Not Stitched In Time

Its the first. Which means it is time for another Crafty Daisy Book Club discussion. Our book this time is Alicia Paulson’s Stitched In Time. This was one of my suggested books because I already had it on my bookshelf and had been meaning to find some time to do a project from it. Alicia is a fellow Portland crafter (Yay!) and actually lives in my neighborhood which was one of the main reasons I purchased the book. To be honest, I’m not sure I would have otherwise. My first flip through I was excited by the photo of a small child’s blouse and another photo of a child’s vintage looking dress. Unfortunately they were for display only. Disappointed, I started a more careful peruse to see what project I wanted to do.


Using general sewing techniques, hand-sewing, transferring photos to fabric, freezer stencils, embroidery, and appliqué, Stitched In Time is full of projects to help preserve memories, make keepsakes, and family heirlooms. I liked several of the projects – the memory game, laundry bag, kid’s drawing softie, and sleepover pillowcase in particular. Other projects, like the recipe card apron, the friend chandelier, farm girl photo pillow, and farm boy picture frame, I had no interest in pursuing.

The decision was taken out of my hands once PZ saw the front cover though and I was committed to making one of the nutcracker dolls. I thought it would make a great gift for Q’s first birthday coming up on the sixth. I slowly gathered all my supplies and finally started the doll on Wednesday. I knew I was going to be cutting it close with my vacation. I was gone from Friday until Monday and Hubs said NO CRAFTING ALLOWED. That was a tough deal, but really relaxing so no real complaints.

I got the face made, the body sewn to the head, the arms sewn to the hands, and the legs sewn before I left on Friday. On Monday night I stuffed all the pieces. I used a fondue skewer for stuffing the narrow arms and legs which worked really well. This morning I sewed up the hands and feet, attached the arms and legs to the body and started in on the hair. Then all progress came to a screeching halt. Uh Oh. That doesn’t seem right. Let’s take a closer look at those instructions.


Starting with the list of materials, instead of just telling you how much fabric you need in all, Alicia tells you what cuts you need. Now most people I’m sure can figure out from that how much fabric to buy, but not me. I ended up with WAY too much skin-colored fabric. Luckily the other fabrics I used were just from my stash. Then with the embroidery, (something I’ve never really done before with any instruction), I didn’t realize until the I was almost done that she didn’t want me to use the entire thread, but just sections of it. Probably another common knowledge step, but one I wasn’t familiar with so my doll will be called Angelina Jolie with her puffed up pout.

My next roadblock was the running stitch on the hands and feet. I’d never done this before and didn’t really figure out how to do it until I’d already done the hands and had moved on to the feet. I’m okay with that, though more pictures from her of the actual process would have been REALLY appreciated. I figured out the whip stitch after only two tries and thought for sure I was going to make the deadline until that hair! I know my wool isn’t worsted, so maybe that’s the problem? I’m pretty sure I have the right needle, but it is making HUGE holes in the top of the doll’s head and the stuffing is beginning to poke through. Not good! I also have no idea how exactly I’m supposed to be sewing the hair on. I took a wild guess and chose to do the no-knot technique described in the back of the book. Perhaps that is part of my problem? Angelina and I need help people!!

I’m hoping to get this project done by Q’s birthday, but for now my Stitched In Time project is not stitched in time. Whoops! And looking ahead to the last instruction, anyone have a clue what she’s talking about when she says to sew the skirt fabric into a loop? Huh? I don’t know, but wish me luck!

doll and book

*Check out the rest of the Crafty Daisy Book Club discussion.

8 responses to “Not Stitched In Time

  1. Pingback: Book Club Meeting: Stitched in Time | craftevolution

  2. Hi Emily, Thanks so much for your review. I copied 99% of it into today’s post to create a dialog between you and I. As to the hair, I think you are doing it right. You have to kind of stagger your hair at the parting instead of lining it up neatly in one straight row. That way, when you come from the other side it will cover it up. It’ll still look like a part. I’ll try and find a picture of a different doll I made that uses that technique. I think the face of your doll is absolutely darling. BTW, Q and I and the Dalai Lama have the same birthday :)!

    Oh and the loopy skirt. I think she just means to close it in a circle and cinch up the waist.

  3. emilyflippinmaruna

    Thanks Simone!

  4. Good luck! I’m no good at following instructions in books, I just like the pictures. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and leaving a link! -Allison

  5. Pingback: Q’s Doll and Ball « The Handmade Experiment

  6. Hi! I’m in the process of making this doll and have had the same questions you have or actually had since your post was back in June. I finished the hair by google-ing how to make doll hair with yarn and found a much better way and easier way than leaving the enormous holes that the yarn darning needle left in the doll head. this is the blog I found it on, it’s awesome and I am soooo much happier. NOW, the skirt…did you figure it out? I know I am a novice at all this but what loop? Any in put would be great.

    • emilyflippinmaruna

      Hi Julie,

      I didn’t figure the skirt out. I ended up just making an elastic waistband skirt. I like it better anyway so my daughter can dress and undress the doll. Thanks for the link!

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