Dollie & Me Shoes for American Girl Dolls…

I had this post all planned out how I was hoping it would go, but then a wrench was thrown in the mix. My sister gave me two of the cutest pairs of shoes for my American Girl dolls for Christmas. Before Christmas, she had sent me some pictures of the most adorable boots and shoes I’ve ever seen on her phone…little yellow and black bumble bee rain boots, red and black rubber boots with flowers on them, purple boots, blue boots, all sweeter than the pair before. The shoes came from the Dollie & Me Outlet store in Gettysburg, PA, but they weren’t exclusive Dollie & Me brands. They were so adorable and so different from anything you can find on most dolly sites. I was thrilled and this is how I played it out in my mind… I was going to call the outlet store in PA and ask if they could send me a couple pairs of shoes for a giveaway or maybe offer a coupon code for my subscribers to get some at a discounted price. The sales clerk that I talked to first sounded so excited which made me excited, but she said she would have to talk with her manager. Well, I waited and waited and finally decide to call her myself. She told me there were no pictures of the shoes and boots that she could send me and didn’t seem that interested in trying to find a way to offer anything to anyone. I was SO SO disappointed…not for myself, but for you all!

If you go on the Dollie and Me website you will see the little girls outfits and with each one you get a free 18″ doll outfit. There are some cute little sets on there. If you go down to the bottom of the page you’ll see a category called Dollie Accessories. If you click on it, you’ll see the shoes, but they aren’t the “cute” ones like I was telling you about. They don’t advertise them on their site because they aren’t their brand. So my post will only feature the two pairs of shoes that my sister sent me…(Boo Hoo!)

Like I said, I had this all planned out in my head….there would be giveaways, and discounts and maybe they’d even want to sponsor my blog…but I guess not! I have my two pairs and have none to offer you…Sorry, but I’m keeping these.

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DON’T FORGET: Tomorrow I’ll be drawing out 2 subscriber names and those 2 winners will receive a pair of fingerless gloves for their American Girl doll. I’ll do the drawing at 10pm tomorrow evening to give everyone all day to become a “last minute subscriber!” You can read all about it HERE. I’ll announce the winners in my blog post Thursday!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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If I ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, TWIST MY ARM BEHIND MY BACK, had to choose a favorite doll dress…

I’ve been sewing for a variety of dolls and selling my outfits on Ebay and Etsy since 2006. I never really knew how many dresses I had sold in all that time, but I had my books out, finishing up my end of the year totals for 2014 and decided to add up how many dresses I have actually sold. I was surprised to see that I have sold 834 (mostly dresses) since I began. THAT’S A LOT OF DOLL DRESSES! In fact, I did a little math and it comes out to about 92 dresses a year. That’s not nearly as many as some seamstresses I see turn out, but I have other things on my plate and am not able to totally devote my entire day to sewing, so I do the best I can. I also take my time and make sure each dress is made the very best that it can be.

I’ve sewn for the tiniest little 7 1/2″ Riley, by Helen Kish to the larger 18″ American Girl dolls and everyone in between, and in all that time, there has been one dress that I don’t think I’ve shared with you on here. It’s been such a favorite that I guess I always thought I’d do a special post about it someday. Well, that day has arrived.

I’m not entirely sure why I think it deserves “Favorite Doll Dress of All Time,” but there is just something about it, or something that happened when we had our “photo session” or the way she looked at me when she was in the dress, but somehow it’s been my favorite all time dress that I’ve ever made.

Let me introduce you to Lian, in “Precious in Pink.”

Lian is a 13″ Little Darling doll, sculpted by Dianna Effner and painted by Joyce Mathews. This dress sold back in April of 2013 and is now residing on a little girl in Colorado who loves it as much as I do! I created the pattern which was no easy feat with the attached slip underneath and the double ruffled skirt. The fabric is as dainty and delicate as a kleenex and I think Lian just looked like a little princess in these photos. She also looks like she’s about to cry, which maybe is what makes them so special…she almost looks real to me.

So I hope you aren’t hurt that your doll dress didn’t win “favorite” in my eyes, but I’ve been wanting to share Lian’s dress for quite a while and decided today was the day. Now I’ll just share some pictures and see if you don’t agree that she is the most precious thing you’ve ever seen…
I’m sure the winner of this dress must be beaming to learn how I feel about this dress… It was probably the hardest one ever to pack up…

(If you click on the pictures they will enlarge.)

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I hope you enjoyed Lian’s little fashion show… I should leave the modeling to her and stay off the stage myself!

ALSO: Don’t forget about the GIVEAWAY of the American Girl Fingerless Gloves on Wednesday, January 28th. (HERE) is the post explaining it…You just have to be a subscriber to have your name entered into the drawing! I’ve picked up 7 new subscribers in the last 2 weeks! THANK YOU!!!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Not exactly what I wanted to blog about…but here’s my table skirt…

I NEVER dreamed it would take me 2 days to make this table skirt to go around out new sound system at church…but it DID. Needless to say, I didn’t get anything else done today. I packed up my sewing machine early this morning and made a little “sewing center” in the back of the church. I stayed there till we left at 8:15 this evening. It was a LONG day but I got it finished, so I’m dreadfully sorry that this is all I have to share. I hope you can find some kind of inspiration in my pictures.

I started with a piece of burgundy cotton fabric 6 yards long. Along the top edge, I stitched a casing and ran elastic through it since the wood frame that I was adding this to was angled in a few areas.

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Because of the shape I was adding this skirt to, I couldn’t just stitch my velcro on the back side the whole length of the fabric. I had to do it in 2 inch sections so the skirt would have a little give and stretch where it needed to.

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This took quite a while to do. Threads were EVERYWHERE!!

My hubby used his staple gun to attach the other side of the velcro along the top edge of the wood frame that HE built! (He was a very busy guy today too!) I should have shown what he did…

Next I had to match up the velcro on my skirt to the velcro on the table… trying to get it stretched out evenly was a trick, but after many attempts I was satisfied with it. I had bought some gimp trim and sewed it on by hand. Again, because the skirt needed to be free to stretch, I couldn’t just take it over to my machine and stitch it in place…it had to have some give and play to it… But this is what the trim looked like after I stitched it all on…

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After I got the trim all stitched on, there was NO WAY I was taking it off, so I scooted my machine over to the skirt and planned to hem it by moving the machine around and stitching it as I came to that section of the skirt. It was harder than it looks because of the one section that dips down. I had to make some little clips on the backside to have it hang evenly to the floor.

Then my next big idea was to save the church $18.00 and only spend 46 pennies! How, by making my own weights to hold the skirt in place. They make drapery weights and you can buy chain to run along the hem on the inside and it makes your drapes or “skirt” in this case, hang better. Well, I did buy some gold chain at Lowe’s for $6.00 for 6 feet. I would have needed at least 3 of them…

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So I decided to tape pennies to a long piece of yarn… then run it through my hem casing.

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The trouble was, the tape kept catching on my fabric and it took forever to feed it through. Fortunately my hubby had a set of skinny rods that we could screw together and pull the pennies through, but it still took a very long time to do. I was about ready to tear open those packages of brass beading and use it. But I didn’t and was so relieved when I got that last penny through.

I used my streamer and got most of the wrinkles out, so here is my “Table Skirt Presentation!” (That’s just water on the floor from my steamer)

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I know this wasn’t terribly interesting, but I hope you enjoyed it at least a little bit! If I didn’t do this, you’d have probably had my first
“no show” for my blog post tomorrow.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Step by Step Tutorial on Making a Doll Slip…Day 2

Okay, now to finish that doll slip we started yesterday…(HERE).

We left off with you gathering up the 2 rows of basting at the top edge. Don’t pull the gathers too tight, but nicely gathered…and fit it around your dolls waist, sliding it so the gathers are all within her waist measurement PLUS about an inch on each end.

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Knot the other end now. Your gathers will shift back and forth for now, but just make sure you have it long enough to go around your dolls waist plus a little extra.

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Next take your stretch lace and put it around your dolls waist, stretching it just a little bit. Cut it long enough to slide over your dolls hips. If you want, you can stick a pin in it and see if you can get it up and down her hips…

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The stretch lace I used was too wide to use for a half skirt so I cut it in half.

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Next take your stretch lace and put it RIGHT SIDE UP on your sewing machine, under the presser foot. Take your gathered tulle and using one end of it line up the edge with the edge of the lace. Don’t start stitching right on the VERY end or it will most likely be pulled down in your machine. Start in about 1/4″ or so.

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Knot the end where you start with your machine, so it doesn’t come undone…and begin sewing, trying to straighten out your gathers and making sure they are straight out to the side and not folded over one another. Pull the stretch lace just a little bit as you go. I just stitch about 2 inches and stop and readjust…often! Stitch just past your gathering stitches and they won’t show…DON’T knot it at the end… just run off the lace and leave a thread tail about 4 or 5 inches long… this way if you’ve gathered it up too tight, it can slide to the right side without any trouble.

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If you do happen to have some gathering stitches show below your stitching line, cut the knots at the end and pull them through. Sometimes they get tangled in the stretch lace, but it’s pretty easy to get them pulled out…You’ll have one on the back side too to pull out.

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Lets hope your gathers look even and not in “folds” because it’s a pain to pick out white stitching on white stretch lace…but it CAN be done!

Next fold your lace up, and the underneath side of gathers up too, and topstitch the lace down about 1/4″ from the tulle gathers…

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It should look something like this…

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Now take it to your doll and put it WRONG SIDE FACING OUT around her waist. Place a pin where it fits snug, but still able to be slid up over her hips. If you want, leave the pin in and see if you can get it up and down.

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Because the lace sometimes get “eaten” down the machine, place a small piece of paper on the machine, just underneath the lace waistband and begin your sewing where your pin is. You’ll want to knot this back and forth a few times to keep it from coming unstitched. Stitch all the way down to the bottom of the slip and knot it at the bottom. You can slide a piece of paper under the end too…to keep it from getting sucked down in your machine.

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Trim off the excess tulle about 1/2″ or so from top to bottom.

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Open that back seam and from the front side, wiggle your way in there with your presser foot and topstitch it across the top and bottom of the lace band. Clip your threads on front and back.

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Now it’s time to try it on your doll and admire your work! You can embellish it with felt flowers, ribbons, bows, buttons, whatever you have.

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I hope you had fun making your slip!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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