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.



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.



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


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.



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.


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.


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?


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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Hats, Hats and more Hats!

First of all, I thought you might enjoy a little “HAT” trivia:

* White tall chef hats traditionally have 100 pleats to represent hundreds of ways an egg can be prepared.

* In the middle of the 19th century, baseball umpires wore top hats during the game.

* The process of making felt involves the use of mercury which is toxic and prolonged exposure use can cause damage in nervous system, tremors and dementia. From that originates the phrase “Mad as a hatter”.

* In America, in the 1920s, there was an odd custom that was common, if people wore straw hats after the 15th of September they were beaten up.

* French Magician Louis Comte was the first to pull out a rabbit from a top hat in 1814.

* Colors of hard hats can have meaning and are used to distinguish roles on the construction sites and for safety. White hard hats are worn by supervisors or engineers, blue – technical advisers. Safety inspectors wear green hard hats. Yellow hard hats are worn by laborers while orange or pink hats are reserved for new workers or visitors.

Hats aren’t as commonly worn as they were years ago… Well, that’s not so true among the dolly world. I think a hat makes an outfit and I know lots of buyers of doll dresses who agree with me. There is the occasional doll of mine who prefers hair bows; but maybe we’ll talk about them in a later post. I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite doll hats. To me, the prettier the better… hope you agree!

You can click on the pictures to make them larger.


















So, do you have a favorite or two?

Thanks for looking,
Blessings, Jeanne

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If it doesn’t work one way, try another…

I don’t like it when something tries to get the best of me… especially when it’s something related to sewing! I made a dress for our Etsy shop and listed it… it was lovely fabric, the sewing was fine, the doll looked beautiful, the necklace was perfect, the gloves looked sweet… but it sat there… No buyers, no comments, no action… bottom line – NO SALE!



It was in my Etsy shop for probably 6 weeks; maybe longer, so yesterday I took action! I deactivated it and tried to rethink it! Since I had just gotten my new (used) Kirsten doll and she was standing naked on my sewing table, I decided to try it on her… B-I-N-G-O! I knew what I was going to do… off with the gloves, change her black patent leather shoes to boots, make an apron, figure out a new cap or bonnet and VOILA! Look what transformed!




I had a doll customer tell me she thought the dress listed on Etsy wasn’t working because it wasn’t for any particular doll…it was just out there. Some pretty, country romantic dress for a no-name doll. I guess we’ll see if her theory and my re-working the dress pays off…
Do you like it better?

You can find the “new version” on Ebay by clicking on the picture of it at the right sidebar.

Thanks everyone,
Blessings, Jeanne

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