A Story about Swim Suits…

I am working on a doll dress but didn’t want to show it just yet, so I decided to tell a story that I was reminded of by something in my last post. Many of you were taken by surprise when I showed the green soccer ball fleece I used in my new pillow shams… (HERE) I was talking to my “decorator sister” on the phone today and she said she was a little shocked to see the green soccer ball fleece being used as my batting too. Then she asked me if it showed through? I told her no, it didn’t and that reminded me of a story I told her:

When I was in 8th grade, the big class trip at the end of the year was a swimming party down at Horseshoe Lake in Kentucky. Being the seamstress I was, even in 8th grade, I began to plan on making a new bathing suit. It had to be perfect for the class trip. I found this pattern and decided to make it out of a pretty light pink floral print. It was going to be beautiful…it had a little apron on it and it would be so cute!

I found the pattern I used in my vintage 70’s pattern book…


I was this skinny little thing and wasn’t “well endowed” at all in the 8th grade…in fact, if I turned sideways and stuck out my tongue, I sort of resembled a zipper! I decided to line the bra part of my bathing suit with (again…) whatever I had that would work for some padding. I had some red and white houndstooth check bonded double knit…anyone remember that stuff? It looked like this…I turned the red and white part to the back and used the white “bonded” side facing outward.

blog red and white houndstooth check fabric

So I got my bathing suit all finished and was feeling pretty stylish in it. I thought it looked pretty cute on me and I had a little bit of extra “padding” up at the top which helped my confidence tremendously.

Then I got in the water… well, who’s already beat me to the punch line? That red and white fabric didn’t seem to matter that it was facing inward; once it got wet, it was red and white through and through. I had this nice pink floral swimsuit…apron, shoulder straps and bottoms, but the bust area was this awful mix of red and white checks with a muted pink floral design in the mix. Needless to say, I was mortified and stayed under water most of the time!

So my sister and I had a good laugh over it when I told her. Then she said, “Did I ever tell you about MY swimsuit story?” I told her I didn’t think so. She said she had made a swim suit for something she went to and guess what she made hers out of? TERRYCLOTH! Then she said, “You’ve never seen anything so awful as a terrycloth bikini bathing suit when it got wet!” I guess not!

Maybe everyone has a funny bathing suit story… Do you?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Pillow Shams to go with my new Antique Piano Headboard… (Tutorial)

In case you missed it, I ended up turning a soggy wet, trashed, antique, upright piano front into a new headboard for my bedroom. (HERE) I made a set of cotton pink and white checked pillow cases thinking that would satisfy my need for something new on my bed, but they didn’t do it for me. They were too cutsie, too flimsy and the pillows were too lightweight. I bet the pillows didn’t weigh 6 ounces so they were like 2 giant cotton balls on my bed. I wanted something more substantial, so what did I do? Go to the fabric store and find something? HEAVENS NO! I went shopping in my sewing room…in my bag of decorator fabrics. I showed a few possibilities on a post yesterday… (HERE)

My room is more rosy than it is the pink color it looks when I use a flash on my camera. The paint color is actually called Brick Dust and my hubby was the one who picked it out. We’ve lived with it for 10 years and it’s good paint, so I decided to work with it, making changes that were less expensive and use up some things I already had. I wanted the bed/headboard to be the focal of the room so I wanted to make sure and get the right fabric picked.

Many of you had opinions you left through the comments here on my blog and even some sent emails to me. In the end, I decided to go with the last one; the peachy/rose one with the sage green leaves. In person it was just the prettiest choice to use. Since I was going to show you my new pillow shams, I decided why not do a tutorial on how to make them for a post so you could all see how it’s done. They are actually a very easy project for even a novice sewer to do. SEW…. lets’s get started. I put some of my directions right on my pictures, and some had to have more explanation. If you have a hard time reading them, just click on any picture and it will enlarge. Let me just say one more thing… I sew and it comes very easy to me….having said that, sometimes I take for granted what someone may or may not know. I hope I’ve explained it well enough for you to understand, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

(Spoiler Alert!!!) Sometimes it’s easier to understand directions if you know what it is you are making, so here’s a picture of the finished sham.



I got my pillows at Wal Mart and laid them on my fabric, cutting my pieces roughly 7″ bigger than the pillow laying on them.


Now don’t laugh… I had this green polar fleece piece of fabric that I really didn’t need, so I used it instead of running to the store to buy some batting. You don’t have to use batting or anything stiff in your shams, but it’s nice when you use something heavy…it keeps the flanges from flopping over.




Take the piece attached to your batting and lay it down with the fabric side facing up. (sorry, I didn’t get a picture of this step.)

Now for the back side, you’ll need 2 pieces of fabric roughly the same size as the front piece, but a little wider than your front piece. It will be like laying a piece of fabric on one half and then laying another piece on the other half, overlapping them about 5 inches or so. The overlapped edges need to be folded under about an inch or so and stitched and pressed. It just makes for a neater finish. This is where the pillow form will go into.


Take these 2 pieces and place them right sides down on top of the front piece you have facing right side up. Make sure your 2 pieces for the backside are straight up and down and overlapping. Put some random pins in place to hold things together.







For the pillow to fit into the middle section of my sham, I stitched all the way around the sham, using a guide along the edge at about 2 1/2″. I stitched mine from the backside so I could slightly roll the back piece just a little bit to the backside like you see in the picture where I’m pressing it.


After you stitch the inside rectangle, you are officially done with the sewing! YAY! Now you can work at getting your pillow form into the back flaps. It takes a little bit of maneuvering but it does go in there. Once it’s in, push it into the corners and sort of smack it between your hands a few times to get it centered.


Now look at what you’ve just created! Isn’t it wonderful? Want to see mine?




I guess you can see I’m pretty proud of the way mine turned out???



Awww come one… just one more look…


As I look at my new pillow shams, I’m more determined than ever to get my curtains made and hung along side my new headboard. I didn’t manage to get any smaller pillows made either, but I will, and I’ll keep you updated when I do, but I’m itching to get a doll dress started, so I must go and see what beautiful things I can create for your dolls!

Thanks for being my students today! Class dismissed!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Something Pinky and something Peachy…

See I told you my hibiscus blossoms were as big as my dinner plates…


Ever since I finished my new headboard from parts of an antique piano (you can see that post HERE), I have been wanting to spruce up my bedroom a little bit and make it more charming and not so much “cutsie” like. The pink and white checked pillow cases didn’t do much for me, so I moved onto something different. I thought maybe if I made a pair of pillow shams that might be a good start. I looked through my stash of decorator fabrics and found a few with several yards on them so I laid them on my bed and thought I’d show you my possibilities.

My bedroom looks very pink/rose in my pictures; especially the ones where I used a flash, but it’s not that rosy, so I’m thinking these might go…

This is sort of what I was after, but I think it’s a bit too orangy to suit me…but I do like the print. So it’s a “maybe…”



This is a nice blue print, but I don’t think there is enough of the rosy tones to work in here…another “maybe…”



Here is another blue print but I think it’s too dark and pops too much in the room… a third “maybe…”



…and I found this pretty peach/light olive green and tan and think it might be the best choice. I need to look at them again in the daylight.
I put a piece of tan very sheer fabric behind the headboard and I like the softness it brings to the room and it would work for any of the prints.

I was all worried about my dust ruffle, but it’s no big deal…I’ll make something else. The pink’s in my room have always felt a little too feminine, but I think any of these prints might tone down the walls a bit and make it look more elegant. At least that’s my plan…
Some of the pictures are with the flash and others are just natural light…





Which one do you like?

I actually worked like crazy and got something made, but you’ll have to come back tomorrow to see it. (and I promise: a doll dress is next on my agenda!)

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Why is this? Just a little 4th of July Oxymoron fun for the day…

This isn’t necessarily a post about the Fourth of July, but I thought it might be fun for you to print off or just share it at your picnics or gatherings. It’s just something to add a little conversational fun to the mix and get those brains thinking… I will be spending time with family and friends and plan on relaxing and enjoying some wonderful food. I’m glad we live in a country that allows us freedoms to do as we wish. I see some things happening that concern me, but I’m very thankful to live in the United States of America. I hope you all have a great day!

1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?

3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?

4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?

5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

6. Why does “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?

7. Why does “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing?

8. Why do “tug” boats push their barges?

9. Why do we sing “Take me out to the ball game” when we are already there?

10. Why are they called ” stands” when they are made for sitting?

11. Why is it called “after dark” when it really is “after light”?

12. Doesn’t “expecting the unexpected” make the unexpected expected?

13. Why are a “wise man” and a “wise guy” opposites?

14. Why do “overlook” and “oversee” mean opposite things?

15. Why is “phonics” not spelled the way it sounds?

16. If work is so terrific, why do they have to pay you to do it?

17. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

18. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

19. If you are cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?

20. Why is bra singular and panties plural?

21. Why do you press harder on the buttons of a remote control when you know the batteries are dead?

22. Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase?

23. How come abbreviated is such a long word?

24. Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?

25. Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

26. Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?

27. Christmas – What other time of the year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?

28. Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway ?

Just a few things to mull over in your mind… maybe start some conversations if there’s silence…

…and just so this isn’t a “pictureless” post… I’ll leave you with a couple pictures of my hibiscus…



Have a very Happy Fourth of July!
See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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