I've been thinking a lot, recently, about making dolls and doll clothes for charity. The more I thought about it, the more possibilities presented themselves. Making dolls and doll clothes for others is such a wonderful way to share your passion for dolls with others. In these difficult economic times more of us need a little bright spot in our lives and this can be accomplished for not only the person who donates their time and talents, but certainly the one who receives a lovely new friend.
The first thing to do is find a source for dolls and fabric to make clothing. Flea markets, yard sales and church rummage sales are great places to start. If you would like to read about my adventure at my local flea market, in search of the perfect doll, you can check out my article A Recycled Doll.
Dolls themselves , aren't the only thing to be found. Used clothing is a great source for fabric to make doll clothes. Look in the back of your closet for some old mens white shirts, it's the perfect fabric for making bloomers, slips and aprons for dolls. And they are probably permanently pressed, making laundering your doll clothes nice and easy. For a pattern to make bloomers for your dolls, using an old, white shirt Look Here.
Since I first wrote this article, over a year ago, one of my readers suggested a website that I think is a great place to send some of your creations. Dollydonations.com is a website that collects cloth dolls for charity. They are currently collecting dolls for children in Brazil, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa. This website also offers free cloth doll patterns and doll clothes patterns to help you make a doll to donate. But you are free to send a doll of your own creation as well. There is lots of information on the website about where the dolls go and the people who are helped by them, this website is definitely worth a look.
Another great website to check is artistshelpingchildren.org. This site is involved in helping children with all sorts of crafts, not just dolls. They also have hundreds of patterns and instructions that you can use to make items for children. Many of the recipients suggested by this website are in the U.S.A., which is great for those of you that wish to help those in your own country. There is a ton of inspiration on here, both for charity work and your own creativity.
Hospitals and day care centers are always happy to have donated items for children who need a friend, but what about your local food pantry! If providing food for a family is difficult, I'm sure there is no extra money available for toys. My local food pantry has a box of small toys available for children who accompany their parents, I'm sure others do, as well.
Another place to take recycled (or new) dolls is nursing homes. My Mother enjoyed holding and loving my dolls when she was suffering from Alzheimer's and had little else to do.
Making dolls and doll clothes for others needn't cost a lot, using recycled treasures, but the return is immeasurable to see a happy face.
The most popular dress on the Doll Making Site, The Spring Dress for 18 Inch Dolls, is included as well as 5 other outfits, underwear, and accessories such as jewelry, a bag, a knitted hat and scarf, and the new scrub suit. There are also patterns for slender Magic Attic type dolls as well as full-bodied American Girl dolls and an antique Saucy Walker doll from the 1950's.
If you love 18 inch dolls, and want a collection of patterns for a wardrobe, all in one handy Ebook, this is for you! All these patterns are available on the Doll Making site, but I have brought them all together in one book for ease of finding and using them. Make Clothes for 18 Inch Dolls.