Tag Archives: sewing

When the sewing machine comes out

I actually leave it out, trying to inspire myself. That just doesn’t happen as often as I would like. However, with Halloween quickly approaching, I have been sewing. And ripping seams and resewing. And readjusting the idea and resewing.

After the kiddos hit the hay tonight, though, I took an hour to whip out a set of Christmas presents – shhh! Pretty pillowcases made out of their favorite colors with fabric I found on 70% off clearance and paid for with a gift card that I found the other day. So excited! They came out pretty.

I used the hot dog pillowcase plan, where you end up with all of the raw edges sewn inside. Nice and clean. I used a set of instructions that I just googled and printed off a few years ago. It is the top hit when I googled “hot dog pillowcase” tonight. But here is one of several YouTube videos that show it, as well.

At Home.

Needle Work is Finished – Middle School Monday

She did it! She finished her cross stitch and decided to gift it to her best friend for a birthday gift. She finished the stitching and then chose fabric to turn it into a pillow. She cut and sewed the pillow herself and it turned out really sweet.

The finished product:



At Home.

Making gifts – Middle School Monday

Making Gifts

One thing that I love about the process of home education is that so much falls under the heading of education. We can do something in the evening and it will fall under schooling. Take, for example, making dinner and/or cleaning it up. All part of what a home economics class would be. So is sewing. But sewing also includes design, textiles, and the actual construction of the product. That was what we did today. And, it was a project for a baby shower. How perfect! Learn and then bless someone else.

All of us did some sewing for the baby shower but I am going to start with Miss E, since she is the middle schooler AND she did the project all on her own with only a little bit of input here and there or instruction when something didn’t happen quite like she expected. Her project was a personalized, light-weight baby blanket with a decorative border.Making gifts Miss E with blanket

Making gifts by Miss E


She did a fancy zigzag stitch on the top of the blanket for hemming the edges. Then, she decided where she wanted the name, positioned the fabric, programmed the machine, and made sure it went right. It came out so sweet. I just know that it will be loved!



Making gifts by Miss L



Miss L decided that she wanted to make some baby washcloths. So she picked a super soft flannel and planned them double sided. She stitched the edges and then turned the square right side out. After pinning the opening closed, she then top stitched around the edges of the entire piece. They came out real cute! This baby is gonna enjoy the soft washcloths.

Making gifts by Miss J






Miss J made a burp cloth for the baby. She chose a soft flannel, as well, and added a ribbon embellishment to it. She then sewed the piece with the right sides together, turning it out and topstitching it to close and finish the piece. It came out just like she wanted it to, she says.




So, we are ready for the baby shower now. A life of education that can couple with service or blessing others is definitely one that I hope the girls learn. And we are certainly on our way.

At Home.

It’s Done – the Sewing Space

Sewing Space before and afterA month ago, I determined that I HAD to do something about the sewing area. It was driving me bananas and I had to work to clear it all out and off before I could do anything, even a simple mending. Since then I have been pondering and thinking and looking. I have gone from place to place in town looking for just the right things to help create this space and turn it into the creative area I want it to be.
Turns out, I needed to think outside the box. Literally.
I had been looking for box-style storage. You know, those 9×9 or 12×12 squares in shelves. I thought that was exactly it. But, every time I looked at them, it just didn’t seem right.
Sewing Area before
Today, I hit my boiling point, so-to-speak. That space was getting cleared. TODAY. So, without having bought anything or found anything, I decided that I would just clear it out and throw some stuff away and get it useable. Then, I remembered something.
We had a box we had built to go in a particular place a while back and it just didn’t work. I determined that it would help in this space. When I went to get it, I saw the drawer that we used to have under the crib and then under a bed. We had taken the casters off it and suddenly, it looked exactly like a shelf for my sewing desk. Armed with those two things and everything but the desk out of the area, I set to work.
I swept and purged and combined and came up with:
Sewing Area after
This cost me a couple of hours and some scrounging around the house. I didn’t spend a penny on this makeover/repurpose/reorganize. And it works. I am happy with the cheerfulness of the space and the fact that I have a light in the space now. (That had been in one of the girls’ rooms but she got a new lamp for Christmas so this was just sitting around.) I also have a couple of bright bins to hold some of my smaller projects that are waiting to be done or finished. (These were just sitting empty since Halloween. I had gotten them for a quarter each and we used them at trunk-or-treat.)Sewing Area after 2
I don’t think I even had to repurpose anything else. But I like it. One of these days, I may get around to painting the desk. Or not. Who knows. But I have a useable sewing area now and I think I will be sewing this afternoon.
At Home.

Made By Me – July Blogging Challenge

This summer, J got to attend “Princess Camp” at her dance studio. She had fun dressing as a different princess each day. I made her Cinderella and Belle dresses 2 and 3 years ago, respectively. So, they needed a little tweaking to still fit. I cut a triangular piece of matching material, added the Velcro in the correct places to line up with what was there, and – viola – an extender for the costume. This makes it possible for her to wear them for a while longer and yet, when she passes them down to someone else, they can take out the extender and it will fit them well.

Belle Cinderella

She also dressed as Jasmine one day, which I made last Halloween. Her first costume was actually pjs that have Ariel on them.


The last one, for her performance, I whipped up from a costume leotard that my middle giggly girl designed about 4 years ago. I cut off part of it, added some details, added a skirt, and she was thrilled with her Sleeping Beauty/Aurora costume. J did all the designing for this one and I did the sewing. It was a fun collaboration and she learned a bit more about what can and cannot be done with altering already created items.

Sleeping Beauty

Sewing is fun for me and I am glad when the girls want something for themselves since it is mostly doll sewing these days.

At Home.


I am linking up for the July Blogging Challenge with A Glimpse of Our Life and This Day Has Great Potential.


Doll Leg Warmers

socks to leg warmers on dollMy girls love their 18″ dolls and they love to come up with new things to make for them. Recently, we took some socks that were WAY TOO SMALL for E and she wanted to make them into leg warmers for her doll. So, we used a similar technique to what we did for the stockings and socks.

sock to leg warmersock cut upsock piece neededsock top and bottom sewnsock seamsock finished as leg warmersocks as leg warmers done

Sewing lessons are not boring at all when it involves something the girls come up with on their own and want to make. I love their ingenuity and the growth they are making. Sewing with them is fun! At Home.
Make It Work Monday Title

Make It Work Monday – doll stockings

stockings 10This week is going to be bringing you a couple more reviews so I will make an effort to sandwich them between some other posts. Today, I’m sharing with you the stockings we made recently for the girls’ American Girl dolls.


We have been going through the mending piles and pulling out the things that are actually not repairable but that have some good material to them. I have saved several pairs of stockings the girls have put holes or runs in. Most of them are microfiber stockings so they are pretty durable and don’t actually run. Unfortunately, they do tear. So, we have several that had big holes in the knees. I kept them and we made them into doll socks and stockings the other day. Here, in pictures, is the process for the stockings.stockings 1

stockings 2stockings 3stockings 4stockings 5stockings 6

If you have questions about how we did this, please ask in the comments. It makes sense to me but I often sew by instinct. That makes it a bit harder to share information sometimes. If you don’t understand something, I will try to clarify. Thanks for stopping by.

stockings 9

At Home.
Crafts / Handiwork Ideas and Tutorials

From Tee to Tee

Tee to TeeIt has been a bit since I have gotten a Make It Work Monday post up but I did get one ready for today. And it is cute! A while back I got a free T-shirt pattern from Liberty Jane. It was a freebie they were offering on their website. I hadn’t done anything with it.

tee to tee skirts

Back in December, I was lengthening a BUNCH of the girls’ skirts. I think I did 13 between the three girls. And since I was working with knits, I had to figure out how to match the fabric type. I decided to recycle the old T-shirts that were in really good shape but either didn’t fit anymore or weren’t getting worn. I just cut the bottom section off of the tees and added it to the bottom of the skirts/dresses. Here’s the results of a couple of them.




Well, that left me with a couple of tops of tees that were really cute. So, I decided to hold onto them so I could recycle that part into T-shirts for the dolls. I did that today with the pattern from Liberty Jane. And, here’s the final product of that one.

tee to tee 2

Have you recycled anything lately? At Home.


Make It Work Monday Title

Make It Work Monday – doll robe

Make It Work Monday Title

Today’s Make It Work Monday is a simple, easy one. At least, for me it was.

The girls had these sweet, long-sleeve PJs for winter. The problem: it is so warm here that they never, ever wore these. The material is so sweet: colorful hearts, some of which are glittery. So, I decided it was time to do something with the fabric. P1120571I picked up a bunch of doll patterns at the fabric store a while back when they were on sale for $1. This one is Simplicity 2303. It only took me about an hour and that included making the bias tape for the edging. It was a very easy pattern and it made a cute little doll robe. All it needs now is some ribbon for a tie, which I imagine I have tucked away somewhere. P1120572One done; three to go. Christmas is coming so I’d better get working. At Home.


D is for…Doing for Others


D is for

Not long ago, the girls and I were chatting. I mentioned that in the past, I had made aprons for a mission team to take with them to Honduras. E wanted to know why we would send aprons. I explained that they do not have as many clothes as we do and that an apron helps to protect your clothing so it doesn’t wear out as fast, get stains, or need washing as often. After understanding how much an apron blesses one of the ladies in Honduras, E asked if we could make aprons to send.

She wanted to do for others.

She enjoys sewing and saw an opportunity to help someone. So, we went about setting up a project.

First, we made sure that the church of Christ mission team would be going and that they could take the aprons with them this time. Once we got confirmation about that, E and I set about discussion on the scope of the project. E remembers doing sewing projects at church and she wanted to include others in this. She also knew that at least one of her friends would want to participate. I checked the church calendar, worked with one of the ladies who has organized the sewing project in the past, and set it up.

In order to promote the project and ask for help from others, we created an announcement for the bulletin and announcements. E also created a board that we put up on the signup table at church. Then we waited.

D sewing project

D sewing project 2When the day arrived, we had a pile of over 100 aprons that had been cut out and a big pile of ribbons. Each of the children who came to help paired up with someone. All of the girls paired up with an adult at a sewing machine and our lone young man that came to help paired with the adult cutting and threading ribbon. The sewing and ironing and ribbon cutting went fast and fun all afternoon. There was some lovely singing involved, too. By the end of the afternoon, 3 of the 4 young ladies who came were sewing on their own (the other young lady is J – she is five and was a super good pin helper). When all was said and done, we had a completed pile of about 90 aprons. We had a bag set aside for a grandmother and her granddaughter who wanted to help with 10 aprons and we had just a few (4 or 5) that needed a last little bit completed.

D sewing project 4 D sewing project 3

We now have 104 completed aprons that are ready to go to the mission team. We’ll take a trip in the next few weeks to deliver them. What a blessing to have as many material possessions as we do and the ability to use those to help others. God is good to us. At Home.

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