I know I have mentioned before that my daughter is really into American Girl Dolls right now, and by American Girl Dolls I really mean any 18 inch dolls, she doesn't really know the difference. She gets the American Girl Catalog in the mail and she loves looking through it and finding all of the things that she wants for her doll. A month or two before Christmas she was looking through the catalog, telling me what she wanted for Christmas. One of the bigger things she wanted was a bed for her doll. Anything in the American Girl catalog was a little outside of Santa's budget this year, and the truth is even if it wasn't I am way to cheap to spend that much money on doll accessories, especially when I know I can make a lot of them for much cheaper.
|Opening doll stuff on Christmas morning|
I knew that I wanted to give her a bed of some kind and all of the bedding to go along with it. I started looking online for doll bed tutorials. I really wanted to try making one, I found a few doll beds I really liked on ana-white.com. I really wanted to try the bunked that I shared in this post. As it got closer to Christmas I decided that as cool as it would have been to make the bed for her she wasn't going to know or care who made it. I decided that I needed to be realistic about what I could do and the timeframe that I had to do it in. We finally decided to just buy a wooden doll bed from Ikea. I knew that I could still paint it and make the bedding and make it special for her even if the bed itself was not homemade. In the end I was happy with that decision. I think I would have been really stressed out by trying something new like making a bed from wood in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It was better to stick with the stuff that I know I can do well, sewing and crocheting and that sort of thing.
We wanted to paint the bed a bright, fun color that was not pink. My daughter loves pink but it is not my favorite color and I really wanted something different because it seems like everything is always pink. We went and did all of our Christmas shopping one day including buying the paint for the bed even though I hadn't chosen the fabric for the bedding yet. We picked out this sort of light limey green. That night after the kids had gone to bed I dug through my fabric scraps and found a few options that would match the color of green and with the help of my husband we decided on a purple floral print and found some other fabrics to coordinate with it.
The first thing that I did was make a mattress. It was pretty simple to make. I just measured the board that sits inside of the bed frame and holds the mattress, it was 19"x 12", I added a little to each side for a seam allowance and cut the top and bottom pieces. I used 1/4" seam allowances so my top and bottom pieces measured about 19 1/2" x 12 1/2 ". I cut a long strip about 2" wide to go around the outside and sewed it together leaving an opening on one end. That made my mattress about 1 1/2" tall. After I turned it I stuffed a couple of layers of batting inside to give it some height. I sewed the opening shut and added a little bit of tufting by hand. It would have been much easier on the machine but I was worried about it making it too flat.
Doing it this way did not make for the prettiest corners and I am sure there are better ways to do it but it worked well enough. For the mattress I used an off-white white on white type print. I wanted something neutral that would make it look a little like a real mattress.
For the Quilt I used the floral print as my main color and found a dark and light purple to match. I cut 3" squares from the floral and 1 3/4" squares from the purples. With the smaller squares I made little 4 patches which I alternated with the bigger squares. The pieced part was 5 blocks by 7 blocks. I added a thin dark purple border and a larger cream border. I backed it with some purple flannel and quilted it diagonally through the 4 patch blocks and around the purple border. I bound it in a turquoise blue that matched the other little flowers in the floral print. I wanted to bind it in the dark purple but I didn't have enough so I went with the blue instead. The finished size is about 22 1/2" x 19".
For the pillows I made a pillow, a pillowcase and a throw pillow. I realized when taking pictures of these pillows that I really should be better about ironing, the pillowcase looks terrible. The pillow was made from the same off-white print as the mattress. I cut 2 rectangles 6 1/2" x 9" and sewed them together leaving an opening to turn and stuff. After I stuffed it I sewed the opening closed and that was it. The finished size is about 6" x 8 1/2". The pillowcase was made from the blue that I used to bind the quilt. I wanted to bring it in somewhere else so it wasn't just the binding. The finished size of the pillowcase is about 7" x 9". I cut a rectangle 14 1/2" x 12". I folded it in half so it was about 7" x 12" and sewed the bottom and one side. I folded down 1 1/2" twice along the opening to make a deep hem. I sewed around and the pillowcase was done.The throw pillow was just a couple of 5" squares of the floral print sewn together with some rick-rack sewn into the seam to give it a little something around the edge.
I had wanted to make a little doll or stuffed animal to go with the bed and one day I got out my box of finished projects to find a baby gift and I came across a little crocheted teddy bear that I had made quite a while ago. I am not 100% positive, but I am pretty sure that I used a pattern that can be found here. It turned out to be a pretty good size for the doll and I was really excited to set it on the bed for Christmas morning, I thought it would be a perfect finishing touch. In the rush to get everything wrapped and set out on Christmas Eve I completely forgot about the little bear. I remembered after everything had been opened Christmas Morning that the bear was still downstairs in my box, along with the hat and cowl that I had knitted and tried so hard to not let the kids see me working on. I think it was a day or two after Christmas that I gave her the hat, cowl and bear to go with the other doll stuff that she got. I do think that it makes for a nice finishing touch so I am glad that I gave it to her even if it was a little late.
She seemed happy with the bed. She has a little corner in her closet set up as her doll's room with her bed and a few of the other things that she got for Christmas. I will share some of those things over the next few days.
I think Emma (her doll) approved too.