Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Sew Along... Swimwear for Dolls

I am part of a Yahoo group for ladies who like to sew clothing for American Girl Dolls.  My daughter is the American Girl doll enthusiast in this house and loves that I participate in the monthly sew-alongs, as you can imagine, since she is the beneficiary!  This month's free pattern links were for a Liberty Jane one-piece and video tutorial for flip flops!  We were on our own to come up with optional cover-ups and beach bags!

Without knowing the theme for this month's sew-along, my daughter requested doll swimsuits on her birthday wish list!  That coincidence was just perfect and prompted me to get her gift done early.

If you just happen to be hoping for a free doll swimsuit pattern, check out this one from Liberty Jane patterns:  click here.    This is a super-quick, super-easy pattern.  You can use Lycra that you buy at the fabric store or even use up-cycled swimsuits from your closet or from a thrift store!  One lady mentioned using an out-grown suit of her little girl's for the fabric.  The only challenge for me was finding fold-over elastic.  There's tons of it on-line very inexpensive, but in my city, I only found it at one over-priced independent fabric store.  The fold-over elastic (FOE) is the key to this project!  I will say that I made one change to the pattern, I added 1/2" to the length of elastic that the pattern suggested for each arm.

So these are the dolly outfits that I came up with...

One piece suit with polka dot trim, sparkly sandals, and a beach tote. I made a matching mini skirt cover-up. I used white swim fabric I bought at the fabric store.  For the bag, I used white denim and a UofL mini print.

The printed fabric was purchased at the fabric store; the iridescent solid suit was up-cycled from a misses size skirt-style cover-up from a thrift shop.
This is the suit, cover-up, bag, and shoes that I submitted to the group for my February sew-along entry:

So I have to tell you about the terry cloth beach cover-up... 

This was a pattern created by one of the ladies in the sewing group, Jane Ruhl, who happens to live in my town.  If you are a part of any national or international message board, you know how cool it is to find that someone in the group lives so close!  (I think there are two or three near-by!)  Jane offered her pattern freely and what I love about her clever design is that there are no shoulder seams!  (Actually, the only seam is a side seam that starts under at the wrist and goes to the bottom hem).  I used a Robert Allen fabric sample from my stash of home decor fabrics but Jane mentioned that she used a dish towel for hers!  I finished my edges with single-fold bias tape that I folded over to make a very skinny contrast edge and belt.  I did add belt loops.  You can get this pattern (and another one that a different member generously shared) for free if you join the group.  (How's that for a carrot?)  Here's a link (click here) if you are interested in a monthly doll clothes sewing group-- great inspiration and lots of encouragement to get at least one project done a month for your kiddo's favorite doll!  

Oh-- and if you are looking for a source for ready-made doll clothes, Jane has an Etsy Shop (click here).

So... let's talk more about those flip flops....

I have been fearful of making doll shoes ever since a particularly awful pair I made last year that caused me to swear off shoe-making.  This challenge changed that and I am so glad it did!  These were so easy and fast and cheap to make!!  Check out this video tutorial:  click here.  It is a great step-by-step tutorial that made these so easy to make!

These were made with fun foam from the craft store.  My local Hobby Lobby had 5mm foam for the bottoms and thinner foam covered with sparkly glitter for the tops of the sole.  I used an emery board to file the sides after cutting out to the pattern to make the layers of foam match up exactly.  Layered ribbons and other trims make the straps for the top of the foot and trim for the sides.

I found that you really need to add a strip of clear elastic to the backs of the shoes to keep them on.  I sewed them on at first, but later found that attaching with hot glue worked even better!  This was not part of her tutorial, but without them, I think my kiddo would have been frustrated with the shoes falling off.

What I particularly liked about learning to make these shoes is that I was able to use what I learned to make much easier espadrilles.  You can see those from my Valentine post (click here).

The beach bags I made were just a silly little mini version of any tote bag.  They were fast to make and  fun to embellish to match the suits and cover-ups.

I had so much fun with these and my sweet daughter loved them, which made it all worth the time and effort for sure!

Thank you for checking my blog post today!  To see many of my previous paper projects, check My Project Gallery (click here).  To see many of my previous doll projects, check my Doll Clothing and Accessories page (click here).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cards from Sis and Colleen!

I just wanted to showcase some cards that arrived at my home recently.  What made them extra special was that they weren't even for me.  My crafty friends sent them to members of my family.... and they were so appreciated by them!  I loved their generosity of spirit and kindness that they showed my family!

First, back in January, my husband received this card from Sis Patterson of the Paper, Craft, and Scissors blog.  This card features an adorable tractor-driving cow on a slider card!  Everything Sis makes is so well-planned and fun!  I love her imagination and the whimsy she brings to her projects!

When you pull the tab, the artwork pops up and reveals a sentiment.  How cool is that!

A cool thing that Sis does when she sends a dimensional card is to send it in a specially-made box!  I love that touch and it means that her work always comes in perfect condition.  She told me once that her card boxes are made on her Silhouette with a file she purchased.  The boxes are extra sturdy due to  a liner that is cut.

You can see all of Sis' great insights and a link she provides for making this slider card on her blog by clicking here!

Last week, another package came to the house!  This one was from Colleen McCauley of Col's Creative Corner.  This one had gifts and a card for my daughter... and a card for me too!

The thing about Colleen's projects is that they are not only little works of art, but also so incredibly well-made and sturdy.  This was the first time I had seen Colleen's work in person-- what a treat!

This is the card she made for me.  I just love it!  Look at the coloring on the image-- perfect!

This is the card she made for my daughter... Is this just too cute with the custom mini banner or what!

Piper especially loved the bling!  

These were such lovely testimonials to the generosity and talent of my crafty friends!  I love that they shared their skills and time in this way!  And it is so much fun to see Sis' work in my husband's music room [read: man cave] and Colleen's work in Piper's room!  Thank you ladies, for thinking of us!  

Please visit Sis at her blog,, and Colleen at her blog,!  You will love their crafty inspiration!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My new blog address...

So, I was wondering what had happened to my blog!  Had you noticed that it was not accessible?  I lost my custom domain of (my own stupid mistake) and now I am back to my original blog address:

The only difference is the addition of '.blogspot' in there so I hope it won't be too hard for anyone to find me!  (If you had the custom domain bookmarked, now's the time to edit it!)  It won't affect any of the blinkies and I think that it won't affect anyone receiving updates via email, but it might affect things you have pinned from here for a Pinterest board if pinned during the last year.  I have updated all the links on this blog and on the Cricut Fanatics blog too.  I have also edited all my links on my Pinterest board and on the Cricut Project Center.  Sheesh.... what a pain!

OK, enough of that! Now that my blog drama has settled and I can access my blog again, I am feeling more like myself again!   

Between the changes to Photobucket (YIKES) and my blog challenges, and my kiddo's recent birthday parties, and some work-related stuff, I am ready to share some crafting! 

I have lots to share and hope to have three new posts by the end of next week!!  Here's a preview of coming attractions:

 photo a27e5b0d-3a74-4710-86b4-f21c233b85ef_zpsf59159fd.jpg

One last fun thing....
I have a new Facebook page for this blog!  I always felt like I couldn't really promote my blog or my new posts and projects on my regular Facebook page because I have business-related "friends" and old high school "friends" and church "friends" who I didn't want to bore with my paper and loom crafts and doll projects.  I should have done this long ago and now I am so excited that I will be able to openly discuss my bloggy projects with my friends who really like that sort of thing just like me!!  What can I say, I struggled with self-cenorship!  You can find my new page at  And if you are not on Facebook, no worries!  I will still be right here of course!

Thank you for visiting today!  Off to go get some work done!
To see many of my previous projects, visit My Project Gallery (click here).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Don't you just love Valentine's Day?  It's such a fun way to overcome the winter blahs!  These are my silly, little Valentine projects.

Valentines for Ballet Class

This idea is all over Pinterest.  I have pinned about five different Valentines with this idea; my favorite is on  Click here to see!  These are simply 4"x6" photos with text added.  I used an Xacto knife to cut slits in the photo, on the top and bottom of the hand, for the sucker to fit into.  I love how they really look 3-D.  

Dressed Up Candy Boxes  

These heart-shaped chocolate-filled boxes are teacher gifts.  The boxes are modest so we needed to dress them up.  
  • The base was cut from Artiste, page 51, at 4-3/4".  
  • The flowers were cut from Artiste, page 54, at 2-3/4" (Accent1-shift), 3-1/4" (Accent2), 4" (Accent 2-shift), and 5-3/4" (Accent1-shift).  
  • The hearts were cut with a punch.  Some were combined to make dimensional by folding one in half and gluing to a flat one.
  • The banner was cut from Holiday Frames and Tags, page 48, at 1".  I folded it at the perforation marks to fake furrowing.
  • All the flowers were hot glued to form and hot glued to the heart base.  The base was attached with Terrifically Tacky double-sided tape.

Religious Valentines for School

I created a sleeve to dress up inexpensive boxes of Conversation Hearts.  

My kiddo goes to a Christian school so I added Bible verse references to the packaging. 

  • The base was trimmer-cut to 6" x 3-1/4".  
  • I scored the base at 3/4", 1-1/2", 3-3/8", and 4-1/8".
  • The smiling heart was cut from Simply Charmed.
  • I printed the Bible references directly onto the base from my computer.  I got the idea from a blog post by Julia Bettencourt that I saw on Pinterest .  You can find her blog post by clicking here.  I changed her "Fax Me" to "Text Me" but otherwise, I used her text.  I thought this was so sweet and clever.  In case you are interested in Juilia's take on how the phrases match up to verses:
BE MINE - John 3:13
ALL MINE - John 10:27-30
TRUE LOVE - Jeremiah 31:3
LOVE ME - Luke 10:27
I'M SURE - John 14:1-3
SWEET TALK - Psalm 119:103
BE GOOD - John 14:15
TEXT ME - Jeremiah 33:3

Dolly Gifts for My Daughter

I made a little Valentine dress for my daughter's doll from a pattern purchased from Kotton Candy Doll Fashions.  This is the pleated sundress.  I have made this pattern lots of times.  It has a perfect fit on American Girl dolls and I have gotten it to the point where I can complete it in an hour.  Click here for the pattern on Etsy.  To see more dresses I made previously with this pattern, click here.

For fun, I purchased some cute "easy peasy" Valentines from Lettering Delights.  I love that I can change the size and print these off in "doll size" for my daughter.  I imagine that she will have her dolls exchange Valentine cards with these.

To get to this mini size, I used the jpeg file and printed each group to fit a 5x7 format.  This allowed both styles to fit on one 8-1/2" x 11" glossy photo paper.  These are the 'Hogs and Kisses' and 'Frogs and Kisses' Valentines.  Click here to see all the styles available.

I have been so afraid to make doll shoes.. but a doll clothes sew-along Yahoo Group that I am a part of recently shared a flip flop doll pattern for this month's sew along and I forced myself to try it.  Well, they created a monster because I have made tons of flip flops and gained enough courage to try espadrilles!  I didn't follow the pattern, using what I learned from the flip flops, to make them so much easier!

Instead of covering a board in fabric, attaching that to a secondary layer, and adding cork to the bottoms, I simply used one piece of thin 'fun foam' to attach the fabric upper and heel.  (I found glitter foam!)  I hot glued that to 5mm 'fun foam'.  I attached metallic middy braid to the edges instead of jute trim.  These go together in minutes!!

I used this pattern that you can find on the Liberty Jane site!  Click here to see it.

I covered a doll-sized headband blank with 5/32" ribbon, hot gluing to keep in place.  I hot glued a few heart-shaped buttons to the top.  To see the source for the headband blanks, click here.

Super simple, super fast gift wrap for this gift used Victorian Romance for the heart banner, cut at 4-3/4" and letters from Holiday Frames and Tags, Nordic Font, cut at 1-3/4" and 2-1/4".

Valentine Birthday Gift Box

One reason that Valentine's Day is celebrated BIG here is that we have a family member with a Valentine Birthday!  I made this box from Sweet Treat Boxes, page 26, cut at 9".  The tiny tag is from Artiste, page 56, cut at 1-1/4".  I used recycled cartridge clamshell packaging for the window glass.  The flowers were straight out of the package and the hearts were cut from a punch.  I used paper that was printed to look like old fashioned Valentine cards and cut characters out from them to peer out from the windows.

Thank you for checking my blog post today!  I hope you are having a fun, happy Valentine's Day with the people you love the most!

To see many of my previous paper projects, click here to go to My Project Gallery.
To see many of my previous doll projects, click here to go to my Doll Clothing & Accessories page.

But wait! There's more! Click 'older posts' above!

But wait!  There's more!  Click 'older posts' above!