Dollhouse tour-Alya & Shivan’s bedroom

Welcome back to the dollhouse tour! I thought this would be a good place to take a break from posts about the girls, and show you what I was up to recently. This room was a serious challenge, but not for why you think. The big problem–space! Our house is a very typical 1950’s/60’s ranch with small bedrooms and whoever designed it managed to have something that creates an issue on every single wall in every single room, whether it’s a window, door or heating/cooling vent! Seriously drives me bananas. The dollhouse is on the only wall possible in this particular room (or any other for that matter!) and I was not sure how to proceed. As much as I would have liked to have purchased another set of those shelves and expand the dollhouse by another 5 rooms, it just wasn’t going to be possible.

I thought about it for a while and originally I was just going to do their room with presentation boards, but I really didn’t like that idea all that well. I wanted something a bit more “permanent”. Then it dawned on me–the top of our cedar chest would make the perfect space AND it was the perfect height! It was just a matter of rearranging the furniture a bit and swapping two pieces. Now you know how I hurt my back, ugh! But, once I got it moved, it worked out perfectly, and thanks to a heat pack, Biofreeze and some rest, my back is healing nicely. 😉

I already had the idea of making Alya’s bed out of the box Kit’s bed came in, long before Shivan even came on the scene. I wasn’t quite sure what to do for her once she arrived, but I thought it would be cute to have a daybed for her. Unfortunately AG had discontinued the daybed they made, so I was seriously looking at one on Amazon that Laurent Doll made. The very morning I had decided to order it, AG posted new sale items and lo and behold, there was their daybed!!!! I was super thrilled, I ordered it so fast it would make your head spin. Sorry Amazon! Not long after I ordered it I found that cute little white cabinet at Goodwill, the room was really starting to come together. Are you ready to see it?

a & s 1Once I got this room finished, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or Cassandra’s bedroom better.  It is truly a toss up.  I think this room appeals to me because it has a very “girly” feel to it.  I’m considering making Alya a different headboard in white so it all coordinates even more.  I’m not usually into matchy-matchy, but I think it would make a nice visual.

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If you were following the bedding tutorial, you already got to see a lot of Alya’s bed. Overall I was very pleased with how it turned out. Something I didn’t tell you guys though–I didn’t buy that fabric to make bedding out of, I actually bought it to make doll dresses, ooooopps!!! I liked it so much when I bought it, I got way more than what I needed “just in case”. Good thing, huh? I do think I have just enough left to make a dress out of, I haven’t checked it just yet, fingers crossed. As you can see, Alya’s got all of her goodies laying about.

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More of their “stuff”! On the top we have a lamp from Dollar Tree as well as two of the frames I picked up at thrift stores. Alya wanted a picture of her and Cassandra since Cass isn’t just her cousin, but her bestie too! Shivan picked out a picture of her and Kirsten from “Tea Time w/Melody Q”. She met Kirsten when we went to Coolspring and they hit it off. Unfortunately she lives on the other side of the state, but they stay in touch.

The cabinet, oh my, you have no idea how much I love this piece. It made a brief appearance in the bakery, but this is where I intended for it to end up. It was the perfect spot for the girls to store their toys and knick-knacks. Now for the crazy part–I discovered that they have this EXACT same cabinet over at Dolly Dorm Diaries, in a room with the daybed! How’s that for weird?!?! I still don’t know what it’s intended purpose really is, but I think it’s perfect in a doll bedroom.

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This is Shivan’s side of the bedroom, she’s not nearly as messy as Alya. She has her soccer stuff and Archie loves hanging out on her bed. I also thought their bedroom would be a great place to put the Sit & Snooze fold out bed that I got such a fantastic deal on. I know what you’re thinking though–why do they need extra sleeping space when they have the trundle? Well…
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The girls had so much stuff to store, we decided it would be better used as a drawer instead of a sleeping space. We have the extra mattress in storage just in case. Shivan has her painting supplies on the left and all of Alya’s things on the right.

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Here’s a closeup of Shivan’s bedding. Hers was super easy since I only needed to make pillows, a sheet and a blanket. I was kind of torn on what to use as the backing, her fabric is similar to the bedding on Alya’s bed, but not identical. I am glad I chose the pink polka dot, its a nice contrast, but still goes well with the floral and green polka dot theme of Alya’s bedding.

I hope you had fun seeing their bedroom! It was really a fun room to do and came together faster than any other room I’ve done so far. We’re just about done with the dollhouse tour, later this month I’ll be showing you the bathroom. Ta-ta for now!

Bedding Tutorial #3–let’s make a mattress!

I think everyone is going to be surprised at just how easy it is to make a doll mattress. I think of all the bedding parts, it’s probably one of my favorites because it is just so darned cute! Just think how impressed your friends, spouse or family will be when they come home and you say “I made a mattress today!” You don’t have to tell them it was in miniature. 😉

To start, you need the top measurement of your bed or box. As stated before, the top of the box I am using is 10 1/2 inches x 19 3/4 inches. To figure out what I need to cut, I need to add 1/2 inch to each side for the seam allowance and an additional 1/2 inch to allow for stuffing. So, add 1 1/2 inches to your box top measurements. Make sense? (My pieces needed to be 12 inches x 21 1/4 inches.) Now, cut two pieces of white (or other light colored fabric) fabric the size you just calculated. If you want to give it a vintage look, you could also use a stripe fabric. That’s what so great about this project, you customize it to what you want, instead of having to buy what the masses sell!

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Once you have your two pieces of fabric cut, you are ready to get started. First thing you need to do is fold down one of the short ends of BOTH pieces 1/2 inch and press.

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I really recommend laying the two pieces on top of each other while doing this so that you can be sure they match and line up correctly.

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After pressing both pieces, put them together, right sides facing each other and pin the three sides that aren’t folded together:
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Now sew your three sides together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

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Trim the two bottom corners.
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Turn your piece right side out now and press.

Now we have to make some marks on it so we know where to sew to make the stitches that will give it that tufted look.  I made my marks 3 inches in from the side and 4 inches down on the top and bottom. You just need to make a small pencil mark so you know where to stitch.  I don’t know how well these will show up on different monitors.

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Then you need to determine the center point and mark that.  You should have 5 pencil marks when you are done.   If making a much larger mattress you may want to make 3 marks on the top and bottom row and 2 in the middle.

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Now you are ready to stuff it.  If using fiberfill, start stuffing and stop when it looks like you have enough.  I can’t tell you exactly how much to use because that’s going to vary according to how thick you want the mattress to be, very much a personal kind of thing.

I used flat quilting fiberfill like I used for the pillow.  I made it four thicknesses, this too can vary depending on brand and how thick it is.  When cutting it be sure to cut it 1/4 inch smaller both directions than the top of your box.  Example: my box is 10 1/2 inches by 19 3/4 inches on the top, so I cut my fill 10 1/4 inches by 19 1/2 inches.  The reason you need to cut it a little smaller is so it doesn’t roll on the sides when you put it in, the thickness will pull the fabric.

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Easiest way I’ve found to get the stuffing in when using the flat batting is to fold it in half lengthwise, put it into the pillowcase and then open it up, flattening as you go.  Work it around until all of the layers are flat.  If you notice that it’s rolling at the sides, you may need to remove it and trim it a little more.  Trim in 1/4 inch increments if necessary.Photo 13

It should look like this!

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Pin your end closed.

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Sew it shut.  Almost done!!!

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Let’s try it on the bed (box):
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Perfect fit!

Now we’re to a point where you are going to have to make a decision and it’s going to be based on how your sewing machine reacts to sewing on thick items. If your machine does not do well with thicker pieces, sew this by hand. NOT ALL SEWING MACHINES ARE CREATED EQUAL! If in doubt, don’t risk damaging your machine. If sewing by hand, you will need to make a few stitches on where your marks are, making sure that your starting stitch and ending stitch both come through on the back. Then you can tie them together, knotting several times and trim your thread.

If sewing by machine–it really isn’t hard if your machine is able to do this. I’m so glad my machine is capable of doing this because I have arthritis in my hands that makes it difficult sometimes for me to sew by hand.

Slide your mattress under the presser foot.  This will also help you decide if it’s going to work.  If it doesn’t slide easily, I wouldn’t risk it.  It will look puffy around the pressure foot, but you shouldn’t have to force it.

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Line up your needle with one of the top pencil marks you made earlier, stitch forward 3 stitches, backwards 3 stitches and forward one last time 3 stitches. Raise needle, raise presser foot and slide the mattress until the needle lines up with the next mark. You don’t need to remove it from the sewing machine each time. Again, line up needle with the mark and make 3 stitches forward, backward and forward again, raise needle and foot and on to the next mark, repeating these steps until you have done this on all 5 marks. (Or however many you have, depending on how big your mattress is).

After you are done sewing your tufts, remove the mattress from the machine.
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In this bottom photo you can see better where the strings go from tuft to tuft. You can now trim these strings off, carefully cutting down close to your stitches. Do this to both the front and back.

That’s it! You have successfully made a doll mattress! Don’t you feel proud now?
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Next time I will show you how to make a fitted cover for your mattress, gotta keep it clean.  You don’t want all of your hard work ruined when one of your dolls drops candy bar pieces in their bed. Be sure to have your measurements from this project handy, you will need them to ensure proper fit. Till next time!

Bedding Tutorial #2–Pillow and Pillowcase, part 2

Everyone ready to start on the pillow case to fit the pillow you just made? Let’s get started! You will need to cut a piece of fabric 9 x 11. Press it so it’s nice and neat. (If you haven’t noticed, I have an obsession with ironing fabric LOL!)

You will now need to fold one of the long sides 1/4 inch and press it.
Bed tut B 2.1

Then fold it an additional 1/2 inch and press again. This will give you a really nice finish on the open edge.

Bed tut B 2.2

Bed tut B 2.3

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Pin it in place to secure before sewing.

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Stitch this folded down, sewing as far out to the fold as you can (see photos).

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It should look like this when finished:

Bed tut B 2.8

Now fold in half, bringing unsewn sides and right sides together.  Press and pin.

Bed tut B 2.9

Sew the open sides together like you did with the pillow, making a pocket.  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Bed tut B 2.10

Cut the bottom corner off where you have sewn, making sure not to cut through your stitches.

Bed tut B 2.11

This next step is not required, but highly recommended if you think there is any chance you might want to wash this pillowcase.  Using a zigzag stitch, sew around the edge of the two seams you just sewed.  This will keep it from raveling excessively.  You can also do this with a serger if you have access to one.  (I don’t, I just use the zigzag stitch)

Bed tut B 2.12

Turn your pillowcase right side out now and press.

Bed tut B 2.13

Now you are ready to insert your pillow!!!  I insert mine with the end I sewed closed last, that way it looks more realistic at the open end.

Bed tut B 2.14

TA-DA!

Bed tut B 2.15

Doesn’t it look cute?  If you couldn’t see my big human fingers, you might think it was a real pillow and pillowcase, wouldn’t you?

Bed tut B 2.16

Next week we will be making a mattress to fit our bed as well as a cover/sheet for it.  See you then!