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You will need:
Solid White Fabric: We used Kona Solids White
Narrow elastic – 1/2 the length of the distance around the flat sheet.
around the base of your suitcase. Then, using this template, cut 2
pieces of fabric this size. Then cut two strips at that are
approximately 2cm shorter than the height of your suitcase. I endied up using
approximately 60cm of 110cm wide fabric.
one of these pieces, create a handle. I did this by pressing in the
ends, then folding the piece in thirds to create a piece that was
approximately 15cm x 5cm. I sewed several lines along the length of
this piece, and all around the edge, and then stitched each end to a
central-ish point of the long strip.
sure that the handle falls in the centre of one of the long sides of
the main pieces, and then, wrong sides facing, I started to sew the top
of the mattress to the side. I did this wrong sides facing because I
wanted to bind the edges, but if you don’t want to bind, do right sides
facing and turn through at the end.
stitching the top to the side, I then bound the edge using a lovely
satin bias binding. Satin binding is such an old fashioned bed type
thing, don’t you think? It’s always on mattresses, or around blankets.
I wanted this mattress to have a bit of a vintage style appeal – purely
for my aesthetics, but that’s as good a reason as any, when you think
you get to the join, fold each edge in, and overlap slightly before
sewing into place. Make sure the top and bottom line up nicely, so when
it comes to it you have a nice easy to stitch finish. This hole will
be your stuffing hole.
all made and bound, it’s time to stuff. I used 2 whole bags, and the
leftovers of my duvet and pillow set. That was probably about 700g of
stuffing. Stuff firmly, making sure your spread is even and not lumpy.
I feel like I should say a word of warning about the buttons, in that
they are small parts and this is designed predominantly as a small
person’s play thing. Make sure, if you use buttons, to use thick thread
and sew them tight. Make sure they’re not likely to be pulled off. If
you’re too worried about doing these, just don’t use buttons. You can
still create the effect but with little crosses of thread, rather than
a circle of fabric approximately 1cm wider on all sides than your
button. Turn your button upside down on the fabric, then using your
fingers, push the fabric around to the teeth of the button back so it’s
gripped into place nicely. I like to alternate the sides I’ve pushed
from and rotate the button as I go, so I get a nice even finish. Once
your fabric is all gripped nicely into place, push the back on your
button. Make sure you can hear it click into place. If you don’t hear
or feel the click, it’s not pushed in properly.
you’ve covered your buttons, take out your doll needle. (It’s amazing
how something that can look so much like an instrument of torture can
have such an innocuous name as a ‘doll’ needle.) Thread your thick
thread doubled on your needle. Then finding the middle of the mattress,
anchor your thread in the spot firmly. Then push the needle through
the mattress to the centre of the other side. Come back to the first
side, making sure to find the centre point, and repeat back and forth a
few times, cinching in the mattress as you go. Once you’ve got it
cinched in nice and firmly, thread the button on your needle, looping
over a couple of times for security, and then thread back through to the
other side. Thread your button on the other side, looping double
again, and then secure as firmly as possible. Tie off, and lose the
threads somewhere in the body of your mattress.
That’s one mattress done. I made a pretty fat mattress, and at this
point I looked at it in the suitcase and thought to myself that it would
make a really awesome bed for a cat or a little dog. So unbelievably,
there are other uses for this mattress. Would you believe it?
The next installment will be on the 9th January, when we’ll make a mattress to perfectly fit your case!
original project was made for my goddaughter, and around that time
another friend requested one for her then unborn child. I agreed, but
there was no rush, I thought, because the baby wasn’t even born yet.
And then I forgot, as I so often do with these things. Roll on two
years, and said child is long since born and perhaps at exactly the
right age to play with this, and it again cropped up in conversation, so
I thought it might be about time I did the things I promised, and give
you guys a tutorial, and give Frida Betty her doll’s bed-in-a-suitcase.
This suitcase is covered, has a perfectly fitting mattress, along with a fitted sheet. It has a duvet, duvet cover, pillows, pillow cases, quilt, and blanket. Perfect for all a doll’s needs.
it’s going to be pretty hard to tell you exact measurements because
it’s a vintage suitcase. And we all know they come in completely mixed
sizes and shapes. Find a small one, in as good a condition as you can
manage, as the better the condition the easier the job. Mine was
approximately 35cm x 55cm. The last suitcase I made, was possibly
slightly smaller, and easier to work with as it had a plastic handle.
This had awkward slightly rusting hardware, which was a lot trickier to
despite the fact that your suitcase will no doubt be a completely
different style and shape, here’s some really detailed instructions so
you can hopefully pick up a few tips!
is my suitcase – as you can see, it’s a little beat up and dirty.
Stitching is coming undone, and there’s a little bit of rust. But
it’ll do for the job. You can see in the top picture that the handle was plastic and that was a lot easier to cover.
You’ll need about 75cm each of main fabric and lining fabric (more if your suitcase is bigger, less if smaller).
You’ll need glue, either mod-podge, or this awesome stuff is perfect.
But alternatively, if you want to skip this step altogether, find a case like this and follow this great tutorial on the Beautiful Mess blog here.
|image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess blog.|
We’ll go through how to cover the suitcase in the first proper installment which we’ll do on the 2nd January 2016, and we’ll do every Saturday until we’re done!