I’ve told you before how much Lucy loves to sew. She can often be found experimenting with patterns and creating clothes and costumes for herself and her sister. One thing she hadn’t yet tried was doll clothes. Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns ended that.
How to Make Doll Clothes is a set of videos and patterns to teach your daughter how to make clothes for her American Girl (or similar size) dolls. For $48.29 you get online access for 12 months to over 130 instructional videos teaching you how to sew doll clothes. It is aimed at ages 8 and up but I think it would also be fine if you comfortable with your younger child using a sewing machine with supervision. Believe it or not, sewing doll clothes is not the same as sewing clothes for people. In these videos you will see tips and tricks on how to sew the tiny clothes easily and without the headache that usually comes with sewing little things. With your purchase you will also receive 8 downloadable patterns with corresponding video tutorials and a pdf showing you exactly how to use each one.
The videos are sorted into a six week course with six or seven videos per week. Throughout the series you and your child will learn everything from setting up your sewing room and how to work with fabrics to working with a serger. Since Lucy (age 10) is already quite adept with the sewing machine, I set up the videos and turned her loose. Lucy was given a huge stash of fabric by my aunt so she was able to go to town immediately :) She and Emma (age 8) would watch the videos, practice the techniques on scrap fabric, and then try them out on the patterns that came with the course.
Over the next several weeks Lucy and Emma sewed shirts, skirts, shorts, jackets, dresses, and they even tried their hands at hats. They didn’t always follow the patterns included with the videos, but the videos are so detailed and easy to understand that their creations turned out beautifully regardless. Over the course of just a few weeks both girls increased in skill and confidence. They also decided to hand stitch some clothes for their Mini American Girl Dolls (though those didn’t always work out).
Emma has grown leaps and bounds! She had a little bit of experience using the sewing machine but was becoming increasingly frustrated with inability to turn out final projects that looked as polished as her sister’s. Rosie’s Doll Clothes was able to do two things for her: 1. help her confidence and skill level by giving her tiny steps to take to improve her skill; and 2. show her that using patterns is NOT cheating (since her sister would come up with fabulous things without patterns she thought using a pattern meant she wasn’t doing it “from scratch”). She still likes to create things from her own imagination but now they actually work!
Lucy has been using the sewing machine for years. She did really well just coming up with things on her own (I even let her wear some of them in public) but she had never used a pattern. By the time she was done with the course, Lucy had branched out and started using actual clothes patterns for the first time (now that she knew how to do it). She is making a list of what to make her dolls for Christmas and (Grandma Wilson, look away), keeps talking about the dress she will make for Grandma’s dolls. I can honestly say that my ten year old daughter is now a better seamstress than I am! I haven’t gotten to the point where I will let her use my serger yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Among other things, on the set of videos for week 5 you learn how to make collars. Lucy has been putting collars on EVERYTHING since then. Collars and puffed sleeves :)
Would you like a little fashion show? I knew you would.
Here we have Elizabeth, sporting a fabulous Emma Wilson original. Brown flannel skirt and matching shirt.
Along with the flannel combo we have a stunning blue jacket with a handmade nylon rope button at the collar. I think the 3/4 length sleeves are a nice touch, don’t you?
Pet mouse not included.
Mary is a little more spirited than her sister (as her hairdo suggests) and is wearing a fabulous shorts and shirt combo. Not shown is a purple and green flower jacket that nicely contrasts the blue flower motif.
Here we see Elizabeth again in her brown flannel shirt, this time paired with a classy sarong. Hawaii, here we come!
Finally we have Felicity. As she walks down the catwalk we can see that her yellow dress is reminiscent of a certain Prince Edward Island resident. Those sleeves are the puffiest! This dress is beautiful with and without the green pinafore (which, as Matt pointed out, can easily be used as a Tinkerbell costume).
As we speak Lucy is now using her new found knowledge to make a full size dress for her sister. Collar, puffed sleeves, cuffs, and all!
Prices are accurate as of the publication of this review
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