Doll’s sleeping bag

At my house we spend quite a lot of time studying the American Girl catalog. A certain member of my household–who has been saving her allowance since January–was verging on the obsessive. So, I thought making something for the girls would be a welcome distraction. These sleeping bags were perfect. They capture the mini-perfection of the real thing. My daughter picked out the fabric, and even did a little of the machine sewing–thrilling! To make your very own AG sleeping bag click here: Doll’s sleeping bag. If you can sew a zipper and do some very basic quilting then you can make one of these in an hour or two. (I made matching pillows from the leftover fabric–two rectangles sewn together and filled with fluff.)

So cozy!

Doll’s bed

My daughter got a new American Girl doll for Christmas, so a new bed was needed for the dormitory. A free weekend, a sturdy box, and some left over fabric, and Eve soon had a cozy bed of her own. We started with box from a new pair of boots, and added some foam-core board to the top to make it the right length. (Bonus: the bed opens up to store dolls’ shoes, socks, accessories, and a few musical instruments.)

My daughter chose the fabrics she wanted to use from my scrap box. To make the bed skirt, I attached three panels of red cotton/linen to a rectangle of muslin in a simple box shape. I made a mattress out of plain white cotton with cotton batting.  Same for the pillow, but I tore up the batting to make it more fluffy. Then, my daughter, who was given an embroidery kit from my granny, embroidered the pillow case–all by herself!

Finally, the quilt was really quick to make. My daughter wanted one fabric for the top, so I pieced together a few scraps to make a rectangle, and then used white for the backing. Rather than binding the quilt, I sewed regular seams and just turned it inside out. I also tried quilter’s knots to quilt the layers together, for the first time. All around, we’re pretty pleased with how this turned out–without spending a penny!

Have you made anything for American Girls? We’d love to hear about your excuses to play with your kids’ toys!

Darling Clementine, Part 1

With winter, come clementines.  With clementines, come crates–those somewhat sturdy, little boxes, so handy for stashing screwdrivers and stowing socks. They are perfect as they are, but this year, I’m dreaming up new incarnations for them. So consider this Part 1 of the Darling Clementine Project.

My first idea was to make a miniature school desk for my friend’s daughter Addie, who has set up an entire educational system for her American Girl dolls in her attic. And a desk made from a crate is the kind of Depression Era utility that Kit Kittredge would approve of!

I cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom of the crate and covered the cardboard with wood grain contact paper. I adhered it with wood glue and let it sit overnight under the weight of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (meaning the emotional weight of my guilt in having never read it, plus its actual weight–but really, any heavy book will do). Then I cut a section out of the crate with an X-acto knife, to make room for Kit to sit. I added a couple of props (fake apple, mini composition book).


I like how the crate markings show on the ends. And here you can see the cut I made in one side.

Please share what you do with your clementine crates. Photos welcome!

postscript: Addie in her Doll School!