Using Cuddle Fleece for Dress Up Bunch Dolls

Using Cuddle Fleece for Making Dress Up Bunch Dolls - from Shiny Happy World

I’ve received a couple of emails lately asking if you can use cuddle fleece to make Dress Up Bunch dolls.

Yes you can!

This is actually a really versatile pattern and I’ve used all kinds of different fabrics for it!

Just to test the fleece I made the Beatrice Bunny you see in that top photo. 🙂

I used camel fleece and the resulting bunny is super cuddly and soft. The slight stretch of the fleece makes a bunny that’s exceptionally squishy. 🙂

A couple of things I did different with the fleece. . .

  • Use bigger eyes – the pattern calls for 9 mm safety eyes but I used 12 mm. The slight pile of the fleece tends to enclose the edges of safety eyes making them look smaller – so going up a size is generally a good idea.
  • Use thicker thread to embroider the mouth – the pattern calls for embroidery thread but I used thin cotton yarn. The reason is the same as the bigger eyes – I didn’t want the thinner embroidery thread to get lost in the pile of the fleece.
  • I used an 18 mm pink triangle safety nose. No special reason – I just didn’t even know about the noses when I designed the original doll. I wanted to try it here and I love it!

For those who want to know the other fabrics – that’s pink satin in her ears and fabrics from the Pretty Pinks bundle for her outfit.

What other fabrics have I used?

I’m glad you asked!

Quilting Cotton

I’ve used quilting cotton for most of the samples. It works just fine.

Mollie - a Dress Up Bunch doll  pattern from Shiny Happy World

I’ve even got a bundle of quilting cottons in people colors that are great for making these dolls.

Flannel

I used flannel to make my Pip the Cat and I love how he turned out!

Pip the Cat made with flannel - a Dress Up Bunch pattern from Shiny Happy World

Be sure to use good quality flannel so your doll doesn’t pill after just a few snuggles.

Stretchy Fabric

Yes – you can use stretchy fabric too.

Using Stretchy Knit Fabrics to Make a Rag Doll - Tips from Shiny Happy World

That requires a little special handling – mostly using a stretch needle and being careful not to overstuff your doll so she still fits into her clothes. 🙂 I share all the tips in this post – plus a link to a source for special “doll skin” fabric used for Waldorf dolls.

Faux Fur

Yep – you can use faux fur too!

Rumples - a Dress Up Bunch dog pattern from Shiny Happy World

Here’s Spot the Puppy made in some really spectacular faux fur. I love this guy and named him Rumples.

One caution when using fur – the furrier the fur, the bigger it makes the doll. It might make the regular clothes not fit anymore.

Rumples is stuffed pretty tightly into his Play Clothes.

Rumples - a Dress Up Bunch dog pattern from Shiny Happy World

So there you have it! Lots of great fabric options for making Dress Up Bunch dolls!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Turn a Witch Hat into a Princess Hat – Easy Peasy

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

One of my favorite Dress Up Bunch patterns is this one for a witch costume.

Dress Up Bunch doll Halloween witch costume

As I was making it, I kept thinking that it could easily be converted to a princess costume – just change to a sparkly princess fabric and make a tiny change to the hat.

Here’s exactly what I mean by “a tiny change to the hat pattern.”

The witch hat is a simple cone with a brim added. For the princess hat (a hennin) you just leave off the brim and add a pretty little fall of fabric to the top.

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Take a look at the scraps you have left over after you make the dress. I had a long strip 6 inches wide. From that I cut 3 pieces, each 6 inches wide and 12 inches long. You could use a couple of 12 x 12 squares, or several skinnier strips, or make them longer than my 12 inches, or add some pretty ribbons. Just play around and see what you like the look of.

Grab your fabrics at one corner, bunch them up as small as possible, and sew them into the top of the cone when you sew the hat seam.

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

See the little bunch sticking out from the top of the cone? The rest of the fabric will be inside the cone (as shown) while it’s inside out.

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Make sure you go over that little bunch a couple of times with your stitching. I backstitched over mine a few times. Princess fabric tends to be fragile and you want it to be securely attached. 🙂

Turn the hat right side out and. . .

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Pretty!

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Mollie approves. 🙂

Get the witch pattern here. It will fit any of the dolls in the Dress Up Bunch.

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

 

Sweet Dreams for the Dress Up Bunch Dolls – a New Pattern

Sweet Dreams - nightgown, quilt, and stuffed elephant pattern for Dress Up Bunch dolls

It’s bedtime for Mollie – and she’s all ready!

The new pattern collection includes a long nightgown. . .

Sweet Dreams - nightgown, quilt, and stuffed elephant pattern for Dress Up Bunch dolls

Isn’t that elephant fabric adorable?

Of course, she needs a cuddly stuffed elephant. 🙂

small felt elephant pattern from Shiny Happy World

This one is super simple to make and uses just half a sheet of felt.

And they need a quilt to snuggle under!

Easy doll quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World

I made a scrappy version, but the pattern also includes instructions for a non-scrappy version.

Here’s what the whole set looks like – all laid out so you can see everything.

Sweet Dreams - nightgown, quilt, and stuffed elephant pattern for Dress Up Bunch dolls

Ready to make it?

Get the Sweet Dreams pattern here.

I hope you love it!

Best,
Wendi

Sometimes Dolls Have to Go to the Hospital!

Make a hospital gown, panties, removable cast, and sling for your rag dolls! An easy pattern from Shiny Happy World

Oh no! Mollie had an accident and had to go to the hospital!

She broke her arm, but the doctor gave her a purple cast and a pretty unicorn sling and she’s feeling a lot better now. 🙂

The new Dress Up Bunch pattern includes a hospital gown that ties in the back – just like a real one.

Make a hospital gown, panties, removable cast, and sling for your rag dolls! An easy pattern from Shiny Happy World

You can’t wear a hospital gown without panties, so there’s a panties pattern too. (It’s the same pattern you get in the Cat’s Meow Collection.)

Make a hospital gown, panties, removable cast, and sling for your rag dolls! An easy pattern from Shiny Happy World

There’s a removable cast that attaches with hook & loop tape. . .

Make a hospital gown, panties, removable cast, and sling for your rag dolls! An easy pattern from Shiny Happy World

. . .and a sling to hold that injured arm in place.

Make a hospital gown, panties, removable cast, and sling for your rag dolls! An easy pattern from Shiny Happy World

Ready to make the whole fun set?

Get the pattern here.

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi

New Dress Up Bunch Pattern – Beekeeper Dress and Flowers

Dress Up Bunch doll pattern - beekeeper dress and felt flowers

This summer Mollie decided to plant a bunch of colorful flowers to attract more butterflies and honeybees to her garden. The results have been amazing! When she walks into her garden she can hear the hum of the happy bees – and there are butterflies everywhere!

She loves her new bee outfit – it makes her think of her little friends. 🙂

I love this picture of her holding that big bouquet of flowers, but maybe you want to see the outfit a little better?

Dress Up Bunch doll pattern - beekeeper dress and felt flowers

This outfit is so easy to make up that you’ll probably want to make more than one. Your dolls can wear the top with the shorts or the skirt in the free play clothes pattern, and the ruffled skirt will look just as cute with the button-front top in the same play clothes set.

If you make the shirt and skirt in the same fabric (like I did) you can tuck in the top and make it look like a dress. 🙂

Of course, the number one thing bees need is flowers. These felt flowers are super easy to make (no sewing!) and super fun to play with. Kids can “plant” them in blobs of play dough.

Felt flowers kids can "plant" in blobs of playdough - they also make adorable cupcake toppers

Of course the pattern includes a link to my favorite play dough recipe – if you’re in a mood to make your own. 🙂

Ready to make this adorable set?

Dress Up Bunch doll pattern - beekeeper dress and felt flowers

Get the pattern here.

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Ruffled Overall Shorts for Your Dress Up Bunch Dolls! (Plus a Cute Purse)

Adorable Ruffled Shorts for Your Dress Up Bunch Dolls - an easy pattern from Shiny Happy World

Mollie loves unicorns and these adorable ruffled overall shorts are covered with them. 🙂

Don’t you love the little ruffles that replace the hems at the bottom of the shorts? 🙂

And look! The fabric I used for the shirt matches the sweater one of the unicorns is wearing!

(The shirt is made from Tonal Triangles in blue from Timeless Treasures and the shorts are Unicorns in Sweaters – also from Timeless Treasures.)

You know what goes great with unicorns?

Rainbows!

So the pattern also includes this fun rainbow purse. 🙂

Make a pretty rainbow felt purse for your Dress Up Bunch dolls!

Are you ready to make this super cute outfit?

Get the pattern here. 🙂

I hope you love it!

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

I’m Giving Away Some Fabric!

Inchworm fabric bundle giveaway

Sometimes I see a fabric and I know immediately exactly what I want to make with it.

That’s what happened when I spotted this adorable inchworm fabric from Timeless Treasures.

inchworms square

I immediately fell in love with those striped worms with their big, happy smiles. And the little hearts! And then I found two polkadot prints that coordinate perfectly (citron and melon) – and a garden outfit was born. 🙂

Make an easy dress, a simple apron (with pockets!) and a garden hat for your rag dolls! Pattern from Shiny Happy World

I know a lot of you swoon over the same fabrics I swoon over – so I’m sharing! Sharing is good. 🙂

Enter the giveaway here to win enough fabric to make your own Dress Up Bunch garden dress. (It’s actually enough fabric to make any Dress Up Bunch dress pattern.)

Update – Sorry. The giveaway is closed now. But you can still make that sweet dress, apron and hat. 🙂

Inchworm fabric givaway from Shiny Happy World

The winner will get 1/2 yard of the inchworm fabric, and 1/4 yard of each of the polkadot prints. It’s even already been washed. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

New Dress Up Bunch Gardener Collection Is Here!

Make an easy dress, a simple apron (with pockets!) and a garden hat for your rag dolls! Pattern from Shiny Happy World

There’s a new pattern for your Dress Up Bunch dolls – a gardening outfit!

The pattern collection includes a dress that’s super easy to make. . .

Make an easy dress, a simple apron (with pockets!) and a garden hat for your rag dolls! Pattern from Shiny Happy World

It looks cute as is, but there’s also a pattern for a belt. . .

Make an easy dress, a simple apron (with pockets!) and a garden hat for your rag dolls! Pattern from Shiny Happy World

. . . and an easy apron (with pockets!) that she can wear with it. . .

Make an easy dress, a simple apron (with pockets!) and a garden hat for your rag dolls! Pattern from Shiny Happy World

And, of course, she can’t work in the garden without a sun hat. . .

Make an easy dress, a simple apron (with pockets!) and a garden hat for your rag dolls! Pattern from Shiny Happy World

I know I’m itching to get out in the garden – and so is Mollie!

Make an easy dress, a simple apron (with pockets!) and a garden hat for your rag dolls! Pattern from Shiny Happy World

Get the new Gardener collection here.

 

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Make an easy dress, a simple apron (with pockets!) and a garden hat for your rag dolls! Pattern from Shiny Happy World

Make Extra Fun Rag Dolls with Faux Fur Hair

Fun Faux Fur Makes Extra Awesome Rag Doll Hair - tips from Shiny Happy World

I usually use wool blend felt for the hair on my Dress Up Bunch dolls. It’s durable, easy to work with, and relatively inexpensive and it has a nice, classic look – even when I use non-traditional hair colors.

But you don’t have to use felt.

If you scroll through some of the photos in the Shiny Happy People group on Facebook you’ll find adorable dolls made with printed cotton fabric hair and cuddly fleece hair – but you can also use fun faux fur!

If you use a regular “hair-colored” fur you can make a doll with pretty realistic hair. If you use a more wild and funky fur (like the one I used) you can make a fun pixie. 🙂

Here are some tips to help you out. . .

Cut out the fur just like you would cut out the felt. Make sure the nap of the fur is running in the correct direction. To minimize flying fur bits, cut just through the fabric backing, as shown in this video – Intraux to Working with Faux Fur.

Fun Faux Fur Makes Extra Awesome Rag Doll Hair - tips from Shiny Happy World

I stuck the fur piece for the bangs down to the top of the head using a glue stick, then appliqued the bangs edge with a wide and fairly open zigzag stitch.

Fun Faux Fur Makes Extra Awesome Rag Doll Hair - tips from Shiny Happy World

You can see how to do that applique in this video – How to Applique Faux Fur.

After you get the bangs sewn in place, sew up the doll just like normal. You just need to make sure to smooth the fur into the seams. Here’s what the back of the head looks like – the fur is smoothed down between the back of the head piece and the back of the body piece.

Fun Faux Fur Makes Extra Awesome Rag Doll Hair - tips from Shiny Happy World

You can see how to do this in the Intraux to Working with Faux Fur video.

Here’s how it looks when you clip the doll front to the doll back.

Fun Faux Fur Makes Extra Awesome Rag Doll Hair - tips from Shiny Happy World

The fur on both pieces is smoothed between the layers.

Fur can be fat and difficult to pin. These Klip-It clips work really well with it.

And here’s my finished wild-haired pixie. 🙂

Fun Faux Fur Makes Extra Awesome Rag Doll Hair - tips from Shiny Happy World

A couple more things. . .

I used Poppy’s bangs with this doll and they come down pretty close to her eyes. If you’re using a very long fur you might want to choose a doll with a higher hairline.

I skip the pigtails or the buns when I work with fur. They just don’t work very well with that fabric.

You can read about my favorite source for faux fur here.

If you like these dolls and want to make your own, you can find all the patterns for the Dress Up Bunch dolls and clothes here.

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World