{A Tilda Tea Party} A Dolly Basket, Mini Quilt and New Doll Clothes

I have to admit I was a more than a little bit excited when Fiona from Tilda Australia and Two Green Zebras asked me if I’d like to make something to showcase the new Tilda range for a tour around Oz with the Tilda Trunk Show. Anything I like. Yes. Yes I would love to! Of course, a little dolly basket would be deeevine! And oh boy, yes it was! 

The Tilda trunk show launched in early September in Adelaide and has been travelling around the country, continuing through to October, showcasing the new Tilda fabric lines Cabbage Rose and Memory Lane. Every day a new project and maker are featured on the @tilda_australia instagram page and there are stores across the country who will host Fiona and the Tilda Trunk Show. If you live close by one, be sure to pop in to see the beautiful projects in real life!  

AND...drum roll...today is my turn to share my creations! I have used the Libby Dark Slate, Tilly Blue and Flowercloud Dark Slate from Memory Lane. I love that this range has some a gorgeous girly prints without being glaryingly pink. My favourite kind of fabric! 

Just as every little doll needs a bed, she definitely needs a quilt too. I made loads and loads of HSTs, (visit Kerri at Lovely LittleHandmades for the know-how) and had enough Windmills (or pinwheels, I won’t judge you. I lived on a farm, once upon a time, so windmills it is) for only half the quilt. I’m a bit like that. I don’t really work out what I need before I start. Things just snowball. So I snowballed some more mini windmill blocks until I had 20 little tiny squares to sew into a mini quilt. Don’t they look fantastic spinning around. Shame I didn’t think about actually matching them up properly. Please say they look fine. They do? Thanks, it’s so kind of you to say. You didn’t even notice? Great! You thought they were meant to be totally random? You really are awesome, I hope you stick around. They were actually. Meant to be random.

Because there was still some fabric left, and I have a little model, Holly, who absolutely needed a matching outfit, the plan was to make her something new. There are literally a bazillion dresses for 18”dolls online and I really wanted something easy to make but not the usual doll dress. So here is the Lil’ Red Cape and Dirndl. And no. Before you even think it. Stop. This is Little Red Riding Hood-meets-Heidi. There shall be no talk of Octoberfest and scantily clad bar maids.

Let me give you a little history of the Dirndl. Dirndl translates to ‘girl’ or ‘dress’ in Bavarian.  A traditional dress of Austria, South Tyrol and Bavaria, worn by servants and maids in the 18th century, it consists of a blouse, bodice, full skirt and apron. The tying of the apron bow has significance to marital status, a knot on the left indicates a woman is single, a knot on the right that she is married, engaged or otherwise ‘taken’, a knot tied in the front centre means that she is a virgin and a knot tied at the back indicates that the woman is widowed.

You might notice there is no apron here. I like practical. My 4yo can NOT tie a bow, though she may try and I end up fighting with a screaming banshee about a stupid bow that can’t tie itself. No kidding. No bow can tie itself. So…no apron. I really didn’t think every mother would want to spend hours tying and untying a doll’s apron. Or placating a screaming banshee.  Perhaps a pause is needed now to make sure we are clear, to differentiate that from playing dolls. I may have done that recently and actually planning a dolls wardrobe really is quite fun!

Now, because you were really awesome about my little mini quilt’s mismatching random windmill placement, the pattern and tutorial for the Dirndl Dress to fit an 18” doll is here. The blouse is part of a separate pattern, read down a little further for the link. 

The blouse is modified from Jennie's at  Wren*Feathers - I have used her smocked blouse bodice and sleeves, cut the bodice longer so the front is all one piece, extended the bodice width so I could gather it and then sewed a peter pan collar on to the neckline.

Next, there is a cape to fit an 18” tall doll. I have made a Lil’ Red Cape add-on for the barbie sized Lil’ Red Capelet Pattern I released last year! I know, I know. I just said there was no apron because of the bows and the not wanting the tying of the bows all day and here I have gone and put a bow on the cape. What was a thinking?! Well this one can be sewn down and then poked through the loop, just like a button. OR the cape just goes over her head and the bow is just for looks. Simple!

Do you see the hood on the cape? Like how I’m maximising all those little scrap pieces? I unfortunately have a terrible habit of being unable to throw useable pieces of fabric into the bin. The results it endless sewings of mini-things. Lucky I love that! But also growing piles of pieces of thou shalt not be wasteds, that I get a little itchy need to colour coordinate. School holiday activity for the kids? How long do you think that will last! I’m SO laughing OUT LOUD right now!

If you’d like to get the add-on for the 18”doll cape, it will be available in my Etsy shop very soon! You will still need to purchase the original pattern and tutorial for the Barbie sized Lil’ Red Capelet from either my Etsy store, or by purchasing One Thimble Issue 7. This will contain all you need to know about how to make the lil’ red cape.  If you already have a copy of the original pattern, you can purchase the add-on for the 18”doll cape from my Etsy store. Got it!?

Let's not forget the baby doll whose bed this actually started out to be! She has a new reversible crossover pinny, with velcro straps. Easy as pie for little hands to do all by themselves. The pattern for this was one is guestimated and fits a small 12-13"doll well.  

Fabrics were supplied by Tilda Fabrics Australian supplier, Two Green Zebras and all opinions are my own. If you get a chance, definitely visit one of these fabric stores around Australia while the Tilda Trunk Show is touring. 

Fabrics provided by Two Green Zebras/Tilda Australia
Doll basket pattern by MadeEveryday
Lil’ Red Cape and Dindl patterns by The Toffee Tree sized to fit an 18” tall doll, such as “Our Generation®” and “American Girl®” Dolls**
Blouse- modified Smocked Dress by  Wren*Feathers
Pinwheel mini quilt block pattern Lovely LittleHandmades 

**Australian Girls dolls are slightly taller at 20” or 50cm. I haven’t tried this cape on an Australian Girl doll but the size is generous so it could fit nicely.

Happy Sewing!



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