How to make a parka for 18″ doll

How to make a Parka for 18 doll -- A Pinch of Joy
How to make a Parka for 18 doll -- A Pinch of Joy

We visited Alaska a couple years ago.  Along the way we visited a replica of a native village where high schoolers demonstrated the ways of their ancestors.  I was fascinated by the clothing. 

Native Alaskan fur coat -- A Pinch of Joy

It was a very warm day in June when this beautiful young lady modeled this very warm and very heavy fur coat.  It was fully lined, long and fitted at the sleeves, all of which help hold the heat — good for cold weather.  The hood is weather protective but also is made very full.  The fullness combined with the length of the coat helps make the wearer more visible in the snow and also larger in appearance so smaller predators will leave them alone.  The boots are broad to make walking on /in snow easier. 

As soon as I saw this, I knew what my next American Girl sewing project would be!  Clothing styles are a fun way to help children relate to different places and different cultures. I bought the reindeer antler buttons at a gift shop during our trip.  Shortly after we returned home I found this faux suede embroidered in bright colors at JoAnns.  Down a different aisle was faux furriness for the lining. Perfect for a coat intended for actual play!  

Your hooded coat can be made of any fabric you choose and lined with any appropriate fabric. Some possibilities would be wool with a silky lining, quilted nylon with matching lining, denim with faux fur or anything else your imagination creates! 

Parka Pattern for 18″ Doll — A Pinch of Joy

Cutting out the parka -- A Pinch of Joy
Cut the coat shell according to the pattern.  Adjust the lining pattern according to the fabric chosen.  I wanted the white fur to make a fairly large edging that showed on the outside along the bottom and up the front.  the lining was also bulky so I opted to skip lining the sleeve and instead handstitched the lining to the shell around in the inside of the sleeve opening.  It needed to fit snugly under the doll’s arm so I followed the pattern to the notch and then cut the lining about a quarter inch wider.  This left enough ease in the fabric so that it did not pull and let the finished garment hang smoothly. Note: If you don’t want the lining to show on the outside, and it has no significant thickness,  cut it according to the pattern. 

Not only did I skip the lining in the sleeve, I laid the pattern so the edge of the sleeve was on the selvedge. No folding or hemming.  Not usually recommended in fine sewing — but this is a doll garment intended for playing.  Shortcuts are good! 

Parka for 18" doll -- A Pinch of Joy
Steps in construction:
1. Sew outer garment at shoulders, with right sides of fabric together. 
2. Stitch gathering thread into sleeve top between notches, leaving a long thread on each end.  Gently gather sleeve until it fits in armhole and matches notches on garment.  Stitch sleeve in place around armhole.
3.  Place right sides of garment together and stitch side of garment and sleeves together in one continuous seam. Repeat for other side.
4.  Add hood to neckline with right sides of fabric together, matching notches.  Stitch.
5.  Repeat for lining.  Omit step two if you are not adding bulky lining to sleeves, and only stitch sides of lining.
6.  Place lining inside the coat with insides together and so that seams are aligned with like seams.  For bulky or fur lining, hand stitch the lining in place.  For thin lining  fold both the coat and the lining in about one fourth inch, press and then top stitch together.

Parka fastener for 18" doll -- A Pinch of Joy

Stitch button in place.  The ones I used were about 3/4″ in diameter.  Cut a piece of thin elastic long enough to slip over the button easily and add a quarter inch for stitching.  Fold in half and stitch in place opposite the button.  Add a second button about 1 1/2 to 2 inches below the first.  I have not made this with a zipper and the pattern may require some modification.  You are on your own for that! 

Native Alaskan Coat -- A Pinch of Joy

Back of the inspiration coat.

Native Alaskan Coats -- A Pinch of Joy

A couple more Native Alaskan coats. 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

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Garage Storage

Garage Storage -- A Pinch of Joy
Garage Storage -- A Pinch of Joy

Since we are in the garage looking at the turquoise door and the mini mudroom,   I’ll show you the cubby storage that gets a lot of attention whenever we have a garage sale. Everyone comments on it!   It was born from the different styles Wheels and I take toward storage — and a little desperation! 

Wheels — and Bytes — and Bytes big brother — are visual people.  They have to see something for it to exist.  It’s literally out of sight out of mind!  I am the polar opposite.  Out of sight and in its place means it doesn’t get lost.  They have piles here and piles there and they can reach in without hesitation and tease the hammer out from the bottom of a stack of tools.  I tear my hair and will NEVER find that hammer.  Because who puts a hammer in a pile of wrenches????  Really!  

Then one day, Target had clearance on some shoe cubbies.  A light bulb went off.  They could see everything.  But in little piles where I could find things.  So the shoe cubbies came home with me and went on top of the 52 inch tall cupboards on the garage wall. There is a larger unit with 25 cubbies.  It’s on the left.  Two smaller units with 18 cubbies each are stacked on the right.  Those cubbies are also smaller in size than the larger unit.   A pre – made sorter for visual folks.   

A short time later, Kraft started selling mayo in these cool oval plastic jars that fit perfectly in each cubby.  They hold things like steel wool, hooks, batteries divided by size, locks and other small items.  They are all labeled so if they end up on a different shelf, you can still see the label and know what you are getting. It was a real bummer when they switched back to round jars!  

However, it didn’t take long for a problematic pattern to surface.  The guys are WAY taller than I.  You can guess where THEY put the tools they used most often! 

So in the dark of night one night when I couldn’t reach a tape measure, I made some labels, climbed my trusty step stool and rearranged things.  You can see the labels — the most crucial items that MOI uses.  They can put the rest of the items — boxes of nails and screws, large size latex gloves, stud finders, and the like –in cubby storage wherever they want and feel free.  I can reach the screwdrivers, tape measures, levels, sharps (knives, scrapers, etc), pliers and garden cutters  I need and feel organized.  I still find the hammer in the pile of wrenches but the little stuff is where it belongs! 

Is that win-win or what?????

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

Build a Mini Mudroom in Your Garage

Build a Mini Mud Room - A Pinch of Joy

Build a Mini Mud Room - A Pinch of Joy
We lived here only a very short time before realizing that a house designed and built in 1977 needed some work to make it livable for today!   When our house was built, it was a big deal to have a two car garage open directly into the kitchen so groceries in paper bags could be carried in easily. One of the things I have long wanted is a landing place by the garage door because a lot of other things happen around that garage door nowadays!     I wanted to be able to kick muddy garden shoes off and out of the way, a place to store reusuable grocery bags and assorted household “stuff”, somewhere to hang caps or light jackets so they weren’t tossed who knows where.  In short, someplace convenient for storing things to be picked up and used and returned as we come and go through that turquoise door in daily life. 

 The kitchen remodel gave us the perfect opportunity to repurpose an old upper cabinet to improve the situation.  We used scrap trim, repurposed plywood, scrap lumber, a piece of found beadboard and came up with a great mini mud room!  Here’s how we did it for a cost of $2 and 63 cents (almost), a weekend’s worth of time – most of which we did something else while paint dried.    Little investment but so worth it. 

 An upper cabinet, 24 inches wide, 30 inches high and 12 inches deep, fit perfectly in the space between the step and other permanent cabinets.  I flipped it upside down so the knob would be at the top of the door.

Plywood platform -- A Pinch of Joy Bytes cut a piece of plywood to fit the bottom of the cupboard exactly.  The plywood came from shelves we tore down in the basement.  I took scrap lumber “one by” pine and tested to see which size would allow enough clearance for me to kick walking shoes underneath the cabinet.  A one by six inch piece was just right.  (makes me think of Goldilocks!)

 Bytes cut two pieces from the 1×6 board into the correct length for each side and screwed them onto each end of the plywood.  This made a platform for the cabinet to set on and gave enough clearance to store garden shoes.  It also raised the top of the cabinet about six inches which was just right for the new use!  (Goldilocks again!)   He decided  a board across the back of the platform would give a little more stability.  Because of the way we installed the cupboard, there was room so he added another piece of the 1×6 across the back, stabilizing the two legs. 

Top of cupboard -- A Pinch of Joy

 Bytes used a piece of 1×2 scrap pine screwed to the studs in the garage wall to set the cupboards and fasten them to the wall.  This allowed us to match the depth of the existing peg board.   Wheels didn’t want to remove the peg board and the logistics would have made it a much longer job!  Get ‘er done now won out!

 I cleaned the cupboard thoroughly and painted it with two coats.  Bytes cut a piece of the repurposed plywood shelf to fit on top of the cupboard.  My initial idea was to make a tile top with leftover bathroom shower tile.  We might still do that when there is thin set around for the next bathroom tiling project (oh, yeah, that is coming!).   But for now, the plywood top is just sanded with multiple coats of white paint. 

coat hooks
 Wheels found a piece of thin bead board that was just the right size (yay, Goldilocks!).  I painted it and we used it to transition the bit of open space and cover the pegboard above.  Bytes tacked the bead board to the pegboard supports and the trim above and below also help hold it in place.

 We used the remainder of the 1×6 pine to make the top of the mini mud room/area.  I had purchased a set of mounted hooks intending to use them as towel racks in one of the bathrooms.  Towels did not dry well on test hooks so this unit never was installed.   This was the perfect way to repurpose.  I didn’t count them in the cost because I already had them although they were about $18.  If you count that, the cost of this project goes up to just over $20 – still not bad.  Wheels installed the hooks on the 1×6 top. 

I went through the stock pile of scrap trim and Bytes cut them to fit the need.  We used baby quarter round (I’m sure that’s not the official name – it’s probably ½ or 3/8 inch quarter round!) to finish off the edges of the top.   We could not find anything to cover a gap between the side of the cupboard and the adjacent storage that would allow the cupboard door to open.  Off to Lowe’s.  There I found a trim piece that fit the bill for $2.68. 
cupboard

 A bit of caulk and spackle over seams, pits and nailholes, another coat of paint. Let the paint cure and begin to add the essentials.   Done! 

Just right, said Goldilocks.  And me! 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

Linking up to these awesome parties here and, ,Nifty Thrifty Sunday  /   Share Your Creativity  /    Sunday Showcase  / Let’s Get SocialBewitch Me and Titi  /  Monday Funday / Sunday Pinterest /  . . . / Inspiration MondayMotivate Me Block Party   / /  Marvelous Mondays / CraftoManiac Monday / Sew Darn Crafty / / Sweet Sharing Monday / Melt in Your Mouth MondayMore The Merrier /Made By You Monday / PincentiveTime to Sparkle / Give Me the Goods / The DIY’ers / Manic Monday  / Tuesday at Our Home  / . .Twirl and Take a Bow Tuesdays Treasures  / Show Me What Ya Got Create Link Inspire  / Tutorials and Tips  / You’re Gonna Love It / Mommy club Linky / /  Titus 2 Tuesday  / Totally Tasty Tuesday  /  Tuesday Talent Show, / Wake Up Wednesday / Wow Me Wednesday. . . Hit Me with Your Best Shot  / Homework Wednesday / The Inspiration Exchange /  Cast Party Wednesday  /What’s It WednesdayPretty Wednesday /  Wow Me Wednesday   /Wine’d Down Wednesday  /Wednesday Project Stash /  Wonderful WednesdaysWe Did It!/   It’s A Party  / Whimsy Wednesday / Wildly Original  / Brag About It Linky  / Delish Desserts /Project Pin It /  . .  . Full Plate Thursday  / Showcase Your Talent / Krafty Inspiriation  / All Things PrettyThrowback Thursday / Crafty Blog Stalker/ Fantastic Thursday /   Tasty Thursday  /      / Catch a Glimpse ,   Grace at Home,  Kitchen Fun,   Thrifty Thursday. .  Feathered Nest Friday  /  I’m Lovin’ ItFlaunt It Friday /  What’s ShakinLink Party Palooza  / Foodie Friday / Anything Goes./ Freedom Friday / Remodelaholic AnonymousSimple and Sweet Fridays  / Craft Frenzy Friday  / Be Inspired Friday / Friday Link Party  / Best of the Weekend / Weekend Winddown  /  . . . .   /A Bouquet of Talent   / Party Junk Saturday Dishes / Saturday Show and Tell / Strut Your Stuff Saturday /  Favorite Things Saturday /   Serenity Saturday, / Pin It SaturdaySaturday SpotlightSaturday Showilicious     / Show Stopper Saturday /   Saturday Night Fever  /



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