It was Wednesday afternoon and I had a hankering to sew – just sew. No tough reasoning, No difficult alterations. No fitting problems. Something I could start and finish in an afternoon. And that’s where doll clothes come in. I only had an hour or two at my disposal, and I could have spent that much time just deciding what to make. I would have to keep it simple, I told myself. Otherwise I would just have another unfinished object in a drawer or a storage bin.
Then I remembered the little crocheted tops for American Girl dolls waiting for finishing touches. I had decided the tops would coordinate well with white cotton “pull-on” pants. I could make the pants and finish the tops and then I would have a feeling of accomplishment, I reasoned. And that’s what I did. In the pictures, my doll – “Shirley Anne, American Farm Girl” – models the outfits which will be donated to a silent auction in the fall.
I know the subject of dolls is not of general interest, but in searching the net for info on dolls, I have discovered that a lot of adult women – not all of them grandmothers -- find fulfillment in dressing dolls. Am I one of them? Yes – and I can be obsessive about that – an obsession the internet feeds. I’ll bet I spent a week downloading patterns for little garments, and when I had exhausted the available options, I wanted to keep right on downloading. As I said, it’s obsessive.
There’s one thing about it – if you’re sewing for an American Girl doll, you almost have to have a doll at your disposal in order to fit the clothes. All 18-inch dolls are not created equal, and neither are the patterns. Patterns for 18-inch dolls carry a disclaimer unless specifically designed for the American Girl. Did I say I could avoid fitting problems if I sewed for dolls? That’s not really the case.
And now I’ve discovered another 18-inch doll – Madame Alexander’s Favorite Friends, evidently designed to be an affordable copy of the American Girl. I heard you could get them at Walmart, and so I took a tour through the doll aisle at my Walmart to see – just to see – if I could find them there. Oh yes, they had a nice selection at $29.00 each. I managed to walk away without putting one in my cart, but would it be so bad . . . ? KW