Friday, July 3, 2015

Pattern and Fabric for 18" Doll

Teach Your Child to Sew 


 You can teach your child to sew as soon as the child is interested in dolls!! DESIGN AND DRESS ME has come out with a series of kits that include everything your child would need to create an outfit for a 18 inch doll.  It includes, the pattern, directions with pictures, the material, thread, pins, needles and accessories, like a bow.  I received a pattern for a nightgown for my 18 inch doll.  It was bright pink flannel fleece material.  

My next door neighbor's 9 year old daughter, Lacey, came over. She had showed an interest in sewing before, and as usual, she had her l8 inch doll with her.  I showed her the picture of the doll with the finished nightgown on and asked her if she would like to make one for her doll.  She gave me a tentative, "yes", and we jumped right in. 

I had her lay the pattern on the cloth so the whole pattern fit the cloth. She pinned that pattern in place after I put in the initial pin to hold it in place. Then I told her to
cut along the lines as she would a drawing on the paper but to cut the material with it. I didn't realize what a skill cutting really is.  So we took some time out to cut on scrap material so we could get the feel of how to hold the scissors and the cloth so that cutting could occur. 

Lacey spotted the bow when I pulled out the needle and thread and got excited over that.  When I told her it was for her doll, she gave me such a happy smile. By the time, we cut it out, it was lunch time and she went home to have lunch with her mother, but left her doll behind to be sure she would come back.

After lunch, I took two scraps of materials to show her how to sew a simple stitch that she would use to put the sides of the nightgown together. Like any first sewer, she wanted it done quickly and small stitches tended to become long running stitches. When she finished one side, she was not happy at all and wanted me to do it. 

I showed her how to remove the stitches. I started it over again making small stitches and told her to follow my stitching to be sure her stitches were no longer than mine. She quietly went to work. Stitching, comparing, stitching, asking me if it was right. I showed Lacey how to tie it off with a simple knot. She finished one side and then the other. When we turned the gown inside out, she was so happy with her work.  She looked at the seams in her own shirt that she had not noticed before. She wanted to put it on her doll right away and she did.  

She showed me where she wanted the ribbon and we made a pencil dot so she would know where to sew the bow onto the gown.  
Lacey's Doll in the Nightgown She Sewed

Lacey is so proud of her first sewing project and wants to do some more. I think Design and Dress Me has a most wonderful thing going here. Step by step kits that young children will want to sew motivated by their own dolls. It is a unique idea as far as I know.  Yes, there are patterns for 18 inch dolls, but none that are simple
Lacey and Her Doll
enough for very young beginners.  Design and Dress Me makes their kits so that a young sewer will feel successful in their first projects. I wish that these were available when I was growing up.  My mother used to cut them out and sometimes let us sew them together.  Other times she would sew it on her  sewing machine my sister and I at her shoulder watching. 

For a long time she would do the sewing for me, even though I was aching to do it myself.  She was an experienced sewer and it was hard for her to let go. Slowly she let me sew one seam here and another there  If they were not straight, she would always make me do it over. "So shall we sew, so shall we rip" she would say to make the point that if the sewing was noticeably incorrect, it would be ripped and redone.  That was a very frustrating lesson to learn, but it taught me how to sew correctly, and how to be a bit more patient with my sewing students.

Teachers, you can start a sewing club for young children. It is a worthwhile endeavor, and by all means include girls and boys. Since it is summer, I see both playing on the playground equipment. This might be a good place to start to gather children to join a sewing group.

If you are interested in getting a few of these kits for your children, you can find them on Amazon:


Design and Dress Me says:

"Best ever first sewing project, complete kit to sew a nightgown for 18 inch doll. This project is designed for young kids with little or no experience in sewing, to give them the opportunity to sew by themselves clothes for their own doll"

Let's not let sewing become a dying art. We will always need people to design and sew our clothes.  It is an craft that girls will always use

This kit was given to me free or at a reduced price in exchange for an honest review. This is my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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