About 25-30 years ago I was introduced to something called American Girl Dolls. Well not the dolls themselves, but the books about the dolls, and the catalogs of the dolls. I loved it when those catalogs would arrive. I would pour over them for hours, dreaming of what it would be like to have one of those dolls. However, I knew it was just a dream to have one. Those dolls cost around $100 a piece, and when you are in a family of 9 children, well lets face it, your not likely to get a toy that costs that much. So for me it was just dreams.
Fast forward 10 years or so, and my younger sisters were at that stage. However they had an advantage I didn't have. Someone had a brilliant idea. Make nice looking dolls the same size as American Girl Dolls, and charge a fraction of the price. I still remember how excited they were the Christmas that all 4 of my younger sisters each got an Autumn Harvest Doll. I was a little envious but hey being 20 years old, I was to old to expect such things.
Then I had daughters. It took a long time to reach this point, but finally about 2 years ago I finally got Aurora an 18" doll. This one was an Our Generation doll. I wanted to get one for each of my daughters, Cinderella who was about 10 at the time, thought she may be to old for such toys. She decided otherwise after seeing her sisters doll, but even though the dolls were a lot less expensive than American Girl Dolls, they are still big dolls. Cinderella was dedicated to her Barbies at the time and had a rather large Barbie house, and we were living in a small house. I had to hold off for a bit.
Then I found the deal. I found a local listing for someone wanting to clear out their daughters 18" doll collection. 4 dolls, a camper, a jeep, a scooter, 2 salon chairs, a wardrobe, plus a little more for $200. I couldn't pass that up. Some of the dolls were a cheaper brand, and had been well loved, but a couple of them were almost new. I decided to give my girls the more worn dolls and save the others for later gifts.
Cinderella was blown away. She was very touched, to get an old worn out doll with frizzy hair. She has told me since that was her most favorite gift she has ever received. Then came the time when my boys discovered the jeep, scooter, and camper in the garage. Couldn't keep them a secret for much longer. So when Aurora received another Our Generation doll for her birthday, I knew it was time to uncover more of the goods. Then my boys wanted in on the action, and we needed more dolls. So out came the last two dolls, with the information that these dolls belonged to ME. They could play with them, but no fighting, and I had to give permission. I didn't want Aurora to hog all the dolls.
Then I discovered something. I really liked having my own dolls. I liked to dress them up, and do their hair. Later, I decided that I would like to make doll clothes. My kids don't always appreciate when I sew for them, but I knew the dolls wouldn't complain if I made doll clothes. I discovered a wonderful website Pixie Faire There they have doll clothes patterns, and a decent amount of them are free. And they give away another free pattern each Friday. I decided this was a good way to start and see how serious I am about this hobby, before investing a lot of money in it. I have a lot of fabric scraps from my own sewing, and from my mom. I figured I could start without having to invest too much.
I have made the items pictured above, so far. My first project was the purple swim suit modeled by Cinderellas doll. The next one was the blue swim suit with the skirt. I used the same pattern for that swim suit, and made up the skirt on my own.