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My First Sale & New Oufit

This is what I’ve been working on…

America Girl Doll clothes doll blazer skirt & top
“Haley” is a 3-piece outfit that includes a fully-lined blazer with a floral applique.

The jacket closes in the front with 2 snaps. The buttons are sewn on but they are only decorative.
America Girl Doll clothes doll blazer skirt & top
The matching skirt wraps around and closes in the back with velcro and features a polka dot ribbon trim.
America Girl Doll clothes doll blazer skirt & top
Completing the outfit is a cute little sleeveless top in pink with little brown hearts.

I also made the boots to match (but they are not for sale)

Now available in my Etsy shop here

And….(fanfare please)…I had my first sale! I am so excited and thrilled that someone purchased not.one,  but 3 of my shop items!

I am truly grateful.

Come back to see what else I’m working on. (Or you can just follow me.) Thanks!

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Free Doll Clothes Patterns & Back to School Outfit

In a recent post, I provided a link to some great free patterns.

American Girl doll outfit back to school

One of my followers left me a comment in that post reminding me of some other free patterns. American Girl doll dress patternsThese are a set of patterns originally provided by The Pleasant Company. I’m sure most of you who sew for dolls probably have these but I thought I would post it anyway just in case you don’t.

(By the way, thanks to AG Playthings for providing these.)

The nice thing about these is that they can be used as they are or adapted. For example, I used the Molly blouse pattern for the  Oscar de la Renta-inspired outfit shown here.

American Girl doll Molly blouse

For the back-to-school outfit, I used the same pattern, but I rounded the pointed collar to make it into a Peter Pan collar. I cut the front placket shorter and added a ruffle to either side. I also made covered buttons to match the skirt.
The other thing I did was to use a straight sleeve instead of the puffy one that came with the pattern. I thought the straight sleeve gave it a more modern look. Here is the result:

American Girl doll blouse back to school

So this is just one example of how you can use these patterns, or any existing pattern, to give it a totally different look.

Are your girls getting ready to go back to school? Also, thanks to Brenda & Sophie from The Savage Dolls for the reminder. This is why I love comments. 🙂

Edit: Just to make it easier for everyone, here are the links to both sets of patterns:

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Sewing for Dolls: Free Patterns

If you are looking for some patterns to make doll clothes for your American Girl doll and similar 18″ dolls, here is a link to a collection of patterns. I haven’t tried any of these yet because I just found them, but I will!
Just look at all the clothes you can make from this collection. Dresses, jumpers, blouses, vests, pants, culottes, a hat and even a quilt!

Get the free patterns here and check out all the other cool patterns available at Doll Clothes Patterns.

American Girl doll free patterns
Get the patterns.
Found via Karen Mom of Three 

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Make a Doll Skirt from a Baby Skirt

As anyone who knows me knows, I love to recycle/upcycle. I do this for a lot of things, not just doll clothes. However, being able to take these little clothing items and reuse them for dolls is such a joy.

Here is an example of how a baby skirt was made into a doll skirt. The complete tutorial can be found over at Penniless Caucasian Rubbish American Girl Adventures (that’s a mouthful) 🙂

American Girl doll skirt tutorial

Have you tried this?

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Designing for Dolls: Customizing Doll Clothes Part 2/Three Ways

In Designing for Dolls Part 1, we looked at five ways to customize doll clothes. Here are three more ways to make your designs unique:

  • Add rickrack.
    This dress was cute to start with, but by adding a couple of rows of rickrack in contrasting colors, it becomes even cuter. Simple way to customize. Dress by Caught Ya Lookin’ on Zulily.rickrack hem trim
  • Paint stripes
    How cute is this little cardigan? You’ll have a truly one-of-a-kind piece with this technique of using fabric paint to make stripes on fabric. Done beautifully and explained in detail by You and Mie.

painted fabric paint stripes

  • Flower power!
    This idea is a little more ambitious but very visually effective and here’s your chance to make your own chenille strips! Not on your top 10 list of things to try? You could also use ribbon or cording – or even fabric paint – to make the flowers. This cute little skirt is by Mini Boden, but it’s no longer available. If you really want to try to make your own chenille strips, Riley Blake Designs has a marvelous tutorial here.

chenille flower trim floral applique

So, there you have it: 3 more ways to customize your doll clothes to make them your own. If you missed Part 1, here is the link.

Designing for Dolls: Customizing Doll Clothes Part 1

If you use any of these ideas, we’d love to see them!

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Designing for Dolls Part 1: Customizing Doll Clothes/Five Ways

There are endless ways you can take something plain and make it your own. Whether you want to dress up a purchased item, or sewing one yourself, some are as simple as adding a bow to a bodice; others can be more complex, depending on your needs and your mood.

Here are Five Ways:

  • Glue Dye Resist
    Among the many ways you can customize your own fabric, this is one that you might even try with your kids. Apply glue to your fabric, let dry, dye. This pretty design found at Sew Like My Mom
american girl doll faux batik fabric glue resist technique

Glue on fabric before dyingamerican girl doll skirt fabric glue resist technique

Fabric after dying

  • Machine Embroidery
    Some of us have fancy embroidery machines; others of us, like me, don’t. But most modern sewing machines do offer embroidery stitches, as mine does. You can use some of the decorative stitches to outline a plain neckline, or hem, like this dress by  Sewsnbows.

american girl doll dress machine embroidery

  • Lace Overlay or Tier
    Before attaching the skirt to a bodice, add a layer of lace to the skirt – either the same length or shorter to create a tier, like this dressby Beary Basics found at  Zulily.

american girl doll dress

  • Add a Bow
    Simple yet effective. Add a pretty bow in the same or contrasting fabric to the bodice of a dress. This lovely doll dress found on  Pinterest 

american girl doll dress

  • Paint with Crayons
    Another fun project that could include the kids. Similar to the glue resist method, this technique involves using melted crayons applied to fabric. You can paint a design or, as done here, make polka dots using the eraser of a pencil. More info on this clever technique at Willowday.

using crayon to dye fabric dying fabric

How have you customized your own doll clothing?

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Elastic Headband Skirt Tutorial

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This is a simple 2-layer skirt that uses a girl’s elastic headband for the waistband. Want to make one? Here’s how:
Note: You can make this skirt without the eyelets and drawstring; just skip those steps.

I used two contrasting fabrics for the skirt. The top layer is cut to about 4-1/2″ long by 19″ wide, The bottom layer is about 5-1/2″ by 22″ . This includes seam allowance. If you want your skirt to be fuller, just add to the width. If you want it shorter or longer, add or subtract from the length.

american girl doll skirt

Materials

  • Elastic headband
  • Fabric
  • Eyelets
  • Cording for drawstring
  • Colored beads
  • Scissors & thread

First of all, try the headband on your doll’s waist.  If it stays on your doll and you’re not going to use the drawstring, you don’t need to cut it. Just skip these next few steps re the drawstring. If it’s too big, mark where you need to cut. Be sure to add 1/2″ for seam allowance before you cut it.
If you are going to add the drawstring:
First, cut the seam out of the headband so that you now have an elastic tube. Measure again on your doll’s waist to make sure it fits and trim if it’s too big; remembering to include an extra 1/2″ seam allowance.

Mark the center of your tube and where you want to place the eyelets for the drawstring. Remember that you’ll be attaching the skirt to the band so place the eyelets a little higher than dead center. skirt4

I added some clear tape to the ends of my cording to make it easier to thread through the eyelets. The tape goes a little beyond the end of the cord and is tapered to a point.
Mark the position of your eyelets and attach them to the band.
Run the cord all the way through the band and out the eyelet holes.skirt 6

String your beads onto the cording and tie the ends off to secure the beads.
With right sides together, sew the seam back into what is now your waistband
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For the top layer, finish the hem; turn, press.
Add the lace trim to the right side of the top layer.
skirt7skirt8

Turn and finish the hem on the bottom layer
skirt9

Gather the bottom layer so that it is the same width as the top layer.
Sew both layers together at the waist.
Connect the two layers, RST, and sew back seam.

Gather both layers so that they are the same width as the waistband. Matching the back seams, pin and sew the two layers to the waistband, right sides together.

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Voila! You’re done!

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There are many variations to this skirt:

  • Make the top layer shorter
  • Add different trim to the top layer (pom poms, ribbon, etc)
  • Add trim to the hem of the bottom layer
  • Your ideas?

Hope this tutorial is helpful. Please send me pictures if you make a similar skirt following this tutorial and let me know if you have any questions. You can comment/ask below.