Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sewing machines packed up for the holidays!

I really felt I would sew more Christmas gifts once I retired, but this year my sewing/quilting efforts
weren't centered on Christmas.  In September, I worked on the quilt for granddaughter Lizzie's birthday.  During the summer, I made some baby quilts  and other small donation projects.  Then I made over 30 small fabric wallets and just as many refrigerator photo frames along with some potholders.  This time of year, I fill a big basket with little items like those and let our library sell them.  I get the fun of making the items, but don't have to pay booth fees or sit all day at craft fairs.
The library gets a little money and I use up some scraps.  Here's the pattern for the wallets

I had some ideas for some sewn gifts, but with our trip in early December, I fell short.  I did make four of these wall pocket letter holders, super easy pattern from Vanilla House.  One I am keeping, already have my mail and Christmas cards in it.  I also made some 5 pillowcases.  I really like the farm fabric I found for my dad's pillowcase.  I embroidered his name on it and  gave it to him when we went to the Christmas tea on Wednesday.  The field scenes, chickens, and cows on the fabric remind me of the farm where I grew up.  Also zipped up flannel sleep pants, but can't say who is getting them.


I planned to make just one doll outfit, a butterfly costume for Lizzie's new 18 inch doll, but then the 9 year old and the 7 year old put clothes for their American girl dolls on their wish lists.  We purchased three special doll dresses for three granddaughters from the Wisconsin-Nicaragua project. Called Chica Nica dresses, these special outfits are sewn by women in Nicaragua as a way to help support their families.  The workmanship on the dresses is superb and each woman makes a certain designed dress. Though I can sew doll clothes myself, I wanted the girls to have Chica Nica dresses.  While I find most sewing relaxing, each time I make American Girl or Barbie clothes after a hiatus, I swear I will never make them again.  I truly believe I could make an adult outfit in the time it takes me to finish something for a doll.

Over the last three days, I managed to make three ballerina outfits each with tutu, leotard, and tights.  The purple one also has butterfly wings.  I am only posting a photo of the butterfly outfit.  I actually had to alter the pattern as the straps were not long enough.  My fabric was plenty stretchy so I don't know what McCalls was thinking when they designed the pattern!  My supposedly "best" sewing machine was giving me grief with the tiny seams and fabric pieces, so I had to switch to a different machine.  Today I finished up by making a skirt, t-shirt and reversible dress for Lizzie's doll.  It was with great joy that I packed up two sewing machines and cleaned up my sewing area.  I know I will look forward to wintery days with the machines humming, but right now I am sewed out!  I'll end with some photos of the doll clothes -- Have a Merry Christmas!  Please share your sewing and quilting projects with me.
Reversible Sundress

Back of butterfly ballerina

Front view

School girl 

Heart side of reversible sundress


  1. You have been very busy! I love the doll clothes but completely understand how long they can take. Logan wants to give a friend a UT themed blanket. He bought the materials and is helping me get one made by the 29th. He's showing aptitude for the sewing machine. :)
    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  2. Those are so cute and you did such a great job!!