what’s on my worktable : mending, rag dolls and other loose ends

mending a linen smock

Mending never ends. The contemporary holly hobby look requires constant maintenance and if I let it get ahead of me I have nothing to wear. I currently have nothing to wear except yoga pants so I’ve officially declared November wardrobe maintenance month. Plus I like to do it, I love the meandering stitches, patches on patches and unexpected color combinations. It chills me out and invites the universe in. Once I sink in I can spend lost hours stitching, percolating ideas and talking to the plants.

mending a linen smock

(Find the free pattern for the awesome pin cushion here)

Hexies sneak into everything, I love the way the look, just popping up once in a while in non-hexie situations and they are also super handy for tight spots with angles, like near a zipper or seam corner and little pull holes near pockets or straps.

I’m working on patterns too – the crow is coming, seriously it is, there was a technical debacle but I’m still shooting for this year. Also patterns for the soldier doll, more clothes for the elegant rag doll  and a new botanical are in the works.

textile owls and birds in progress

And finishing other almost done stuff feels like a good way to end this weird year. For me that starts with making piles and gathering the supplies I need to finish. Also known as tricking myself into starting. The tiny bit of progress gets my wheels turning.

rag doll parts on my worktable

There was a big box of elegant rag doll parts and semi-done samples made for shooting the pattern. Naked and not naked ladies are emerging. I’ll start putting them (and anything else that makes it across the finish line) in the shop soon.

elegant and nude rag dolls

 What are you stitching this November? Are you mending? Making holiday stuff? I’ve got some gift an ornament stuff going too and  I’ll show you next week.  And check out this raccoon!  It’s genius! Made by @erinpcf from the very nice mice pattern with very clever modifications. I love him.

tiny felt raccoon made form the very nice mice pattern

shop news:

tiny rag doll sewing kit

Tiny rag doll and mr. socks kits are back in stock. And the stitch paintings are available again too including two new designs!

embroidery - blue rooster stitch painting

embroidery - bird stitch painting


  1. kate butler

    I love Crows ! Can’t wait : ) Thanks for helping to keep us a little saner…

  2. Tilly Floss

    Love your work, about to make your pin. Lady…photo to follow.
    Thank you for your generosity with free patterns! X

  3. Victoria Fickel

    The crow sounds amazing. Will be another treasure, I’m sure!

    Hope you are loving your new surroundings. What you’ve shown so far looks wonderful.

  4. The soldier’s mustache just tickles me to no end! I adore the ladies perched together. You inspire me with every post. Bless you!

  5. Cynthia Parker

    Dear Ann,
    You have inspired me so much! You basically have taken me through the pandemic and reawakened my sewing thoughts. My hand sewing has become proficient again. I would like to include some photos. Not sure if I can do it here or not. But I will try.

  6. Hi Ann, I,ve got 7 hexagon quilts in the works! Fortunately 2 are near completion,love your work!


    Dear Ann, I am reminded of embroidering and patching my Levi blue jeans in the late 60s. I loved it then, I love it now and have just begun to work on a pair. The jeans represented all sorts of personal symbols and floral motifs. Like tattoos, but temporary. Last week, I darned the holes in two camp blankets so I could use them for another 10 years. I’m on a patching, darning extravaganza. Love your blog; it is right up my alley.

  8. Jeretta Bliss

    I have been following you forever. I love your crafts! I hope you keep doing tis for a long time.
    thank you so much for sharing. I have several of your patterns. free ones and the ones I purchased. Again, thank you. Happy thanksgiving. God Bless you and yours.

  9. Donna Hatfield

    I have made 18 owls and am thrilled to hear the crow pattern is nearing completion! Love your site, patterns and cheeky observations!

    • scoop2mylou

      I would love to see people’s owls. I just started my first.

  10. carmen mays

    I love everything you design and sew.
    The mice are adorable.
    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Liliane Abergel

    Hello Ann, I’m just done organizing all the UNfinished items I dropped for the past few years, put each in a box with a label and now they are right in front of me in my workroom! No more excuses, I’ll work one item at a time until all is done, winter is coming I’m mainly at home anyway. Otherwise, I have been working very slowly on a new runner for my dining table, the base is white silk (I should have chosen taffetas, more body to it) topped by a layer of bridal tulle in Blush and decorated with applique pieces of lace dyed in different colors that I buy in an Etsy shop 🙂

  12. The trash panda is fantastic! Ive been moving in my new house so absolutely no sewing is happening here. But I can enjoy what you are doing instead. Cheers!

  13. Rosemary B

    I know the mending and patching. I love it too.
    I have repaired many shirts, pants, blouses and a few jackets with some very classy patching. Some of it you have to look carefully to see that it is a patch bc it looks like it should be there, why not? right?
    I love your mouse house, I have four grand girlies now age 2 -5 they are amazing and adorable. I got a big sorting display box from Target (I wrote my phone number on it and asked to have it when it was time to toss it) and it is perfect for our ever evolving beloved stuffed animal house. Windows, everything changeable as the time goes.
    Your paintings would be so nice to embroider.
    I hope you are enjoying your new home. Are you still in the city, or did you get the heck out of there?
    I live in the boonies. I love it. Be well and happy

  14. Hello,
    I love your work! It always makes me smile.
    I have always wanted to take a class/workshop with you. Would you or have you ever consider doing an online class?
    Thank you!

    • claire lander

      Oooh Mary what a great idea – we’d love it if you did Ann! x

  15. Elinor Drake

    Oh my!!! You Really ARE working on the crow? I’d given up on it ages ago! My excitation has been renewed! 🙂 Swoon….

  16. mcbrideberyl

    Hi, I’m from White Rock in Canada. I am new to this site and I love the projects I’ve seen already. I’m definately a bit intimidated as I haven’t sewn for years and certainly wasn’t very proficient. I look forward to learning from Ann and the comments from other subscribers.
    Thank you,

Comments are closed.