17 September 2010

Twirl Some Thread

A very kind reader recently asked me how it was going with our oldest after this post.  Divine and I still have our weekly night together, and she does not let me forget.  Ever.  She is doing well, thank you for asking.  Of course we have those days, but everyone does, right?  The most recent project we have been working on is this birthday gift for Olive.

It sometimes stuns me to see so much of myself in another person.  When Divine is working on a project, she is content, doesn't want to put it down and looks forward to the moment she can pick it up again [especially when it means staying up later than her sisters!]

I had her draw on paper what she wanted to make: A ballerina doll.  Then I had her draw on the fabric the outline of the doll.  I added a seam allowance and she cut it out, sewed it on the sewing machineall by herself[!],stuffed it and embroidered the mouth and some of the eyes.

We cut the top out of some velvet ribbon that doesn't fray and gathered some tiny pleated shear fabric for the skirt.

B.D. was very happy, but asked if hair was a possibility.
I went into my magic closet and found some lovely gold locks.

We tried a Beehive Bouffant El-ay-gont.
And B.D. liked it very much, but it just wasn't her.

So we tried happy, sunshine-y dreadlocks.
B.D. was a bit nervous with her hair so free.

We pulled it into a nice, neat bun on top and yes.  
That was just right.

Olive hasn't released her since.

Go and sew with your child, twinkle toes.


  1. what you said today and in the other related post really makes me think...my eldest, Alice, has 3 little brothers and she became a sister at 16 monthes, too !! so I felt very moved by your words, as she has become to be so jealous (even if we try to give her things that the boys don't have...) that it's really hard living everyday life with her...
    maybe I should try some "girls" night, she and I doing krafty things, as she loves it !
    thanks a lot for helping my thinking

  2. How cute!!!
    My little girl is five and getting her first sewing machine from Grandma for Christmas. I'm worried, though... is five too young?
    When did your girls start using the machine?

  3. aw, that is so awesome! My daughter has her own corner in my craft room but it's mostly just painting and drawing right now, with some pony bead beading as well. She's only three though. I think I'm gonna find some large grid cross stitching fabric and give her a very blunt needle soon though... I'm so hoping to pass on a love of crafting/stitching to her, and keep having together-time in the meantime. (especially as she transitions from "oh, a miracle baby!" to a big sister to "ha, another miracle baby!")

  4. That is just awesome ... I love that she made such a sweet, personal, and fun gift for her sister!

  5. Very sweet post! And your children are darling!

  6. What a sweet, sweet post! Your firstborn reminds me more than a bit of my firstborn :) Perhaps a mommy and me night would help us along... Incidentally, I do believe I am from the same town where you live :) (from an earlier post about field trips). Loveliest of weekends to you.

  7. Hey Katy! If you haven't already found this adorable site of a woman taking pictures of her newborn's re-enacted dreams, then I think you will have to check it out. The first thing I thought when I saw it was, "Katy would love this!"
    She manipulates different fabrics to create a scene. Well, you'll understand when you see it!

  8. You have inspired me. My daughter keeps asking to sew.. too busy, too hard, too whatever. Who am I to squash her creative desire? Clearly I'm not acting like a very good mother.

    Can't wait to guide her (without inserting my own desires) towards her very own.. made by Lulu twinkle toes.

    Thank you!

  9. Ok, Katy...I LOVE what you are doing through September but I simply MUST comment on this post. I have been meaning to send you a message asking if you remembered the dolls we made at that little sewing class we took at the Powley's... Well, I decided that I wanted to make dolls like that for my two little girls for Christmas (they have WAY too many store bought ones and I thought hand made ones would mean more). Now you have given me an idea..aybe I will secretly have them make them for each other! Anyway, I have a couple questions that I don't want to get into on here would you mind sending me an email so I can either just get your email address or perhaps your phone number? Oh, how I wish we lived closer so I could come to your sewing soirée! Anyway, thanks! You absolutely AMAZE me!! Miss you!
    All My Love to you and your family,
    Rebecca Goodwin-McConnell

  10. I love sewing most, when I have a little one on my lap.
    My 2 year old fetches pins and puts the presser foot up and down on the machine (when she was younger I would give her a piece of fabric to hold while I sewed so she wouldn't pull on what I was sewing.) My 4 year old helps me lay out the patterns and hold the fabric as I pull it through the machine, he loves to take the pins out when I am done too. He is also very good at picking out thread colors for embroidery.

  11. This is one of the sweetest posts I've ever seen. I love the smiles on both your girls faces... especially the one who made the doll for her sister! You can tell that it makes me feel good to have made something that her sister loves and that's what handmaking toys is all about!!! I'm making my sons halloween costume (a dinosaur) and he's getting all into it. I'm going to let him help me as much as he can (he's almost 3) and I think it will be a great activity for us. Thanks for this beautiful post.

  12. i read the old post about attention. my oldest is having the same problem. i tried giving her more time during her little sisters naps but little sis is starting to grow out of naptime now so....i LOVE your idea of keeping her up later. i am so stealing that idea.

  13. She did such a great job sewing that doll. What perfect gift for her sister. Handmade is the best!

  14. Oh this post speaks to me on so many levels!

    I am rekindling my love of sewing once again and recently purchased a machine after being without one for a long time.

    My daughter is very intrigued and is about to turn 5. Do you have any advice on how to start the little ones sewing?

    I would be grateful for any advice you could offer. I am loving your blog!

  15. Cole's Corner--We had a "kid's sewing machine" once and it created more frustration than enjoyment, so I can't recommend a child's machine, but depending on your child's fine motor skills, I would say around 6 would be a good age.

    Brookeanne--I have seen it and think it is marvelously clever. Oh, to have a newborn who naps anywhere again!

    Cathy--I agree. Letting them "help" makes a big difference. They are still getting your attention and you're still able to create. I'd like to see what you've been working on!

    Dana--Those dog cards in the previous post are a good place to start. They help your child understand the basic concept of sewing-up, down and in a line. Then move on to things like letting them sew buttons on scraps of fabric.

  16. I keep waiting for an announcement relating such! I see announcements in regards to your sisters that are expecting and am "quietly" wondering when your turn will be ;).

  17. you must be so proud! it's gorgeous- and to have such a sweet gift from your sister will be precious for infinite years. divine, divine.
    (and man does she look like daddy dill in that last shot)

  18. That is so adorable! And what a lovely gift for her little sister. I was wondering though, how did you attach the hair?

  19. This doll is so amazing, what a sweet girl to sew that for her sister. I love the hair, the dress and the slippers on the feet. I would love to know how you made it my daughter who is 3 is sitting on my lap and telling me "I want that kind of dolly". But I wouldn't even know where to start? Any advice?

  20. Oh Katy that is such a beautiful post. I love seeing that sister relationship as I'm so excited for my two girls who will always have that special bond that I won't ever have.
    I love this post and hope my girls (19months apart) will one day create a doll for each other just like this!
    I can't wait for them to start 'sewing'... but my eldest is the same age as Clover... does she do 'sewing' with you or is 2 a bit young?


  21. Kathy--Draw the hair line with a colored pencil. Then cut pieces of wool roving about 5" long. Working in sections, do a line of hot glue along the hair line and place a piece of wool roving with the ends toward the back of the head. Then when you fold them back for a ponytail or bun you can't see the ends.

    Rachel--Just have her draw a simple silhouette of a doll and trace it onto fabric, enlarging it to the size you want. The shoes on this are just bits of ribbon. One piece wide for the shoe and one piece narrow for the strings. Just experiment with what you have on hand and don't get bogged down by making it look just like this one. Have fun with it.

  22. So cute! What a treasure that will be for both of them!

    I kind of like the bouffant style.

    Just so you know, I went out and bought me some orange little fiskars--I love them.

  23. went back to april and your tip re attention to the eldest. our 4 and a half son had early terrible 2's and they haven't stopped, although they ARE better controlled. now that his sister is 1 and ahalf he has started to 'play up' more often.
    i will be trying your tip to go in the opposite direction, so thanks for that.
    becky bpbajona(at)maltanet(dot)net

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  25. love, love, love this post!!

  26. So cute! I can't wait to do this with my girls. What a beautiful family you have!

  27. Wow! Awesome! I love the finished product!!!

  28. I loved this, and my son has just begun showing an interest in sewing. tonight, inspired by this and your monster dolls, he and I created his very first sewing project. It was so much fun! thanks for the thought!



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