DIY Holiday Doll Clothes Banner

This cute little doll clothes project is quick to make with scraps from your fabric stash. If you have a young one who wants to learn to sew, this would be a great project for them! This is a sponsored post. Any opinions given are completely my own.

DIY Holiday Doll Clothes Banner|Designers Sweet Spot|
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Doll Clothes Garland

There is something so charming about a doll clothes banner/garland, especially one that mimics everyday life. This doll clothes project is quick to machine sew, or even stitch by hand. The winter shirts and trousers look like they came from vintage Grandpa’s closet. We don’t actually have any dolls at our house, because our family is all boys. However, I am sure these tiny garments would fit any Barbie  or Ken doll quite well.

Thanks to Hoffman Fabrics of California for supplying the adorable Christmas Tree print and black and white stripe fabrics. You can see more of their holiday fabric collection here.

These scraps of fabric came from a couple of my recent projects but you could also cut up old clothes for this project.  If you want to see more of how the original projects turned out, take a look at the Ragged Baby Quilt and Men’s Hoodie Pajamas.  They turned out pretty nice!

DIY Holiday Doll Clothes Banner|Designers Sweet Spot|

For this project you will need:

Doll Clothes Garland Supplies

  1. 1/4 yard of red and black check fabric
  2. 1/4 yard of Christmas tree fabric
  3. 1/4 yard of black pin stripe fabric.
  4. 1 yard or more of twine
  5. Miniature clothes pins
  6. McCalls pattern #6051

DIY Holiday Doll Clothes Banner|Designers Sweet Spot|
This deer head shirt was made by cutting up print fabric and sewing it on with a zig zag stitch.

This project was a bit of a mash up with the different fabrics. I started with the basic top and bottom pieces in the red/black print, then cut strips of the same fabric to decorate the other pieces as a contrast. I had fun appliquéing the little trees on the top and pants as patches with a simple zig zag stitch. Alternatively, you could use fusible interfacing to glue them in place instead of sewing. The fabric strips on the cuffs were zig zagged on top of the raw edges to give them a charming homespun look. Nothing was hemmed, I prefer the raw edges.

DIY Holiday Doll Clothes Banner|Designers Sweet Spot|


  1. Cut out banner pattern pieces. You will need three tops (one of each print), and two pants to coordinate with the top pieces.
  2. Cut out tree shaped as an oval from printed tree fabric, zig zag stitch on to knees of black and red print pants.  Cut one tree out and attach to front of red and black print shirt with zig zag.
  3. Cut six 1″ wide x 3″ long small strips of red and black fabric for cuffs. Sew on to tree print shirt. Sew remaining pieces on to the bottom of the black stripe pants.
  4. Make an oval shape out the head of one reindeer and sew it onto the red and back print shirt with zigzag stitching.
  5. Stitch the black and print collar on to the reindeer shirt.
  6. Sew the side seams together of each shirt with right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Clip the underarm area so you can turn them right side out. Press lightly.
  7. Stitch the top seam of the pants by turning under 1/4″ on the top edge.
  8. Sew the crotch seam of the pants together (it looks like a side seam) matching wrong sides together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Finish by sewing the leg seam together, then turn right side out. Clip the crotch area if needed to get pants to lay flat.
  9. Cut a piece of twine 40″ long.
  10. Hang the doll clothes onto the twine with mini clothes pins.

I think this garland would be adorable in a child’s room, or even on a fireplace mantle. Christmas lights add to the festive look!

DIY Holiday Doll Clothes Banner|Designers Sweet Spot|


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Here are some more Holiday ideas:

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings

7 Easy Beginner Sewing Projects

How to Hem Jeans

Simple Pillow Tutorial

Sew Fabulous Mens Holiday Pajamas

Some families have a tradition of wearing matching pajamas for Christmas Eve. This pattern is great for making easy memorable pajamas! This is a sponsored post. Any opinions given are completely my own.

Sew Fabulous Mens Holiday Pajamas|Designers Sweet Spot|
Men’s Hood Pattern, makes great pajamas!

Men’s Hoodie Pattern

I loved this pattern the moment I saw it. Our adult children are way past the age of wearing matching pajamas, but this pattern seemed like it would work for all of them. It’s technically not for pajamas, but the casual style and trendy hoodie is something that they all love.

The pattern calls for knit and woven fabric which is rather unusual. The front of the shirt, the placket, pockets and front pieces are all woven material. The sleeves, back and hood are a cotton knit. Soft woven cottons and jersey knits make great sleeping attire and I love them together in this pajama set. I haven’t made the pants yet, more on that soon!

Sew Fabulous Mens Holiday Pajamas|Designers Sweet Spot|
Woven holiday fabrics from Hoffman Fabrics of California

Hoffman Holiday Fabric Collection

This Near and Deer holiday fabric collection from Hoffman Fabrics is perfect for guys. It’s not too cutesy, or outrageously colored. It even has manly deer and stripes. Our son was thrilled with my fabric choices for this project. You can’t go wrong with classic black and white!

Sew Fabulous Mens Holiday Pajamas|Designers Sweet Spot|
Laying out the pajama top with 2″ added for the length.

Sewing Pattern Adjustments

The cotton fabric is 44″ wide, but since the only woven pieces are in the front cutting the narrow width wasn’t hard. I added 2″ to the length at the waist for this McCalls M747 pattern. My system is to cut the pattern apart and measure the gap for the amount needed. The pattern seemed to fit well overall and was very straight forward to sew as per the manufacturer’s directions.

The placket and pockets were designed to be cut on the bias for the plaid fabric in the pattern photograph. I changed and cut them on the straight grain for this project. The only reason to cut them on the bias is to not worry about matching the plaid, and since I wasn’t using plaid there was no reason to cut them on the bias. I made the front placket and pockets out of the same deer print fabric.

Sew Mens Hoodie pajamas|Designers Sweet Spot|

Sewing with this high quality cotton is easy, it does’t stretch or shrink as you work with it. I always look for the highest quality goods, and prewash them before cutting.  This fabric is amazing, it was easy to work with.

The deal was that I wasn’t supposed to show our son’s face on the internet. He’s rather shy. I sorta lied about that. He’s so cute, why not show it? You won’t tell will you? SHHHHH!

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Sew Mens Hoodie Pajamas|Designers Sweet Spot|


Our son was kind enough to model his new pajama top for this post. Now to make some more of them for the other family members!

Thank you to Hoffman Fabrics for sponsoring this post!

Sew Mens Hoodie Pajamas|Designers Sweet Spot|

If you enjoyed this post, try some of these other sewing posts:

How to Make a Fleece Lounging Gown

Sewing a Fleece Robe

Sewing with Lace

Sewing a Cowl Blouse

Sewing with Peach Skin


5 Easy Ways to Save Big Money on Your Water Bill

Saving money on water also helps conserve our natural resources. Here are 5 easy things you can do to reduce your water cost and consumption! This is a sponsored post. Any opinions given are completely my own.

5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill|Designers Sweet Spot|

5 Easy Ways to Save $$$

Our water bill used to be out of hand. We had 4 little boys who were dirty, messy and regularly needed their nightly baths. But as our kids grew, so did our water bill. It seemed the bigger they got, the longer they spent in the bathroom taking showers and bathing. Things got so bad, we had to make some new rules in order to keep our bills in check. Here’s the solutions that we have adopted over the years.

5 Easy Ways to Save Money on your Water Bill|Designers Sweet Spot|

Top 5 $$$ Savers

  1. Install a water conserving shower head. This shower head from Waterpik uses only 2 gallons of water per shower. Even though we live in an area that has plenty of fresh water, this shower head greatly reduces our need to use more. The best part? Just unscrew the old shower head and screw on the new one. Installation is that easy! The waterfall design is lovely, and it even has massaging Power Pulse jet spray options. We don’t notice any reduction in water flow and the kids are none the wiser.  We plan to put one in each bathroom!

I love this video, it explains everything you need to know about this amazing shower head.

2. Teach your family members to take “SAILOR” showers. My father was in the Navy. During his time in the service the sailors took “sailor” showers. That is they only used enough water to get wet and rinse. He taught us to use the smallest amount of water possible in the shower. Turn on the water, get completely wet. Turn off the water and lather up with shampoo and soap. Then turn on the water again when you are ready to rinse. There is really no need to run the water the entire time. You can save a huge amount of water by using this technique.

Quick Showers take Discipline

3. Set a timer for 5 minutes each time you go into the shower. We are busy people. We don’t have time to lallygag in the shower every single morning. Our kids grew up with us knocking on the door when their 5 minutes in the shower were up. We strictly enforced this family rule. It just wasn’t allowed. We had one bathroom and everyone only got 5 minutes to get in  and out. It’s amazing how fast you can shower when you know you are on a time clock.

5 Ways to Save on Your Water Bill|Designers Sweet Spot|

4. Have the slowest person use the shower last. Our family has high standards for obedience. If you are in and  out of the shower on time, you get to use it first the next day. Using the shower first guarantee you have plenty of hot water. If you are too slow, you are moved to the last place in the family lineup. After 5 other people have had showers before you, there isn’t any hot water to be had. Thus the boys learn very quickly to shower within the required 5 minute time frame or risk getting a freezing cold shower the next day (which makes them get in and out even faster, LOL!).

The Showering Truth

5. Restrict the number of daily showers and baths. This may be tough for some folks. Perhaps you will disagree. But, let’s be honest.  Most people do not need to shower every single day. Every other day or every 2-3 days will do in most cases. Our sons who are mechanics need daily showers. Our son who is a writer, not so much. The number one rule is to always be clean for Sunday (my rule!). Other than that, you can pinch a bit here and there. Better yet, if you regularly go to the gym to work out, take your showers there!

5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill|Designers Sweet Spot|

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Being on a tight budget requires some creativity! Using a different shower head is an easy way to start this journey! The Waterpik shower head is a great way to start and won’t break the budget.  If you aren’t sure how to install your shower head properly, click on this link for a complete tutorial:  Thanks to Waterpik for sponsoring this post!

If you enjoyed this post, try some of these other money saving ideas:

How to Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

DIY Cleaning Products: The Steam Cleaner

DIY Cleaning Products: Drain Cleaner

Stenciled Storage Jars

10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom, Budget Friendly

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings

Christmas is here! It’s hard to believe it’s less than one month away. Whether you use your Christmas stockings as decoration or you fill them with goodies, they are a staple in most holiday decor. Here are a few easy DIY Christmas stockings to hang on your mantle this year. 

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

These fun stockings require minimal sewing, in fact you could probably even accomplish them without a sewing machine! Room for Tuesday used a pre-made stocking as the form for these stockings, making it so easy to achieve the perfect shape.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

Who says all stockings have to have traditional Christmas designs? Add an unexpected surprise to your mantle this year with these adorable ice cream stockings by My Poppet Makes.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

You could already have everything you need to create this stocking! Seeking Lavender Lane repurposed a dish towel to create a stocking perfect for her home decor.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

You know you have a sweater lying around somewhere that you just never wear.  Maybe it doesn’t fit, maybe it’s too itchy. An Extraordinary Day shares an excellent way to bring you neglected sweater back to life.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

Houseful of Handmade uses a drop cloth to create these personalized stockings. This would be a great way to create a uniform look while keeping each stocking unique.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

Although these stockings look more complicated than some, they are great for even the beginner crafter. Homemade Ginger uses a free (and super easy) pattern to create these colorful stockings.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

Here is another way to use that old sweater lying around your home. Sustain My Craft Habit chose to combine it with festive flannel for her holiday stockings.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

Every child (especially boys) goes through a cowboy stage. If you have a little guy who’s going though that stage right now, Dream a Little Bigger has a perfect pattern for you!

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.comIf you love everything Farmhouse,  check out these beautiful stockings over on AKA Design.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

Polished Habitat needed a quick solution to Christmas stockings. These are the easiest of all! Fabric and glue is all you need to dress up these cheap burlap stockings.


12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

This felted sweater stocking from My Repurposed Life is so Christmasy. She shares some excellent tips & tricks on how to make your project as simple as possible.

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

Here’s one last upcycled stocking for you! You’ll never believe what DIY Candy used to create this colorful stocking.


Are you ready to create now? I know I am! 


If you’re still looking for more holiday inspiration, check out these other posts: 

Festive Cocktails for Holiday Parties

30 Fabulous Gifts for Women Over 50

DIY Decorative Holiday Pillow Roundup

Three Things to Make Your Winter Wreath Stand Out

Spiced Hot Apple Cider



Remember to pin this post for later! 

12 Easy DIY Christmas Stockings|Designers Sweet Spot|

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget

This bathroom renovation project has been on the back burner for a while, but it’s time to get started on it. It’s been a long time since we tackled a big project like this, anything can happen!

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|

Big Renovation, Tiny Budget

We have a leaky bath. This bathroom is on our second floor and is shared between the 4 upstairs bedrooms. When we bought this old house two years ago, we knew this would eventually be on our renovation plan. We had a vision to expand it, make a walk in shower and add a double vanity someday.

That day has come! Shortly after we moved in, we discovered the previous owners had cleverly concealed cracks in the shower surround by filling them with caulk. Over time, the caulk has peeled away leaving leaky cracks in it’s place. ARRRGHHH!

It is unfortunate that the inspector never found the cracks, we would have made sure it was fixed before we bought the house. However, it is too late for that now. We are sure the shower is leaking into the wall behind it, just not sure how bad the damage will be when we open it up.

Big Family Bath Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|

To make matters worse, we have had a lot of problems with clogged drains lately. The plumbing is old, is not vented and needs to be replaced. How do you do all this on a tiny budget??

Bathroom Renovation Master Plan

We are not strangers to renovations. We have renovated houses for years and have a lot of experience with how things can go wrong once you get started on a big project. This is why we have chosen to carefully think through all the options before starting.

We have drawn several different design plans. The plans range from easy to difficult. We aren’t really sure which one we will choose until we open up that back wall behind the shower and see how much water damage there is. The shower surround will be the first to come out then we can decide on a course of action.

Plan A:

If the damage is minimal and the studs are not rotten, we can put up tile backer board and install subway tile and a few decorative tiles around the existing tub. A bit of grout and all will be well! This renovation will cost about $250.00 if we do all the work. The rest of the room would remain untouched. We already have the tile, here’s a peek:

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|
Beautiful 4″ square Mexican tiles.

We bought a case of this beautiful Mexican tile a few months ago, anticipating this project! Can’t wait to see it in the new bath!

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|
The itty-bitty toilet and pedestal sink make for a lousy bathroom.

Plan B:

This plan is worse case scenario. If the studs and floor behind the shower surround are rotten, we will need to remove the entire tub. Then replace the 2 x 4 framing, sub floor, and add tile backer board. We are able to do this work ourselves. If this is the case, and we have to do that, we will also replace the old plumbing and add needed venting to bring the plumbing up to code (probably will have to hire a plumber for this). When we started thinking about our plans, we decided we could even expand the entire bath since we have to take out a wall out anyway. Here’s our thought process:

By moving the shower back 4 feet into our master bedroom (which is behind the shower wall), we can get an extra large walk in shower in this bath. We can also move the sink to accommodate  a double vanity and move the toilet over to get a full size toilet fixture.

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|
Temporary storage shelves above the toilet.

As you can see in this photo, there is zero storage in this room. I used to love pedestal sinks, but the complete lack of storage just isn’t worth it. When we moved in, my husband built these shelves above the toilet for storage. However, when he went to put them up, we discovered that the studs in the wall are almost 30″ apart. What??? There should be studs every 16 inches. Some do it yourself-er cut a lot of corners when they installed this bath! We can’t hang much of anything on the wall because there are no studs to anchor anything. Not good!

The toilet in this room is also a problem since it is a mini-sized one. I call it the child size toilet. What were they thinking when they installed that?? No one wants a mini sized toilet!

City code requires a minimum of 18″ clearance from the center of the toilet to the wall or any other fixture (according to the BHG blog, you can read more here) As you can see, we have about 8″ of space between the toilet and the wall, clearly a code violation.

The itty-bitty potty has to go away for good!

Renovation Expenses Estimate

Plan B expenses will run considerably more, even with us doing a majority of the work.  Here’s a quick estimate:

Tile, grout and backer board supplies about $350.00 (We already have the tile, same as plan A)

Estimate to move shower plumbing back 4 feet, move toilet and add additional sink hookup $3000.00 (I am guessing here, it could be considerably more. We will have to hire a professional plumber for this work.)

New sink and shower faucets $500.00

Double vanity $500.00 (we may be able to save some money here)

Double Sinks $500.00

New full size toilet $300.00

Flooring $200.00

Lighting $200.00

Electrical work $300.00

Big Family Tiny Budget Bath Renovation|Designers Sweet Spot|
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Summing it Up

We can install the vanity and sinks ourselves, but the plumber would have to install the shower base and toilet to guarantee no leaks. Wowzers, we are looking at a $5000-$6000 renovation. This is a lot of money, however it would be so much more if we hired all the work done, we will do as much as we can ourselves. One of the estimates we got for the entire project was $30,000. No way! Ideally we would like to get the entire job done for about $4000. We will see how that goes!

The good news is that this renovation will add a lot of value to our home for resale, but we may have to compromise in some areas to get the job done within our budget.

Lets hope we can stick with plan A! We will be gutting this room very soon and I will keep you posted on our progress!

If you need more bathroom ideas, check out these posts:

10 Beautiful Farmhouse Bathrooms

Bathroom Update on a Budget

Beautiful Bathroom Tile Roundup

10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom, Budget Friendly

Top 20 Bathroom Transformations

Five Dollar Bathroom Update