Christmas – Week 2

Footie PJ_AG

And part 2 of the Christmas pajama marathon. You can read about my pajamas-for-people pick (I love me some alliteration) here. I’m not done yet, but I’m ahead of schedule.

This week I’m working on a footed pajama pattern for dolls from Matilda’s Closet. I love, love, love Matilda’s Closet and own so many of their patterns. Patterns are available in both pdf and paper form. I chose the pdf version of the Footie Pajamas for 18″ doll pattern available here.

At this point, all of our dolls are the 18″ size: American Girl, Maplea, and Our Generation. Between me, my sister, and my granddaughters we have eight. So. Lot’s of pajama models.

It’s an unwritten rule that all family PJs must match. Or sort of match. I can’t post pictures or details until after December 24th in the hoped-for-but-unlikely event that my kids and grandkids are reading my blog posts. 🙂

So until December 24th, just know that the family picture will feature a whole lotta people and dolls dressed pretty much the same.

For now, let me share my experience with this particular pajama pattern from Matilda’s Closet.

As I mentioned earlier, this is not my first pattern from Matilda’s Closet. So, as expected, these footed pjs sewed up quickly and without problem. Footed pjs might just be my go-to pattern from now on for pajamas. There’s not many pattern pieces (for this pattern, only the front, back, foot tops, foot bottoms, collar and cuffs) and so both cutting and sewing are super quick and simple.

There’s a zipper which sometimes intimate new sewists. In all honesty, I found that, after doing a few zippers, they are actually quite simple.

TIP: The cheapest place I’ve found zippers here in Canada is from Cleaners Supply, which also has a presence in the U.S. Fast, cheap shipping as well!

I used anti-pill fleece from Fabricland for the body and feet of the pajamas and rib knit from L’oiseau for the collar and cuffs. The pattern asks for fabric with lots of 4-way stretch, but I found this fleece worked fine.

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Free Pattern Friday! Fox Plush — Choly Knight

How cute is this? A must-make from CholyKnight.

Hello everybody! It’s crazy to think that after all these years I still haven’t done a fox plush! It’s such a classic animal, but I suppose I wanted to be sure I was giving you all something I hadn’t seen before and is also relatively easy ❤ After a good bit of testing and trials […]

via Free Pattern Friday! Fox Plush — Choly Knight

Christmas – Week 1

Blog_Cuff Pic

Wait. What? It’s December already?

Time to get into Christmas project gear. And for me, that always begins with Christmas Eve pajamas. This year I’m sewing for my two kids and their spouses and my three granddaughters. And, of course, their dolls.

Relatively early in the game, a request was placed for footed pajamas. I looked around for some pattern designers and found a great pattern from Jalie. Their pajama bundle for men, women, and children covers 29 sizes, including plus sizes, and is available either as a pdf or paper pattern.

I’m always tentative when I start a project with a designer I haven’t sewn with before. Each designer does things, words things, a little differently. Some assume a greater knowledge of sewing than others.

This Jalie sewed up very nicely, but the pattern directions themselves don’t have the detail that many pdf patterns have. For that reason, I’d recommend this for an advanced beginner or intermediate level sewist. You’ll be working with fleece and ribbing (collar and wrist), and there’s a zipper front, all things that sometimes intimidate new sewists.

NOTE: the picture at the top of this post is some gorgeous ribbing from l’oiseau fabric in Calgary, Alberta.

But a beginner could do this! I found a great YouTube video here that goes through the sewing of an entire pair of Jalie footed pajamas. But a cautionary note – the sewist in this video is seasoned enough that she doesn’t pin or clip her fabric. Fleece likes to slide a bit, so do pin/clip your fabric before sewing.

Next week, footed pajamas for our 18″ dolls!

Our First Craft Market

Okotoks Christmas Market_Green Plaid2

We did it. We took PBJ on the road.

We deliberately chose a small market for our first foray into craft fairs and we learned a lot.

Of course we did research before we chose a market. We knew we’d want a small market to start and, because our craft (doll clothes) is a fairly specific demographic, we knew we wanted a market where there were a lot of young families.

I would say the market was moderately successful for us. We didn’t sell as much as we’d hoped, but we learned from our mistakes.

Here’s where we went right:

  • No one (except my granddaughter who’s used to the friends & family discount – free) balked at the prices. So we feel good about that.
  • Thanks to advice from more seasoned market vendors, we feel pretty good about how our market space looked and operated. We were adequately prepared.

Here’s where we can improve:

  • We weren’t aware of the opportunity to request location, so we were off and out of the way of the main traffic. The foot traffic was really poor.
  • Although we thought we targeted our demographic (families with kids), very few children actually came through. The ones who did lit up when they saw our doll clothes, though. We had a request from a young boy – he wanted clothes for his G.I. Joe. We gave him a doll hanger for his G.I. Joe’s uniform to help ease his disappointment. 🙂
  • Did I mention we deliberately chose a small market? Well. It was really slow. Contributing factors might include: bad weather (we had an overnight snow storm), and the market was the Saturday of a Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.

I’ll be doing more posts on craft markets and refining our skills, but for now here are some links to sites we used as part of our research:

8×4 Small Booth Set Up Ideas

10 Mistakes to Avoid at a Craft Sale

6 Secrets for Selling More at Craft Fairs

Make a Gift Box for Your Fish Extender Gift Exchange

Ok, full disclosure: I’m an obsessive vacation planner.

These past few weeks have been spent in preparation for our upcoming Disney cruise. It’s sooooo easy to obsess over planning a Disney vacation in particular. I’ve been making Disney dresses, pajamas, fish extenders and now, boxes.

Attached – and at the top of this page – are the details on how to make your own 6×4 box for your fish extender gifts.

Click here for the printable file to make a 6×4 box like the one I’ve made: 6×4-box-with-disney-pictures.

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Have fun!

Are You a Crafty DIY-er?

Me. I am.

Faithfully, every Friday, I head over to Pixie Faire’s Freebie Friday page and add yet another pattern to my growing pile. Pixie Faire is where I found Miche Design‘s clogs for 18″ dolls. Freebie Friday is an excellent way to be introduced to a designer’s style. Do you love their patterns? Are their instructions easy to follow and understand? A freebie introduction is the perfect way to decide if you and the designer are a good match.

So, what brings me to blog about them today? Tomorrow’s freebie.

It’s a Mary and Laura Ingalls’ (ala Little House on the Prairie) set of dress patterns depicting life in frontier North America. Love it! I already have a pattern or two from this designer, Thimbles and Acorns, and am delighted to be able to add this one to my collection.

Pixie Faire’s offererings aren’t limited to clothing or just to sewing. Knitters, crocheters, and crafters of all kinds can find projects here ranging from period piece costumes to modern bags for dolls.

There’s only one drawback to this shop. Stopping. Seriously. I can’t wander out to look around without wandering out with a new pattern.

Pillowcase Dresses for Dolls & Girls

So, spent a chunk of the weekend working on pillowcase dresses for my two granddaughters and one American Girl doll. Picture above, though I hope to replace it with one soon of all three recipients wearing their dresses.

I was going to make these outfits for the first week of school, but now I’m thinking the colors make them good gifts for a Disney vacation. I got the material from Fabricland, just enough left in the bolt to make two kid dresses and a doll dress.

The pattern for a pillowcase dress is fairly standard and can be found at lots of places online, some free, some paid. This particular pattern came from Pink Poodle Bows. Depending on your sewing skills you might be able to do one on your own (without a pattern). The headband pattern came from Punky n Munky – excellent, easy-to-follow instructions – and I got a great price and shipping rate from Hairbow Center for headband blanks, which delivered the goods within a week, a rare thing given that I’m located in Canada.

I love the pillowcase dress look for young girls. Lots of flexibility and room to move, adorable look, and very easy to work up.