Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Dollies and Patchy Things

Eldest Bun has never really liked dolls, she's always loved cuddly toys better. I have to agree with her. As a child I only liked small dolls, I thought baby sized ones were creepy. I didn't weep recently when Baby Bjorn's head fell off. Mr Bun and I were both a bit wary of her with her large head and unflinching stare.

This summer, however, the Bun's have played dolls together more and more and suddenly eldest bun wished she hadn't stood in and broken my childhood cot. I gave it to her the christmas she was four with blankets I had knitted and a ragdoll called Madeleine tucked up inside. She threw it all out and the cot became a boat. Hence it broke.

Now she can't find the blankets I'd made for her dolls, so in the end I promised to make some new ones if she helped. In fact as I said it I thought it was about time she learned how to use a sewing machine and how to do a few sewingy things. I remembered being taught by my mum and how it meant I could re-do and make my own clothes once I'd grown out of making tiny dolls clothes.

With the new carbooted cot ready for the baby doll (Annabel this time) we got started.

Little Bun's best doll Kitty has handmade covers and also Handy (her hands come off so she can get her coat on, - I guess that's why she named her that) - anyway - I made Handy this matress and bedding too.

After a pile of fabrics were selected we decided on a patchwork blanket. I've never patchworked before so I think we'll both learn a thing or two here.

Fabric chosen, we worked out our sizes and I got cutting.

Eldest Bun then realised she'll need her sewing box, mine will never do as this is her project after all. At Christmas I bought them both a box and filled it with handmade and bought goodies to inspire them. I copied the design on the button bag from Sew Happy, but the needlecase and pincushion are my own designs.

Off we go learning about right and wrong sides and how to pin - all the things I take for granted now.

We play with the lever that raises and lowers the foot. Eldest Bun is really impressed with the thingy that cuts the thread and that I can choose tortoise or hare speed. We opt for tortoise. After a lot of practice she holds that fabric down and machines an excellent straight line

and stops to take pins out on the way.

Suddenly we have three strips ready for pressing and joining together.

Once all that is done - I'm left with the fiddly boring job of basting on the binding and finishing off.

We're both really pleased with our first adventure in sewing and patchy things.

The only other patchy thing around here is our cosy armchair which is beside me now waiting for a Bun to curl up in and tell me their thoughts on the day so far. Teena asked why I'd left it out in my house post and to be honest I'd forgotten it. It fits better here anyway.

Now I feel inspired to start patchy covers for the Bun's wintertime beds. I've saved their dresses and clothes with lovely fabrics over the years to do this so no excuse now I know it's not that difficult.

Just thought I'd better add about the cushion as a few people had asked. It is similar to Vanessa's, but the design comes from a baby blanket in a Rowan book by Lois Daykin called Baby Crochet. I started it just as Vanessa started hers in the funny way in blogland that we all seem to be inspired by similar things. The flowers are her design which I acknowledged in my post 'I'm on a Roll'. Thought I'd better point this out as I always acknowledge and give credit where it's due so I'd hate it to seem that I hadn't done so. here. Funnily enough Vanessa and I have already had this chat between ourselves about how we crafty bloggers sometimes converge with our projects.


  1. Oh goodness what a lovely lovely patchwork quilt.

  2. Patchwork heaven Mrs B.

    Your little bun has done a fabulous job and dispite the utter bedlam here most days this is a stage in my girls life I cannot wait for - though wait I must!

    Have a lovely day,

    Nina x

  3. What a clever little bun you have!
    I love your patchwork armchair, so cozy!
    Beki xxx

  4. It looks lovely and it's great you've introduced your daughter to sewing. I've been wondering if Harry might like a go at the machine; all that's stopping me is my fear, not his (and letting go of my machine, of course).
    Love your patchwork chair, I've been hankering after a similar one so I shall content myself with admiring yours in the meantime. Is the crochet cushion the same pattern as Vanessa's blanket (Do you mind if I knit)? Gorgeous, you've done a top job.
    Hen x

  5. What a lovely post :)
    My childhood dolly cot is very similar to your car boot I have been blessed with 4 boys who despite my putting it in the playroom from time to time are really not fussed - far better to make planes and guns out of lego :( - I'm all inspired to make new bedding for it and have it out which case Emma doll will need new clothes....could I? Should I? Hats off to you for sharing your machine, my 11 year old loiters with intent near mine, I wish I wasn't so precious with my machine!!

  6. What an enjoyable project for you both to do.

    I have a wooden dolls bed I picked up at a car boot I need to work on!

    Victoria xx

  7. that's so lovely Lisa, I sit and show Joshy knitting and crochet, and we make felt stuffies toether, and I've made little blankets for his teddies but I dont think he'll want to do this with me when he's older. I'd love to do patchwork, I need a fabric stash! Your little bun could make her own rag doll next! I love the dolls blanket and your chair looks so pretty! fliss xx

  8. So lovely.. I remember being taught 'sewingy' and 'knittingy' things by my own mum when I was seven or so I think, plus there was the obligatory needlework at school... did anyone else make a pinafore (apron), or pot holder embroidered with cross stitch around the edges? I see you have a cushion cover using the same squares as Vanessa (doyoumindifiknit) has just made... lovely colours.

  9. I've just read your previous posts, thanks for the bunting photo and the link too!!, wait until I show him!!! your cottage is lovely, yesterday i brought a tea trolley with roses on it from our local cs, you should have seen his little face fall!! fliss xx

  10. how lovely!

    love the sewing boxes you put together too, very sweet. I would have loved doing this when I was little. I had a childrens sewing machine that really worked, which I thought was amazing :)

  11. How great is that ! I love it when my two show an interest in learning these skills and loved it when my eldest wrote to Santa last year requesting her very own sewing machine and sewing basket packed full of goodies....thankfully Santa thought it was a great idea too !

  12. how very lovely to be able to make dolly bedding! wonderful work! the boy has been using the sewing machine since he was almost 4. Not my electric machine you understand... oh no! He's not getting onto that! You know my boys and powertools! I'd lose the workroom to him. He has his great grandma's hand powered singer, the one I learned on! As designed by Isaac Singer himself! t.xx

  13. I loved my doll - Tina - (she was a teenie tiny tears) and I was so disapointed when my daughter never liked to play with dolls. I love your patchwork.

  14. What a wonderful job! The patchwork doll quilt and, even more, teaching eldest Bun to sew. My mother didn't know how to sew and now, sadly, neither do I. :(

    I must have a sew-er's soul, though, because I keep saving my kids' outgrown pj's and clothes with patchwork quilts in mind. sigh

    And I LOVE that knitted heart doll afghan in one of the photos! Adorable.

    Handy? Would it hurt your feelings if I said that concept creeps me out a bit? ;)

  15. Precious moments spent with a daughter!! My daughter is 15 now and still scares me when she's using the sewing machine - it's her foot flat to the floor that concerns me, especially as she's talking about learning to drive as soon as she's able!! Rebecca x

  16. What a lovely girly productive day you had. I hope she'll remeber it in the future - I'm sure she will. I love that cushion on top of that gorgeous quilt.


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