Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Follow by Email Test

Google announced recently that Feedburner, the tool I use for the newsletter, is going away in July. I'm testing a new email subscription tool called If you are able, I'd really appreciate it if you sign up using the widget at the top right of my blog. It will help me test everything out.

Karahana Progress

I've been steadily working through all the petals on Karahana. This weekend I started the last one and am happy to say it's done.

Now that I've gone 'round and round', it's time to go 'to and fro' on the turnovers. First, I need to put in all the padding. Tedious work, so I will have to find something to motivate me. Maybe pull out my beading piece Calm Flow? It's been a month since I've worked on it and it's so close to being completed.

If we look back at my to do list, I'm able to check off one item:
  • trefoil stems, I'm still trying to decide if I will do them in #1 gold or #1 twist
  • outline the bottom leaf
  • stitch and outline the other two leaves
  • outline the stem
  • stitch the petals - add spacing and couch round and round
  • stitch the turnovers - add spacing, pad, couch to and fro
  • remove spacing and clean up

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Elizabeth Pincushion Doll - Finish

Remember this? At the end of March last year, I was gathering materials for finishing the trunk and then never mentioned it again. There is a reason for that, more on that later. 

For now, I want to share how I did the finish for this lovely porcelain half doll by Brier Rose. I won't be sharing exact measurements here, unless they are pertinent, as those are included in the instructions. However, I did want to share pictures as I found it very hard to follow the instructions. My struggle may help someone else who is also trying to figure it out.

There are three parts:
  1. the underskirt/body of the doll
  2. the skirt, embroidered fabric
  3. the purse

First step is to make the body of the doll. For the base, I cut out a circle of heavy cardstock. I'm not sure what kind this is, it was given to me by a friend who gets them from her husband's work. It's the type used when folding fabric. This circle is centered and glued on top of the green felt. The felt is then gathered and more glue is involved to stick the hem to the cardstock.

Second step is to make the "body" of the underskirt. They give measurements for the fabric, but double check the length to the diameter of your final circle. I used my sewing machine to sew the edges to form a cylinder, but first I folded the edges at the top and bottom and pressed them. The bottom of the cylinder is pinned to the base and stitched together.

For the body, it says to fold the upper hem so you end up with a height measuring 7 inches. I found that 7 inches may have been too much for the height of the skirt I had. I wish I had measured my skirt first and took that into consideration, as I have more green showing beneath the skirt than I would have wanted.

Once the hem is folded, sew along the edge but don't pull yet. This is a good time to put in the stuffing. The body of the doll is meant to be a pincushion, so it needs to be firm.

Third step, I set the body aside to get the half-doll ready. All it needs is a hot glue gun and a wooden stick. I used a chopstick for mine. My chopstick needed to be trimmed (not shown below) so that it fits with the 7 inch height set for the body. Again, something else that I wish was better adjusted.

Step four, stick the half-doll in the stuffed body and gather the hem around it. To maintain the gather, I made a few knots. Then I stitch the doll to the body with the same thread (bottom right picture). The half-doll should sit on top of the gathered hem. 

Now for the skirt. The first thing I needed to do was add a backing. I had some ecru silk dupioni in my stash that was perfect for this. I put the two pieces of fabric, right sides together and pined them. I hand stitched the two pieces together along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open. The instructions say to baste the edges and sew along the basting lines. I didn't do that. Instead, I used the even weave linen as a guide to make sure my line is straight.

Once they're stitched together, I trimmed the edges leaving a hem. Turn the skirt inside out and iron. Fold in the top of the linen and silk. I folded my lined, leaving 6 strands of linen from the stitching, and then matched the silk. I used a ladder stitch to stitch the top edge closed, instead of sewing below the the upper edge. It gives a cleaner finish. 

The instructions also say to leave a small opening on the sides, but I didn't do that. It's meant to be used to gather the skirt, but I could never get it to sit nicely on the doll. After doing some research online, I found a post by California Stitcher that solves this. The stitcher also deviated from the instructions. She ended up stitching below the hem and gathering the fabric (one step instead of the two I did).

So that's what I did, but before I pulling too tightly and finish off the thread I wanted to join the edge of the skirt. This is easier to do while the skirt is still loose. Finish gathering the skirt and knot the thread. The last touch is a bit of ribbon wrapped around the waist and tied in a bow. When I cut the piece of ribbon for the bow, I made sure to get the section with all the green. This helps camouflage the edge of the doll where it meets the underskirt and the skirt.

The last item to finish is the purse. There was no template so mine came out a little wonky. I sort of eyeballed it for the felt and then used it as a template for the rest. The embroidery is glued to a piece of interfacing. The handle and tassel are stitched to it and then this is covered with a piece of ecru wool. I only had white, but as it's on the inside it won't be seen.

Here is the front and back of the "front" part of the purse.

You can tell I got sloppy towards the end. I didn't have a lot of green felt and didn't want to waste what I had to cut another piece that will not be seen from the front.

The purse is meant to hold scissors. I had a pair of petit gold scissors that were perfect for taking pictures.

Now for the eye candy. I asked my sister to take pictures for me. She always plays photographer for my finished pieces and enjoys putting scenes together. We lucked out with the soft lighting.

Now you may ask "But what about the trunk?". It's still there. I actually made it up last year. Looks pretty doesn't it. From afar...

Not exactly pretty when you take a closer look. I ran into a construction issue with the lid. The instructions were really confusing and I'm pretty sure the measurements were off. Like the purse, it would have been more helpful if they had included templates that could be used for tracing. I was so irritated with it, I didn't bother to make the tray that goes inside.

Setting all that aside, the construction of the base is pretty good considering it's my first box. So not a complete fail. I haven't decided if I will write a post about it or not. It might be worth just to log where I failed, if only to help another stitcher.

All in all, I have a pretty finish. I enjoyed stitching with the Gloriana silks. I'd love to stitch another project with them, but I will most likely not buy another Giulia Punti Antichi pattern. A pretty pattern is useless if the instructions that come with it are bad.

Thursday, May 6, 2021



Had lots done last month, so my TUSAL jar has lots of color. Mainly orange from all the work on Karahana. Sadly, except for stitching on the weekend I've been neglecting my stitching. Luckily, Karahana doesn't require a lot of thinking, just lots of mindless couching. I'm currently on the fourth petal.

I do have a finish from last month that I need to share, but I still have to write the post. I'm hoping I'll have more energy (and interest) once we finish Ramadan. Only 7 days left!