Sunday, July 21, 2013

While I was sleeping...

This afternoon I decided to indulge and take a little nap, and it was wonderful!

However, when I got up and came downstairs, I was treated to a web of thread! Yep, my girls had gotten into my thread stash and proceeded to run around the house with it and created quite the mess!

This picture is some of what I found and gathered together!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

American girl mattress

After successfully making my daughter's American Girl doll "Gracie" a sleeping bag, I knew I wanted to make her an actual bed next.

After searching Pinterest (you can follow my AG Idea Board here) and doing some looking at different beds on the AG website, on eBay and at different beds on Amazon.  I realize that I just wanted to make myself.  The cashier at Toys R Us tried to sell me a $50 bed, uh no thanks! For the more advanced DIY-er I would suggest looking at's plans for making a doll bed. The things she has made are amazing! Definitely check her website out if you get a chance.

I ended up buying this closet organizer ClosetMaid 899300 24-Inch Horizontal Laminate Closet Organizer, White for around $10 at Target. It took maybe 10 minutes to put together, and gave me an excuse to watch an episode of my new favorite show, Arrested Development. I enjoy multitasking!

Since the point of making this bed myself is to save money, I looked around for something I could use for the mattress. Last year, I made my daughters a seat pad for the Ikea bench that's in their room. I had saved the extra 2 in foam, and when I went to use it, I realized it was too thin to just cut and use. I ended up cutting 3 pieces and sandwiching them together with glue! Not pretty, but it worked. :)

And since 3 pieces of foam isn't that stable, I looked around in my stash for something to cover the mattress with. I found an unused fleece baby blanket (we have way more blankets than we need here in Florida!), and cut it to size. My foam mattress was 23" x 11.5" x 2", so I cut 2 pieces of fleece 26" x 14.5".  I found a really cool way to do the corners on Ana-white's blog, and it was so much easier than trying to sew a 2 in. piece all around, like I did for the seat pad. I'm doing all my corners this way from now on!!

To complete the mattress, just sew the 2 pieces together with a .5 in seam allowance, leaving a hole in the middle of one of the long sides to stuff in your foam.

From this....

To this!
See how cool this looks?
"Sew easy!" 

Finished! (with the mattress anyway)

I ended by hand sewing the mattress cover shut. It fits so snug on the bed, it's already super cozy and coming along nicely!

We went to Joann's yesterday and picked out some cool fabric to make the sheets and comforter.  Can't wait to get started on those! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

American Girl Sleeping bag Tutorial

A few weeks ago we got my oldest daughter an American Girl doll. She was so excited!  (And I have to admit that I was a little excited too!) The only problem is that the only accessory we got was a hairbrush, and my daughter has been asking (her "asking" borderlines on demanding/begging) for us to get her a bed. At first she wanted a wheelchair. Or some crutches. I talked her into a bed. 

And of course I then realized what I'd gotten myself into! American Girl dolls and accessories are expensive. Mostly because there are so many, many, many options. Do you want your doll to be a ballerina? Going swimming with her? How about ride horses? Get her a cool outfit? How about six outfits? And one for your daughter too! And what about a pet? Your pet needs a home! And on and on and on..... it's exhausting to think of all the stuff I could buy her for her doll. My wallet (let's be honest here, my husband's wallet) is exhausted just thinking about it!

So what's a crafty mama to do? Make a sleeping bag. Yup, a sleeping bag with a pillow. You could not believe how excited my daughter was this morning. I may have to get her (or craft her) a bed yet. Apparently sleeping bags are just for camping!

Do you want to make your very own American Girl doll sleeping bag?

Let's begin!

Note: American Girl dolls are 18", so this would work for any 18" doll. The general concept will work for any type of doll/toy your child loves. 

18" American Girl doll Sleeping Bag
Materials Needed:

4 pieces of fabric - cut to 12" x 16.5"  I used some cotton fabric that I had lying around, other good choices might be a silky polyester or a cozy flannel, or a combination of fabrics. It's helpful to wash/dry your fabric so that if you end up needing to wash it later, it won't shrink.

2 pieces of batting - cut to 12" x 16.5"
This is the brand of batting I used, but any will do.
1/4" elastic - cut to 9"

Ric Rac or other embellishments (12")

Sewing machine, coordinating thread

Wash and dry your fabrics. Iron if needed. Cut to size: 12" x 16.5"

Place all the fabric / batting together like this to create 2 sets: 
1. Right side
2. Batting
3. Wrong side
Here is half of the sleeping bag. You should have 2 sets of these.
Pin the sides of each set together. 

Sew, using a 1/2" seam allowance, around the edges of each set of fabric.

Take one of the sets of fabric.  You can embellish it! You'll be turning down the top 5" of the set, so dazzle it up.  I just did ric rac over the top seam, but you could do a bunch of different things, maybe even applique the doll's name. Get creative!

Then you'll want to sew it all together.  Take the two sets of fabric and put the embellished side inside the fabric "sandwich".  

Pin the bottoms together.
Fold down the embellished set 5" and pin down. 

Take your 9" of 1/4" elastic and fold in half.
Place 1" of the elastic inside the fabric "sandwich" about 2.5" in from the bottom of one of the long edges. 

Sew all the way around to secure the 2 sets together. You could use a decorative stitch or a regular straight or zig zag stitch.  

Note: I left my edges raw, because I liked the look of it, but you could definitely finish these sides with some coordinating bias tape.

I even made a cute pillow to match!
And you're finished!  I'm pretty sure it took me longer to write this post than it did to make the sleeping bag. :)  It even rolls up! 

Perfect for on the go!

Doesn't she look cozy? :)

I'd love to see what YOU come up with!  

Please share and link back to this post on your own blog. Let me know in the comments how your sleeping bag turned out!  

P.S. I'll have more on the cute little pillow soon!  Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My 30th birthday surprise

So anyone who knows me, knows I love to dance.  I mean,  And not your clubby-hip-hop-bump-n-grind business either. Oh no. I love folk dancing. You want to go square dancing? I'm in.  You want to cut a rug doing some swing or polka? I'm there. Scottish? English Country? Where do I sign up? I'm ready. Now. I even bring my scottish dance shoes on vacation. Because you never know.

And guess what else I didn't know?

That my awesome husband, with help from my amazing mother-in-law, was going to throw me the best surprise 30th birthday party ever, with dancing.  That's right, they hired a polka band to play for my surprise party. And invited all of my friends and even my parents (another surprise) to come. My husband even danced with me, and I didn't have to ask. He knew exactly what I wanted.

It was awesome.

Like totally, in-your-face-I-love-to-dance-you-can't-get-me-off-the-dance-floor awesome!

I had such a wonderful time, and really thought they were up to something, but I never suspected anything this great.

I'm really lucky to have such a wonderful husband and family. Really lucky!

And I hope someone took some pictures, because I sure didn't.

I was too busy dancing!