More Baby-Safe Baby Dolls

IMG_20160610_2203192_rewindWhile hunting for a doll pattern (see previous post), I found another pattern I liked. I decided to make it in all three sizes for my newest granddaughter. They looked so cute together that I used the grouping at my daughter’s baby shower. You can find the pattern at Craftsy; it’s a free download, but you have to give them your email address. Totally worth it, I thought!

The Joy of Making Baby Booties

IMG_20160513_1934236_rewindWe have another grandchild on the way, I’m tickled to report. In fact, Grandchild #3  is due to arrive within a month or less.

Several months ago, I decided to make some baby booties for her that I had seen in a wonderful book called Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones. I had no idea how long it would take to make a cute pair of booties (much less two pairs!), but as it turned out, bootie-making is the perfect occupation for someone recovering from an illness as I was this past spring. The bootie-making process was slow-going, with a fair amount of hand-stitching at the end, but it was worth the time it took.

I gave the booties to my daughter at her baby shower a few weeks ago, and she was delighted with them. The first pair was made from vintage fabric, and the second pair was made from the scraps of the Star Wars quilt I made last Christmas. I can’t wait to see my little granddaughter wear her booties this fall!

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Clothes for the Grandkids

I loved sewing for my children when they were little. I don’t know how I found the time to do so, but I did. Now I’m having a ball making clothes for my grandkids, and I don’t have to squeeze sewing sessions in during nap times or late at night because I have much more free time these days.

Our grandson loves the Avengers and anything that has to do with super heroes, so buying this fabric was a no-brainer:

IMG_20160304_2042430_rewindNot long ago during our weekly Skype visit, he modeled his shorts; his mother says he wears them all the time. I was so pleased!

I also made a dress with matching panties for our granddaughter. But she just started crawling this week, so I’m not sure how often they’ll be putting her in dresses now. Maybe she can wear this to church though:

IMG_20160304_2043269_rewindI made both items on my vintage Bernina using fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, which joins Hobby Lobby as my only remaining shopping-for-fabric-in-person options now that Hancock Fabrics is going out of business (sniffle!).

Blast from the Past: The Easiest Way to Learn to Make Clothes

My first sewing project was a jumper I made for myself (I was 12). It was quite the learning experience, but I did not immediately follow it up with more clothing for me. Instead, I began making doll clothes for my sisters and myself.

I did this because we couldn’t afford to buy doll clothes in the store. But I soon discovered that it was a lot of fun to make my own color choices using remnants I got from relatives or marked down at the fabric store.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that using patterns to make doll clothes helps you become good at clothing construction without the costly mistakes involved in making people-sized clothes.

For example, if you cut a sleeve out wrong for a doll, or mess up big-time while sewing the sleeve, you can just cut a new one out of another scrap of fabric and try again. But if you do that while making yourself a shirt or a dress, you’ll probably have to go back and buy more fabric (if you can find more of it) to cut out another sleeve. This costs time and money.

Sewing doll clothes also helps you learn how the pieces go together in clothing construction much sooner than if you’re sewing people clothes. This learning happens faster because the project comes together more quickly, being smaller.

After you’ve sewn a lot of doll clothes and really understand how bodices work (and sleeves, pants, etc.), sewing people-sized clothes is actually quite easy. I thought it was easier than making doll clothes, actually, because after working with such tiny pieces, sewing large pieces seemed so simple.

(Originally posted 2/2/09.)