I love dolls, all kinds of dolls, and miniatures. As a child, I loved to dress and undress my dolls, feed them and put them to bed. I had some great kitchen toys, a toy iron and ironing board — all kinds of fun things. I would love to get into making dolls as well, but for now, I am making 18” doll clothes with an eye to making fashion doll and baby doll clothes. I pick up old dolls from thrift stores and garage sales with plans to restore them. It has been a lot of fun so far and I hope to keep busy because the empty nester days are coming faster than I would like.
As with most people, this past year has been stressful, chaotic and often lonely. Having a daughter with multiple medical, educational and other needs meant that I was virtual school aide for the Diva while still trying to manage our day-to-day routine. DH lost his job early in the pandemic and had an anxious time until he found another one. The new job had a more rigid schedule and a lot of overtime so we had to adjust to that.
I didn’t make many pieces for humans at that point. I made a lot of masks, some diapers for a new great niece and a dress for Sprite. I also made new zip sleeve jackets for the Diva (an item that I have never blogged about despite making several) and several simple elastic waste skirts. I will blog the dress and the jackets, but the skirts are pretty basic lightweight denim skirts and not worthy of blogging. I am also making t-shirts, but again, they are pretty basic and not worth the time to blog as I use the same pattern over and over.
This coming school year will be the last year of high school for both girls. Sprite will be a senior and we are hoping that we will be able to do all the normal things this year as so much was cancelled last year. The Diva will turn 20 on her next birthday and can only attend school until she is 21. She will go through extended school year next summer and then she will be home with me. While we do have an aide who comes in on Saturday, and we may be able to get more help once she is home full time, the bulk of her care falls to me during the day.
When we made the plans for the house addition, we didn’t really think ahead to the time when she would be home full time and didn’t plan for a main floor sewing room for me. I planned to use the smallest bed room (it is 9’ by 10’) and convert it to a guest room when our son comes to visit. Unfortunately, all of the Diva’s medical issues in the last three years have made it clear that she needs someone with her or at least on the same floor when she is awake. Clearly, the upstairs sewing room is not going to work during the day.
I have moved my sewing machines (or rather, my sweet, patient husband did) all over the house in search of the perfect sewing space. I have been in the dining room three times, two different corners of the living room, our bedroom once and upstairs at least four times. I currently now have two sewing spaces. The upstairs bedroom is my sewing-for-humans space. As that clothing rarely needs more than straight stitch, zig-zag, blind hem and button holes, my Singer 401 can handle the sewing and my Brother serger and cover-stitcher can manage the serging, hemming and binding. I have an ironing Big Board sitting on the Murphy cabinet bed. I have the cutting mat for the Big Board and can cut most things on that set-up. If I need wider items cut out, I can cut them downstairs on a folding cutting table.
My dining room is now my sewing-for-dolls space. My two Baby locks and my pFabulous Pfaff live there now along with my embroidery machine and my new Cricut Maker. I cut on the dining room table, turn and sew. I have a little cart for storage. I cut down a piece of plywood over from construction to fit the top and covered it with a piece of fulled wool and some quilting cotton to make a little pressing board. The Diva loves to sit nearby and play with her toys and listen to music (she is an Elvis fanatic). The sounds of the machines make her giggle.
I am working through making my own patterns using Wild Ginger and Livingsoft’s Doll Shop software. I can’t sell the patterns, but I can sell the items I make from the patterns. I have a basic tee pattern completed and will start a shorts pattern next. My goal for this year is to have enough items to sign up for one or two craft shows locally and have an online shop. I have one year to get as much done as I can before our whole routine changes.
Thanks for coming back to read my tale. I know it is a long one. I would like to return to regular blogging again as I miss it and I think it would be a good way to document my progress into this new adventure. I am not going to pretend to be an expert and you undoubtedly see many mistakes. I am not an influencer, so you wont see affiliate links here if that is what you are looking for. You may see links to items I am selling (if I get to that point), but that is all.