Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Fabric Doll's House Bag

Having said yesterday that my posts tended to be written 'on the day' about very current making, today's post is a bit of an exception. It's a make that I finished right back at the beginning of the Summer holidays, as a birthday present for a little friend of Maria's. Only we didn't actually hand it over till last week, and I didn't want to post about it before it was properly gifted.

And now, since I wasn't organised enough to get the writing done at the time of making, I'm feeling more than a little hazy about the making process!

But it did start out being inspired by this make, here on Pinterest:

A very cute doll's house bag, and the entire front wall drops down completely so you can play in the doll's house.

And there is a tutorial for this over at UK lass in US, so you can go over and find instructions there. But I did change mine up a fair bit. First of all I wanted it a little bigger, the measurements in the tutorial do create quite a small bag. And secondly I decided to make more of a quilted version. In the tutorial the walls are given their rigidity with plastic canvas, but I thought I could make it strong enough with 3 layers of a quilt, and lots of stitching.

Here are a few pictures along the way, but since I think I'm likely to make another of these as part of my Christmas making, I'll maybe wait and try and explain it properly then - when I remember myself basically!

The brown underside here is the exterior of the house, and it's folded around wool pieces which are the middle section of the quilt sandwich.

I added most of the detail, and things like the handle and ties at this stage, before adding the interior of the bag - ie the quilt backing.

Here it is with the inside now added, I used wool for the inside to try and give it extra strength and quilted quite a bit to help the strength too. 

And here it is flipped over to show the exterior side.
To turn it into a bag, I just hand sewed the structure together at the edges, leaving the front wall to open down. Unfortunately, despite all my efforts, my quilted version was not quite strong enough for the 3 sided house to stand upright on its own. I tried various structural improvements, but wasn't very happy with them. A 3 sided box really isn't the strongest of structures. In the end I hand sewed up just the lower third of the front wall, so that the front wall of my house doesn't lie completely flat, but can still be opened.

You might be able to see what I mean about the front wall opening down, but not now lying flat here.

The back with a little bird button sewn on.
Then, just as fun as making the bag, the girls and I came up with some bits and pieces to put in the bag/house. These little wooden figures were an obvious choice, perfect for a creative little girl to decorate.

I don't think they're available any longer where we originally found them, but try a search on Amazon for 'wooden peg dolls' and a few options come up. 
And, inspired by reading 'The Borrowers', we put together an odd little assortment of empty match boxes, cotton reels, a spool, a little wooden bowl and a disc from a branch, as well as odds and ends of felt, ric rac and ribbon etc for decorating the dolls and the interior...

These bits and pieces could be used to make drawers or beds or tables, or in some other completely different way.

And a little collection of buttons - possibly for decorations of some kind again, or who knows what else?

I'm sure 'Homily', in 'The Borrowers' would have loved a little button collection, and would have put them to excellent use somehow. Depending on the age of the recipient, I think a copy of the book, 'The Borrowers' could go really well with this present too.
Hopefully it's a present that leaves lots open to the imagination, and can be played with in various different ways. It's definitely a present I'll put together again in the future, I think my 2 girls would both really appreciate it for a start.



  1. You have gone and done it again, totally impressed me with your talent. I LOVE this! It is adorable, and I am sure will be much loved by the recipient.

  2. Oh, my goodness!!! How adorable! (I think your bag is prettier than the one on Pinterest). I love the little details such as the flowers by the front door and the bird on the roof, and the contents you put inside are perfect for a little one's imagination. Such a lovely gift!

  3. What an adorable bag! I think that will be well loved. :)

  4. This is an incredible idea for a present. The house is wonderful and you've filled it with all kinds of treasures to inspire a young girl's (or old one's) imagination.

  5. that looks like so much fun - I bet she loves it!

  6. There is a chance you're eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.


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