Friday, December 17, 2010

Sara's Workshop

I don't know how the elves at the North Pole are doing, but my workshop is in full swing! Thanks to Ana White from Knock-off Wood, I've created this for the special little girl in my life (who will be receiving a special doll this Christmas from her Nana).

Savannah's doll bed for her special Christmas gift, Julie (an American Girl doll).

I modified the plans a bit: I made the bed longer to accommodate an American Girl doll and instead of using 5 1x3s for the head and foot boards, I used 6 1x2s, so mine is more narrow like a regular full size bed, only doll sized. We worked on the quilt together and I sewed the pillow and pillowcase while my daughter's sweet little head was brimming with sugar plums. The quilt is her design and she approved the prototype. The fabric is leftover from a log cabin style quilt that I made for her. I couldn't resist sewing a mini European-style pillow sham for the bed.

The bed is a farmhouse style bed, the second one I've built. I painted it this afternoon in Divine White, a Sherwin-Williams Duration paint (ie, low-VOC). I wish I had a picture for you of her doll in the bed for size. For now, this is the best I can do. Since Julie has a rabbit in her stories, she will have a rabbit doll of her own to snuggle with in her new bed.

I can't wait to give this to my daughter on Christmas morning. She's going to be the happiest little girl in the house! Plus, I built the entire bed out of scrap lumber that I had lying around in my scrap bin in the garage, painted it with leftover paint, and used fabric scraps from my bin, so it cost me close to zero.

"Real" pillow and pillowcase. My daughter is in charge of all stuffing so she stuffed the pillow herself with her nimble little fingers.
What's going on in your workshop?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter jumper

Just because it's 18 degrees outside, doesn't mean that your daughter wants to stop wearing dresses. Using the tutorial for the Bubblegum Jumper at From An Igloo (if you haven't scooted over to this blog for great tutorials and ideas, click on it now!), I decided to make my daughter a winter dress.  I purchased fabric from where I was already buying fabric to make something for William's Christmas present, to be revealed soon enough. I used a rich purple corduroy fabric.

I hope you can see the rich colors and textures of this fabric.
Because I had to sew the dress in time for her piano recital, I didn't use the button hole design from the tutorial. Rather, I sewed the back straight up to the chest piece, which I lengthened to 4.5 inches, and used hook and loop closures, which are not permanent, unlike button holes, and can be adjusted as she grows. The dress is also double-hemmed, meaning that when she grows another few inches, I can let out the current hemline to reveal another hemline beneath it that is 2.5 inches longer.

The dress isn't perfect, I have to re-position one of the straps, but she looks really cute in it and it has great texture and warmth. She can wear it with a turtle neck and it will fit her again next year. Overall, a very simple dress pattern for any little girl needing a dress in a jiffy and adaptable to many different types of fabric. I might even make a doll-size one with the leftover fabric for Savannah's favorite new doll for Christmas.