Hot! Funky, Felt Pincushion

As part of 30 Days of Pincushions, Dawn has generously provided this pincushion for one Sew Weekly reader to win! Instructions on how to win it can be found at the bottom of this post.

image from Name: Dawn Parizek
Shop name: Dawnorama
Location: Des Moines, IA
How long on Etsy: Almost 1 year

Describe your aesthetic in three words: 
Funky, Colorful and Modern

Who (or what) is an inspiration for your pincushions? 
My inspiritaion would have to be my Grandma Helen. She was a very creative, crafty gal. She could make something beautiful out of anything. Be it a walnut, an old, plastic dish soap bottle, or a tin can lid. She made all of my Barbie doll’s clothes… and they were groovy, 70’s clothes. She was awesome. I think that she’d love my pincushions.

How did you start making them? 
I kind of stumbled onto making the pincushions. I had been to a crafting slumber party with some girlfriends, and we just sat around the table with a huge pile of felt, some embroidery floss and buttons, sewing up whatever come to mind. I went and bought some felt of my own and just started sewing. It started with felt yo-yos that I thought would be cute hair accesories… and just blossomed into pincushions. Now I can’t stop! 

Thanks, Dawn! Be sure to visit her Etsy shop and check out her other pincushions for sale!

Want to win this pincushion? You just have to answer the following question:

Did any of your childhood dolls have any homemade (made by you or someone else) clothes?

Each giveaway is open for twenty-four hours from the time of posting. Please only post one comment in each thread. Winners will be announced each Monday in April. Winners can only win once but are encouraged to answer all the questions! 



Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. This pin cushion is ADORABLE!
    My Barbie inherited a few tube-style dresses that my mom had made for *her* Barbie when she was a girl. :) And my very first sewing project was a sleeper for my Cabbage Patch Kid… made by me (and my mom) on my very own Cabbage Patch Kids sewing machine! I think I was about 8 years old at the time. Talk about being a child of the ’80s!
    Of course, these days I make clothes for my daughter’s stuffed animals. So far, they have tiny flannel diapers, a Tinkerbell costume to match the one I made for my daughter and even a little floral top. Dolls should look good too, don’t you think? ;)

  2. Soooooo cute!
    alas, i did not have any craftiness in me when I was younger. I was WAY into sports and didn’t make time for anything else. My mother sewed costumes for us, but never made us any Barbie or doll clothes. However, I did find, in her stash that she left before she moved, some vintage Barbie clothing patterns for wedding dresses from the late 70’s and early 80’s. I think I will have to make those for my daughter’s dolls. :)

  3. Adorable!
    My stuffed bunny, Elizabeth, always had costumes homemade by my grandmother. As soon as my grandmother could coax four-year-old me to pick up a needle, she started to teach me how to sew clothes for my toys on my own!
    I also inherited a stash of Barbies from my aunts, all with carefully crocheted sweaters and homemade outfits. I vaguely recall the dresses and fabrics as looking VERY ’70’s.

  4. Great idea for a giveaway-a-day to support Etsy shops. To answer your question – no, to the best of my knowledge my dolls did not have homemade clothes. As consolation, I had homemade Halloween costumes.

  5. I didn’t make many clothes for my dolls as a child (though I made a few things for my teddies). I do remember a doll my granddad gave me , I think he bought it at at a craft faire. The doll was very cheaply made and fell apart quickly but it came with about 10 hand knitted outfits that were used for years to dress my teddies.

  6. My sister and I had a “My Child” doll each – and we adored them. My mum made a number of outfits for them including “birthday” dresses out of sequin and satin fabric, flannelette nightgowns and Christmas dresses made from Christmas print fabrics! My Aunt (a very talented dressmaker and tailor) also made us each some beautiful outfits for our dolls when our little brother was born. I still have the doll and all the outfits up in my top cupboard – I couldn’t bare to get rid of them!
    Of course my sister and I did attempt to make a few outfits of our own – they were essentially scrap pieces of fabric from mum’s cupboard glued together with holes cut for the head and arms!

  7. I remember my Grandma made my Cabbage Patch Kid a faux fur coat! I was over the moon…Plus, I was a little perplexed…she made this? How did she make this coat?? Wow! Hmmmm….that might have been my first encounter with sewing!! :-)

  8. Nothing handmade, but when I played with Barbies in the 80’s my dolls rocked dresses from the 50’s…inherited from my mother and aunts. I thought it was really cool! =)

  9. Everything I owned was hand made by my mum. Me and my 2 sisters had tiny tear dolls with lots of outfits, special quilted cradel, blankets ect. I also had a Sindy doll (bit like Barbie) and again I had lots of clothes. My mum also made all our schol uniforms, ect ect. I feel I was very lucky. Thanks mum x x x

  10. Did ANY?? How about asking me if ALL my dolls had homemade clothes. They did!! Every singe one of them! And I’d make it all myself. I got my first sewing maschine (a baby/ childrens Singer) when I was … 5 years old and by the age of ten I was sewing my own clothes in the youthclub. I still have the Singer and plan on bringing it out when my daugther turns 5 in 2 years time. We will have so much fun sewing clothers for HER dolls togther :D

  11. No I didn’t have any dolls that had home-made clothes! I only really liked Barbies – everything else I would cut up and draw all over (SO terrible I know!!).
    I was more into toys for boys when I was little. Lego and puzzles and drawing.
    I liked Barbie only cos she was slim and fashionable. I *hated* Cabbage Patch dolls and any of those baby/toddler faced ones.

  12. I didn’t have many dolls but I did have one homemade doll, made by my grandma. Also, one Christmas, me and my sister made dolls to represent our family, they wire dolls with clothes on.

  13. My Barbie had clothing made my me. Terrible things that didn’t have hems and snaps that were sewn with entirely too much thread. I must have made the simple, strapless bodice enough times to wear out the single pattern I had.
    Barbie was also the proud owner of a rabbit fur coat made by my granma. A full length coat in black with a short collar in white. It wasn’t lined, but Barbie never complained.

  14. I have never had the pleasure, or talent to make hand made dolls clothes. That’s why I’m making up for it now!

  15. My grandma made dresses for my Cabbage Patch Kid that matched the dresses she made for me! It was great!

  16. Yes, yes, yes! I had groovy 70s clothes for my dolls – including some crochet. They also had a few little quilts! My mom was awesome about that stuff!!!

  17. We had doll clothes – handmade and store-bought, but to say we were “disorganized” would be a massive understatement. Hence, our Barbies lived in a place we called “Nakedland” and they never needed clothes. I know…weird, slightly disturbing…true. :)

  18. Oh I love it! My dolls had clothes that I made. I remember making clothes from all over the world one time. I even painted my Barbie’s hair black to go with her sari.

  19. I didn’t have too many hand made things unless they were made by me. I had some hilarious barbie clothes that made myself and I made my sister’s American doll a blanket for Christmas when I was in sixth grade.

  20. My cabbage patch dolls had a pretty extensive wardrobe compliments of my mother.

  21. I love this!
    I used to make clothes for my little toy bears from balloons. Strange, I know, but I made vests and skirts and all sorts of no-sew creations!

  22. my mom and I both made clothes for my dolls, though at the beginning her’s looked much better than mine because mine tended to be socks with the toes cut off or scraps from mom’s serger bin.

  23. That pin cushion is amazing! I love it. I also love that it was inspired by her grandmother, Helen. I too had a grandmother named Helen, who is the inspiration for and namesake of my jewelry business.
    I can’t say I had any handmade cloths for my dolls when I was growing up. There wasn’t anyone in my family who seriously sewed. I do, however, believe that I might possibly have altered a few of my Barbies’ gowns while playing “fashion designer”. Ha! :)

  24. When i was very young my mother made me a few cloth dolls, with several sets of clothes. I wish i still had them. My strongest memory of the dolls is actually more about helping my mother make them, sew on the faces and design their dresses. I really don’t remember playing with them. I guess i have always love the construction process!

  25. Oh yes, my grandmother made me an adorable dutch doll with braids and embroidered eyes. Her clothes were all handmade and incredibly sweet. She also had felt “wooden” clogs. I still have her and cherish her! Super fond memories!

  26. My Barbie dolls had a whole boatload of clothes made by my mother. She, for a while when I was around 4, used the sewing doll clothes as a way to keep occupied when she tried to stop smoking. Apparently it was efficient, because she did quit. My kids now play with the same clothes!

  27. Adorable! Most of my dolls had homemade clothes. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon, going though my mom’s scrap bin and making something new.

  28. My mom made handmade clothes for my dolls! And I love Des Moines :)

  29. I once bought a barbie doll dress at a craft fair for my redheaded barbie – my grandma couldn’t sew things small enough to fit my dolls because of her arthritis. That dress was so awesome, I kept it on the barbie and it’s on my bookshelf. Yes, I realize I’m 26, but it’s a redheaded barbie, ya’ll! Those are rarer than unicorns!

  30. My dear grandmother was very artistic and out of all 9 of her grandchildren, I was the only other one who was artistically inclined. Needless to say, we spent many an hour of creating things together when I was a child.
    One of my favorite gifts she gave to me was a children’s sewing machine. We made too many barbie outfits to count as well as miniature blankets, quilts and pillows for my cabbage patch dolls and my little ponies. My favorite barbie dress was a metallic gold wiggle dress for Jem- it had a matching belt, hat and gloves!

  31. Yup, not only were about 90% of my dolls’ clothes homemade, but so were my dolls. I get the crafty gene from my mom. She even made me a completely homemade cabbage patch doll when they were all the rage back then. Loved it!

  32. My mom is responsible for most of my dolls’ wardrobes. I think the only store-bought clothes my Barbies had were the ones they came in. A highlight was the Barbie reproduction she made of Princess Diana’s wedding dress. She also helped make outfits to dress my Ken dolls (complete with wigs) as Thomas Jefferson, and other founding fathers, for a school project.
    She still loves making doll clothes, but focuses more on the American Girl dolls for her friends’ daughters and granddaughters. (Barbie just doesn’t seem to be as popular lately.)

  33. Cuuuute pincushion (I’m sure every pincushion this month will be darling)!
    When I was a kid my mother actually made our dolls! My sister and I had Amish dolls (no face or hair so you can use your imagination to make your doll look like whoever you want), and they had different coordinating outfits for each season… usually these matched the table runner and place settings that my mom made for a holiday dinner!
    She also made a fair number of Barbie outfits, but we didn’t play with Barbie a whole lot.

  34. judy roberson

    I wanted a barbie doll for Chrismtas when I was 8 yrs old. I wanted it so bad, all the kids were bringing them to school and would sit and dress and redress them at recess. well, I recieved the doll but no clothes..I was dissappointed. I think my Mama realized my dissapointment. She went and dug out her scraps and told me..The presents are not over.. We have to make some extra clothes for her.I was so happy..She made several out fits..and then showed me how to take a rectangle of fabric, cut holes for arms, and add a ribbon belt.So, not only did Mama make me dresses, but I took her left over scraps and I had LOTS of dresses.It was one happy Christmas.

  35. My Mom owned a 1950’s Miss Revlon doll and later I got to play with her at my Grandmother’s. She had 2 outfits at the time. When I was about 11 my Grandmother and my Great-Aunt came to visit and brought the doll with them with a whole new wardrobe!!! All items my Grandma and Aunt Freda had made from scraps of their own clothing! I was in HEAVEN!
    I still have Jane and all of those clothes. :-)

  36. I don’t think I had handmade doll clothes, but my American Girl Molly had a handmade bed: Dad made the bed out of wood and Mom sewed the mattress and bedding, to match the red-and-white bedding in the catalog. (‘Cause do you know how expensive American Girl furniture is? Sheesh!!)

  37. Adorable pin cushion! :)
    I wasn’t really into barbie all that much when I was a kid, so no handmade clothes for her. I did make my own floppy bunny with an apron however, and she is featured in a few of my paintings. :)

  38. When I was in 6th grade, I made a doll AND all her clothes. Her head was ceramic (and thus very heavy), and I hand-stitched her body out of a pillowcase. I hand sewed all her clothes too. Her name was Charlotte. :-)

  39. My mom bought me this “Big Betty” doll. It was a freestanding almost 3′ hard plastic girl that freaked me out. I think she made clothes for her to make me like her more, but no go : )
    Love the stitching on the pin cushion!

  40. Because my mother would sew my cloths of course I was into clothing all of my stuffed animals. I would try to figure out how to cut the fabric to make it out of one cut piece or tie together in some fashion.

  41. A neighbor made me a gift of a Barbie outfit, and I remember being so amazed! My mom didn’t sew, so the possibility of making things like that had never crossed my mind before. Pretty awesome.

  42. I had several Barbies, a Francine, a Ken and a Skipper. I had handmade Barbie clothes, including hand knit dresses from my grandma (& great aunt I think) and a fur coat made from alterations to a rabbit skin coat a relative had. I also had matching Barbie & Skipper dresses that my mother made. I remember that the women’s magazines used to publish craft articles in them and sometimes a Barbie pattern was featured. I don’t have any of the clothes now but they sure bring back good memories. Maybe I need to make some Barbie and LivDoll clothes for my girls so that they can share in that as well.
    Thanks for prompting the memories. And thanks for blogging. I like your enthusiasm and honesty.

  43. I was very lucky to have my mom’s original Barbie and Ken, plus their spectacular wardrobe, to play with. I made all the clothes my rag dolls wore and I was very inspired by Little House on the Prairie.

  44. I was a tween in the height of the Cabbage Patch craze of the 80’s. Like my friends I had a nice little collection of those dolls. Not only did my mother make my dolls clothes, she made me Cabbage Patch dolls. Although they didn’t have the plastic face, they looked just like the real ones & they were made by my mother. My friends were jealous and I asked her to make some for them and she did. My crafty mother still makes doll clothes for my niece Willow. Every Christmas, birthday, Easter… my mom makes Willow a new dress and she also make her doll Lucy a matching dress too. Right down to the hat, gloves & purse!

  45. Shannon Burchard

    I often sewed for my dolls. I had a great book I used as a model. I wish I still had the book. I can see it in my mind, but can’t remember the title for the life of me:)

  46. Goodness, yes! My Samantha (American Girl) doll had replicas of all of the clothes in the catalog, courtesy of my very talented mother!

  47. I never had dolls. My hippy mother thought they were sexist. But I would love that pin cushion. So adorable.

  48. I don’t think we made any clothes for our dolls, though I feel I may have tried to “make” dresses out of just wrapping cloth on them. In fact, I still have a handmade doll from my childhood that I just have clothed in a scarf toga.

  49. My mom and my grandma made lots of Barbie clothes for me, until I was old enough to man the sewing machine myself. It brings back fun memories~

  50. samantha joyce

    I had a look on your etsy shop, i love all your pin cushions. My great granny made my tiny tears dolly an entire wardrobe of clothes, she was definetly the most trendy tiny tears in my street! I guess its where i got my creative streak from
    Samantha x

  51. margueritedesigns

    I had Sindy dolls, the UK equivalent of Barbie. She had a much more rounded face and torso. I used to make lots of her clothes, my most memorable being a long coat and a jacket made of tweed and trimmed with fake fur around the collar and cuffs (she was a very glamorous Sindy!) It’s a shame I can’t post a picture here because I still have them! I also had a ‘Tiny Tears’, which was a large baby doll type thing for which I made pants with rows and rows of frills on the back. I don’t have these unfortunately!

  52. Beautiful pin cushion – really stunning!
    I had a Clothkits rag doll called Kitty (you can still buy her now! She’s a rag doll printed on fabric that you make up yourself) – she had a few very folky clothes that my Mum stayed up into the wee small hours making for me and my sister on Christmas eve. My Mum also gave me a small rag doll and a sewing basket for my 10th birthday which started me sewing. The things I made were terrible but it started a life long passion for sewing. Love my Mum.

  53. My mom would make clothes for my Barbie’s. I still have them. It’s because of my mom that I found it natural to want to sew.

  54. The only doll clothes I had that weren’t made by hand came with the dolls. As well, my maternal grandmother always made our pajamas, and she always made sure to make a matching pair for my dolls. I used to make clothes for my Barbies when I was a little older. My mom and her sisters had done so too, they should me how. Kind of a fun thing to reminisce!

  55. I had an Annie Doll my mother made for me AND matching clothes (yes the iconic red dress). My sister and I also had cabbage patch dolls AND barbie dolls that my mother made ALL of their clothes. I don’t remember ANY store bought clothes at all except for the one piece that came on the doll. I still have all the cabbage patch dolls and clothes today, my daughter plays with them now! How fun is that?!

  56. My mom taught me how to sew making clothes for my dollies :)
    My barbies also had home made clothes, that were actually clothes my mom had for her barbies (their next door neighbor used to make tons of doll clothes and she and her sisters used to save up their allowance for them). Much higher quality clothes than the ones Barbie came with!

  57. My mother used to make clothes for my Barbie dolls. She taught me a little bit about sewing then as well, getting me to learn how to make some clothes for my Barbies.
    I remember going to school fairs when I was young, and there would always be a stall or two selling hand-knitted Barbie doll clothes. Always prettily home-packaged, laid out nicely on a heavy cardboard backing and with gladwrap over the top. I always wanted some when I was young!

  58. Oh heck yes! My dolls ALL had homemade clothes. I started sewing for them by hand when I was 6 or 7 and then got a sewing machine used from my local high school when I was 9. Can I just say THANKS MOM!!!
    I still dress my dolls whenever I can!

  59. My aunt was a very talented seamstress. She made a several outfits for my American Girl Doll, Kirsten. (They weren’t copies from the catalogue, they were from her patterns, but I loved them anyway).

  60. I still have my teddy ‘Suanne” who has a pair of knitted knickers made by my Mum and the dress that I cobbled together at one point. She also has been wellrugged up over the years in a green beret with works a bit like a sleeping bag for her. I think I’ve had her now for the better part of 38 years.

  61. My Mum made clothes for all my dolls from Barbies to my big walking Cindy doll, she made clothes, bedding and accessories. I tried to, I wrapped and tied an assortment of bits and pieces around them and called them clothes, there was a memorable string bikini which would have had Barbie arrested in public…LOL

  62. I did not sew when I was little but my Mom made us many Barbie outfits for our Barbie dolls!!! They were better than the ones you could buy in the store too!

  63. I made dresses for my troll dolls. They were very simply, a rectangle with two holes for the arms to slip through. Not having any snaps or fasteners, I held them together with straight pins. I also made matching hairbows and hats. As my mom didn’t sew, I scrounged scraps from the mom of my best girlfriend and ended up making clothes for her trolls too! We had so much fun with those funny little colorful dolls.

  64. Many of my dolls’ clothes were actually my own hand-me downs. But yes, my paternal grandmother knit several of my dolls’ clothes. My mom and I sewed several more, and my maternal (step) grandmother sewed a layette for a one of my dolls.