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Emma Designs: repurposed sweater to doll shrug tutorial

5yo-designed doll sweater

Emma asked me to cut the sleeves off an old sweater I had in my “clothing to repurpose” stash. I obliged, and she took it off to play with her dolls. About twenty minutes later, she asked me to add a button to the front and a button to the back to turn it into this shrug. For the sake of simplicity, I talked her into a few stitches instead of a button on each side.

5yo-designed doll sweater

Basically you cut the ends off of a long-sleeved shirt, and stitch the front and back together in the very center – the completed front will look exactly the same as the back. Then you can pull it over the doll’s head, turn in the raw edge, and it makes a little shrug. You can stitch the raw edge under, but we were too lazy for that. We made a second one with snaps instead of stitching, but didn’t feel that method was particularly superior. Plus, it was being worn by a baby that was being played with when I went to take pictures.

I think it’s cute, and a creative design for a five-year-old! She has more sleeve ends that she wants me to help her stitch into pants.

And this doll is from my own childhood! I got her for Christmas when I was nine, and she survived countless hours of play, moves, and years of storage. I had to stitch up her first-ever hole this week.

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

13 thoughts on “Emma Designs: repurposed sweater to doll shrug tutorial”

  1. It makes it extra nice that the doll is from your childhood. New Kid has been playing with my old Strawberry Shortcake dolls. Not quite as nice as yours, but still nostalgic for me.

    1. That doll is amazing. I believe my parents found it on crazy clearance when they did some last-minute (Christmas Eve, if I remember correctly) shopping.

      I love the nostalgia of seeing my own kids play with treasures from my childhood.

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