Olan Suddeth

Dad. Computer geek.
Homebrewer. Disney nut.
Would-be crafty guy.

HomeBrew Dad


a blog about making all sorts of things while raising a large family

Sewing Sleeping Bags for Barbie Dolls

A couple of days ago, I posted on the HomeBrew Dad Facebook page about how I was making some Barbie doll sized sleeping bag/pillow combos for my daughters, and mentioned how I would probably make a full post about these. The first two have turned out really well; I fully expect that I'll be making more of these in the very near future. As promised, here is that full write up!

Now, the girls have really enjoyed the blankets I sewed for their stuffed animals, and Donna had suggested that they would really like some sleeping bags for their Barbie dolls. When I asked them about it, the response was enthusiastic - to say the least. Originally, I had planned to make these as ultra simple as possible; basically, I was thinking of making a simple "pocket" out of some scrap fabric and calling it a day. But I made the mistake of going online to look at other people's Barbie sleeping bags, and felt like just folding over a piece of fabric and running a couple of seams would be lame. Most of the projects I found featured pillows for the dolls, and Wynter was quite adamant that yes, pillows were a "must have" accessory.

The thing was... I couldn't find a project that felt exactly like what I wanted to do. I wasn't really interested in fully quilting these, or in attaching bias tape or ribbon, or in adding fleece lining or whatever. C'mon, this is make believe - dollies don't really need extra thermal layers, do they? But as I mentioned above, I also didn't want to just fold over a piece of cloth. So I gave up, grabbed a Barbie doll and a couple of fat quarters of fabric, and started laying things out.

Material prepBarbie sleeping bags, away!


My setup above has me spoiled. I...

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Tags for this post: Sewing

Baking a Super Easy Homemade Peach Cobbler

A week or so ago, I was in the grocery store with my six year old, Silas. We were in the produce section, and he decided that he wanted a peach. In response, I grabbed a bag and put eight in there - one for him, and seven for one of my wife's absolute favorite desserts - homemade peach cobbler.

As I have mentioned before, my wife is the cook of our house. However, there are several items that are considered to be my specialties; peach cobbler happens to be one of those. To be fair, it's not at all difficult to make; anyone who can follow a simple recipe can make this one successfully. I'm pretty certain that she feels selfish spending much time or effort on a dish that she feels is more or less for her, though, which is why I have stepped up to be the Cobbler Guy in our house.

The full recipe for this delicious dessert is included at the bottom of this post. Feel free to skip down for it, but I figured that it would be fun for me to document the process of making the cobbler. For those who are interested... read on!

I started with seven white peaches claiming to be from Chile. This was my first experience with this particular variety; always before, I have used yellow peaches like we grow here in Alabama and Georgia. Aside from the flesh itself being a different color (whitish...

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Tags for this post: Cooking, Recipes

Sewing Simple Doll Blankets for My Daughters

Doll or stuffed animal blanketsGet ready for a super complicated sewing tutorial if you want to make blankets like these!


Along the years, I have become the go-to guy in our household for minor clothing repairs. If a seam is broken, if a button comes off of a shirt, if a beloved stuffed animal starts to lose an arm... it's time for dad to break out the needle and thread. Once upon a time, I did more than that - for Silas' birthday one year, I borrowed a sewing machine and created a bunch of dinosaur tails for the kids to wear at the party. As a matter of fact, there may still be a youtube video floating around of me wearing one of those tails while leading the kids in a song...

But that's a story for another post.

This past fall, Donna and I were talking about how it was too bad that we didn't have a sewing machine for this or that project, though my wife did freely admit that she didn't really have the patience for a machine. I observed that I did, in fact, have said patience, and that I would like to maybe create some things here and there. When Black Friday rolled around, we came across an ad for an incredible deal on a Singer Start sewing machine at our local JoAnn Fabric... and so, we picked one up in...

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Tags for this post: Sewing

Big Breakfast for Easter

Easter is kind of an odd holiday in some ways. It's a definite family gathering type of day, but unlike some of the other big family holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day), you don't really have a traditional menu associated with Easter. In the past, my wife has done turkey and dressing for dinner, as it seems a shame to only enjoy that meal at the end of the year... but this year, she just wasn't feeling it. Instead, we decided to grill for dinner, but she requested the full Suddeth Big Breakfast ™ to start the day.

Now, please understand - my wife is truly the cook in our family, and she's absolutely fantastic at it. She's always mixing in new recipes while rotating favorites through the menu, and it's extremely rare for her meals to not fall somewhere between "tasty" and "holy cow, that was amazing". However, there are a few exceptions where I am left in charge of a given meal, and our Big Breakfast is one of those notable instances.

Anytime we do a special breakfast, it pretty much goes without saying that I'm going to be making blueberry muffins. These are nothing special, mind you; they are simply a Betty Crocker mix that comes with a can of blueberries. However, blueberry muffins are not only one of my favorites, but the younger kids all really love them (and leave me with far fewer leftovers than I once enjoyed). As per usual, I came away...

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Tags for this post: Cooking
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