SIMPLE HANDMADE GIFTS FOR GIRLS… part thirteen {guest post}

There are so many fabulous and simple handmade gifts for girls out there that I thought I’d ask a few of my clever & creative blogging friends to share with you some of their ideas…
This week one of my favourite bloggers, the beautiful Sarah from Oesch & Doots, is sharing with us a gorgeous & simple handmade gift for a girl.  I love a gift that involves a bit of upcycling too!  If you do not know Sarah I’d highly recommend a visit!  Sarah has a knack of finding enormous beauty in the everyday and with her gorgeous photography, gentleness & warmth, I know you’ll become a regular like me!

Gifts for Girls: make a dolly quilt + pillow from an old pillowcase

Hello! I’m so excited to be guest posting on Emma’s wonderful blog today.  Visiting Frog, Goose and Bear always inspires me, so I feel very lucky to have a little tutorial (my first ever!) featured right here. And the theme – handmade gifts for girls – well, making gifts for little girls is one of my very favourite things in the world to do. 

Today, I’ve got a great idea for the little girls in your life. A pretty, vintage style dolly quilt and matching pillow. I think this makes the perfect handmade gift for little girls (aged 2-6) who love their dollies. I made a bunch for our mothers group friends when they all turned 3. Even the boys got a set (you know, even dinosaurs need to sleep). 

Although sewing is involved, it’s a quick, easy and fun project, and I’m upcycling old bed linen and some fabric scraps, so it’s virtually cost-free too. 

You’ll need:

*1 old pillowcase – I found a pretty floral pillowcase at the op shop (shown in the middle, above). A pastel solid would also work well.

*Assorted strips of pretty coordinating fabric. I used a thrifted cot sheet (top) and an old cot sheet of my daughter’s that never quite fit her mattress (bottom). You could of course use new fabric. Those pretty fat quarters you’ve been wondering what to do with would be perfect.

*Something to fill the quilt. You could of course use quilt batting, and this is what I’ve done in the past, using offcuts from bigger quilts. But I don’t have any offcuts lying around at the moment so I have used an old flannelette nappy. Perfect upcycling!

*Some hobby fill or wool rovings to stuff the pillow.

Make the quilt:

1. Decide how big you want your quilt to be. This will be determined by the size of doll (if known). A good general size (and the size I’ve made here) is about 40 x 50 cms.

2. Take to your pillowcase with your scissors – cut your quilt backing piece, 1-2cm bigger in both directions than your eventual quilt size. My pillowcase had a very worn patch in the middle of one side, so I discarded that section and chose the rectangle from the other side to be my quilt back. From the other (worn) side, I was able to salvage two smaller rectangles for the pillow, and from the flap I made some strips to use on the pieced quilt top.

3. Using your backing piece as a size guide, cut strips from your coordinating fabrics and arrange them in a design you like, laying them on top of your quilt back. (see below) Make sure you overlap your strips to allow for seams. You could make your strips very precisely using a rotary cutter, but I quite like an imperfect look, so I just used scissors and eyeballed it, and didn’t worry too much about straight edges :) 

4. When you’re happy with the arrangement, pin and sew the strips together (right sides facing). Keep adding the strips until you have a pieced quilt top. (see below) Press all your seams.

5. Now, to assemble your quilt, make a sandwich with your pieces. Batting (for me, that old nappy) first, then quilt top (right side up), then quilt back (right side down). (see below) 

6. Ensure the layers are all nice and flat, and trim any overhanging edges around the quilt back. So, I was cutting the nappy and the pieced quilt top to fit the quilt back (see below). You could do this on a cutting mat with a straight edge and rotary cutter. I do it on my outdoor table which has gaps between the timber slats – perfect for guiding my scissors! 

7. Pin all around, and sew around your rectangle, leaving a 10cm gap on one edge, for turning. 

8. Clip corners and turn right side out. 

9. Press the seams and edge stitch (sewing close to the edge on top of the quilt) all around. The edge stitch will give it a lovely finished look, and also close the gap.

10. Admire! And embellish as you wish. I added a length of lace to the top, and wove ribbon through just for extra prettiness. But it would still look great without the lace. Also, you could add lace (or applique, embroidery, etc.) before you assemble the quilt.

Make pillow:

1. With right sides together, pin, and sew all around your two pillow pieces, leaving a 5cm gap for turning. 

2. Clip corners, turn right side out and press.

3. Stuff with hobby fill, wool rovings, etc. 

4. You can either hand sew the gap, or (my preference) edge stitch in the same manner as the quilt. You just need to ensure you don’t overfill the pillow – you need to be able to push it to the middle when you’re sewing. 

That’s it! Grab a dolly and tuck her in tight!

Oh, and if you make one – I’d LOVE to see it! 

x Sarah
Thanks Sarah – too cute!  Come back next Monday for another simple handmade gift for girls.  I’m planning on posting an idea every Monday until Christmas, so if you have an idea to share and would like to guest post – send me an email.  I’d LOVE to hear from you! 

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  1. says

    Oh, now that is cute! Thanks Emma! Will definately be filing this away for future use.<br /><br />Btw – got your message about the Christmas Decorations. Will pop them in the post tomorrow. x

  2. says

    Wonderful, Sarah! I love seeing your sewing mojo in action, you clever cookie. Just fabulous. Now about winding on that bobbin of mine…J x

  3. says

    Matilda still adores her dolly quilt and pillow set and we often find all sorts of things tucked up in bed kept warm by your beautiful handiwork! I might have to steal this idea for the school fair?

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