jason and Autumn from the eyes of the congregation. The whole congregation burst out laughing. It was a lot of fun.

All my daughters dear friends!
My daughter, Autumn. I pray her marriage is blessed beyond measure.
I love the colors in this picture. The white dress, cream roses and the whitish/grayish rocks.
She wore red Mary Jane's under her wedding dress. It was fun idea and made for fun conversation.
The wedding party acting goofy and making faces at them kissing. haha.

The bride and groom. They were married on January 29, 2011. We prayed for an unseasonably warm day and we got it. Autumn really wanted outside pictures. The weather was in the high 50's.
Those fun red shoes again.

The groom and grooms men.
The bride and the brides maids. The little dark headed girl behind the bride is our youngest daughter, Livia.
The handsome groom...Jason.

The tables at the reception. I plan to do a whole blog post at some point on the Luminaries (the vellum cylinder with the scripture and candle down inside to light it up) The Etsy seller I bought the Luminaries from was an absolute dream to work with and ... I better stop or I'll write the post now.

I hope you all enjoyed a look into our lives.