How to make an American Girl Doll blanket the easy way, or how I slowly went crazy in front of my sewing machine

Step One: Upon hearing your first born child's request for an American Girl doll blanket for her birthday, decide immediately that you will be sewing her an heirloom for the ages, to be passed down for generations. Fantasize about the glorious artifact you will produce and how rewarding and precious it will be to see your great-grandchildren playing with it one day.

Step Two: Dust off sewing machine. Ignore ominous music playing in your head when you realize how long it's been since you last used it.

Step Three: Buy fabric. Yes, you already have a shit ton some fabric stored away but this is your baby! And she has new favorite colors! So you MUST go to the fabric store. MUST.

Step Four: Spend twenty minutes fingering and choosing fabric - two colorfully patterned, two solid and extra soft - at the fabric store. Leave the fabric store when your toddler goes berserk waiting in line for the fabric-cutting lady who has spent fifteen minutes talking in depth with the local high school's choir director about the lack of promising altos this year.

Step Five: Return the next day to the fabric store with your toddler. Grab first bolts of fabric you see remotely resembling your daughter's favorite colors. Inform the fabric-cutting lady that you are, in fact, an alto but a terrible one with no sense of pitch and you wonder if altos are, by nature, an unreliable bunch.

Step Six: Realize too late this is a different fabric cutting lady.

Step Seven: Take fabric home. Get out the never-used-except-for-sewing iron and ironing board. Spend an entire, precious nap/quiet-time carefully ironing wrinkles out of fabric in preparation for measuring and cutting. Realize as you have finally ironed the last piece that you are supposed to wash the fabric first.

Step Eight: Wash and dry the M-Fing fabric. (This takes a few days.)

Step Nine: Wait. What am I doing again? Making a freaking doll blanket? Why am I already on step nine and I haven't even started sewing yet?

Step Ten: Iron the M-Fing fabric. Again.

Step Eleven: Measure the size needed to cover an American Girl doll. You'll need some help. Draft the closest bystander.

Step Twelve: Chose one patterned and one soft fabric. Add a few inches to each dimension for the seams. Or mistakes in measuring. Or whatever.

Step Thirteen: Cut fabric with rolling cutter. Slice off a tiny edge of your sleeve while you're at it.

Step Fourteen: Iron 1 inch flaps all the way around, with the flap of the hem toward the wrong side of the fabric.

Step Fifteen: Pin wrong sides together, hems touching each other. Drop a few pins onto the floor. Find what you think is most of them. Pray your toddler doesn't find one with her eyeball tomorrow.

Step Sixteen: Thread the sewing machine. Wonder if you might possibly be threading it wrong, since it's been so long since you've last sewn. Pull out the manual and realize that you likely have always been threading it wrong. AWESOME.

Step Seventeen: Sew uneven seams. Oh whatever, it's just a doll blanket after all. JUST GET IT DONE.

Step Eighteen: Imagine your mythical future grandchildren rejecting a lumpy, lopsided doll blanket.

Step Nineteen: Sweat. Panic.

Step Nineteen BILLION: Rip out stitching.

Step Twenty: Patiently and carefully restitch all the way around.

Step Twenty-One: Fine. It's fine. It's even enough. Keep telling yourself this as you find every minor imperfection.

Step Twenty-two: Rest up for the next doll blanket.

Step Twenty-three: Decide you have a new, better way to sew this one and begin by measuring a larger blanket, maybe with some fringe and embroidery.....?


Michelle said...

This made me chuckle out loud in a work meeting that I am supposed to be paying attention to. Hysterical. Love the fabric.

Ann Wyse said...

I'm impressed! And you finished it...pretty sure I would not have made it so far...

KG said...

Laughing out loud! You are an amazing mama, and know that this is how ALL sewing projects go!

Next time, CALL ME! I have an easier way! (and no, my easier way is not "Use Kleenex for a doll blanket," which is what I did for many of my dolls.)

twisterfish said...

I also chuckled out loud (gosh, I should make a note to NOT read your blog when everyone is asleep). That blanket is wonderful and I'm sure it will be treasured for generations.

Erin said...

Oh my. I was laughing after reading the TITLE. Funny, but only because I so relate. I have great ideas and intentions; not so great on remembering how impossible it is to accomplish anything while playing defense and having free time in 5 min (max) increments.

Fourteen Countess said...

I love everything about this post! I keep remembering the line about your daughter finding the dropped pin with her eyeball and I laugh every time. You're hilarious!

And the blanket is perfect. The doll looks very cozy. Thanks for sharing this project!

Whimsy said...

Been there, been there, been there. Imagine doing this in a mini size, like--- for dolls that are a mere 3 INCHES. One would think they would be quick, but one would be severely underestimating my crazy making.

Love the fabric.

momof3 said...

LOVE THIS! I once made a stuffed cat for my daughter. She begged me to do it and I honestly can not tell you how many months it took.

Adiarra said...

R O F L...this was utterly hysterical...and reminiscent of how I sew...LOLOLOLOLOL. <3

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