Kaylin got invited to a birthday party that is an American Girl doll party. We have tried to make the presents for many of the birthday parties the girls go to as it is much cheaper for us to make them than to buy them (unless we get a super-duper deal), and the girls seem to really like them.
For inspiration, Kaylin and I went to her pinterest board where she has pinned stuff that she likes. One day, she had pinned a lot of DIY patterns and ideas for 18″ dolls like the American Girl dolls or the Our Generation dolls. My girls do have Our Generation dolls, and they love to dress them up and do their hair.
On the board she had pinned a sleeping bag that someone had made for her daughter’s doll, but no instructions. Now, I know that instructions really don’t have to be given–if I can figure it out, basically anybody can as I am not a great sewer; however, I will share with you what Kaylin and I did. If nothing else, this is a great beginning sewing project for a young girl–mainly a rectangle with straight lines!
I had some fleece that I was left over from some winter scarves that I had made as Christmas gifts, but not enough of one piece for a whole sleeping bag, so we used strips of three different pieces. If you were to use just one piece of material, you would need a 11 3/4″ wide by 36″ long piece of material. Sew down the top and bottom edge using 1/2″ seam allowance. Then you would fold it in half with the right sides together, and sew down the sides, leaving the top open. You also might want to leave the top 5″ of the sides not sewn together. (Look at picture above to see how the top 5 inches are not sewn together on the sides.)
Here is how I did it with the strips of material:
- I had 2 strips of 3 1/2″ wide x 18″ long pink and green material
- I had 2 strips of 5 3/4″ wide x 18″ long purple material
I sewed 3 strips together for one side (purple in the middle) and 3 strips for the other side.
I evened off the top edge of both sides and folded it down 1/2 inch and sewed it.
I put the right sides together, pinned all the way around starting 4 1/2″ down on one side. I sewed all the way around, stopping 4 1/2″ from the top on the last side.
On those edges that had not been sewn (the 4 1/2″ on both sides), I turned down the edge 1/2″ sewed it.
The sleeping bag was done!
Then I made a pillow:
I took the little bit of material I had left of the purple and made a long and skinny pillow. You would not have to use the same dimensions that I did, but it was all I had. My material for the pillow was 10 1/2″ x 5″.
I wanted to put ribbon on the sides, so that the sleeping bag could be rolled up and the pillow could tie the two together. So I put the fleece right sides together. Then I pinned the ribbon on the inside edge so that the ribbon was inside the two pieces of pillow material. I folded up the ribbon and pinned it in the middle so that it wouldn’t be sewn on the opposite side.
Then I started on a short end about one inch from the corner and sewed all the way around the pillow coming back to the short edge I started from, stopping about one inch from the other corner on the same side. Make sure that you catch the ribbon that is on the inside as you sew those long sides! Now I could turn the pillow right side out through the hole that had not been sewn yet. I took a pin and pulled out the corners a little.
Next I cut up some old (but clean :)) nylons, and Kaylin stuffed them in the pillow. After it was all stuffed, I slip-stitched together the opening.
Pillow is done!
The last thing I did was tie the pillow and the sleeping bag together to see how long the ribbon should be. I then took the pillow back to the sewing machine, turned up the bottom edges of the ribbon (I turned it up two times about 1/4″), and then sewed it so that the edges would not fray.
Both pillow and sleeping bag were done, so we tied them up, and they are awaiting the birthday party! And the best part of this gift is that we had all the materials already, so we didn’t have to go buy anything!