Is there anyone more accident prone than a child? Probably not. It's why we're built so close to the ground, you know; when we fall as children, we don't have very far to go. And thus, the reason childhood is filled with bumps, bruises, scratches, and all sorts of owies needing kissed better (which any small child will tell you really works!).
All it took was my daughter running inside with a fresh bang on her knee, crying, curling up with her baby doll to convince me. The idea of the booboo baby was born: a baby doll that could kiss it better with ice.
This is a very basic soft cloth baby doll that can be machine-sewn or stitched and will end about 9 inches long.
An entry in the Etsy Sew Useful contest, you can also find a ready-made BooBoo Baby here.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
You'll only need a few basic items to make the booboo baby:
*2 rectangles of fabric (any cotton/polyester blend) sized 8 inches x 10 inches.
*2 T-Shirt Transfer Sheets and Inkjet Printer (I used Avery, which you can grab here but you can also pick up a 6-pack at Wal-Mart for about $8.) OR Printable Fabric Sheets (You can find these at Joann.com
*Ten inches of 1/4-inch wide ribbon
*A small bag of fiber fill (the fluffier the better)
*Either the boy or girl (front and back) pattern I made, available below.
*Needle and thread or a Sewing Machine (and a lot of patience), scissors, straight pins
The first thing you'll need to do is grab the front and back for either the boy or girl booboo baby (or both, if you feel like it).
If you're armed with Photoshop, you're more than welcome to play with the .psd to change colors, clothes, or anything else you like.
When you choose fabric, make sure it's something that will accept a t-shirt transfer. I've chosen a high thread-count broadcloth this time, but have my eye on some really soft flannel for the next batch. I also recommend using a fabric that is just slightly see-through, so that you can easily see the lines when you start to sew booboo baby together.
If you don't feel like using transfers, you can always print directly on your fabric, too! You can use ready-to-print fabric sheets that you purchase, or you can learn how to make your own here - just make sure you use a product like Bubble Jet Set so that your ink doesn't run when wet.
For sewing, make sure that you're using a strong thread. Upholstery thread is best, because it will stand up to a lot of wear. You can hand-sew or machine sew the pattern; I've chosen to do the hand-sew thing because I wanted booboo baby to be able to be made by anyone, of any age, without any special skills.
Step 2: Print & Iron
All you'll need to do here is print the front and back of booboo baby on separate t-shirt transfer sheets.
Before you print, try a draft print on a regular piece of paper to make sure everything looks right. Then, when you do the actual print on the transfer sheet, set your print quality to Best and the paper to Iron-On Transfer.
Follow the instructions on the transfer sheet packaging to iron the pattern on to your fabric. In general, you'll want to use the highest heat setting on your iron and do not use an ironing board. You need to apply a lot of pressure, and ironing boards don't usually provide enough.
Lay your transfers in the same direction along the grain of the fabric, just to reduce any problems with the pattern looking different on front and back.
Allow the transfer sheets to cool completely before you remove them.
If you're going the whole print-on-fabric route, ignore my transfer notes and just follow the directions on the product you're using before continuing on.
Step 3: Cut It Out
This is a pretty easy step, just keep 2 things in mind:
1. Leave some seam allowance (white space) outside the lines. Do not cut on the lines, cut outside them, leaving a thin white border. If you're machine-sewing, leave a larger border and trim the allowance before turning.
2. You'll want to have everything match up easily. Try to keep your borders even so that you don't have to guess too much about where the lines are when you start sewing.
Step 4: Sew the Body
You'll want booboo baby to be sturdy, so take your time with the stitches.
Place booboo baby together, with right sides touching. She will look like she's turned inside-out. Use a simple whipstitch to sew along the darkest lines. Start at one side of the head, and end at the other side - do not sew the head closed.
Not sure how to do hand stitches? I've included an illustration to doing whipstitches below, or you can read more here. The stitch itself isn't too important - the important thing is to keep your stitches tight and close together. A whipstitch will also fold some of the white border under the stitching, keeping things looking clean on the outside.
If you're machine sewing, use an overlock or zigzag stitch.
Step 5: Turn Baby Out
After sewing the body, turn booboo baby right-side out. You'll need to use a pen (with the ink point inside) or a toothpick to turn out the smaller curves. You may need to clip some curves closer to stitching.
Warning: this step will require the most patience. Try pushing small curves like the ears, hands, and booties to the right side before you turn the rest of the baby out.
When you're done, booboo baby will probably look a little wrinkly - just like any newborn! But don't worry, once we fill it up it'll look great. Just how wrinkly it looks will depend on the material you're using, and whether you've used a transfer or printed directly on the fabric. Transfers will look more wrinkly.
Step 6: Stuff, Tie & Use
Start with the booties, and work your way up filling the baby with fiberfill. It needs to be really full - but not so full that it pops the stitches. (I'm guilty of having done just that the first time.)
Once the baby is stuffed, she's ready for her pretty ribbon necklace. Cut 10 inches of 1/4 inch wide ribbon, and tie tightly around the neck. This will keep her stuffings in, but make it easy to replace the stuffings or remove them for washing.
And with that, BooBoo Baby is ready to use! Place up to 3 cubes of ice in her head, and let booboo baby kiss the owies all better.