Fleece Sleeper to Baby Doll Diapers: Upcycled Presents for My Daughter

Last week I featured a post about the baby doll carrier that I made my daughter for her birthday. That first project set off two weeks of a sewing frenzy just prior to her birthday. I found this website and was suddenly inspired to attempt a whole baby doll diaper changing set, plus a few baby doll clothes too.
My goal: 1 size 4T fleece sleeper, with holes in the feet +  two pair of old jeans (or really one and a half ) + pink corduroy maternity pants with ruined cuffs = Equals diaper bag, changing pad, wipes and wipe case, doll baby diapers, and basic doll clothes
It was most definitely a tall order, and I only had a two weeks to do it.
I started with the baby doll carrier and followed quickly with the cloth diapers. I found a free and easy pattern. But I modified the instructions slightly.
I used fleece from the sleeper for the outside and scraps from a pair of old cotton shorts (they had a seriously large hole in the crotch and were only saved from the textile recycling for use for household rags).
IMG_1501 I folded each piece of fabric in half before folding it and cutting it as instructed. Since I don’t how to do much more than a basic stitch, that was mostly all I used.
IMG_1500I pinned the two pieces of fabric, right sides facing each other. The fleece had an obvious right side and wrong side and for the cotton knit fabric it didn’t matter. Then I stitched all the way around except for the center of the top back edge.
When finished I turned the diaper inside out and top stitched all the way around the edges. I should probably have done something special to close the opening at the top back edge, but I just folded the fleece down over the exposed edge and stitched it closed. I added two little tiny tabs of velcro and there you have it–two finished doll diapers.
The diaper bag pattern was easy to follow and while the sewing didn’t take long, but it required some very detailed measuring and cutting which took me quite some time. (Of course anything involving numbers is always harder for me when I have two small children clamoring for my attention and in this case quite literally climbing on my back.) For the outside fabric I used old denim blue jeans and for the inside a cut up pair of pink corduroy maternity pants.  I didn’t have the fusible fleece that was recommended for the pattern so I just decided to go without it. It made the bag more floppy, and a bit more casual-purse like (I think my high school backpack was very similar actually), but still fully functional. It was a little bigger than I imagined so my daughter can actually carry her baby doll around in it when she wants to.
IMG_1633The instructions for the changing pad came from here and it was really almost an afterthought, as I finished it the night before my daughter’s birthday.

I never did get around to finishing the wipes and wipe case (the pieces are mostly cut up I just never sewed them together) and the doll clothes were a complete disaster. My main advice is to follow the patterns carefully. Part of my problem was that I ran out of fabric because I misunderstood the instructions and cut everything all wrong. Hopefully I’ll be attempting the baby doll clothes in the future. For now my daughter is enjoying her diaper bag, changing pad and cloth diapers.

This was definitely one of the more challenging sewing projects that I have attempted, but overall it turned out well.

What new challenging sewing projects have you attempted? Any tips for easy to make baby doll clothes?


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