Tutorial: American Girl Dog Bed

This tutorial was written by Jane of Dear Author.

Tot received an American Girl dog (Honey, if you were wondering) for Christmas. She really wanted the dog bed.

At $18, though, it wasn’t happening. I did think I could replicate it, or even improve upon it. What do you think?

Materials List:

  • Two ovals of fabric (one will be your lining)
  • Two ovals of heavyweight interfacing (I cut four but needed only two in the end).
  • One oval of batting
  • Two strips of fabric that is the diameter of your oval + 1″ for length SA and 1″ height SA
  • One strip of heavyweight interfacing that is the same length as the fabric strip
  • One strip of Peltex or Timtex that is the diameter of your oval and the height of the side of the dog bed (this will be 1/2″ smaller all the way around your fabric strip).


Step 1: Cut out the entry for the dog bed from the Peltex:

Step 2: Iron on the interfacing.

Step 3: Sew the top side of the dog bed following the edge of the Peltex and trim.

Step 4: Open out the strip and sew the side seams so it forms a loop:

Step 5: Sew down the batting on the bottom of the dog bed.

Step 6: Mark the side of the dog bed in quarters and mark the ovals in quarters. Match up the quarters.

Step 7: Sew one of the ovals to the side of the dog bed. It helps to fit the oval bottom if you sew a long gathering stitch around the edge.

Step 8: Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the interior of the dog bed. I will note that the lining was extra big so I would suggest to sew the interior of the dog bed with a slighter larger SA like 3/4″. IMPORTANT! Remember to leave a space of 3-4″ to turn the dog bed right side out.

Step 9: Turn right side out and sew your interior lining closed.

Step 10: Admire your work!

Tutorial: Boxy Pouch as Cord Carrier

This post was written by Jane of Dear Author


When I first saw the boxy pouch tutorial, I thought it would be a delight to make but I wanted it to be lined and have the handle like the one I saw at Burda Style. Further, I needed my boxy pouch to be larger. I didn’t know how a pouch 4.5 inches long, 3 inches high and 2 inches deep would have much application.

Figuring out the measurements:

I believe I have the right formula for dimensions. Here is my formula:

1. Figure out the three finished dimensions: length, width and depth.

2. Length of the fabric is FL (finished length) + FD (finished depth) + 1″ (SA)

3. Width of fabric is FW (finished width) + FD (finished depth) + .75″ (SA)

Cut List:

Once you have the dimensions for your boxy pouch, cut out as follows:

  • 2 pieces of face fabric
  • 2 pieces for lining
  • 2 pieces of heavyweight interfacing

You’ll need three additional pieces for the zipper tabs and the handle.

  • Zipper tabs: 3×4″, cut 2 of fabric
  • Handle: cut 1 8 x 1 3/8″ Peltex or Timtex (or two heavyweight interfacing) and enough fabric to cover the handle.

Sewing Instructions:

Step 1. top stitch the handle and the zipper tabs. I like to use the triple stitch.

Step 2. Attach zipper to the face fabric.

Step 3. IMPORTANT! Mark 1/2″ on each end of the face fabric zipper stitching.

Step 4. Pin lining to zipper. Attach lining to zipper by sewing over face fabric zipper stitching.

OPTIONAL but helpful: Sew an edgestitch along the lining to the zipper SA. This ensures that the lining doesn’t get caught in the zipper. If you don’t, you might have to handsew the lining away which is a pain, trust me.

Step 5. Sew the bottom of the face fabric all the way across.

Step 6. IMPORTANT! Sew the bottom of the lining fabric leaving a 4″ or so opening for turning the project inside out.

Step 7. Sew the side seams of the lining, pulling away the face fabric, zipper and zipper tabs. You may want to use a height compensation tool. Otherwise, leave a gap and come back to sew the gap closed with a zipper foot. It’s easier to do this step before you sew up the side seams of the face fabric.

Step 8. Baste the zipper tabs to the zipper ends on the face fabric.

Step 9. Sew the side seams of the face fabric, making sure the lining is out of the way.

Step 10. Pinch out the corners and mark the finished depth of your project. (See part about dimensions above. In this example, my corner seam is 2″).

Step 11. IMPORTANT but optional. If you are adding a handle, mark 1/2″ from the original pencil line on the side of the box where the zipper starts. Cut at the 1/2″ mark. Feed your handle through and hold closed with a binder clip, fusible web or glue.

Step 12. Sew the depth seams together. Trim.

Step 13. Pinch out the corners of the lining fabric and mark and sew similar to what you did with the face fabric. This isn’t the easiest and I don’t have a good solution for this other than trial and error.

Step 14. Iron your seams, trim your threads and turn inside out.

Step 15. Admire your finished project. Sew the lining closed either by hand or by machine.



Tips for the boxy pouch:

  • To reduce sewing time, I eliminated the bottom seam. Cutting out my face fabric to be FW+ FD + .5 (SA) but if you have a distinct design, you’ll need to have a bottom seam or one side of the box will have an upside down pattern repeat.
  • Other helpful tutorials: Boxy Pouch with French Seams tutorial and Boxy Pouch with corners exposed

Teacher Gifts

This post was written by Jane of Dear Author.

This year, I made teacher’s gifts using some cute craft tutorials. First up is the journal cover.

I used this tutorial from Bloom. While the tutorial doesn’t say this explicitly, there is no lining inside the pocket panels. You can add a lining, but it makes it terribly difficult to turn inside out. I don’t recommend it. I added a magnetic clasp for closure.

Edited to add a picture of the interior for Angie:

Next up is the boxy pouch. I followed this tutorial but added a lining, zipper tabs, and a handle. I’m going to post a tutorial next week on how to make these boxy pouches along with the formula for making a boxy pouch of any dimension. The larger pouch is 9″ long x 3.5″ W x 3″ D. It fits computer cords perfectly. The smaller pouch is about 5″ x 2.5″ x 2″. It’s better suited to makeup (like a compact, lipstick and a couple of other items). I love these pouches!

Tutorial: American Girl Mattress

This post was written by Jane of Dear Author:

Tot got a new 18″ doll from American Girl but we had only one doll bed. So Ned made another doll bed and I set about making a mattress for it. This is the new bed with the doll and the old mattress.

IMG_5019 (Small)

IMG_5021 (Small) I found a piece of 1″ foam but wanted to make a 2″ deep mattress. Luckily I had some batting lying around (okay, I have a whole roll of it) and adhered this to the foam.
IMG_5022 (Small) I used a spray adhesive and a drop cloth to prevent the overspray from getting on the floor.
IMG_5025 (Small) Then I stuffed the batting covered foam into the mattress covering. It fought me, but foam is no match for me.
IMG_5027 (Small) I made a mattress covering out of some curtain interlining because it’s soft and cheap.
IMG_5028 (Small) And ta da – mattress created. Now just some handsewing and the doll can sleep on a brand new mattress.

Contest! Name that blog & win a $50 gc

*contest is closed, we have a name! Winner will be announced this week!*

Have you ever had the urge to do something a little different than what you’re doing now? Or to share your love of something? That’s what Jane Litte of Dear Author, Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and I are doing. We’re teaming up for a non-publishing related blog for all things crafting and cooking in our world. It will be a little something for everyone, with pattern reviews, completed projects, recipes, tips, guest bloggers (because there’s a whole lot of things in crafting and cooking we’re not very good at) and more (there will be wine recommendations!)

But we need your help to name our new site, so we’re offering up a $50 gift card for your suggestions. Come up with a clever, funny, practical, cute or serious name for our new endeavor and you may win a $50 gift card from the online retailer of your choice.


1. Email all suggestions to angelajameseditor AT gmail.com with subject line BLOG CONTEST. Please do not post them in the comments here, it will not count as an entry.

2. You may give as many suggestions as you like, but please try to include them in one email, if you think of some later and want to email again, that’s okay, just try to avoid 15 separate emails 😛

3. Contest is open internationally.

4. Contest closes on Wednesday, November 11, 2009. is closed, we have a name!

5. This is the most important: we’ll need to purchase the domain to match the blog name, so make sure there’s a domain available for the name you’re suggesting. You can check domain availability here. We won’t/can’t use a name that doesn’t have domain availability.

$50 gc will be awarded to the person whose blog name we use. If we don’t use any of the suggestions, or end up using a combination of suggestions–or more than one person suggests it–we’ll hold a random drawing.

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