Category: how to

pin girls : sweet pin cushions made from scraps – free pattern

pin cushion doll - free sewing pattern

pin cushion - pin girl- free pattern

*This post contains affiliate links – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link.

Did you ever make something you liked so much you put it next to your bed so you would see it first thing in the morning?  This pin girl is like that for me. Something about it… And I’ve made a pattern for you. The pin girl is not only the official pincushion of the 2020 scrap festival but she is also the official pincushion of the miss thislte society.
Before we get started let’s talk about pincushion filling for a minute. I think walnut shells are ideal (unless you have a tree nut allergy). They add a nice weight and fill out the curvey shape beautifully. I got a huge bag here (I get a small commission if you purchase through this link).
Sand works too and you can most likely find fine sand at your hardware or gardening store. For this pincushion I don’t recommend using just fiber – the weight and shape won’t be nearly as nice. If you have other filling ideas please let us know in the comment section. Also – I’m thinking of putting together kits for the shop with sweet fabric, and everything else you need – what do you think?

Let’s make pin girls!

You will need:

download the pdf template

Affiliate links are marked with *

fabric scraps – cotton and a little wool or felt
A wooden bead- I used a ⅞ inch (about 22mm) bead – a little bigger or smaller is fine. You can get beads with faces! *right here.
wooden skewer – the larger size is best – what matters is that your bead fits on it. I *used these.
crushed walnut shells – I *used these
a little wool stuffing
trim and lace scraps
chopstick
funnel
glue stick
paint and brushes
white or wood glue
a basic sewing kit

1. Cut out one bottom and 3 doll pattern pieces. Mark a 1/4 inch seam line lightly in pencil on all your pieces.

2. Fold the top edge of the doll pieces over towards the wrong side at the seam line and press.

3. Pin two of the doll pieces – right sides together and stitch one side. Stitch over the folded edge and stop at the bottom seam line as shown. You can hand or machine stitch – in either case use a very small stitch.

4. Open the two pieces you just stitched together and match the edge of the third doll piece to one side.

free pincushion sewing pattern

5. Pin it in place and stitch the side.

6. Match the last two sides, pin and stitch.

7. The 3 pieces assembled should look like.

8. At the bottom edge press the 3 side seams open – you don’t have to press all the way up – just near the bottom.

9. Carefully matching the edges, pin the circle to the bottom opening.

10. Stitch the bottom circle to the opening –  make sure you follow the seam line and use small stitches. It is easier to do this by hand.

11. Use a chopstick to turn the doll right side out through the top opening and run the stick around the seam with firm pressure.

12. Painting the heads – paint simple features with acrylic craft paint or  *get heads that are already painted here.

13. I’m using *crushed walnut shells and a tiny bit of wool to stuff the body (probably not a great idea if you have a tree nut allergy).  Checkout the notes at the top of the post on stuffing materials. You can also use fine sand or sawdust.

14. Place a small funnel in the neck of the body and start adding the filling. As you add the filling use the funnel to crush and press it down and into the edges. Keep compressing and adding filling.

15. Use your chopstick to push filling into any soft areas and add more if necessary.  Tap the bottom of the body on your table to settle the fill and add more – stuffing as firmly as possible will make the best shape.

16. Paint a little glue on the blunt end of your skewer (white or wood glue works).

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The 2020 scrap festival : 11 ideas for your scraps and the swap signup

11 ideas for using scraps

Welcome to the second annual international scrap festival. An entire month devoted to the celebration of fabric scraps. I’ve gathered a bunch of projects for you and I’ll be sharing a couple new free sewing tutorials this month that are just right for scraps.  And we’re going to try a swap! Find the rules and swap signup form right here – please read them carefully!

The swap is full and signups are closed.  Update – everybody has been partnered and all notification emails have been sent!  If you signed up but don’t see it please check your spam folder. If you need to review the rules find them here.

11 ideas for using fabric scraps

I’ve scoured the interwebs to find awesome scrap sewing projects and ideas for you plus there is a new tutorial from me that I’m excited to share.  You might notice that pincushions, an ideal scrap fabric project and essential tool, are missing from this list.  I’m planning a whole separate post later this month devoted to pincushions. 

PS – If you haven’t already check out the 2019 scrap festival project list. And there are 4 more project ideas here.

onward!

11  ideas  for your scraps

scrap fabric feather tutorial

1. Pieced Feathers – Easy to do and you could make all sorts of things with them – the tutorial is great.

2. Sashiko Sampler Potholders – They are lovely and a great opportunity to try sashiko stitching.

embroidered house sachets

3. Little House Sachets – So sweet! Every detail is just right. And I get almost as excited about a good smell as I do about scraps.

And two more for the kitchen:

4. Acorn pot holder – make a pot holder or just follow the clever piecing directions and make a little acorn bag. What’s cuter than a patchwork acorn?

5. And everybody needs this pot handle cover.

scrap quilt tutorial

6. Potluck Quilt – for the most ambitious among you. I want to make this and I definitely have enough scraps. I feel like it’s a good long term project, good early morning work.

7. Squircles…. I love the idea of appliquéing these hand cut imperfect shapes and playing with color etc. There are squircles in my future.

free bug doll sewing pattern

8. Picnic bugs – I made you a tutorial for these cheerful bugs – it’s perfect for little scraps.

patchwork ball diy

9. Hexie Ball – such an interesting way to sew a 3 dimensional shape. Abby Glassenberg has a great tutorial.

10. Scrap Table Runner – I love Amy’s easy technique – it pretty much quilts itself, so clever.

11. Bow garland – This garland is as simple as it gets and it’s great for really tiny scraps that you couldn’t possibly part with. It’s so simple and would be sweet  and magical in a little girl’s room.

Bonus scrap idea!

Make French Hens! the nesting box is made using this free tutorial. The chickenizing details are there too. And I’ve put the wobbler pattern (that’s what the body is made from) on sale for you for the whole scrap festival month.

bird sewing pattern

 

And check my free pattern page for more ways to use your awesome scraps.

If you’ve got a great scrap project idea share it in the comments or use  #scrapfestival2020 on instagram to share a scrap project you’ve made.

 

the somewhat weekly newsletter

Do you get my free weekly-ish newsletter? There are tips and tricks, ideas, stuff to try, all the latest news and blogposts and extra stuff, just for subscribers, delivered mostly on Friday. Pretty much.


picnic bugs : a free and easy sewing pattern for a silly bug doll

free bug doll sewing pattern

free bug doll sewing pattern

You have probably seen these guys, they show up frequently at picnics (hence the name). They don’t come to pester, just to say hi. They’re friendly like that. Aggressively and relentlessly friendly. They don’t even get mad if you put them in a jar. Just take them to a picnic once in a while.

Good things come out of play. These guys turned up a couple years ago in a silly bug experiment. They crack me up. And they’re a perfect scrap project – you only need a little bit and a mismatched variety is nice. And they make a silly and sweet surprise for somebody little’s lunchbox.

sew a silly bug

make a picnic bug:

download the pattern

You will also need:

  • fabric scraps – I used cotton and linen
  • twine or yarn for legs
  • stuffing
  • large embroidery needle
  • a chopstick
  • a bamboo skewer
  • basic sewing supplies

1. Cut out the body and eye pattern pieces – pin to doubled fabric with the right sides together and cut out. Pin the stomach pattern to a single piece of fabric and cut out.  Note – the wings are double sided so you’ll need 4 pieces – 2 for each wing. I used 2 different fabrics.  Pin the pattern to the 2 layers of fabric with the right sides together and cut out a wing, then flip the pattern and repeat for another wing.

2. Cut a slit in the stomach area of the body pattern for turning and stuffing – make sure it’s smaller than the stomach cover.

3.  Mark your quarter inch seam allowance on the fabric (really – it helps a lot). Pin the two body pieces with the right sides together and  sew all around the body.  Pin two pairs of wings with the right sides together and sew – leave open as shown.

4. Clip little notches all around the body and wings being careful not to cut the seam. Clip the points off the wings too and clip along the curve.

5. Turn the body and wings right side out. Run the chopstick over the seam inside with firm pressure on the body and wings. this helps open the seam for a smooth shape.  Press each piece.

6. Stuff the body – I’m using wool stuffing.

7. Stitch the stomach closed. this will not show. Don’t pull the stitches too tight – just enough to close. Stitch the wing openings closed too.

8. You can use you large needle to move the stuffing around and fine tune – this helps fill out the curves.

9. Pin the stomach and eyes in place and whip stitch around. Optional- whip stitch around the wings with a contrasting thread.

10. Stitch and elongated X for each eye and a little W between for a mouth.  I also added a few horizontal stitches on his neck.  For tips on hiding your knots see this post.

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bat applique part 2 – embroidering the details

bat applque and embroidery diy project

Find part one of the bat appliqué tutorial right here. You’ll find a template for the shape and tips on making really pointy appliqué points. Below I’ve got some super simple embroidered details and ideas for finishing your bat appliqué.

bat embroidery details tutorial

Download the template and cut out the shapes outlined in black – the body, wing line and optional heart. Don’t worry about the little finger and toe lines.

Place the templates on the appliqué and trace the guide lines. I used a light colored pencil that erases easily.  Because I appliquéd before I embroidered the shapes don’t fit precisely so I pivoted the little body shape and traced it one limb ay a time. You could embroider first if you prefer.

For the face poke through and make guide dots for placement. And the fingers and toes are  straight stitches radiating out from the ends of the  arms and legs.

download the bat embroidery template

I used back stitch for my first bat. It’s simple to do.

1. Begin by making one small straight stitch and bringing the needle back out one stitch length away.

2. Put the needle back in where the first stitch ends.

3. Bring the needle out a stitch length away.

4. And bring the needle back in where the las stitch ended – repeat one million times.

applique bat tutorial

I’m going to appliqué a little heart on this bat but otherwise call it a day. I like the simplicity and feel like it works with the vintage linen he is appliquéd on – simple and a little folk arty feeling.

bat applque and embroidery diy project

I’ve made another, also on a vintage linen.  I used a straight stitch for the details and I’m appliquéing a wreath of  flowers all around from some vintage curtain fabric I got last summer in France.  You can find some great tips for needle turn appliqué right here.This will take forever. But it’s the kind of slow stitching that can come with me on trains etc that I’m attracted to right now. Plus I’ll eventually end up with an awesome new throw pillow.

I hope you embroider a bat! And stay tuned for more tutorials – plus embroidery and appliqué kits will be coming soon.

little gifts to make and sweet wrapping ideas

5 easy gifts to make

Little gifts and sweet touches that don’t take very long to make or cost  much. Very much in the spirit of Christmas. Sweet things you can make from scraps mostly.

5 easy gifts to make

*This post contains affiliate links

stuffed pine tree sewing pattern

Woebegone pines – make a bunch. As an alternative to the wooden base you can use a cinnamon stick and add a hanging string at the top.

fabric christmas tree diy

Stitch a little mouse from scraps. The pattern is designed for felt but is works with other fabrics too – this guy is made from linen.

sewing needle book pages from scraps

Needle books make great gifts. And you can do a mini version, just a page or two, if you’re short on time.  I have a bunch of pages in progress that I’m going to assemble into a couple little books.

needle book ideas - colors

From the paper department – make paper sail boats or wax paper stars and snowflakes or swan treat boxes.

make a paper sail boat

wax paper star diy         make a paper swan treat box

Check out the free pattern page for lots more little gift ideas.

Or give a creative friend a gift certificate to the shop!

ann wood handmade gift certificate

and package ideas

One of the byproducts of making a little painting everyday (today is day 352) is the little section at the top of the paper where I off load paint and test my brush and colors.  They are entirely unintentional and I usually end up liking them. For me anyway, they often have that magic that the universe delivers up when we get out of the way. I like them enough to save them. And lately put them to use – they make sweet and cheerful gift tags.

making marks on paper

*The links below are affiliate links – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link.

I like them even better cropped using a die punch. You can get one here. I have a few of these punches and love them. The stamp doesn’t have a hole for the string so I used this mini size hole punch and added bakers twine.

do it yourself painted gift tags

sew a tree and mouse from scraps

What if you don’t make a painting everyday? You can still make the tags. The key is to make some marks on card stock or watercolor paper before cutting the tags.  Cropping is magic. Experiment with making marks without thinking about the tags. That freestyle experimenting is fun and good exercise and the tags are a bonus.

diy painted gift wrap

The tags go perfectly with my signature paint splattered brown paper wrapping. To keep things interesting I also painted some stripes and dots this year. 

Happy Christmas to you! I hope your holidays are lovely,

ann

 

PS – Join me in Vermont this March! We’ve added seven en-suite rooms for our upcoming SugarHouse Retreat with French General.  Located less than two miles away in The Dairy Barn ( I stayed in the Dairy Barn last year – it’s glorious), these special rooms are a beautiful addition to our retreat!  Come stitch by the fire with me!  Find more details here.

how to sew fabric trees

wax paper crystal snowflake ornament diy

handmade paper ornaments

handmade paper ornaments

You can make these wax paper snowflake “crystal” ornaments in about 5 minutes with stuff you probably already have. You gotta love that.  And you don’t have to use wax paper. I happen to love it though. I wanted something simple and light for my norfolk pine this year and I’ve always found wax paper magical. These were quick and easy and I had fun making them, I hope you do too. If you do I’d love to see – use #annwoodpattern on instagram.

You will need:

  • wax paper
  • stapler
  • glue stick
  • pinking shears
  • scissors
  • thread for hanging
  • optional – hot glue

make snowflakes from wax paper

1. Cut a strip of wax paper. My strip is the width of the roll and about 5 inches wide.

2. Fold the length of paper into pleats – accordion style. The pleats should be 1/2 inch or a little bigger. You want them to be consistent in size and firmly creased.

paper snowflake ornament diy

3. If you end up with a little extra paper carefully trim it off. Staple the center of your pleated paper – the staple needs to go across the center.

4.  Apply glue stick to the top layer of paper.

5. Fold the pleated paper in half – glue inside. Trim the tip with pinking shears.

6. Cut a couple little notches along the folds.

7. Apply glue stick to one side.

wax paper crystal tutorial

8.  Un- fold into a circle – brining the glued side around to meet the unglued side and press together to attach.

9. Add a string if you like and you’re finished – or…  Add a whole other level of awesomeness…

10. For extra dimension and fancyness make a smaller snowflake. I used a strip of paper about half as long and half as wide. My pleats are about 1/2 inch still but there are less of them.

wax paper craft idea

11. Use a  dot of hot glue to attach the smaller snowflake to center of the larger.

wax paper craft idea

So sweet! I hope you make wax paper snowflakes!

wax paper craft idea/div>

make a paper swan treat box : free tutorial

paper swan ornament treat box diy

For little treats and treasures. This swan favor box is super easy to make.  And I’ve made the template in two sizes for you (I demonstrate below using the larger size).

paper treat box tutorial

paper swan ornament diy

*This tutorial contains affiliate links – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link.

download the template

You will need:

  • the large or small swan box template
  • heavy paper – mixed media paper, card stock or watercolor paper all work
  • exacto knife
  • masking tape
  • glue
  • paint (I used water color)
  • pencils
  • scissors
  • paper clips
  • clothespins
  • optional – hanging string or ribbon

Notes before you begin:

The boxes are easy to make but tracing and cutting accuracy are very important. Also, please read through the steps before beginning.

 paper swan favor box diy

1. Cut out a swan template (I’m using the large) and use the pencil to poke holes through the three dots on the pattern. Use the exacto knife to cut the tab slot lines on the pattern. Place the template on your heavy paper and use a few little pieces of masking tape to keep it in place.  Trace around the edge.

* click the images for a larger view

2.  Mark the 3 dots with your pencil.

3. Lift up the tab slot and trace that edge.

4. Using the tail dot as a guide draw the straight score lines.

5. To draw the 2 curved score lines cut the line and trace them. You can tape the template back together after.

6. Use the back of the exacto knife to lightly score  all the lines you drew.

7. If you would like to add a hanging string use a large embroidery needle to poke holes through the two dots on the tab. Gently erase all the pencil lines.

paper swan ornament box diy

8. Turn your swan over and paint. I also made the smaller size and painted that one black (for that one I painted both sides.

I like simple, quick gestural painting for the swans. Make a few quick strokes in shades of gray water color and used just a little orange for the beak. I’m using a koi water color box and mudder water brushes. I love both of these items deeply.  *FYI – I get a small commission if you purchase through the links. Add some lines on the feathers in pencil or pen. I used pencil and sprayed them with a fixative so they won’t smudge. I made a curvy line for the eye with a black pen.

9.  Beginning with the tail gently fold along the score lines.

10. Next fold up the sides.

11. Gently shape the curved score lines too.

12. Apply glue to the front as shown and press the sides together.

13. Use paperclips or a weight to hold the sides together while tit dries.

14. When the front is dry apply glue to the tail and bend one side of the bottom tail feathers over the back.

15. Clamp with a clothespin and gently curl up the end with you finger. Let the tail dry.

16. Repeat for the other tail feather.

 treat box diy

17. Curl the ends of the middle feathers over a pen.

18. Add a string or ribbon if you like.

19. Tuck the tab into the slot by pressing down to close the box.

treat box diy

20.  Finally curl the feather under the top feather up a little.

make a paper swan treat boxI hope you make lots of swan boxes!

 

 

make a penny rug for the tiny rag doll with wool scraps

make a dollhouse rug from wool scraps

It’s officially cosy season, I kicked it off by boiling some wool scraps on Sunday. I was trying to felt wool without putting it in the dryer. The boiling on its own did not do much in the way of felting but it did produce an unexpected result that I ended up liking, the dyes ran so all my scraps ended up over-dyed.

doll house rug made from wool scraps

I used some of my boiled wool for this little rug for the tiny rag doll. Of course she needs a cosy rug for her little house in the green valley. I ran into wool pennies and penny rugs for the first time a few months ago. I love a scrap project and the idea of using everything and making something out of nothing. And I’ve got plenty of little scraps of wool. The little stitched circles are charming and satisfying to make. It’s meditative work.

And there are endless ways you could embellish and assemble them. I’ve made you templates for the shapes I used in this little rug.

find the template here

You’ll need wool and/ or wool felt scraps (I used a mix of felt and wool)
Embroidery thread and a needle
And (optional) a glue stick for assembling

1. To make the individual pennies place the little circle in the center of the larger. Stitch an X or star in the center with straight stitches.   Blanket stitch around the edge, to begin make one straight stitch and come back out out at the edge.

2.  Insert the needle a little away from the first stitch and the edge of the circle. Don’t pull the stitch tight.

3. Bring the needle back out just past the edge of the circle, bring your needle through the loop and pull tight.

4. Begin another stitch and repeat all the way around. You will need 20 pennies for this rug.

make a wool penny

To assemble blanket stitch 4 pennies onto oval 1. Attach oval 1 to oval 2. I cut oval 1 with pinking shears and stitched little V’s around the edge to attach it.

make a dollhouse rug from wool scraps

Place your 16 remaining pennies around the edge and blanket stitch around each penny edge attaching them to oval 2.

I hope you make a penny rug! If you do, I’d love to see, you can use #missthistlesociety and #annwoodpattern on instagram. And find more Miss thistle society patterns here.

make a paper boat : a free tutorial

*This post contains an affiliate link

paper boat template image

Some projects are most satisfying to work on in batches. These paper boats are like that. They are quick and easy and you can make a bunch at once without much extra effort. Plus the finished group is very satisfying.  You probably already have most of the materials you need and you could easily be hanging a respectable fleet by the end of the day, who doesn’t want that?

download the boat template

 

you will also need:

  • heavy paper (I’m using water color paper) or light cardboard (like poster board)
  • a bamboo skewer
  • paper for the sail
  • elmer’s glue
  • gluestick
  • embroidery thread or light string (like baker’s twine)
  • buttons
  • paints, brushes  and/or collage materials
  • exacto knife
  • clothespins or paperclips for clamping

*Please read through all the steps before beginning.

*Also note I included some simple directions on the sail template for your convenience  but the directions below include more details and options.

1.  Cut out the boat and mast support templates and trace them onto light cardboard or a heavy weight paper. I’m Using water color paper (140 pound hot press is my favorite). Optional – paint both sides. I almost always paint a wash of water color on both sides of the boat and mast support.

2. Place the template back on the boat and poke your pencil through where the score lines intersect. Mark with a dot. Remove the template and draw on the score lines. Draw the score lines on the mast support too and mark an X on the center of the top section.

3. Use the back of an x-acto knife to score the lines on the boat and  mast support.

4. Gently fold the boat and mast support at the score lines.

5. Add glue to the last section of the mast support, fold it into a triangle and glue the top section over it.

6. Clamp with paper clip or clothespins while it dries.

make a paper boat

7. While your mast support dries paint or collage or draw on your boat. I did all three. I used a wash of watercolor, some pencil lines and a little collage. If you’re doing lots of collage I recommend using nori paste instead of blue stick . It is awesome. You can find it here. * FYI – this is an affiliate link – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link.

8. Apply glue to the bow as indicated on the template.

9. Fold the boat together at the front and clamp with clothespins or paper clips while the glue dries.  Alternatively – you can skip the glue, bring the front sides together and stitch on the sewing machine close to the edge.

how to make a paper ship

10. Fold the center back ( A on the template) and apply glue to the top.

11. Bend up tab B – covering the top of tab A and matching the top edges. Apply glue and bend up tab C covering the top of tab B and matching the top edges. Clamp and let dry. Alternatively – skip the glue and attach the three layers with a stitch and a button (step 16 below).

easy paper boat project

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applique bat : a free template and tutorial – how to make really pointy points

bat applique tutorial

making sharp applique points

It’s like boiling eggs, there are tons of different methods for getting sharp applique points. I’ve been messing around with a bat shape and working out the point situation. And I made you a template and a little tutorial because I’m nice like that.

Bats sure are pointy, they are like the applique sharp point olympics. Before we dive into that I want to show you a couple other ideas that I think would make cool embroidery or applique projects.  I’m especially exited to try that green house.  I think it will be my first spoonflower print. I’ve been wanting to try that for ages. The details of the house and little cat etc. could be embroidered. What do you think?

download the bat template

I think it helps to read through all the steps once before beginning.  I’ll get you started with the points and curves today and be back on Sunday with more.  The points took some practice for me but once I got going it want faster than I expected.  Also I mostly laid it flat to take photos but found it easier to do the points especially with it draped over my knee.

1. Trace the stitch line on the template onto freezer paper.

2. Place the pattern on  a piece of folded fabric. Use a cotton that’s light weight and not ravely.  Tip: Use some spray starch to make the fabric a bit stiff. It helps a lot. You can even make your own spray starch if you like.

iron bat template to fabric

3. I cut the template in half before placing it shiny side down on the right side of the cut out fabric. Cutting it made it easier to match up all those points and the center can absorb any margin of error rather than the edges or points. Iron it to the fabric.  I pinned it to a piece of vintage linen. It conveniently covers a couple spots and holes. You’ll want to use a ton of pins.

4. I’m beginning on one of the long curves. Make a small knot at the end of the thread and insert your needle from underneath. Come out at the edge of the freezer paper. You will need to make some little clips along the curve. Clip as you go in little sections. Don’t do all the clipping first. Clip to just before the edge of the paper.  Don’t clip too close to the points – leave about an inch.

5. Use your needle and finger to fold the edge under and begin stitching with very tiny stitches.

6. Notice I have left about an inch of unclipped fabric before the point. Stop stitching here.

7. Tuck the fabric under the side of the point you are working on and stitch, stop about 1/4 inch before the point.

8. Fold the tip under as shown – with the folded edge flat.

9. Make a couple tiny stitches at the point.

how to make a very sharp an applique point

10. For the next step I found it way easier to pick the work up off the table. Take out the pin and use your finger or the needle to fold the other side of the point down and under. Stitch down the side of the point, put the pin back in and then clip in the curve to continue towards the next point.

11.  When all your points are stitched clip on each side of the head.

12. Turn the edge of the wing under and stitch. Leave the head unstitched.  Clip on each side of the bottom of the bat body too – stitch on each side of the wing and tuck in the edges around the little end of the body and stitch.

13. Cut two little teardrop shapes for ears.

14. Tuck one side of the head under.

15. Fold one of the ear shapes and tuck it in on one side of the head.  Stitch it in place. Repeat for the other side. Finally tuck in the edge at the top of the head and stitch.

There will be a part 2 soon for the embroidered and applique details. If you give the bat a try please use tag #annwoodpattern on instagram – I’d love to see!

bat applique tutorial

click here for part 2

PPS – I can’t stop listening to this song. Blast from the past.

easy doll clothes patterns and a free mini straw hat diy

easy doll clothes

A tiny summer top! Who would  have guessed she’d reveal even a hint of midriff. But there it is. Scandalous. You just never know about someone…

easy doll dress, top and hat sewing patterns

A new sewing pattern! And a free tutorial too!

Use your scraps to make adorable dresses and tops for your tiny ladies. She can wear the dress frontwards or backwards for a variety of looks (it would also make a sweet nightgown made from eyelet or a vintage handkerchief).

easy doll clothes sewing patterns

The dress, top and hat are quick and easy to make. I spent a ton of time working out a tiny dress pattern that does not require lots of  hems and has no fasteners. You could use the simple technique to create all sorts of little garments. They are just the right size for the tiny rag doll and the pattern scales well for other rag dolls.

easy doll clothes sewing patterns

easy doll dress sewing pattern

The tiny rag doll needed a summer wardrobe.  She is headed for the French countryside soon so a big sun hat was a must.  The hat is included in the pdf and I’ve shared it below too.

easy doll dress pattern

get the pattern

make a mini straw hat:

free min straw hat diy

A couple material notes – I used cheese cloth – it’s cheap and easy to find. You can also experiment with any very light weight, gauzy, open weave cotton or linen fabric for different effects.

The nail polish bottle is used for forming the hat crown – any similar glass or plastic container can be used. The bottle I’m using made a hat that’s just the right size for the tiny rag doll – it is 5/8th inches across.

I’m using elmer’s glue

Paint – I used acrylic craft paint – mixing shades of brown, ochre and white for a straw shade.

I finished the hat with a mini silk ribbon. I love these ribbons and you can find them here. They are great for lots of tiny details and embroidery too (fyi – the miss thistle society gets a small commission if you purchase through the link).

mini straw hat making suplies

1. Cut a piece of cheesecloth about 5 inches by 5 inches. Cheese cloth has 4 layers and we will use them all.

2. Mix a straw shade of paint and add white glue (about 4 parts glue to 1 part paint). Paint the top 1/4 inch of the cap. Optional – I’m mixing glue into the paint but if you prefer you can just use glue and paint later or leave unpainted.

3. Center the cheesecloth over the cap and pull it tightly over it.

4. Hold the cheesecloth tight with an elastic.  Paint a thin layer of glue or the glue paint mixture on the cheesecloth. Let this dry completely.

5. Remove the rubber band and remove the cheesecloth from the bottle and spread it flat on wax paper.

6. Paint the cheese cloth with a thin coat glue or the glue mixture a little wider than you would like the brim. Brush firmly out from the center. Let this dry completely.

7. When it’s dry lift it off the wax paper.

8. Trim the brim to whatever size you like.

free straw doll hat diy

To finish you can add ribbon or a mini flower or stitch a detail on the brim or crown with embroidery thread. I used 4mm silk ribbon (affiliate link – meaning the miss thistle gets a tiny commission if you purchase through this link).

doll hat diy

I hope you make tiny hats! share your photos with the tiny rag doll community by using  #annwoodpattern and #missthistlesociety on instagram.

mini straw hat diy

a misbehaving beetle, homemade spray starch and 4 more little joys

a guilty little beetle up to no good

a guilty little beetle up to no good

He’s done something. I’m sure of it. It’s all over his face.  More about this naughty little beetle  in a minute. First I want to tell you about some simple things that are bringing me joy this spring. Since you found your way here they might be up your alley too:

sewing in bed

1. sewing in bed

It’s always on the joy list, such a gentle way to wake up. Get something ready to sew the night before and there is nothing at all to think about. Just start sewing. My current bed sewing is sails and needle books (I can’t stop making those little pages). Simple, meditative stitching.

 

tiny rag doll gardening

tiny rag doll sewing pattern

2. the adventures of althea

This is sweet, and beautiful and funny. Dawn Smith has created a magic world for her tiny rag doll  and she photographs Althea’s adventures daily.

Follow her while she has tea and visit friends and gardens. It’s awesome.

 

lilacs in my studio

3. lilacs

It’s such a glorious smell and gone so quickly. When I wake up to the cool spring lilac air I have no choice but to sew in bed. It’s the only responsible thing to do.

 

how to make laundry spray starch

4. homemade spray starch

It’s easy to make, cheap, works beautifully and it is non-aerosol and packaging free. Most importantly I did not have to leave my apartment when I ran out of spray starch for my sails.

I love to iron.  I’ve been sorting through sail fabric for ships, ironing it and making neat little piles. This is also called procrastination.  Productive procrastination but still…  Anyway the homemade laundry starch adds even a little more joy to the ironing party.

recreational ironing

The starch is just cornstarch and water. Add a couple drops of lavender oil (or whatever you like) for a glorious fresh laundry smell. Laundry is right up there with lilacs for me smell wise. Plus I feel super thrifty and oldschool.

make some laundry starch:

  • Whisk 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2 and ½ cups water. You’re already almost done.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, boil for about a minute while stirring.
  • Remove from the heat and let is cool to room temperature, add a couple drops of scent if you like and pour it through a strainer into a spray bottle.

 

5 sketchbook

My daily painting and drawings. It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times, such a huge pain in the a**  when I’m super busy.  But the joy wins. And it makes me a better thinker.

 

yogi tea

and a little bonus joy:

I love this tea! I drink buckets of it all day long. You can find it in most grocery stores I think.

 

what’s on my work table this week

hand stitched beetle

You have met the guilty beetle, the naughty little fellow is regretting his mischief.  He is made from gorgeous and very old French scraps. I’m working on lots of misbehaving little french anthropods.

so long little beetle

And ships. I love living with them and have been without a personal fleet for too long. This one has a final layer of old paper collage. Come make beetles and paper ships with me this October – I’m teaching several workshops in LA at French General – find info and registration here.

paper mache ship collaged with antique paper

PS – What are you working on? Have you made a doll bed? What smell transports you?

homemade laundry starch