{Pattern Review} Baby Doll Basket

A playful feast for little eyes.
All it needs is a baby doll and any 2 year old girl is set for the day with her best friend in tow.

The doll basket pattern is by MADE (www.danamade.com) and is exceptionally well written. For an easy as pie, no fail doll basket pattern, look no further!

The bag was a special request addition from Edi's other Aunty M. It is super simple, whipped up with a couple of pairs of rectangles, a ruffle, some ribbon. A zip pouch on one side, made with a randomly found, perfectly coordinating zipper. I admit, I got a little over-excited about this colour matching. The little bag is even lined, with handles attached on each side at the top.  The handles are long enough to put over a shoulder, but not over the head, across the body. I had intended to make it like a cross-shoulder bag but the straps, they just didn't talk to me and remind me. Now it's a one shoulder bag, big enough for a couple of nappies, a bottle and maybe even a change of clothes. Or an apple. 

The doll nappies are lined with a layer of cosy flannelette, so soft for those dollies' bottoms, and have velcro to make changes super easy for 2 and 3 year olds.

Baby Doll Basket Pattern Review

Ease of sewing: adventurous beginner. It is pretty easy. The pattern outlines the order and direction for cutting out the pieces (best you follow it) and is very easy to follow to construct the basket.

Trickiest bits: sewing the bias tape to the two layers. Stitching the pillow case pieces together! I didn't catch the edges all the way round the first time, so had to

Problems I ran into: My batting was a little bit thick, but it seemed to sew up OK. It was a bit tricky to get the bias around the corners, so it's not perfect but it's pretty good. The pattern called for 1/2inch double fold bias tape - I really don't know why, it's not that hard but this always makes me stop and I have to figure out ... is it 1/2 inch before being folded, or is that the folded measurement (FIY: it is 1/2inch, once folded). I made my own as per Dana's tutorial (which I've mentioned before).

Fabrics I used:
Quilting cotton outer and inner fabrics.
A heavy weight iron on interfacing, nameless stuff from Spotlight to line both the outer and inner fabrics. The batting was thick stuff I aquired from my friend Helen, a Mum at our school. I didn't realise until after I'd sewn this baby up, that it was actully thicker than the recommended 1/2inch batting. No complaints really, but it was pretty chunky to sew with and meant that the curves around the hood of the doll basket were a teensy bit crinkly. Not like a 2yo is going to notice.

So there are a few things I'd do differently next time.
1. I think I would line it with chenille fabric, not plain old cotton. Or even flannelette like the pattern suggests. I just didn't have any flannelette in the colour scheme I was going for.
2. The lining seems a little big, but I do think the thickness of the batting meant my seam allowances on the outer part were a little too big. Take care to keep seam allowances to a minimum (or at least what the pattern asks for!).
2. Use thinner wadding or even try cotton quilt batting (perhaps two layers)

I did have one of those moments, you know where you wish you'd done a little bit more research before beginning. Don't get me wrong, the outcome here is great. But I do kinda like it when it is better than great.

Here is a little roundup of what some other crafty sewistas have made:

Top Katie on Flickr | Just Another Day in Paradise | Jenny on Flickr
Middle DanaMade |   I love buttons by Emma | {LBG Studio}
Bottom:  Aesthetic Nest | Delia Creates | gluesticks

Now off you go! Get sewing your own for what will be a well loved Christmas gift. I'd better get cracking on the next one!

In case you are wondering, I purchased this pattern myself and all opinions are my own.


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