Basement Makeover

1Basement Room Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy

1Basement Room Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy

Remember this unique wallpaper from the Stair Makeover we did a while back?? It was here when we moved in and  I’m so glad to say it’s no longer a part of the scenery!  Those ships have sailed into the sunset!!!    One of our projects over the holidays was to work on the Basement room.  It was a playroom, a model train room, an exercise room  and, eventually, a very tired room.  A fresh wall made that even more obvious.  Here’s what was here — besides the ships: 

4Basement Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy

A wall full of overflowing bookshelves.  I sold many of them, donated a bunch and whittled almost 5000 down to about 500.

4a Basement Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy Model trains, cars, and anything else that had wheels  were displayed on the two long walls at head height.

2Basement Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy

Unpainted doors covered the water meter.

2Basement Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy

And this “lovely” carpet that has been here literally for decades — before we owned the house!

We rolled up our sleeves and got to work:

4b Basement Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy

A whole pickup load of “stuff” went to charity.  Exercise equipment, wicker furniture, toys, office material —  ruthless!  Some of it was there only because we never had   made time to move it out.  Time to go!!! 

5a Basment Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy
Wheels and Bytes replaced all the ceiling tiles for a much needed fresh look.  New lights were added.  Now we wonder how we ever navigated across the dark room to the adjacent laundry without them!  And we continued to move things out . . out. . out.  The laundry was full of things we were keeping. 

7 Basement Makeover -- a Pinch of Joy

Even the carpet came out so we could install THIS new look and a complete blank slate for starting over.  Well, except for that nautical lamp that’s always been there.  And things like the treadmill and “stuff” temporarily stored in the laundry room.  As close to a blank slate as we could get!   The bookshelves are gone, the display shelves disassembled, the walls cleaned.

6 Basement Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy

 The paneling was installed by a previous owner.  It was there (no time or money required),  in good shape and acceptable!   We painted all the exposed woodwork gray to blend with the paneling.  Getting rid of the contrast between the gray paneling and the dark stained woodwork makes the room look sooo much bigger!   I was too frugal to  buy the receptacles for Wheels to change out, but I did buy new outlet covers that blend in better.   I visited a “world renowned teaching hospital” about the same time we did this and noted they did the same thing in their gray walled waiting room!  I didn’t feel so bad — if they can be cheap, so can I!  Looks better than all stark white! 

8Basement Makeover -- a Pinch of Joy

The ship wall was covered with white paintable beadboard paper.  Two coats of gray paint. 

9 Basement Makeover -- a Pinch of Joy

The makeover is still in progress, but you can see the direction it is taking.  Water meter doors now blend into the background with the newly painted baseboards.  Shopping the house for furniture that fits the new purpose.  Art work — framed black and white photos by Wheels from our travels. 

10Basement Makeover -- A Pinch of Joy

It’s about time this place got a makeover!  Has the important things needed for a workout room — clock and tv! Or will it end up a man cave?  Or . . .???

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!!  Subscribe:  email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook RSS feed  / bloglovin’ /   twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   Share: if you found this helpful or inspiring please click one of the buttons below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated

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! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

Where to store my favorite recipes

Pears -- A Pinch of Joy
Pears -- A Pinch of Joy

On December 10, ZipList will no longer be available. It’s been a part of A Pinch of Joy since the very first day. Don’t worry!   Bytes took care of the “how do I print the recipe” issue.  That explains the new recipe look.  All the recipes from day 1 will be converted on Thanksgiving Day and available for you to print with just a click – just as they always have been.  

Some of you saved your recipes using the ZipList recipe box feature. “How do I keep the recipes I know I will make again and again” is a harder question to solve.  Of course, they will always be on A Pinch of Joy and you can search for them. Or click the appropriate category at the top of the A Pinch of Joy page to visit the photo gallery. (You might find some new yums that way, too!)   ZipList will let you move your box to before December 10. There are also other alternatives. Choose the one that fits your style best.

  1.  Create an A Pinch of Joy folder in your bookmarks and bookmark the individual recipes into that folder.
  2.  Create an A Pinch of Joy board on Pinterest to save your favorite A Pinch of Joy recipes.   (And while you are doing that go on over to and click “follow” to catch my pins on a wide variety of topics or just follow my Eat Healthy board for all the A Pinch of Joy recipes.)
  3.  Check out My Recipe Magic.  It is a free service which has a recipe book and shopping list and menu planning features.  I like and personally use this site, which also includes nutritional information on each recipe.  To reach my page from anywhere on A Pinch of Joy, scroll down to the footer  and click on the pink chef’s hat.   Many recipes on A Pinch of Joy will also show the My Recipe Magic icon – just click on it to go to the site.
  4.  Use Evernote. Or the Evernote Food App. Both are free and both sync to other devices. Either one is good for mobile use and you will always have your recipes with you, convenient for shopping. Saved recipes are searchable which is a timesaving feature. Saved recipes are also shareable, especially handy if more than one person in the family is cooking, or if you want to pass on a favorite recipe to someone else.
  5. Print your favorite A Pinch of Joy recipes using the print button embedded in each recipe and keep them in a binder for quick reference.

Other sites for recipe collection: I have not used any of these personally, just letting you know they are there! These are all free. Most of them do not have pictures associated with the recipe, a feature I prefer.  If you have a recipe storage site you like, please share in the comments!

My Online Cookbook
Onetsp    Limited to 150 recipes for free version, share by email

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