Clothes For Beanie Babies

Linda Gardner
Cadette Troop 2001
Patriots' Trail Girl Scout Council
(around Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
linda@fpr.com


First, a few comments--I made these with girls ages 12-14. Most girls did not know how to use a sewing machine :( , so because of our time frame adults did most of the sewing. However, these are excellent projects for anyone first learning to use a machine since they just require straight stitching. Our girls did all of the cutting out--I recommend close supervision by an experienced sewer no matter who does the cutting out (adults, too). When you're doing a fundraiser it's important to get the most items from your fabric & for some reason (probably lack of experience) many (including adults) tend to make a lot of errors in the cutting. Fortunately these patterns are pretty forgiving size-wise, and we used fleece which has some stretch so we were able to recover from the cutting mistakes which were made.

Someone asked about doing these projects with Juniors (US: 9-12 years old). If you want the girls to do the sewing, then they have to know how to sew (duh!). These are very simple projects sewing-wise, so if you're willing to take the time to teach the girls, these would be good projects to do. I taught my own daughters to use my machine when they were each 9 years old. One to one instruction was no problem. I taught my 5th grade Junior troop to use sewing machines & for 9 girls I recruited 2 other experienced sewers & we each worked with 3 girls in our junior high home economics room. This worked out fine. The projects we completed were far more complicated than these (but they also took much more time). I also think the sleeping bag project could be done nicely with hand sewing (using the whip stitch), but I haven't tried it. If we do this again next fall, I plan to allocate time to teach more girls to use sewing machines, because these projects present a good opportunity to teach this skill (if you're not in a rush and in full production mode!).

Credit for the Sleeping Bag, Scarf, Hat and Sweater patterns goes to a wonderfully generous lady named Marianne in Bloomington, Minnesota who answered my request for BB accessory instructions last spring (I posted to a BB website!)

Sleeping Bag

Materials:

Directions:

  1. Sew the 2 pieces together on 2 long sides and 1 short side. 4 inches of the bag bottom will extend at the top. Turn inside out. This makes the bag.
  2. To make pillow, fold back 2 in on the open end of the bag. Sew, leaving the long seam open. (original instructions said to leave a short side open, but we found this to be easier. Whatever works for you) Stuff with polyfil. Sew closed.

Optional:

1. Sleeping Bag Ties (We got this idea when we were making ours & haven't tried it yet).

Use 2 12 inch lengths (I'm guessing on this length, you'll have to experiment to figure out what works) of 1/4 inch ribbon for sleeping bag ties.

Fold ribbon lengths in half and sew midpoints into bag's bottom seam so that when you turn the bag right side out the ribbon ends are on the outside of the bag. The sleeping bag can be rolled and tied!

2. You might want to cut one long 22 inch by 6 inch piece and eliminate the bottom seam (can't do ties with this!)

Scarf

Materials:

Directions:

Fringe with 1/4" by 1" deep cuts.

Hat

Materials:

Optional:

Turn up 1/4" band on one long edge. Sew. If turned to wrong side, it makes a hem. If turned to right side, it makes a band.

Directions:

Fold in half, matching 5 1/4" edges and sew 1/8" seam. Fringe non-banded end of tube by making 1" deep cuts, 1/4" apart.

Gather fringed end by hand with long stitches. Pull tight. Wrap thread around gathering 2-3 times and secure.

Sweater

(bonus pattern--my girls don't knit well enough yet, but maybe yours do)

Directions:

Gauge: 6 stitches per inch

Front & Back: Cast on 28 st
5 rows of k1, p1 ribbing
10 rows of stockinette st
14 rows of stockinette st, decrease 1 at beginning of each row (k2tog or p2tog as required)
Put remaining 14 st on stitch holder

Repeat all of above for back.

Sleeves: Cast on 22 st
4 rows of k1, p1 ribbing
5 rows of stockinette st
12 rows of stockinette st, decrease 1 at beginning of each row (k2tog or p2tog as required)
2 rows stockinette st
Put remaining 10 st on stitch holder

Repeat all of above for 2nd sleeve

Join pieces by weaving together seams; shoulder seams first, then side seams.

Neck:

Turtleneck: Reduce needle size by 1
It is easier to work the neck on 4 needles rather than 3
Begin at center back
16 rows of k1, p1 ribbing
Cast off. Weave in loose ends.

Crew: Reduce needle size by 1.
It is easier to work the neck on 4 needles rather than 3
Begin at center back
5 rows of k1, p1 ribbing
Cast off. Weave in loose ends.

Note: If using contrasting color for ribbing, be sure to knit a row first so no wrong sides show. You can reduce the rib rows by one if desired.

Bed

I haven't made one yet, just seen one in a store.

Directions:

  1. Bed posts are clothes pins (4)
  2. Bed sides are wood tongue depressors. Each side: 1 full, extended by 2 half pieces to make the appropriate length overlapped and glued
  3. Bed head and foot: tongue depressor (trimmed to appropriate length)
  4. Bed is made of wooden craft sticks (about 6 ?) spaced equally apart and glued to the bed sides (perhaps craft sticks are glued to the inside of bedsides to form the 'ledge' for the bed rails.)
  5. Bunkbed is 2 beds glued on top of each other.

Have fun!


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