Sunday, August 9, 2009

Homemade Doll Sling

(Subtitled: How To Blow Off An Entire Day)

One of the nice things about having Mass so early (ours is at 8:30) is that even after it's over, you feel like you have the whole day in front of you. So today, with a house that always needs cleaning, garden that needs tending, a week-long trip to pack for, and any number of small things that I could work on, I decided to make Goose a sling for her stuffed cat and bear. Priorities, you know.

I wish I had a link to point you towards, or even instructions to give you, but I *totally* winged it. Worse, Goose was napping for most of the time I spent constructing it, so I couldn't even measure it to her - which was probably for the best because the few times I did, I think she got frustrated with my admonitions not to touch (sharp pins) and then I'd whisk it off and she'd just want to play with it. I did have a sweatshirt of hers that I could at least use as a frame of reference - she's smaller than I think!

Before her nap, I measures her back from her shoulder diagonal to her hip as a starting point (12" for her). I used a remnant of fabric (the flowers) and didn't have enough to make it as wide as I hoped, so I used another remnant (the green) to line the pouch and made it wider than the flowered part so that it showed some on the outside.

To give some rough measurements, I think the back piece was something like 11" wide by 14" long, and I intended the pouch to be about 20" wide by maybe 16" long? That way the pouch would be about 10" deep, so there would be no worries of anything falling out.

I began by hemming the sides of the back piece, then I stitched the flowered outer piece of the pouch to the green lining, with the wrong sides together. I pressed the seams open so they'd lay better and turned it right side out, then centered the flowered piece so there was about an equal amount of green on either side (about an inch) and pressed the edges so I knew where they should be. I also pressed the fold at the bottom.

The next part was the last easy thing . . . I sewed the back piece to the bottom of the pouch. Except that I did it backwards - Goose seems to be right-handed, so I wanted the sling to go over her right shoulder down to her left hip. I accidentally sewed it backwards and had to take that seam out (after I pressed it open, of course). Story of my life.

Once I got that straightened out, I had to figure out how to attach the top of the pouch to the top of the back. I knew that just leaving it as it was, it would be far too wide for her little shoulder, so I dinked around some with folding the pieces in to a point of sorts, and Goose "obliged" me by waking up about that time. I tried it on her with just pulling the front and back pieces together, and it was too big and wouldn't stay on her shoulder. I tried getting all crazy with ribbons (won't even tell you exactly what because it confused ME) and that didn't work so well either. So I just stitched a ribbon in the front and back but angled them more straight up to go over her shoulder so I could tie them, and that seemed to work.

Goose still hung on to her cat and bear as she walked around, but anyone who has used a sling knows that you do that at first, and you even find yourself doing it later out of habit or just wanting to snuggle the little bundle in there. In fact, for the picture above, I had to coach her to hold her arms out so you could see the sling. :>)

So, it probably wasn't the most productive use of my time, but I sure am pleased with the results. I'm putting this under the handmade gifts category, though I'd say it needs more tweaking before I'd actually *give* one to someone . . .

And, please visit my give-away post and sign up for a chance to win a pair of baby leg warmers, taggie blanket, bathtub fishing game, fairy wings, vintage craft books, a CUTE set of storage tins - go see!


Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

The sling turned out so cute!! I've never thought to make something like that for Emily, but now you've inspired me. What a great idea!

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

Sooooo cute! I made my daughter's doll a cloth diaper that turned out super cute (I intended to make several, but ran out of time) and a sling was one of the next on my list. So you've inspired me, yet again!

Cat J B said...

I made my boy a mei tai, as he wanted to carry his toy dog around. It is very cute and extremely quick and easy to make, he loves it. Kids look so cute carrying their friends around!

Zimms Zoo said...

My mom made one for my 7 yo for her birthday. She made up the pattern too.

My 7 yo loves it and carries her stuffed animals in it often.