“Southern Charm” is looking charming and a sleeve tutorial…

I was able to spend a fair amount of time on Addy’s dress today and it’s starting to look like something seen in the 1860’s! Addy is liking it very much and loves it each time there is a fitting! We had PLENTY of them today…

The sleeve underarm seam was stitched up… the skirt was attached to the bodice and there’s a nice softly rounded point in front, the snaps are sewn on the back and the handwork on the inside is finished!

As I said before, the short lacy sleeves can be worn pulled down or pushed up, almost under the ruffle.

It’s not stitched on yet, but I’m considering the tiny tatted lace trim going around the neckline area…

Here’s one more look with the sleeves pushed up…

Susette asked a few days ago about the construction of the sleeves. I’ve taken a few pictures and hope I can explain it to you so you’ll understand. It’s really quite simple and I probably should have done a sleeve from scratch, so you could see every single step.

When the sleeve has been cut out, finish the bottom edge with a rolled hem on a serger or a tiny zig zag. I pulled up the lace so you could see the edge.

Lay a piece of lace across the bottom of the sleeve about 1/8th of an inch from the serged edge and stitch with a very tiny zig zag or a straight stitch… make sure you stay on the lace or you’ll have gaps in it when it’s pulled up.

Now you are going to flip the sleeve over to the wrong side and using a piece of 1/8″ elastic, (longer than your sleeve’s bottom edge) you want to lay it down so it’s about 3/8″ away from the edge of the lace you just stitched on. Stitch the end of the elastic in place to hold it. Using your largest zig zag stitch, shorten your stitch length and hold the elastic between the zig zagging making sure not to catch it on the sides. It won’t pull up right if you catch it. The zig zag stitches just make a sort of thread casing instead of adding bulk with an enclosed casing. When you get to the end, just run your stitches off the fabric. Don’t pull up your elastic yet! (If you forget and pull up your elastic, try to work out the gathers before you add the second piece of lace. You can still add that second row of lace but it’s much easier if the elastic isn’t gathered up.)

Here’s what it looks like on the top side.

Now it’s time to take the second piece of lace and let it overlap the first piece by just a little bit. It needs to be stitched on so your stitching doesn’t get in the way of the elastic.

I hope you’ll stay tuned to the end of this dress…it’s been a very time consuming one… and there’s still lots to do! :o)

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Chocolate No Bakes… my most often made cookie recipe

You’ll have to be satisfied with a recipe today. I never made it into my sewing room, but think this post will be just as sweet as some of my doll dresses… for as long as I’ve been married; almost 36 years, I’ve been making these cookies. Wonder how many dozens of them I have made over the years? I can’t even begin to imagine. My hubby’s student workers, got at least one batch of them a week, for 18 years! That’s a lot of cookies!

I made them this year for Easter, except I added Jelly Beans to the middle of them, making them look like little birds nests.

Kathie, one of my readers, asked if I’d share the recipe. Yes, Kathie, so here we go!

It might be the most common cookie recipe out there and I’ve seen it called Mini Cow Pies, Fudgy No Bakes, Fudge cookies, and probably other names. I’ll give you the recipe and then give you a few tips for when you make them.

1 stick butter
2 cups sugar (You could probably use less if they are too sweet for you)
3 TBSP cocoa
1/2 cup evaporated milk (if you don’t have evaporated milk, you can just use regular milk)
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup peanut butter (they don’t set up right if you use an all natural peanut butter, it has to be a regular peanut butter, like Jif, or Skippy, or even Great Value)
1 tsp vanilla

They are made completely in a sauce pan and only take about 10 minutes to put together.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, add sugar, cocoa and the milk. (just use a medium heat) Stir it every few minutes.

It will melt and when it does bring it to a boil for 1 minute, stirring it every 15 seconds or so.

Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir until it’s all melted.

Pour the oatmeal into the pan along with the vanilla. Stir until it’s well mixed.

Spread a piece of wax paper on your counter and drop spoonfuls of the cookie mix in rows. I like to use a medium size cookie scoop so my cookies are somewhat the same size… not that it really matters…

They start to harden fairly quickly and will get flat on the bottom side like this…You can put them in the frig if you need them to hurry up!!!

Let the cookies set until cool… YEAH…right…not at my house!

Kristoffer was the cookie thief and he got CAUGHT!

I told you there were popular at my house! :o) (Actually, some of them were put in a baggie for Kristoffer to take home!)

I hope you’ll give them a try.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Silk Tie Easter Egg Tutorial…

I thought it might be fun to share a craft “project” for Easter today. Last year, a friend of mine, Beth, brought over some of these “silk tie” eggs that she had done, but I never took the time to do them. I decided I was going to “make” time this year because they are pretty easy to do and you never know how they will turn out…. I took pictures along the way as I did mine, so you can follow me as you do yours!

The basic idea is to wrap silk ties around eggs, and then the dye transfers to the eggs in boiling water. When you unwrap them, you’ll find a sweet surprise…

Okay, who’s game?

You’ll need a variety of 100% silk ties.., make sure the ties have that little tag on them because some polyester’s are pretty close to the feel of real silk. The large black print on the right side is a piece of silk that Beth gave me last year. It was from a jacket lining.

If you click on any picture it will enlarge.

Ties are constructed very simply, so they are easy to dissect. You’ll need a seam ripper and undo the bar tack on the underside. There is a long thread running up the tie on the inside. Usually you can pull it and the whole tie will gather up. Clip that thread and pull it out, and your tie will open up. Then you just have to snip at getting the satin pointed lining out. Many times it’s done with a chain stitch so if you know which way to pull it, it will come out in one pull…

You can deconstruct a half dozen ties in about 15 minutes… (You don’t have to worry about the very narrow end. It’s too small to do anything with so you can just clip it off at about 2-3″ if you like.

You’ll need fresh eggs, preferably white, twist ties, and white vinegar…

You can do your eggs 2 different ways… wrapped on their sides, as I did mine, or you can gather up your silk to the narrow end of your egg… If you have your eggs sitting up on end, it’s pretty to do them this way. I figured mine would be laying down on their sides…

Take an egg and place it NEAR the end of the tie, (RIGHT SIDE OF THE TIE TOUCHING THE EGG) and figure out how much of the tie you need to wrap around the egg… (NOW DON’T DO WHAT I DID… AND WRAP THE EGG WITH THE PRETTY SIDE SHOWING ON THE OUTSIDE… THE PRETTY SIDE HAS TO GO ON THE INSIDE.)

Actually I wrapped all these next eggs wrong and had to redo them. Again, the right side of the silk should be next to the egg. Some silks are hard to tell the right side from the wrong side, so maybe take a safety pin and pin it on the right side to keep it straight. (this is what they should look like, ONLY with the right side on the inside.)

So here are all my eggs, redone, the right way, with the right side of the fabric touching the eggs… Use the twist ties to snug up the fabric on the eggs.. the tighter the fit the better your design will come out…

Next you will need to take some white fabric: a pillow case, a sheet, or just cotton fabric, as I did… Wrap this around the eggs and use a twist tie to hold it in place.

When you get them all wrapped up like little presents, they are ready to go in a pan of water that has had 1/4 cup of white vinegar added to it. Make sure the water covers all your eggs… the white tails can stick out… but the eggs need to be totally in the water.

Bring them to a boil for 20-25 minutes…

When they are done, transfer them to a colander and let them cool.

When they are cool enough to handle, you can begin undoing the twist ties and unwrapping them… It’s pretty exciting to see what you have created…This is what mine turned out like…. not perfect, but I like them.

Here they are in a basket… My favorite ones happened to be the black ones using the silk jacket lining … who knew the eggs would turn out so pretty using it?

You can take a little vegetable oil and rub on them to make them shine…

Now, wasn’t that fun? There are lots of tutorials on Pinterest if you’d like to see more… I’m going to try them again sometime… and I think I’ll keep an eye out for silk ties or silk anything now, just in case… :o)

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Making Socks ~ Tutorial for American Girl dolls

You asked for it, so I will give you “my” version of how I make the socks for my dolls. This tutorial will be shown for the American Girl dolls, but any doll size could be adapted. I’m sure there are lots of different ways to do them, and I didn’t look at anyone else’s way so I could say this is how “I” do them. This tutorial is pretty simple to follow and can be used with little girls tights to make thigh highs or anklets. The thigh highs just go up higher and have an elastic stretch lace piece added before the seam is stitched up the back side, to keep them up.

I found this 6 pack of socks at Walmart for $4.97. Get the biggest size in the socks because you get “more” sock fabric for the same amount of money…

I turned the sock inside out and took it to the machine, placing a piece of paper behind it. I took a pin and placed it where I wanted my stitching at the toe area on the sock to stop. You’ll just have to find what works best for the length you want. It’s called trial and error till you know. I don’t really have a pattern guide…I just stitch in the shape of a foot and ankle.

After it’s stitched, it should look something like this…

Turn it over and gently tear the paper backing off.

Trim the extra sock fabric off with scissors and try it on your dolls foot. If you need to make any adjustments, make them now. If you like the way it fits, you can zig zag the edges on your machine.

Take the one sock you are happy with and lay it on top of the other sock, putting a pin at the bottom like the first one.

When you turn them, they should look something like this…

Now if you want to wear them like this, you are all done…

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However if you want to wear them like anklets, you’ll need to turn the wrong side out so your scalloped top edge will be on the right side and the seam in the back will be on the underside. 

The raw edge will show on the bottom of the foot and back at the heel but the shoe covers it. Here are a couple more pictures to show you the difference.

So here’s the skinny on the socks… if you want to wear your socks like crew socks, wear the seam to the inside…If you want to wear them like anklets, you’ll have to turn them wrong side out so the turned down cuff won’t have the seam showing in the back. Get it?

If you find a decorative stretch lace, you can stitch it to the top of the sock before the back seam is stitched in place. Just thought I’d throw that in if you wanted to get creative on me…

Okay, who is making socks today???

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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