Here we are, still churning these out. Now you know why Deb and I are never bored—missing thrift stores and garage sales, but never bored. There is always the next flower bed, the next craft, the next book or movie, the next nap, oh wait, maybe those don’t count?
I recently purchased a fun vintage doll collection and found a cute mommy-made outfit in there. Unfortunately, someone had added buttons and buttonholes at one point and it ended up being a tear in the outfit. You can see it near the edge in this photo:
I wanted to put snaps back on, but there was no way to sew it to the tear, so I thought I would share my technique for fixing small holes in fabric. I use this often for doll clothes, but you can use it for other things too.
First off, I checked the fashion and realized it had a pretty large hem, so I opened up the back seam, and the hem, and was able to carefully snip off a strip of fabric:
Next carefully iron the area you want to fix, laying down the loose threads as much as possible, and keeping it flat with no distortions. Then cut a small square of your fabric and a matching square of fusible interfacing. I keep a roll of the strip stuff with my sewing things. You can, of course, use the larger yardage fusible interfacing too:
Lay the square with the good side facing the same way as the original fabric with the fusible interfacing sandwiched in between, then press according to the interfacing directions. I had a couple of holes in the fabric, so I did two squares. This pattern was pretty wild and the holes were small, so I didn’t try to match fabric orientation or pattern, but on larger holes where things will show through more, you should do your best. Here are the pieces pressed in place:
Then I refolded and stitched the facing, the hem and the back seam, and was able to attach new snaps, to make the outfit good as new, or at least more than good enough to reattach a snap:
If you are going to be washing the repair often, I also recommend darning around it for strength. If the hole is large and too much of the interfacing will be exposed, you may need to cut around the hole, or you will iron it to your ironing board!
The outfit is cute though. and was worth saving:
So this one is totally doll related, but there is non-doll project coming up, so stick with me.
Does your girl need some pearl earrings to complete her look? Worried about the dreaded green ear (you should be if you are using original earrings!!!) Here is a quick easy way to make safe pearl earrings for any doll.
Gather your materials:
Assorted pearls. I use 2-3 mm ones. You can also use glass beads
Optional: Clear wire-filled twist tie from dolls, toys etc.
This is super easy. Cut lengths of fishing line about one inch long; you can trim them shorter when you are done as it is easier to work with longer ones. Dab a dot of superglue onto the line and stick on a pearl till the fishing line just comes to the end, don’t let it stick out. You’re done! Well, let it dry and cut it to length, but that is about it. If the doll’s earring hole is small, you may need to use pliers to carefully hold onto the line near the head to push it in. For FR dolls or a doll with just slightly larger earring holes, use two pieces of line per earring and let a little extra glue hold the two pieces together. For Barbie, with her big earring holes, carefully run a knife around the outside of the wire twist, only cutting the outer plastic. Slip the outer plastic off, add a dab of glue on the fishing line, and insert into the tube up to the pearl.
You can safely leave these earrings in for display. I would be careful with dark-color dyed ones, as I have no idea how fast the dyes are. For the above example, I would not leave the dark pink beads touching the doll’s face for long, just in case! You are golden on the white ones.
Up next, a project for you or for a gift. I don’t know why it is, but I am always tripping over single cuff links. Perhaps it is because they show up in button boxes a lot, but they do tend to pile up. For many of the old styles, a single cuff link is still two matching pieces, so why not earrings?
I adore enameled jewelry, so the top row was a no-brainer for me. I prefer not drilling holes in the piece just so as to do as little damage as possible, but I found the first pair already drilled. The next two were super simple. Just superglue two small jump rings to the top edge of the piece, attach a chain and an ear wire and you are done. You can see I left the button shanks intact as well. The bottom one is a more common example of the sort of cuff links you find, but these more rounded button styles lend themselves to this type of earring:
The first pair is the above cuff link turned into earrings. The next two pairs are actual buttons, but the same idea. Each earring consists of the button, an eye pin with beads strung on it, then made into a top loop and an ear wire attached. The middle pair uses bead caps glued to the Victorian steel buttons and the last pair has a couple of extra beads attached with head pins.
Just makes you wonder where I could go with these:
Sort assorted cuff links, beads, head pins, eye pins, and ear wires and you can go to town! Check out your jewelry box, button box and your hubby’s top drawer and see what you can do!
And last up, ’tis the season for this recipe:
Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar divided
1 cup buttermilk (I have substituted regular milk and it is OK)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream the butter and one cup sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Combine buttermilk and vanilla and set aside. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add alternately with milk mixture and still till blended. Stir in rhubarb. Spread in a greased 13″ × 9″ × 2″ pan. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.
This makes a a great springtime desert. The cinnamon and sugar bake into a crisp crust on the top!
Stay safe, stay busy, and please let us know if you finish any of these projects; we would love to see the results!