Sorry I have been such an absent blogger lately. I am really struggling to keep up with everything. I bit off more than I could chew this semester at work. That's always been the story of my life, but this semester, I really, really did it.
I still owe you a post about my trip to Columbus, OH, and we had a great art quilt group meeting the other night. But, first I want to blog something that I am totally excited about.
Sweet Pea is turning 7 years old at the end of this month. Papa Pea isn't much of a birthday party kind of guy. He says they didn't always have them when he grew up, so Sweet Pea doesn't get one every year. We offered to give her one this year (her first one since she was about 1 year old), and she's really excited. We are doing a little sleepover with four of her friends, and she decided she wanted it to be a "bring your favorite doll" theme. I'll blog about all the preparations later.
But, she has been wanting a sleeping bag for her doll (I made it to fit an 18" doll or an American Girl doll), and I thought it would be fun to make one for each of the girls as their "party favor." So, I got to it this weekend, and they turned out so cute!
First, I googled "doll sleeping bag tutorials." I was surprised that there wasn't too much out there on it. There was one pretty good video tutorial from expertvillage.
This is the first clip in the set of instructions. The tutorial is divided into a series of clips, and it's hard to find them all and to sequence them. (You'll have to look for them on YouTube.) I think I found most of them, and I found this style of sleeping bag most close to my taste, and the tutorial was really clear. I based my sleeping bag on this and will show you the steps I used to create it. I want to be clear that I really copied what expertvillage did...this is not my own design. But I thought it might be helpful to have all the steps in one place.
Also, if you feel so inclined, you might want to stop by YouTube and leave her a comment on how nice her tutorial is. I was reading the comments others had left, and I couldn't get over how rude they were. People making fun of her souther accent, calling her doll a "baby doll," her drapes in her living room. Totally appalling, especially considering she is sharing her idea in such a nice way and free of charge. I really can't believe some people.
Anyway...I thank her for her inspiration, and here is what I ended up creating:
Sweet Pea and I found some cute party invitations in a turquoise and red color scheme, so I ordered a buch more Sugar and Spice fabric (from The Quilted Fish and Riley Blake). I totally cannot get enough of this fabric. I used the flower on the outside, the striped ticking look on the inside, and the big polka dot for the pillow.
Here is what I did:
After watching the instructional videos with me, Sweet Pea drew me a picture of how she wanted the sleeping bag to look. She cracks me up. This was on Sunday morning, and she hadn't even brushed her hair yet. Forgive me. Also, my sewing room is also my laundry room, so you'll see laundry in the background sometimes. Sorry. You'll have to deal with it! :-)
I think I began with approximately 5 yards of fabric. (EDIT: I mean 5 yards of lining fabric AND 5 yards of outside fabric.) So, I folded it selvedge to selvedge and trimmed off the left-hand side. I have the fold lined up with the bottom of my cutting mat, and I cut a length of fabric at the 21-inch mark.
Next I wanted to cut it to be 13" long. My long ruler wasn't this wide...it's only 6" wide. So, I butted up another ruler to it, and aligned the 7" mark along the fold. 7" plus the 6" of my other ruler equals 13".
After you cut this, you have a piece that is 13" folded by 21". So, if you opened it up, you'd have a piece that is 26" by 21".
You can save the scraps you cut off on the selvedge edge for the pillow, if you want. I was using a different fabric for the pillow. I'll just save those scraps for another project.
Repeat this step one more time with batting....same measurements. I used a variety of different battings for this. I just used up some of the scraps I had. But you might want to use a fluffier polyester batting if you want it to look even more like a sleeping bag.
I layered these three layers together to form a quilt sandwich. The fabrics are both facing right side out, with the batting in between. I basted simply by spraying some starch on the backside of one fabric, putting the batting down over it, and ironing the together. I then sprayed starch on the batting and layered the other piece of fabric on top, ironing again. This held it together just fine. I put my walking foot on and did some straight line stitching down the fabric. I used my Aurifil, white cotton thread, and it worked like a dream. I think most sleeping bags would have horizontal quilting. I did mine vertical, because that is what way the stripes went, and I could just use my quilting bar to follow a line and quilt. This made it so quick and easy. My quilting lines were as far apart as this quilting bar is from the needle.
Oh, yes, one more thing I did...I didn't want to have to make that bias tape go around a sharp corner, so I rounded the corners of my sleeping bag. I used a lid from a jar in my sewing room and traced around it.
Now open it up, and starting where there is one of the pins, start sewing the bias binding around the first 1/2 side, around the top, and down the other 1/2 side to the next pin. Don't worry about the raw edges on the bias binding. It will get covered up later.
Now, fold it in half (like you did when you first cut it), matching up the two corners that already have the bias trim on them. I sewed the bottom half of the sleeping bag together, with the trim covering both raw edges. I started where the raw edges of the bias were. I folded under the edge of this piece of bias, so as not to have an exposed raw edge. I started a little above the raw edge on the previously-sewn part to cover those raw edges. I sewed down to the bottom, around that last corner, and across the bottom.
To make the pillow, I cut two pieces of fabric 10.5" by 6.5".
I ran out of red trim and had to use pink on some of the others. It pretty much took one whole pack of bias binding to do one of these. There was enough left over to use as a bow, if you wanted to. That would be cute. On these, I used a little crocheted trim with red, white, and pink pom poms, which I picked up when I was in the garment district with my sister in California. I hope it doesn't cause fights or hard feelings to have some different when the girls are here.
I wrapped the pillow inside and tied it with a bow. This is how they'll get put in the gift bags for the little girls. I made all 5 sleeping bags in about 4 to 5 hours. Not bad. It took me another 3 hours or so to do the pillows. Had I not included the trim on the pillows, it would have gone a lot faster. :-)
I have to run right now. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. I'll be back later this week with the other good stuff I mentioned earlier!
Until next time,