In defense of making doll clothes…

As a baby of the eighties, my most defining childhood moments took place in the 1990’s – so just add me to the long list of millennials who get a misty, nostalgic look when reminiscing about American Girl dolls. Yes, American Girl dolls are still around and have continued to exponentially grow in popularity… but there’s something special about those early years when there were only three historical dolls and purchases only followed hours and hours of pouring over the snail mail catalog.

For anyone who has ever had an American Girl doll, there’s something sort of defining about declaring who “your” doll was – your first doll, or your doll of choice, that is. For me, that was Molly, the character representing the World War II era. I received the book Meet Molly as a gift in 1990, and the rest is history. I quickly plowed through all the books in the series and the Molly doll was at the top of my Christmas list for Santa that year.

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Over the years, I received a few additional outfits and accessories for Molly from the beloved, dog-eared American Girl catalog that arrived in the mail every few months. Then I received a gift for my First Holy Communion from a family friend — a First Communion dress for Molly that even included a clip-on veil. Whaaaaaaat??? My eight-year-old mind was blown. There were doll clothes out there that weren’t in the catalog. There were people out there who could make anything I wanted for Molly. This was all news to me.

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I Heart Valentine’s Day (and #SewMyStash2015 Challenge 1)

I LOVE Valentine’s Day. I know I’m in the minority, but I just do. I really don’t think you need to have a significant other in your life to enjoy candy heart bliss and bountiful boxes of $1.99 Valentines! Sometimes I get a little defensive about it — loving a holiday that so many others despise can be a little exasperating. I always make an effort to give Valentine’s Day the attention it deserves!

I recently completed the LOVE paper piecing pattern by Diane at From Blank Pages, available here on Craftsy. Diane, along with Sandi at Crafty Planner, was offering the letters L-O-V-E for free so I could try out the pattern before committing to the entire alphabet. I created this little quilted swatch using scraps, but haven’t yet decided what to do with it. I think it may become a zipper pouch or just a little Valentine’s Day wall hanging. Ideas and suggestions are welcome!

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By completing the pattern and linking it to the designated hashtag on Instagram, I was entering for a chance win the entire alphabet pattern (including numbers and punctuation) and I WON! Waking up to the message that I had won this morning was so magical. I am really, really, really excited to put the alphabet pattern to good use in the future and make lots of personalized, paper-pieced goodness!

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Sewing represent!

While browsing the internet for either sewing or Valentine’s Day (which are obviously two of my very favorite things) I stumbled across these incredibly fun printable Valentines on the crafty style crush blog. I was pretty excited to see a whole Valentine themed to sewing (Sew in Love!)… plus the rest of ’em are pretty neat, too! Who doesn’t love mac and cheese?

So if you’re in need of a quick and easy Valentine fix, throw some cardstock in the printer and give these a whirl. Click here to go to the style crush blog and download the high resolution PDF!

Peptogirl Valentines

The Friday Five: 5 steps to a no-sew wreath

This week’s Friday Five is both a list AND a tutorial wrapped up into one post! Wahoo!

When I was little, I remember my beloved Aunt Corlyne (who was always bursting with enthusiasm about the latest and greatest craft trends) bringing over bags of supplies to make these easy fabric wreaths. This no-sew craft gives everybody an excuse to shop in the fabric aisle, regardless of whether they know how to sew or not. It is a fun project for kids who are old enough to be trusted with a pointy pencil, although grown-ups may have to take care of the pinking shears portion.

1. Gather: You’ll need…

  • A few yards of fabric in coordinating colors
  • A styrofoam wreath (usually available in the floral section of craft stores)
  • Pinking shears (a.k.a zig-zag scissors)
  • A pointy object such as a screwdriver, skewer, pencil, etc.

2. Cut: Use the pinking shears to cut out a pile of fabric squares. The exact size doesn’t matter and the shape can be rough, but the size should be approximately 3×3 inches.

Fabric Squares

I used a bunch of Valentine fabric leftover from a quilt my mom made me in college!

3. Stab: Wrap a fabric square around the pointy object, then stab the whole contraption anywhere on the styrofoam wreath. When you pull the pointy object out, the fabric should stay wedged in the styrofoam.

Pointy Object

Wrap the fabric around the object right-side-up.

4. Fill: Continue with step #3, filling in the entire front side of the wreath. You’ll probably find yourself having to revert back to step #2 and cut out more squares as the project progresses. It only took me one viewing of Eat, Pray, Love and one episode of How I Met Your Mother to complete my heart wreath from start to finish!

Keep going until the entire wreath looks like this!

5. Hang: Now that your wreath is complete, hang it from a nail or use thumbtacks to secure a ribbon on the back!

Heart Wreath