Making Dimples, a free pattern for you! :-)

I posted a picture of Kaia’s fabulous doll creation on Facebook and a FB friend, that I’ve never even met in person, was so impressed with Kaia’s ambitious sewing project that she sent Kaia a care package.  The package had doll making books, supplies, and even a hand made bunny!  Kaia was so excited that she got to making one of the dolls immediately.

The pink one she made for herself and the yellow one she gave to her dad for his birthday.  The little bunny was given to her in the care package.  Aren’t they cute?!?


So, then I was inspired.  The patterns in the book are so cute that I wanted to try to make one of my own.

Please meet The Dimples

They are super easy and quick to make.

Here is the pattern (two pages) to download if you’d like to try one: dimple2     dimple3

First cut the pattern and choose your fabrics.  Pin your pattern and cut your pieces out.  I used felt for the body and cut it with pinking shears. (Make sure to read through the instructions first.  There are different ways to sew up the doll depending on if you are using felt or not.)

Be sure that you cut your legs and ears so that they match up.  You don’t want two left legs…

Lay out your pieces to make sure you like the fabrics you chose.

Once all of your pieces are cut, you will start sewing by attaching the face to one of the body pieces with a very close zigag stitch on your machine, or you can do a satin embroidery stitch.  You will do the same with the eye and the heart.  Using contrasting thread colors to make them pop.

Next, embroider on the face and attach a button for an eye.  I used a basic back stitch for the mouth and blinking eye.


Next, pick a contracting color of embroidery thread or yarn and make a wide whip stitch around the face.


Next, you will sew up the legs and ears.  Place the right sides together and stitch around, leaving 1/4 ” seam allowance.  Make sure you don’t sew all the way around.  Leave a space where they will be attached to the body to turn them right-side-out and stuff them.


It helped me to use a chopstick to turn them right side out.

Trim the corners of your ears before turning them out.

Then stuff them leaving the end open.

Pin your pieces together making sure the ears and legs are tucked nicely between the front and back body pieces.

Sew it all together using a straight stitch in the same color as the body, and leaving an opening at the top to stuff.

Stuff your doll and sew it up, either with a straight stitch on your machine or by hand.

Now, if you want to use cotton fabric (or a non felt) you follow the directions exactly the same until it comes to sewing the whole thing up.  You will need to lay it out with the ears and legs on the inside with the edges lined up, like this:

The ears and legs are place up on the top body piece and then the back body piece is placed, right side down, on top.  Pin it well and sew it up leaving a space for stuffing and pulling everything right-side-out.  Does that make sense?  Here it is, ready to sew, with legs and ears tucked inside.

Stuff, and hand stitch it up with a whip stitch.

The pink one was made as a birthday gift.  Of course, Leif and Kaia wanted one, too.  Leif’s has an X eye, instead of a blink.

What do you think?

A bit of Mother’s Day sewing…

I have an ongoing list of sewing projects that has been sitting on the sewing table for months.  This weekend, with some “me time” for mother’s day (thanks hubby!!), I was able to whittle down the list a bit.

A square skirt for Kaia (if your daughter has a twirl requirement of her skirts, this is a definite must!)

And a few pants for Leif. (He goes through them so fast.  Being the track-hoe that he is, the knees of his pants take a beating.)

He insisted on lifting his shirt so you could see the waist band.

Then he insisted on a kneeling pose 🙂

Next on the list, some new undies for Leif and a square skirt for ME!

The Blue Enchantress

Kaia has become smitten with the Juniper series by Monica Furlong.  She decided, like the main character in the first book, that she wanted to create her own cloak.  Over the past month and a half, she has been cutting, stitching, harvesting, and producing an amazing creation.

Of course, we didn’t plan to sheer the sheep and weave the wool, like Juniper did.  We just went to Jo Ann’s fabric store and bought some 🙂  But, she did harvest herbs from our land to stuff in the secret pockets. (Lavender, thyme, lambs ear, rose petals, and a few others)


And she used a button that Toby made for her out of Maple and Black Walnut.

And she made the button loop out of yarn that a friend of ours spun from her angora bunny.

I think it’s fabulous and I’m so proud of her!  She’s quite a lady!!

Hanging chairs

From the moment my daughter saw this in a magazine months ago, she has been begging me to make one for her.  So, this morning, since we have been working on types of triangles and degrees of angles, I thought we’d work it into todays lessons.  I planned on making a tutorial for you all, but I messed up so many times, I’m not sure how they ended up looking like they did.  But, basically, I took a 1.5 yard rectangle of cotton canvas and cut it on the diagonal, to form two right triangles.  Flip one of the triangles over so that the longest of the 90 degree angle sides are together.  Then, I sewed these up on the longest edge (that is not the hypotenuse).  That gave me one large isosceles triangle.  Then I sewed the two bottom tips together and put on a circle bottom.  I finished the edges with a nice trim and sew on a nice strong webbing for a loop to hang it from and voila.  Personal hugglepods at a fraction of the cost.  I know this sounds totally confusing, but if you draw it out on a piece of paper, it might help visualizing it.

Happy kids played in their new hanging chairs all afternoon.

Hand Made Holidays

What beautiful holiday celebrations we have had this year!  I am so grateful for the time that I have been able to spend with my friends and family.  We’ve spent many days traveling to others houses to participate in their revelry and had a wonderful time!  At our own home, we had a small Winter Solstice dinner with friends, old and new.

Followed by a decadent, chocolate yule log cake, of course.


Ok, and I have definitely been feeling uber-crafty this year.  I love to give hand made gifts!!  I feel like they ooze with love and comfort… I hope the recipients feel that, too, cause this year, we couldn’t help ourselves.  There was…

Rum infused with Banana and Vanilla

A Car Shirt for Dad to enjoy massages more often

And even when Toby sat up, Leif just kept on driving!

Toby turned a magic wand for Kaia

We all got some new flannel or fleece pajama pants

And Leif also got some winter pants.  Both were corduroy on the outside.  One was lined with flannel and the other with fleece.  (and in case you are wondering, Leif did chose the cupcake fabric!!  In fact, he begged me for it!)

There was also a puppet theater that you can hang in a door way.

The other side has pockets to keep your puppets in.

Holiday Cards

Wintermint Lotion Bars

Vanilla and Candy Cane sugar scrubs (made by Kaia)

Sea Glass Pendants

Hand knitted hat with velcro detachable hair for a little friend going through Chemo.

Hand turned wood bowls by Toby

Flannel pajama pants for Pop and a knitted purse for Mom

Now that the holidays are over, I don’t know what to do with myself.  I feel like I should be crafting when ever I have a spare moment.  Guess I need to learn to try to put my feet up.  Ha!

Sewing Lessons

Kaia has been begging me for sewing lessons lately.  She’s done a simple square purse on my machine before, but this time she decided to do something with a real pattern.  She chose a fabulous owl pillow.  I had to stop my hands from taking over and really let her do it all.  I gave her instructions on choosing the fabric and how to cut the pattern, how to change your stitch and how to make your seams…. but she took off and made an amazing pillow!  So proud of her!  I love to see how her mind opens to the possibilities when she learns a new talent.



Yes, the pajamas have changed… we started the project late at night, so she had to finish the next day.


The back has a little pocket.


Here it is!  My first quilt!!  I’m so excited!  And I love how it turned out!  We spent much of the afternoon playing I-Spy, building forts, and snuggling under it.  Kaia really wants to keep it on her bed, but I think it will be a while before I want to hide it away in her bedroom.  I got the basic idea for the blocks from this video.

I had a friend attach the front, back, and batting.  She did a freehand swirl with a rainbow colored yarn.  Very cool!

She even put Kaia and Leif’s names on the side.  It’s easier to see from the back, but the names are backwards in this photo.

“Look Mommy, hop grassers!”

Yes, they were attempting to make faces here!


Play Tents

Kaia and Leif LOVE playing in tents, so when I saw this project, a little A-Frame play tent, I knew we had to do it!

It was so simple, we were able to make both kids their own tent in less than an hour!  Kaia made the measurements while Toby drilled the holes.

Then I sewed up a couple of tents and voila!

A place for playing, reading, eating, napping, and even traveling to the Amazon with your dad!

Snowed in and having a blast!

It was almost exactly this time last year that we had the big snow of ’09 and got snowed in for a week.  Well, we are snowed in again and actually have been since Christmas.  We’ve played in tents, made snow cream, baked, gone sledding, read, and just relaxed.

The duck surprised us on Christmas morn with their first eggs (finally!!)

I didn’t have any other eggs on hand for comparison, but these eggs were Large and Extra-Large!  Can’t wait to see how big they are going to get after they’ve been laying for a while!  Very tasty!

Snow Angels!

Snow Suki!

Snow Leif (He looks unhappy, but he asked Toby to carry him back up the hill like this!)

This is only a small part of our drive way!! It’s easy to get lost in your own world when you are out in the country.  We are only 10 miles from downtown Asheville, yet in times like this, when the rest of the world is going about their usual daily lives and we are still snowed in on our mountain, you forget that things are going on outside of our cove.

Drying Mittens.  Yes those are Leif’s little piggies that I just finished.  Both Leif and Kaia were getting snow up their mittens, so I sewed on soem stretch felt to make long cuffs.  Works like a charm!


Learning about electricity with her dad.  She got this Brain Box as a gift and loves it!

Temporary friends.  They agreed to share the rug since it is in front of the fire place.

And these two will gladly share a box.

This crazy little man has discovered that he likes baking.

While I’m in the kitchen, and sometimes when I’m not, he will slide his stool up to the counter top, grab a pot, and get cooking!

Yesterday evening, I found this waiting for me when I went to clean up after dinner:

I think he was starting on a fondue!  Yummy!!

Hope you are all having wonderful holidays!!

Pockets of all shapes and sizes!

I was really excited when Ikatbag began her Pocket series.

Being fairly new to sewing, I tend to go for patterns with a simple pocket.  But her series (with 25 posts!) covered all kinds of pockets, and how to create them, in very easy to understand steps.  If you are looking for a great pocket tutorial, check out her Pocket Series (this link is to the first post, following posts are on her side bar under November and December).  And look at this wonderful pocket quilt she created!  Wouldn’t that make a fabulous Story Board??!


We’ve had a great spring here on our land.  Things have felt really productive.  But, I have to tell you, we are beat!  I wake up in the morning, jump out of bed and get going.  Laundry, taking care of the animals, garden care, kitchen clean up, etc. all comes before breakfast.  Most nights I spend preparing for Kaia’s schooling, sewing, cleaning, or researching one thing or another on the internet.  Weekends we do chores around the land (and we usually don’t get done with our list of ‘to do’s).  I’m not complaining.  I’m simply stating how things are right now.  But I’m starting to feel resentful that we have very little down time, fun time, or time to play with the kids.  We have been working towards this life and lifestyle for years.  We now have our own land (25 acres!), our own house (built with our own hands and very earth friendly), we have chickens and gardens and orchards and bees and cottages.  And each of those things requires upkeep.  Well… we are tired!  We are re-evaluating this life style.  We want to live more gently, but this is definitely not more simple.  We don’t have time or energy for those bonfires and potlucks with friends that we wanted.  We have little time for travel and very little time to relax and read.  Having Heidi here helps tremendously, but she has been gone for much of 2010, and we won’t always have her here.  So, we are taking a look at our life and trying to decide what things we truly desire in it, and trying to figure out how to have those things and keep a simple and earth friendly life.  There may be some changes in store…. we’ll see.

Toby's new shirt

garlic and onion harvest

veggie gardens

more veggie gardens

Kaia got some goggles for swimming… Leif stole them!

Yes, the goggles work more effectively if you stick your tongue out.

Weekend projects

The 2 year old roof.

Spots are filling in pretty well.  I think I’ll give it one more year and then plant a few more things if needed.

I absolutely love all the color on the roof right now.  It’s like a patchwork quilt!

And the yard is coming along, too.  After 2 years of having huge piles of dirt and rubble in the yard, we finally had it leveled.  Now I have the perfect spot for my berry garden!!!  Yum Yummy!!

We also put up a bear fence for the beehives that are coming this week.  I finally painted the chicken coop… I just need to trim it in yellow and put some color on the windows… green or blue maybe?

I also made myself a Medicino sundress.  I love this pattern!  It’s so simple and such a cute dress!  Kaia wanted to pose in her dress with me.

Kaia has one more week of ‘official’ school left.  We will continue with math and reading through the summer, and add in whatever else she is interested in.  We are definitely going to do a few lessons on Greek Mythology!

A new dress

I love, love, love this fabric and how Kaia’s new dress turned out!  It’s a really simple pattern by Heather Ross, and it was also my first time working with elastic thread (fun!).  The pattern is actually for adults so I altered it for Kaia.  Isn’t it sweet!  I’m definitely going to be making more, for her and me!

The first pose was my idea.  Kaia then decided she wanted to do something a little more sweet and innocent:

Sensory Doll

I’ve been wanting to make Leif this doll for a while now.  He’s so into taking things apart, pushing buttons, pulling levers…. I thought he’d enjoy it.  It was a lot of fun to make!

If you want to make one for your favorite little explorer you’ll need:

  • fabric for the body (I used an old sweater that was given to me… it has a great texture and reminds me of a teddy bear)
  • Contrasting fabric scraps for the shirt, shorts and pocket
  • buttons, string, or whatever you would like to create the face
  • 5″ zipper (with a large zip for little fingers)
  • 10″ ribbon for the belt
  • easy-open snap for belt
  • large, bright button for the pocket
  • 6″ ribbon for foot strap
  • velcro for foot strap
  • ~2 feet of string/shoelace for the other foot
  • bells
  • crinkly paper
  • small beans (~1 cup)
  • stuffing

(Here’s something major!!  If your little one is still into putting things in his mouth, you may want to hold off on this doll since there are so many buttons and choking hazards!)

First cut out your pattern (download it here.… don’t let your printer ‘scale it to fit page’.  You want it at 100%.  And some of it is drawn really close to the edge of the page, so just be sure to compare what’s on your computer to what printed out… sorry about that!  It’s very hand made!)  You should have these pieces:

You will need to tape the four piece for the body together before cutting it out.  Lay down #1 first, then #2 on top, and so on…

Iron your fabric.  Then, using the pattern, cut out your fabric.  You will need two body pieces.  I only put clothes on the front, but you could cut a second set of clothes and dress the back if you want.

Put the right sides of the shirt pieces together and sew 1/2″ seam.  I used a baste stitch for all but the last 1″ closest to the waist.  That was a regular stitch.  Then unfold the fabric and press the seam open.

Sew the zipper to the wrong side

Then rip all but the last 1″ of seam.

Trim the excess zipper.  Fold the zipper and neck seam and sew 1/4″ seam.  Sew 1/4″ seams at the arm holes and waist.  Then sew a 1/4″ seam at the pants waist and leg holes also.  Sew 1/4″ seam all the way around the pocket, and measure and make your button hole.  Measure out where you want the button to go so that it will match up to the button hole on the pocket, and sew the button to the pants.  Then, sew the pocket to the pants so that the button matches up.  (was that too much???  Does that all make sense?)

Pin the pants and belt straps to the body front (matching the waist and leg corners to the triangle tabs on the body).  Sew 1/4″ seam on the sides of the legs, leaving the wast and leg holes open.

Measure out where you would like the snap to go on the belt.  Trim the excess belt (leaving 1/2″ or so extra so you can sew a seam on each end)

Sew belt end seams and sew on snap.

Place ribbon on foot (either one) and sew them onto the edge of the leg.  Then attach and sew the velcro (making sure that the upper and lower pieces meet up then the strap closes).

On the other foot, sew a piece of shoe lace to the edge of each foot.  Make sure the pieces are long enough to tie into a bow.

Sew on a face.

Place the right sides of the body together.  Pin and sew the body front and back, (with a 1/2″ seam) leaving a large enough hole to turn the doll inside out.  Trim off excess fabric.

Yes… Toby is feeding the doll some salad!

Turn it right side out.  I put little beans (about 1/2 cup each) into the feet for texture, followed by stuffing.  Then I placed ~4 bells into one arm, and crinkly paper into the other, followed again by stuffing, so that nothing moved around.  Then stuff the rest of the body.  The sweater material I used was nice and stretchy.  I love the way the finished doll looks like he’s wearing clothes 3 sizes too small!

Hand stitch the hole closed and give him a proper name!  You can certainly give him hair, or a hat… I like our man bald!

Then pass him on to your favorite little one!

Kaia said he looked like a hippie.  I couldn’t really see what she meant.  She said “you know… the tight clothes he’s wearing”.  I said, “I don’t get it”.  She said “you know… a Hippie... those people who walk like this… ” and she proceeds to saunter in a sultry way through the living room.  This went on for most of the afternoon with me trying to figure out how this doll looks like a hippie.  Then, as we were sitting outside playing, she said, “OH WAIT!!  I MEAN A HOTTIE!“  I bust out laughing!!  I have made Leif a pimped out Hottie doll for him to dress and undress! Great!!

Passing on the tradition

Last week, my father-in-law passed on boxes of sewing goodies from his mother’s stash (so, that would be Kaia and Leif’s great-grandmother)! She was an avid seamstress and had some fabulous stuff! Look at this:
There were 4 boxes of lace like this!
This is just begging to be the hem of a frilly dress or skirt!!

Look at this lovely lace!

And there are all kinds of patterns!  Some obviously from the 70’s.

Kaia and I are going to use some of this to make some Greek goddess outfits when we study Mythology this summer.

And there was a nice chunk of this fantastic fabric!!  I’ve already made Leif a pair of pants (I call them his Party Pants) and might make a skirt for myself.

Here’s what happens when you wear your party pants to sleep!  Not a good idea to party when you are sleeping.


Here it is!  My first official sewing project from my lessons!  I’m calling her the “You are a Sassy, Sexy Housewife-Mama, and you Know It!” apron.

And Look!  It’s reversible!

Isn’t it cute??!!  If you want your own, you can get the pattern from Pretty-Ditty.

While I wasn’t working on the apron, I made some big boy bibs for Leif and a blanket and bibs for a friends new little boy.

I’m having so much fun with this!!

And if you are still interested in an herb trade for sewing supplies, there are lots of herbs left.  Just let me know!

Here’s a look at some of the lovely fabric goodness I’ve gotten so far!  Do you like my fabric and color-coded piles??

Check out this awesome scarf I made for K. I am certainly not a seamstress. So, I am very proud of myself for completing this scarf. And isn’t the fabric great!! It’s so cute!! K hates it! 🙂