Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


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A ‘Tilda’ Birthday Present

Having been invited to a friend’s birthday party at the beginning of December, I found myself in the unusual position of knowing exactly what to make her as a gift.

She had previously shown me a book purchase in which there was a typical Tilda doll, and mentioned that she loved them in all their whimsical weirdness. As I happen to own several of Tone Finnanger’s publications, it was an easy decision to actually go ahead and make one for the first time.

I had some wool left over from knitting the Westie, but had to add in some pink to make two-tone sleeves as there wasn’t quite enough of the cream. Although just a small project, the jumper and stockings took the best part of a day to knit – but aren’t they cute?

Cutting a star shape out of some firm interfacing, sequins were individually sewn on until a sequin star was achieved.

The use of pink sequins ties in with the pink sleeves.

Now, on to the doll itself.

The instructions direct you to draw around the pattern pieces and sew BEFORE cutting them out. This is the best method when dealing with narrow pieces of fabric.

This is what you end up with and then comes the fiddly bit – turning them the right way out!!

It took at least an entire hour to turn, stuff and assemble the doll, probably nearer two – then you end up with the weirdest proportioned doll you have ever seen!

Following the instructions to the letter, the hair was added.

I ran out of cream yarn so, instead of winding tiny balls for the side buns, I wound what was remaining around two miniature pom poms for the same effect.

Two dots for eyes were added along with a smudge of blusher, and she’s finished.

The trousers were a simple and quick finishing touch.

I added a thread chain at the base of her neck so she could be hung from a hook as well.

Here she is sat on my table just before being wrapped and gifted an hour later. I know, I know, yet another by-the-skin-of-my-teeth project!

My husband thinks it’s ugly and odd, and I kind of see where he’s coming from but, luckily, my friend loves it and that’s all that matters.

Will I make another one? Well, it’s time-consuming and extremely fiddly in parts, but Tilda’s creations are strangely attractive partly because they’re so unusual and Scandinavian in character, so I think I probably will. The fact that I have four of her books on my shelf is rather telling……


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Topsy-Turvy Doll

This has been gifted now, so I can share with you what I made for our granddaughter’s second birthday.

Do you remember having a Topsy-Turvy doll as a little girl? I do, and I also remember absolutely loving her, so I knew I was going to have to make one for our granddaughter.

I found a free tutorial at Keepsake Crafts and pretty much followed it to the letter. This is her version, a daytime/bedtime doll: –

Although you can be more creative and do many other things like a Red Riding Hood/Wolf doll, or a Beauty/Beast doll, I decided to stick to the traditional daytime/bedtime doll.

You start off by embroidering the faces and I simply coloured in the eyes and mouth with permanent marker pen.

I wish I’d backed the faces with interfacing now, as the black embroidery thread shows through in places, but hey-ho.

When the body is assembled and stuffed, at this stage it looks a bit like Frankenstein’s experiment!

I used coordinating fabrics for each dress, originally from Ikea, I think; floral for the day dress and spotted for the nightgown and cap.

I had plenty of lace in my stash to trim both dresses.

The hair was easy enough – just a ball of yarn wrapped around a book and sewn through all layers in the centre to keep it together.

The wig is then stitched on to the head, sewing over the previous line of stitching. Easy.

The daytime doll had her hair drawn back into a neat ponytail and tied with a bright red ribbon to go with her dress.

The bedtime doll had her hair in bunches held with some red heart ribbon.

A nice touch is to create fingers with three lines of stitching.

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Here she is, all finished, in her daytime mode.

Doesn’t the hair look pretty from the back?

The sleepy side has a matching bonnet to go with her nightgown.

It’s a great tutorial which includes an easy to follow pattern, so why not give it a go for a little girl you know?


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American Girl Doll’s Clothes

Last month, No.2 Son was invited to his girlfriend’s birthday party (they’re both ten) so I had to come up with an appropriate gift idea – no mean feat when you’re used to buying for boys.

I don’t know about you, but the amount of parties The Boys get invited to means that you can end up spending a small fortune throughout the year in presents, even though I try to spend no more than £10 maximum per child.

£10 doesn’t buy much nowadays, unless you opt for the useful book token which, despite being a great gift which kids love to spend, is hard to get excited about when you open it. You never hear “WOW! It’s just what I’ve always wanted – thank you!”

So I had a little think and remembered that this little girl had recently been to America on holiday and had come back with a “Truly Me” American Girl doll.

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Apparently, these dolls are a bit of a cult item in the USA with girls and women alike, and you can choose the skin, hair and eye colour to match your own.

With the doll itself costing $115 and each item of clothing costing upwards of $10, she, understandably, had a very limited wardrobe thus far.

So I decided to put aside a whole day and make some clothes for her.

With a bit of searching on the internet, I found several patterns suitable for an 18″ doll, and these are what I came up with.

Remember THAT hoodie I made earlier in the Summer? Well, I used some of the leftover fabric to make a sweatshirt for the doll with popper closures at the back.

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I matched the sweatshirt with some purple elasticated jogging bottoms and that was one outfit completed.

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Using the same T-shirt pattern as for the sweatshirt, I made a plain white Tee to which I added a ruffle to jazz it up a bit.american-girl-doll-skirt

A velcro back was used this time.

The little lace-trimmed  A-line skirt took hardly any fabric at all and was whipped up in minutes, again with a velcro back fastening.

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Next up was a simple dress which could be worn on its own or with the white ruffle tee as before.

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I knew a ‘proper’ dress would be appreciated, so this next one took a little more effort, adding full lining and ric rac trim at the waist and hem.

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I even inserted a back zip to make it more special.

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Finally, one more top, this time in blue, and a coordinating elasticated straight skirt with side splits.

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I can’t tell you quite how much fun I had making them all and, not only that, I worked out that, had similar outfits been purchased, the cost would have been upwards of £/$100!

And guess what? She said: –

“WOW! It’s just what I always wanted – thank you!”