Friday, December 28, 2018

How to make doll quilts Part 1

Doll quilt pattern by valspierssews
Easy patchwork doll quilt
Before I started designing doll clothes I did quite a lot of patchwork and quilting. I have a lot of patchwork fabrics that are not really suitable for doll clothes so I plan to get some of them out and make doll quilts.
I have started a Pinterest Board to save bed styling ideas that I like. I think the pillows and cushions are an essential part of the whole doll bed thing.
The number of patchwork ideas available for doll quilts is pretty much never ending but I do like the simple squares like the one from the American Doll Quilts book below.

This quilt book shows you how to make some of the quilts children might have made in the 1800s

Here is one of the quilts from the book. Those fabrics are beautiful.

If you have plenty of hours and you like patchwork and quilting you should spend some time browsing the boards at martingale

The history of doll quilts in America is a whole subject. 

Since sewing was an essential task for women in the 1800s girls were taught to sew from a very early age. Often the first practice piece would be a small quilt for their doll.
In the pioneer era quilting became very popular because of the rise of the textile industry and the availability of inexpensive fabrics.
Many of the quilts from that era are gone because they would have been used until they wore out.
You can read more in this article:

Until I started researching for this blog post I didn't realise there were actually career opportunities for quilt historians. Around the 1970s women started to take an interest in the women and quilts of historical times and it has grown from there.

Quilt Historians
You can find out more about the quilt historians in this article:'s_Quilt_Historians.html
"Today quilt history is a broad and recognized field of professional and personal study and enjoyment. "

Doll quilt designs
You will find lots here on Pinterest
I would love to make a few of these. Look out for the plans on my blog.
Coming up soon I will go through the steps to make my first contemporary quilt. Like this one.

Make sure you sign into to have access to my free library and my newsletter.

Get the free plan for a quilt with little squares on Teachable 
(the photo tutorial will go up soon)

Look out for my Doll Dressmaking courses coming up for sale on Teachable in 2019.

Happy Sewing and Doll Dressmaking,

Friday, December 21, 2018

Dressing your doll for Christmas

Santa hat tutorial for dolls

Dolls are so accommodating and don't mind dressing up warm in our sweltering hot Christmas season in Queensland Australia. Of course, it's not Christmas unless there is a summer outfit too.

This year I found the most amazing nordic style knit in Aldi of all places.

It was a big Santa sack so I have plenty to make some vests or dresses next year. I made a big sweater for this Christmas. I will be publishing a collection of bulky knit designs later in 2019.

The Santa sack was lined with red felt so I just had to try my hand at a Santa hat too.

I decided to do a quick and easy Christmas dress for our summer Christmas. The 1804 dress pattern comes with a collar that has a narrow collar cutting line drawn on it. I used the narrow collar with lace edging to give the dress a bit of a festive look.

The dress pattern is on special until Christmas Day. It comes with the add on bibs for free.

There is probably just enough time to make up a Christmas dress for your doll. If you keep it sleeveless and simple you can add some buttons or a sash and team it with a little cardigan for a more winter look.

Making a Santa hat pattern to fit any doll.

Use a tape measure to measure around your doll's head where you want the hat to sit.
Decide how high you want the hat. I just guessed about 6" for my 18" doll.
Divide that by 2
Measure out a line on the side of a piece of printer paper.
From the centre of the line measure up the height of your hat.

Draw lines to make a triangle.

Fold your page so you can cut out two triangles.

Tape them together along the sides.
Smooth out the brim edge with a curve.

Place the whole lot on a new sheet and create 1/2" ease and seam  space down each side and add 1/4" seam allowance to the brim edge.

Cut it out and label it.

You can use the same method for different size dolls. You may have to adjust the height of the hat. If your doll is very small you may have to adjust the 1/2" ease and seam allowance down a bit.

Sewing it up

  • To make the Santa hat you cut out the main part in red fleece or felt and the band in white fleece or felt.
  • Band is 2/1/2" wide for an 18" doll and long enough to fit your hat.
  • Double the band and stitch it to the right side of the hat with a 1/4" seam. Use a 1mm wide zig zag stitch so the hat will give a bit as you put it on the doll.
  • Turn up the band to the right side. Bring the back seam right sides together and stitch with a 1/4" seam.
  • Make a pom pom with fleece of felt. Cut a rectangle about 3" wide and 5" long. Roll it up and tie it tight in the middle, leaving thread tails so you can sew it on the hat.
  • I tied mine with crochet cotton.
  • To tie it on i doubled the thread and brought the two ends through the loop so I could pull it tight on the fabric roll. separate the ends and tie them around the roll with a few knots.
  • Snip the felt or fleece to make it stringy and fluff it out. Stitch it on the top of the hat.
  • I used a needle with a big eye to thread the two ends of the crochet cotton to the wrong side of the point at the top of the hat. I spaced them about 1/4" apart so I could just tie a few knots to secure it.

If you think others might like this idea don't forget to pin it.

Santa hat tutorial to fit 18" dolls and any size doll.

Merry Christmas,

Friday, December 14, 2018

1804 Christmas Special Doll Clothes Pattern

I know how much fun it is to make some Christmas dresses for the dolls so I have wrapped up a Christmas Special on the 1804 Dress.

If you buy the 1804 Christmas Special Listing in my Etsy shop you will find the 1804a Add on Bibs included for free. Offer is available until midnight 25th Dec Australian time.

Just click the image to go to my shop.

Doll clothes patterns

Happy sewing,