Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Upcycling American Girl Doll Clothes

A few of the outfits I have made so far have been created from either old clothing or other unconventional fabric sources. 

I made this pair of jeans and this denim skirt from some pants of mine.  They had holes in the knees and so I cut them down and turned them into shorts for me and used the bottom of the legs for the doll clothes.  I wanted to keep the decorative side seams for the jeans and so I cut one leg out of each.  I top stitched the pockets on.  I didn't have a pattern for these and it was a while back before I had sewn any other 18" doll clothes, so I was kind of just winging it.  I figured the only thing I had to lose was my time so it was worth a shot.  The skirt fits great but the pants could have been a little wider in the waist and higher in the rise.
I made this shirt out of an old t-shirt of mine.  I used a t-shirt pattern I found for free online at Second Chance Studio.  She also had the idea of the cute ruffles down the front.  Knit is not my favorite though.  I still haven't figured out how to sew it without stretching and misshaping the dickens out of it.  The skirt was from another free online pattern at Suzy M Studio.  If you are just starting out I would say skirts are the way to go. They are super easy and nearly fool-proof.  The back pack is from yet another free pattern from Many Small Friends.  Turned out so cute!

This boy shirt and sweater combo were from an infant-sized shirt and combo set that I got 50% off from Savers.  It was only $1.50 for both pieces.  I utilized the finished bottom on both to save myself a little sewing, but I did roll the sweater edge up so that the argyle was placed correctly.  The pants were made new from remnant fabric.
 This next outfit was only partially upcycled.  The shorts were made from fabric that I had from a crib skirt that I used for my two youngest daughters,  Kind of fun to have a little reminder of what their nursery looked like.  The pattern for the shorts was another freebie I found at Sew Adollable.  They're pretty simple but they did end up a bit tight and not quite high enough in the rise.  When I make another pair of shorts I am going to come up with my own pattern.  The cute peplum top was one of the patterns that I bought from Pixie Faire.  The fabric was a remnant piece and only cost 50 cents.
Once I got started with repurposing, I began keeping an eye out on my thrift store runs.  This dress was made from a toddler skirt.  It was $3 and I had planned on making two dresses out of it so I could give one to a neighbor, but I accidentally cut the fabric in the wrong spot and was only able to get the one dress.   I left the skirt bottom as it was and just cut open the waist band so that I could fold it out.  That is what became the bodice of the dress.  I added a little lace trim to the top to make it more modest and then made simple butterfly sleeves by using pieces of the lace trim from the back section of the skirt.  I did have enough fabric left over to make a blue striped skirt, a slip to go under dresses, and the lace dickie shown in my Jane Austen dress
I found a tutorial on Youtube by Clarise Wells showing how to make a boy doll sweater from knee-high socks.  I couldn't wait to try it and headed to the dollar store.  I wasn't able to find any cute manly-colored argyle socks like she used in her video, so I just went with a pair of blue socks that were thick and had a sweater-like texture.  It would say this one only turned out so-so.  Like I said, it is very hard to sew knit.  Just check out the back where I sewed on the Velcro.  It went crazy out of shape.  It ain't easy folks!
 But let's end on a high note, shall we?  This last dress is my favorite of all the AG clothes I have made to date.  I used the Statement in Taffeta pattern from Pixie Faire.  The cream lace overlay fabric was left over from the Christmas dresses I made for my daughters.  Aren't they cutie pies?
The skirt and bows are made from a curtain that I got at Saver's for $2.  That's right, a curtain.  Which means I have tons of fabric left if I decide to make more of these.  I only followed the pattern half way.  I did the bodice and skirt from the pattern except that I made it symmetrical.  I added the bow cap sleeves on my own.  I love how it turned out except for the fact that it is insanely tight!  It zips up in the back and it's all I can do to pull that baby up and down.  There is no way my little ones could do it.  So she is going to stay in that dress for a while.  The necklace is a bracelet that I made one of my daughters years ago. And although I didn't take a pic of it, there is a hoop slip under the dress to make it stay full and beautiful.  You can find that pattern (for free) at Martha Pullen.
So if you have some clothes you are thinking of throwing out, or curtains for that matter, think again!  You might be able to turn them into some cute new doll fashions!

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