Sewing Blythe Doll Clothes Fail!

Blogged under dolls art/collecting,Sew Simple by Tammy on Sunday 21 August 2016 at 8:25 am


Book Review: Homes Sewn

Blogged under Good Books,Sew Simple by Tammy on Monday 15 August 2016 at 9:09 am

Home Sewn: Projects and Inspiration for Every Room by Cassandra Ellis is published by Potter and retails for $24.99 US and $32.99 Canadian. Surprisingly, it is a hard cover book. The 159 page book is full of beautiful color photographs, most showing the finished pieces in a “staged” situation and a few showing some “how-to” elements.

As with many books I review, some of the print is too light for my poor old eyes, but oddly enough, some of the print in this book is dark and some light. For example, the Cotton Block-Print Pillowcases project has dark (I say dark but I mean more normal colored) text for the introduction. Then the print lightens up for the list of materials.Then it gets dark again for the step-by-step information. It seem like a small item to think about, but if you really want to read and use a book, this print design of the book I find to be irritating.

Most of the projects look simply enough as far as sewing skills. There are a variety of projects that require basically sewing a straight line, so that is nice to see. That said, I would still warn totally new sewers to be prepared to be challenged somewhat because the instructions are not as broken down as they could be. For experienced sewers, that should not be a problem though. Plus, there are some projects that require very little sewing. The Linen Bulletin Board, for example, only requires you to cut, staple, and glue fabric to a board.

If you have a small amount of sewing experience and enjoy the shabby – chic look, then you will find some very simple, fun, and useful items to make for your home in this book. There is a lot of use of cotton, linen, and canvas fabrics. If you want to work with fabric and try some projects like the bulletin board I mentioned and a few others that don’t really require stitching or require just hemming around the ends of something  (a lamp shade and canvas table cloth), then you will find these here too. I could also see some nice gift ideas to consider making such as tea towels and storage containers.

It is a very pretty book, too, one that I could see me sitting down and just enjoy flipping through the pages now and then while I sip some tea.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Crafty Podcast

Blogged under Crafty Videos,crochet and knitting,Jewelry Designing,Sew Simple by Tammy on Thursday 11 August 2016 at 2:01 pm

My sister, the Tappingflamingo, was down visiting me in Florida, so of course, that means we had to sneak off and record a podcast. We chat about my so far failed attempt at sewing Blythe doll clothes, her very cool gator jewelry, and show off some knitting and crochet.



Blythe Doll Dress Sewing Attempt, Almost!

Blogged under Sew Simple by Tammy on Monday 1 August 2016 at 8:42 am

After finally getting organized, I managed to get my sewing machine out and on my sewing cabinet. I think it has been about two years or so since I even turned on my sewing machine, so that was the first thing I needed to check. Does it work?

I already had a doll dress cut and ready for sewing. This is from a free pattern on the Waffle Patterns web site. I am not going to do the applique part, but I do plan to line it with the blue fabric shown. It is so freakin’ tiny, yikes!

I turned on the machine, and yeah, we have power! But, before I risked messing up my first little Blythe doll dress, I decided to test it out. And, boy, I’m glad I did. Everything turns on, and I can get it to stitch, but the stitches are uneven, and my reverse button doesn’t work. Something is wrong with the tension. Ugh!



So, the Blythe doll dress is still on hold for a little while. I need to pull out the manual and check to see if this is something I can fix. I can tell that the machine is very stiff feeling, too. When I work the hand wheel, it’s very tight, and I don’t remember it feeling like that in the past. I’m really hoping it’s something I can do myself since, I’m pretty sure, there are no sewing machine repair places close to me. I don’t want to ship off my machine now that I finally have space to sew. I will keep you posted.

Beads, Sewing, and Crafting Organizing!

Blogged under Crafty Videos,Jewelry Designing,Sew Simple by Tammy on Monday 25 July 2016 at 8:42 am

After chatting some about how I was getting my jewelry making supplies, sewing, and other crafting supplies in order so that I could actually make something, I finally got it together. In this video, I show a before and then an after, from crazy mess to neat as a pin (or almost).



Happy Easter, 2016, Look Back to 1972, Maybe

Blogged under Sew Simple,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Sunday 27 March 2016 at 4:55 pm


I’m guessing this was taken around 1972. My sisters and I always got “dolled” up for Easter every year. We would get new white sandals, and my mother would make our Easter dresses. Normally, she would buy one pattern that could be adjusted to various sizes so she was able to use the pattern for all three of us, or at least two of us. We are four years apart, so that wasn’t always possible. However, my youngest sister was tall for her age, and I was kind of shrimpy back then (I’m in the center), so sometimes she could make it work.

This photo is a reminder of my DIY roots. Mom sewed back then not just because she enjoyed it but because it was a lot less expensive than buying off the rack. She was a SAHM, and every penny counted. My parents often DIY-ed out of necessity. She made our clothing, from special dresses like these to Halloween costumes to prom dresses to everyday wear. My father fixed our cars himself and made most of our furniture.

Because of their craftiness and frugality, I am able to DIY because I like it, not because I have to.

Video: Book Review: Japanese Contemporary Quilts and Quilters

Blogged under Good Books,Sew Simple by Tammy on Saturday 23 January 2016 at 10:21 am




Felted Ornament Tutorial

Blogged under My College Craft Club,Sew Simple by Tammy on Saturday 27 September 2014 at 1:58 pm

So this is really rough and unedited, but I think you can get a fairly good idea of how to make this cute ginger bread man felted ornament.



Felt Ornament Prototype

Blogged under My College Craft Club,Sew Simple by Tammy on Thursday 11 September 2014 at 3:10 pm



My college craft club has been asking to sew, and honestly, we just don’t have the space and supplies to do any significant sewing. Plus, I probably don’t have the patience to teach it either, especially a group all at the same time. However, I think it is handy for everyone to know some basics when it comes to sewing like how to sew on a button, how to thread a needle, and how to do simple stitches like the running stitch, so I’ve been thinking about how to allow them to do some very basic sewing projects that won’t break our budget or drive me crazy either.

That’s when I came up with the idea of making felt ornaments. Felt is very inexpensive, and we just need some thread, needles, and notions to do this. After I came up with the idea, I checked out YouTube for some help with how to do this. There are (not surprisingly) a fair number of videos over there showing this technique, such as this one.


I gathered some supplies I had on hand to make a prototype, and I think it turned out pretty well considering I whipped it up pretty quickly. I used a cookie cutter and paper to make a template, and then pinned it to the felt and cut out two stars. I stitched a simple button in the center, and then held the two stars together and stitched around them. Before I closed it up, I added some scrap yarn at the top so it can be hung, and then I used extra scrap yarn to stuff it.

I’m sure my club members will come up with much fancier ornaments than this, but at least I have a method to show them. Then they can take it from there and experiment with different stitches. For those who aren’t interested in stitching, glue is also an option.

Doll Couture

Blogged under Good Books,Sew Simple by Tammy on Sunday 17 August 2014 at 11:14 am



Serious sewers will often have a stash of fabric scraps that are not large enough to make wearable items for themselves, but they hate to just toss them out. If you are not into quilting, then what do you do them? How about doll clothes! I received a press release about a new book on making doll clothes that seems like a good fit for fabric scrapers out there. Here are some details from the publisher:

“Running Press is proud to introduce Doll Couture: Handcrafted Fashions for 18-inch Dolls, a book that takes the unique fashions and DIY sensibilities of Hankie Couture to a new height. It showcases a striking array of original garments for the vastly popular 18-inch dolls (American Girl size). Everything from dresses to pants and shoes were meticulously crafted from vintage handkerchiefs, table cloths, tea towels, laces, embroidered linens, pillowcases, table runners, and more. The book showcases Marsha’s exquisite fashions and includes sewing instructions and 9 original patterns so you can recreate her designs. It will inspire you to unleash your imagination in transforming your own treasured heirlooms or colorful flea-market finds into one-of-a-kind ensembles.”

It retails for $22.00 US/$25.50 CAN. There is also a Kindle edition available.

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