Tuesday, 26 June 2018

How to make a Carry Cot for a Mini Baby Doll


How to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll


In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll.  The fabric sizes given here will result in a carry cot to fit the Little Baby Doll from Wilkinsons in the UK. These sweet dolls measure 6 ¾ - 7 inches (17 - 18 cm) from head to toe.  If you want to make one for a different sized doll, please scroll to the bottom of the post to see how to alter the pattern.  The figures in the square brackets [ ] refer to that section.

If you use this, or any of our patterns, we'd love to see photos of what you make. You can send them to craftingforshoeboxes[at]gmail[dot]com or post them on our Facebook page.  Happiness is handmade.

I was inspired to make this by Stevie's original knitting pattern which is available here.







You will need:

  • Sewing Machine 
  • Iron
  • Fabric
  • Wadding - known as Batting in the US (please see note below if you send your boxes from the UK)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins (and/or clips)
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Tailor's chalk, pencil or fabric marker
  • Rotary cutter, mat and ruler - optional

A note about wadding (batting) for readers based in the UK

As you may already know, handmade stuffed toys are not allowed inside shoeboxes sent with Operation Christmas Child UK. This is because stuffed toys need to have a label showing that they have met EU safety standards. Last year, I asked OCC UK if the 'no stuffing rule' also applied to the wadding inside beds and quilts for dolls. They advised me as follows:

Wadding would count as stuffing and would not therefore be able to be included in UK shoeboxes.”

So the official line is that you shouldn't use wadding in any of your handmade projects sent in OCC UK shoeboxes. However, my friend is an OCC warehouse supervisor and has told me that they like to see handmade beds and quilts etc and would not remove them. Warehouses across the country do interpret the rules differently though. 

Obviously, it's up to you if you want to risk using wadding. If not, you could make the carry cot using a more sturdy fabric which will stand up on its own, such as upholstery fabric. Or you could use an interfacing product to stiffen up a normal weight fabric. You could leave out the pillow and make a 'flat' quilt without any wadding. Alternatively, you could add a square of fleece or knit or crochet a blanket.

I do not know if the other UK shoebox appeals would take the same view on wadding. You could ask them directly if you like.

Step 1

Cut your fabric and wadding (batting) to size.

Fabric 

Two main pieces - 11 ½ x 12 inches (29.2 x 30.5 cm)

One is for the inside of the cot and one is for the outside. I used the same fabric for both but you could choose two different ones.

Two handles – 3 x 10 inches (7.6 x 25.4 cm)




Two pieces for the back and front of the quilt – 5 ½ x 5 ½ inches (14 x 14 cm)

Two pieces for the back and front of the pillow – 3 ½ x 4 ½ (8.9 x 11.4 cm)




Wadding (batting)

Place one of the main pieces on top of the wadding (batting) and cut around it, leaving a border of about ½ inch (1.3 cm) all round.




Cut wadding (batting) about the same size as the quilt (one piece) and pillow (two pieces - for extra puffiness).

TIP - at Step 5 you will trim excess wadding (batting) from the main piece so you could wait before cutting the wadding (batting) for the pillow then use the spare pieces for it.

Step 2

Let's make the handles first. 

Fold the handle so that the two long sides are on top of each other and press with the iron. 



Open up and refold one raw edge in to meet the crease you just made and press again with the iron. 



Repeat on the other side. 


You should now have three neatly pressed creases in your handle. Repeat with the other handle so that you have two the same.



Step 3

Fold the handles up so that the raw edges meet in the centre and fold again to hide the raw edges. 



Pin or clip the handle pieces ready to sew. 



Sew down each side of the handles close to the edge. Do the open side first then the folded side. You can chain piece if you like. Sew both handles then put to one side.





TIP - I used a blind hem foot to keep my stitching an even distance from the edge of the handle.

Step 4

Now let's move on to the main part of the carry cot.

Take one of the main pieces – the one you want to use for the inside of the cot. Lay it down with the side measuring 12 inches [A] at the top. Fold it up so that the two sides measuring 12 inches are on top of each other. This is important as the other two sides look a similar length but the baby doll may not fit inside the cot at the end if you put the incorrect two sides together at this stage.

Pin across the top to stop the fabric moving. You are now going to cut the bottom corners out. Take a ruler (or tape measure) and lay it on the FOLDED edge. Mark and cut out a piece measuring 3 ½ x 3 ¼ inches (8.9 x 8.3 cm) [C x D] as shown in the picture. Repeat on the other corner. 



When you open it out, it will look like a large letter I. Place it on top of the wadding (batting) and set to one side.



Repeat the process on the other piece of main fabric – the one that will be the outside of the carry cot.

Step 5

Quilt the inside piece as you wish. I am a novice quilter so I just sewed some simple lines as shown. 



Trim away the excess wadding (batting) - you could use this for the pillow.



Step 6

Fold the piece with right sides together as shown and clip or pin. 



Sew down the two short sides, using a ¼ inch (0.6 cm) seam allowance. Be sure to start and finish each section of stitching with reverse or locking stitches.



Step 7

Now let's form the basket shape. It's a little bit difficult to explain so use the photos as a guide. If you are familiar with bag making techniques, this is like creating a boxed or 'sugar bag' bottom. Open up the piece and re-position the short seams so they would be at North and South on a compass. 





Push down and place the two long sides on top of each other. 




Clip or pin them together and do the same on the other side. Make sure the side seams are open and flat.


Do the same with the fabric piece for the outside – this is the one without the wadding (batting) attached.

Step 8

Now, before you sew, you need to think about which piece to leave your turning gap in. I left it in the unquilted piece as shown. In hindsight, perhaps I should have left it in the quilted piece as then my hand-stitching would have been hidden inside the carry cot.


Sew the pinned sides on both pieces, using a ¼ inch  (0.6 cm) seam allowance and leaving a 2 ½ - 3 inch (6.4 – 7.6 cm) turning gap on just ONE of the four sides. Remember to reverse or lock stitch, especially either side of the gap as this will be a stress point when you turn the item right side out. 

This is how your pieces should look at this stage.




Step 9

Now let's add the handles you made earlier. Take the end of one handle and place it so that the raw edge of the quilted main piece and the raw edge of the handle are level. The side edge of the handle needs to be 1 ¾ inches (4.4 cm) from the short side seam of the carry cot as shown. Pin it in place. 




Take the other end of the handle and do the same on the other side of the short seam. Make sure that the handle is not twisted.


Do the same with the other handle on the other side of the main piece.

Sew across the ends of the handles two or three times to ensure they are really secure. Make sure that your stitches are within the seam allowance of ¼ inch (0.6 cm) otherwise they will be visible on the outside and we don't want that.



Step 10

Now we are going to join the inside and outside of the carry cot. The two parts should look like this at this stage. The inside piece (this is the quilted one) is turned the right side out, and the outside piece is the wrong side out. Open the outside piece up and place the inside piece inside the outside piece so that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other. 



Match the side seams and pin or clip. 


Add other pins or clips to hold the two pieces together.



Sew all the way around the top edge using a ¼ inch (0.6 cm) seam allowance. I found it easier to see the top edge by flipping the outside (unquilted) side to the top.



Here's how it should look at this stage. 


Now you need to turn it the right way out through the turning gap you left earlier. Be gentle so that you do not rip your stitches.


Step 11

Sew up the turning gap using a ladder stitch.  



If you are not sure how to do this, watch this YouTube video by OnlineFabricStore.net:



Ta da – now it looks like a carry cot and it's the perfect size for dolly!

How to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll

How to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll


Step 12

Now the dolly needs a quilt and pillow to complete her carry cot.

Place the wadding (batting) down then place the fabric for the front of the quilt right side UP then add the back fabric right side DOWN.  




Pin or clip the layers together. Stitch all the way around leaving a turning gap in the side 1 ½ – 2 inches (3.8 – 5.1 cm) long.



Trim the excess wadding (batting) away and clip your corners, being careful not to cut the stitches.



Repeat the process for the pillow. This time, stack the two pieces of wadding (batting) on top of each other at the base of the pile.


Turn the quilt and pillow right side out and carefully poke out the corners. Close the turning gap using a ladder stitch as before. I added two simple lines of quilting to the quilt to hold the layers together.



Your dolly's carry cot is now complete!

How to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll

How to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll

How to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll


We have some other sewing and knitting patterns for the Wilko mini baby doll – you can find them here.


How to make a carry cot for a different sized doll

Lay your doll down on a flat surface and measure it as follows – you can use the Imperial or Metric system as you prefer:

Height (H) = from head to toe

Width (W) = across the widest part – usually from one hand to the other if they stick out at the side. To allow for ease of use, I added about ½ inch (1.3 cm) and used this figure instead.

Sides (S) = from the table to the highest point – usually the nose (to work out how tall to make the sides of the carry cot)

TIP – round up rather than down to make it easier to place the doll in the carry cot and take her out again.

Decide on your seam allowance (SA) – I used ¼ inch (0.6 cm) but it can be whatever you like. Now you need to do some maths:

H + W + SA + SA = measurement A

H + S + S + SA + SA = measurement B

Applying this to the Wilko Mini Doll, where H = 7, W = 4 ½ and S = 2 (inches):

7 + 4 ½ + ¼ + ¼ = 12
7 + 2 + 2 + ¼ + ¼ = 11 ½

So my main piece of fabric has to be 12 inches by 11 ½ inches (29.2 x 30.5 cm).

In Step 4 of the tutorial, make sure you lay the fabric down with the side measuring A at the top. 

When you cut out the corners, the piece you cut out will be as follows:

H ÷ 2 = measurement C (Horizontal)
Measurement C - SA = measurement D (Vertical)

Applying this to the Wilko Mini Doll:

7 ÷ 2 = 3 ½
3 ½ - ¼ = 3 ¼

So the piece I cut out has to be 3 ½ inches on the horizontal and 3 ¼ inches on the vertical (8.9 x 8.3 cm).

I will leave it to you to decide if you need to amend the length of the handles and where to position them in Step 9. You may need to leave a smaller or bigger turning gap in Step 8. I would wait to cut out the fabric for the pillow and quilt until you have completed Step 11 and then you can work out the size you need.

I'd recommend using a piece of scrap fabric such as an old sheet to check your measurements before you use your good stuff – this is what I did before I started mine.


How to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll

How to make a carry cot for a mini baby doll



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