Monday, December 16, 2013

American Girl clothing: it all started with a big girl's quilt

Back in July 2013, I made a personal sized quilt for a 9 year old daughter of one of Mr. Pirate's cousins.  Technically, the daughter is a first cousin/twice removed, but that gets very cumbersome.  She just calls us Uncle & Aunt.

I found out from the Mom that the daughter had an American Girl doll, McKenna, who the daughter still loved.  I offered to make a matching quilt for McKenna.   The suggestion was enthusiastically agreed to.

So, I made an almost-matching quilt, using the same fabrics as in the daughter's quilt.

Then, what if McKenna didn't have a bed to sleep on?  I had no idea, but poor McKenna, if she didn't.  So I made her a mattress and pillow.

Oh dear!  What if McKenna didn't have any jammies????  Can't have our dear doll being cold in bed, can we?  So a set of jammies was made with Winnie-the-Pooh light weight flannel.

I attended a doll show, in the hopes that I would be able to pick up some American Girl "stuff".  Just what sort of "stuff" I had no idea because I didn't have a clue what might be available.  So, I went with an open mind, alert to possibilities.  I was able to pick up some shoes (black Mary Jane types, a pair of sandals, a pair of blue "suede" boots and a pair of red rain boots), some socks, hair curlers (!), clothes hangers, a beautiful hand-knit sweater and some other items that I can't quite remember.

Once back home, I began to plan outfits that would use the items I had just purchased. 

It was summer time and warm weather was still here.  McKenna surely needed a sundress!  I had some gold-veined cotton that I made a drawstring dress out of, which coordinated with the gold sandals. 

And for the parties that McKenna would be going to, I also had some yellow/gold Sari cloth that was used for a party dress ... it also went nicely with the gold sandals.

An ordinary sundress was made from turquoise cotton that had a white border print, using the same pattern as for the Sari party dress.

In anticipation of the coming Fall and cooler weather, I made a pair of trousers to coordinate with the sweater.

The sweater had off-white/cream sleeves and back with a mottled off-white/turquoise front.  Gosh, it was so pretty!  

Turquoise was a deliberate choice, as that is the daughter's favorite color.  (Or at least it was at the time!) 

A blue/black/white plaid flannel was used to make a cape to coordinate with the blue suede boots.   That would certainly keep McKenna warm!  

You know what REALLY annoyed me about this cape???  I was SO careful about matching the plaid at the side seams that I apparently completely IGNORED the most obvious place: the center front!  Oh. My. Gosh.  I literally stamped my feet on the floor when I realized that.  Normally, I would have redone it but I didn't have any more of that plaid and neither did I have any other color fabric that would be suitable for a cape.  Additionally, Mr. Pirate was harassing me to "get those doll clothes DONE before the girl graduates from college!".  So, to my own everlasting disappointment, I let it go.  I don't think the Mom or the daughter will ever notice it (neither is a sewer), but every time I see that photograph??   aarrrgghhh!

I still need to make a raincoat to go with the red galoshes.  And maybe a Christmas dress ... although time is getting kinda short for me to get that sewn up.  I'll try.  :-)

What I just adored about this project was simply that I *could* make them.  I was thwarted when my own 3 girls were young; none of them liked to play with dolls ... My Little Ponies, yes.  Dolls, no.   So, at last, here was my chance to make doll clothing!  I tell ya, I was enjoying myself waaaay too much and Mr. Pirate's admonition was well said.  :-)


  1. I get the sense that you were merely practicing for Grandmahood. :-)

  2. I get the sense that you were merely practicing for Grandmahood. :-)

  3. Never grow up! Doll clothes are fun!