Tag Archives: sewing

Doll Purses

purses free tutorial

Make It Work Monday is all about accessories for 18″ dolls today. L came to me wanting to make purses to go in the boutique that she is creating for one of her dolls. She knew exactly what she wanted but didn’t know how to do it herself. She wanted to sew them. So, we went to work.

Heading to the sewing area, she described what she wanted and I pulled out some scrap fabric. We used scrap and leftover or salvaged pieces for every bit of these purses. We talked about each step before sewing it so she could veto it if things didn’t look right. Moving right along, here is what she created:

Purse design 1

Now, it is tutorial time! As we went along with the second one, I took pictures so that you could make some of your own. These are simple and, had I been doing them myself would only have taken 20 minutes, max. With L, age 8, doing the sewing, these took about 45 minutes. The second one was definitely faster than the first, so I suspect that future ones will be even quicker.

Step 1: Select and cut your fabric. This is a rectangle about 6 inches wide x 7 inches long. This can be adjusted for a wide or narrower, longer or shorter bag. Just modify for what you need.

Purse pic 1

Step 2: Fold it in half from the width, right sides together. Sew down the long side and across one of the short sides. Pin it before sewing if you need to. For a child, definitely pin it before sewing. It just helps keep the fabric lined up so well.

Purses pic 2

Step 3: Turn the fabric right side out. Press with an iron.

Step 4: Tuck the raw, unfinished edges in about 1/4″ – 1/2″. If a child is doing the sewing, tuck a larger amount in so it is easier to ensure that the raw edge is caught and held. If I am sewing it, I’ll just tuck 1/4″. Pin and sew. Press.

Purses pic 4

Step 5: Fold one end up about 3 inches. You will be sewing up the edge to create the biggest part of the purse. Tuck 3/4″ of ribbon in between the front and back of the purse, along the seam line you will be sewing. This will allow you to sew up the center of the ribbon, ensuring it is caught and held. Sew both sides.

Purses pic 5Purses pic 4

Step 6: Hand sew a snap on as a closure. (If you want to do a piece of Velcro and sew it with the machine, you should probably do that before step 5.)

Purses 6Purses pic 7

Step 7: If desired, add an embellishment to the front of the purse. L’s note: You can add ribbons and little buttons and things like that to make it extra special, the way that you want it.

Purses pic 8

Isn’t this a sweet little purse she designed? I love her creativity and her ability to see something in her mind and describe it in a way that I can help her bring it to reality. That is a talent that I dearly hope she is able to hold onto as she matures. It will be invaluable. I am so proud of L! At Home.

Make It Work Monday – skirt for me

Make It Work Monday TitleToday’s Make It Work Monday is a short one. A single skirt. That would be because I have been working hard at creating a Jasmine costume for the youngest giggly girl. We finished it a bit ago (Sunday afternoon) and J is thrilled with it. All we lack for it to be completely finished is figuring out what she wants to do about shoes.

This single skirt is the only “Make It Work” work I got done. But I am thrilled with it because I have been missing this skirt. For months! The elastic died in the waist band and so it got set in the mending pile. That pile got packed away for a short time. Then, I got the skirt out, cut the dead elastic out, and other things came up. So, the skirt just sat. I decided that I was going to fix it because I wanted to wear it again before it got cool/cold. So, I did it. And, my skirt fits lovely again.

blue flower skirt

What have you worked on lately to “Make It Work?” Please share links to anything you have made work lately and I’ll go check out your post. Thanks for checking out this week’s “Make It Work Monday” post. At Home.

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

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.


This ‘N That

Today, I wanted to share two quick things with you. Of course, they are completely unrelated. But, one quick, simple post will do.

First, May 21st was supposed to be a Sewing to Summer update. Well, since we are trying to sell the house, the sewing machine and the embroidery machine are packed away. I did pull them out to do a couple of projects but forgot to take any pictures. I made a diaper carrier for someone a church. I also made several sets of a color matching game out of felt for some folks who were wanting them. I didn’t take pictures of those that I just made but here is a picture of some that I made a while back.
crayon color matching game


Secondly, a Kindle saving idea for the kitchen. One of the reasons I have shied away from electronic recipes for so long is because we have not had a good way to bring them into the kitchen and use them without printing OR I have to constantly walk back and forth from the kitchen to the computer for each ingredient or step. Well, while working on several recipes the other day, I had this idea:kindle saverNow, I am certain that this is not a good idea for a long term thing but for an hour or so of cooking, it was perfect. The bag is heavy enough to protect the Kindle from spills, splatters, and sprays yet thin enough to easily detect finger movement on the screen. We had no issues while making our foods from Zimbabwe the other day. The technique will again be employed and I can now more easily bring new recipes to try into the kitchen without problem.


Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, remembering those who have sacrificed for the freedom we all hold dear. To each of them and their families – thank you for your sacrifice and willingness to give. May you be blessed.


At Home.




Sewing To Summer – February Update

Feb update title

Lots of sewing got done. Mainly because I knew I was going to be writing this post and I was bound and determined to have something to post. I have gotten two major projects dealt with, which makes me very happy.

First, I got all of the button on pieces for the Christmas Countdowns completed. I am so happy these are done because, while super cute, they took a TON more time than I ever imagined.

button on pieces pic

Second, the bedspread for my youngest giggly girl was completed. It was not a complicated one and I just winged it based on amount of fabric I had and the size of the bed (a twin). The fabric was free, gorgeous, and perfect for my giggly girl. The sheer size of sewing a covering for a bed was a new challenge to me but I am so happy with it. Most importantly, so is she! Birthday present – check!!

bed spread pic

That is the extent of this month’s sewing but again, I am pleased. A couple more projects are checked off of the list. What did you get accomplished this month with sewing or other craft that you enjoy? At Home.

Want more inspiration? Later today, I will be linking up at Milk & Honey Mommy who is hosting this challenge.

Sewing To Summer – January Update

Well, I have made a good start on the Sewing To Summer project. I got one afternoon of really good sewing in.

Here is where I started with the Christmas countdowns for this project.
Starting the Christmas countdowns

Unfinished edges; no hanging pockets; lots of unfinished button-on ornaments. Lots needed done. That one afternoon was good and I made significant progress on the Christmas countdowns. I got one of the backgrounds finished. I also got 12 more of the little button-on ornaments finished. Progress!!

Here is the one that is finished –
STS Jan titled

That is actually all of the visible progress that was made. However, I also got a little bit of planning done. I made a trip to the fabric store because they were having an awesome sale on patterns. ($1 each up to 10!!!) I have hesitated to make the doll ball gowns that the girls have been wanting because I had not yet found a good pattern for one that I felt was complete enough to be able to do AND that they liked AND that I was willing to afford. (Sorry but I just don’t think that $16 for a few flimsy pieces of paper is worth it. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the doll dress may turn out.) So, armed with a choice of dress patterns and their fabrics, the girls sat down, oohed and aahed, and chose which pattern to use for their ball gowns. They also chose whose was going to get made first. Another big planning decision down!

Just the same – keep sewing right along with us all at the Sewing To Summer challenge. Go visit
Milk & Honey Mommy to see what she completed this month.

Don’t forget to come back next month to see if I manage to finish the countdowns and the doll dresses. Also, please comment and tell me what projects you have in your sewing bin. I’ll be sewing and waiting to hear what you are working on. At Home.

Sewing to Summer

Fabric seems to have a life of its own and an appeal that I have a hard time resisting. I love fabric. I love working with fabric. I love to create and make a number of different things. And because of this love of fabric, I have way too much of it. (I secretly think it reproduces on its own.)

I have accepted a challenge from a blogging friend to participate in Sewing to Summer. Go visit her over at Milk & Honey Mommy to read more about the challenge.

My goals are not for myself but to create things that I keep saying I want to do. I am going to get the girls 18″ dolls stuff done – swim suits, ball gowns, and a dress for each are the goals there. I am going to work on the fabric for dishtowels and get them done so they are ready for last minute gifts or next Christmas. I would like to finish the girls’ Christmas countdowns (yes – I am actually that far behind – they took much longer than I thought they would!). I might even begin piecing a quilt top, though perhaps this is a bit ambitious! I’ll be digging through the fabric and finalizing projects in the next couple of days.

If you are interested to see what I actually get accomplished, watch for blog posts on the 21st of each of the next 6 months. I’ll be posting pictures of what I actually get done. Wish me luck! At Home.

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