Saturday, April 11, 2015

Upcycled lately

Greetings and Salutations Doll Friends!

More Upcycled Doll Clothes are making their way off the sewing machine! I am accumulating quite the collection of 'slim line' dolls and wanted to make a couple of sleeve dresses for them. I had these two amazing animal print, pink trimmed dresses I'd gotten last year at a garage sale for 50c each. (I love garage sales like that! "All clothes 50c!" I look at everything!! I digress!) Aren't they cute! You can probably almost see the doll clothes in them right now, can't you?

The dresses were in sizes 12months and girls size 6. I bought them from a family who had two little girls of those ages and they must've been photo dresses or something. Either way, they are enough to make several dresses and skirts etc for the dolls!

I started by making 'sleeve dresses' out of the sleeves of the 12month sized dress. This is probably going to be one of the only times I'll be able to get away with it but I didn't sew them at all. The fabric seems to have very little 'fray' factor and I knew I had very little length to use in the first place and so... I left them unfinished on top. So, easy peasy lemon squeezy! No sew dresses!

I still had a lot of dress left! So... How to make over the rest...?

I started by cutting off the top, right under the sleeves of the dress. Wanted to get as much fabric as I could out of it because I wanted to make a doll skirt. When I measured the 'skirt' of the dress around an 18" doll (My TollyTot Rose is my fit model) I realized, if I followed nearly the same procedure as I did here. 

I started by 'hemming' the top of the skirt part. I didn't want to leave it unfinished if I had enough fabric for a hem. 

Then, wanting to optimize the amount of fabric I had, I zipped two seams down the middle, leaving a small space in between the seams to be able to cut them apart. 

And that's it folks. Four dresses. Took me about a half an hour. Not bad. I had planned on putting shoulder straps on them but after trying them on the dolls, I think they fit snugly enough to be 'strapless' dresses. I love them!

Then another dress in my 'project bag' looked like a good candidate to make a few things from. 

I got so enthusiastic in my sewing that I forgot to photo most of it. You can see that I made a couple of 'sleeve dresses' from the sleeves. Then I made a place for elastic on the 'skirt' of the rest of the dress and made a skirt for 18" dolls. I like how they came out as well. 

This isn't really an upcycle project per se' but I will add it here because it's relevant to inexpensive doll clothes options! I found this cute little doll dress at a garage sale. I thought it would make a perfect 'top' for my Heart for Heart dolls. I was right about the size of it but it was impossible to put on them because of the way it was designed. It must've been made for a soft bodied baby doll or something because the opening for the doll was very small and unforgiving. Couldn't get it on the doll without serious risk of breaking the arms off! Um, no. Still... I owned it already (it only cost me 25c out of a mixed box of dolly items all at same prices) and I knew it would work if I could just change the way it was put on...

I had nothing to loose so I took out the seam from the opening to the hem. 

With a seam ripper. I guess all those seams I had to rip out as a child when I learned how to sew taught me something after all, huh? Whodathunk?

So I got it open. Next I wanted to finish off the edges so it wouldn't fray out. It was such a tiny bit of sewing that I just decided to do it by hand. 

I know *gasp* hand sewing! I actually used to sew by hand almost exclusively when I made fabric dolls and doll clothing. I was always a bit 'afraid' of machine sewing. Imagine? I got over it, obviously!

So here it is, all hemmed up so it won't fray out.

And I was right, it is the cutest top with the little white pants! Very cute!

That's it for now Doll Friends!
See you next time!


  1. They turned out so pretty for the dolls.

  2. So cool! What an awesome way to make that little top usable!