Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fancy Spring 18inch Doll Dress Upcycle Project!

Greetings Doll Friends!

Spring is almost here!! Time to pull out the pretty Easter dresses for the dolls! Oh, what's that you say? You don't have a pretty Easter dress for your doll? No problem! If you can get your hands on a newborn or 3month sized baby dress in a pretty spring floral print and, in a few short stitches, you'll have an dress for your doll just in time for Easter Sunday!

Here are the two I made! Both dresses only took about an hour to make, start to finish. Admittedly I have been sewing since I was knee high to a grasshopper and have honed my skills pretty well but honestly, if you can sew a strait seam, you're all set. 

Here is the first dress I used. I. Love. It! It's a Laura Ashley and I've adored her dresses since I was girl. Sure you can't imagine that, me, loving frilly Laura Ashley dresses? But yes, I love it! I knew going in it would be bit more work because it's too long to just use seam line as is on a doll... That smocking made it worth it though! So I plunked down my $1.49 at Goodwill, brought it home and set to work!

First I fit the dress on the doll, much like the procedure in other Upcycled doll dresses in the past. I am getting to where I am learning about how big the dolls are and can kind of eyeball the sizing but until you've made a few, you always want to fit onto doll.

Got to working too quickly on this one because I was excited about it being done and forgot to take as many photos as I should've As you can see in this photo, I figured out where I needed to make my seam (see under the arm hole of dress, there is a white seam? That is my sewing lines. I fitted it on doll, pinned it at the right place in the arm hole and then literally just took a ruler and made a line down to make my pin line. See the red line on the top, from under the arm hole? That's the line I made and I pinned and then sewed right along that same line. Then I measured again to determine how long it should be and hemmed it up. When hemming, one of the button holes ended up being covered with the hem, so I simply made a little hole in that spot to allow the button to come through, if that makes sense. 

Here is final dress. I didn't cut off the bottom to hem and might should have as it makes the skirt a bit poofy but my daughter said she liked the look and far be it from me to not pull stitches out when she is happy and I am happy enough, right? 

Here is dress on Saige. I always try to have an American Girl Doll model the dresses too because body types are a bit different and so many people ask "How does it fit on an AG?"

Here is dress number two! It's just perfect for Easter with it's bright colors! This one had several layers to it, it was lined... Which can seem kind of daunting but really isn't that big of deal as long as, when you pin it, you make sure all the layers are laying flat with one another! This way you won't end up with puckers in the cloth when you turn it right side out again!

So, as you can see, I followed same procedure as above, making a line down from arm hole and sewing down that line. Since this one was so many layers, zig-zag stiched it to make sure all layers stayed in place. Then I turned it inside out to make sure I liked how it looked (because if I needed to rip out stitches, I didn't want to have to rip out two layers!) and then turned back inside out and zig-zag stitched it again. As you may have surmised from other posts, I like my doll clothes be very durable in the hands of little girls so I finish off seams very particularly! It's not necessary though, so if you just wanna sew it once, it would be fine I am sure. 

So, now that I've made my seams, I turned it out and fit it on doll. The extra cloth makes it look a bit strange on the doll but it will give you one last chance to make sure it fits before you...

Hold your breath and cut off the extra fabric past the seam. Leave a generous seam allowance! Better safe than sorry I think. 

Here they are!! All ready for a Spring Party!! They've gotten all bathed and primped in our new Doll Bathroom! If you didn't see the post about that, you'll have to check it out!! Just click here: 

So that is it for my latest doll clothes upcycle! To think it all started with one jeans leg skirt?! I was hooked! I made doll clothes with my Granny as a child and to get a dress it was seemingly hours of pinning patterns and pinning hems etc... So to have a dress nearly make it self, it's just too much fun! I digress but my whole objective to show you how totally do-able this is! You can do it! If you mess up a few second hand baby clothes in the meantime, it's a small price to pay for learning to make a snappy wardrobe for your dolly! Remind me to tell you of the gorgeous smocked dress I totally ruined myself not so long ago... I kept it, hoping to give it a re-think but I suspect it is toast. So, it happens.

I have to run because, alas, the real world never lets me stay long enough in the Doll House...
Thanks for stopping by!! See you next time!

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