Busy Monday 145

Featured Image Busy Monday
May your holiday season be bright and filled with joy — whether that means noisy parties or quiet time by the fire!  Busy Monday will take a short hiatus for the holiday season.  Link today through Wednesday as usual, but no links next week.   Features will appear on January 4 when we’ll pick up the schedule again.  Wishing you a wonderful New Year! 

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Featured from last week:  Annie’s Noms – Eggnog Loaf with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling  the More with Less Mom — Random Acts of Christmas Kindness  Southern Krazed — Caprese Fritata  Oh My Sugar High – Cranberry Raspberry Punch   Simply Beautiful by Angela — DIY Sweater Pillow  In Good Flavor — Thai Coconut Soup   Baby Loving Mama – Kindness Elves  Bewitchin Kitchen — Whipped Shortbread Cookies    

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Fiesta Skirt for 18″ doll using fat quarter

Fiesta Skirt for 18 inch doll using a fat quarter of fabric-- A Pinch of Joy
Fiesta Skirt for 18 inch doll using a fat quarter of fabric-- A Pinch of Joy

A brief visit to Mexico a couple of years ago gave us the opportunity to see some spectacular traditional Mexican dancers.   I have some pictures but they are all a blur because of the speed and intricacy of the dances.  One set was particularly eyecatching because of the beautiful full dresses worn by the women.  The Fiesta Skirt is modeled after those dresses.  Each tier is double in fabric to the one above it — a lot of swirl!  A fat quarter from the quilter’s corner of your favorite fabric store will yield one two tiered skirt.
        Cotton fabric usually comes in 45 inch widths. If you buy a quarter yard you end up with a skinny piece nine inches wide by 45 inches long.  Instead:  Cut a yard from the bolt, then divide that yard into fourths.  Each quarter is 18″ by 22.5 inches.   That’s a fat quarter!  Much more versatile than the skinny quarter yard.  

Fiesta Skirt 1 -- A Pinch of Joy

Make the bottom tier of the skirt first.  Cut two pieces from the 22″ length of the fat quarter.  Each piece is 5 1/2 inches wide.

Fiesta Skirt 2a -- A Pinch of Joy

Place right sides together and stitch the two pieces together along the 5 1/2 inch side.

Fiesta Skirt 2 -- A Pinch of Joy

Make a 1/4 wide hem on the other two ends.  For doll clothes, I do not trim selvages.  Just fold over once to make the 1/4 inch wide hem and stitch.  For most sewing projects,  do not include selvages when cutting patterns.  Selvages may shrink, causing puckering. They may lay differently than the rest of the fabric, causing it to pull.  Selvages may have extra bulk which will effect the final appearance.  But on doll clothes, using selvages allows you to save time and to squeeze the most use from the smallest piece of fabric.  There’s a time to break the rules — and making doll clothes for play is one of those times!  If you are  making those $900 dresses that sell on eBay for collectors  — that’s a whole ‘nother stratosphere!   

Fiesta Skirt 3 -- A Pinch of Joy

Hem the bottom by turning the fabric up a quarter inch, pressing as you go. Turn over another quarter inch, pressing again.  Stitch near the folded edge of the hem. 

Fiesta Skirt 4 -- A Pinch of Joy

Set stitch length for a long basting stitch,  Leaving a long tail of top and bottom threads, stitch near the top edge of the skirt.  Cut thread leaving another long tail.  Gently pull of the top thread to gather the fabric.  Work from both ends, alternating, to keep the gathers even.  Set aside.

Fiesta Skirt 5 -- A Pinch of Joy

Cut fabric for top tier. 

Fiesta Skirt 6 -- A Pinch of Joy

Cut two pieces 14 3/4 inches long and 2 3/4 inches wide.

Fiesta Skirt 7 - A Pinch of Joy

Stitch the two pieces together and hem the short ends.

Fiesta Skirt 8 -- A Pinch of Joy

Pin the hemmed and gathered bottom tier to the top tier, gently working fabric so that gathers are even across the entire top tier  and the ends match.

Fiesta Skirt 9 - A Pinch of Joy

Stitch gathered bottom tier to flat top tier.  It will look like the skirt above.  Set stitch length to long basting length and sew along the top tier, leaving two to three inches of thread on each end.  This will be used to gather the top tier and fit it to the waistband.

Fiesta Skirt 10 -- A Pinch of Joy

To make waist band, fold fabric in half.  Measure from the fold 5 3/4 ” and mark the spot.  The width of the waistband is 1 1/4 inches.  When you unfold the fabric, you should have a piece that is 11 1/2 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide. 

Fiesta Skirt 11 -- A Pinch of Joy

Fold waistband in half and press to form crease.  Fold up 1/4 inch on the long side of the waistband and crease with iron.  You can finger press the folds.  Ironing is more precise, easier to follow the ditch for stitching and much faster.  I place a cutting board on the counter with a folded, heavy towel on top for pressing while sewing small items rather than setting up the ironing board. 

Fiesta Skirt 12 -- A Pinch of Joy

Gently work gathers along the gathering thread, working from both ends.  Evenly distribute the gathers and fit the top tier gathers to the waist band, pinning in place. Leave a quarter inch of the waistband beyond the gathered tier on each end.   Stitch on the long crease to create a quarter inch seam, keeping gathers uniform and straightened as you sew. Sew across the short ends of the waistband, using the quarter inch you left on each end of the waistband to the seam. Fold on the center crease,  pinning the waistband in place.     Stitch across the bottom of the waistband. 

Fiesta Skirt 13 -- A Pinch of Joy

Add hook and loop fastener to both sides of the skirt.  The top (loop)  is sewn on the inside of the skirt and the bottom (hook) is sewn on the outside of the skirt as shown. 

Other 18″ doll projects:
       How to Make a Parka for 18 inch doll with pattern
       Sleeping Bag for 18 inch doll
       Jacket, Hat and Scarf from Dollar Store purchase  with jacket pattern
      Pillowcase Dress for 18″ Doll with pattern
      Party Dress for 18″ Doll

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

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Elegant Eggnog

Elegant Eggnog -- A Pinch of Joy
Elegant Eggnog -- A Pinch of Joy

Eggnog is a perfect drink with it’s richness and creamy spiced flavor. It was a special treat at our house for a couple of weeks around Christmas each year. Wheels especially likes it. And then – carb counting entered the picture. At 35 carbs and 340 calories per serving, eggnog fell off the radar.   Normally we use don’t use artificial sweeteners – mostly from personal preference. But when I saw this recipe came in at 9 carbs and 100 calories for a four ounce serving, it immediately popped to the top of my “gotta try this file”.   You know — that messy, horizontal stack of papers by the computer that grows higher and higher.

It is truly an elegant drink. Everything you want in an eggnog – smooth, creamy, great flavor. If carb counts are not part of your life, you can substitute granulated sugar for the sweetener in the same amount. Use a candy thermometer to make sure the mixture reaches 175 degrees.  Making eggnog is not as easy as opening a container from the dairy case – but almost! And the taste is waaaay better. And so are the nutrition numbers. The celebration is back in Christmas!

Want cookies to go with the eggnog? Twelve days of Christmas Cookies may have just the one you need!

(Recipe from Splenda. By the way, no compensation – Splenda has never heard of me!)

Elegant Eggnog
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 15 servings ½ cup each
Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum/serving optional
Instructions
  1. Mix together Splenda, cornstarch and nutmeg in heavy saucepan.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and add to ingredients in saucepan and whisk until blended.
  3. Add milk slowly whole stirring constantly.
  4. Cook over low heat, whisking continually until temperature reaches 175 F, about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and blend in half and half; cool mixture.
  6. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Add vanilla extract just before serving.
  7. Eggnog will keep 3 days in refrigerator.

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!

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