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Cinderella Photo Shoot

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 Cinderella Sweeping The Prudent Homemaker

On Monday I received a phone call from a friend. Her nephew is a fashion design student and had a photo shoot

lined up the next day, but his photographer had just cancelled. She asked if I wanted to come and take pictures with her.

The location was Lake Las Vegas. I'd seen pictures, but I had never been there, and I've always wanted to check it out for photos.

The location didn't disappoint! We got there in the afternoon and it was almost completely empty.

The student, a freshman, made the dresses. In a Gone With the Wind meets Cinderella twist, most of the dresses were made from old curtains. For those of you who are thinking to make some formal dresses for your daughter's upcoming formal dances, check out the thrift store for old curtains that can be repurposed to make dresses.

Scrubbing the Steps The Prudent Homemaker

Stepsisters Full length dresses The Prudent Homemaker

 Stepsisters Gossiping The Prudent Homemaker

 Stepsister Blue Dress Bodice The Prudent Homemaker

Stepsister Blue Dress The Prudent Homemaker

Stepsister Red Dress Bodice The Prudent Homemaker

Step-sisters dresses from behind The Prudent Homemaker

Cinderellla White Dress The Prudent Homemaker

Cinderella White Dress Bodice The Prudent Homemaker

Dancing in the Garden with Stepsisters in the background The Prudent Homemaker

Dancing in the Garden 4 The Prudent Homemaker

Dancing in the Garden 1 The Prudent Homemaker

Dancing in the Garden 3 Sepia The Prudent Homemaker

Dancing in the Garden 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Stroke of Midnight The Prudent Homemaker

Losing the Shoe Sepia The Prudent Homemaker

Fighting Over the Shoe The Prudent Homemaker

Stepsister Trying on the shoe blue dress The Prudent Homemaker

Stepsister Trying on the Shoe red dress The Prudent Homemaker

The Shoe Fits The Prudent Homemaker

The Other Slipper The Prudent Homemaker

Tagged in: Sewing
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A Gift a Day 2014: Day Eight: Pajamas

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Boys Pajamas 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Ezrom has been asking me for some traditonal-style pajamas for Christmas, so this gift is straight from his wish list.




Pellon Iron-on interfacing

4 Buttons



Pattern (I used Butterick B5586)



Sewing machine


Sewing pins


 Boys Pajamas The Prudent Homemaker


It took me 6 hours to make a pair of pajamas, including cutting them out. I think it should be less, but I had a lot of interruptions, which meant this gift took me a week to complete! If you've got 4-6 hours of interrrupted time, you can make these in a day. I sewed all of the seams with French seams, which also lengthens the time.


$1.50 for this pair.

I was given some flannel that I used for this pair. I bought the elastic in bulk from Wawak. The buttons were from my button jar (cut from old worn clothing).

I bought the pajama pattern a couple of years ago online (I tried for several years to buy this pattern when the patterns go on sale, but the store was always out, so I bought it from Butterick's website). I'll use it for several pairs of pajamas, so I would put the cost for the pattern at $1.25 for this pair--though it could be less, depending on how many pairs I eventually make with the pattern. 

If you would like to make some pajamas, flannel will be on sale at Joann's starting Wednesday.November 26th,  at 6 a.m.  It will be 75% off. This is a once a year price, and the lines will be long. I recommend getting there early, and if there is already a line at the cutting counter, getting a ticket right away so that you don't spend 3 hours in line at the cutting counter. Solid flannel will be $1.49 a yard, and prints will be $1.79 a yard. 

Pellon interfacing will also be on sale. It will be $2.99 for the bolt (regular $7.99). From past experience, I can tell you that you might have to be there before 6:20 a.m. to get any, as they never have enough of these. I bought 3 bolts 3 years ago on sale like this, and I used some of that to make this pair.

All buttons will be buy one-get one free. will also have Black Friday sales, but I haven't yet heard what those will be.

Wawak, where I buy elastic in a big roll, also will have Black Friday sales. Again, I don't know what these will be, but it could also cut down your cost on elastic, as well as buttons (their buttons are less expensive than those at Joann's).

Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?


Tagged in: A Gift A Day Sewing
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Winter's Birthday Gifts

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We started Winter's birthday last week with presents at breakfast. That's not how we have done things in the past, but I loved this change and it might occur a lot more often at our house.

I did a silver and white theme using the back side of some green wrapping paper to wrap a gift in white. I used some silver paper that came as part of the packaging from the first One King's Lane order I ever made (I had been saving it)--which interestingly enough was for those two silver mint julep cups that I have on the table (your first order gives you $15 off, which made those possible in the first place!) I wrapped a silver bow around her gifts that I had saved from a package that we received before (I save all pretty ribbons that are given to us and use them to wrap gifts and sometimes for the girls' hair. The black satin ribbon in my Gift a Day series introduction was on a bridal shower gift I received. I've used it several times, including to tie around a simple grocery store bunch of flowers on my wedding day).

I put some paper doilies under the breakfast plates (we were given a huge box of them; I will most likely do this again), used the white napkins that I spruced up for Thanksgiving with my machine hemstitch, and used some more of the pine cones that my children gathered recently to top the place settings.

I made a lace doily bunting to hang from doilies and ribbon that my mother-in-law gave to me a few years ago.

The present on the top was this jewelry that I made for her.

The present at the bottom was this dress that I made for her last week.

The dress is a combination of two patterns (and it appears that the main one is no longer available). The dress pattern was sleeveless; I added the sleeve from another pattern from the same company.

The brown velvet came from some scraps that were given to me a few years ago.

The floral fabric is something that I had purchased a few years ago for myself. It is a home décor fabric that I found on a huge clearance and was able to use an additional discount on as well (I believe it ended up being around $5 a 60" wide yard!) I still have lots left to use for myself. I washed it on gentle and hung it to dry and it did fine, so I knew it would be okay for clothing.

The buttons were vintage buttons from my button jar. These came from another woman's button jar that she gave to me a few years ago. The thread was from the huge box of thread that I purchased at a garage sale a few years ago for 25 cents for the entire box.
The cost of the dress was about $8, not including the cost of the pattern, which was about $14 with shipping. I'll use it for several dresses (I cut under the pattern so that I can use it for multiple sizes), so that cost will decrease over time as I use it to make more dresses. I already have two more ideas for it for spring and summer.
She was very happy to wear her new dress to church today!
Tagged in: Birthdays Gifts Sewing
Last modified on

Grain Sack Inspired Stockings

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Do you ever have the urge to ditch all of your plans for the day and just make something new?

I did that this week.

I put away thoughts of sewing any presents, served leftovers for breakfast one morning, and worked on a project instead.

We took out the Christmas decorations and set up the tree on Monday. It was then that I remembered that we are short stockings. We have 7 stockings and 9 people.

Last year we decided to make it work. My husband and I shared a stocking and the baby didn't have one.

This year I wanted stockings. Sure, I could have the 7 that we have for just the children, but I really wanted some new stockings.

After I saw these beautiful miniature stockings last year (and these slightly larger ones), I realized how nice it would be to have smaller stockings. I wouldn't feel bad because I didn't have a filled stocking to the top. I like the look of presents sticking out the top, but with a huge stocking, that doesn't happen. I decided to not go really small, but I did make smaller stockings than we had (in the end, these turned out to be about 1/3 the size of our previous stockings).

I really like the look of grain sack stockings, but grain sacks are pricey. I decided to make the stockings from drop cloth that I purchased last year, and to use the machine stitches to sew on the red stripes.

For each stocking, I cut 4 pieces, so that they would be lined.

I used embroidery thread to make a twisted hanging hook (like I do for my bookmark tassels). For two of them, I attached a couple of package toppers that we had received on past presents years ago that I keep with the Christmas decorations (I usually tie them on packages). My husband would like me to do something a little different on each one so that we can tell them apart. (They are hung oldest to youngest, but I also like the look of something more on them. I am thinking of attaching some jingle bells and possibly some fresh rosemary to the tops of them this year).

I am really happy to have 9 more reasonably-sized stockings hanging up this year!

Tagged in: Christmas Sewing
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A Winner for the Slipper Giveaway!

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We have a winner for the slipper giveaway!

Judy Ball is the winner of the Vintage Flair Flats pattern size newborn to women's size 11 from Winter Peach. Congratulations, Judy!

If you would like to buy the pattern, you can use the coupon code PEACH25 and it will give you 25% off at check out.
Tagged in: Sewing
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Felt Paper Dolls

For the nineteenth day in the Gift a Day series, I made felt "paper" dolls. I had not been planning to make any toys at all this year, as we have plenty of toys, but when I saw these I was smitten! This did require a cost for supplies, as I did not have the felt for these. My hope is that this will be a quiet toy for the girls to use during naptime/quiet time. I also like that they don't take up a lot of space or have lots of tiny pieces.

I made 3 dolls and 12 dresses (4 for each doll). I wanted to make the houses for these as well, but I ran out of time. I hope to still make the doll houses for these for my girls, but it will have to be after Christmas.

After looking all over for the right color felt, I was unable to find skin-colored felt (sourcing the felt is the reason I didn't post this gift a month ago). I contacted the designer of the dolls, and she told me that she dyed white wool-blend felt (from Joann's) to make the skin-colored felt for the dolls.

I cut the wool-blend felt into several squares. Following Charla Anne's suggestion, I boiled a pot of water on the stove and added a small amount of pink and yellow dye to the pot. I tested a small strip of the felt to see if I liked the color. I did, and I dyed a couple of pieces. It was very quick; I dipped them in the water using a pair of tongs and pulled them out straight away. I put them on a towel to dry. After doing that, I decided that I wanted a lighter shade, so I dumped out part of the water and added more  fresh water to the pot, and dyed 2 pieces again. I liked these, but I thought I would like a slightly light color, too, so I dumped water again and added more fresh water, and dyed two more pieces. I used the lightest pieces to make these dolls, but I have plenty to use to make additional dolls or other felt dolls (I am thinking that I will make the other dolls that Charla Anne has with the scraps from these pieces). Only the wool-blend felt can be dyed; polyester felt and 100% wool felt cannot be dyed. After I was done dying the felt, I hung them up on a drying rack to dry. You will need 2 bodies per dolls (a front and a back).

The faces are embroidered on the fronts of the dolls before they are stitched together.

For the dolls' dresses, I cut the fabric and sewed it on the felt as close to the edges as possible. I put fray check along the edges to stop them from fraying. I added collar, belts, cuffs, buttons, and floral embroidery afterwards.

The clothes stick to the dolls just because they are felt.


  1 sheet of white for dresses, collars, cuffs and underwear
  1 sheet of white for undershirts. You will only need a small fraction of this.
  1 sheet of brown for hair (or other hair color). You will only need a fraction of this.
  1/4 yard white wool blend fabric for bodies
fabric for dresses
Rit Dye in Lemon yellow and pink
matching thread
pattern (optional; you can draw your own). I did not purchase the pattern, but instead adapted the pattern from this doll from the same blog.
Fray check for edges
embroidery thread
  dark brown for eyes
  pink for mouth
  other colors for flowers, leaves, and buttons on dresses (optional)


sewing needle
hand sewing needle


It is possible to make one doll and 4 dresses in a day. The total time for a doll and 4 dresses was about 2 1/2 hours, plus some time for drying the dyed fabric.

I made 3 dolls and 12 dresses over several days, grabbing bits of time here and there.


The cost of these can vary considerably by what kind of felt you use. Polyester felt can be .20 a sheet. Wool felt is $2.75 to $3 a sheet. There are also wool blend options that are less expensive.

I was able to fit 12 dresses on one sheet of felt. I used 100% wool felt for the hair, bodies, dresses, and collars. I have plenty of brown and white left over for other projects. Since I ordered these online from Etsy, I also paid shipping. I needed to buy 3 sheets of wool felt, plus wool blend fabric for the dolls, but I also have left over felt. I bought the Rit Dye for $1.71 each. You could make the doll dresses and collars from the white wool-blend felt.

The fabric from the dresses cost me nothing, as it came from pieces of fabric from my grandmother's collection, scraps I already had, a piece from an old dress that belonged to my mother-in-law, and a piece from a thrifted shirt.

I bought the Fray Check from Wawak. You can get it at Walmart or Joann's as well.
I purchased the wool blend felt and Rit dye from Joann's with coupons and sales.

I used just a tiny amount of embroidery thread.

Buying the supplies that I did was about $15.00 for 3 dolls and 12 dresses. I have plenty of leftover felt as well as leftover dye.


This giveaway is now closed.

Would you like to make these dolls with the same dresses? I am giving away the fabric ( as pictured in the photo above) to make the exact same 12 dresses to TWO readers! You will need to supply your own felt, embroidery thread, fray check, etc.. I have cut the fabric in rectangles to make dresses the same size as the ones I made.

If you would like to win, please include the words ENTER ME in your comment in capital letters. I will choose two winners. If you just want to leave a comment but you don't want to enter the drawing, just comment as usual.

The giveaway ends on Monday, December 31st, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. PST. The winners will have 48 hours to respond, or  I will draw new winners. Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win in your comment.

This drawing is open to readers worldwide.
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