Gone, but not forgotten

Last year I was feeling the need to scale down my dolls a bit. I’m not what you’d call a “doll collector” in the sense that I don’t buy them to dress up and showcase them in a cabinet. I buy the dolls I buy because I need them for modeling my doll outfits that I sew and sell.

I’ve found that the people who buy doll clothes REALLY want to see the dress you are selling on THE particular doll that it is intended for. For example, they want to see a Colonial dress on Felicity or Elizabeth and not so much on Kit or a doll with bangs. The dolls are pretty much stereotyped for the period they were created for. When you think of Samantha, you immediately think of the early 1900’s. When you see Kit, you imagine her in the Depression.

I narrowed down my collection to 5 dolls (now 6, since I’ve added Kirsten back in) and thought I could get by with them modeling most periods for me. So far, it’s worked out okay, but I thought I’d show you a few that I let go…

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That was a lot of dolls taking up space on my “dolly shelf.” 6 is a nice number now!

Thanks for letting me share,
See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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From Messy to Marvelous! Part 2

Yesterday I showed you how I organized (part) of my fabric stash and how I went from big stacks of fabric to skinny 3″ wide stacks. I’m still working on some colors, but it’s easy and a no-brainer to do while you are watching TV or listening to the radio.

Today I wanted to show you how I managed to get my trims under control. They were a disaster… in drawers, in ziplock bags, some were on rolls, some were wrapped with rubber bands. Bottom line, they were just plain ole messy looking.

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I found this clear display case at a store that was going out of business and liked it because it would allow me to graduate my trims from low to high and make them easy to see. I tried cutting cardboard squares to wrap them on but it was just too much work. I found a seller on Etsy who sold little 3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ chipboard cards by the 100 and I ordered a set. They worked so well, I ordered another 100. I wrapped my trims around the chipboard and then used tiny rubberbands to hold them in place.

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I stacked “like” ribbons and trims together and was so pleased to be able to see at a glance all (well…some of my trims!)

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I have a drawer full of trims in ziplock bags still so I’ll most likely be ordering another 100 cards… Much better, don’t you agree?

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Thanks for stopping by,
See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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From Messy to Marvelous! Part 1

I LOVE for my sewing room to be organized… but whenever I find any free time, I spend it sewing, so I don’t often get around to getting things just the way I’d like. I had 2 areas that were bugging me… my fabrics and my trims. The fabrics were folded every which way to get them to fit on my bookshelf, and the trims… well… that’s another story…for tomorrow.

(Please note: this is just a SMALL sample of my fabrics…) My fabrics weren’t terrible, (well, yes they were…) but when I had a small amount of yardage or even a fat quarter or two, they somehow got stacked and smashed like a pancake, making it was hard to see the prints I owned. I wanted to be able to glance at my fabrics and know what I had.

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I decided to make them more visible by taking each piece of fabric, laying it out flat and rolling it around a 3″ wide plastic long ruler. Your ruler needs to be at least as wide as your fabrics. Starting at one end of the fabric, roll it around the ruler, and keep going to the end of the fabric piece, keeping your edges lined up as best you can.

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When you get to the end, slide the ruler out, then fold them in half.

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It worked perfectly and now I can see the prints much better. I have itty bitty stacks of fabrics instead of the 8″ wide flat stacks. I like it much better. How do you organize your fabrics?

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The Paper Maze

Here is a simple way to improve your top-stitching skills and help you when stitching around corners. I had to do this for a job interview once when applying at a Sportswear Company.(and I was TIMED!)
What you do is take a piece of copy paper… I used a standard size, but you can use a smaller sheet if you like. Draw a maze on the paper…straight lines, curvy lines, whatever you like.

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Then unthread your sewing machine, (bobbin too) so that it’s just your needle perforating your paper. Start at one end of your maze and carefully stitch on the lines. The object is to teach you to stitch just where you should be stitching and not get off track. It’s a “practice” sort of thing… just like playing the piano or learning to type. The more you practice trying to improve the better your stitching will be.

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Good straight stitching is all in the wrist and fingers of the left hand usually. I generally keep my fingers about an inch in front of the feed dogs and sort of “walk” the fabric with them. The right hand should be the guide and the “feeder” of the fabric. Try to keep your eye just ahead of the needle and not focus so much on looking directly at it. You can also practice on striped fabric doing the same thing.

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Also, doing this little exercise helps you learn to keep the needle in the “down” position when you come to places where you need to pivot. (corners)

Well, mine’s all done… is yours?

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If you’ve got a little youngster who wants to sew, and you are comfortable with them near the needle, this is a fun
thing for them to do too!

Well, students, that concludes class today.
See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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