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I made this batch of doll clothes in May.

I took pictures with the intent of documenting them on the blog, but as so often happens, I didn’t do it right away. If I were all smooth and slick, I wouldn’t have mentioned how old these pictures are, but, hey, we’re all about honesty that makes me look like a slacker here at NerdBliss.

The important part is that I promptly mailed them to Sabrina, my BFF Kate’s daughter, my niece and owner of an American Girl doll. Since her birthday is close to Christmas, I thought it might be nice to send a summer vacation care package, plus any reason to both use my stash of remnant fabrics and shop for additional pieces or patterns.

Enough with the chit-chat and on to the pictures:


Black Bathing Suit from McCall’s M4896


Hounds tooth skirt, navy leggings, camisole.


I had to make the cami to bridge the weird gap in the ruffle shirt. Not sure why the pattern was designed this way.


With the vest. Despite the weird gap, I like the trendy look of McCall’s M6480


I made the vest reversible since the lining – made from Klingon wedding scraps – was too pretty to waste.


The reversible part wasn’t part of the pattern, but it was simple enough to tuck in the seams where the front and back connect under the arms.


The hat sells the look. Sadly, I didn’t get a better picture.


Real leather boots. They were a hassle to sew.


I winged it on these, but they came out well enough. I was on a mission to make shoes since learning Sabrina’s doll only had one pair. Unacceptable even for a plastic girl.


I’ve mailed out my niece’s birthday package today. It won’t make it in time for her birthday on the 19th, but I’m hopeful it might arrive for her birthday party on Saturday. If not, well, it’s like an extra present after the fact. I feel a little better than it’s handmade goodness I’m tarty with rather than a store bought gift. I shared pictures of the tote bag and coat here last week. They are made to fit 18 inch dolls, specifically in this case, Sabrina’s new-at-Christmas American Girl doll.

I planned to mail yesterday morning, but I had a few struggles. More experience with the seam ripper. The dress was a little tricky. I haven’t figured out how to best handle gathers and the whole bottom is gathered. I also ended up ripping out a bit of one of the sleeve where I bunched the body of the top up under while stitching. I’m hoping such complications won’t be as hard to avoid in people sized garments. I am planning, assuming Sabrina continues to be interested in the doll, to get myself a “fit model” in the form of a cheap doll in the right size. It nothing else, I’d be able to use it for taking pictures of my projects.

I took a picture of the underside of the dress because it shows how the gathers create the “bubble” effect in the skirt. Actually rather fashionable right now. I have mixed feelings about the look on full grown women, but on little girls and dolls, it’s adorable.

It’s perfect in the striped fabric from my remnant stash. By the way, I’ve found the best prices on remnants at Hancock Fabric. Buying gobs of them at 70, 80 and 90 percent off regular price makes it really fun to match up with appropriate patterns. The other thing I’ve used for doll stuff is fat quarters marketed for quilting.

The fabric for the sleeping bag came from All About Fabrics in Williamston, South Carolina. They’re outlet open one weekend a month in the warehouse end of a textile mill. It’s epic, folks. Huge bolts of fabric, much of it upholstery fabric, and lots of odds and ends. Totally worth a day trip for anyone who’s interested in costuming, for sure, but I digress.

The sleeping bag represents two sewing milestones. I’d never worked with any stretch fabrics on the sewing machine before and avoided them for the most part while hand stitching Barbie clothes. I bought the end of a bolt of this stuff because I love it. The pictures don’t do it justice. In person, what looks like pink is red and the whole thing is far more bold. I have plans for something… maybe a couple somethings… out of the stuff for my wardrobe, but it seemed just right for this project. Zigzag stitch is pretty awesome. After sewing the “batting” to the stretchy stuff, it was much easier to handle.

I even used the zigzag for the zipper and sewed it in without a zipper foot. Proud to say, no seam ripping was required and it actually zipped.

I hope Sabrina enjoys playing with it all as much as I enjoyed making it with none of the frustration I experienced in their creation.