Saturday, January 29, 2011

Doll Dresses

Practice, practice, practice.  Practice makes perfect.  Oh, how I remember those long hours of practice doing various activities when I was younger, and how I couldn't wait until I could actually apply what I'd been learning.  You know, when you practice piano scales for hours on end, and how you long to play a real song.  Not "Farmer Tom Plays the Scales" or "Up and Down the Keyboard We Go," but a REAL song, one that will impress your friends.  One they play on the radio.  I remember in junior high school when my friend, Jenny, first broke out of playing classical music for her piano teacher, and learned to play the "Flashdance" theme on the piano.  We were all so inspired!!  (OK, I'm dating myself!)

Well, my kids are the same way with instrument practice and with other activities, like sewing.  So, now the sewing lessons are paying off.  My daughter made her first doll dress for her American Girl doll.  (Actually, I think this one is an "Our Generation" doll from Target, but we like them just as well!)

For this dress, she used a kit from Wal-mart that her brother bought her for Christmas.  They also carry these kits in fabric stores.  The pieces are pre-drawn on the fabric.  You cut them out and follow the instructions to sew them together.  This was supposed to be a nightgown.  It has long sleeves and elastic in the neck, so these were a challenge for a beginning seamstress, but she did a fabulous job.  She decided she wanted to use this as a dress rather than a nightgown, so she added the buttons for interest and designed the hat.  She hasn't hemmed the dress yet.  She explained to me that she tried the dress on the doll to see how it fit, and the doll loved the dress so much that she wouldn't let her take it off to hem it!  Hemming must be boring to my children, because my son also has not hemmed his Jedi robe yet.  They seem to think these projects are "finished" enough, and they just want to use them!

Before sewing these pieces together, I had my daughter trace them onto paper so that she has the pattern for future use.  She has already cut them out of another type of fabric as well, and has another dress just about ready to sew together.

Here are some more patterns we will be working on in the near future:

Some free, not-too-difficult patterns from

And we just found this TREASURE!!!  The actual American Girl Doll historical outfit patterns that AG used to sell but has discontinued.  Some collectors got together and scanned them in, and now you can download them all for FREE.  These are, of course, more difficult, but my daughter can't wait to try her hand at them!

In the meantime, she is filling our house with throw pillows, which are easy and FUN to sew!  Both of these pink pillow covers and the little stuffed dog, if you can see it there in her hand, came in the kit with the nightgown.  She sewed and stuffed the small pillow and the stuffed dog.  The large pillow was designed to be a blanket for the doll, but she decided to stuff it and make a pillow for herself to match her doll's.

1 comment:

  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [30 Jan 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria