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Meet Melody Ellison – Her Voice Echoes the Hope of a Nation in the 1960s

Today I want to tell you about the American Girl Doll Melody Ellison, and I want to tell you why I consider her to be the best African American Historical Doll.

In my opinion, one of the main things that separates the American Girl Dolls from other dolls is that they can facilitate several types of learning. The better of the historical dolls can be harnessed to teach history in a powerful and integrated way, and I believe that the teaching of history must be one of the American Girl Doll Company’s goals. In this Melody Ellison banner, American Girl says: “Connecting Girls to the Past,” and I believe that Melody Ellison does connect us to the past. But Melody is not the first African American historical doll, and yet, in my opinion, she is the only one of the African American historical dolls that is relatively true to the period that she represents. She is the only one of the African American Girl dolls that truthfully connects girls to her past.

I have read several reviews written about the other historical African American American Girl Dolls, and it seems to me that prior to Melody, the American Girl Doll Company had tried to tip-toe around the race issue and to distort or whitewash African American history to make everyone seem have been the same and to make history seem to have been more attractive than it sometimes was.

Don’t get me wrong. I detest the slavery chapter of this nation’s history. That is when the American Girl Dolls Addy Walker and Cecile Rey lived. I hate bigotry, but I do not believe that it is in anyone’s best interest to distort or to grossly whitewash the facts. A wise man said that those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it, and I believe that there are elements about the first two African American Dolls that are efforts to stretch the truth. I am convinced that both the Addy Doll and the Cecile Doll could have been more realistic without entering a fantasy world and without being tasteless either. I’ll say more about that in other reviews, but in this review, I want to focus on ways that the American Girl Doll Melody Ellison is more true to what was happening for the African Americans in her time period–the period of the 1960s.

Melody Ellison was a child who lived in Detroit during a very exciting time for African Americans.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., came to Detroit in 1963, and the Rights of African Americans all over the United States began to change.

Detroit was also the Motown Music center of the world, and Motown music was the rage during the 1960s.

Several of the female Motown singers had hair styles that were like Melody’s hair style, and I love this about the Melody doll.

Melody Ellison’s accessories are on target, too. Notice that the accessories include a political button that alludes to Dr. King’s visit to Detroit in 1963. It says. “Equal Rights in ’63.”

Melody Ellison’s little turquoise hat is a pillbox hat, and Jackie Kennedy is the person who was primarily responsible for making the pillbox hat a fashion staple during the 1960s.

Last, Melody Ellison’s cateye sunglasses were another fashion craze during the 1960s. The rim of cateye glasses turn upward on the top, outer corner, and the shapes of the two eye areas in the rims of cateye glasses look like a pair of cat’s eyes.

In several ways, I believe that Melody Ellison accurately depicts the lifestyle that was possible for African Americans during the 1960s. Part of the success of this doll hinges on the fact that the 1960s were the first time in American History when African Americans could see significant improvements in their lives. In many ways, it was the first time that the African Americans could begin to visualize that there truly was hope for them. Because hope for the African Americans had begun to emerge during the 1960s, their stories of this period can be told without feeling the pressure to whitewash them. In conclusion, I do believe that the American Girl Doll Melody Ellison does connect girls to her past, and I do believe that Melody Ellison’s voice does echo the hope of this nation in the 1960s. Melody Ellison’s mission is accomplished.

©Jacki Kellum March 15, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet American Girl Doll Addy Walker – Learn America’s Story

Addy Walker was born a slave but when she was young, she and her mother escaped to Philadelphia, where slavery was against the law. Chronologically speaking, Kaya was the first historical American Girl Doll and Addy is the seventh. Kaya was a child in the northwest in 1764, and Addy is a child in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, across the USA, in 1864. That was 100 years later, and the USA has changed a great deal during that time.

Addy Walker is the third American Girl Doll who lived during the time of a war. Felicity had been a child during the Revolutionary War and Caroline had been a child during the War of 1812.  Addy Walker was a child during the Civil War–the war that ended slavery in America. Here is a quote: “Like many children born into slavery Addy doesn’t know her own birthday, so she chooses a day. She picks April 9, the day the Civil War ended in 1865 and all slaves were freed.” American Girl Ultimate Visual Guide, p. 60

Addy Walker was first released for sale in 1993, and at that time, her Meet Outfit was pink with stripes. Her first Meet Accessories included a straw bonnet with a blue bow.

When Addy Walker was updated as a Beforever Doll in 2014, her Meet Outfit Dress was blue and her meet accessories were slightly different, too. The books tell us that Addy Walker’s mother sewed her clothes, but I doubt that Addy’s dresses would have been as fancy as the ones that are currently sold for her. Addy’s pink meet dress was probably more authentic for a runaway slave during the 1800s.

During their escape from slavery, Addy and her mother were separated from the rest of the family. When Addy’s father finds them, the family is able to move into a boarding house, and Addy gets her first bed that she can call her own. Here is another quote:

“Addy’s colorful quilt shows the faces and places that represent her family. Addy lays the quilt on her very own bed with pride.” American Girl Ultimate Visual Guide, p. 62.

In the largest picture, you see Addy’s doll Ida Bean. Addy Walker is one of the American Girl Dolls who have dolls of their own. You might like to check out my video and blog post about all of the American Girl Dolls who have doll of their own.

Addy Walker’s mother’s employer gives Addy a Christmas dress. Addy wore her Christmas dress to church, and she carried her doll Ida Bean with her. Ida Bean’s dress looks slightly like Addy’s stilting outfit dress.  From what I understand about the period when Addy was a child, Addy’s stilting outfit is more true to the way that Addy would have dressed than the dresses sold for Addy today.

I like the fact that an African American doll has been made to represent this country’s unfortunate involvement with slavery, but I would prefer that Addy’s clothes be more representative of the way that she would have actually dressed. I detest slavery, but if the historical American Girl Dolls are intended as a means of teaching history, I believe that they should be true to America’s actual history. A wise man said that those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it, and I believe that the clothes sold for Addy now are efforts to make us forget the way that life actually was for slaves and runaway slaves during the 1800s. Dolls that are efforts to stretch the truth. I am convinced that both the Addy Doll can be represented more realistically without entering a fantasy world and without being tasteless either.

If the goal of the historical American Girl dolls is to connect today’s girls to the past, I believe that the Melody Ellison doll is the first African American doll that sucessfully accomplishes that goal.

©Jacki Kellum March 15, 2017

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American Girls Have Heart – Take A Stand Against Bullying – Grow A Garden of Happiness

In 2017, I launched a Doll for for American Girls, and part of the mission was to help girls learn to sew clothes for their American Girl Dolls. But from the very beginning, I have said to everyone concerned that my greatest goal is to teach the importance of learning to feel and to care for the feelings of others, and from the first day of the club, I have told the girls that our motto is American Girls Have Heart.

For a while, things rocked along fairly smoothly, but as will sometimes be the case, last week, one group of girls was unkind to another little girl, and I thought that we should take a few minutes to review what it means to have heart and what it means NOT to have heart.

When girls DON’T have heart, they are prone to leave other girls out or to mistreat them in some way.

I have taught for 40 years, and in my observation, little girls who don’t have heart don’t get better–at least not on their own. I often say that Mean Little Girls Make Mean Big Girls and Mean Big Girl Make Mean Women. The prognosis for meanness isn’t good until we make a significant effort to stop meanness.

The best way to stop meanness is to stop bullying.

Therefore, I want to be sure that everyone knows that the Jacki Kellum Doll Club for American Girls is a No Bully Zone.

Progress will be made when everyone starts pulling together. That is also when the fun begins.

So right now, wherever you are, let’s make a pinkie swear: No More Bullying.

Let’s put our hands together and shout, “American Girls Have Heart.”

After that, we can enter the Fairy Wonder Zone of No Bullying.

It’s a place where happy people grow.

©Jacki Kellum March 14, 2017

 

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American Girl: The Story of America – Review and Summary of the DK Book – Part 3 – Caroline Abbott

Chronologically speaking, Caroline Abbott is the third American Girl Doll. She lived during the War of 1812 and during the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition toward the western part of America.

“Caroline’s father runs a shipyard on the shores of Lake Ontario. He builds a small boat called a skiff and names it ‘Miss Caroline’ after his daughter.” American Girl: The Story of America,

“Caroline has fun sailing on Lake Ontario. From her small skiff, she can watch bigger ships carry goods and passengers between New York and Canada.” American Girl: The Story of America, p. 15.

Image result for map lake ontario 1800s

Lake Ontario is one of the Great Lakes. It is the one that is farthest East. The Great Lakes are almost as far as you can go in the USA and still be in the United States. In other words, they are very far North, where it gets very cold and the lakes freeze.

 

Image result for Caroline Abbott skates “When the lake freezes, Caroline can’t sail. Instead, she straps ice blades onto her boots, wraps up warmly, and glides gracefully over the frozen water.” American Girl: The Story of America, p. 15.

The American Girl Companies fully research the way that people lived during the eras of each of the historical dolls, and they harness  historical details in amazing ways. You tell tell much about American History by looking at the fashions that represent each era of history. I think that it is very interesting to look at the ways that skates and skating outfits have changed over time.

I don’t know whether Felicity had ice skates in 1774 or not, but to keep her feet out of the snow, she work pattons or little platforms strapped to her shoes. These raised Felicity’s feet out of the ice.

In 1812, Caroline’s skates are also strapped around her boots. Notice the curved metal front of the skates of 1812.

In 1904, Samantha still wore skates that strapped around her boots. I was born in 1950, and I never had ice skates, but my childhood roller skates strapped around my shoes.

In 1954, Maryellen wears ice skates that look very much like the ice skates that we wear today.

In 2017, the skating outfits look completely different than they did 200 years ago.

But let’s get  back to Caroline and 1812, which is 205 years before now, which is the year 2017.

“Caroline’s life on Lake Ontario in New York is turned upside down by the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. A true adventurer who dreams of being the captain of her own ship, Caroline learns the bravest thing she can do is believe in herself.” American Girl Ultimate Visual Guide, p. 44.

“Caroline loves living on the shores of Lake Ontario in New York. She especially likes sailing with her father, and drams of being the captain of a ship one day. But Caroline’s whole life is about to change when the US. goes to war with Great Britain in 1812.” American Girl: The Story of America, p. 15.

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“After the United States gains independence from Britain, the new nation grows quickly. This makes the British nervous–they do not want the U.S. to become more powerful than they are. Britain also doesn’t want the U.S. to trade with France, Britain’s enemy. The disagreement turns into a three-year war.

“Caroline’s peaceful hometown of Sackets Harbor on Lake Ontario becomes a U.S. Navy base during the war. The British navy set up their headquarters across the lake. Two battles take place in Sackets Harbor during he war.” American Girl: The Story of America, p. 15.

The American Girl Caroline Abbot Doll Play Parlor

“Caroline’s formal parlor is full of nautical treasures, including a model ship. She can watch real ships sail on the lake from the parlor window.” American Girl: The Story of America, p. 15.

Here is what the American Girl Website Had to Say about Caroline  Abbot’s Play Parlor, When It Was Available:

“Caroline’s family spends time together in their elegant parlor, featuring a built-in bookshelf, fireplace, and window overlooking the bay. Your girl can rearrange the walls for different playtimes.
Includes:

  • Three wooden walls that can be arranged any way your girl chooses
  • A window seat that hinges open for storage space
  • A paned window with a lacy curtain frames a view of Lake Ontario. She can slide in the illustrated window scene—different images on each side let her choose the season
  • The center wall features a mantle and a make-believe fireplace that really lights up
  • A built-in wall shelf features pull-out drawers, plus a hutch that’s perfect for displaying Caroline’s treasures
  • A model ship with real cloth sails
  • A painted horse figurine and a metal candlestick
  • A “sailor’s valentine”—a two-piece wooden frame with a collection of faux shells inside
  • An embroidered fireplace screen that she can adjust, just like the real thing. Caroline would have used it to soften the glow from the hearth and shield her face from the heat
  • A framed mirror can be hung above the mantle for the finishing touch—or turned around to reveal a nautical painting

The Price of Caroline Abbott’s Parlor was $300.00

In the Parlor Scene, Caroline Is Wearing Her Birthday Dress

“The British block supplies from reaching small towns like Sackets Harbor. When people want to dress in the latest fashions, they make their own clothes out of what they have, just like Caroline does.” American Girl: The Story of America, p. 17.

 Caroline’s birthday dress is embroidered with fancy sewing stitches that create flowers and dots.

“Caroline loves to sew, so she carefully stitches this fancy dress to wear to her birthday celebration. It has a pleated bodice and pattern around the hem.” American Girl Ultimate Visual Guide, p. 44.

American Girl Caroline  Abbot’s Dresses Are Empire Style

“The high-waisted cut of the dress was also applied to outer garments, such as the pelisse. The Empire silhouette contributed to making clothes of the 1795–1820 period generally less confining and cumbersome than high-fashion clothes of the earlier 18th and later 19th centuries.” Wikipedia

“During the war, many American families suffer great hardships when shippping and trading on the Great Lakes come to a halt. Families, like Caroline’s manage with what they can grow, by, or raise. The British block supplies from reaching small towns like Sackets Harbor. When people want to dress in the latest fashions, they make their own clothes out of what they have, just like Caroline does.” American Girl: The Story of America, p. 17.

Caroline did other things to help during the war. In the following photo, Caroline is wearing her work dress. Notice that it also has an Empire style.

 “Caroline helps her uncle Aaron on his farm. She wears a pretty but practical dress. After a cow on the farm gives birth, Caroline names the calf Garnet, after the jewel in her grandmother’s ring.” American Girl Ultimate Visual Guide, p. 44.

Not much is said about any single doll in the new book American Girl: The Story of America, but because all of the historical dolls that had been made at the time are included chronologically in the book, it does offer a historical overview. Another nice thing is that a timeline runs along the bottom of the book, and it becomes possible to see what else was happening in the world at the time that each doll is placed.

 Here is what happened on the timeline during Caroline’s life or not long before or after then:

1804 – 1805 Heading west

“Lewis and Clark are the first to lead an expedition west of the Mississippi River. A Native American woman named Sacagawea is their guide for part of the journey.

1812 – U.S. and Britain at war

“The British refuse to let ships from other countries trade freely with the U.S., so the U.S. declares war.

1814 – White House fire

“The British set fire to many buildings in the nation’s capital, including the Capitol Building and the White House (known as the Presidential Mansion). The U.S. and Britain make peace in 1815.

1821  – High school for girls

“Teacher Emma Hart Willard opens a high school for girls in Troy, New York. It is the first high school to offer girls an equal education to boys.”

American Girl: The Story of America, pgs. 16-17.

Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. He served from 1801-1809. He was an important figure in support of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

James Madison was the fourth president of the United States. He served from 1809-1817. He was president during the War of 1812.

©Jacki Kellum March 7, 2017

 

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Meet American Girl Doll Tenney Grant & Learn about Nashville & the Grand Ole Opry

The American Girl Doll Company has released a new doll from Nashville, Tennessee, and her name is Tenney Grant.

She is a country singer and her band mate is the new American Girl Boy Doll Logan Everett. I grew up not far from Nashville, and today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville scene.

Nashville, Tennessee is the Country Music Capitol of the World.

And there is something a little bit cowboy about country music singers. Tenney wears cowboy boots with her Spotlight Outfit, and she wears a denim vest in her Meet Outfit. I’ll be selling a kit to sew your own denim vest at my online shop Thumbelina Threads.

Nashville is in the state of Tennessee, which is just East of the Mississippi River and in the southern half of the USA. I am from the South, and many of the country western singers sound a lot like me when they talk. We have Southern accents.

The Grand Ole Opry is in Nashville, and since 1925, that has been the theater for some of the greatest country western performers. Patsy Cline sang there, and Minnie Pearl performed there. Minnie Pearl wore a hat that still had the price tag hanging from it, and when she came on stage, she would say, “Howdy.”

Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton sang at the Grand Ole Opry. And even more recently, Taylor Swift sings at the Grand Ole Opry. Dressed in her Spotlight Outfit, Tenney Logan reminds me of Taylor Swift.

©Jacki Kellum February 18, 2017A

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The American Girl Doll Company Brings Back Felicity Merriman

She’s Back! Felicity Merriman is Back!  2017 is an exciting year for those of us who love American Girl Dolls. The American Girl Doll Company has released a new American Girl Boy Doll whose name is Logan Everett, and on the same day, it has also pulled Felicity from the archives and has allowed her to re-emerge, wearing her all-new and colorful turquoise and yellow dress.

It occurred to me that some of you may not know who Felicity is, and I thought that I’d give you a short, quick review. Felicity Merriman is from the year 1774, which is the Revolutionary War period of America’s History. Historically speaking, Felicity is the second doll in American History.

Historically speaking, Kaya is the first American Girl Doll, and she represents the pre-European era of America’s history. Kaya is a Native American from the Nez Perce tribe in 1764. Felicity represents the children of the early European immigrants who came to America and who fought for the nation’s independence from England.

Those of us who remember Felicity recall her beautiful yellow Teatime outfit and tea set.

“Like many colonial girls, Felicity has lessons on the proper way to serve tea to guests. Even though she would rather wear breeches and ride horses, Felicity must wear a pretty dress for her lessons.

Growing up just before the start of the American Revolution, girls are expected to act like young ladies. But free-spirited Felicity would much rather spend time outdoors in her father’s shop. The war that breaks out between the United States and Great Britain teaches Felicity about courage, and what it means to be truly independent.” American Girl: The Ultimate Visual Guide, p. 38.

“Felicity sleeps in a canopy bed that has four tall posts. On cold nights, Felicity draws her elegant bed hangings closed. The curtains shut out the chilly air.”American Girl: The Ultimate Visual Guide, p. 38.

Felicity sleeps in her night shift and lappet cap. When the American Girl Company was still called the Pleasant Company, it released a set of free patterns for Felicity and for some of the other early dolls. The pattern for the night shift and lappet cap are included in that set of patterns. I’ll be selling a kit to make your own night shift and lappet cap and to make other of Felicity’s outfits in my shop at thumbelinathreads.com. I’ll also be adding a kit to make Felicity’s Red Cape this week.

Many of Us Remember Felicity’s Doll, Her Holiday Gown, and Her Red Cape

“Felicity is thrilled to receive an invitation to a dance lesson at the Governor’s Palace. She has never been to a ball before, and Felicity knows she must behave like a lady for the occasions. Felicity sees this doll in a shop, and the dress catches her eye. Mother makes one just like it for Felicity to wear to her dance lesson.

Did you know? Fashion dolls, like the one Felicity spots in the shop, showed colonial women what the stylish ladies in England were wearing. Then colonists could copy the latest fashions.” American Girl: The Ultimate Visual Guide, p. 39.

The new Felicity doll is part of a campaign to release several new American Girl Dolls in 2017. You can buy Felicity at americangirl.com. You can also buy only her new turquoise and yellow outfit for your old Felicity doll, as well as her fetching new hat and accessories.

 

 

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Logan Everett the American Girl Boy Doll Is Here and Ready to Buy

It’s true! The American Girl Doll Company has released a boy doll and his name is Logan Everett.

Logan is the band mate of the new doll Tenney Grant, who is a country singer from Nashville.

Image result for logan american girl boy drum set

 Logan is a drummer, and you can buy his drum set separately.

 

Meet Logan Everett the American Boy Doll

Meet Logan, Tenney’s bandmate and drummer! The 18″ Logan doll has gray eyes that open and close, and short brown hair.

The American Girl Logan Doll will travel home in a plaid button-down shirt, a T-shirt, jeans, underwear, and shoes.

Logan’s unique hand positioning helps him hold instruments!

 Notice that Logan doesn’t have the signature teeth-showing smile that most American Girl Dolls have. Kaya, the Native American Girl Doll had a smile similar to Logan’s.

Both Logan and Tenney are part of a wave of new dolls that will be added to the American Girl Doll Family in 2017. I am also thrilled that Felicity Merriman has also returned, and I love her new turquoise and yellow look.

See Logan Everett and americangirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Sew A Gathered Skirt for An American Girl Doll or Other 18″ Doll

Today I’ll show you how to sew a gathered skirt for your American Girl Doll and other 18″ dolls, and I’ll show you how that striped fabric can make your sewing projects easier and more manageable.

In another video and tutorial post, I Named the Supplies That I Believe that Every Seamstress Should Have. At the end of this tutorial, I will tell you how to find all of my YouTube Video Tutorials.

Other Materials Needed to Sew the Striped, Gathered Skirt

  • To sew the gathered skirt, you will also need a piece of striped fabric that is cut 36″ wide by 6″ tall. The stripes should run horizontally.
  • You need a piece of matching fleece that is 1.5″ by 12″
  • You need a set of snaps for the waistband
  • You need a decorative flourish and a button to decorate the waistband.

I sell all of the materials needed for this project and other projects in my online store at Thumbelina Threads. Got to thumbelinathreads.com, and click on the menu tab that says “Shop.”

If you buy any of my kits, the fabric is pre-cut and ready to sew, but if you are using your own fabric, be sure to remove the selvage before you measure and cut your fabric, remove the selvage.

What Is A Selvage on Fabric?

The selvage is the tightly woven edges of fabric that run along the length on the sides. Selvages are often white, and they often have advertising or a color sample printed on them. You should not measure the selvage as part of your garment, and you should not sew with it. You do not want the selvage to show in your finished piece.

Before you begin to sew, press all of the wrinkles out of the fabric.

While your iron is hot, go ahead and prepare your hem by ironing under 1/4″ at the bottom. This will face your hem.

Unlike the fleece that we used to sew the very easy vest, cotton ravels and frays. It must be hemmed. That will control the raveling, and it will hide the frayed edges. To assure that we have good craftsmanship and to control the fraying even more, we’ll face the hem or turn the very bottom edge under about 1/4″ and iron that in place. Then, we’ll iron under about 1″ more and iron that spot again.

How Do You Gather Fabric in Sewing?

You gather your skirt by sewing a long, continuous line of running stitches about 1/4″ from the top of the fabric. Then, you pull your needle and thread, causing the fabric to pucker along the stitches. You want to pull the thread until you have a piece of gathered fabric that is 12″ long.

Because fleece does not need to be faced or lined, we will cut our waistband from fleece. Using fleece for this project’s waistband will make the project slightly easier. Cut a waistband that is 1.5″ x 12″

With right sides together and right sides inside, pin the 12″ wide waistband to the wrong side of the 12″ piece of gathered, striped fabric, and stitch the fleece waistband to the striped cotton. Stitch back across the band area. I sew all of my doll clothes by hand, but I use small stitches, and I stitch every seam twice. When you gather, you only stitch once across the fabric.

To find all of the Jacki Kellum YouTube Videos, go to youtube.com.

  • Search for Jacki Kellum [Be sure that you spell my name correctly. There is no “e” on Jacki. 
  • Select one of my videos and allow it to begin to play.
  • Beneath the title of the video, you will see my name.
  • To find other of my videos, click on my name: Jacki Kellum

Once you have clicked on my name Jacki Kellum, you will see a row of Individual Videos and a row of Playlists. 

If you click on a Playlist, you will find other similar videos, according to the topic. For instance, I have a Playlist for American Girl Dolls and a Playlist for How to Sew, etc.

While you are on this page in YouTube, you can click on the Subscribe button. If you subscribe, you will be notified when I add a new video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And in yet another video, I showed you the sewing supplies that I consider to be invaluable for every seamstress:

 

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How to Sew a Fleece Vest for Your 18″ and American Girl Dolls – Beginning Sewing Project for Kids

 A Beginning How to Sew Project

Sewing isn’t difficult, but it requires a lot of practice and you need to approach it one tiny step at a time. This simple vest is a great place to begin to learn how to sew. It is not lined or hemmed, and it only requires 4 short and quick lines of stitches. After you master this project, you can advance to another step–you will soon be able to sew the gathered and striped skirt that is shown in the first photograph–with the vest that we will sew now.

I have created a video about the Sewing Supplies that Every Seamstress Needs. That Video is at the bottom of this post.

Materials Needed for this Project

Sewing Scissors
Straight Pins
Needles
Thread

You Also Need Fleece for Sewing This Easy Vest

I Sell All of the Fabrics to Sew This Vest and Its Matching Skirt in a Kit

I Also Sell Only the Patterns in My Shop

Lay the pattern on your fleece fabric. The right side of the Back pattern piece should be placed on a folded piece of fabric.

When you cut on a fold, it is sort of like folding paper to cut a heart.

After you have cut your fleece, you will have 1 back piece ad 2 side pieces. Place the side pieces on top of the back piece of fabric. The Right Sides of the fabric will touch each other, and they will be on the inside, while you sew.

Pin the Fabrics at the Shoulders and Stitch The Shoulders with the Running Stitch

 The Running Stitch

What Is the Running Stitch?

The Running Stitch is the Most Basic Sewing Stitch

Knot you thread and bring the needle and thread up through the fabric. Move the needle over about 1/4″ and run your needle and thread back down through the fabric. Move the needle over about 1/4″ and run your needle and thread back up through the fabric. You repeat this until you reach the end of the line that you wish to stitch.

How Do You Knot at the End of a Line of Stitches?

To end your stitches and prevent them from pulling back out, sew 3 stitches on top of each other. While making the last stitch, form a loop with the thread, and pass your needle through the loop.

Once you have stitched both shoulders and sides, iron the seams open–from the wrong side of the fabric.

To create simple lapels, simply iron back the top front pieces–away from the center.

You can find my patterns and kits under the tab Shop.

©Jacki Kellum February 9, 2017

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Sewing Supplies Every Seamstress Should Have – Free How to Sew Video Tutorial – Jacki Kellum

A Good Pair of Sewing Scissors Is an Item that Every Seamstress Must Have

It is important to understand that sewing scissors are not the same thing as craft scissors or student scissors. I generally use Fiskars sewing scissors, and I buy them at a fabric store. I believe that Walmart sells sewing scissors. They sell both Singer and Fiskars sewing scissors, and I prefer the Fiskars brand.  Sometimes I buy the spring action scissors, like the ones shown below:

Fiskars Softouch Spring Action Scissors

Keep in mind, however, that Fiskars also sells student scissors, like the following:

In order to cut fabric accurately, you must have a pair of designated sewing scissors, and you should never cut anything but fabric with them. Cutting paper with sewing scissors ruins them.

Every Seamstress Needs Straight Pins to Hold the Project in Place Until It Is Stitched

DMC Embroidery Needles Size #5 Are Great for Learning to Sew

In my opinion, these are the supplies that are essential for every sewing project. Each project will also have an assortment of supply needs specific to the project, but the above tools are what I consider to be essential for everything that I do with sewing.

Hi! I am Jacki Kellum. I am an artist and a designer, and I also manage several WordPress blogs.

In January of 2017, I launched an American Girl Doll Club at my local library, where I have been telling stories to children for thirteen years.

In our small town that has a population of less than 7,000, more than 60 girls have registered for our club. I am teaching the girls how to sew and how to design outfits and accessories for their American Girl Dolls.

Through my YouTube channel and my new blog site Thumbelina Threads @ thumbelinathreads.com, I have begun sharing our club with the rest of the world.

©Jacki Kellum February 9, 2017