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This is all very unusual for me. First of all, I actually finished not just one, but two quilts!
Second, they are made for boys!
I bet you didn't think I even owned boy fabrics. Well, that just goes to show how old these quilt squares are. Some of them were cut over 10 years ago. These are almost my oldest unfinished quilts, but sadly, not quite.
I used to make a lot of pillows from character fabrics - Toy Story, Jurassic Park, The Lion King, Rugrats, Clifford, and Bob the Builder, etc. - and these are some of the scraps. The ends are even borders from some Clifford pillow panels.
I remember one time when my son was little, he helped me to put some of these squares together. I let him arrange them and I sewed them together. I am pretty sure he is too cool for that now. So, these quilts are nearly the last of my little boy fabrics. Also, my little boy isn't little. sniff sniff
I backed them with fleece instead of using batting, so I hope they hold up OK.
On the smaller one, I did a little more practice with free motion quilting. I have a long way to go, but it is getting better.
On the larger one, I did wavy line quilting, which is the easiest way for me to machine quilt.
I machine stitched the binding because of the fleece backing. That was the hardest part. I would rather sew it by hand. Hesitation to do the binding accounts for several months of the procrastination to finish these. I plan on donating the larger one to Project Linus or the local NICU, but I haven't figured out what to do with the small one just yet. I am just glad that they are finished and I hope that they will go on to bless someone else's little boy.
Happy World Doll Day! In honor of this day, I would like to encourage you to use up some of that scrap fabric (I have WAY too much!) and make some doll clothes for organizations that donate dolls to children who could use a little joy in their lives. Here are some that I have found- some accept clothing donations and some do not but you may be able to help in some way or be inspired to start your own organization:
The Broken Doll - restores dolls and gives them to girls in foster care and hospitals
Broken Dolls Healing Hearts - creates care packages for children, including restored dolls
Hope Through Broken Dolls
Janie's Dollys for Recovery - dolls for girls undergoing extensive medical procedures
If you know of others, please share the info!
To get you started, I have a free doll dress pattern and tutorial for you today! This is a doll-sized version of the teen peasant dress from yesterday.
This really isn't too hard. I whipped this one up in about a half hour. It will fit an 18" doll like American Girl, Our Generation, or My Life. It would probably work for smaller dolls with some adjustments on the elastic length.
I am still working on the pdf pattern (which means it is burried on my sewing table somewhere) but you can cut these pieces with measurements.
Sleeves: 7" wide by 4 1/2" high
Tops: 8" wide by 5 1/2" high
Arm Scythes: 1 1/2" wide by 3" high (just curve it a little as shown)
Skirt: 7 1/2" high, 8" at waist, 14" at bottom (make initial slit 1" deep)
Waist elastic: 12" (1/4")
Neck elastic: 8 1/2" (1/4")
The sewing process is the same as the teen peasant dress (see THIS post for instructions!) The only differences are that I used a smaller seam allowance- 1/4" and made the elastic casings a tiny bit smaller. Also, it would probably be easier to hem the sleeves before sewing the sides.
It is really very straightforward. Just follow the same directions I gave HERE.
If you want to make puffy sleeves with elastic casings, increase the width to 9" and the height to 5".
Please use this pattern for personal, non-commercial, or charity use only. If you make one or more of these I would love to see it! You can contact me via facebook or email pacountrycrafts at gmail dot com.
I have other free doll clothing patterns available, too! They are all made to fit 18" American girl dolls. You can see them all under my tutorials menu, but here is a sampling:
Yesterday I shared how we cut out peasant dresses quickly and efficiently, and I probably should have done this first, but I want to backtrack a bit and talk about how to choose fabric for these dresses.
First, a bit about fabric...
100% cotton works best. It is durable and will hold up to a lot of wear and tear.
We usually hit up Joann's red dot clearance sales when they have 50% off the clearance price. We also try to get a coupon for an extra 20% off when possible. Also, if you agree to take the end of the bolt they will give you the remnant price for an additional 50% off. I keep a tote in storage and we stock up throughout the year. We also accept donations of fabric.
It is important to make sure the fabric is good quality. I make sure that it is not too thin or too light. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see your hand through the fabric, it won't work. Please try to remember that often these girls do not have undergarments. Also, if the fabric is too light in color it will get dirty and stain faster. We try to choose bright, bold colors and prints as they seem to be very well received. Recently, I am also trying to remember that prints that contain words or animals might be confusing or offensive to other cultures.
The dresses require 1 to 1 1/4 yards. We often make contrasting sleeves. Also, if we don't have enough fabric for the full length, we sometimes add a contrasting band on the bottom. We usually use solids or small prints for the sleeves and accents.
Last thing: trims...
We often add lace or ric rac to the hem of the fabric. I am now trying to add the lace just above the hem so that it doesn't catch or get dirty as fast. It isn't always possible to attach it that way, though. It isn't necessary, but it makes a nice, little touch to make the dresses more special. We usually purchase the trims at thrift stores and yard sales.