Does your doll need a wardrobe?


Maybe.  Why would your doll need a wardrobe?  And what constitutes a wardrobe vs. a bunch of clothes?  Planning a wardrobe is a wonderful long-term goal to work toward.  Instead of sewing whatever strikes your fancy at the moment, you can have an organized list of pieces to make.  Choosing a specific time period or theme is fun!  You can delve in as deeply as you’d like to research historically correct garments, or get creative making a fantasy wardrobe or planning clothing and accessory pieces for a theme like sending your doll to summer camp.  And as far play, or even collection value goes, a doll with a special wardrobe will be worth more even if she’s not in perfect condition. 

So what constitutes a wardrobe vs. a bunch of clothes?  A wardrobe is not necessarily a huge amount of clothing, but rather a collection with the necessary variety of pieces that all go together for some reason.  My Sashas and Kidz n Cats have several HUGE bins full of clothes to share, and my Bleuettes and AGs…let’s not even go there.  There are WAY more doll clothes in my house than people clothes, but I don’t consider most of those huge bins “wardrobes”, because (with a few exceptions) they lack a unifying element.  What can “unify” your collection?  Here are some ideas:

  • Pieces that all work together with coordinating fabrics/colors to mix and match.  This can be as simple as 5-6 really versatile pieces that give different looks when combined.
  • Pieces for a specific season/occasion (back-to school wardrobe or pieces to go in a little suitcase for a summer vacation)
  • Costume/fantasy (e.g. a fairy or princess wardrobe)
  • Clothes for one special doll to cover every eventuality – underwear, dresses, skirts, pants, sweaters, swimsuits, pajamas, coats, bags, accessories, etc.  This can be a real challenge representing years of work!
  • Historically based (representative pieces to cover a specific year – e.g. a few dresses, some undies, a coat and PJs from 1914)
  • Reproductions of entire historical wardrobes (like Daisy or Mary-Marie’s wardrobe from the Mary Frances sewing book)
  • Ethnically  based (garments representing many ethnicities or the variety of costumes found in one country)

Last summer I made a couple of “wardrobes”.  The first was a reproduction of a historical wardrobe from the Mary Frances sewing book sized to fit my Kestner Daisy (who happens to be KnC size!).  I’ll get around to posting about that someday…it was a lot of fun!  I also created (and blogged a little about) the fairy collection.

Starting now, there are about eight weeks until Memorial Day, the “unofficial” start to summer.

So in the spirit of the theme of this post, which is wardrobes, I would like to offer you a summer wardrobe sew-along:  8 (or maybe 9…) weeks of FREE patterns to sew/crafts to make. 

I am putting together a coordinated summer vacation wardrobe for my “new” AG doll (a sad little thrift-store rescue that was in horrible condition) along with everything she will  need to travel, and sizing the patterns to fit both American girl dolls, as well as our slim 16 inch to 18 inch dolls. You can even sew-along for your Hearts for Hearts dolls by using the Sasha patterns copied at 77%!  Most of these patterns are very easy and suitable for beginners.  So if you want to teach a child to sew or start yourself, this is a great opportunity!  An experienced seamstress can easily make any of the free patterns in under an hour.

There are two projects this week: a sewing one and a “crafty” one.  (see photo below)  Click here to get them!

anna at DIA

Anna at Denver Int’l Airport

(click to see enlarged and not so blurry – background image is in public domain and taken from

 I started a Flickr group for everyone to share pix of their wardrobe creations.  To keep it “safe” from random people posting inappropriate content, you need an invitation to join.  If you want an invitation to post on it, email me at jenwrenne at yahoo dot com.


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