Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Making a Cloth Dolly

My little boy has recently shown enormous interest in the baby dolls that other kids have. He cuddles them and walks around with them and takes them places. So I asked him the other day if he would like me to try making him a dolly. His answer: "make dolly!"

Having never made a rag doll before, I did some searching online for a pattern and some how to tips. I came across the free pattern 'Baby bows' which can be found by clicking on the link.

This is a simple pattern but it did have a few problems to iron out before a successful doll could be made. The pattern comes as a series of images, if when printed at full size, will make an enormous baby doll. I had to resize them and paste them in a word document to get a baby doll of the size mentioned in the instructions (18 to 20 inches).

It is also important to use an appropriate fabric. The pattern calls for a firm knit fabric and says it does not matter which way you place the stretch. I made a first doll with the stretch going across. This gave me a very misshapen and fat dolly. Not ideal. The second doll was made using an old tan coloured T-shirt of my husbands. I cut this doll with the stretch long ways and it gave a much better proportioned doll.

The doll is sew up leaving the top of the head open to allow it to be stuffed. The joints are made by trying ribbons (I used string) around them... hence the name 'baby bows'. Finally the head is drawn up at the top and tied off. Instead of using wool for the hair as the pattern suggests, I used a shaped piece of felt. I simply embroidered a face onto the dolly as I thought this would be more long lasting then gluing eyes onto it as suggested in the pattern.

To clothe dolly, I cut out some little pants and a t-shirt from some other of my husbands old stretch clothing. The beanie on his head is one for a new born baby. The pattern says to use a premie baby body suit, but after trying baby clothes on dolly in k-mart this morning, I think dolly is too small.

Jeremy adores the dolly and has spent a lot of time cuddling it since its creation. I recommend this pattern to anyone who has a good idea about general sewing techniques and doesn't mind having to make things up a bit!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Toddler's Large Bib Tutorial

I've discovered that it's difficult to find a bib worthy of a toddler in the shops. Either they are too small (not enough coverage for toddler sized messes) or they are too easy for the toddler to remove. Both are problems if you want a relatively clean toddler at the end of each meal. So, I have come up with a simple solution that I would like to share with you: meet the toddler sized bib with toddler proof fastenings.

Toddler's Large Bib

You can download the Toddler's Bib pattern for free by clicking on the link below.
Download Free Bib Pattern 

You Will Need:
· 1 terry toweling cloth nappy (or other towel fabric)
· 1.5 metres of bias binding
· 2 press stud sets
· Fabric for the appliqué shape

Difficulty level:

µ (Very Easy)


Download, print and sticky tape the bib pattern together.

Fold your cloth nappy (or fabric) in half and cut out the bib on the fold as indicated on the pattern.

Pin and sew the bias binding around the outside of the bib as shown in the image below.

Pin and sew the bias binding around the neckline in the same manner, folding the ends over for a neat finish.

Cut out your appliqué shape carefully pin it in place. Appliqué around the shape using blanket stitch or a machine appliqué stitch.

Try the bib on your toddler to determine where you what to press studs to sit.

Apply the press studs according to the manufacturers instructions.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake!

My husband turned 27 last week and to celebrate I made a cake. Not just any cake, mind you, a chocolate peanut butter cake with pretzels and peanuts. Those who know me would attest that cooking, more particularly baking, is far from my first love but here it is: the amazing cake.
Three cakes through the oven (I only have one circular cake tin), lots of whipping up peanut butter for icing and chopping chocolate and nuts later and we have an amazing cake. I impress even myself.

My husband loved it and it tasted simply amazing. The secret to this cake was truly the peanut butter icing. To make peanut butter icing simply add peanut butter to a normal butter icing mix. The recipe I used was:

Peanut Butter Icing
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 3 tbs of double cream
- 1 tbs vanilla extract

Beat butter until creamy and pale with the electric beater. Add peanut butter and vanilla and beat until combined. Add half of the icing sugar and 2 tbs of cream. Beat until well combined. Add remaining sugar and cream. Beat until well combined and fluffy. 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Crochet Jacket for a Toddler

Here is my latest project: a jacket for Jeremy. It turned out really well and I'm so pleased with my efforts. The reason for so many pictures? He is just so cute!