Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kid's Clothes Into Doll Clothes - Tutorial

Ok, I admit... I'm not the greatest seamstress in the world.
In fact, I'm pretty bad at it.

So I cheat wherever possible, and for as cheaply as possible, too. My dolly dollars are few and far between these days!
This is a project that (for me, anyway. I hope this is true for you, too!) is fun and easy, and really doesn't require too much skill level.

A couple of days ago, I went to my goodwill and found this cute top in the kid's department for $1.00

Even though the print was too big, I was focusing on the style. Something like this should be really easy to make into a doll dress... or a top... or both!

First I took a seam ripper and I removed the two straps. You can cut them off if you want to, but I planned on re-using mine later, and wanted to keep as much usable fabric as possible.

Then, I carefully cut along the seams of the shirt on the sides, so that it became two seperate pieces, back and front.
I took a model doll and pinned the fabric from the back of the top around her to see if it would fit. It was too big, so I trimmed it up. Then I cut across the length of it (just under that big butterfly) and hemmed it.
I didn't want it to slip down, so I took one of the old straps and cut it in half. I sewed one of the strap halves on each side of where the original top's tag used to be, so I could tie it around her neck.

After that, I sewed up the back, and yay! Instant dolly top!

Yes, the butterfly is HUGE, but I love it!

That was the back of the top. I decided to try and make a dress out of the front, so I didn't cut it down or hem it. The front piece wasn't nearly as stretchy as the back, and I shaved off too much of the edges, andit almost doesn't fit. So watch out for that!

I'm also not sure I like the length. It looks sort of stupid to me, since it isn't flowing as nicely. Once our apartment is back to normal after our plumbing disaster, I think I may take that one a part and start over.

Here is a photo of a dress I made out of a different top:

This top was for a toddler, and I also paid a dollar for it. I only got the one dress from it, but I like it a lot. I do think it may be a tad too long, but the top had that ruffle on the bottom, and I liked it enough to just leave it.

So there you go... pretty quick, fairly cheap (depending on your thrift store, I guess), and your dolls might not be too embarressed to go out in public in them.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Exclusive Code from Mrs. Fear's Etsy Shop!

Amy, AKA Mrs. Fear saw my blog about her tee shirts, and set up a special coupon code for my readers for her etsy shop.

Coupon code is: sydneyscloset

It's good through November 30th and it's 10% off any purchase over $10.
She says that she'll be listing quite a bit of new items to gear up for the holidays, then she'll be taking a break Oct. 28th through Nov. 5th.

Hope this helps you guys out!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tee Shirts - Mrs. Fear

I swear this blog hasn't been abandoned!
Lack of funding has prevented me from really moving forward with it, but I have a few items to review (and if you'd like to be a guest reviewer, feel free to shoot me an email.

First of all, I am on a quest! Edie needs t-shirts; She's been to some cool museums and I want to make her some souvenir tees without spending a fortune, so I trundled off to Etsy.
Eventually, I found Mrs. Fear, who had a listing for a plain white tee. I messaged her about more colors, and ordered two white shirts and what she called a medium gray, which is more of a drab military green in my humble opinion (whatever it's called, I like the color. AG would never use it).

Edie and Avalanche play Model and show off new shirts.

The insides seams aren't serged, but she does zigzag everything that might unravel, and some of the seams are turned under twice.

Fit wise, these are shirts that are definitely going to fit chubbier PM dolls. They are not quite as fitted as I would prefer... they do seem a tad bit big on the Mattel dolls.
The backs close with velcro.

In a nutshell:
Item: Tee Shirts
Seller: Mrs. Fear
Price: $12 for three, plus shipping
Grade: B+

Sunday, June 26, 2011

1940's dress - Joni Lynn of Kindred Threads

Despite my first doll being Samantha, and my first outfits being Samantha's dresses, I don't really collect for the few historical dolls I own... I enjoy history immensely, but for one reason or another, I don't enjoy dressing my dolls up in historical clothing.
Still, when I saw this dress on Joni Lynn's Etsy (no link to Etsy, now you can find her at Kindred Thread) a few months ago, I kind of freaked out.

The first, second and third time I saw it, I convinced myself I didn't really need it, since I don't collect for Molly or Kit, but fate intervened when Joni contacted me about something I had for sale. She was willing to do a trade, so home it came!
I believe she made the dress from a Bunny Bear pattern that she may have tweaked a bit. I can't remember the details, unfortunately, but the dress has some amazing details.

Like the sleeves:

And the collar:

The other thing I really loved about this dress was it was made from an upcycled shirt from a thrift store. I'm not really one of those environmental, green people, but I do like to see doll clothes made from upcycled fabrics.

Some more details about this dress: There's no velcro to be found as the back closes with snaps, and all her seams are serged, as illustrated below:

Despite not collecting historical clothing, I almost always have a doll 'time-traveling' and wearing this dress.

In a nutshell:
Item: 1 1940's style dress
Seller: Joni Lynn, with Kindred Thread
Price: Trade
Grade: A +

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shirt and Skirt Set - sewurbandesigns

One of the things about American Girl's products that really discourage me is their color palate. My favorite colors are blues and greens, and I want to add some more outfits in those colors to my dolls' wardrobes, but AG's primary focus seems to be pink, pink, PINK. I know that wasn't true with Kanani and the latest release, but still.
I also wanted to buy Edie something that was a little more feminine than her usual jeans and tees, and discovered this outfit by sewurbandesigns.

I loved the pastel greens and blues she used for the skirt and the matching top... it caught my eye immediately.

As she states in her profile, her attention to detail is high.
After the colors, I loved that the print is more or less to scale for the doll (a HUGE pet peeve of mine), and all her seams are serged to prevent fraying.

The inside of the shirt.

The inside of the skirt.

The skirt is made of cotton materials with three different patterns, and the tank is something silky and stretchy (a little different that tee shirt material, but close. I have nightmares about trying to sew on that type of material). The skirt has no closures, it has an elastic waist so you can pull it on or off, and the shirt closes with Velcro.

I haven't tried the pieces with other items yet, or even added shoes to the outfit yet, but I think they have really nice mix and match quality, and I can see it becoming one of my favorite outfits.

In a nutshell:
Item: 1 tank top and one skirt
Seller: sewurbandesigns
Price: $16.00 plus ship
Grade: A

BBQ Apron - Laniescreations

I was cooking dinner the other night and had a brilliant idea... Lanie can 'help' me with this cooking stuff, I can take pictures, there can be cuteness, I can write a photostory, and it will be amazing!
The only thing wrong with this was I felt Lanie needed an apron for it to reach maximum cuteness, and I didn't possess such a thing. The only two available from AG were nice, but one was old fashion (Kit's apron, from the '30's), and the other I didn't feel like paying $28 dollars for (the apron from the baking accessories).

So, I turned to Etsy. Most of the ones I found were either too frumpy or too old fashioned. I wanted something funky, fun, and modern.
By sheer serendipity, I stumbled upon the perfect thing, a modern style apron emblazoned with barbecue grills and utensils, in black, white, gray and red, made by LaniesCreations, at Etsy.
I scooped it up, and I'm glad I did.

Who's stirring up trouble in the kitchen? Sonali is!

For $6.50, I got an apron that (in my honest opinion) is on par quality-wise with American Girl themselves.
The edges are not serged, but are folded under twice to prevent fraying (the AG brand one is like this as well), and the straps have been both folded under and stiched in a zigzag pattern to prevent fraying as well, illustrated in the photo below:

Finally, I decided to compare it to an official AG apron, since I broke down and bought the baking accessories for the mixing bowl.

Is it really safe to wear heelys on a stove top, Rebecca?

One of the things I like about the Etsy one, compared to AG's, is that the straps are ties. AG's apron velcroes in the back, which means the chunkier, PreMattel dolls or non-AG dolls like Carpatina might not be able to wear it very well. This one just ties on, so it will fit all sizes.
The only thing I like better about the AG apron is the pocket, which the etsy apron doesn't have.
Girl's gotta have a place to hold her spoons!

In a nutshell:
Item: 1 doll apron
Seller: LaniesCreations
Price: $6.50 plus shipping, although I see she's listed another at $10.50
Grade: A