Sewing Doll Clothes With Commercial Patterns

Well hellloooo and how are you? I make no excuses for absence because my busyness has been very much sewing related! I'm working on photos to show you of the costumes I worked on for the dance production, so stay tuned. The show is amazing, by the way! If you're local, you should go see Creation this weekend! 

Anywho. Last weekend, my son started golf lessons so the girls and I took advantage of the girl time to pull out some doll clothes patterns and sew! This was their first time using real patterns, so they were excited. 

They chose a fun romper pattern and they turned out super cute. 

I have so much fun sewing with them and I have a couple tips to share if you have trouble getting up the courage to sew with your kids. First, be patient!! Sewing with kids requires a lot of patience. If you get frustrated with them, it really sucks the fun out of it for everyone. Sometimes it's hard to get in the mood to sew with kids. It qualifies as what we in the sewing community call "unselfish sewing", but it's always fun and rewarding once you get started. I find it really helps if we set aside a time with a specific project planned. I love to sew with my kids when we have planned on doing it, but don't love dropping everything when they feel like sewing on a whim. This realization has helped us a ton. Second, if they're struggling with a part, offer to do it for them. Yep, I said it. Don't get so caught up in it being a "sewing lesson" that you make them do it all themselves, even if they're frustrated. They'll get there, and will be able to do more and more on their own each time. 

Back to doll clothes! I love the Big 4 pattern companies for doll clothes patterns. They go on sale for so little money and come with so many great little pieces on each pattern. For these rompers we used Simplicity 8191. 

Simplicity's American Girl line has soooo many cute choices. We also have this one, which is in Natalie's to-sew pile: 

Today we were at Target and the girls spotted this Our Generation sewing set in the doll aisle. Oh my goodness, I LOVE it! I wish there were a good reason for me to buy it for myself, ha! (affiliate link). 

Are you sewing any doll clothes for Christmas stockings?? 

 

1 Comment

Beginner/Kid Friendly Sewing Tutorial: Name Banner Bunting

This month in my local kids sewing classes, our theme is sewing for your room and Tuesday's project was these fun triangle name banners! The kids had fun with these and my favorite part is seeing what fabrics they each choose and how they got creative with their words, using nicknames, meaningful words, adding hearts before and after their names, etc... 

There are plenty of tutorials out there for these, but I wanted mine to  have finished edges and be lined so it would be look nicer and last longer. And of course I wanted to make a tutorial simple enough for beginner parents and kids to follow so my sewing students can make more at home!

What You'll Need:

A triangle template: I cut mine from a file folder and it measures 9.5" across the top and 10" down the center. You can make it any size as long as it fits the letter stencils you have. 

Letter stencils. Mine are from my old scrapbooking stash. You can get them in scrapbook sections in craft stores OR you can print out your own font to cut out and trace. This could be a really fun way to go! 

Fabrics: With my size triangle, we could cut four flags out of one fat quarter. So I'd say for an eight letter word, you need at least a half yard total of fabric. But, it's super fun to do each letter different too, so you can use scraps you have on hand. We backed our flags with solid colors, but you could use anything and you could even make your banner reversible! Just make sure you use fabrics that you can't see through. 

Double Fold bias tape. This comes in little packages by the zippers and rick-rack, but you can also make your own, there are several tutorials out there for that. 

Fusible Web: This comes either on a bolt, in a roll or in sheets. Steam A' Seam is a brand name for the kind you'll find in sheets, but any kind will work. 

Let's Get Started! 

Cut out your flags, as many as you have letters and cut out your backing flags too. Then sew each one together, right sides together (pretty side to pretty side!), leaving the tops open. Snip the bottom tip straight across, close to your stitching. This helps you get a nice point when you turn it right side out. 

Turn each flag right side out, use a chopstick to gently poke the corner out and press them nice and flat. 

Before we put the binding on, you'll want to trim off all these little dog ears:

Time to add your bias tape! Open up your bias tape and fit the first flag inside it's fold, starting about an inch from the end. (You can turn the end under, or not. I didn't have the kids do it this way and since bias tape doesn't ravel, it will be fine. Put it under your machine and use a zig zag stitch to sew down the length of it, adding flags as you go. I don't usually pin them, I just open it up and wedge them in as I go, but you can pin if you want! 

The sewing part is done! Time to add the letters. Whether you're using stencils like mine or printed letters, you want to trace each letter backwards onto one side of your fusible web. Don't cut them out! You can cut loosely around each letter, or if you traced them close enough together for it not to be wasteful, you can just iron the whole piece onto your fabric. Following the manufacturer's instructions if you need to, remove the paper backing (the side you didn't trace on) and iron your letters onto the wrong side of your letter fabric.

Now you can cut your letters out. Once you've cut them out, remove the paper backing and place each letter where you want them on each flag and press them on one at a time. Make sure you spell it right! haha. 

That's it! You're done! You can easily hang these up with thumb tacks. Natalie is so proud of hers! 

And so are my sewing students! They did such a good job, they should be proud. 

The kids thought of all kinds of banners they can make! Natalie suggested a football one to hang during Bronco games (Broncos season is coming!!!!!!) A few girls talked about making them for gifts. I've made these for baby shower decorations/presents. Seasonal banners would be fun too! 

A banner I made when I threw my friend a baby shower several years ago. She hung it in the baby's nursery! 

A banner I made when I threw my friend a baby shower several years ago. She hung it in the baby's nursery! 

And my favorite banner of all, the birthday banner I made when all my kids were tiny that I still hang up for every single birthday, even my own :) I can see many memories in all the fabrics I made it out of! 

Look at tiny Natalie there in the front and tiny Layla and Kelby too! Eeeeeeeek!!! 

Look at tiny Natalie there in the front and tiny Layla and Kelby too! Eeeeeeeek!!! 

Cheers and happy sewing! If you make any banners using this tutorial, I'd love to see! :)

1 Comment

Sewing Camp Wrap-Up!

Sewing camps are over! I'm sad! And tired! Haha. I taught 28 kids to sew this Summer. And the best part is, many of their moms tag me or share with me pictures of them sewing at home on their own. That's the goal, after all! I had a fun group for my last camp and I'm about to unload all those photos on you here, BUT FIRST, I cannot wait to share with you the promotional video my talented friend Liz MacMurray made. I've watched it so many times, it just makes me so happy. If you are local and want something unique for your family photos this year, check out her site and just FYI, she's running special mini-sessions right now!! 

Both July camps were themed around sewing for 18" dolls and they were so much fun. We made a lot of things and the girls had a blast! This past week they ended each day just trying the clothes on their dolls and making up silly fashion shows. 

On the last day of camp, we made flip flops and visor out of craft foam, then we have a runway fashion show and then we have pizza and watch an American Girl movie (last week's vote was Lea, but this week they voted Isabell). But this time around, almost everyone just wanted to keep sewing during the movie! They made all kinds of doll tote bags, pillows and other little things, a few even designed little pet beds for their dolls' pets and Natalie made a doll-sized drawstring backpack. They turned the t-shirt pattern around to make jackets, made matching p.j./sleep mask/pillow sets and just got so creative! 

And now I'm going to take a nap. 

Ha! Not really, I actually have some sewing to do today ;)

Cheers and happy sewing! 

Comment

Super Easy Doll Tote Bag Tutorial

I was brainstorming simple doll sewing in case we had extra time today at sewing camp. I knew that tote bags for dolls would be super easy, so I showed the girls how to make this simple version. I didn't have a pattern and I hadn't made these before, but it was no problem to just wing it. They turned out great, they were really fast and most of the girls made more than one, they loved these! Then Natalie made a bunch after camp was over and our neighbor came over this afternoon and they made even more! 

Doll Tote Bag free tutorial by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Doll Tote Bag free tutorial by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

I made a very simple tutorial here for you, and you don't even have to print a pattern :) 

For the pattern, take a piece of regular ol' printer paper and cut it (or just fold it) in half, hamburger style. Place this on your fabric, just one layer, and cut it out. 

Next, hem one of the long edges. For the kids, I didn't have them turn the raw edge under twice, I wanted to keep this super simple for them, but here you can see, I did hide that raw edge. 

Next, cut some ribbon for your straps. I cut mine 7", but anywhere between 7 and 9" would be great. Pin them onto the wrong side of your top edge where you'll want your handles to be when it's folded in half. It may help to fold it in half widthwise just to see where you want them and make sure they match up. 

Then sew them in place right over your previous hem stitching. Now an adult or advanced sewer could totally do the hem and sew the ribbons on in one step, but for kids, it's easier for them to do this in two steps and it doesn't bother them that there are two lines of stitching showing if it's not perfect. It might bother you, moms, but it won't bother them and that's what matters! ;) I let the kids try zig-zagging this step and they thought that was fun and looked cool. 

Okay, last step, fold your tote in half, pretty sides together and sew down the side and across the bottom. 

You're done already! You can trim those raw seams with pinking shears, or not, whatever you want. Clip that corner and turn it right side out. You may also want to add some Fray Check or clear nail polish to your ribbon ends to keep them from fraying. 

These are some the girls made!

Natalie and her friend Hailey can't stop making tote bags for their dolls! As you can see, Victoria and Samantha are very happy to wear them all. 

Cheers and Happy Sewing! 

2 Comments

Pattern Shout-Out: Jalie Pull-On Pants & Shorts

I would say the true test for any sewing pattern is to see if 14 kids can successfully sew it. All 14 of my June sewing campers went home with pajama shorts that they sewed by themselves and they all fit!

Sewing camp session 1: Jalie 3243

Sewing camp session 1: Jalie 3243

We used Jalie's Pull-on pants and shorts pattern. I measured each girl on day one of camp and then traced their correct size off of the pdf pattern I purchased. The size chart is so accurate, thankfully, as everyone's shorts fit perfectly! 

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Love that glasses fabric Natalie used! This isn't a pajama pattern, actually, but it works great as one. The pockets are super cute. I'm going to make a pair for myself and then maybe pick up some linen this weekend and make some pants for myself too! I love the Jalie patterns come with all sizes, from kids to adults, it's awesome. 

Here are my week 2 campers! I got to be in the photo this time! 

Sewing camp session 2: Jaile 3243

Sewing camp session 2: Jaile 3243

I highly recommend this pattern! If all these kids can make it, you can make it too. 

Cheers and happy sewing :)

1 Comment

Kids Sewing Camp Day 1

Pin, Cut, Sew has kicked off local classes! I taught six adults how to make a tote bag on Saturday and today was the first day of my first Summer Sewing Camp! I have three girls plus my own kids and another is joining us starting tomorrow. I think the girls had fun! 

June camps are sleepover themed, so we're making pillowcases, drawstring backpacks and pajama shorts (and maybe eye masks if we have extra time) over the course of the four day camp. I have to give credit to my sister for the awesome idea of these sewing camps, I totally copied her, she's brilliant for thinking of it. 

I got a few good shots from today. 

For beginner sewings, getting the hang of the machine is the first hurdle. In order to learn the process of lowering the presser foot, backstitching, turning, etc... I printed these amazing free downloads from Skip to my Lou. I didn't just use them for the kids, I also used them for the adults on Saturday! They really were so helpful. 

There are plenty of good pillowcase tutorials out there. I typically use this method, but for these I did it a little differently so it would be easy for the kids. I like the extra white strip on my pillowcases, so I wanted to keep that element! 

But for the easiest tutorial I've seen, if you're a beginner and want a very simple pillowcase tutorial, this video can't be beat: 

I'll share more photos as we go! So far this is really fun and nearly as stressful as I knew it could be, ha! I tried to be very prepared, so I think that's paying off. The good news is that so many people out there, both kids and adults really, really want to learn how to sew! That makes me happy. 

Cheers and Happy Sewing! :)

Comment