Well, I'm finally getting to my handmade Christmas gifts posts. A month late, but oh well.
First up was this little ticker-tape doll quilt. These are so fun to make. I have a chunk of practice quilting on white fabrics that I cut into a large square. I don't remember the dimensions of this one, but I usually go somewhere between 16 and 18 inches. Then I sort through my scrap bins and pull out little bits and pieces and lay them out on my quilt and pin them all down as I go. Why am I telling you this--Amanda Jean's tutorial is here.
This was my major project--matching pajamas for my niece and her American Girl doll. I got word that she sometimes goes to sleepovers where all the girls bring their dolls along. So I thought this would be perfect!
I used this Simplicity 1511 pattern because it was on sale. And it was the only one that had patterns for both girl and doll. The sizes only go up to 8, and I found out afterwards that my niece needs a 10. Uhhh. So I cut my pattern pieces a bit bigger and hoped for the best. I used the longer top and the bigger, non-leggings pants patterns thinking that would also help me out in making the larger size.
I used this really thin knit (but really soft!) that is a real pain to work with. The guys (yes, guyS. As in not one, but two!) working the cutting station at Hancock warned me it was hard to work with, but to gently pull the fabric taught as it feeds through your machine. That was a good tip and probably saved me from throwing a fit and some cuss words. That being said, I will avoid this kind of fabric at all costs from now on! The pattern had you make a pretty little lettuce ruffle to the hem of the sleeves and pants by stretching the edge while you zig-zagged the edge. I tried it out on a scrap first and it was NOT going to work for me. The best it would do was a sloppy looking rumple. So I decided that leaving the edges raw as they were was the way to go. Not as cute or finished looking, but still very functional. It turned out fine. Not department store quality by any means, but my niece was very pleased with it. No word yet on the fit, but I think there is room for her to grow in it.
If I'm going to ever do this again, I think buying the girl pj's plus another matching set in a much smaller size to make the doll's version out of will be the way to go. I'm sure you could probably get more than one set of doll pj's out of one pair of pj's. It would save you a lot of time to just make the doll version. And the doll is not going to complain or even notice if it doesn't turn out perfect. Yep, I'm a wuss when it comes to this kind of thing. Sorry Rae and all you kid clothes-makers out there. :)
And this was my favorite part. A doll has to have a sleeping bag if she's going to a slumber party right?? I modified this tutorial a little in order to quilt it. (of course!) There are lots of tutorials out there for doll sleeping bags. The first one I came across required a long fancy double pull zipper. I was about to add it to my shopping list when I realized that although it was a nice detail, this is for A DOLL. Dolls can't work a zipper. So keep it simple you dummy and just make a pocket-type sleeping bag. With a matching pillow with lace trim. So cute!
So although it may seem that I go the 'extra mile' by making hand made gifts, I often take the easy way out and cut corners whenever possible. But noone would ever know that if I didn't tell them :)