Moonchild Dolls: Dying Wool Felt with Food Dye

I stumbled across this Blog while searching for a way to work with food dye. It doesn't get much easier!
Over on the far west side of the U.S., doll maker, Barrie Humbly, using Wilton Icing Tint dyes for her hand felted wool in beautiful colors!

Moonchild Dolls: Dying Wool Felt with Food Dye
Barrie states if you want more vibrant colors to use less water and more dye. And best of all, she found the colors to be Colorfast! Very important for those who have had a messy washer and dryer after an unsuccessful dying experience. 

And best of all, the tints come in a wide range of colors, is non toxic and is available where ever cake decorating supplies are sold!

If you are wanting to try your hand at dying some hand felted wool without a lot of expense, this is a sure winner. Good luck and let me know how your project turned out!

Ladies Blouse to Infant Outfit

Infant dress, bonnet and booties 
made from a ladies blouse.

Ready for someone's little infant girl.

baby, booties, bonnet, repurpose, restyle

The blouse cut apart and the few scraps leftover.

Burp Cloths

Recently someone gave me a pile 
of very narrow scraps of flannel thinking 
I might be able to come up with 
some useful items 
rather than discarding the fabric. 
They were soft adorable baby prints 
in shades of 
pinks, blues, lilac, and buttercup.

Since these scraps were all very narrow, 
about 7" - 9" wide and 17" - 21" long, 
my first thought was Burp Cloths. 
SEW into the washer with a 
mild baby soap and hot dryer 
to be sure the fabric was suitable for infants.

Babies always need several diapers 
and countless burp cloths 
in their first few months. 

One can never have enough of 
diapers and burp cloths.

SEW - Burp Coths they became!

Now to find a few
young mothers with
newborn babies . . .

And the leftover scraps
will be added to the
ever growing scrap ball
to be crocheted into a rug!

Cleaning delicate Crocheted Vintage Doilies and Table Runners

My daughter brought over a beautiful hand crocheted table runner and asked if I had anything that would remove the nasty stain. It appeared to have been something close to a black mold on one end and she did say that it had gotten wet and then sat in her basement a bit before she noticed it. 

NOTE: the above photo is AFTER it was cleaned! I unfortunately did not take a BEFORE picture.SEW Sorry.

Having just cleaned a beautiful wedding dress that was worn by two brides (and not cleaned) but had been balled up and stored in a large Rubbermaid container in the basement for close to 10 years, I was willing to try something.

First – a soaking in borax and warm water overnight. Second – soaking in borax and warm water overnight. Third – another soaking in borax and warm water with a little bit of OxiClean overnight. That seemed to help a bit. The stain was moving slightly. 

SEW – I knew that oxygen was good for removing mold and was great for removing stains, maybe just OxiClean? After soaking three more times in OxiClean and warm water, and the stain was still visible, I decided to try another method.

Out came the crock pot. I love my crock pots!

Filling it half full of water and set on low, I waited until the water was heated and then added one scoop of OxiClean whisking it until dissolved. Once dissolved the table runner was submerged in the hot water and the lid went on.

Several hours later – as in overnight and yes the crock pot was on low – the stain had lifted quite a bit! There were only two small spots that were hardly visibly but I could still see them. 

SEW I repeated with fresh hot water and OxiClean and a second soaking overnight and that did it, NO STAIN!

I rinsed the table runner three times in warm and cool water and then rinsed again with a vinegar and water rinse – to remove any residues left.

Amazing! I wish I had taken a picture of the table runner before my first attempt to clean this delicate hand crocheted table runner, but I didn’t. SEW trust me – it was nasty.

And now to gather up my vintage hankies and doilies and give them all a good soaking in the Crock Pot with an OxiClean soak!

2013 American Sewing Expo

Happy Birthday, American Sewing Expo!

The American Sewing Expo celebrated its 
20th Birthday celebrating in style! 


 Jane showing the blouse she made 
using her sloper from Fashion Patterns.
Not only does it FIT extremely well, 
Jane embellished the neckline 
with ruffles that she designed!
Jane has been in a few of my classes and 
was recently fitted in one of the shells 
that I have on hand.
Can't wait to see what she makes next!

 Jason, Gall Sewing & Vac, Lansing, 
always there to lend a hand when we need him! 
Thank you, Jason, for all you do!

 Yes - that's an embroidered boot by Laura, 
Leabu Sewing Center.

 Lorna with her jacket entry for Push the Envelope! 
She received a 'surprise' package in the mail 
and had to use the 
contents of the package in her project. 
Lorna has such great talent and 
never ceases to amaze me!

 These great garments were beautiful.
Part of the McCalls staff taking a break.

 Toby, Haberman Fabrics on the last day. Big sigh!

1-2-3 Tier Dress

This 1-2-3 Tier Dress is made from a child's tie dyed T shirt and a woman's very full long skirt. Both the tie dyed T shirt and the gathered skirt were found at the local Goodwill store. They were meant to be joined!

If you are wondering how to make a similar dress, let me know, it was very easy!

Toddler PJs Cuffs

Toddler PJs that zip are wonderful for little ones, they keep them snug as a bug! Babies and toddlers grow SEW fast, growing longer/taller without growing in width. And now that babies and toddlers should not sleep with blankets these sleepers make more sense to keep them warm during the night.

Have you looked at a size 24 month size footed PJs with zippers,  the feet are enormously large! Seriously! Not sure why they make such large feet yet the PJs are limited on the overall length. Before you know it babies and toddlers don't fit in footed PJs  because they grow in length, not width.

SEW - what to do if your little one is long and slim? Change the feet to CUFFS! Yes, CUFFS! In the past year, my sister was blessed with two beautiful granddaughters just months apart and is expecting her third grandchild in just a few weeks! Both the little girls are getting very tall and not fitting in their footed PJs.

CUFFS to the rescue! After removing the footed bottom and elastic an extra wide cuff was added. This makes wearing the PJs SEW much more comfortable for the little tikes.

The cuffs were cut 5" wide and 6" deep. The width can be adjusted easily for the child or size. After stitching the long edge and turning right side out and folded in half, the raw edges were stitched to the lower edges of the legs. Fast & easy! 

Mint Green Jeans Jacket

Finished the Mint Green Jeans Jacket! 

The color is SEW fresh - perfect for spring! This is a mint green cut out floral fabric with pearl beads with a border purchased at Supreme Fabrics, Chicago, IL. 

My first thought was to showcase the floral border along the collar, waistband and cuffs.The flowers were beaded and begged to be shown.  

After experimenting with the border and facings, I decided to sandwich the interfacing between the lining fabric for the Front Facing, collar, waistband, and cuffs. This would allow the interfacing to be hidden and not show through the cut out or the interior of the jacket.

Before sewing any beaded fabric, the beads need to be removed. Soon there were beads flying everywhere, rolling across the table and across the room. There was no easy way to corral the little beads; even the vacuum missed several. 

My favorite pattern weights and KAI scissors!

To keep the flowers along the edge of the curved collar, the flowers and leaves needed to be released and then retacked before sewing the collar layers together. This is quite easy using a close matching thread color and a zigzag stitch on top of the embroidery.
Yes, those are my pattern weights! 
Girl can't have too many of these!
After stitching the collar with 3/8" seam allowances, the seams need to be pressed open to allow the stitched edge to be pressed along the stitched seam. This gives the collar a sharp crease. To do this, be sure to use a point presser. Lucky me, I have several to choose from!

The construction was easy, a simple jeans jacket pattern, Butterick 5402 by Connie Crawford, using industrial sewing techniques. 

As with any jeans jacket pattern, this pattern features princess seams (easy alterations!), back yoke, belted waistband, dropped shoulders, long sleeves pleated pleated into a shirt-style cuff, and front patch pockets with flaps. 

SEW now that the jacket is construction is finished, the hunt is on to find the perfect closures. Any suggestions?!?