Sleepless in the castle


Little Riley had a 6th birthday party.  Seeing how cute and sweet she is now, I almost feel guilty for repeatedly and thoroughly describing the horrors of infant-rearing to her father prior to her birth.  I guess I thought it was something he needed to know.  Over and over.  And over.  And over again.

so cute but sadly, not a castle


It was a “princess party” so I wanted to somehow make a castle out of this great free house pattern I found online.  My original plan was to make the walls of the house the castle with the roof section as the sky.

cute and a castle



Then I decided that a house shape was too recognizable to pass that idea off and instead decided to modify this pattern on Etsy:


After a frenzied bout on Pinterest, the mania set in….thoughts of of crown molding, wallpaper, curtains, portraits, tassels, trees, grass, dolls, unicorns, furniture, totes…..oh the possibilities!

But unfortunately, work.  I have to go to work.  And sleep.  Sleep is necessary.

I wanted to make a girly castle with some cute stuff on the walls.  My personal goal was to purchase ONLY the plastic inserts for the castle since buying even more stuff=grumpy husband.

Using math that took longer than it should have given that I’m an adult, I changed the pattern to a one-piece and added a chair rail to look like a princess’s bedroom.  I went with some pinks in my fabric stash:

 I decided to do the outside of the castle in dark pink as well.  I added some purple stones…well, because I had purple felt.  The windows were black felt.  Both were stuck on with wonder-under and reinforced with a pick-stitch.

I used interfacing for the fabric and then lined each piece with felt.  As a result, my castle ended up a lot more pillow-y than the original pattern.


For the walls, I sewed the white and pink sections together and hand stitched a bias-strip “chair railing” over the top of the seam.


On the inside I made little windows (black on the outside of the castle and blue on the inside) with curtains.  I thought about embroidering little birds, or a sun, clouds, or a tree or something in the window, but decided the curtains covered too much of the window to make the effect worthwhile.  The center of the piece of yarn tie is sewn to the side of the window so the curtains can be let down or tied back. 

A little decorative shield over the door:


Finally,  a hanging “framed” portrait of the birthday girl.  To make it, I stalking-ly downloaded a picture from her dad’s Facebook profile and printed it on printable fabric (which is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!).  I then wonder-undered it to a piece of felt to give it a little more heft and pop.  I used a tapestry needle to poke holes around the edge of the “portrait” and then used these to insert the crochet edge.  I don’t remember exactly what stitches I used, I just messed around until I got a “frame-y” look that I liked.

 For the Princess Riley doll, I used this free pattern on Ravelry.  For her hair I made a hair cap as outlined in the book AmiguruME by Allison Hoffman (which I highly, highly, highly  recommend by the way).

Announcing Princess Riley Belle!!

I found this on someecards. Apparently there are others who suffer the same addiction as me. Who knew?


I made Princess Riley out of yarn from my secret yarn stash.  It’s in the trunk of my car.  Yes, I drive my yarn stash around town so my husband won’t know exactly how much yarn I have.  I think I may have a crafting problem.


Me when my pieces don't line up






And back to the castle… I basted on the felt pieces  and pinned everything together.  Thankfully, I remembered to make the inside and outside pieces mirror images of each other since they were not reversible.  I added (and reinforced) some ribbon onto the side panels when sewing so that the castle could be tied together when closed.  I didn’t have any Velcro on hand and ended up liking the effect in the end.

Must. Craft. Faster.


The morning of the party I stitched everything together-a couple of times for reinforcement-just in case.With all that fabric, felt, and tight corners, clipping was my best friend.   After some intense turning and castle abuse by bodkin, I inserted the plastic panels (the kind you use for latch hooking-like in one of the free house tutorials) and compartmentalized each section using my sewing machine.  For the bottom, I just turned the fabric in and hand stitched (more accurately called the cram the pieces together and use a “hurry, the party is in an hour” stitch).


And here are some photos of everything all together:

closed toy castle door

toy castle vine

toy castle

In the end, I was very happy to be able to pull everything off using what I have on hand.  I guess that means I’ll have to stock up on craft supplies so I can tell my husband that I won’t have to go to the craft store ever again.  See how that works?

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4 Responses to Sleepless in the castle

  1. Jade Pham says:

    Hi auntie,remember me? I’m your niece.Josie’s favorite cousin.I have a secret too,I have a yarn stash in mom’s car too:)oxox

  2. Jade Pham says:

    How’s Josie & Pennie?

  3. Jade Pham says:

    I want that for Christmas!

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