American Girl doll bed making – super fancy style

For Tuesday’s birthday (her seventh!!!) we gifted her a vintage sewing machine in a desk we got from the lovely Elizabeth over at Oh Fransson. She has taken to that thing and is sewing, sewing, sewing! I filled a box with goodies for her (think needles, thread, etc.) and set a pattern out on it to give her some inspiration. Turns out she’s more of a make-up-my-own pattern kind of gal. BUT she did love the pattern and decided she wanted help making it. I didn’t think a lot would come of it because once I really looked at the pattern I realized the bed was giant and took a ton of materials. Thanks to a $30 gift card to Jo-Anns and some saved pennies she decided to go for it and we spent a whole afternoon picking materials out. I sewed my butt off for a few days and I present to you the most crazy fancy doll bed:

McCall's M7338 American Girl 18" doll bed

I know! If you’re thinking damn that looks like a lot of work, well folks, you would be right! BUT Tuesday loves it and I think it turned out super well. Considering one look at the directions and my head was swimming. The pattern was bought on a whim during a sale (of course) and is McCall’s M7338 “Embellished Beds and Linens for 18″ Dolls”. Yes that title should have given me a clue it was going to be a giant bed. We currently do not have any 18″ dolls living at our house. Wait. That’s what my kids think. I have a Kirsten doll from my childhood who is tucked away. I changed her into her nightgown (I think this is actually an undershirt) and got her out to see if this bed really would fit an American Girl Doll….

McCall's M7338 American Girl 18" doll bed

Kirsten I missed you! The bed is a perfect fit for an American Girl doll, or any 18″ doll.

McCall's M7338 American Girl 18" doll bed detail

After exhausting her gift card and an additional nine hard earned dollars Tuesday and I decided none of the really terrible ribbons at Jo-Anns were worth any more of her pennies. We did find the pleated trim in the home decorating clearance, but a lot of the lace was almost like pressed onto plastic. I don’t know how to explain it, but it looked cheap and terrible (yet was still expensive!). I knew who we had to call… grandma! AKA The Ribbon Jar. The one thing we just couldn’t find at all at Jo-Ann’s was the lace to go around the bed. My mom suggested a stretch lace so it would have a bit of a gather to it and it worked great and was very forgiving.

sewing the bed - adding trim from The Ribbon Jar

There were a few modifications I made to this pattern and sewing on this lace was one of them. The pattern calls for you to put together the bed and then sew on the lace. No, no, no, how?!?! That seemed like a recipe for disaster. So I figured out with seam allowance where the lace would fall when finished and sewed it on first. It was almost perfect all the way around and almost perfect is good enough for me! Plus the finished edge on the inside (white quilted area) looks much nicer with out a seam going through it. The other change I made that I didn’t take a picture of was to hand stitch the mattress to the bottom edges of the bed (vs. sewing on a sling type thing to hold it up… which you are supposed to do after the whole bed is made and foam core is inserted in the sides. I think this would be impossible).

McCall's M7338 American Girl 18" doll bed detail with trim from Ribbon Jar

Tuesday took her fabric, pattern and ideas on how everything should look over to Grandma’s office and they got to work looking at different ribbons and trims. The pattern called for a tiny pom-pom trim (we used 10mm) for the canopy, but Tuesday also wanted a mini ric-rac. I think they look very nice together with the satin bow over the tulle. The sheet and pillowcase are also embellished (of course) with mini ric-rac and a very pretty white lace trim.

McCall's M7338 American Girl 18" doll bed detail

The “flower” on the headboard was made with wired ribbon. Here is a good tutorial on how to make one. I should have watched this with Tuesday before we attempted ours. I meant to tell her not to pull so hard, but she pulled the wire totally out of one side, oops. I think she has plans to add some rhinestones in the middle. Because, obviously.

McCall's M7338 American Girl 18" doll bed

All in all I think the project turned out great. Tuesday told Grandma we would take some pictures and write up about the bed on the blog in exchange for the ribbon. She loves it and is using it for her beloved  Tootsie (a doll I had when I was little that is very, very well loved… and has the hair to prove it!).

I’m so glad I’m stretching myself and my crafting skills. I have been sewing with knits, hand sewing, and tackling tricky things like this. I really miss writing about the process and the end product on my blog. Mostly because I like having that record for myself. I have multiple quilts that haven’t made it on here that I would like to blog about, as well as darling things for the girls. We’ll see if I get time to get them up. I liked having the motivation from my mom to get this up. And I will be back at the end of the week because I am speaking at the Corvallis Modern Quilt Guild and I have a companion post I want to get up. It’s all about making those super popular rope bowls (no surprise, I’m addicted to them!). If you’re interested in coming please do, they welcome guests. Check out their facebook page for details.

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