Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas on a Budget, Part 7

Today I'd like to show you the clothes that I made for the Tolly Tots doll my niece is getting for Christmas. But before I do that, let me highly recommend a book. I found it at Ollie's for about $3 a few years ago, and it's been worth every penny -- and then some! It's called Two-Hour Dolls' Clothes by Anita Louise Crane.

While I enjoy sewing, I don't particularly care for teeny, tiny pieces. I have small hands, but Barbie clothes (and other small pieces about that size) are too tiny for even my fingers to sew properly. So I wasn't sure about doll clothes. This book changed all of that.

These are so easy that even a beginner seamstress could sew the skirt.

Not only that, but there are thorough instructions included for altering the patterns to fit your specific doll. I made a few articles of clothing for my daughter's dolls a year or so ago, and I had no trouble adjusting the patterns to fit the really chubby and really thin dolls I was sewing for. This doll, though, is a standard 18" doll, so I didn't have to adjust a thing. :)

And to make it even cheaper, I used fabric scraps for everything. This coat was made from two legs of a boy's stained pair of khaki-type jeans (I placed the pattern to avoid the stains):

The tiny buttons are just for show. It closes with Velcro.

When I saw how easy the coat was, I just had to do something else. So I made this skirt, since it's so hard to find longer doll skirts.

This closure is different, but easy:

You sew a button to one side, then a 12" length of ribbon to the other side. To close the skirt, you simply tie the ribbon around the button.

And of course she needed a shirt to go with it, so I made her one from one of my husband's rag bag shirts:

This shirt was so easy because it doesn't have set-in sleeves. You just sew the sleeve right with the side seam. It also closes in the back with Velcro.

And then I remembered that my sister wanted a robe for the doll but didn't like the one she saw in the store (something about it having a shirt attached that wouldn't come off). So I made this:

(Please excuse the quality of the photo! I took it early in the morning and had to rely on overhead lighting.)

This was also made with flannel fabric scraps and some of the grosgrain ribbon I found at a thrift store for $0.20/roll.

You know what I like best about these? This is the kind of gift girls have been getting since pioneer days. Mothers used to sit up after the kids had gone to bed and sew doll clothes as Christmas gifts. I've always liked that mental picture, and it's been just as fun to do it as to think about it.

As you can see, this was a no-cost gift since I already had the fabric scraps and book. You can't beat that!


angie said...

again, I'm in awe of the wonderful gifts you will give this year. so filled with love.
I don't know how to sew. But if there is anything that will motivate me to learn, it will be to make doll clothes for my daughter.

Esther said...

Wow! You did a great job on those clothes! I'm not sure I have the patience you do. About the only thing I've attempted was little skirts for my daughter's doll house ladies. Those definitely TAXED my patience with being so small!