Make it: Travel Fabric Dolls House

Last year I made a cute little dolls house in a suitcase which was more for me than anything, so this year I thought I would make one that my niece can actually play with. She loves her dolls house but is heading off on holiday next month so I thought a small fabric version that she could take with her would be the perfect compromise and wins me points to my Auntie of the year award!

To make one for your little one you will need: 2 pieces of plain cotton fabric 40cm x 50cm for the main sections of the house, 1 piece of fusible fleece 40cm x 50cm, 15cm x 40cm of print cotton and the same of a stiffer fabric like corduroy for the roof section, 15cm x 40cm of craft interfacing,  A selection of small scraps of patterned fabrics for the house details, 50cm of bondaweb, dark grey sewing thread, a free embroidery foot or darning foot for your sewing machine, three poppers or snap fasteners, an iron, and a basic sewing kit.

1. Start by ironing on the fusible fleece to the back of the fabric you have chosen for the outside of the house.
2. Gather your fabric scraps and get an idea of which fabrics you want to use for which pieces of furniture and accessories.
3. Iron on the bondaweb to the back of the fabrics that you choose to use.
4. Draw out the shapes of some of the bigger things like the door and windows onto the paper backing of the bondaweb.
5. Cut out the shapes and peel off the backing paper before placing them on the top right hand corner of the front fabric.
6. Iron those pieces in place and set it aside while you do the same for each room of the house.
7 - 9. Cut out shapes for all the rooms using simple outlines, you will be adding details with stitching. Iron them in place and layer up smaller shapes to add dimension.
10. Free hand machine stitch the details around the shapes to add the smaller details, like drawing with the sewing machine. You could also do this by hand with embroidery thread if you are nervous about using the machine. Do the same with the outside of the house.

11 - 12. Once you have stitched all the details you want to all four rooms sew them together.
13. Place the inside and outside with right sides together and stitch around three sides leaving the top open.
14. Turn it right side out and sew a straight line up the centre and across the middle to help with folding.
15-16. To make the roof handles cut the corduroy, interfacing and pattern fabric and cut them into a rough roof shape with a hole in the centre to create a handle.
17. Sew around the top edges and the handle then sandwich the top of the house between the layers of the handle and sew along the edge to join the two together.
18. Sew the poppers to the corners of the house so it stays together when its folded up and you are all done.

I love the slightly shabby look that the machine embroidery gives to the applique, like a sketchy cartoon. I love that you can create any rooms that you like with simple shapes and cute fabrics.  I also made the bed a little pocket so my niece can pop one of her little dolls in it to take away with her. I have already given it to her and she loves it so much, my sister-in-law is also super happy as it has been keeping her occupied already!

I hope you have fun coming up with the rooms and accessories for your own travel doll house, and that the recipient is just as happy with it as my little niece is with hers.

Sammy xxx

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