Have a dolly sleepover! (Sleeping bag edition)

Remember these? We just had our holiday, Eid al-Adha, which is sort of like “Muslim Christmas”. Naturally, I had to make my daughter some gifts. She cries if I buy her just gifts from the store!

I got these old Strawberry Shortcake dolls from a vintage toy dealer, but they’re available on Etsy and Ebay for pretty reasonable prices. Expect to pay anywhere form $10-20 for one. Don’t bother getting collectable quality- kids don’t care. It’s better just to buy them naked and make them clothes. Don’t worry- I’ve got that covered too, though you can also buy lots of clothes online sometimes.

And it doesn’t necessarily have to be THESE dolls. These are just 5.5″ dolls. You could very well make these things for Barbies too. Even Blythe dolls. This particular blog entry is going to be about how to make dolly sleeping bags and pillows. I’ll also have tutorials on making felt nighties and making fake food out of polymer clay.

You’re going to need some fabric scraps and some sheet batting (the kind you put inside of quilts). You can get products like Warm and Natural, which is REALLY easy to sew on, but can sometimes be a bit costly. I have some left over from a project, so that’s what I grabbed.

As frustrating as this may seem, I’m not going to elude to measurements here. I don’t cook OR sew like that. Just simply lay out your scrap of fabric and lay your dolly on it. Take into consideration that you’re going to need to allow for a seam allowance. I sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance because I’m a quilter, but if you make clothing, you will need to allow for a 1/2″ seam allowance. Based on a 1/4″ seam allowance, I left approximately an inch on each side of the doll.

Once you discover the dimensions of ONE side of the sleeping bag by measuring around the doll, double those measurements to make a rectangle (if you fold the rectangle in half, you’ll see how it can be shaped to make a bag). Cut two rectangles to make the front and back of the sleeping bag.

Then cut out a piece of batting the same dimensions. Don’t worry if it’s wrinkled. It stretches.

Pile the materials by placing the batting on bottom, and then the two rectangles with the right sides of the fabric facing each other. Then sew around the two short ends and one long end, leaving a long end open.

I trimmed the batting along the edges so they wouldn’t be as bulky when I turned it right side out, and I recommend that.

Turn the materials right side out, putting the batting in the middle.

Fold the sleeping bag in half like a book, and sew the unfinished edge together (this is the bottom), around the corner, and halfway up the side.

Trim the bottom.

Then turn the sleeping bag right side out, and it’s finished! Here you see the 5.5″ bags, and bags for the Dumpling dolls, which are shorter.

For pillows, I also use the same procedure. I cut two rectangles of fabric, but I double up the batting. When cutting the batting, I also make the batting shorter in height to allow for me to close up the end of the pillow. I sew the fabric and batting in the same manner I sewed the sleeping bags, by placing them on top of each other with fabric wrong sides together, then turning it right side out to place the batting in the middle. Instead of then folding it in half like the sleeping bags, I turned the raw edges in and sewed them up.


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