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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Renew Julie's Straw Hat

I got a great deal on ebay for this Julie 
birthday dress, hat and PJs.

 The hat was sadly a bit crushed.
I have noticed most second hand hats are
in similar condition.
 Of course I wondered how difficult it would be to restore?
This is what I found out...

 Get a lint-free towel damp and lay over the area
needing to be restored.

Using an iron set on the cotton heat setting
press without leaving the iron too long on any one spot.
The idea is to steam the straw, so don't let your towel get too damp!

 For the crown I used a small bucket for our AG horse
and a small towel.  A small bowl would work or anything
That is the right size for your hat.

 Set the hat on your bucket, bowl etc, whatever you find that works.

Run your iron carefully around the sides and over the top.

And here is how the hat looks now!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Found Vintage Madame Alexander Doll

I found this Madame Alexander baby doll 
at a thrift store for $2.99!

 She was wearing this dress which did not fit her,
so I knew it was not her original dress.
Her hair was matted and felt gummy.

 She was very dirty and had pen marks.  

Her hair felt dirty, so first thing I washed her hair.
I used some fabric softener after her wash to soften her hair which was very frizzy.
NOTE: since this post I have highly recommended wig shampoo
and conditioner instead of downy dunk.
Doll care & cleaning tips!
Next, baking soda bath with a washcloth.  
I was careful to avoid her eyes.
All the marks came off!!

A pretty dress and a careful hair styling and here she is!
I did a little research and she is a 1975 "Puddin" crier doll
though her crier no longer works.


I was going to resell this baby but Sophie and I fell in love with her!
So, we named her Juliette.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Kitchen Makeover!

 Thanks for your help putting the new cupboard in Jose!
Sure, no problem, it looks nice.

 I feel like it needs something though.
Yeah, maybe, but what?

 I have a great idea! I took that sewing class at the Craft Shop
I think I can sew something.

Hmmm, hum, hum...

whir, whir, whir whir...

I think I'm done.

I like it, very vintage.

Now I just put everything back in place...

I think it looks pretty good!

Ah, tea and a finished sewing project, perfect!

Some more kitchen makeover views

Our new cabinet from Hobby Lobby

Stove top and shelf

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Package for Nellie

 Oh yes, I've always loved history, especially historical costumes.

 Really?  That's so interesting. I love the Regency era myself.

 One of my favorites too, more tea?

 Nellie a package came for you!
Oh, thanks Jose.

 Oh! I 've been hoping this would arrive soon!

 Help me open it!

 A sewing machine!

 Oh Nellie it is so pretty, I love the colors!

 Me too, now I just have to learn how to sew.

This great sewing machine idea was found on:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mystery Doll solved!

Childhood Doll UPDATE!!!

I actually purchased a Madame Alexander doll from the time period I was looking at and realized after she arrived that she wasn't THE doll mostly because the hair was wrong.  Sigh

SO, back to the drawing board.  More research online and I realized that this must be the doll.

Effenbee Petite Filles Doll
She is 16" tall, wearing the green velvet dress from my memories, she has ringlets and very long hair. She is from the right time period around 1971 - 78.  
She is an Effenbee Petite Filles Gabrielle Doll.

I was certain she had brunette hair, but I was a child so possibly this strawberry color
looked like brown to me.

SO, now I am deciding to try and purchase one of these dolls or just be happy with the memories?

Friday, November 07, 2014

Doll Clothes Makeover

SO, bought some second hand doll clothes from Ebay.  These came off of porcelain dolls, I believe.
The idea was to maybe get some clothes to fit our 14" Heart to Heart and Correlle dolls.

 I decided to use this for a tutorial.
This is maybe a little daunting to those who are not experienced sewers.
Stay with me and maybe you'll feel like tackling something like this!

So here is the outfit on the H2H doll, way too big.

 Opened the back of the outfit and will use velcro to close it up later.

 Next I opened the collar area and separated the 2 cross-over parts.
The white trim was yellowed and looked dirty so I want to replace it.

Next I removed the sleeves, since the shoulder area was too broad.

I saved the sleeves until I decided what to do with the sleeve area.

Here is the cut piece back on the doll for a try-on.
At this point I try to picture in my mind what I want for this outfit....hmm.

 I decided to reattach the sleeves, cut short.  sorry I forgot to take pictures!
Then, with the dress turnout wrong side out, I pin the sides to fit the doll.

As you can see I decided to use a fancy stitch pattern to add some interest.


 Again, I turn the pants wrong side out and pin front and back to the doll.
I left some room for adding elastic to the waist.
After bringing in the front and back, I then put
the pants back on the doll and pin the crotch area.

Sew along the pin line to fit the pants.
I decided to make these pants cropped, so I cut away some length.

Added elastic and hand hemmed the cuffs.
I use my fingers to stretch the pant leg while I sew.
I tuck and sew the hem as I go around.


  1. I did not like the white ribbon trim, so I replaced it with pink ribbon. 
  2. I hand stitched the button and reattached the front pieces by hand.
  3. There is a lot of finagling that happened that I did not get pictures of, sorry.
  4. Fray Check is VERY useful when working with this type of fabric which frays horribly. I especially used it around the shoulder seams.