Sunday, August 7, 2011

Doll clothes, everything in miniature

Last holiday season, I really wanted to make Liz some clothes for her dolls. She had 2 11-1/2" dolls, both of the Disney Princess variety, and that was the only clothing either doll had.

I decided to make each doll a nightgown and a day dress. I also wanted to make some accessories,if I could. My friend Sheila had recently sent me a number of doll patterns, and I selected Simplicity 9334 (my PR review here), an OOP pattern with lots of cute outfits.

I used satin lining fabric, and also old satin pillowcases to make the 2 nightgowns and the matching nightrobe. I was very lucky to find this beautiful white and gold lace trim for the white nightgown, so it has a wedding gown sort of look to it. My blue lace didn't have ribbon in it for the gown straps, so I had to sew some matching ribbon onto the lace myself.
I admit, I had a lot of fun posing the dolls in the dollhouse for the pictures, probably more fun than someone my age ought to have with Barbie dolls. Haha. :)

I thought the flounced dress was the cutest dress in the package, so I decided to do that one next. Wow, that one is harder to make than it looks! I took extra pains to make sure the fabric pattern lined up. Hemming the circle skirt flounces and sleeves was almost nightmarish, but totally worth it when finished.
I decided to try the coat, skirt, top in view 5 as well. Although it turned out really super nice looking, in hindsight I should have realized that a 3.5 year old wouldn't be very excited by a drab grey wool suit....
The red satin top is again a pillowcase, with the rosebud straps being some leftover trim from a apron I made for my MiL.
I also made a matching bag for each outfit. Black with silver sparkle quilting cotton (remnants of my bellydance costume), with a very pretty silver button and some trim I found that I thought was an awesomely perfect match for the handles. And yes, the pale pastel bag turned out cute, too. :)
And the best thing is they are actually function as bags!
My daughter LOVES these working bags; the dolls can go shopping, and carry little coins or items in the bags.

Oh, and here is the outfit with the wool coat, and the felt button belt as well.
I swear, her barbies are now better dressed than I am....

But as I said, I realized that the a-line skirt and coat might not be too exciting to my daughter, but the red top was super cute, so I thought I'd try another outfit with the same top.

I decided to try the "poodle skirt", view 6. As I didn't have a poodle applique (And didn't intend to make the matching accessories), I just used the rest of the rosebud trim so it matched the top's straps.

Again I used a wool remnant, so it is kind of stiff, not drapey. But that is not a bad thing, it gives it the look of the proper 50's undergarments...

To me, it looks like something right out of the Donna Reed Show, very 50's/early 60's.

The following spring, PR had a Look Alike contest, and I thought I'd make Liz a dress, and a matching doll dress as well.
I selected Simplicity 9838 (PR review) for the doll dress. I thought Liz's dress really resembled a German dirndle apron over a dress, and this pattern allowed me to try and replicate that.

Liz's dress is McCall's 6062 (PR review). It turns out to be the dress she requests to wear most often of all the dreses I've made her. It is very colorful, and comfortable. An excellent pattern if you can find enough contrasting/matching fabrics! lol
And because it has elastic in the neckline and a tie back, it has lots of growing room!

I do hope to make more doll clothing in the future. It is far more work than it appears. Everything has to be very precise on such tiny clothing, and the hemming alone is cringeworthy, but the results are well worth the effort. And I have to admit, it's kind quite a lot of fun, too.
I have 3 other unused doll clothing patterns. This coming holiday season, expect 4 or 5 new Barbie outfits!

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