Monday, March 04, 2013

Sewing Up A Storm!

Irish Step-Dance Doll Dress 003

We had company here from Chicago,
to celebrate a 50th Birthday &
my DGSon #2 made his 1st Holy Communion
the same weekend, as well.
I was up to my eyeballs making cookies for
the event, but foolishly forgot to take photos.

 Since that weekend,
I have been in the sewing room,
stitching up a storm!
I finished my most intricate quilt EVER &
got it off to my long arm quilter.
I promise to share it with you when
it comes back home.
Then I worked on this little Irish Step-Dance
outfit for one of Ms. C's American Girl dolls.  

Irish Step-Dance Doll Dress 009

 I keep this 'Our Generation' doll,
from Target, at my house,
just for fitting purposes.
They have the exact same body as
the AG dolls.
Only the texture of the hair &
the missing front teeth make them different.

 Irish Step-Dance Doll Dress 004

 I used the center of a much
larger machine embroidery
design for both the bodice as well as the

 Irish Step-Dance Doll Dress 005

front pleats on the dress & cape.
The inverted box pleat in the front of the skirt
is lined with a contrasting fabric that matches
the trim on the cuffs & the cape.

Irish Step-Dance Doll Dress 008
Irish Step-Dance Doll Dress 007

                                               She is holding a little shamrock that
came on a cupcake from last year.
"Motherrr, you never throw ANYTHING away!"

Irish Step-Dance Doll Dress 013

 The cape snaps onto the shoulder & again
at the waistline, to hold it in place.

This pattern is from Joan Hinds OOP book,

Sew the International Wardrobe for 18-Inch Dolls

Since I had some leftover fabrics,

I made a second one, too!

Irish Step-Dance Doll Dress 001 GH

 And then I made a 3rd one, too!
 Irish step-dancecdress #3 003
Irish step-dancecdress #3 004
Irish step-dancecdress #3 005
I have a few hints I'd like to share with you.
After a long day of piecing quilts, my right hand
sometimes aches.
I took one of these nifty, plastic spray handles,
that are meant for paint spray cans

Sewing Hints 011

 and I put it on my can of spray starch!

Sewing Hints 008

Much better! 
No more aching fingers!

Then I found out that they made THIS type of sprayer now. 

Sewing Hints 005

 They must have copied my idea!

Sewing Hints 009

 Another tip I have for you is to save an
empty bottle of Fabreeze fabric spray.

Rinse it out well & fill it with fresh
cold water to keep beside your iron.
It sends out a fine mist that won't soak
your fabrics.  Sometimes you just need
an extra bit of moisture to get rid of a
stubborn wrinkle.

Sewing Hints 010 
Another good hint I have it to purchase a
hair coloring bottle from someplace like
Sally's Beauty Supply.
That pointed tip is PERFECT for
refilling your iron with water!
No spills!

Sewing Hints 003

My best tip came from my dear friend, Carol,
aka Mamacjt

She is the one who told me about
"Best Pressed" starch alternative.
This stuff is WONDERFUL!!

She & I both prefer the unscented form.
I buy it online from  when they
have free shipping.

March 4th, is Carol's birthday!
Please run over to her darling blog &
wish her "Happy Birthday"?
Tell her Rett sent you!

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House.
I'm sorry I haven't gotten around to
responding to everyone's comments
from last month
I try real hard to visit each person
who leaves a comment!
I just think it is the polite thing to do,
but sometimes I just run out of time!
I'll be linking this post with
Susan for Met Monday
Yvonne for Tutorials, Tips &Tidbits
and The Tablescaper for
Seasonal Sundays.
Thank you to all these ladies for hosting
such fun parties!


  1. Rett,
    Super cute dress. I can't imagine sewing something so intricate and small. I love to sew but don't take the time to do as much as I would like. Great tips, who would have thought to use a paint sprayer attachment to a starch can....ummm makes me wonder what other cans that it might attach to. Visiting you from Met Monday

  2. Your Irish dress is just beautiful. I think I have seen some AG designs at Nancy's Notions.

    Thanks for the tips. I love using the Best Press.

  3. Thank you for the Birthday wishes, my dear friend! You are wonderful!

  4. Good Morning Rett, I love your Irish dress and it makes me wish I had a little girl to sew for, but I have all boys. I am going to try Best Press because I don't like faultless. I have enjoyed reading your blog this morning. Have a wonderful day. Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend

  5. You have lots of good tips for us in this post, Rett. The spray grip is the best idea ever. I have arthritis in my fingers and my joints swell up with any repetitive motion like pushing a spray cap. This is going on my shopping list TODAY. It's a joy to see your beautiful creations. Looking forward to the photos of your new quilt.

  6. Oh Rett!!!! I would gladly pay you money if you would make that dress for my Jemma! She has started Irish dance lessons and has her first "performance" St. Patrick's Day weekend! She would die if I had this!!! :-) You just let me know!!! Great tips too! I love the hair color bottle for the water. I can't name how many times I have tried to put water in the iron and it goes everywhere! So smart! I hope you are well and getting ready for spring! We have a bit to go as we are getting 5 to 12 inches today! Oh my!!! I miss my Charleston!!!

  7. Darling dress! And so much detail! That gold ribbon looks awesome.
    I've never seen the spray starch in that big container with the nozzle. I do good to even find the faultless with the gold lid like Helen Lively told us to use.

  8. Rett, it's always fun to see what you are up to. Lucy Miss C again. Is she getting a matching outfit? '-)
    Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try the starch substitute and the pointed bottle cap for refilling my iron.......why didn't I think of that before? Hope all is good at The Gazebo House. Like spring here in TX. Wish you would plan a trip to visit your brother..........Sarah

  9. First: I love your lovely header!
    Second: Your Irish American girl is simply adorable! My grands have one each, one blond and one brunette, like they are..soo cute! I love all your sewing, you are one talented gal. I love to embroider, it's my fav! Thanks for dropping by made my day! Have a wonderful week.

  10. Love the American Girl doll outfit! And who knew Heloise was back!!! Love the helpful tips.

  11. I'm a little embarrassed to say this but, your doll dresses better than I do! What a cute outfit and I'll bet Ms. C will be thrilled! Love the tip about the less expensive doll for fittings. I've been looking for a cheap Barbie and the the one I saw at Salvation Army was actually marked $5-what?!?!? Have a great week Rett:@)

  12. What a darling Celtic outfit for Ms. C's doll. I'm sure she'll be thrilled. I appreciated all your tips, too, as they'll come in handy. I made the FSL shamrock design and it turned out cute!

  13. I don't sew a stitch, but I always love seeing what you are making. I'm glad to see that Miss C still likes her AG dolls. My E is madly in love with hers and I love that. It'll be a sad day for me when she stops playing with dolls. {although I have to spend $$ and buy the clothes}
    Have a great day Rett.

  14. You are just amazing! What a talent you have.
    As the Nana of 4 little grandsons, and only one gdau, I have to ask. What do you make/give the boys when you give Miss C all these beautiful things?

    My mom was always making or giving the gdau's something, but nothing for the boys. I swore I would never do that , so when I give to Lily, I have to have something for the 4 boys. What's you method, inquiring minds need to know! :)

  15. My mama used to make the most amazing clothes for our Toni Dolls when we were little girls. I know the time and effort that goes into one of these outfits...not to mention a large quotient of talent. Thanks for the tips and the memories, which brought sweet tears to my eyes. Now that we have Beatrice Emaline, I look forward to the day that she'll have her first American Girl doll and to making outfits for her dolls. I can only hope that they'll be half as beautiful as your work. Cherry Kay

  16. Gorgeous dance outfits for the dolls, Rett! The tailor I go to alters Irish dance costumes and she told me how extremely expensive they are with all of the intricate embroidery so they are usually sold to other girls and then altered to recoup some of the money.

  17. Wow - you are so clever! All those hints will be so helpful and my granddaughters would definitely have American Girl Doll envy over those fantastic dresses. I keep writing this on blogs, but I really do need to get my sewing machine fixed!

  18. Adorable dresses Rett! I'm always amazed at how industrious you are! Oh so clever too with your spray attachment to your bottle :)

  19. Rett, you are so talented, and these are some wonderful suggestions. Love those cute doll clothes, and I love your green depression glass. So pretty on your table.

    Hugs to you, my friend and Erin Go Braugh!




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