Posts Tagged ‘doll clothes’


Love those little goblins peaking out from behind the big pumpkin moon.

And a silly spooky Blythe dress:


Yes, that is my handy dandy headless Blythe body which I got so I could fit patterns on it without risking scratching a great big Blythe noggin.

About a week or so ago I was doing some recreational browsing, which is kinda like retail therapy except you don’t generally buy anything. When I spotted this cool small scale skull fabric and thought I have got to make something out of that, at the counter I noticed that it had a tag on the bolt that said “Glow-in-the-Dark”. So I bought some and went home, dug thru my pattern stash and decided to make this yoked dress. Then I did a little google search to see if anyone made glow-in-the-dark thread and found out that DMC does. Wow! Back to the fabric store to get some and also pick up some lace for the bottom of the dress. A few, well several, hours later — ta da, Spooky Blythe Halloween dress.

Which I posted off to Arlene, who got the package, opened it, picked up the phone and Sqwee! She really liked it. Photo of her doll wearing the dress properly accessorized to come later.

A note about that DMC floss: it’s from their Light Effects collection and it’s number E940. It looks white in daylight but it Glows-in-the-Dark. Hooray! Also it’s made of polyester not cotton which means it’s fiddley to work with so for what it’s worth here are my tips for use. Use shorter lengths than you would for cotton floss, this stuff likes to unwind and tangle. Also try to only touch the needle not the floss as this stuff snags on everything, my hands aren’t the smoothest but they aren’t that rough and the floss kept catching on my fingers. Polyester floss is a booger to stitch with until you get the hang of it, but the final effect is worth it.


UPDATE:     Here are Arlene’s Blythe dolls all dressed up for Halloween.


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Thought I would continue the mod theme with this little gem.

Mod Missy by Whitman circa 1969. She’s quite the hipster. The box for my set is less than great; some of the paper is peeled off on the lid and the bottom of the box is dented in. However this doesn’t matter terribly much to me as the contents are mint. Uncut costumes and a perfect thick cardboard doll.

Incidently, Whitman must have really wanted to avoid any possible confusion about this being a Mod doll; they stuck the word mod every place they could wedge it in. As if one glance at the doll or her clothes could have left any doubt. Ha!

Even her posture is a bit hip. Adore that face and those perfect 60s shoes.

The costumes are fab; she plays the guitar. In addition to wonderfully evocative outfits she has great wigs, dig the Carnaby ensemble complete with boots and wig/hat.

Just in case you missed the point, the publisher even stuck yet another mention of mod in the title of the magazine — love that Beatles suit and wig! Make sure to click on the picture to check out the details of the pink dress in the lower left; nehru collar and ruffled cuffs are soooo precious.

Hope that the Friends of Blythe and other fashionistas have enjoyed this wardrobe inspiration post.

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Or, Danger Will Robinson . . . Danger!

Does this face look familiar to you? It reached right out and grabbed me even though it was tiny thumbnail size image on the site where I first saw it. So I clicked it.

Wow! and Ouch! Is it just me or does this doll have more than a passing resemblance to the girls in Mark Ryden’s paintings? She’s a new release named Trisha from D.I.M (Doll in Mind).

I am a huge fan of Ryden’s work and have been since my very first exposure. If you’re not familiar; do a google image search right now — I’ll wait.

It is perhaps a fortunate thing that I can’t afford to buy this girl as I’m certain I would feel an overwhelming compulsion to make her clothes to match Mark’s paintings. Which would be lovely fun and a perfect opportunity to make outfits that are simultaneously dark, twisted and massively sweet. Which would inevitably be way too time consuming.

She would certainly demand a meat ball gown for starters. Dangerous!

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More fashion inspiration for Blythe fans and people who just like paper dolls. Missy Go Along is a fun, funky paper doll from 1970. There seem to be several variations on this set, with different hair styles/colors and a variety of different costumes but all with dolls in the same poses. I actually had a similar set of these dolls as a child — having this set in my collection is a real nostalgia trip.

Love that green coat worn with bright pink tights and grey boots. Quite Fab!

The dress pattern I used for the Blythe Birthday outfit would be perfect for the (white-pink-yellow) pseudo mondrian check dress. The fabric could be made fairly easily with applique or paint with ribbon or ric-rac borders. Now I just have to keep my eyes open for some jewelry components for use for the belt.

Even if you don’t have a Blythe (or other doll) who demands new clothes on a regular basis, it’s fun to look at the funky possibilities and know that once upon a time, not so very long ago, actual people were wearing clothes that looked like this.

This is why I love paper dolls. They can be a quite accurate record of what people were wearing. Fashion and costume history books are great for historic (long, long ago) clothes but for the twentieth century — not so much. I’m also very much into the whole packaging, graphic design element of the look of them. Which shouldn’t be a huge surprise as I’m an ex-graphic designer myself.

Plus they’re intensely fun, fun, fun and they don’t take up a whole lot of room which means they qualify as practical too (well . . sort of).

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Happy Star Wars Day Everybody!

Sasha and Lexi (Baby Sasha) are enjoying themselves in full Star Wars regalia, how about you?

Sasha’s lightsaber started out life as a paintbrush handle. Lexi’s dress is rather obviously modeled after these delightful toddler dresses. The foil hat was John’s idea.

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I’m very much still not ready but this baby is:

Baby Portrait

Her name is Flo and she was made by Sylvia Natterer. She’s little (8-1/2″) and she’s definitely decked out for the holidays. Flo is all comfy cozy in her soft little shirt and stripey tights and her velvety jumper has pockets with buttons. Her hat even has a bobble — ooh la la.

Baby Wants

She is more than ready for treats and presents; but is a bit baffled by why the tree and Mr. Santa aren’t in the living room yet.

Which I’ve promised to do later today  . . . well by Friday at least.

Baby Pensive

Flo has just been informed that Christmas isn’t for 10 whole days. How Shocking!

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I’ve been having a really good time today playing with a new present I got myself.

black apple paper doll primer

This new book is by artist Emily Martin aka Black Apple. The book is divided into three parts.

Part One is her original paper dolls and their clothes. Each doll has a personality profile including likes and dislikes, for instance, here’s Alice’s list: Likes: Cats, Books with pictures, Her usual height; Dislikes: Boring Lessons, Disorderly tea parties, Egomaniacal Monarchs. Here’s my favorite personality list item . . . Dislikes: Being Poked (Baby) and yes, before you wonder, Baby is just that; a little rosy-cheeked human baby who looks like the kind of tiny baby doll that sort of slumps warm and cozy in the palm of your hand. Part One also includes a section of background paintings, and a toy theater.

Part Two is “Paper You” which is exactly what it sounds like. It has a bunch of customizable paperdolls with equally customizable clothing. You pick the doll that looks the most like the person you want to make a doll of and well, fix it up to include the right color eyes, the correct hair, shoes, etc. Then you make it some clothes. Hours and hours of fun. Here’s the doll I made:

black apple paper doll my version

I had bunches of fun working on this. I did what the book suggested and used my scanner/copier to make color copies to work on. I used colored pencils, clip art and a sticker to decorate the clothes, you know, the sort of stuff that is always lying around the workroom. Most of the clothes are extremely plain, the idea being that they are sort of blank slates for you to build on. For instance the underwear, the green top, the purple/black/white faun dress, and the yellow neck scarf were originally totally white. The yellow dress was just a plain yellow dress, I added the elephant bag (which is NOT in the book, it’s picture I had on file). I colored a hat band on the top hat and added texture/color to the green dress and blue jeans. I added the owls, the faun panel and the bug lady. I did customize the doll itself, adding rosy color, darkening the brows and eyelashes and giving it brown eyes. I also drew the shoes and then made a pair of wicked cool boots out of a practice doll’s feet (her face didn’t work out — oops).

Part Three is projects make with/for the dolls including a storage armoire (to keep the extensive wardrobe of clothing in don’ cha know), play sets, display stands, jointed dolls, flip books, stationary, and a mobile. It also gives directions for playing “Exquisite Creature” which is a more kid-friendly name for “exquisite corpse”; the old funny tri-fold collaborative draw-a-picture game.

This is a particularly nice book. I wish there had been a book like this when I was a little kid. Edith Flack Ackley’s old battered paper doll book borrowed from the library was the best I had back then and this is in color and has better dolls and more projects. Well, better dolls if you’re very into conjoined twins, bears, goth girls and onion-headed creatures . . . which I am. So there.

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Bonus Paper Doll

I feel a bit guilty about not posting last week, even though I was sick in bed with a bug; which is a pretty good excuse actually. But anyway here is a little bonus post for this week: a Crissy paper doll for you to print out and draw outfits for. Be sure to click on the picture to get a larger image.

I had both the actual doll and this paper doll as a child; both of which I have managed to reacquire thru the auspices of ebay.

Here’s a website where you can learn more than you ever wanted to know about the Crissy doll family. Check out the sewing/crocheting page where you can see (and download) the commercial clothing patterns that were available for her.

Have big fun!

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Fun Vintage Doll Clothes Book

Here is a lovely little vintage book about making clothes for your dolls. The copyright is 1953 so the language is a bit quaint but the information is surprisingly comprehensive. The book is out of print so I got my copy on ebay where it does pop up every now and again. I was lucky and got a copy with the adorable dustjacket.

As you can see from the contents page this book is designed to give you the ability to make an entire wardrobe. No namby-pamby dancing around the need for dolly to have clothes for every occasion.

The style of the clothes are fairly simple so that they’ll be quick to make up while still having enough detail to satisfy the eye. Notice the darling slash and gather dart detail at the waist of the slip. There aren’t any ready-made patterns in the book; the idea is for you to learn to draft patterns to fit the specific doll being clothed.

The directions start out with simple pattern draping and branch out to a bit of pattern drafting for some of the patterns later in the book.

The how-to-sew information in this book is refreshingly complete. Unlike many books published today it doesn’t “dumb-down” by over-simplification. The writer assumes that the person using the book wants to make a quality product that is going to hold up to little girl usage and the little bit of extra time and effort spent doing so are well worth it.

For instance this is the best explanation of how to do a proper buttonhole that I’ve ever seen in a basic-level sewing book.

The only complaint I can make is that the instructions call for the inclusion of one of my pet bugaboos: acute angle inside corners. As a child I found them a complete and total pain in the backside and to this day prefer to avoid them. I learned early to eliminate an acute angle beneath the arm or between the legs by breaking up the pattern into more pieces to obtain that vital fray-and-bunching preventing seam allowance.

On the up-side it does teach how to do linings and how to bind an edge. Both of which eliminate any need for dealing with my other pet bugaboo: narrow hems on curved edges. Too fiddley by far for a child and again I’ll go a long way out of my path to avoid them now.

So if you enjoyed this post, get yourself access to a copy of this book — you may just end up wanting one for your very own (try ebay or amazon marketplace). FYI, Michigan residents: the Michigan library system has copies of this available, your local librarian can get one through the inter-library loan system. Or for those of you in the know; request your own loan via melcat (www.mel.org). Ooooh Yes! I do so love the library.

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