March 18, 2017

Kids make more clothes for American Girl dolls

We rearranged some rooms in our apartment over the summer and created a project room. All the sewing, printing, and electronics supplies went there. The new room has a great view of the backyard and is a little isolated from the rest of the house, being up a back winding stairway on the third floor. This presents a bit more of a barrier to working on a project there vs. taking it out on the dining room table. But for a few months the kids were having a lot of fun hanging out up there by themselves listening to music and working on their own stuff.

I had helped them get started on some dresses for their American Girl dolls, I think in the spring of 2015. First we took some measurements from the dolls and drew up some basic patterns on paper. We taped these on the dolls and made some adjustments, then cut apart to transfer to fabric.

These were all hand sewn, since they were so small. Plus it is good to develop one's hand skills. Here is Child 1 doing her hem.

I helped Child 2 a lot since the sequined fabric she picked from the stash for her doll's dress is challenging to sew. She wanted it long sleeved, with lace trim.

She was pleased with how it came out.

Child 1 did almost all of hers on her own, with some advice at key points from me. She picked some scraps of vegetable print cotton I had used to make her and Child 2 some dresses a few years ago:

Here is Child 1's dress she made.

She used the circle knitting jig to make some mittens and a scarf to match.

Edges are trimmed with hand stitched hug snug ribbon. She added a faux button strip and button on the front.

Closures are with hook and eyes on back.

She was also very pleased with how it turned out.

Inspired by the success of the dresses, they made a bunch of other quick outfits too using scraps of fabrics that interested them. Child 2 made Kit two little skirts.

Child 1 worked on a holiday present for Child 2, which was almost a match for one of Child 2's outfits at the time. Child 2 decorated a ball cap with a ghost on it as a project at a friend's birthday party, and she wears it around backwards all the time, for a while she was even sleeping in it.

And she loves leopard print on anything.

Child 1 made these out of felt and scraps; it really does look like something Child 2 would wear!


Unknown said...

These are great. Your girls are very talented and it's good to learn by hand-sewing first.
Lately, I've been making doll clothes but from American Doll patterns. The only trouble is my youngest granddaughter's doll is only 12" tall, not 18". This means I have to grade all the patterns first. It might have been easier to start from scratch like you did. Now I have the basic shapes the correct size so it's easier to do different patterns.
Barbie Dolls? Nyet. I will not tackle those teeny tiny items for such a mis-shapen piece of plastic! And she doesn't have one, yet.

Carry on. Love all the projects you do with your children.

Holly said...

Barbara, I didn't know they made patterns for American Dolls; maybe I'll check that out as a good activity for the kids to do on their own!

Honestly these dresses were about as simple as you could imagine just to get the concept across and be as easy for them to sew as possible. And the fit is not as difficult or important as it is on a real person. Plus you don't need to wash it and it doesn't need to stand up to as much wear as a real garment.

Good luck on your doll clothes.

SJ Kurtz said...

I learned how to fit and and drape on Francie, Barbie's flatter and less curvy cousin. No small child needs to learn a full bust adjustment, until they have a full bust to adjust.

AG dolls are great tools for learning material work over a 3D object. So many planes to work over, so little material wasted in mistakes. Plus sequins!

Suggest shoes. That scales up nicely.