A mini Betty made from baby clothes

Handmade doll made with baby clothes

Recently, after a year long subscription I cancelled my delivery of Mollie Makes magazine. I adored it initially, but just found it got too samey after a while; oh look, more Japanese style embroidery. I also found it seemed to focus less on tutorials and more on showcasing other people’s work, less do it yourself and more buy it for yourself. And the craft projects it did have were rarely things I’d make myself, I mean, what am I going to do with a felt macaroon or needle felted animals. And if I see one more hipster wedding with comedy moustache photo booth and “thrifted” vintage table cloths I might vomit.

Every now and again there might be a project I’d give a go but it wasn’t enough to keep me. However, one of those projects in one of the last magazines I got was a little Mollie doll, which I had to admit was pretty cute, and I’ve had a plan for a while to make dolls for the girls. But then I came up with an even better way to improve the project.

A couple of weeks ago DH and I sorted through mountains of clothes that the girls have outgrown. Much of it is second or third hand anyway, but some of it we can sell at a local NCT sale. Some of it we gave away. There were a few outfits though that just reminded us so much of the girls as babies, and we couldn’t bear to part with them. But I wondered what to do with them. It seemed pretty pointless to just stick them in the attic and get them out every 10 years to look at.

A lady on Twitter makes lovely teddy bears from baby clothes as a momento for you or toy for your child. They are really gorgeous, and you can buy gift vouchers which make a fab new baby present. That was the sort of thing I wanted to do but I’m not really a fan of teddy bears so I thought I would make a doll, wearing clothes made out of baby clothes.

The intention is to do one representing each of the girls. Hopefully I will do a better job of the next one, having made several mistakes and discovering several holes in this one that I had to fix. I used the template from Mollie Makes, issue number 14.

Mollie Makes Magazine pattern

Mollie Makes Magazine pattern

Gap baby dress
Too cute!

I mostly used my sewing machine, but the jersey material was quite a challenge to machine sew as it over stretches as you feed it through. Unfortunately most baby clothes are made out of lovely soft jersey material. But the face, arms and legs were just made from undyed muslin.


Newborn baby dress
Betty’s debutante dress


The leggings are from the first newborn dress Betty wore when visiting nana for the first time. The dress Mini Betty wearing is from a gorgeous dress my dad bought from Gap, and I even did a sort of vest for the body using a Jojo Maman Bebe vest bought by my colleagues, just so I could use as many of the items as possible. All these outfits remind me of my newborn daughter, and now I have immortalised her in doll form. That sounds really creepy doesn’t it? At least I didn’t get one of those ghastly reborn dolls made in her image to cart around in a pram!

Handmade doll made with baby clothes

I can see all the mistakes I made in the doll, as I’m just not that great at sewing. But I really enjoyed making it, it felt really special, and I’m actually rather proud of it. It was a lot easier than producing the real thing.

This isn’t a toy for the girls though, oh no no no no no. This is to remind me of my beautiful little girl, because while she will probably always be beautiful, she won’t always be little, nor always mine. Plus this one is a lot quieter than the real thing.

I mustn’t leave it too long to make a mini Iris either. She’s not even two yet but she is already commenting on the distinct lack of photos of her around the house, typical neglect of the second child.

So, while its nice to keeps old baby clothes as momentos, it’s even nicer to do something with them. If you have enough, a quilt is a lovely idea. I’ve just realised though, that I need to make sure I keep a babygro intact, so I can still have those “I can’t believe they were ever that small” moments.

Baby vest
I can’t believe she was ever this small!

This post has been linked up on Handmade Monday and Ta Dah Tuesday!

Hurricane Iris

No finished projects to report today. Plenty in progress: a sausage dog commissioned by my friend for one of daughter’s friends; a Mei Tai sling for my brother and sister in law; teddies in various states of completion; some fingerless gloves for my mum.

We are all a bit bleary eyed today. The Scots are recovering from, what has been nicknamed, Hurricane Bawbag, and I hope people like the lovely and long suffering Gentle Otter are getting back to normal. We, however, are suffering the after effects of Hurricane Iris. Gorgeous, headstrong and bright; Iris is, like a hurricane, awesome and fascinating to watch yet leaves a trail of destruction in her wake. Instead of upended garden furniture, Iris leaves half eaten toast, Tupperware and wet wipes.

Iris has never been a great sleep. Tough to put down, and easy to wake, she didn’t sleep through until at least 9 months. Even now she will not reliably stay asleep. I think the emergence or a couple of nasty molars is causing her some bother at the moment.

Last night Hurricane Iris struck again, up crying at 2am. Our usual tactic is to leave her and see if she will go off on her own. It was clear this wasn’t going to happen, so I got up and fed her. She seemed in no hurry to go back to sleep. She usually either feeds to sleep or cries to sleep. Very occasionally you can catch her and put her down awake. This wasn’t one of those times. I went back to bed anyway, hoping that she would settle down. Like counting the seconds between lightening and thunder, you can measure how likely Iris is to settle down by counting between the cries. Cry…one…two…cry…one…two…cry…one…two…three…four…cry…this time six. Is it possible she is settling? We relax slightly, hoping now we can go back to sleep. No such luck, looks like we were just in the eye of the storm, where it is momentarily quiet, waiting to come out of the other side. This time it’s DH who braces the storm and tries to work miracles to quell its strength. 40 minutes of cuddles and the storm has finally calmed, or passed on to some other unsuspecting household.