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American Girl doll dress sewing pattern

I tried my hand at a doll dress for a friend’s six year old daughter. I don’t have any daughters, so it was kind of a thrilling project for me. I got this particular little girl a toy (working) sewing machine for Christmas, so it was fitting that I give her a dress sewn from scratch on Christmas morning! To make the gift special, I went to the fabric store with her so she could pick out coordinating fabrics to make the dress.

I then cut out the pattern and all the pieces, ironed them, and did the bodice work on my own. She wanted to see how a real sewing machine worked, so I waited until she came over one day to show her how to sew on the skirt and bottom trim. She was so excited! It was adorable and exciting for me, too.

Here is the finished dress.

The doll modeling the dress is actually mine (not a real American Girl doll) but she was the right size to try the dress on. Kit Kittredge is the lucky American Girl recipient.

The pattern was from “All Dolled Up” by Joan Hinds. Fairly easy to read, but there were definitely a couple of times I had to read the instructions more than once, turn the pattern this way and that way before I could get my head around how certain pieces went together. In the most critical light, I feel as though there were a couple of steps that could have been detailed more with respect to cutting the fabric from the patterns and assembly.

I think I will be making more doll clothes in the future!

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Sewing

 

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Everything Bag Diaper Bag

Not long after I took up sewing, when I still considered myself a “beginner” sewist (sewer? seamstress?), I picked up Amy Butler’s book “Little Stitches for Little Ones.”

One of my first projects from this book was the “Everything Bag” – a boxy, pretty, functional bag with lots and lots of pockets! The project is rated by Amy Butler as a “4,” which is well into the intermediate ranks of her rating system. But I was determined and up for a challenge.

I was nine months pregnant and seriously into my “nesting” phase of my pregnancy. I remember staying up until 2:00 and 3:00 am working on projects from this book! This bag was my first adventure into fusible fleeces, and pellon, and dividers… but all very invigorating watching the pieces come together. The layers got really really THICK at times. I worried about my poor little $80 Brother sewing machine, but (about 3 snapped needles later – and I did use the heavyweight needles) she made it through and I was happy with the result.

I did use the rather pricey Amy Butler fabric because I liked the aesthetics of it, but also her fabric seemed somehow higher quality than some of the basic fabrics you would find at a Joann or Hancock. This could all be because I am a victim of branding and it may have all been in my head after seeing all her beautiful already made bags in her book, of course made from her own fabric line.

A couple more shots of the bag, showing all the wonderfully useful pockets.

After completing the bag, I self-pronounced myself an “intermediate” sewist. 🙂

I thought Butler’s pattern was fairly easy to read — there were a couple of steps that required me to step back and think about things for a little while, but it all made sense in the end. One change I would make if I were to remake the bag is to make the straps a little longer. Here is a picture to show you the size of the bag. The straps are a little snug – still useable for sure but not *perfect.*

I also would consider adding feet to the bottom. I don’t know about you, but after taking the time to make a homemade bag, the thought of setting it down on a dirty floor or germy counter always makes me cringe. I’ll add this to my list of things to do. 😛

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Sewing

 

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