Category Archives: serger

Doll Sleeping Bag–Kid Sew



Grandchildren Robert, 5, and Laurel, 7, spent Friday night and all day Saturday with us.  As usual, it was a busy time with both children requesting a sewing project with me and shop time with their grandfather.

Bob finished a shop project with Robert, but Laurel is training for a children’s triathalon and asked him to “train” with her.  In Florida’s scorching July heat, they jogged and biked and twice went swimming with Robert.  Bob is a real trooper, but time (and energy)  ran out before he and Laurel made it into the shop.

I managed to do some machine embroidery with the little guy which I will post later.  The major sewing project was Laurel’s, this doll sleeping bag.

Once again, at our house, Laurel’s American Girls doll Kit was forced to spend the night in the nursery crib because the little doll cradle at the foot of Laurel’s bed is too short for the 18″ dolls.   Laurel lamented  the doll bedding shortage everywhere.  At her home, she has the sweet AG doll bed decked out with bedding I made for her first doll, Molly .  But now that Kit has joined the family, “She has to sleep on the floor, Nana!”  Outrageous!

Last month, at our cabin, Kit again had to sleep on the floor, just as she had at a recent sleepover.  So Laurel thought this would be a very useful accessory for her new doll.




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Fleece Ponchos for two American Girls


Central Florida has just endured one of the coldest Decembers in history, with more than 5 nights of  freezing temperatures and more likely to come.

Because of this bitter weather, Laurel called me with the most pitiful request.  It seems she is almost overcome with 6 year old maternal love for her new doll, Molly.  So my little granddaughter began by detailing all the chores she has been doing at home in order to earn money to buy Molly a coat. Her mother has wisely seized this opportunity for Laurel to learn the value of money, hard work and goal setting.


“But  her coat costs $25!  I have earned $1.25 so far but Molly is cold NOW, Nana. Can you please make her a poncho?”  How could I deny this heartfelt plea?

As excited as Laurel was with their matching Christmas dresses, it seemed only right to make matching ponchos.   So I pulled out some red polar fleece from my stash and whipped these up in no time at all.

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Mouse King Shirt

Alastair’s Christmas outfit is almost finished.  The pattern is Ginger Snaps Hudson’s Sundy Suit,  with side vents. Few little guys can keep their shirts tucked in so this pattern offers a nice solution to that problem.

Paired with the shirt are black velveteen short pants with straps that should hold the ruthless Mouse King securely in place. But if the shirt still fits Alastair next year, it’s nice to give him the option of wearing it without tucking.  

Like Cousin Robert’s shirt  the fabric is Martha’s Favorite Linen.  This is not my favorite linen, but it is just right for the boys’ shirts.  Continue reading

Gobble Monogram Shirts

UPDATE:  Some new photos of all three in their turkey shirts…….

My grandsons’ Christmas outfits are on the back burner. This past week, I was tied up taking care of Alastair across the state.  His mother has been called into work at her job as a computer engineer for a full week, rather than her regularly scheduled two days, so I did daycare instead of holiday outfits.

I returned home Thurs. night, fully intending to plow full steam ahead on Christmas clothes, but now we are having an impromptu early Thanksgiving Saturday.

Ryan and Shelly were already on board because it is a regular football Saturday. We called Rebecca and Harvey Friday at dinner time to ask them to come.  They piled into the car and arrived late that evening with sweet Alastair sound asleep.  Having a baby tucked in the nursery crib is just one more thing to be thankful for.

It will be just like the real thing, though on a slightly smaller scale, as I have just begun cooking.  But with turkey, dressing, lots of trimmings, pumpkin and mincemeat pies and a day rife with college football games, the only difference will be that we are not celebrating on the 4th Thursday of November. Continue reading

Christmas Dress ’10

black velveteen

Laurel’s black velveteen dress and pinafore bib are finished, complete except for the hem. It was such a pleasure to plan and stitch this holiday outfit for her. Handling and stitching the goods for heirloom sewing just makes me say ahhhhhh.

Christmas outfits for Laurel and her brother need to be finished in time for family Christmas card photos. Then, they will be worn to The Nutcracker performance in early December. So the rush is on to complete Robert’s clothing. His shirt will be embroidered with a nutcracker.

pinafore bib

The champagne Swiss batiste pinafore bib features the Sugar Plum Fairy design from A Bit of Stitch’s Mini Nutcracker Motifs collection. This is a really lovely design, very delicate. The motif below the dancer is stitched with 80 wt. Madeira Cotona, which makes the design very light.

I was almost finished with the bib when I noticed that the ballerina was not centered. How did that happen? I measured ever so carefully, I thought. But I’ll have to live with it now.

Ecru beading threaded with pink satin ribbon runs on either side of a delicate antique lace insertion. Wide pink satin ribbon ties the bib front and back at the side. Continue reading

Margaret Tully Sews

This past weekend Margaret Tully taught a class at the Sewing Garret in South Daytona.  As always, she was delightfully entertaining while she teaching her students fabulous techniques and tips.

I was unable to stay for the sit and sew portion, but snapped these pictures of some of her inspiring samples.

Margaret is best known for her serging expertise, but she is equally adept with sewing.  The creativity and variety of her samples shows just how diverse her talents are. Continue reading

Woodland Treasures Nursery


Sewing for a grandchild’s nursery is pure joy.  When Sue Box’s embroidery design collection, Woodland Treasures, was released, I ordered it almost immediately.  I knew these designs would be just what my daughter-in-law would want for her baby.


When Shelly, with her overwhelming interest in nature and her environmental science degree, was months away from delivering our first grandchild, I was on a New Grannie High.  I began major projects with new enthusiasm.


Shelly had also volunteered as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for years before her pregnancy.  She spent countless hours preparing  Mother Nature’s orphans for independent life in Florida’s woodlands.


Shelly agreed that these fantasy woodland creatures were perfect nursery companions  for her baby.

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Washable Baby Wipes

“It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born.  This is not necessarily cause for alarm.  The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money.”  Elinor Goulding Smith

Personally, I thought this little project was too insignificant for my blog.  But my daughter declared the topic both timely and appropriate and insisted that I write it up.

While I profess to be an old fashioned Nana, my daughter is most certainly an old fashioned Mama .   She breastfeeds, makes all of Alastair’s  baby food and uses cloth diapers, though, trust me, these high-tech nappies have little or no resemblance to the ones I used for my babies.

She is also thrifty.  Very thrifty.  If she had read this quote, she would have scoffed and reiterated the importance of  a realistic budget. Continue reading

Special Occasion Tablecloths

wedding side yard tables


Making special occasion tablecloths is one of the easiest, most satisfying and cost effective projects you can undertake.   For weddings, birthdays or showers, you can make tablecloths for a very reasonable price and in less time than it would take to locate just what you want, if ever you could.  The splash of color and coordination with the decorations or color theme makes the affair seem a bit nicer.

The use of a serger certainly streamlines the process, but with a sewing machine and a little more time, you can still achieve the same satisfactory, economical results. Continue reading

Floral Monogrammed Fleece

My 5 year old granddaughter, Laurel,  keeps asking when it will be summer again. It is so cold here in central Florida that all we can think about is warmth, where to get it and how to keep it. Polar fleece is the first thing that comes to my mind.

Since this miracle fabric was first introduced to  consumers, I’ve made a lot of fleece projects, including this throw for my daughter. It’s really pretty ordinary and ho-hum but I can share some tips about such projects and how to improve this one, which I will do when Rebecca brings this home to be remodeled. Continue reading