Friday, December 10, 2010

Farmhouse Doll beds and a mattress pattern

They're done! Aren't they so cute? I'm very happy with how they turned out. Ana White's doll bed instructions are really well done. Easy to follow and they build up quickly. Well once you've got the sanding done anyway. I didn't get full feeling back in my right arm for about three hours after sanding all this wood with a hand sander. It probably didn't help that I was using B grade lumber. It's cheap, just like me. And apparently, just like me, it's got some heavy duty rough spots.

I decided my girls needed mattresses for the beds so I sketched up a pattern for those.

Just a quick aside: if you want to make something and you aren't quite sure where to start, start with a sketch. Draw up what you want to make and put dimensions on it. It helps you picture the parts you need and know how big everything needs to be. It's also great for knowing how to put it together. I always start with a sketch.

Ok, so here's my sketch for the mattress:
I decided that I wanted to sew this out of one piece of fabric. I used the dimensions on the sketch to figure out how big of rectangle I needed to cut out of my fabric. However, my first mattress was a bit skimpy. Don't cut your fabric that size.

cut your fabric 33"x22". not the numbers in the sketch there. The larger piece will make a nicer fitting mattress for the bed.
Big rectangle. I use quilt cutting tools for projects like this. I get perfectly straight lines and square corners. So much easier. I almost never quilt but I use my cutting mat and rotary cutter all the time.

Next step is to fold the fabric in half so it creates a rectangle 16.5"x22". Sew a 1/2" seam all the way around, leaving a 4" gap on one side. I left the pins in the following photo so you could see the gap.
Trim your corners.
Now for the trick. The mattress stands about 1" tall. Match the seams together at the corners so the seam is directly in the center. Like this:
Then measure with a measuring tape 1/2" from the seam to the edge of the fabric on each side. This should create a straight line. (It's hard to explain, but the picture shows pretty clearly how to do that step.) Then draw a line along the measuring tape. This is a seam line.
Sew across that line. Now do this on all four corners.
Press the seams open and turn the mattress right side out. If you want the tufting to be perfectly even, measure and mark out six spots on the mattress to tuft. They should be evenly spaced across the mattress. Stuff it and sew the gap closed. I like to sew it closed by hand, but you can top stitch if you don't mind visible stitching on that section.

Next you get to tuft the mattress. I did a simple stitched tufting, but you can use a fabric covered button if you wish. On each mark, go down with a needle and thread all the way through the mattress. Pull through just enough thread to make a single 1/4" stitch (slip a button on if you wish) and send the needle back through the mattress. You should come up about 1/4" from where you went down. This will take a bit of maneuvering. Don't push the needle through until you've got that right.

Now, slip the needle between the threads right near the knot like this:
Pull it tight. The thread is now looped and will hold. The look of the mattress depends on how tightly you pull the tufting. You can leave it a little loose or pull the top and bottom fabric right up against each other. Tie off the thread and cut it close. Do this on the other five marks.

finished tufts. And you're done! How easy was that?


  1. They turned out so cute! You really put a lot of effort into them, I know they will love them.

  2. Thanks for the instructions for the mattress...I plan on having this as a summer project for me and my granddaughter to make over the summmer for Christmas gifts....or to sell (if she is good)....then she'll extra money for Christmas. Thanks again.

  3. Jaime, My husband just finished the Farmhouse Bed from Ana White as directed. I would like to make a quilt like yours but to fit the other dimensions. I just measure the foam mattress and it is 27 x 21 as my husband lengthened it when someone said it was hard to get the doll in it. So how many different fabrics do I need for the quilt and should I do 3 inch squares or what. I don't sew, so I need to keep it We are going to VA in less than a week so I need to get busy so I can take it to our granddaughter's. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you! Alicia

  4. I have to be secretive when posting this because my daughter will insist she wants a set too. Check this super cute Pororo mattress set. It's Korean culture to sleep on the floor on a "yo" which means a mattress