About Me

My photo
About Me: I am the creative person behind Ribbonwood Cottage. A mother, wife and grandmother. My goal in life is to leave a lasting legacy to my family that life is incredible. God gave us this one life and it is worth the journey! A believer. A pianist, church music and worship director. Focused on intentionally living the best life possible.

February 5, 2013

Paper Doll Pattern Applique Needle Book-DIY

I have always enjoyed making doll clothes for little ones over the years and I thought wouldn't it be cute to appliqué some clothes onto a wool needle book....a small one...to hold just a few needles, small pair of scissors and some thread!
I looked at some of my doll clothes patterns and decided paper doll patterns would work better since they are flat and one sided.

Scraps of fabric (your color and choice)
scraps of rick rack and or fringe
Doll clothes pattern below.

Probably 10 years ago I saved the paper doll pattern below for my daughter who was little at the time. She is now married! Yikes...so forgive me for not saving the url...this was before blogging...but I remember it being from About.com...
They had lists of free paper doll sites to print out.
I did a search on google....'free printable paper dolls' and came up with loads of sites that offer free paper dolls to print out.  You could search and find some other outfits if you needed something else.
Click on this image below to open it in another window, right click on it and save to your computer, in a picture file not a word file. It may not open up right in a word file....just sayin'.
I printed it out and cut out the dress and the coat.
The vintage ones below I found on Pinterest.
Use the outfits as cutting guides for the outfit you desire on your
needle book.

Next I cut cream colored wool felt.
2 pieces the exact same size- 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches.
You could make it bigger if you want.
Next I cut out the paper doll clothes I wanted.
I did trim them down a bit, shortened the sleeves on the coat to fit on the front page of the needle book.

I did not hem the clothes or tuck them under, I like the raw edged appliqué technique and used it on this needle book.  Basically I pinned the dress to the white wool on the right side of the wool fabric. The wool fabric will be folded in half to make your needle book so make sure you pin or mark where the center line will be. Pin and then sew the outfit to the right front side. 

I started with the bottom dress first and then put the coat on top of the dress, making sure the coat covered the fabric of the dress.
 I did a straight stitch all around the jacket. You can shorten the sleeves, add buttons, and embellish the little jackets however you want.  I just loved the little buttons.
 Next you are going to take the second cut piece of wool, this will be your inside page
you are going to sew the little scissor pocket and needle holder on first.
I cut the scissor pocket piece (on the left side of the picture below) a little less then 4" across so it would be sewn inside the fabric page and 2 3/4 inches tall.  The other square piece that the needles will go on I cut 4" across and a little less than 5" long and I used pinking shears on the edges. But that is not necessary to cut it that way.
 I actually sewed my book together at the beginning but realized I should have waited till after I sewed these pieces on.
 I tacked on the bullion fringe to the top of the scissor pocket piece. ONce that was on, I sewed the little scissor pocket to the left side of the wool fabric, leaving it open at the top to put the scissors in. Wool does not move around much, but you can pin it where you want it to go. 

 Next take your second piece that you cut (4" x 5") and fold the short side in half to find the middle, this is where you will sew the bow and button on. It is easier to fold in half to find the middle than to pull out the tape measure and measure it, etc. 
Sew  your ribbon on first before attaching the piece to your wool booklet.
 Next sew the button on top of your bow.
 Once you have taken a couple of stitches and secured the button, attach it and sew it to the right side of your (inside) wool page. You will now sew the inside piece to your outside piece down the middle which creates the book. YOU can sew it on the outside edges too. I did this when I added rick rack on my outside page and it held the book together.

I tried to find coordinating pins to match the ribbon I was using. This is what the inside of most of the needle books I make look like. I usually embellish the left side with rick rack or fringe. The right side has a matching bow and button. YOu could use any color scheme that you prefer. I made a pink one for my daughter-in-law with a wedding theme and gave it to her before she got married.

 The books were so small...I intended to put a snap or a closure on them but decided against it. I didn't want the bulkiness of a buttonhole or the look of a snap.

 I cut out a flower brooch and stitched it to the red coat for a little embellishment.

 So glad you stopped by for a visit. If you have any questions leave a comment or email me @
Thank you.
Also I would love to see any pictures if you decide to make some of these!


Scrap said...

lovely lovely lovely, thank you very much

Denise Marie said...


Anonymous said...

Oh Debbie, these are just adorable! ♥

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Oh cute, cute, cute...are you making any to sell??? huh, huh, pleeeease???

Kim Gillian said...


Chenille Cottage said...

Hi Debbie,
Your little needlebooks are as cute as can be. I love your darling appliqued wardrobe.
Thank you for sharing and blessing us with such a delightful tutorial.

Delia said...

Hi Debbie, love your creativity!