Category Archives: Giving

My Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Have Been Dropped Off

Hello to you! I hope you are enjoying this late autumn, or spring, weekend. We had a pretty nice day today–some sunshine and crisp temps.

This week/weekend is the collection week for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. My daughter and I assembled them on Wednesday and then dropped them off that evening at a nearby church. So, they are done!

I started sewing the dresses for the shoeboxes in June. Some of you may remember that I have been getting my fabric from a very nice woman who bought out a friend’s quilt shop in Texas. Twice a year she has been having fabric sales at her home. This year I needed fabric if I was to continue. My doll fabric is all 1/2 yard cuts and the main dress pieces take 1 yard cuts. My post from a past visit is here.

I love sewing these dresses, but they are lots of work. I have no idea if my dresses are fitting the girls and if the dresses are even needed and liked. I mean, who knows, right? We all have different tastes. I thought I’d pray about it and see if I got some guidance. That very day I heard from Margaret telling me the date of her next fabric sale! Yep, that very day! I got the message loud and clear!

I left her house with a garbage bag so heavy that I could barely carry it… and another smaller grocery bag. She was so kind to also let me pick through her scraps and offered me many giveaways–silk ribbon, cotton threads, machine needles, mother-of-pearl buttons, etc. Also, my daughter and I visited her this fall–she said this was the last sale. She sold me fabric for $1 a yard this time! I bought enough for another two years, I think.

This year I got 20 dresses completed! Look at them all! Do you have a favorite?

As for the rest of the items for the boxes we added crayons, a pen, mechanical pencil, paper pads, coloring pages, stickers, toothbrush, washcloth, bar soap, hair clip and ponytail band in a little purse, a teddy bear, and the dress I made. Here are the teddy bears waiting to be packed away in the shoeboxes.

The dresses fold up nice and neat and sit on the top of each box. In case you are interested, I made a tutorial for these dresses years ago. I actually used my own tutorial this year as a refresher. I hadn’t made them in a couple of years… The tutorial is here, or under the tutorial tab at the top of this page.

If you have a favorite dress, I’d love to know… just for fun.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Hugs to you all! 🤗❤️

Hello again!

Firstly, thank you all for your encouraging thoughts, prayers, and words.  I am truly touched by your thoughtfulness!  It means so much to me, really it does.  With every comment I’d read I could feel more and more love and hope filling my heart. ❤  Thank you!

So hello to you all!  Summer break is coming to a close and I am trying to hang onto these last days, but they refuse to slow down for me.  Time just seems to speed by faster and faster the more I am aware of its passing.  Do you find this to be true, also?

I haven’t been doing much sewing this summer, but my sewing room has been very busy.  My daughter got the sewing bug shortly after summer break started and has been in there morning, noon, and night!  Did you know there’s a whole new world of indie pattern makers out there who teach how to sew with their patterns?  There are also numerous tutorials on You Tube.  It’s now cool to make your own clothes.  I love it!

All I’ve been working on are these dozen dresses for my 2018 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I am doing these batch style—all the pockets, back seams, binding all the armholes at once, etc.  I have only to hem the bottoms, sew the top casings and insert the ties, then these dozen are complete.

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So far, this is my completed “store” of dresses.  I think I need more closet room and more hangers…

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My daughter started a weaving project the other day which enabled me to get into my sewing room and work more on the dresses! 🙂

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Although I haven’t been sewing, I’ve been knitting quite a bit.  In addition to socks and cowls for us, I’ve knit a couple of toys for the shoeboxes.  Bonbon by Susan Claudino turned out super cute.  I knit her out of Knitpicks Stroll Tweed Sock Yarn in Oyster Heather.  The little rag doll was made from Knitted Babes by Claire Garland.  The Knitted Babes are supposed to be much larger, but I used a finer weight yarn (Knit Picks Palette).

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Both of these little toys took too many hours to make (IMO) and were quite fiddly, lots of little bits—don’t think I’ll be knitting anymore toys for awhile.  I’ve been looking for some easy toy patterns to charity sew though.  I like “easy” and “quick”—any ideas?

Other news—our northern Illinois summer started out with lots and lots of rain.  Past years of planting reseeded and produced some tiny flowers for me to find.  Violas in the grass and the tiniest forget-me-nots.

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For Mother’s Day my husband and daughter bought and planted hanging baskets and planters.  They did a great job picking out flowers in all shades from warm red to pink to violet.  I never tire of pinks which smell like carnations from the florist.

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The summer started out wet, but then we went without rain for weeks.  The grass got crispy and crunchy and very thirsty.  The other morning, however, the weather changed.  After a super loud thunderstorming kind of night, we woke to a rainy day .

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Today it is sunny once again, thank goodness.  I don’t know about you but after a couple of cloudy days I’ve had enough of them.  So now, for me, it is time for a walk and to enjoy this beautiful morning out-of-doors.  I snapped this photo of bee hives weeks ago on one of my walks.  Aren’t the colors fun?

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I wish you all a beautiful day!

What are you up to today?

 

Dresses for Special Little Girls

In the last few weeks I’ve completed 5 dresses for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes I will make this year.  I am getting into a rhythm; my fourth and fifth were completed in only one day!

When I first started thinking of making dresses, I made a Pinterest board with ideas.  You can check that board out here.

 I’m first digging into my fabric stash and using half yard pieces of fabric that I purchased for doll dresses, but are too large in scale for the little dolls.  I can piece two 1/2 yard cuts together and make a dress.  Then, I can use scraps to make the pocket, shoulder strap ties, and bias armhole binding.

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As I write this I am inspired and thinking of Eva, the 101 year-old  gorgeous lady who sews dresses for these shoeboxes; she makes 3!!! a day.  I saw her video last year and her story has stuck with me all these months later.  Would you believe almost 10 million people have watched her video!  She must have inspired so many.  Now that’s the way to do things!  Way to go, Eva!

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I’ve included a tutorial for the dresses I’m making under the tutorial tab at the top of this page.

On a different note, I want to show you this beautiful sunrise from a couple of weeks ago!  The colors in the sky took my breath away.

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Have a great week, my friends.  If you make any dresses, I’d love to see them.