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Old Doll Clothes as Patterns


I'm always looking for ideas to use in making doll clothes and, while I've used old clothes to use as patterns to make new ones for myself, I've never done it for my dolls, until now!

Back when I was a hospital nurse I had a favorite scrub top style that I only found once and never saw it again. The usual neckline for scrub tops is a V that overlaps at the bottom. It's certainly functional, but not as nice as a placket neck. So I took the one I had apart and used it as a pattern to make many more.

I've often thought about doing this for my dolls, but was hesitant to take apart a doll dress I liked. I guess my doll clothes are more important to me than my own! One of my dolls came with a lovely, very well made dress and I have been wanting to make a similar one for a long time, so I decided to be brave and try it.

If you are new to sewing, i don't recommend trying your hand at this, wait till you are a bit more experienced to attempt this. Not only do you have to be extremely careful taking all those tiny pieces apart without ruining them, but once the dress is in pieces, there are no instructions to put it all back together again!

For those of you who are comfortable making doll clothes without instructions, I still urge extreme caution! It is amazing how small some of the tiny pieces are in a commercially made doll dress. As with commercially made clothing of any type, there is no extra fabric available, the edges are finished with an overlock sewing machine instead of hems. The machine stitches are very tiny, and it is only too easy to put a hole in the fabric with a seam ripper.

So, armed with this knowledge, I decided to jump in and try it anyway. Of course, I had to do this with a dress i really did not want to ruin, because a run-of-the-mill dress wouldn't have been worth the effort. I'm happy to report that the said dress came apart without a hitch and I am inspired by what I learned as I took it apart.

This dress was crafted better than any clothing I've ever purchased for myself and I learned a few wonderful new ways of assembling doll clothes. In the next few weeks I will be sharing some of the techniques I learned and will be using the dress as a concept to design a new dress for my 18 inch dolls as well. Now to put the dress back together again!

If you do decide to use this technique, please respect the original designer and make clothes from it only for your own use. Or do what I did and merely use it for ideas, but make your own designs.

Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.
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Preserving Doll Patterns
Make a Scrub Suit for Your 18 Inch Doll
Make Clothes for 18 Inch Dolls - Ebook
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Content copyright © 2014 by Helen B. Wharton. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Helen B. Wharton. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Helen B. Wharton for details.

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