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This has been a week of adventures, so first the progress on the Maine Memories Cardigan. 


Just a few inches to go before the bottom ribbing. Then on to the sleeves! For more information, see "What's on My Needles," below. 


Remember the fabric from last week? The Victorian outfit for Jolena is finished.


I used the pattern "Carrots" by Luminaria. It was made for an American Girl doll, which is shorter and much more...um...full-figured. I printed the pattern a little smaller, but otherwise made it as-is. It was still really big in the waist, so for the dress, I sewed the Velcro on the back so it overlapped more at the waist. If I make this again, I will adjust the dress bodice back pattern piece to fit better, maybe for the pinafore, too. I closed the pinafore with a heart-shaped button over a snap.


Also, the sleeve cuff was a bit small for Jolena's left hand (they are different, right and left) for her long, graceful fingers to get through easily, so I would make the cuffs open and close with a snap at the seam. I can get her hand through the cuff, but it's more of a challenge than I like in my doll wardrobe. I didn't do any of the topstitching, preferring to sew the lining at the waist and cuffs by hand, but made two horizontal tucks in the skirt to add a little more pizzazz to an otherwise very plain dress and pinafore. I had planned for this ahead of time and added 1" to each skirt. I also didn't have a large enough piece of the pinafore fabric to have one long strip, so had to piece the pinafore skirt. To avoid having a seam right in the front, I cut the front in one piece and the back in two slightly larger pieces, to allow for the back opening hem. The dress skirt is still all one piece.

Jolena was very patient throughout. She's a doll, after all, and dolls know how to be patient.


Another issue was the fact that the dress fabric was a very obvious directional print. To refresh your memory, here are both fabrics, as posted last week:



They could be flower buds or perhaps artichokes, but they are all lined up and facing the same direction. I was very careful when cutting out the pattern that the artichokes lined up on the skirt and cuff, and all of them throughout the costume were right-side-up. I was glad I noticed the directional print before I cut!


Speaking of artichokes, we went back to our Meet-up friend Tom's place for another Italian dinner made by him. Artichokes were the first course.


The next course was a bean dish in sort of a bruschetta sauce on lightly steamed kale. (He usually uses arugula, but all the stores were out (snow storms have kept the delivery trucks at bay). This was delicious, too.


Next we had an ice cream dish. It was made from whipping cream, lemon juice and sugar, and it was very tasty. (I forgot to take a photo of it.)

Then we had a fish dish. It was cod, cooked in the Italian way. (I didn't get a photo of it, either, but it was pretty and tasty as well.)


Then came the big adventure of the evening. The pasta course came out of the kitchen...


...and slipped out of Tom's hands directly on top of my wine glass. Bits of glass and wine went everywhere. He had us all get up and move to the living room, while he and his sous chef cleaned everything up. We, regretfully, didn't eat the pasta, because we couldn't be sure there wasn't any glass in it. I will have to use some soda or white wine on my favorite yellow turtleneck, but we ended up laughing about it.


We were getting a bit full, anyway, and Tom still had dessert for us. We dug in before I could get a photo. (You'll notice the tablecloth is gone!)


Here's what it looked like on the outside. The crust is pound cake soaked in rum. Then there were various layers of whipped cream with toasted almonds and almond extract. It was yummy, and I'm glad we had room for it.


We ended the meal with a "dose" of Tom's homemade limoncello. Tom passed out dark chocolate to eat first, which really brings out the flavors of the limoncello.


We had to move out of our house for a few days, because we're having our cabinets painted. We moved in with my DBIL, Jim, who lives just three blocks away. We took him out Saturday night to Olive Garden for dinner to thank him for putting up with us. It was great. I have enjoyed restaurants in this chain before, but had forgotten that Olive Garden had such wonderful food and attentive wait staff.


I stopped by Sunday after church to check on my kitchen. It looks sort of like an alien species from a science fiction movie has taken up residence and spun its cocoons everywhere.

Here's another shot. They are also doing the bathrooms. When they are done, we have to put all our stuff back, and I'll take another set of photos.



We've had some snow, including Friday morning, when I had to walk over to the house to let the painters in at 7:00 AM. I took the dogs, so they could at least get a walk in if we couldn't go later in the day. We have managed to walk the dogs each day. They have stayed with their "Uncle Jim" before without us, and he visits often, so the pups were comfortable at his house and actually quite happy to have their "pack" all together for walks, especially when it's a sunny day.

The Wisconsin grands have been having snow, too, and much colder temps than we have had. Here's Miss Daphne with our DSIL.


Sunday the Annie Award nominees were announced. "Missing Link" received 8, tying with "Frozen Two," we were very excited, especially since our son Peter and his team were nominated again for FX (effects). Here's a screen shot with the nominees in that category,

"Best FX for Feature." You can see his name listed under "Missing Link." 



The awards are January 25 at 7:00 PM. I don't think they are televised, but you can watch live online...and we will!


You may remember that he already received an Annie for Christmas in 2014, a joke present from me. She stands on a shelf in the family room in their house even today. (The Annie Award doesn't really look anything like this.)


We're hoping his team wins this time.

Happy MLK Day, those of you in the US!


What's on my needles: The Maine Memories Cardigan, from Midcoast by Jennifer Steingass. It's a pullover, but I find cardigans more useful, so I've added a steek in the front middle. Ready to CO for the MKAL for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. First clue is due out today.

What's on my sewing machine: Another Victorian outfit, this time for Billy.

What's in my hoop: Still the Whole Cloth Quilt. Another week with no progress.

What's in The Doll's Storybook: Storytime. Finding themselves with time alone, the dolls get busy cleaning the house again.



What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished The Tower by Gregg Hurwitz. It was an interesting psychological action story, and worth a read/listen. Back to Blowout by Rachel Maddow.


What's in my wine glass: Casa Santos Lima's Red Blend Portugal 2017. Always nice.

What's my tip of the week: Out of dog treats? Cheerios (or any version of them) work just as well. The dogs love them, and they are inexpensive and low-cal (if you have a dog with a weight problem).



Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 22, 2020 at 6:36am

Pam, yes it was! And thanks for the compliment. 

Comment by Pam/NY on January 22, 2020 at 4:36am

That was a feast! The outfits are beautiful, as always. 

Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 21, 2020 at 9:37pm

Kathleen, I was thinking of Babette's Feast!

Irene, were stil at DBIL's. I hope we can move back on Friday 

Comment by Irene Gallway on January 21, 2020 at 3:42pm

I love the dress you made. Very cute. Those artichokes look delicious. That would have been a meal in itself for me.  I'm looking forward to seeing your kitchen when the cupboards are done. It's nice you have your DBIL to stay with while the cupboards are being painted. As always I enjoyed your post.

Comment by Kathleen Kingsbury on January 21, 2020 at 8:54am

I have to say, I'm quite jealous of the wardrobe your dolls have! You do such a great job with everything! And oh my, that meal at Tom's reminds me of the movie "The Big Night" with all that food! And the artichoke dish reminds me so much of when my grandma used to make them. I can just taste them now. Soooo good!

Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 20, 2020 at 8:02pm

I had to make a correction. The Annie Awards will be streamed January 25, not February 2. (The organization hadn't updated the streaming link.)

Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 20, 2020 at 7:54pm

When something goes wrong, I always say, "This will look good in my autobiography." Too bad I have only been writing things down since 2009 (I think).

Comment by Janet/MO on January 20, 2020 at 4:09pm

The dress & pinafore are adorable.  You are so clever when it comes to figuring out solutions to sewing and/or knitting problems.  Bummer about the pasta fiasco.  We had more snow again today.  It has been very very cold for the past few days too.  

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