A lining for a leopard… a leopard “coat” that is…

A few days ago I showed you Janie’s new leopard fur coat and unlike the directions on the pattern, I chose to make mine unlined to see how it fit first. Well… after much deliberating… because it is stitched together and serged with black thread, today I decided to add a super lightweight lining to the coat. (I certainly didn’t want another doll to get stained from the black thread) I chose a fabric that is much like a batiste so there is hardly any extra weight or bulkiness to it. It still fits the dolls the same way and probably slides on a little easier.

I just cut out the same pattern pieces as the coat… stitched it together, pressing it as I went and then turned the coat wrong side out and stitched it all in by hand.

Just using tiny whip stitches, and turning the edges under slightly, it went in very smoothly. I tacked it at the underarms and on top of the shoulders to hold it in place and keep the sleeves from pulling out.

I decided to leave the hem loose, so it’s just serged at the bottom, but tacked at the side seams. Sometimes the lining can make your coat feel a bit too tight looking and sort of cups up at the bottom edge.

I snapped a few pictures of Janie, still in her “fluffy” wig from last night, but I wanted to show you that the coat still fits the same way…

See, linings aren’t so scary…

See you Monday,
Blessings, Jeanne

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A NEW Christmas Recipe ~ Nut Clusters

Kathie sent me a new recipe and said it was very good… Well, I had to give it a try and it was perfect timing, because this weekend is our Married Couples Christmas Party. I plan to put some of these Nut Clusters in my favor bags… They are super simple to make… IN A CROCK POT! It doesn’t get much easier than opening bags and dumping things in… giving it a stir every once in a while and VIOLA… out comes a wonderful candy treat! Thanks Kathie!!

I thought I’d show you how to make them…

NUT CLUSTERS

Here are the ingredients for them…

(My picture shows chocolate almond bark, but Kathie said she made hers with white almond bark….I guess you can make it whichever way you like best.)

In your slow cooker (mine was a 5 quart crockpot…) add all the ingredient and turn on LOW.

1 – 16 oz. jar dry roasted salted peanuts
1 – 16 oz. jar dry roasted unsalted peanuts
1 – 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 – 12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
2 – 12 oz. bags of peanut butter chips
1 – 24 oz. package of chocolate (or white) almond bark (I cut mine into pieces with a knife)

This is what it looks like when everything is added…

Stir occasionally until everything is melted….mine took just a little over an hour for everything to get all melty…

It sort of looks like chili here….

Spoon onto wax paper to cool and harden. My cookie scoop was a little over a TBSP size.

I let mine cool on the counter, but boy was it tempting to get into them…It made 140!

That’s a lot of little goodies to pack into favor bags…

Of course I had to taste them… and they were very good… I’m a big milk chocolate fan, so I might make it just like the recipe only change the semi sweet chocolate chips to another bag of milk chocolate. I think if you keep the measurements the same, just change the flavors, it would work. My hubby thought they would be good with caramel in them somehow… something like a praline… Kathie put 2 cups of toasted walnuts and 1/2 cup of slivered almonds in hers. Thank you for the recipe, Kathie… I just LOVE how easy it was to make!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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How I made Lian’s pinafore… a semi tutorial…

Kathie sent me this piece of dainty batiste embroidered fabric from a vintage baby dress (I’m pretty sure) but I was sort of intimidated to use it. I absolutely adored it and didn’t want to mess it up in any way! The best way to do that was to just “look” at it and not cut into it… BUT… I really wanted to use it for Lian’s red Christmas dress, so I put all my fears to the side and just jumped in. The first thing I had to do was get the creases out of it. I used my steamer and got them out…

This is how I envisioned it as a pinafore… I’m sure you can tell what it’s going to look like, right? If not, hang around and by the end of this post, you’ll know!

If you click on any of the pictures, they will enlarge.

This was my fabric piece… cut off at the top to make it the right length for a pinafore skirt…

I finished off the ends of the fabric by pressing them under and then topstitching the edges. Then I gathered the top edge of the fabric with 3 rows of basting. It was super delicate so I had to be very careful when I pulled up my threads…

Next, I measured around Lian’s waist and pulled my threads to “almost” that length. I didn’t want the pinafore to meet, but have about a 1/2″ space between the ends. I took a scrap of paper and put it down on my sewing machine and then laid the gathered skirt on the paper. Stitching through the paper would hold my gathers in place and stabilize it.

The stitches perforate the paper and make it easy to tear it away…but wait until you have your waistband stitched on… again, it’s a good stabilizer and keeps things from shifting…

I cut a piece of the batiste fabric to use as a waistband, and stitched it on.

NOW you can tear off the paper!!! Finish the back of the waistband with tiny hand stitches. I could have stitched it on the machine, but decided to do it by hand.

Next comes the bib part. I didn’t want to cover up ALL the red on the dress, so I used a piece of heirloom lace I had for the bib part and some dainty cotton lace for the straps. I did add a section of the “strap” lace to the bottom of the bib to add a little bit of length… This is how it looked…

I centered it on my waistband and stitched it on by hand…

…then finished up the backside by hand too…

Here’s what it’s looking like so far…

Next I pulled the straps to the back and pinned them in the right place… then stitched them down…

Here’s a look…not totally finished, but getting there…

You can see the back part of the pinafore waistband that is pinned in the back.

I decided to sew some soft Velcro on the band and add a “pre-tied” bow… that makes it SO much easier to dress the dolls…

Here’s the back all finished…

I think the red dress by itself is very pretty, but some might think it’s too plain without the pinafore. I was playing around and I’m going to include this little “belt” for a different look to the dress. It just slips on the button on the back on one end of the piece of lace and then loops onto the button with the other end of the lace… If the winner doesn’t use it or like it, it’s no big deal… I just thought it was kind of cute on the dress for a different look.

So, that’s how I made Lian’s pinafore.. now who’s going to try one?

Linda reminded me about the Fashion Show we were going to have… remember? I asked you to send me 1 or 2 pictures of a doll you have that has a favorite Christmas dress on. It can be a doll dress you made, or bought… doesn’t matter. It can be a new picture or an old one…Tell me why it’s your favorite and I’m going to show them in a post soon…

Well, I better get to bed… I never did get that nap, Joy!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Follow along with me as I make 11 Christmas gifts…

Once again, I’m sorry I didn’t get to to your comments… I read them but didn’t have a spare moment today to answer them. It seems my life is going full throttle right now…and I’m about ready to put on the brakes. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing things, and when I’m in the midst of things, I don’t think about it, but when I get to the close of the day, and I see how much I didn’t get done, sometimes it bugs me. Today was one of those days… want to follow along with me as I made gifts for our Staff Christmas party?

I’ve shown how to make these “Brownies in a Jar” before, and I’ll give the link to that post at the bottom, but I knew there wasn’t going to be ANY time for sewing today, so I decided I’d bring you along as I was “making a mess” in my kitchen… And BOY, did I ever make a mess…

I could have gone and bought something for my gifts, but I much prefer homemade ones… I looked in my closet and I had enough glass jars to make 11 gifts… exactly what I needed!

Here’s a quick overview of what was happening in my kitchen, but as I said, I’ll put the tutorial link at the bottom.

Nuts in first, then chocolate chips, brown sugar and white sugar…

I told you it was messy…

It’s pretty hard to be neat when you’re working with flour and cocoa.

I cut out my fabric tops from some Christmas fabrics…

I will be using some rubber bands, jute (string) and some decorations to tie on. Usually I hand draw little designs on the card stock with the directions, but today I had to go for quick and simple…

I took the fabric circles and placed them on top of the jars and held them in place with the rubber bands. Even them out so the gathers are nicely distributed.

I took the jute and tied it around the jars where the rubber band was… get it just below the screw on lid…

I printed out the directions of how to make the brownies and used a pair of decorative scissors to cut them out… then I punched a hole in them to run my jute through.

I picked a decoration and tied it onto the jute in a bow, adding just a drop or so of clear glue to hold my bow in place…

I got into my stash of Christmas bags and put one jar in each… I didn’t use tissue paper around them, but just on top…

I passed them out at the Staff Christmas party tonight and everyone seemed pleased… YAY!

Now, if you’d like to see the actual tutorial on how to make the Brownies in a Jar, step by step, you can click HERE

I know this is supposed to be a doll and sewing blog, but sometimes it’s just not!!!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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