Monday, December 20, 2010

Homemade Christmas #3: Filling An 18" Doll Suitcase

My niece has two 18" dolls (not American Girl brand, but a good quality and loved nonetheless). Her mother (my sister) tells me that she has to hide the dolls from her youngest brother, who loves to undo their hairdos - and worse. Hopefully this homemade gift will encourage her to get out those dolls and play with them - and then find a good, secure hiding place for them! :)

[Please excuse the crooked iron-on teddy bear applique. It skewed as I flipped it to finish ironing it, and I didn't notice until it was permanently stuck on.]

I ran across some baby long-sleeve t-shirts at Dollar Tree last week, just in time to make this gift for the cousins' gift exchange. I got the smallest size shirts I could find (6-9 months) and altered them to fit the dolls.

Basically, I took it in about 2" total around the neck and hemmed the sleeves and body 2", as well. It fits nicely that way.

I also added a decoration to each of the plain shirts. They were appliques I've had sitting around since my oldest nephew was a baby (and he's now 16). They worked perfectly with these shirts!

Let's face it - these aren't the best quality shirts and wouldn't hold up to a real baby wearing them. But 18" dolls tend to be pretty easy on their clothes, and my niece in particular is very careful with her dolls. They should have a nice, long life at her house.

But that's not the end of my gift ...

I also made a denim skirt (elastic waist) for the same dolls, out of the bottom of one of my husband's old jean legs. Since it's already hemmed at the bottom, all I had to do was cut it to the right length, sew a simple casing, and insert the elastic.

But I'm sure you've noticed the packaging, right?

How's this for a neat package? It doubles as a suitcase for the 18" doll! See how perfect it is size-wise:

(This is my model that I keep on hand to fit clothes to my niece's dolls.)

I got this cute suitcase at Goodwill a few months ago for $0.40. At the time, I didn't know exactly what I would do with it, but I like to collect cute gift containers like this. I always end up using them for something or other.

For some reason, I went looking through my stash of gift packaging and found this. That's when I realized how perfect it was for an 18" doll's suitcase.

Since I have no idea where this originally came from, you can always substitute smallish lunchbox-style tins they sell at Dollar Tree. They're about the same size and would give the same effect, even though they are made of tin.

My total cost for this project: $3.40 (plus a little bit of time and basic sewing supplies).


Shore Girl said...

I LOVE the idea of making that little "box" into a doll suitcase -- very CUTE!

angie said...

love, love, love!
my daughter enjoys dressing and re-dressing her 18" dolls too. your gift will be cherished,

Shari @For the Little Doll In Your Life said...

That suitcase is such a great find! said...

I wish I would have seen this post sooner. My granddaughter loves her 18 inch doll and plays dress up for hours with it. Needless to say that she got a lot of new clothes to play with for Christmas this year but the suitcase would have been a cherished addition. Yours will be cherished for a long time no doubt. Thanks for the great idea.