Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baby Doll Bassinet TUTORIAL

'Tis the season. It's a giving season and I am in the spirit, so I decided that I will post this tutorial. Keep in mind, I have never posted a tutorial before. If something doesn't make sense or you have any questions, just leave me a comment and I will reply in the comments and fix the tutorial as best I can. Also, please link back to this post if you are posting your finished project so others can find the tutorial as well. And only use this tutorial for personal use...that would be the right thing to do. I would love to see your finished projects too, so leave links to yours in the comments. I hope they make lots of little girls happy! Enjoy!


You will need two coordinating fabrics. One for the outside and one for the lining. From each fabric you will need to cut-
14" x 5" for the hood
14" x 2" for each strap (2)
21" x 17" for the basket
18" (half a yard) of coordinating lace for the hood.
High loft quilter's batting

* All seam are 1/4 ".

First, I choose to quilt the batting onto the outside fabric to give it a more "moses basket" feel. This is obviously optional, and takes a significant amount of time, but I think it is definitely worth it. And it is easy, just time consuming. Cut your batting to fit each piece of outside fabric. Starting on one corner, sew on the diagonal across the fabric. Repeat sewing parallel stitches every inch. Once you make it across the fabric, rotate the fabric and repeat sewing one inch stitches perpendicular to the newly existing stitches. Do this for the straps and basket portions of fabric before you do anything else.

(These pictures are examples of what it looks like to quilt the fabric and batting, do not quilt the hood before reading the "hood" section first).


Take the rectangular piece of fabric for the hood and fold in half. Grab a bowl or something with a curve to trace onto your fabric so you can cut a curve in the hood. It should go from the bottom corner to pretty close to the top. Cut hood. Then quilt 1 inch triangles on the outside fabric with batting. Line up the lace with raw curved edge. Pin. Lay lining fabric over, right side facing. Pin. Sew only the curved part of the hood. Remove pins, turn and press.


With the outside fabric quilted, lay lining fabric on top, right sides together. Pin. Sew along the long sides of straps. Repeat for second strap. Using a chopstick (or something like that) turn straps and press.


Once you have the outside quilted cut 4" squares from each corner of both the lining and outside fabric. At this point, I got my girls names embroidered to the quilted fabric (just be sure to have it embroidered correctly so you don't end up with the name upside down- you'll know which way is "up" by reading ahead to next step).

Next, line up cut edges from each corner. Pin. Sew together. (Before you embroider, pin sides so you know where the name is going, then remove pins for the embroider). Pin and sew lining fabric as well.

You should now have one hood, two straps, outside basket and lining basket. You're getting close!

Next, find the center of the top of the outside basket and find the center of the hood. Line those two points up and pin the hood on the basket, upside down, so raw edges line up and matching fabrics are facing one another. Where the hood ends, right next to it, pin one side of the strap with right sides facing. Leave about 4" then pin the other side of the strap to basket with right sides facing. Repeat on the other side with other strap.

Finally, turn lining fabric inside out. Pin onto basket being sure to line up those 4" seams as best as possible. Starting at the bottom (not where the hood is) start sewing around basket. Leave about a 4" hole at the end to turn basket through. Turn basket. Because I am lazy and avoid hand sewing at all costs, I then pin the hole, press and sew a stitch around the entire basket part again being sure to catch and close the hole. Also, sew a stitch around the curved part of the hood to finish it off.

Lastly, I decided to sew "in the ditch" of those 4" seams on the corner so that the lining would stay put a little better. If my seams didn't line up perfectly, I pinned them so they were perfect (as possible) and sewed in the ditch of the outside fabric. It's okay if it's a little off on the inside since you can't see it very well, but it's important to keep the seam on the outside as hidden as possible. Does that make sense? You'll know what I mean when you get there and actually have your finished bassinet in hand...I hope. Let me know if this part isn't clear.

And viola! You are now the proud owner of a very cute, hand made, storable baby bassinet. Congratulations! I hope the little princess in you life loves it
Disclaimer: This is intended for dolls, not real babies. I shouldn't even have to write that, but we all know there are some not-so-smart people out there.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Baby Doll Bassinet

Mine from when I was a little girl:
I like classic, simple toys. Toys that remain popular through generations and generations. That's why I made the playhouse tent, mail center, and bean bags. These things aren't made with bells or whistles or lights. They don't have batteries or speaking voices coming from them. They are just good old fashion fun. And I think good old fashion fun is a great way to get kids imaginations working. These kinds of toys serve a different purpose each time you play with them. They can be anything you want them to be. The playhouse tent can be a cave, or a doctor's office. The mail can be love letters, or homework. The bean bags can be used for hopscotch or hot potato. I love to watch my children and their imaginations run wild. That means they're exploring and developing and growing. I like that I played with bean bags and had a table tent. I love imagining my grand children playing with the things I've made. Remaking classic toys for my children to play with really makes me happy.

(Sorry to go off on a little tangent)

But that's why I had to make a bassinet for my girls dolls. Last Spring we went to Arizona and Gwen toted this little doll carrier around the entire time. She slept with it right next to her and filled it with all kinds of treasures. This was my little bassinet as a girl. I vividly remember housing my Cabbage Patch dolls in it. Wasn't my mom brilliant to keep it? Thank goodness she did. I love that she made it and kept it after all these years.

Well, I asked my mom if we could bring it home so that I could recreate one for each of the girls. After all these months (and finally getting my sewing machine fixed) I have made the girls their very own doll bassinet (they're for Christmas, sshh, don't tell).

They were quite simple to make. I actually have a tutorial for them. Step by step instructions that anyone at any skill level could follow.

But I have reservations about posting a tutorial. Here's why,

1. I am a self taught seamstress. It's something I tried once on a boring day when I was pregnant with my first baby almost 5 years ago. I don't claim to be very knowledgeable. And I do things the way they make sense in my head. It might be the "wrong" way to do it, and there may be a more simple way to do them, but I just do it the way I can imagine it. If I post a tutorial, you might see that I am crazy and go about sewing all wrong. But the outcome always works. I just don't know if I want to expose myself like that or not. What if you laugh at me?

2. And most importantly, I don't like it when someone takes another persons idea and claims them as their own, never giving credit to the original person. I didn't understand this before, but I do now. This is the first time I would post something that I didn't use someone else's tutorial for. This was something I didn't look on the Internet and find. This was all mine (and my mom's, since I used her work as a pattern). I don't want someone taking credit for this. I don't want someone making money off this. That would really be dishonest. And I really dislike dishonesty. But I know it happens, and that's why I hesitate to post a tutorial. How hard is it to give credit where credit is due? A little link back to a posted tutorial is not a big deal.

On the other hand, I love when people share their tutorials. I wouldn't sew half the things I sew without them. THere are some amazingly talent people out there with great ideas. I usually change them up to fit me and my personality and style, but I do link back to the original. Why can't everyone do that? Seriously?

Anyway, I do have a tutorial. Should I post it? What are the thoughts out there on tutorials and other people taking those tutorials and claiming ideas as their own? And would you laugh at me?

PS. Just the other day I saw this at Pottery Barn Kids. I was half way through making my own and liked the idea of having them embroidered with my girls name. So I quickly got mine embroidered before I finished putting them together. These sure are cute, but I can promise you that you can make your own for well under $29.00 and they would be original. Plus, I like picking my own fabric, that's half the fun of sewing.