Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Sewing for Dolly
When I was a little girl, I used to pore over the American Girl catalogs that my grandmother mailed to our house -- she has always been a doll collector and believes in starting them young. The cost of all the items were light years out of our family's price range, but I would spend hours happily turning the pages and making lists of things I wanted to buy. It's given me quite a laugh to watch Bunny do exactly the same thing this past year with those catalogs (which my grandmother is still sending), proving that she is indeed my daughter in every way. Today is Bunny's sixth birthday, but we had her party on Saturday so that the family could all come. And the special package from my husband's parents this year held an actual American Girl doll inside -- the first one that anyone in our family has ever owned, giving Miss Bunny an honored rank similar to the first person in a family to go to college. Since Bunny tells me that Ruthie the doll is in desperate need of bedding and clothing, and since we don't have the Swiss bank accounts that one would need to purchase these items from the people at American Girl, today was the first of what will be a standing weekly mother-daughter sewing date to create Ruthie's wardrobe and accessories.
Today's item was a sleeping bag and pillow set. I had planned to make Ruthie a doll quilt and buy an inexpensive doll bed online, but apparently they don't exist (the cheapest one I could find was $40 -- obviously I'm in the wrong business). My design was based on a tutorial which you can find here.
Bunny begged me to buy a charm pack of Aneela Hoey's new Posy collection last month, so I let her use that for this project. She got to choose the layout for the charm squares and help me guide the fabric through the machine for some of the sewing. Most of the interior is one of the Posy prints along with a strip of Waffle Pink from Monaluna's Havana collection. I bound the sleeping bag in a grey and white crossword puzzle print by Tim & Beck.
I love the simplicity of this design. There are no zippers to bother with and the buttons are purely decorative. You can make the bag with a single piece of fabric, but doing the charm squares makes a sweet patchwork version that fits Ruthie's 1930's time period quite well. Some of the Posy prints -- especially those bunnies in the picture below -- even have a bit of a vintage vibe, I think. This collection just couldn't be more perfect for little girls.
Since I didn't want Bear to feel left out, I let her pick two charm squares from the pack, and she helped me sew a simple coaster to put under her water cup in her room. We had so much fun making this together, and Bear was absolutely thrilled to pieces with the result. She's been carrying this coaster around with her all day long.
I definitely want to sew with my girls more often. It's great to see the pride they feel in being a part of making something that they're really going to use. Bunny was watching me as I ironed out a few of the seams we had just sewn together, and she suddenly flashed me a blinding smile. "I like sewing, Mommy! I think I'm really getting the hang of this!" Then she reached over and hugged my arm. "You're the best Mommy in the whole entire world."
Need I say more?