Monday, 9 January 2012

Getting Crafty: Cloth Kitty

One of my resolutions for this year was to learn to knit, somehow I am currently being side tracked into learning to sew! This came about due to a combination of factors:

  1. someone posted about PomPom makers and I thought now there is an easy craft to do with my children!
  2. I followed the link on their blog and ended up on the Clothkits site and duly added PomPom makers to my basket
  3. Being a child of the '70s I grew up with a wardrobe containing a wide variety of Clothkits clothes made by my mum (she didn't have a huge budget but had the time and skills required to sew). So I decided to browse the site to see what 21st century Clothkits looks like.
  4. At this point my 8 year old starts peeking over my shoulder and spots the Cloth Kitty doll kit and asks to spend some of her Christmas money so can learn to sew so doll was added to basket
Fast forward a few days and we get a parcel from Clothkits. My daughter is very excited about the doll she is going to sew (with help from mummy) and cancels all plans for Saturday so we can make a start. Once I have looked at the instructions I realise that maybe I am going to struggle as the doll itself is fairly simple to sew her clothes come with instructions for bias binding, gathers and shirring elastic. For a woman who's worst subject at school was needlework this is a daunting prospect!

Nevertheless I cut out the required parts of the doll (having even ironed the fabric first - shock horror!) and set to. I demonstrate the sewing technique to my daughter and then pass the leg over to her for her turn. Her enthusiasm is quickly dampened after a few finger pricks so inevitably I end up doing all the sewing of the doll. It does turn out that my daughter is a dab hand at stuffing the doll though:

Note essential wooden spoon

As my confidence grew the speed of sewing increased and by the evening I was ready to start assembling the various parts:

Turns out one arm was on back to front...

Finally at about 11PM I had finally completed stitching the doll and stuffing her too:

By no means perfect but almost all my own handiwork!

At this point I looked at the rest of the kit and decided that any more sewing could definitely wait until the morning:

On Sunday afternoon my daughter was dead keen for me to sew the doll's clothes. She has made an attempt at her handbag but needs to restart as her stitches are a bit big. I duly cut out all the parts of Kitty's dress and started to follow the very clear instructions. By the end of Dancing on Ice I had put the bias binding on the skirt section and was well into the bodice creation:

I have also managed to do the elasticated cuff on one sleeve and put in the gather at the top. I just need to work out how to attach to the bodice...

I love the way that Kitty's clothes are replicas of the kind of clothes I wore as a child. Hopefully my daughter will be inspired to learn how to sew and I will improve my own skills so that maybe I can make my own clothes just like my mum used to do...

And if this turns out not to be our thing then I'll head over to Red Ted Art for more inspiration:


  1. I love rag dolls and have made them in the past with a full set of clothes and underclothes. It's a lot of hard work though so a kit would probably be a good idea.

  2. Good work! I feel like every sewing project is a learning experience, but the gradual confidence building does help it get easier ;)


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