I’m always a fan of handmade gifts for kids so when I saw this free fold and carry doll house pattern on Pinterest I knew that I had to make one for my daughter along with some felt paper dolls to live in it. I had fun picking out the fabrics (most of which came from my stash, but a few were from a fat eighth quilters sample pack). It was the first time I’ve ever done applique and I’d have to say that it was quite a successful first project – but very time consuming! It was fun and easy designing and appliqueing the individual panels, but sewing the panels together and attaching the binding was a bit tricky. The areas where multiple corners came together got a bit bunchy, but for the most part the binding did a good job of covering the imperfections. Just make sure that you clip off any excess before wrapping and sewing the binding.
I also decided to add an accordion pocket to the back of the house to store the dolls and doll clothes in. As an added bonus the pocket has a button down flap to keep it shut and my daughter loves practicing buttoning with it. To make the flap I cut 2 identical pieces of fabric slightly shorter across the top than the width of the pocket it will cover, and slightly wider at the bottom than the pocket width. I would suggest adding a layer of interfacing to the pocket flap too to give it a bit more stiffness. With right sides together and the interfacing on top sew around the edge leaving an opening to turn. Turn right side out and close the turn opening while topstitching around the whole edge of the flap. Position the flap where you want it over the pocket and stitch in place along the top edge. Add a button hole to the flap and sew a button on the pocket.
I used the fusible web and Annie’s Soft and Stable like the pattern recommends, but the template plastic wasn’t necessary – I just used cardboard instead.
Of course once I was done making the house I had to make a couple felt “paper” dolls and outfits to go with it! I searched the internet for a while and settled on these dolls to make, but I came up with a face I liked better to embroider onto the dolls. I used 2 strands of thread for the backstitching and french knots on the eyes and mouth and only 1 strand of thread for the backstitching on the nose. You can see the resulting felt paper doll below. I think she turned out pretty cute! What do you think?Doll clothes are easy enough to make, just use your doll to trace out patterns for clothes. You can use any fabric that you want, just make sure to sew felt onto the back so that the clothes will self stick to your felt dolls.