Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Little Missouri, the Hatch Collection
 inspired doll has finally been
finished. Missouri's Mother has been
busy teaching her how to bake bread, and
she has been an eager but messy leaner!
I decided to give her black antique
wooden shoe button eyes and a sideswipe
apron. Next time you bake bread
 look at your apron to see
where all the flour is. If it's in 
the front you are a frontswipe baker,
the side a sideswipe, the back a
backswipe. Aprons are made accordingly.
If you are really messy your apron
should be extra long too!
Her head scarf, shoulder scarf and
apron are made from a fine thin
cotton. Her red dress is an
1800's reproduction print cotton. 
She has an attached nose and
embroidered mouth and wool hair. 
Her simple petticoat and pantalettes
are sewn from linen. She is all
cloth and stuffed with wool
roving. She is sewn entirely
by hand. She is 14 1/2 inches tall.
She has been aged to give her
that well loved look.
Here are photos that are not
jazzed up!!

She will be available on the first
of June at Early Work Mercantile.

Hand Sewing Tips

For those of you that don't hand sew very
often, are intimidated by it or you are
a beginner here are some very important
tips I'd like to share. 

If you are going to hand sew, a thimble or
some type of finger protector is a MUST! 
You will just give up if your fingers
become too sore! I use a
leather or hard rubber thimble when I
am sewing on heavier fabrics.
 They are more flexible & much more
comfortable for me than a metal thimble. 
When I sew light weight or cotton
fabrics I use a little round finger patch
(I buy them at the fabric store) that
sticks to the tip of my finger.  They
are a bit sticky around the edges &
some times fall off so I put a
flexible band aid around it. They are
re-usable to.  My finger is protected,
 there is very little bulk, it's flexible
& it doesn't fall off!!

I always wax my thread!!
(Bees wax is available at sewing centers.)
I loathe a tangled thread, it's time
consuming & frustrating to try and
untangle a knotted thread.

For sewing with cotton I use Bohin French
needles size 9. I don't know if it is
the recommend needle but they are very sharp.
They are not too thick around, nor are
they too thin. It's hard to push a fat needle
thru fabric & I can't use a needle if it
gets bent. They are not too long nor too short. 
I poke myself if a needle is too long and my arthritic hands fumble with a short needle. 
They work for me & that's what counts.

 I use a sturdier needle for heavier fabrics. 
Curved needles for sewing hair on a dolls head
& a long long needle when I need to sew
through a dolls head.  Embroidery needles
when I embroider & needles with a
bigger eye for button holes twist thread.

When I pin fabric together I turn the piece
over and sew from the other side.  It is
very time consuming & frustrating to
remove thread that has become entangle with
the heads or tip ends of pins!

Here are some wonderful videos that are very easy to follow by The Brass & Morter Uniform Depot & Tailoring Shop. 

Basics Of Hand Sewing 
The Running Stitch 
The Slip-stitch 
The Back-stitch 

Video of a tailor making some awesome
hand sewn buttonholes on a jacket! 

I hope this is helpful.
Happy Sewing!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Decoration Day

Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address
19 November 1863

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Building Our Log Cabin

My husband and a small crew built
our cypress log cabin in the summer
of 1997.  It's nestled in the
woods just above the banks of the
Swan Creek.
We down sized in anticipation of our
retirement.  You will notice the building
to the left in the above photo.  That's my
hubby's's bigger than the cabin!!
I love the covered porches.  A great place to
drink my morning coffee, and listen to
the soothing sounds of the creek.  At night the
 upper deck is the perfect spot to observe
the night sky or moon bathe naked!
We installed a Hartstone soapstone wood
burning stove, hard wood floors and Pella
Although it looks small & quaint from the
front it actually has lots of room & all the
modern conveniences.  
I love every inch of our Ozark cabin!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dolly's Dress and Apron--MAYBE

I've gotten a dress and a linen apron done for
the early black doll I have been working on. 
 I chose a reproduction 1800's red cotton with
a lovely wheat pattern.  It was a bit bright so..

They have been aged for that "loved" look.

I have also sewn a different longer apron with
a matching head scarf out of a sheer cotton, that
 has been heavily aged.  So, I am undecided. 

I am also thinking of making a few changes to
her face, as I am not fully satisfied with
 that either!  I will continue to work on
 her until I am happy.  I'm sure all doll makers
do the same thing.  Are we always
tweaking and changing our minds?  Are we
ever 100% happy with our creations? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  Spring in the Ozarks has been so beautiful I have found
it hard to stay indoors and work on dolls!  Hand
sewing is a slow process anyway so I will probably
only finish one doll this month.

I have been working on a little doll that
reminds me of the early black dolls in the
Hatch Collection. Here is a link to the website
 if you are not familiar with these one of a kind
  historic American cloth dolls.

For my doll I have chosen to make her body
of linen, stuffed with wool roving.

Her hair is wool and her eyes are
 antique white glass shoe buttons.

So far she has simple linen undies.

I think she will get a red dress and
a cotton or linen work apron. 
That is if I can stay indoors!!