Last weekend when I wrote about my critters, I left someone out. Or, I should say, a lot of someones!
My house has become a rescue center for abandoned Barbie dolls over the years. I find them at secondhand stores. I take them home, give them a bath, and get the tangles out of their hair -- and if they're in really bad shape, I'll give them new bodies and hair.
One thing I wasn't able to do for them, though, was put clothes on them. This may sound weird coming from a bead embroiderer, but I've never been good at sewing! And so for years and years, Barbies hung out in my closet, wearing fabric scraps and looking disappointed.
Until a week ago. While searching for clothing tutorials, I found this one by Almost Unschoolers. It was perfect for my sewing skills! I also had lots and lots of felt left over from making ornaments last Fall.
So I sat down and used a doll as a mannequin, and I pinned the felt around her. But instead of making a dress like the tutorial did, I made a shirt (left). And it was fun! So I made another one (center).
And then... I went kind of hog wild. I made my own skirts using circular templates. I added some felt and sequin flowers. And for the doll in the middle -- a rescue doll who has a new body and hair -- I made a tutu using this tutu-torial from My Froggy Stuff.
Skirts and shirts led to scarves. And then handbags. And before I knew it, I was making mini dresses and jackets... with pockets! And lapels. I may be clueless at following patterns, but apparently I'm not terrible at draping, because I did the jackets on my third day, just by playing around.
I even used gathers -- seriously, gathers! -- to modify the skirt. And I hid my snaps with itty bitty buttons and sequins.
Of course, I couldn't let the girls have all the fun. Sequintastic Ken had been bothering me for clothes for a long time, so I branched out into fleece and made him... a hooded sweatshirt!
Because he's a good boy and doesn't mind watching the girls' handbags while they get their photos taken, I decided to make him some pants. I used this tutorial from My Froggy Stuff as a guide, but I hadn't watched it in a few weeks and was too lazy to go back and watch it again... so I ended up winging it.
These pants were straight out of the 80's! Perfect for the hooded shirt. Unfortunately, once I put the elastic in, they were too small for Ken, so they became Barbie pants. However... none of the girls wanted to wear them for the photo shoot. Divas.
Even though they're hideous, I'm proud of these pants! I even used cotton fabric.
And finally, here's a closeup of the little bags. I love all of them, but I'm really jazzed about the messenger bag! I'll have to make some little books to put in it.
What's next for this dolly fashion designer? I want to refine my designs. I also want to switch to a sewing machine for the seams. And once I've done that, I can upgrade to some nicer fabrics and absolutely cover them with sequins, beads, and thread embroidery.
Sewing for dolls has gotten Ken off my back for the most part, (although he feels entitled to a pair of gold sequin pants, which he may or may not get) but it's also gotten me out of a deep funk. For awhile, I felt stuck creatively. I didn't know what to make next, and honestly, I didn't want to make anything.
But lately, I've been excited to wake up, reluctant to go to sleep, and my sparkly little brain is full of ideas! It's also thinking in new ways. What a great reminder that I need to explore new things to stay happy and creative.
Now it's your turn: Have you ever made, or wanted to make, doll clothes? Tell me!
Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic