Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fabric Doll House

So my sister found this link:  There's a tutorial on how to make a fabric doll house.  Cass told me she wanted to make Sunny one for Christmas and was wondering if I'd either help her do it or do it for her (I think do it for her ;)).  So, while B was napping today I made one.  I probably should have done my Thanksgiving baking, cleaned the house,done laundry, finished the 5 I Spy quilts that need to be done for Christmas, or any number of other things.  But, I didn't.  I made the doll house instead!  Now I'm trying to decide if I want to make another one and give one to each of my girls.

Step 1.  Cut three pattern pieces.  Before cutting fabric, see step 5.
--Cut one rectangle (top piece) 6" by 2 3/4" -- you will  need 2 pieces of this out of fabric.
--Cut one house piece (piece on the right) 4" (bottom of roof to ground) by 4" (across the bottom) by --2 3/4" (roof incline).  You will need to cut two pieces of this out of fabric.
--Cut one rectangle (piece on the left) 6" by 4".  You will need to cut 3 pieces of this out of fabric.
**When I did this a second time with my sister, we made the pieces a bit bigger.  The size for this is ok, but I think it would be good to have it a bit bigger.

Step 2. Cut pieces out of plastic canvas.
--2 house pieces
--3 of the 4" by 6" pieces
--2 of the 2 3/4" by 6" pieces

Step 3.  Cut pieces of batting to cover each piece of plastic canvas.  The way I did this was lay the piece of plastic canvas on the batting, cover the plastic with the batting and cut.  Once you cut your pieces of batting out, you have to tape the batting in place.  The original directions I had found said to use duct tape or electrical tape.  I tried using electrical tape (the black on the bottom left piece).  It didn't work too great.  I found that masking tape works quite well!  The only thing I was worried about was that you'd be able to feel the tape through the fabric.  Not so!

Step 4.  Once you have all your plastic canvas covered and taped, lay them out like this:

Step 5.  Here are the pieces of fabric I cut.The original directions I had said to cut 2 pieces that were 9" by 21".  The 21" wasn't long enough.  I had to go to 27 1/2".  It also said to cut 4 pieces of fabric that were 6" by 9" (pieces on the left).  The blue pieces are my exterior pieces and the purple is my interior.  After doing this once, I would NOT do the 6" by 9" pieces again.  I would cut the fabric slightly larger than the pattern pieces for the house shaped piece.

Step 6. Using the 6" by 9" piece of batting covered canvas & fabric, place fabric right sides together and sandwich the pieces of canvas between the fabric.  Using your fingers to guide you, place pins along the edges of the plastic canvas.  Make sure the pieces of plastic fit snuggly between the pieces of fabric.  **See why I'd suggest cutting the fabric to fit the house shaped pieces?

Step 7.  Remove plastic canvas from between fabric pieces and stitch where your pins were.  Make sure you stitch from the bottom of the fabric to the bottom of the fabric, otherwise you end up with a seam that isn't long enough.  Once you have finished stitching, cut excess fabric off and turn fabric right side out.  Replace plastic canvas between pieces of fabric.

Step 8.  Lay the 9" by 27 1/2" pieces of fabric out.  Place fabric right sides together.  Evenly space your other pieces of plastic canvas out on top of the fabric.  Your two smaller rectangles go at the very top and the very bottom.  The larger rectangles will be your wall, floor, and other wall.

 Step 9.  Remove the 3rd piece of plastic canvas and place the house shaped pieces in its place.  The pointed ends will point in opposite directions.  It is extremely bulky to sew through here.  Go slowly and double check to make sure that you catch all the edges when you sew over this area.

Step 10. Place the second fabric over the top of the plastic canvas pieces.  Pin along long edges and top.  Leave bottom open.  You need to cut 2-5 pieces of elastic (depends on if you want 2 latches or 5).  I used 1/4" wide elastic and made them about 4 inches long.  You also need something to create a handle.  The original directions I had said to use fabric pieces sewn into strips.  I ended up using ribbon instead and it worked very well.  I cut 2 pieces that were 9 1/4" long each.  Place your elastic and ribbon, pointing in to the inside of your fabric.  Notice you don't see them sticking out of the sides in the picture below.  Your handles will be separated, one on each of the short ends.  To place your elastic, you will put one between the handle ends, and two on either side of the last small rectangle.  I just guessed at their placement and they ended up being about one at the top and one at the bottom of the last small rectangle.  **After having done this once, I'd only put one piece of elastic on either side and I would omit the one at the top between the handle ends.  If I put only one piece of elastic on either side, I'd center it along the short edge of the last small rectangle.  Once all your elastic and one handle is in place, remove all the plastic canvas rectangles and then stitch along both long ends and the top short end.

Step 11.  Trim excess fabric and turn right side out.  The spot where your house shaped pieces are are a bit difficult to turn, just go slowly.  Gently and carefully slide your plastic canvas pieces back into your long piece of fabric.  Fold the edges of the open end in to create a finished edge.  Place your second handle to line up with the handle you've already stitched into place.  Stitch closed.  Space out your rectangles so they are evenly spaced.  Stitch between each rectangle to create a defined fold.

Step 12. Fold the back and both sides up and pin in place.  Hand stitch along the seams so that your house will only have one side that opens.

Step 13.  Stitch on buttons.  If you close the side that opens you can place the buttons in the correct location.  I used buttons like you'd find on a shirt.  They were kind of a beast to sew on and they elastic doesn't go on too easily.  I'd suggest using a button that has a raised back to stitch on.  I think that this will make it easier to sew, easier to hook closed and look better.

You can see that my house doesn't close exactly perfect.  If I take the bottom elastic and hook it around the top button, it closes better.  That's why I'd only use one button next time.  I also don't need a button at the top because the top stays closed quite well on its own.

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