Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Project Update: Sew Your Own My Best Friend

The final product.
As I mentioned in last month's Projects for Lazy People post I picked up a deeply discounted children's doll-making kit from Studio Girl called "Sew Your Own My Best Friend" a few weeks back.

Last weekend my husband went out of town, so I decided to settle in to a marathon viewing of Black Sails (if you're looking for a solid action series and aren't easily offended, I recommend it!) and wanted an easy and brainless project to do as I watched. Since this kit is recommended for kids 3 and older, I figured it wouldn't be too challenging for an adult devoting less than 10% attention to it.

The front of the box.
The back of the box.
The kit contains all of the fabric, thread, yarn, needles and stuffing required for the project (which makes a rag doll and a small blue dog). The only item required that's not included is a pair of scissors.
The pre-cut, pre-stamped doll parts, plus threads.
The instructions are easy to read and nicely illustrated, although a preschooler would definitely need a adult's help getting through them.
The instructions.
Since the kid is designed to be used for kids as young as three, the needles are plastic, which means that the fabric is pre-punched, since a plastic needle can't actually pass through the material.  This still also means that the doll is stitched on out the visible side, unlike traditionally sewn dolls which would be sewing on the reverse side and then turned inside out to be stuffed.  As such, the end product looked more like a felt doll, despite being made of a non-felt fabric.

Similarly, the hair is held on with velcro, which again is easier for the youngest kids to attach, but also means that our friend's hair is constantly in danger of falling off.
The complete girl and dog: just need to cut off that one thread!
This means the sewing is significantly easier, which is why it can be recommenced for such a young age. That said, it also means the doll is less sturdy than a traditionally sew doll, which means it wouldn't hold up to rough play, so as a toy it's probably more delicate than what one would normally give to a preschooler.

Overall, I think this is a cute project, and it's certainly not a terrible introduction to sewing for a preschooler (or even an older child).  And as an adult it was an easy way to give myself the illusion of productivity while I was sitting around watching TV.  That said, the end result it pretty flimsy (and she has to be sewn into her dress, which seemed like a silly choice to me), so the young child who was able to make it probably won't be able to play with it except in the most cautious way - and an older child would probably be better suited to finishing a more traditionally sewn doll.

I imagine she's waving goodbye here...


  1. Hi JSarie! Thanks for showing us one of your projects. I like the idea of making such kits available for children. They can learn how pleasurable sewing can be that way.
    Regarding her velcro hair, let's pretend she is wearing a wig. This opens the opportunity to purchase some more velcro and to make various hairstyles with different yarns (colours and texture).
    Keep having fun!

    1. That's a great idea about making some extra sets of hair and calling it a wig! I'll have to use that! :)

  2. Oh interesting!!! Love your thoughts on this kit, I think the end result looks pretty nice, though a bit delicate as you say.
    It must be really fun for a kid!

    1. I think it would be - think of how proud they'd be if this was the result of their first try at sewing something! :)

  3. Looks like a fun project for a young child despite it's flimsy finish JS ... but if you sew a few and they would make a great mobile for their bedroom. :)

    1. That's a cute idea! It would be easy enough to copy the pattern, so I might give that a try (my sister's expecting a baby next month, so a mobile might be a cute gift). Thanks for the idea! :)

  4. A mobile of them would be cool! That's a great idea, Xanadu.

    1. The more I think about it, the more I think I should give it a go!

  5. This doll reminds me of when I used to make cloth dolls. They were a lot of fun to make and design but it's been a good number of years now since I made one!

    Never knew kits like these existed these days.

    1. I feel like there used to be more sewing kids for kids in general - it seems like these days the trend is for decorating basic rag-dolls or doll-sized t-shirts instead, so I was happy to see that this was available.

      I wonder if it's because there's less of an assumption that kids today have parents or grandparents who know how to sew and would be able to help them on more involved projects?