Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dolly Hospital

My obsession with dolls has subsided a bit, but I have still been working on a few "rehab" projects over the last few months. 

The first was American Girl doll JLY 55.  I love this girl!  I am sucker for her hazel eyes, dark brown hair and adorable freckles.  I bought her off a classified app for $50.  She had a LOT of little black dots on both arms as well as a few marks on her legs. 
I did oxy treatments on her for several days in a row, applying the cream to the spots, covering them with plastic wrap so that it didn't dry too quickly and had time to work, and placed her out in the sun.  Surely my neighbors can't question this process?  ;)

The spots did not completely disappear, but they had faded considerably and I thought it was good enough.  Interestingly, the spots faded even more after time so that when I took this photo today, they are all gone!  Awesome.

She will make an "after" appearance in a bit once I get to the sewing projects section of this post.

Next up was a Kit doll that I got for a friend's daughter.  She came to me with what I can only describe as melted spots.  It looked like she had come in contact with something too hot and it flatted out the vinyl.  The most noticeable spot was on her face.
I used a nail buffer that had four different grits and buffed the marks out as best I could.  Again, not perfect, but definitely less noticeable.
I bought this Bitty Baby to resell for a few bucks, but I needed to fix up her hair.  She has sprayed on hair and the scuffs and scrapes really stand out. 

I used my cake airbrush and some watered down craft paint.  It took me a couple of tries to get it subtle enough but turned out great in the end.  Almost like new!

I have also branched out a bit with what kind of dolls I am buying to fix up.  I found this Belle doll at the thrift store for $3.  She had her complete outfit and was really in great shape except for her hair. 

It just took me about 30 straight minutes of brushing to get her hair all smoothed out and then I put it up in foam rollers over night.

Getting her fixed up inspired me to get out the rest of our Disney Animator dolls.  They have been put away in a box in the basement for about a year, but my second oldest really loves them, so we put them up on a shelf in her room and they are adorable!

I have also stumbled upon a couple of Lee Middleton dolls in the last few weeks at thrift stores.  This little beauty was $3 and came fully dressed.
She just needed a good scrub with the Magic Eraser and a brush through her hair and she is back to her sweet self again.

This one was only $2 because she did not have clothing. She got the same treatment and turned out just as cute.

I have also been sewing a bit.  There are a few American Girl outfits that I absolutely love but cannot bring myself to pay for.  One of those is Kit's chicken keeping outfit.  It sells for $65-75.  Holy crap!  No way!  I'm too nervous about copyright laws to post a stock photo of the outfit here, but if you are curious, Google it to see the outfit I was trying to replicate.

I scouted fabric stores and thrift stores to fine material that was as close as possible to the originals and I ended up with a fat quarter of floral fabric from JoAnn for $2 and a men's shirt from a thrift store for $4.  Much better than $75!
I used pieces from these two patterns and kind of guessed at the rest.  I used the bottoms of outfit C from the Simplicity pattern and the little yoke piece of outfit B from the Butterick one, but I had to cut it in a sweetheart shape instead of a rounded top. The back is also quite different than any pattern I could find and I had to make it up as I went.  My version goes up higher than the original but I'm still super happy with how it turned out and now I don't have to pine after the outfit any more.

Kit is ready to feed some chickens!

Another AG outfit I have had my eye on is Samantha's Special Day dress.  I love the fabric and the lace trim. (Once again, you'll have to Google it.) I was bored one day and wanting to sew something so I just used fabric that I had on hand.  I bought it at Wal-Mart for $3.50 for 1/2 yard.  It doesn't look much like the fabric from the original, but oh well.  The lace was from my grandma's collection that my mom gave me.  I used the pattern for dress A from Simplicity S0672 and again, had to make some adjustments.   I didn't make the vest, I changed the neckline, added pleats and trim, and I created different sleeves. 
I may have gotten a bit carried away with the hair bow and the bow on the dress, but who doesn't love a giant bow now and then?  I wish I would have made the waist a tad bit lower and the skirt not so full, but overall I'm happy.  Here's that JLY 55 doll I talked about at the beginning of the post.  Isn't she the cutest?

I have one last outfit to share.  It's not a replica, just something for fun.  I used pattern B6302 by Butterick and didn't make any alterations.  It's a retro pattern from the 50s and I think I didn't make it quite short enough.  She kinda just looks a bit chubby ;)

The fabric for the coat and dress were both from a quilt shop.  I only bought 1/4 yard of each because they were around $10 a yard and as I am sure you are aware, I'm a cheapo.   I had to do a contrasting bow because I didn't have enough of the floral fabric but I like how it turned out.  The lace was also from my grandma's stash.  The knee socks were made from one of my daughter's sock with a hole in the heel that I was going to throw away.  The shoes are AG brand from MaryEllen's meet outfit.

I saw in a Facebook group the idea to make a board to display dolls on.  I say "display on" because it sure sounds nicer than "hang from," doesn't it?  My hubby and I were at JoAnn's one day when they had multiple coupons (don't get me started on how much the hubster loves to shop at JoAnn's) and I bought three pre-made boards for $7 each.  I came home and cut off the ends so that the would look more like one piece, painted them, and mounted them on the wall with screws and anchors.  So far I really like this way to store dolls because not only does it show off my handiwork on their outfits, but it also gets them up and out of the way.  I tried doll stands for a while but they were too hard for my daughters to use, or at least they rarely chose to use them.

Thanks for stopping in!  Oh, and just in case you are curious, my current amount spent on AG (brand only, not anything Our Generation) is $2,804.... but sales are $2,608 so I'm only $196 in and right now we have a total of 10 full-size 18" dolls, 2 bitty twins, a bitty baby, as well as some furniture and clothing.  I also have one more doll in rehab status (not counted in the 10 we are keeping) that I am hoping to sell in the next few weeks that should put me close to even.  I wish I could say the same for my Calico Critters spending.  That has panned out nearly as well and I've actually lost money on some of the things I bought. 


  1. Wow, amazing! These posts are my favorites! The picture of the doll out in the sun was too funny - but you did such a stunning job on these dolls!

  2. do you have any ideas for displaying monster high/ever after high size dolls? those are what mine has right now...