Child’s Book Shelf

I bought this wobbly little shelf for $10, standing 30 inches high and 18 inches wide. Probably not worth it but I always like a challenge!

It’s small and narrow. The black paint covered red paint which covered green, and the wood was very rough; it took a lot of stripper and effort to get to the base. It’s a great example of used, rough-hewn wood repurposed into something “new”. It was probably once an old packing crate.

When I got to this point I just sat back and pondered. After minor repairs and priming, I knew it needed a back for interest and for stabilization. I decided upon a fabric rear wall and paints to match. Like so.18webAs always, painting was the fun part. Then I cut backboard and set about attaching the fabric (see this post for how-to’s) on an angle to match the line of those small inside shelf stabilizers.

The colours worked out beautifully and the little shelf now sits in my granddaughter’s bedroom!


Barbie 2-Tiered Skirt/Pants with Top

Simplicity 8281

A sewing background definitely helps when taking on Barbie clothes. I found a lovely site that addressed some of the issues when sewing these wee things. I was glad to read her recommendations and will add some of my own as I go along.

I made three outfits from this pattern. It’s a vintage pattern – you don’t find many new Barbie patterns in the stores these days. Instead many kind-hearted seamstresses have taken the time to lay the pieces out and photograph them, often with a ruler alongside so that you know how to size them when printing, and then upload them free of charge for anyone to use.

I sewed the pants and top with cotton broadcloth, always easy to work with.

The Top

Join band to bodice. Clip curves. Press.02-band-to-bodice-web

Hem top and bottom, followed by sides.

I used Heat’n’Bond bought by the roll, and cut it lengthwise into quarters. The small thin pieces allow you to fold the hems over and iron them in place as you move along. It also greatly reduces fraying on an unfinished edge (and I rapidly discovered that a finished edge adds WAY too much bulk). The Heat’n’Bond holds extremely well but I still ran a line of topstitching along each edge.03-heatnbond-pieces webMake straps using Heat’n’Bond. If you lightly spray the fabric with water, the first hem will finger-press quite easily; the Heat’n’Bond fuses the two turned edges.

Attach the straps and add velcro to the centre back.

The Pants

Hem the bottoms and the waistline edges. If you try to do this at the end, there will be no room for your fingers or your sewing machine to work!12-pant-hems-top-and-bottom web

Sew the outer side seams. Press. To reduce bulk and minimize fraying, sew a second stitching line close to the first and cut excess fabric away.16-pants-outer-seams-web

Sew the crotch seams, leaving an opening at the centre back. Hem centre back opening and add velcro.

Two More Outfits with Same Top plus Skirt

I chose fussier fabric for these two and found it best to line the skirts with ultra-light fusible interfacing to stabilize them a bit. They were so slippery!

Every stage was a bit of a learning one, and I’m looking forward to the next batch of wee clothes!

New Directions!

Hokey smokey. So busy. Can’t find time to post. I’m changing direction to work on other stuff. Particularly “grandmother” stuff.  There are little people to build things for and only a certain-sized time window to complete them in. The old saying “they grow up too fast” now applies to the next generation!

“Other stuff” involves sewing, where my artsy hobbies all started such a long, long time ago.

You’ll see some sewing and paper projects. Which means this site just gets busier.

So. I’m making Barbie clothes – I’d ‘a never thought! The request has come in so here I go. These are for you, Miss Abby!



Doll Box/Photo Chest

 7 x 4.5 x 4 in/18 x 11.5 x 10.5 cm

I found this little box in a second-hand shop, finished a dull black. The lid slid open only with difficulty. It’s a perfect example of why I strip pieces down to the bare wood and apply a new finish with a small paintbrush in order to reduce bulk. When completed, the lid slid easily back and forth.

Continue reading “Doll Box/Photo Chest”

Kids Need to Store Treasures

I’m starting another new section for kids. There’s a lot of old stuff out there that when updated could function beautifully as small storage containers or doll furniture, especially for the oh-so-popular 18″ dolls seen everywhere today.

Here’s one of the pieces that I recently finished. While small (6×12 inches), it still required the same degree of patience to strip and prepare. The beauty of painting these little treasures is that it can be done at my relatively tidy craft table upstairs instead of my messier work station in the basement! I can paint a section, push it into a corner of the table to dry, then work on another bit. I can even clear enough space to work on completely different projects, like scrapbooks or cardmaking. It’s lots of fun and provides lots of variety.

Continue reading “Kids Need to Store Treasures”

Velcro Flowers Quiet Page

When we visited our youngest granddaughter recently (she’s 14 months old), my husband and I noticed how much she loves the sound of velcro – repeatedly opening and closing the flap on his cell phone holster. It kept her occupied for hours  minutes! Quite a few minutes, actually! So I decided to whip her up some velcro flowers for Christmas. Voila! Usually I painstakingly design, draw, and cut out appliques for these projects but with this one I used some big floral print fabric and simply cut out the flowers, lined them with light batting and solid fabric, and added circles of velcro to the backs.03web

04web Continue reading “Velcro Flowers Quiet Page”

Three Wee Boxes

   Before outside       Before Insides

  12-web      11-web

3-inch square boxes. Plain old wood. Nice lines.  Calling out for colour!

Removing the varnish was easy with a single layer of stripper and sanding. The small interior dimensions made it a bit tougher to reach the corners, but fiddling with clamps and folded sandpaper bits did the trick.

 3 Wee Boxes 03 04-web 06-web 07-web

05-webI don’t know what the wood type is, but it’s consistently found in these small pieces almost always made in China (though that doesn’t mean that the material also comes from there). In another life I’ll learn what all these trees are!

I didn’t see any nails. I didn’t see any glue.  Each piece fit together perfectly with each post hinge for the tops precisely inserted.

I painted the boxes in 3 distinct exterior colours, then moved each colour one box over for the interiors.  The photos show a work in progress.

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With the usual gloss varathane finish they were done! A Christmas present for a member of my family.