Thursday, 30 April 2015

Completed: Kit the Boy Doll/SHB Sewalong

Gah, I'm slightly panic blogging here, desperately trying to get this in for the end of April deadline for SHB Sewalong.

Cutest sewalong badge ever!
So, the SHB Sewalong (SHB = Small Human Being = infant) has been hosted by Cation Designs, amongst others. The premise is simple: during April sew something for your wee one. The only rule being the little one has to be 1 at the very most. Still in utero is fine! I am literally scraping this make in in 2 senses: 1, I only just finished it before the deadline and 2, Baby Boy is only under 1 for another week.

Hey, there!
This project is pure nostalgia for me. The doll is a boy doll kit, from Clothkits. My mum was a big fan of Clothkits in the 70s and 80s so my sister and I were often decked out in their stuff, and we owned several of the ragdolls. If you're not familiar, the company sells kits to sew stuff*. Human clothes and rag dolls. The pattern is printed directly onto the fabric, so you just cut round the pieces and sew them together. I really, really wish I'd had the foresight to have some photos to show you of me in Clothkits garments, or even just with the dolls, but I'm not that organised. Next time I'm at my parents' I will see if we can dig any out and I'll do a follow up post.

* They also sell fabric and patterns.
Kit's body comes pre-printed with pants and vest, socks and shoes.
In 2008 Clothkits was resurrected and I seem to be on their mailing list for some reason. I recently received an email with an offer on the ragdoll kits. Cue trip down memory lane, and an impulse buy of boy doll kit, called, approriately, Kit. Boys can play with dolls too, right?

I decided to make this for Baby Boy's birthday, as I thought it would get more mileage that way. Small Boy definitely has designs on him, but since he (Small Boy, not Kit) starts school this year I thought he might grow out of dolls sooner. Either way, both will enjoy playing with him for a while.

The kit came with thread, shirring elastic, poppers and the preprinted fabric which makes the doll, jeans, shirt, waistcoat, pyjamas, hat and bag. All in the most fantastical 70's prints you have ever seen. So far I've made the jeans, shirt and waistcoat. I didn't have time to finish all the garments.

Pre-printed fabric

Helpful labelling included.
The instructions were... variable. Some were really clear, others clear as mud. Even with (handdrawn) diagrams, it wasn't always obvious what they wanted you to do. However, I changed the construction on a few things anyway to make things simpler. For example, the instructions have you handsewing on the legs and to close the body. I machine sewed these, which admittedly doesn't give such a good finish, but I think it will be sturdier. With the clothes, they instructed you hem in the round, which I think would have been tremendously fiddly, so I just hemmed everything flat to start with. And speaking of hems - they ask you to turn 0.25cm, then another 0.25cm to hem. Seriously? Er, no thanks. I overlocked the raw edges to an approx 0.5cm seam allowance and turned once.

70's digital watch included as standard.
In the jeans I used 1/4" elastic from my stash rather than shirring elastic, which seemed faffy. I used a 3 step zigzag to attach it to the wrong side. And on the shirt I used velcro rather than the given poppers, as it will be much simpler for little fingers. Annoyingly I only had black velcro on hand.

I love the detail they've included.
Shoes are so cute!
So, this is absolutely not my best sewing, but it's absolutely passable for children. I enjoyed sewing it, but sewing dolls and their clothing is not something I want to do too often. That said, it did occur to me it might be nice to make him something a bit more modern: a t-shirt and sweatshirt maybe? As Kerry said on Instagram, it's a good way to use up scraps. So, you never know. There might be more doll sewing on the horizon!!!


  1. "Kit" is cute, I had the scariest kit clown doll made for me as a child, put me right off going to the circus! But I also had a lovely dolly which I am sure is still in my mum's house. Hoe his birthday goes well and he enjoys his doll.

  2. Oh my, I just got sucked into a nostalgic vortex!! I had the most incredible padded jacket made by these guys,mustard and red with borders and thigns you can only get with a preprinted kit. I love Kit!

  3. Oh, that is just so cool! I just got nostalgic too - we didn't have those kits exactly, but my mum made a very similar style of doll for my sister and me that we adored. (She had red and blue sneakers just like those ones!) I'm sure your boys will enjoy playing with Kit for many years :)


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