Paco’s Doggie Carrier… a “partial” tutorial…and a partial Effner reveal…

Before I do the post for today, I wanted to give you a quick update on the Dianna Effner, Little Darlings Easter dresses that I showed you yesterday. I worked as much as I could today but it still wasn’t enough time to finish them. I’m almost done… I have to “embellish” them now…the fun part! But I still thought I would share a partial reveal. You can be figuring out which one you want! *hint* *hint* again… The plan is to try and get them listed tomorrow evening on Ebay.

If you click on any of the pictures they will enlarge.





About three weeks ago I had a little friend, Sara, over to my house and I shared some of her latest “creations” she’s been working on. (HERE) She shows real promise with her sewing and I’d like to do all I can to encourage and help her with her ideas. She has this very special stuffed puppy dog named Paco and she’s wanted to make him a carrier ever since she found out I knew how to sew. I found this fun cotton fabric months ago and told her when the time was right, we’d make that carrier.


Well, the other day was THE day! I got out some pattern books and we looked at dog carriers so I could get an idea of what she was wanting. She didn’t seem to find anything so I asked her if she could draw me a picture. This is what she drew…


Not only can she sew, but she can put her ideas on paper…that’s a good start for a seamstress.

Now, the hard part… my part! Figuring out a pattern from what she had drawn. I grabbed some green paper that I use for all sorts of craft projects and began cutting and folding… and came up with a decent pattern that I thought would work.


I have a big stash of fleece batting so I thought it would be nice to quilt the fabric first before we cut out the pieces. It would make it look like a “Vera Bradley” doggie carrier…(Just kidding…) Quilting the pieces took quite a while.


I laid the pieces on the fabric, put a layer of fleece next, and then used a white cotton for the backing. I allowed a generous inch or so around each piece to allow for the quilting to pull in the fabric a bit. I just made the first diagonal row and then used a guide to make them all the same distance apart. Then you go the opposite direction with your diagonal stitching.

After all the pieces were quilted, it was time to start assembling it. She wanted there to be some kind of see through windows on the end and I had this stiff netting with little dots on it, so we used that. I had the yellow ribbon and stitched around the edges with that. I think they look pretty cute.






Her mom called before we could get it finished, and she had to go home. I decided to keep working on it and see if I could get if finished.


I pulled a strip of fleece through the handle so it would be nice to hold. Topstitching it several times gave it that “store bought” feel.

I used some yellow single fold bias tape for the opening and stitched in around the front opening. Here’s the inside…


I attached the bottom, which was a little tricky and then added the front flap. I used the same yellow bias tape around the outside flap. Three loops were added and stitched on the edges of the front flap. I had some larger red buttons that worked well at holding the front flap in place.



So here’s Paco’s new carrier… I hope he likes it.


So what did I learn from doing this without a “real” pattern? First of all, my quilting rows aren’t all the same… see on the front door. The diagonal stitching is going in a slightly different direction. The diamond shapes are all the same size, they are just off a bit. That’s because I didn’t quilt the whole piece of fabric at the same time and cut the pieces all out with a grainline. I did each piece separately. It won’t matter at all to Sara or Paco, and it’s nice that it’s a print so it hides where it’s off.

What else should I have done differently? I knew since the top of the carrier carried over to the front of the carrier, one side was going to be right side up and the other side was going to be upside down. I should have chosen the “front” side to be the side that was right side up, but I picked the back because it was the bigger area that would be seen. Oh well…

What kind of sewing mentor would I be if I didn’t pack Paco’s empty carrier full of more fabric? Sara will have fun with all the goodies inside.


Want to see her expression when she opened it up?





All that time it took to quilt the fabric was worth it when I saw how much she loved it! I got the biggest hug!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Those dresses turned out just darling, Jeanne!

    And the doggie carrier–wow! Oh, I think you did a great job on it and it certainly shows just looking at the pictures with Sara! However, where was Paco? I suppose you must have seen him to know what size to make. The pattern is darling, and fits the purpose perfectly. If the material was just plain or maybe stripes or polka dots, you wouldn’t have to worry about what was right side up, but I think what you made is perfect for Sara and Paco!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      When Sara came over the other day she didn’t bring Paco. She’s had him every other time she’s been here, but that day she didn’t have him… :o(
      I’ll make sure and get a picture of Paco in the carrier the next time I’m over at their apartment. She was so proud of the carrier…the other day when she invited me over to share the cupcakes with her little friends from the apartment, right before I left, she said, “wait…” and she went and got her carrier and in front of all those little kids, she said, “look what she made me for my birthday!” She was so excited to show them. They ooohhh’d and aaaahhh’d over it like it was a new cell phone or something. *smile”
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. The dresses are adorable and so is the carrier. The happy look on her face is priceless. She will love you forever. 🙂

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Christine,
      Yes, it was a priceless moment and I will love her forever too!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. You are amazing, Jeanne! What a good heart you have… and talent to make that pattern from a drawing… and spend all of that time making it for Sara. I am sure you got a HUGE hug from sweet Sara! BTW, your dresses are so colorful and cute too!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Cindy,
      It’s easy to spend time with someone you love! I actually got SEVERAL big hugs from her. Thanks for the compliments on the dresses… now to get them finished!!!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Cindy Rice is correct – you are amazing and you have a huge heart !! This little girl will remember your kindness forever! The doggie carrier is darling regardless of up side down or right side up print. I love the windows too. You are a good person.
    I am waiting for the Easter dresses to hit eBay so I can bid. I have one in particular I am interested – no hints either! Super cute and I know for certain they are sewn beautifully!
    Have a wonderful day!!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Jeannie,
      I’m glad the carrier turned out as well as it did, considering I didn’t have a pattern. I took apart a worn out Vera Bradley purse that my sister had given me and now I think I’m going to make a replica of it after making Paco’s carrier.
      Okay… 3 Easter dresses coming right up!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. How good you are, Jeanne, to help Sara learn to sew and, I’m sure, improving her English at the same time. Tomorrow perhaps we can see the puppy in the carrier?
    The dress you posted a couple days ago was immediately snatched up on ebay and I’m sure these new dresses will be, too. I hope they all go to the same person so she can dress three dolls in them as you did, they look so cute that way. Sisters ready for Easter!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Jevne,
      I’ll have to get the picture of Paco in his carrier soon. Actually she has 3 little animals that she’s been carrying around in it.
      Yes, Patsy’s dress didn’t last long…and I’m hoping these Easter dresses are well received too. It would be fun for one person to have them all… sister dresses… how sweet that would be.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Kathie Welsh says:

    You are the best…it’s kind of like the “Teach the man to fish and he will eat forever”..or however that goes. In your case give her a dress she’ll only have one but teach her to sew and she’ll use that knowledge forever.
    I’ll bet that doggie carrier would sell very well too…Make one to match your next AG outfit…and maybe put a bunny in it?? LOL!
    I’m going OUTSIDE…it’s so nice out!

    • Hi Kathie,
      Yes, you are right about that teaching… by the time Sara and her family go back home, hopefully they’ll know more than they came here knowing. My hubby is teaching Sara’s daddy some things as he works along side him.
      What a cute idea about the bunny in a carrier… brilliant thought!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Good morning Jeanne,

    The dresses are darling and I know once you embellish them, they will be even cuter.
    Whatever little girls get them, they will be so delighted.

    And the puppy carrier…how adorable. Sara will have wonderful memories and wonderful things to remember you by. Especially your warmth, love and the giving of yourself. That will outlast everything. What a special bond the two of you have.
    I love the yellow material and the animated doggies. So cute.

    Enjoy your day!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks Paula,
      I’m glad you like the little Easter dresses. I’m working like crazy to get them all finished… lots of buttons, leaves and snaps to be sewn on…

      Also thank you for your kind words about Paco’s carrier. He likes it!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Cute dresses–perfect for Easter, and the pet carrier is awesome! It looks so nice and to think you did it without a pattern! I can tell by Sara’s expression that she loves it.

    • HI Carolyn,
      The dresses are all done and I’m trying to get them listed on Ebay, but having troubles getting my pictures added. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day…
      Yes, Sara loves her carrier… she has it filled with her animals and takes them wherever she goes.
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Awwww,
    So sweet.
    None of my three daughters wanted to (although the youngest stated that she might want to when she came home from college this past summer, but it never happened) learn to sew. 🙁 Oh well, there’s always granddaughters!! Or grandsons, maybe.

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