Make something by hand, and your children might have a keepsake. Make it together, and you're building a life skill.
Beginning sewing projects have been skill builders and a way for my school-aged daughter and I to connect. Recently, I helped her stitch a pillow for her new 18-inch doll. I also made a second one for her little sister's doll.
Here's how we made this simple doll accessory and you can too:
I would prefer a remnant of new, organic cotton for this
project, but I often resort to conventionally grown cotton since it’s
frequently all I have available. Another green and frugal source is a piece of
adult cotton clothing from your closet that no one wears, which would probably
supply enough fabric for multiple doll pillows. You need less than a half-yard
for this project, even a third of a yard would do; so if you must buy new
fabric, you might want to check the discounted remnant basket at your fabric
Remnant of cotton fabric for two 9″x7″ pieces, coordinating
Polyester fiberfill or cotton stuffing
Sewing machine, machine and hand needles, shears, seam
ripper, ruler, paper
Here's how to assemble your pillow:
1. Measure and cut a 9″ by 7″ paper pattern, then cut two
layers of cotton fabric this size. For larger dolls or a more generously sized
pillow, you may want to increase these dimensions by an inch.
2. Pin fabric right sides together, leaving a 3″ opening in
one long side.
3. Stitch on the sewing machine, using a 4/8″ or half-inch
seam, keeping that 3″ opening. Stitch again a 3/8″ reinforcement. Trim corners
and all around the pillow to reduce bulk, then turn right-side out. Gently use
seam ripper to pull outside corners into points.
4. Fill pillow with polyester fiberfill or cotton stuffing.
Even young kids love helping with this part.
5. Optional: add a tablespoon or two of homemade lavender
potpourri for a calming scent. This is the same thing we’ve used in handcraftedlavender sachets.
6. Close the pillow with a whip stitch (this is the sewing
part that most children can help with, even if they aren’t ready to stitch yet
on the machine).
While you may not want to make every doll accessory, this is
one case when homemade is even better than store-bought!
This post was originally published as a guest post at MomItForward.com on February 13, 2013, and is being re-posted here meeting MomItForward guidelines.
Labels: crafts, parenting, sewing, textiles, with our own hands