Monday, August 15, 2016

My Latest Obsession

To indulge my creative side, I have embraced a variety of needlework over the years.  As a girl, I learned to embroider on "Days of the Week" tea towels and to sew clothes for myself, as my mother made many of our clothes. As a newlywed, I was into crocheting, making Christmas stockings for my husband and myself and a tree skirt, then baby items when our daughter came along.  Next came counted cross-stitch, and I made a number of samplers and a Christmas stocking for our son, as well as more baby items for shower gifts.  Then the smocking craze hit, and I smocked many outfits for both children, until my son -- at age 4 -- told me he wanted a suit and tie for Easter, NOT the cute little smocked shirts with button-on knee pants I loved to make for him.  Fast forward a few years, and my sister got me re-interested in knitting, which I had learned as a child from my grandmother.  I knit many hats and scarves and a few socks, then a grandchild born in the Frozen North had me knitting adorable baby sweaters.  I still love to knit -- more about that in another post, maybe -- but in the past few months I have been entertaining myself by sewing doll dresses.

This spring I sewed several sundresses for my youngest grandchild, and for fun, I made matching dresses for her American Girl-style doll.  Here's one example:

Then, I discovered the wonderful dollmaker of Phoebe & Egg.  In addition to Lisa's amazing handmade dolls, she generously shares free patterns for clothing for her dolls, as well as American Girl and Waldorf dolls.  Her blog features some of her creations, and she sells them in her Etsy shop, too.  I quickly signed up for her newsletter and downloaded the patterns.  They are easy and fun to sew, adding various features and trims to make them even cuter.  Now my idea of a lovely weekend is spending a morning sewing a new doll dress!  My older granddaughter even loaned me her American Girl dolls to use as models.  Here are some of my favorites:

Lisa is introducing a new historic collection with dress designs from the 1940s.  That's a little before my time, but it started me thinking about some of my favorite dresses when I was a child.  The one below was my favorite dress in third grade in the early 1960s (before color school photos, obviously!).  It was a blue floral print, trimmed with black rickrack and tiny black buttons, and I loved wearing it. So, I decided to use that dress as inspiration for a doll dress, and I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

Then, just for fun, I made another "dark cotton" as we called the school dresses worn when the summer heat was still evident, but fall clothes were desired. I have learned a LOT about sewing with baby rick rack, not to mention sewing tiny collars and pockets!

Do you think sewing for dolls is a sign I'm entering a second childhood?  Or should I only worry if I find myself actually playing with the dolls -- without a grandchild present?!


  1. Oh, Tricia, those are darling, but the picture of you is even cuter!

  2. Tricia,, these are adorable, and you are so talented.

  3. Tricia, I so admire your talent. I think it is wonderful you are sewing for doll babies. Such a cute picture of you too. Have fun with it. We are never too old.

  4. Mama always made our dolls wonderful clothing. She made a wedding dress as a Christmas gift for my Toni doll when I was four. You may have inspired me to pull out my Piaf once again. Beatrice Emaline has her first American Girl doll at age 4. seems fitting! Per the flowers and the Lenox urns...I usually buy the urns at estate sales, $25.00-$30.00. Every once in a blue moon, I buy one on eBay, but sellers usually think their urns are some kind of rare limited edition...way to much money. The flowers in this last instance. Each urn has two hydrangeas in it. I chose which color I wanted to highlight in each one, and then I took the second hydrangea, kind of spread it apart (very gently) and pretty much wrapped it around the other one. If I had a florist company, it would be called Seat of the Pants Florals. :-). Cherry Kay

  5. Tricia, I'm finally stopping by (after our move and holidays and house planning!) to see what's going on with you -- and these little doll dresses are adorable! Lucky you having a granddaughter to play dolls with! I can't imagine sewing such tiny pieces, but you did a great job. I know your granddaughter looked precious in her "big girl" dress. :-) I hope all's going well for your family.