Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Friday, March 29, 2019

Needle Minders for Needlework & Sewing Enthusiasts Reviewed

Needle Minders for Needlework & Sewing Enthusiasts
A few years ago, I was gifted with a beautiful needle minder.  At the time, I had no idea what a needle minder was, but I quickly learned what a fabulous aid a needle minder can be for those of us who love to sew and do needlework.

The best description of a "needle minder" that I can think of would be to refer to it as a needle magnet that attracts and holds needles.  

I couldn't begin to guess at how many needles I have dropped, and lost, over the years.  I have even been know to wash them simply because they were attached to a blouse I was wearing while sewing.  Let's face it, when we sew, we get interrupted.  The needle is stuck quickly into "something".  We may not get back to our work within the hour, or even on the same day and we have totally forgotten what we did with our needle.

Therefore, I now consider a needle minder an essential sewing & needlework tool. 


My Needle Minder


Needle Minders for Needlework & Sewing Enthusiasts Reviewed
My needle minder is a lovely mouse, which is totally appropriate to me.  Clearly, the gift giver knew me well.  

When I am sitting behind the sewing machine, I attach my needle minder to my shirt like a brooch.  When I am cross stitching, I attach it to the aida cloth itself.  

Magnetic needle minders do not damage clothing or fabrics.  They are ingenious designs with a strong magnet that holds the needle minder from the back side.  

The magnet "attracts" needles and holds them for us.  When we return to our work, we know exactly where to look for our needles. So much better than randomly poking them somewhere and finding them later, often by surprise, when they stick you.  

I am currently working on a cross stitch design that requires dozens of different floss colors.  I frequently thread several needles in different colors so I can continue cross stitching without having to change the floss on one needle too often.  As you can see in the photo, my mouse needle minder hangs onto the multiple needles nicely, and all in one place.


Needle Minders Available Online


There are several places online that offer needle minders.  I happen to know that mine came from True North Needleminders on Etsy because it arrived attached to the store's business card.  She has a large variety of choices available so you can select the character that best reflects your preferences and personality.

Here are a few that are currently available at True North Needleminders, but you can click the store link above to see the entire collection. 

I can tell you from experience, they make awesome gifts for needlework and sewing enthusiasts.  I am most grateful to Olivia for giving me mine.



 

 

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hobby Time from the Review This! Contributors




hob·by - an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. 

January is known as National Hobby Month.   The contributing writers here on Review This! each have their favorite ways to enjoy a relaxing pursuit and have written many reviews of various how-to books, crafting supplies and DIY tutorials, gardening tips, recipes & kitchen aids for the cook, photography lessons, reading or listening to music, sports, and a host of other hobbies. 

These are but a few of the hobbies enjoyed by the Review This crew. The list of hobbies is almost endless.  If you are interested in looking for what we writers here have reviewed, type in the name of your 'hobby' either in the box in the top left-hand corner of any Review This page, or in the search box down the right-hand side. By looking at the author's name, you won't have any problem figuring out which HOBBY is each writers' favorite! For instance, mine  (Wednesday Elf) is crochet and my hobby is shared by several other contributors here, so we learn and share with each other. A more comprehensive list is shown below.


National Hobby Month




Begun by the Hobby Guild of America in 1955,  National Hobby Month was celebrated in April until 1976, then in October until 1986.  Since then, it has been celebrated during the month of January. 

January was most likely chosen for National Hobby Month as it is the beginning of a new year and a good time to start a new hobby.  Many people have never had hobbies during their working years or while raising a family and begin one in their retirement or after the children are grown.  Others try many hobbies throughout their life before finding one or two that gives them the most enjoyment. 


Hobby Examples on Review This!



Hobbies can be passive (such as crafting, reading, writing, listening to music or watching a movie) or an activity such as gardening, cooking or participating in sports. Many people have more than one hobby and often combine them, such as listening to music while crafting. 

In addition to writing reviews here on Review This!, most of the contributing writers here write for their own blogs and websites.  Writers consider writing to be more work than hobby, so time away from writing is important. That's where the activities done in our leisure time become such a pleasure. It is also interesting to note that the passion we feel for our hobbies is shown in many of the subjects we write about.


  • Barbara Tremblay Cipak (Brite-Ideas) is crazy about country music and frequently writes about the artists and their music she is so passionate about.  She is also loves to experiment with color in home décor. 
  • Dawn Rae does crochet and participates in a group of fellow jeep owners.  She also enjoys gardening and lately 'learning about homesteading'.
  • Cynthia Sylvestermouse is a freelance writer and photographer who loves all different kinds of crafts, including crafting in the kitchen, creating fancy cakes and cupcakes. 
  • Barbara (BarbRad) is an expert on books and loves to read.  She is also a nature photographer who most enjoys photographing her central California area. 
  • Mary Beth Granger (MBGphoto) is a fabulous photographer who continually takes photography classes to learn more.  Photography has become her passion in her retirement, along with traveling.  Lighthouses and beaches are her favorite subjects. 
  • Wednesday Elf loves crochet and needlework, watching baseball and reading. 
  • Beverly Owens is busy researching her Native American Indian heritage and loves to write about spirit animals and the wisdom of her ancestors. She also enjoys crocheting. 
  • Olivia Morris loves gardening and following the fashion world.
  • Brenda Little (Treasures By Brenda) collects coffee mugs and researches the history of vintage cups and other vintage items which she shares in her eBay store.  She also loves reading, great movies, cooking, and pop culture. 
  • Diana Wenzel (Renaissance Woman2010) enjoys an off-the-grid lifestyle where she pursues her interests in animal rescue, wonderful nature photography, and DIY projects. She also loves to read. 
  • Louanne Cox (Lou16) loves reading, 80s music, zombies and dolls, among a host of other interests. 
  • Heather Burns (Heather426) is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Her hobby is her artistic accomplishments, including the colored pencils she has created for coloring pages and coloring books. 
  • Coletta Teske is a published book author and loves to sew. 

These are just the highlights of hobbies and interests I have observed from the articles they publish and the interaction we have as a team here on the staff of Review This!.  I am sure there are other interests each of them have.  


Quick View Home Page



By clicking on the Quick View Home Page button at the top of any Review This! page, you will have weekly examples of many of the articles your hobbyists here enjoy (plus many non-hobby reviews).  

Stop by the comments section and tell us your favorite hobby or activity. The Review This! staff would love to hear about what gives you pleasure in your leisure time.

(c) Written by Wednesday Elf on 1/20/2018







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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Reviewing American Girl Doll Sewing Patterns

Sewing Patterns For American Girl Doll Clothes

Save money or even make money by making doll clothes at home. Using sewing patterns for American Girl doll clothes can save you money and allow you to create unique one of a kind clothing for your doll or the doll that belongs to a special little girl in your life. It is also a way to use up some extra fabrics that are just waiting to be taken out of the "someday I'll use that" pile. Come on, you crafters know of what I speak! There is also the possibility of making yourself some extra income by purchasing several sewing patterns. If you are a good seamstress, you can take these patterns, make some doll clothing and sell them to Moms and Grandmas who do not sew but want something unique and different for their American Girl Doll. You can sell them online or do craft shows. There is some real potential for earning some extra cash for yourself and your family.

A Few Sewing Patterns For Doll Clothing to fit 18 inch dolls

There are just so many options when looking for sewing patterns for American Girl doll clothes and accessories. I found four cute ideas to show you.


This book of patterns includes the instructions and tissue paper pattern sheets to make 16 mix and match outfits for the American Girl dolls or any of the 18 inch dolls on the market. The designer actually took the time to interview little girls to find out what they want for their dolls to be able to wear.
This pattern from the company known for sewing patterns for 145 years, McCall's, offers the instructions and pattern pieces to sew up 6 adorable little outfits for dolls.

From Simplicity, also a popular company for many decades, we find a sweet little sewing pattern with 41 pieces. You can make a top, pants, skirt, jacket and coat with this one! Depending on the fabrics you choose they can be for the spring and summer seasons or for fall and winter.


What little girl doesn't love to dress up in a party dress? Well, with this Simplicity sewing pattern for dolls, her little friend can be dressed for a party or special occasion, too. The dress can be sleeveless, short sleeved, long sleeved and the length can be short or long. How much fun is that?

Sewing Patterns For The Historical Character American Girl Dolls

If you have one of the Historical Character Dolls from American Girl, choosing a pattern for doll clothing of the specific era is a distinct option. The Felicity and Elizabeth dolls were from the Colonial era of history so outfits made from patterns with that era in mind are perfect. There are also patterns for other eras that work for the other historical character dolls.

What size sewing patterns do you need?

Not all sewing patterns will say that they are for American Girl Doll Clothes. In fact, most of the time they will state that they are for 18 inch doll clothes. Those will work just fine for the American Girl dolls or 18 inch dolls in general. American Girl also has Bitty Baby and Bitty Twins but those are 15 inch dolls so if you are sewing clothing for them, you will need to shop for the 15 inch size patterns.

Seasonal Fashions In One Sewing Pattern for American Girl Doll Clothes

The really great and economical thing about most doll clothes patterns is that you get more than one outfit in the package. It is not uncommon to find a pattern that allows you to make 6 different outfits that will work for the Spring and Summer clothing or for Fall and Winter.

Suggestion For Selling The Doll Clothes that you make from the sewing patterns

May I offer some suggestions to you if you are planning to make doll clothes for the American Girl Doll or any 18 inch doll and sell them? I believe that it is wise to make a variety of outfits to offer for sale. More importantly, I think it is important that you do not make too many outfits using the same fabric. Mix it up a bit. Your buyers will be looking for something unique that they can't find in a store or online. They don't want an outfit that hundreds of others have one identical to. You can make a cute little sun dress 100 times but use different color combinations and mixtures of fabrics. Perhaps only make 5 that are identical. Believe me, you will sell more that way.

Also, when working on your inventory to offer for sale make sure you have fashions for the specific seasons of the year and holidays. Sports clothing is also very popular for the dolls. Plan to give your customers a nice variety of unique doll clothing.

Pay Attention To Adult Fashion Trends:

Keep your eye on the colors and fashion trends for adults and see if you can use those ideas in making your doll clothes for the American Girl Doll. Especially if you plan to sell them. Trendy colors in your fabrics can lead to some pretty good sales. Your initial investment does not have to be a lot of money. You can start with one pattern and make it in a few different options. Once you have made some money selling those doll clothes, you can invest in additional sewing patterns for American Girl doll clothes.

What should you charge for the doll clothing?

If you have decided to sell the items that you have made using the sewing patterns for American Girl Doll clothes, you should have a plan for how much to charge for each outfit. It isn't always an easy calculation or decision to make. Obviously you need to make enough money to cover the cost of making the outfit. You also need to make some profit to pay for your time and to re-supply your working inventory. A good practice is to look around at online sites and see what the asking price for something similar is. One really good measuring unit is to ask yourself what you would be willing to pay for an outfit from someone else. Chances are if you think the price is too much, so will your potential customers. Try to come up with a fair and affordable price for your customers. If doing a craft show, you can sometimes have a slightly higher price to give yourself some negotiating room for those times when the customer asks if you can do any better on the price. You already added a little cushion to your bottom line. If selling your doll clothing online, remember that the customer is looking at the price of the item plus shipping charges. You might look at what the shipping is going to be and perhaps try to keep the total under $20. Of course that depends on how much you have in the outfit. I would also suggest that you have one price for items you have made up ahead of time to sell and a higher price for custom orders.

Well known Designers Get Into The Spirit Of Dolls

I just love that there are well known designers who are starting to create fun and unique clothing for dolls. Whether it is an American Girl doll or any 18 inch doll they can wear designer clothes made by you or the seamstress of your choosing. Whether you plan to use sewing patterns for American Girl doll clothes to make a few outfits for your own doll, a special little girl's doll, or you want to sell them to others, I hope you had fun looking at the ideas that I have presented on this page. Making doll clothes is a great way to add some income and to use up pieces of fabric. Let me know you stopped in to the craft room today by leaving a comment.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Let's Sew Together and Build Lasting Memories

Ask me where I learned to sew and you’ll get the answer that’s commonly expressed by seamstresses, tailors, and designers all over the world. “My mom taught me to sew!” Ask that question and look into our eyes. You’ll see a fondness as we recall awesome memories of spending time with our moms and their sewing machines.

When I opened the cover of Let's Sew Together: Simple Projects the Whole Family Can Make by Rubyellen Bratcher (Potter Craft, New York, 2014), memories of the time I spent sewing with my mom flooded my eyes. No matter what kind of problems mom and I may have had while I was growing up, we always ironed things out with the help of mom’s sewing machine.

Mom and I bonded early in life over the sewing machine. She didn’t have a how-to manual, she just let me play along with her on projects that wouldn’t harm my tiny hands. As I got older, she trusted me to cut the fabric, not my long hair.

Mom and I made some cool projects over the years. Clothes, dolls, handbags, quilts, and anything else that caught our eyes. As I thumbed through Let’s Sew Together, I saw how mom and I could have made our projects even cooler with the tips offered by Bratcher. With four young daughters, Bratcher knows what kids like, how to get kids involved in sewing, and how to hold their attention.

Let’s Sew Together is written for the mom that has a basic knowledge of sewing and knows how to operate a sewing machine. Moms with no sewing skills shouldn’t be discouraged from trying this book. There are ten no-sew projects for moms and kids to learn together. Start by making a pom-pom for some soft ball tossing fun. Make little boys a bold bow tie and little girls barrettes with baubles. Or, make stories come to life with a no-sew storytelling box.

For the mom that feels comfortable using a sewing machine, there are 27 sewing projects that are appropriate for pre-school age kids. Bratcher provides easy-to-sew projects that even adults will love. I fell in love with several of the projects and have already started the Quirky Rag Doll found on page 124.

I admire the way Bratcher combines sewing lessons with learning lessons. While helping children make Cheerful Flip’Em Placemats (page 68) and Prep & Play Place Settings (page 71), Bratcher suggests books with a food theme for parents to read with kids, shows how to teach proper place setting, and talks about the importance of feeding our children well. There are similar helpful learning activities sprinkled generously throughout the book.

I appreciate that Bratcher includes sewing projects for boys. Not only can boys help make their own clothes, there is a super hero robot to share adventure stories, a fortress for hide-and-seek fun, and drums to make a lot of noise.

If your child has expressed an interest in sewing, I highly recommend this book. There are a variety of projects for clothing, jewelry, table settings, pillows, educational toys, fun time toys, and party decorations. You’ll also find ways to make each project unique by letting kids have their hand at fashion design.

I give this book 5 stars. Click on the book cover below. This is an Amazon link that will take you to the book's detail page where you can purchase your copy.


Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. My opinions are my own.



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