Pretty Clothes for 18″ dolls from Remnants

Spring break snuck up on me this year, owing to the fact that the state of Florida schedules neighboring counties very different weeks of spring vacation. Not sure what their aim is by that: in the county where I live, spring break is next month. In the neighboring county, it started—yikes!—last Monday.

I had vague plans to have the girls up for spring break, especially after seeing this inspiring blog post from Dream…Quilt…Create by Cynthia Horst. I found a web site that offers 6 sets of patterns for wardrobes for 18″ dolls—free! One drawback is that each pattern set may take up 60 or more sheets of 8 x 10 paper and loads of costly printer ink, so nothing as cool as this is truly free, am I right? The patterns have 1990’s copyrights, and they are a bit complex for most little girls to be able to sew on their own (unless they happen to be apprenticed to a dressmaker). I downloaded Samantha’s Pretty Clothes, which includes a party dress, a pinafore and dress, a plaid cape, a fur hat and muff, a pair of gaiters, a nightgown, and a set of tucked and beribboned underthings. Samantha’s wardrobe is noted as circa 1904.

A girl and her doll, with Samantha nightgown

A girl with her doll and Samantha's party dress

The girls chose their own remnants for these projects, and they did some of the initial sewing and preparation. But, as luck would have it, the sewing machine started acting up and I had to work it over and show it who’s boss. By then, the girls were off playing drums and piano, planning a concert for our poor unsuspecting ears. But they checked back with me on and off to see what was going on back in the mini-garment industry slum that is my sewing room.

I also downloaded Molly’s Pretty Clothes, a wardrobe from 1944, according to the introduction sheet. This collection includes patterns for a plaid jumper with a white blouse, a rain slicker and hat, a beret, a pair of pajamas, a pinafore trimmed in rick-rack, a bag, and underthings. We made the jumper but alas, it was a bit too tight to close. My fault completely: I think one of the pattern pieces was inadvertently cut short.

Molly plaid jumper

The girl who requested the jumper sweetly told me, “I think it might fit one of my other dolls!” But I told her I will make her another one that fits!

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cynthia
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 17:48:33

    That is cute that you made the dresses with your grandaughters!! For Kelsey’s fashion show……all the outfits I made were from patterns I bought at JoAnn’s for 99 cents. I thought that was a good deal.


    • jenyjenny
      Mar 24, 2012 @ 07:55:14

      Thanks–I will look at Joann’s, now that I realize I have dolls to sew for! I may even get myself an 18″ doll, you know, so I can try on the clothes and make sure they fit!


  2. Tracey
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 12:23:08

    JenyJenny, Wow! Great doll clothes! I have an Aunt that would send my sis and I boxes of doll clothes for our Dawn Dolls that she would sew from scraps when I was little. It really meant alot and seeing your girls’ happy faces brings back many fond memories! Thanks!


    • jenyjenny
      Mar 24, 2012 @ 14:31:22

      thank you! My grandmother was great about sewing, knitting, and crocheting doll clothes, too. I guess I didn’t think the modern girls would be into it as much, but they love everything about it! Dolls, clothes, accessories.


  3. Darrell Matyi
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 09:00:37

    I was really happy to find this web-site. I desired to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I decidedly enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to see new stuff your web page.


  4. Aerona
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 13:19:27

    I know this is an old post (over a year) but I’d like to throw out there that those particular patterns just seem to run small. I had the exact same problem with Molly’s jumper. I had to fudge the Velcro, skip the tucks in the bodice, and slim down the box pleats in the skirt in order for it to fit as printed. I cut the second one slightly bigger and didnt have any problems with it.

    The funny thing is that these patterns were produced by Pleasant Company (the original american girl company, before Mattel bought it out) so I would have thought they would fit their own dolls. 🙂


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