This post is a story of mini doll clothes, perseverance and a giveaway!
We have a winner! Congratulations to our first place winner! Saige and her outfits will be on their way to Lori this week.
I’m still waiting to hear back with an address from our second place winner. If you received an email from us, please answer!
I have a story for you: It is a story of failure, hilarity, learning, triumph over adversity (not really, but it sounds good) and ultimately success (extremely limited success but I’ll take what I can get). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (ok, maybe that was just me), you’ll cheer . . . well, you get the idea.
First of all, you should know I am not a seamstress. I am an artist who happens to enjoy sewing. Ready? Let’s get started.
My good friend purchased the Mini Tenney doll from American Girl and mentioned her disappointment that Tenney does not come with her vest. In my infinite wisdom (and misplaced confidence) I thought to myself, I can make a tiny vest for her! And jeans too, this character is a country music singer/songwriter. How does she not have jeans?!
In The Beginning; Mini Doll Clothes
First of all, I looked through my fabric shelf and found the perfect fabric, a very lightweight knit that looks like denim. So far, so good. See, I know something about sewing. One thing I am certain of, there is NO Way to make actual denim work for a doll that is roughly six inches tall. Furthermore jeans would be extremely difficult. I decide to make jeggings and a vest. Here is where I hit my first snag. I haven’t been able to find a commercially available pattern for a vest and leggings for a mini AG doll. Hmmm, well, my mum was a seamstress and she taught me to sew. I’ve modified lots of patterns so I’ll draft my own pattern. What’s that you asked? Well, yes. Yes I have drafted simple patterns (note the word simple, a vest isn’t really simple.) Finally, for a time I designed and sewed children’s clothing. I possess a general knowledge about the way patterns work. Seems like I’ve got this.
I’ll begin with the jeggings. Easy, right? Just one pattern piece and I know what it should look like. First I take careful measurements of the dolls hips, waist, inseam then I sketch a pattern being careful to add seam allowances, etc. Ten minutes in and I’m thinking “Wow, this is going to be even easier than I thought!” I cut out and sew the tiny garment, marvel at its diminutive adorableness and try it on the doll . . . uh oh. I can’t get the ankle hems over her feet. Crikey! Who knew I had to measure her FEET?!?!? Time to improvise, I’m good at that. I cut the legs off try them on for size, a bit small but not bad. Because I neglected to measure feet, Rebecca has a pair of capris. She looks adorable and I think she is secretly pleased to get out of her stuffy dress.
As a result of the oversight on foot measurements, I revise the pattern and make a second pair. It’s pretty good but not great. Since I tend toward perfectionism, I revise again; success! I make two more pair, one for me and one for my friend. As I complete the fourth pair, I remember that my friend will be using these for a Madame Alexander Travel doll. Her doll is closer to 7 inches tall rather than six inches tall. Therefore I am using the wrong model. <sigh> I try the jeggings on the taller model, they are ridiculously short and I revise the pattern one last time. Finally it seems like they really are almost perfect.
Moving On Up! Time to tackle the vest.
On to the vest. I begin with a Barbie vest pattern and try to revise it. Big mistake. AG mini’s and MA Travel dolls are shaped NOTHING like Barbie, just take my word for it. But, It’s ok. I know what the pieces of a vest should look like and I have a drawing of Tenney’s vest. So, with more optimism than common sense, I begin measuring and sketching pattern pieces. Here is my first vest, I use the word “vest” in the loosest possible terms.
It looks bad, right? Well you know how pictures can be misleading? Trust me, bad would be a huge improvement on this disaster. The only good thing about this is the cute, weensy buttons and they are the wrong color. Back to the drawing board. (I apologize in advance to the second place winner for including this vest with the Samantha doll wardrobe) I am trying to make a few more finished vests for the contest winners and there may be a few other surprises included. 🙂
Biggering and Biggering
If you sew, you know there is something incredibly difficult about tiny sewing. Consequently I drafted a pattern and made a weskit/vest for a Wellie Wisher doll. Meet Emerson, she is supposed to be a shop model for 14 inch doll foods. She has yet to do any work for the shop therefore she can earn her keep as a clothing model. Emerson is the happy recipient of a vest that turns out reasonably well so I go back to my mini pattern . . . after I also make Emerson a skirt and tights to match the vest. Can you say “pro-craft-ination?”
Back to the drawing board;
Take two. Another vest, slightly better. I’ve resorted to using black scrap fabric since I only have a few yards of the blue knit. Better to use scrap fabric rather than run out of the good stuff. 😉 You probably recognize this skirt fabric. When I would get too frustrated with the vest pattern, I would take a break from the vest and make a pattern I knew would work. Consequently, I ended up with quite a few patterns for teensy clothing pieces.
Take three is better. The front sides are different sizes because the fabric stretched as I was sewing but this one is actually recognizable as a vest. I will send it to my friend along with the correct jeggings. I can only hope she will know it was made with affection.
Practice Makes . . . Several Tiny Clothing Items
Take four, I decided I wanted a tiny vest too. Another revision, not necessarily an improvement. Different, not better but I like it. Because there was
more frustration er, I mean a learning curve I also made another style of skirt, a halter top, t-shirt and shoes patterns.
Since that was so much fun I decided to waste some time hone my skills and see what else I could create. I had more fun and made more errors than I should probably admit. In addition, each clothing item needed at least one revision to get a workable pattern. Below, Tenney models a halter back sundress and Kit is sporting an A-line floral shift.
While I was cleaning up, I realized that I don’t really play with mini dolls, my youngest child is a teenager who also does not play with dolls and as a result of all my practice, I have quite a few tiny doll outfits. A few will be gifts to the friend who inspired this journey but what about the rest? hmmm?
Eureka! This story and a giveaway are born!
In conclusion; You, my lucky reader, can enter to win one of two mini dolls, their diminutive wardrobe of prototypes and a picnic lunch from Faux Real Food.
How to enter, you ask?!
For an official entry simply sign up for the Faux Real Food Newsletter and confirm your subscription.
You can receive up to 10 additional entries if you:
- comment on a post here (1 entry)
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For additional entries to be counted, send me an email or comment with your user name and/or a link to the places you’ve shared, commented or followed.
Winners will be chosen by random chance. Purchases from Faux Real Food (while appreciated) will not increase your chance of winning.
First and Second Place Prizes!
The first place winner will receive the Mini Saige Doll and her wardrobe in the photo below. Please note, you will receive only the mini Saige doll, the seven pieces of clothing shown and Saige’s three piece lunch from Faux Real Food that is shown in the following photo The other dolls, shoes etc. are not included, they are merely modeling the clothing.
Second place winner will receive mini Samantha and her wardrobe. Please note, you will receive only the mini Samantha doll, the seven pieces of clothing shown and Samantha’s three piece lunch from Faux Real Food in the above photo. The other dolls, shoes, etc. are not included, they are merely modeling the clothing.
Finally, please remember I am not a seamstress and many of these are practice pieces. The giveaway is just for fun.
The giveaway will close on April 25, 2017. Winners will be announced on April 28th. Good luck!