My five year old daughter wanted a Barbie. I hate Barbie dolls, in fact I’m not very fond of hard plastic dolls of any description. But after much thought I decided to get her a Blythe doll for Christmas. In fact she ended up getting two, Simply Vanilla and Simply Chocolate, these being some of the most affordable dolls, and were sold as a set.
Here are Sally (left) and Ruby (right). Althea was very happy with them. Leading up to Christmas (in fact I was still sewing at 10.30pm the night before we went away) I made them a hand crafted wardrobe. They came with 60s mod dresses and accessories but I wanted Althea to be able to have some choices for dressing them.
There are some paid-for Blythe doll sewing patterns available (like this), but I was pretty happy with what I found available for free. The two most useful sites I found were xoxoBlythe and PuchiCollective. Just be really careful that you are printing the patterns to scale – I had to print PuchiCollective patterns at 114% or 105% to get them to scale.
First up! The Empire Dress – pattern here.
The bodice is lined, and it closes at the back – I used hand sewn press studs on all these items. I REALLY wish I had sewn theses pockets on using matching thread. Ah well. This was made to match Althea’s own mushroom fabric dress, and I barely had enough scraps to get this tiny dress out.
The party dress! Pattern here.
The bodice is a bit longer and the skirt fuller. The skirt is also mostly closed at the back. I used some cotton prints leftover from making baby clothes for friends children and the white baby ric rack is leftover from Althea’s own first birthday dress. I’m glad that I had some scale appropriate trim as I think that the little details matter as much for dolls clothes as other garments.
Sewing this small is very fiddly! and involves a lot more hand stitching than I’m used to.
The Tshirt pattern was my least favourite. I had to hand sew the neck and sleeve hems because, you know, that sleeve opening is about the diameter of my pinky finger, or less. There was too much fabric in the bust and not enough in the hip so the back closure is all wonky. But it looks ok from the front.
The A-line jumper dress was super fiddly. It is fully lined and they have you turn it though the shoulder straps. This was nearly impossible and I did end up fraying the fabric at the seam in a few places, probably because I trimmed the seam allowances down too much. The top stitching is a nice touch though, and I hand sewed the pocket on.
I also made a quick no-pattern headband from the jersey and some elastic.
In the end I was rather proud of the little wardrobe that I put together.
And I much prefer finding Ruby and Sally in their hand crafted clothes lying around the house than some Barbie or Disney Princess clothed in polyester 😉