Friday, February 28, 2014

More Fun With Dolls

Here's a cute little apron and pot holder sized for an 18" doll.

The Sweetheart Apron pattern was designed by Laura Johnson. It's fully lined, has a real pocket, and is very easy to sew. You can download a free copy of the pattern here.

The tutorial for the potholder is at

The set is being modeled by Katie, a Madame Alexander doll which I found deeply discounted at Tuesday Morning. I bought her because I thought she would be nice for modeling strappy dresses, sleeveless dresses, or dresses with a low neckline. (Madame Alexander dolls have vinyl chests and shoulders, unlike American Girl dolls whose torsos are cloth from the neck down.) I'm a bit disappointed in her hair though. It's very fine and fragile, and looks as though it would not stand up to ordinary play.

In fact, my hunch was recently confirmed; my little niece has this same doll, but her hair was in a dreadful state. She asked if I could fix her doll's hair and make her a dress (since she also was stark naked.) So first I bought some braid spray as recommended by American Girl Wiki, and wrapping her in a towel, I spritzed braid spray and water on her hair a section at a time. Then, using a doll brush with metal bristles, I slowly brushed her hair from the bottom up to take the tangles out. When it was finally smooth, I braided her hair  into two pigtails in hopes of keeping it nice for a while.

"Welcome to the doll spa!"
"I'm having a very bad hair day."
"Are we done yet?"
I was pleased with the way the braid spray helped me untangle the dolls hair. After it was dry, it felt the slightest bit sticky. I wonder if I should have washed the doll's hair first. Perhaps it was dirtier than I thought. I wiped the surface dirt from her limbs with a damp micro fiber cleaning cloth and then dressed her in a quickie sundress I made from a free pattern downloaded from Pixie Faire. I think it would have looked cuter if I had used self-fabric for the ties instead of bias tape.

Her hair was cut or broken at several different lengths, so I couldn't make the braids as long as I would have liked. I had to trim her bangs because they had lost their original curl and were now too long.

"Thanks for the make-over."
This was fun. I hope that someday I'll find a used American Girl at a thrift store or yard sale. I'm really interested in learning how to refurbish dolls.

UpdateI was so sleepy when I wrote this last night, that I forgot to mention that the person who originally had the idea of using braid spray on dolls is the author of the blog American Girl Outsider. Please see her post here.

This week I'm joining Jennifer Fulweiler in writing seven posts in seven days. To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.

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