Mary Frances Doll Laundry Bag

My daughter just finished up the first sewing project in the Mary Frances Sewing Book. It is a Doll Laundry bag. She sewed it entirely by hand using basting, half-backstitching, hemming, and overcasting hand-sewing techniques. It's all good practice for her.

I gave her this little scrap of Lecien fabric and thought the stripes would help her keep her stitches straight (sewing up the sides) and even (hemming and backstitching the casing for the ties). Plus, she *really* wants to try and do things as close to the book as possible, and it looks like Mary Frances used some striped fabric as well.

She's very proud.

And she is completely entranced by the book itself. I keep finding these little set-ups around my sewing table. If you look closely at the basket, it holds a lot of the "characters" in the book that she's made or found objects to represent - the Fairy Lady, Mr. Silver Thimble (it looks like she made him out of wax and a rubber thimble), Tommy Pin Cushion, Scissor Shears, Needle Book (I need to actually make her one), Pen Cil, Work Basket, Bees Wax, the Needle of Don't Have to Try (which ends up being me :) ), and of course, the little bird she has perched on a clothespin - the Sewing Bird.

Ironically, the other night I was assisting her with ironing the laundry bag. We were using a tiny iron, which I thought would be easier for her to use. I had my hand placed over hers and I was explaining why I thought there was no mention of irons in the Mary Frances book - how ironing can be dangerous for kids to do without adult supervision...and then I placed my left index finger directly on the rod!!! Oww. You can still kind of see my fingerprint below.

So that has slowed me up this week a bit. Being left-handed, I really need that finger!

Anyways, I am almost done with a doll for my niece! I should have pictures up next week. I have a second doll I'm working on for my oldest that she's already named and will be making the doll wardrobe for from the Mary Frances book.

Right now, she's onto project #2 - a doll apron. Project #3 is a doll handkerchief and then she'll move onto to the clothes!


Sewing in Summer

This is our first week of summer vacation. Deliberately, our summer should be less busy and more relaxing than past years. We have not scheduled very much for the girls to do. I want them to play outside, explore, read each day, swim, and play some more. For my two older girls, I have one specific goal for them each: to help my middle daughter with reading and to *really* teach my oldest daughter to sew.

We've started working towards those goals this week. For my oldest, we started reading The Mary Frances Sewing Book: Adventures Among the Thimble People. I blogged about this book a few months ago here. The book covers many basic hand-sewing/sewing techniques. So far, my daughter has learned/practiced the following: basting, uneven basting, running stitch, back stitch, half-backstitch, catch stitch, overhanding, overcatching, hemming, blanket stitch, buttonhole stitch (I now understand the difference between these last two!), and cross-stitching. The picture above is the sampler she's been working on with all these techniques.

She's currently working on a cross-stitch Farm Folk X-Stitchette by Wee Wonderfuls. I enlarged the pattern for her to see more clearly, but it's been slow-going thus far. Once she's finishes this, we'll move ahead and start to work on all the doll clothes patterns in the book. I think there are around 33 patterns in total. I plan to have her sew some of the clothes entirely by hand, others on the machine with some hand-finishing.

I'm not sure how many of the patterns we'll work our way through this summer. I want her to be able to do a lot of the work herself, so we'll take our time if necessary. So far, we're both enjoying the book and learning together. And being that we're both lefties, I feel like I'm the perfect teacher for her (fellow lefties may understand)! :)


Etsy Love


Image from Crafty is Cool

This pattern by Crafty is Cool almost makes me want to learn how to crochet. So cute. If I wasn't already so short on time these days...

For Halloween in 2004 (almost six years ago?!?), my husband and I and our oldest (back then our only child) were a few of the characters from Where the Wild Things Are. I made my mask and my husband made his. My daughter wouldn't wear the wolf hood/ears, but she was fine with the crown.

I later knitted/felted a Wild Things crown and attempted to take some pictures of the two older girls in the same costumes a few years ago, but "Max" wouldn't cooperate/stay still. Hmmm, I'll have to try this again with all three girls.

Speaking of Etsy Love and Where the Wild Things Are, this crown by Rice Babies is simply awesome. So so cute! Her Etsy store is here. She has lots of great things in her store :).

Image from Rice Babies

And back to crochet patterns, my girls love this one, found at Pepika's Etsy store. Why are there so many cute crochet patterns, but not as many for knitters?

Image from Pepika