Tag Archives: Make It Work Monday

Make It Work Monday: doll capes

capes title

I am a saver. I save WAY too many things in case I might need them later. I am working on that particular issue and doing better. Sometimes, though, that saving tendency comes in helpful. To make capes, for example.

E and J wanted to make capes for their dolls. We didn’t want to get the sewing machine out and J is a bit too new to sewing to work with doll sized clothes on the sewing machine. (If you haven’t ever done that, it takes some serious finesse!) So, we pulled out the bag of felt scraps.

Felt is excellent for this type of activity. It doesn’t unravel so it doesn’t have to be hemmed. You can hem it but you don’t have to. It is fairly easy to cut, especially if you have sharp scissors. It is easy to hand sew on. All good reasons to have this project be done with felt.

capes 3

So, the girls both picked a pretty dark blue felt to create their capes out of. To decide how wide the fabric needed to be cut, they wrapped the cape around their doll and decided how full the cape should be. This determined the short edge of the rectangle. Then, they each decided how long they wanted their capes to be. This determined the length of the long edge of the rectangle. We cut a rectangle out of felt the length they wanted. We then folded it in half lengthwise. We cut the bottom edge (short one) in a quarter-circle. We also cut the other short edge in a quarter-circle but only off of one corner. The cape J chose to make follows a slightly different bottom curve because she was designing it based on an existing piece of doll clothes and she wanted it to have a scalloped bottom edge. It was a bit trickier to cut so after, she cut the cape a bit longer than she wanted following the instructions here, I cut a scalloped edge on it for her.

capes instructions

After getting the felt cut to the right length and curves for each doll, the girls cut and sewed on small pieces of Velcro at the neckline. After teaching them how to thread needles (or reminding, in E’s case) and tying knots in the end of the thread, they sewed it on.

capes 4After they got the Velcro sewed down tight (it needs to be tight because it will take a lot of use from little hands), they rummaged through the trim bag that I have and picked some things to trim their capes with. Hand sewing trim takes different techniques depending on what kind of trim you are working with so each girl got a couple of different kinds of instruction. Then they went to work sewing down the trim.

capesAfter a short while, their capes were finished and ready to be modeled by the dolls. So, here are the finished capes.

capes 6 capes 5

And here are the dolls modeling the new fashions.
capes J finished capes E finished

Another fun sewing lesson, making use of things we already had around the house. What have you done recently to make something work? Please share your activities in the comments section and if you have a blog post or other link to pictures of it, please share that too. I’d love to visit your site to see what you have done! At Home.

Make It Work Monday – dish towels and table cloths

dish towels and table cloths

This weeks Make It Work Monday is all about kitchen linens. I used cloth that I had around to make two dish towels and three table cloths.

dish cloths

The dish towels were a perfect weight and absorbency but slightly stained piece of fabric. I really wished I could make them for a gift because the flowers were so pretty. However, with the slight staining on the fabric, I couldn’t gift these. So, I made them into lovely towels for our family. We don’t get new ones very often so this was kind of fun and they sure do brighten my day when I pull them out.

three table cloths

I also used two big pieces of fabric for table cloths. I measured the blue checked cloth against our table and realized that it was big enough to make two table cloths. So, I cut it and hemmed the raw edges that would fray. It worked great and is the perfect weight for a table cloth. Since I didn’t really need two of the exact same table cloth, I gave one to my mother-in-law, who is just awesome. I loved being able to give her something just because that I knew she would like and get a lot of use from. The other one had some stains on it but is just such a bright cheerful green checked piece. It makes me smile because of the cheeriness of the color. It is a bit long for the table as we normally have it but I’ll just tuck the ends under and then when we need a cloth for the table with all of the leaves in, this one will work.

table cloth

So, three table cloths and two dish towels were made from fabric that was just sitting around. Useful items have now been made and they make me smile each time I get to use them. What have you repurposed, remade, or reused recently? I would love to know. Please leave a comment to let me know what you have done and if you have done a blog post about it, leave the link and I’ll check out your post.

At Home.

Make It Work Monday – more skirts

MIWM skirts

The giggly girls love to wear skirts and they refuse to stop getting taller. I don’t know what is up with that! But, I do know what it means. Skirts that are constantly too short. Dresses that are too short. And not enough shorts in the house. Constantly.

So, today’s edition of Make It Work Monday is more skirts. We have been working on lengthening skirts yet again. I have two skirts that we added length to for E. She helped choose the fabric to go with them and she helped sew them. (I love the sewing lessons that go along with making something work better and be more useful.) She got a lesson in sewing on knits and how to choose fabrics to go with knit and stretchy fabrics. We also took a pair of leggings that had a huge hole in the knee and cut them off to be shorts to go under all those skirts and dresses that get worn. Because they were a knit/spandex combination, they did not need hemmed. So L, the middle giggly girl, got a quick lesson in fabrics.

white skirt  black skirt

pink shorts

Did you work on anything recently to Make It Work? I would love to have you share what you did in our comments section. If you have a blog post on it, feel free to leave the link and I’ll hop over there and check it out. At Home.



Make It Work Monday – shelves

shelf title Today’s Make It Work Monday post is about shelves. Storage is always an issue and when we changed a bedroom into a playroom, we still had that issue. With one major exception – I had an idea of how to help out with the storage of toys in the new playroom.

Here is what we started with:

shelf beginning

This was originally created to be placed underneath a loft bed, thus no top shelf. The giggly girl with the loft bed did not want to have this under it so into the play room it goes. But first, we had to make it work.

shelf with top

To be used as storage, a top shelf was a must. I used a piece of plywood that we had in the garage and measured it by placing the wood on top of the shelf unit and drawing the edges where the cuts needed to be made with a pencil. Then I cut the plywood to size. To attach it, I predrilled the holes and the used wood screws to attach the wood to the shelf unit.


Then I sanded the entire unit a bit in preparation for painting. After the sanding, it needed wiped with a damp cloth to get the dust off. We used Behr’s all-in-one indoor paint (paint and primer in one) that we had left over from painting rooms to paint the shelves. The giggly girls helped with the painting.

After it was painted, we let it dry well (24 hours) in the garage. Then we brought it into the playroom and let the paint cure for another 48 hours before the girls were allowed to store anything on it.

shelf finished

So, we took a piece that was not going to be used, modified it, and now we have a wonderful shelf unit for the play room. At Home.

Make It Work Monday

Make It Work Monday title

This may be a new thing for us and maybe it is just for today. Anyhow, we spent today “making it work.” Mostly, this applied to clothing fix-its. We had one for the doll and several for the humans of the household. In a nod to our past Sewing To Summer series, here are the sewing lessons and activities we did today.

Doll Dress Repair:

L had one of the straps of this doll dress come apart. So, she learned how to thread a needle and knot it for hand sewing. She then sewed the broken strap on, learning to avoid the hole in the fabric, and sewed the other strap to keep it from having the same problem.

Doll dress repair


Print Dress:

E added a lace insert from a spaghetti-strap tank that was never worn and never would be. This made the dress modest and E can now wear it. She helped with all steps of the designing and sewing process.

print dress re-do


Leopard Print Dress:

We added pin-tucks along the front of this dress and tucks at the shoulders. Both of these pulled the neckline up, making it a modest and wearable dress for E.

leopard print dress repair

Teal T-shirt:

This is a favorite for sleeping but was just too low-cut for it to be comfortable. So, we worked on it and created a v-shaped tuck at the center (where there was already a v) and just sewed it down.

t shirt repair


Butterfly Camo:

This pair of pants had a hole in the knee. It fits J in the waist so I cut the pants evenly across the hole and hemmed them to create a pair of cropped pants for early fall. I then refashioned the pieces that were cut from the legs into strapless dresses for the dolls. It was a simple thing since the elastic was already in the pants leg. I did have to take off and resew the bows so they weren’t upside down. I just decided how tight the elastic at the top needed to be, cut it apart and resewed it at an angle from there down to the existing seam. Then I cut the excess fabric off along that sewn angle and zigzagged the edge to keep it from fraying.

butterfly camo repair

Make It Work Monday resulted in a much smaller sewing pile for me and I enjoyed not having to do it all myself. I like doing sewing lessons so maybe this will continue next Monday. At Home.


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