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Monday, July 15, 2013

Finding bargain dolls and Making dolls dresses for FREE

I'm really behind in my blogging, so here's a post that I meant to make way-back last year...

We like to look around 'garage-sales' when we can. There can be many great bargains to find there. My girls took a shine to a Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake doll (one of Strawberry's friends I think). We bought the dolls for a bargain $1 each. They came unclothed.

When we got home, my girls nattered me for a few days, asking if I could make some clothes for the dolls. Making tiny clothing is not my forte, so I had to think a while of what I could do.
Eventually inspiration struck, and I dug out an old little girls top (which both girls had worn in their time) which no longer fit. I'd been hanging on to it for a while, as it held good memories of both of my girls wearing it. It turned out to be the perfect thing.

To make your Free dolls dress, you need to find an old top (thin fabric is best). Choosing a top which already has some elastic or shirring elastic sewn into it, it makes the task even quicker, but if you can't find one, follow the instructions as below and simply add a line of elastic across the chest piece of the dress.

Cut off any big sleeves, collars etc. Take your doll and wrap some of the top around it (if you already have elastic in the top, have the elastic running above the chest or bustline of the doll). Make sure that you have enough room to take the fabric on and off the doll. Cut out your piece.

Add a hem (as in the picture above). bring the two side edges together (right sides of the dress together) and run a seam along to join the dress.

You're done!

I made a quick and easy 'scrunchie' for the dolls' hair by cutting strips of fabric from the same top, which had elastic running down the centre length. I hemmed each side and joined the ends to form a circle. This made my scrunchies. I simple 'belt' can be made to pull in the dress on the dolls more, by taking a small length of elastic (measured to fit snugly around the doll's waist) and pushing the elastic through a little metal 'o' ring (I found these in my craft drawer, left over from jewelry making). Stitch the ends of the elastic together. Fit onto the doll. The little 'o' ring looks a little like a buckle or ornament on the front of the belt.

These types of dresses can be made for all sorts of sizes of dolls. My Nanna often made me dolls dresses from the arm-pieces of clothing, in a very similar way: 

Take a sleeve piece from an article of clothing. Add Elastic around the top (measure it around the dolls chest first, and stretch it as you stitch). Hem the bottom of the sleeve/dress. You're done :)

If you do this (especially for a Barbie doll) with an adult piece of clothing, you can have a really big, ball-style dress for your doll.

Using old pieces of favourite clothing for craft items like this, is a good way to keep those happy memories going of when you child/children wore that item. 

Happy Sewing :)

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