02 August 2011

Mini Makeovers

I have one pet peeve.  Hehe!  No, I have lots, but one pet peeve is that my kids have all these toys and they don't get played with, so Ryan and I have stopped buying them toys unless they want to earn money and buy it themselves.  We have also found that we can renew their interest in toys, which is even better than buying new, right? 
Pearl and Clover took a trip to the fabric store with me to pick up a pattern for a friend.  (Butterick patterns were on sale for a bone!)  To keep them busy I opened the pattern book to the doll page.  Pearl decided she wanted to make some new clothes for her American Girl doll...apparently her current wardrobe is stale.  I was on board (for a buck each?!) and we picked out a few that we thought Olive and Divine might enjoy as well.
As we rummaged through my fabric, I pulled out this sack of upholstery samples my sister gave me at Christmas, really nice upholstery that is around $30-$40 a yard.  I hadn't used a single piece, since they are all so small, but I knew they would be perfect for this project and make some rockin' pants.  Turned out, though, that it was more complicated than she could handle, so I now have a long list of what their dolls need in their wardrobes. 
Olive wanted a dress which took more fabric than the samples I had, so I pulled out a maternity skirt that I wore when I was pregnant with Divine.  It was ready for a reinvent.  Above is what was left after cutting it out: dupioni silk.  As I cut into the luxurious fabric I asked Ryan if he thought I might regret it.  He always gives me that boost of confidence that I need sometimes.  Of course not, he said.
My favorite part: adding fun details.  A bit of cross stitch around the hippy-esque placket shirt.
Some vintage grommets that my mother-in-law had in this old prescription bottle:
Fun little treasures that most people who don't sew would throw out **gasp!**
I love the faux fly and faux pockets.  (oh, and I didn't make the vest.)  Ryan said he wanted a pair of pants just like these.  I managed to match up the plaid on all the pieces except for one of the back legs.  It will drive me bonkers, but I know nobody else around here will even notice.
These girls rekindled their friendship.
The beadwork is what took forever.  Just kidding.  Way too much work for a doll's dress.  Even for me.  No, my skirt came with all that embroidery and beadwork along the bottom.
All that socializing wore them out.  They were used to being in a big bucket, upside down with their hair all in a tangle.  A makeover was worth it, though.

patterns used: Butterick 3491 view A (the dress), Butterick 4089 views C & B (the pants and shirts)


  1. Love those things you do when you are too big to do anything else.
    Guilt free fun!
    With my last,I spent the final 2 days sitting on the sofa rolling and banding my ribbon and lace collection,then zip lock bagging it into colour groups-nesting bliss!

  2. Oh my heavens, I love dolls and doll clothes. My mom made my dolls whole wardrobes, and I still have it all somewhere. This is just adorable.

  3. Love it! Best dressed dolls in town.

  4. Wow...I have three girls and am not currently nine months pregnant. You are putting me to shame. You sew like its nobody's business! I am so impressed!!! (and totally jealous of your clearly inborn skills!!!)

  5. how do you get the doll's hair to stay so nice?? The outfits are beyond amazing!! My daughter has a few dolls and the hair is a mess :/

  6. Skaggs! I remember that place! Great job on the doll clothes as well! My daughter is not into anything girly so no dolls here.

  7. I am getting inspired from these great ideas. My daughter just bought her own look alike girl. We love AG in this house and ours could use some clothes too. Thanks for sharing!

  8. how timely! I've been in doll clothes bliss the past few weeks. I may even have that pant suit pattern. On sale. $1 each, so I bought 5.
    you can see more here///
    And yes, it does feel good to refresh forgotten toys. Easier on the pocketbook and the ever growing pile of stuff.
    Go Katy!!!

  9. My mom used to make all my American Doll clothes. They were so special and i loved that they were unique and no one else would have the same dress on their doll. I hope my sweet baby girl likes dolls half as much as i did when i was little.

  10. Your post is hilarious, Katy! I love the comments from the dolls. I also had fun this summer making some doll clothes with my daughters. Have you seen the Liberty Jane website? They have free doll patterns.

  11. you are hysterical. I remember my first efforts at sewing barbie clothes back in the day. my mom was so patient. and good call on giving Off-Brand american girl the fancy dress; it will help make up for her feelings of inadequacy.

  12. mary frances--so glad you enjoyed :) And yes, the off-brand deserved the fancy gown, especially since her hair never looks as nice as the two real mccoys.

  13. bridget--the AGD's hair is nicer quality and stays fairly nice, especially the blonde. I really don't do anything, my girls will occasionally brush them.

    mary frances--so glad you enjoyed :) And yes, the off-brand deserved the fancy gown, especially since her hair never looks as nice as the two real mccoys.

  14. Oh I love this! I've been sewing a "little" bit for my daughter's AG doll. (It's also good practice for me for when I want to attempt child-size or adult-size clothing) Today I refashioned her outgrown pjs into dolly-sized pjs---so cute! You inspire me to keep going and sew some more. I love the little details too!

  15. To deal with our not-played-with toy issue we boxed them up by category and put them away. The kids get to "check out" toys. Each one gets a specific set...one per kid at a time. It was a bit of work at first, but now it is fabulous! They trade when they want something new...and less craziness! Way worth it!


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