Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DIY - Doll Carrier

The other week, my daughter asked me if she could have some string from Daddy's office. Wondering what she might need string for, I asked her. She told me that she wanted to make a carrier for her dolly. First, I thought that she was rather creative to decide that she could use string to make a carrier. Then, I told her that instead of string, we should make one together out of fabric. I told her that we could go shopping in a couple of days to get the material for the carrier. When Sunday afternoon came and we were ready to head to the store for fabric and groceries, she wrote out a list to bring along. (I just loved this list - that first item is fabric, can you guess the others?)

It was then that I decided, I might want to have a plan before I shop, rather than figure it out on the fly. I quick search of the internet and Pinterest, yielded me lots of different carrier photos, but I couldn't really find a pattern or directions. There were some shops that were selling patterns and some that appeared to use a book, that of course, my library didn't have. So, as any industrious person would do, I started measuring my computer screen to get the 'relative' dimensions, which then I scaled up and added a seam allowance to. I drew it on a piece of paper that wasn't quite the right size and then transferred it to the funny pages.

So, I had a pattern and that gave me an idea of how much fabric I would need. I opted to skip batting - which it seemed that several of the carriers were made with. I had planned to use buttons to secure it, but eventually opted for Velcro, with button accents at the points of connection.

At the store, I told her that she could choose two fabrics - one for the inside and one for the outside. I wasn't really sure how much I would need, but I went with 1/2 yard of each fabric - this was probably a lot more than I needed, but it is always nice to have some extra fabric on hand for future impromptu projects. She also chose a quilting quarter for the pocket. The fabric in total cost me about $5. In addition, we picked up four buttons and some thread (turns out I had some purple already, but it didn't seem worth the effort to return a $1 spool of thread, so I have added it to my collection). That was about $3 in total. As I mentioned, I decided to go with Velcro, but my husband picked that up for me and we have a lot left.

I folded my fabrics near the end, allowing just enough to fit the pattern. Using the skills I learned in 8th grade Home Ec, I pinned the pattern to my fabric and cut it out. I had to cut two of the pieces - the inside and the outside.

Then, I cut two long strips at about 5" wide to make the straps. Then, I cut out the pocket. I cut it square and sewed it into shape.

I decided, based on pictures, that I would sew the straps in at the bottom of the carrier, so with right sides together, I sewed around the outside of the carrier body leaving the bottom open for turning it and securing the straps. The planner that I am, I failed to sew on the pocket ahead of time, so the stitching is visible on the 'inside' of the carrier - not a big deal, but a cleaner project would have had the pocket sewn on before joining the pieces. The, I flipped the carrier right side out and sewed on the pocket.

To make the straps, I used my iron to press a 1/4" seam on the one side and then folded the other side to just past middle and then folded over the side that I had pressed, making sure that I covered the unfinished edge from the other side. I ran a stitch on each side at about 1/4" from the edge and then ran two that worked out to be about 7/8" from the edges. This secured it and made them look 'strappy'.

I inserted the straps into the bottom of the carrier and folded in my edge, sewing it across with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Then, using Velcro dots, I 'sized' the carrier to fit a dolly and my daughter. I had intended to create button holes and attached buttons, but the Velcro seemed to work well, so I switched from the sticky dots to sewn on Velcro. Then, I added button accents.

She loves her doll carrier. She uses it to carry her dolly when she is busy doing other things and can't be bothered to actually carry the dolly. I must say, that for no pattern, I am very pleased with the results, it's not perfect, but is perfect for her.

This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday and Homemade By You and DIY'ers link up.

Update: I have been asked about dimensions. I didn't use a real pattern, but sort of used a guide and then adjusted. Here is a sketch of relative dimensions. So, you can see that it is about 3 times as tall as the tail is wide, etc. This will allow the most flexibility to you to figure out the sizes for your own child. The straps were cut at about 5" wide and finished were about 2" wide, so you can use that to see that the tail is about 5" wide finished on mine.


  1. Super cute idea. Going to share it, and your blog, with a friend of mine who is also a busy mother of two.

  2. Great Idea! Going to try and make one for my Granddaughter!!

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  5. its beautiful! where did you get the pattern?

  6. @Mariana Munoz - I crafted it myself. I eyeballed the shape and made some rough measurements on my daughter and her dollie.

    I will see if I have my sketch and will share the dimensions that I used.

  7. That would be great!!!!!!! :) Thanks in advance....

  8. @busy mom did you ever got the chance to get the dimensions? thanks

  9. @busy mom did you ever got the chance to get the dimensions? thanks

  10. I have a picture that I have put together with the relative dimensions. I will have to make it electronic and will add to the post.

  11. I know this is a long time ago but please can I have the measurements in cms or inches cause the picture makes zero sense to me. Anyone? Doesn't have to be perfect but really would like rough dimensions. The kiddies at my playgroup would love these for the doll area.

  12. Do the straps go from the bottom to the side velcro/button and then continue up and across the shoulders to the velcro/button in the front?