dressing dollies

The thing I really want to make these days is the one thing I really hate making, doll clothes. Phoebe is finally getting into her dolls more and I want to make her loads of outfits to play with. But fiddly little doll clothes make me nuts! Doesn’t help that my old sewing machine seems to have only two speeds now, off or chomping through fabric. All the pesky finishing that clothing requires on a teeny tiny scale is too much for this clunker. I’m wondering if maybe I just tackle this all by hand. I have one kooky dress made that I’ll show tomorrow. In the meantime Phoebe is having fun with the doll clothes I’ve been stashing away for years. Everyone got new outfits this afternoon.

Phoebe's doll clothes basket

Louise doll in vintage doll clothes

Phoebe's doll in vintage clothes

18 thoughts on “dressing dollies

  1. Krissy says:

    So it’s not just me! My doll clothes always end up wonky. They are just too small for me to manage. I end up having to fix them by hand sewing. My mother-in-law says she use to sew clothes for her barbie dolls. I can not even imagine.

  2. amy (mamascout) says:

    I agree about doll clothes! They are so cute – but way to fiddly for me. I just made my daughter a very simple dress from _Embroidered Treasures_. The good thing about kids is that they usually love anything handmade for them and are not looking for perfect. Which is good, because not a lot of perfect happens around here.
    I am a big fan of your work!

  3. wendy says:

    I am cutting off the legs of my daughter’s old pants to make doll clothes. The side seams and hem are done and I can hand sew the rest to make skirts, shirts, and dresses. Makes it a little easier and repurposes some of her favorite outfits.

  4. Becky says:

    I have a trunk full of handmade doll clothes that belonged to my mother….and a trunk full of handmade doll clothes that my mother, in turn, made for me. They are all beautiful. The ones I’ve made? Definitely slightly wonky. I’ve adapted some patterns because there was no way a little girl could get them on & off. And some I’ve adapted because I just can’t work on that small a scale….

  5. Captain Crafty says:

    My great grama Pearl sewed hundreds of outfits for babies that all my Aunts played with through their childhood. It was a fabulous trunk full of vintage barbies and hand made clothes that she gave to me when I was 8 — and I promptly forgot it in the Seattle airport!!! Never to be seen again. We NEVER told Pearl!!!
    I do so love the doll clothes when they are DONE though. My answer is tiny kamm snaps, size 16 is perfect for doll clothes — almost all the doll clothes I make have them these days.

  6. Sarah @http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/ says:

    Aww this is one of the BEST parts of being a mom to a daughter! Seeing them play wit their dolls! It must be so rewarding seeing your handywork in action. Especially with your little girl =)
    BTW I’m guest posting about mommy fashion over at The Short and the Sweet of It this morning. You should stop by if you get a second =)
    – Sarah

  7. Hazel says:

    I’ve just started to make some doll clothes again, but had forgotten how many tiny details there are. I agree about the hand-sewing, especially around the tricky little places, like necklines and sleeves. I’m looking forward to it, though! I love cute, tiny outfits!

  8. Laura T. says:

    I love all of the doll clothes and remember my middle daughter spending hours dressing her dolls up in her room. Mostly what I like is Phoebe’s outfit – my girls are now 9 and 12 and I miss the days of them wearing nothing but ballet outfits and princess dresses all day! I miss that!

  9. Angela N. says:

    I have two older boys and one little girl and I wish, wish, wish she was into dolls . . . cuz I still am! Would love to sew doll clothes for Christmas. I still have the handmade ones my grandmother and mother made for me.

  10. Rose says:

    This gives me hope. My daughter rarely plays with any of the dolls I’ve made her, but she’s only 3 and a half. So hopefully she’ll play with them someday??!

  11. Amy says:

    The Cinciallegra doll is painfully beautiful…as in painfully out of my price range for dolls…and sadly, I have no children to buy this for and then “accidentally” forget to give it to…my heart hurts now…hehe.

  12. laura says:

    I started using an antique hand cranked sewing machine for dolls and doll clothes, and I actually enjoy it now. The machine moves slowly enough that I don’t freak out on all the tiny little seams. My son likes to sew on this one, too.
    Then one of my girlfriends visited, and she liked the hand crank so much that I made her one out of a vintage Singer Spartan, and that worked great, too.
    I learned how to convert the machine on treadleon.net

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