Hello Doll Friends!!
As I've mentioned in several prior posts, most recently this one making doll clothes by Upcycling them from gently used baby clothes is really a fabulous way to bulk up your dolls wardrobe while not deflating your pocketbook. Baby clothes, gently used, are a dime a dozen in this country and so they are an amazing, endless, source of doll clothes material! It's already got all the expensive embellishments, the fancy smocking, the delicate lace etc without you doing any of that hard work! In the correct sizes (newborn and 3mnth sizes) the dresses are practically made, it can literally take you about 20mins if you're like me and go super slow and deliberately, to 'make' a doll dress!
To prove my point, I challenged myself to make five doll dresses in 24hrs... And a normal 24hrs, just a regular weekday where I worked and I took kids to school etc. Then again, I wake up at 4am everyday so I can actually have time to do things I like to do... So I have a bit more time than most people! Still, it was a normal day and I spent probably a few cumulative hours actually modifying and sewing dresses.
I went ahead and took a few step by step photos since, well, why not? Don't you just love the digital age? I figure the more times you see how easy the steps are, the more likely you'll buck the "pay $10to$30 an outfit for a doll" system! There are so many reasons to upcycle and money and time are just two... Just think, you're helping keep textiles out of landfills too! Good for the Earth too! You just can't lose!
So here are the steps to make this dress:
Front of dress. Modeled by the lovely Electra! (TollyTot)
Back of dress.
Here are the before photos, with no alterations, you can see the dress is nearly a perfect fit already (it's a size 3mnth) except it's too wide and arm holes are too large.
See? Arm hole too large!
So let the modifications begin! Here is item before I started sewing as you can see, I measured it on the doll to see where I needed to take it in to at arm opening. Then I just make a strait line, in pencil, down the dress from that point. Then I pin it together and literally sew down those pencil lines, taking pins out as I go.
Since this was a knit dress and I don't own a serger, I was a bit worried the seams would fray after I trimmed the seam allowance... So I zigzag stitched a second seam just to the right of the first so it'll keep from fraying. This is an extra step you don't 'need' to do but kids are hard on doll clothes and I like them to stay looking nice through the washing machine in the future so I try and make them as sturdy as possible. Takes a few extra minutes but it's worth it to me. My Granny taught me to sew and she was never one to cut corners! So here it is with both seams sewn.
Then you just cut off the extra material beyond the seams. That is always the most nerve wracking part for me for some reason but it must be done!
Then, all is left is to turn it right side out and put it on your doll!! Here are the dresses I made in 24hours! I am going to do a separate blog post about the dresses for the HeartForHearts dolls because it was a bit different but otherwise I went through the same exact procedure with three of them in photo. The other one is made from a ladies blouse sleeve. (The one worn by the blonde TollyTot with the Princess Lea buns in her hair)
Well, that's it for this post. Thanks, as always, for stopping by! See you next time!