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Monday, January 07, 2013

Dress makeovers!

I found this lot of dresses on Ebay.  
I got them for a great deal because they almost 
all had some problems, fraying, stains, etc.

I have been hunting for this Nellie "meet dress". 
I got all 4 dresses for a little more than the price of 
just this one dress alone on other eBay auctions. 
So I consider the other three dresses a bonus!

As you can see the Nellie dress is crushed and heavily wrinkled.
This dress has a lining of blue fabric and the white outer dress is gathered, the lining is not.
It is very difficult to press.

It also had some stains and dirt.

After handwashing and careful pressing the dress looks great!

This Josefina dress is in perfect condition, but we had no mantilla or comb.

I cut an old scarf in half and made a doll size veil.
I will be hunting for a comb I can decorate. 

This Elizabeth dress was badly frayed and the fabric had tons of snags.
I used "fray check" to control the fraying and trimmed the snags.
Underneath I used iron on fabric to hold the frayed fabric together.

The fabric has been stabilized, but there is obvious damage.
I considered creating a deeper seam to hide some of the damage,
but I decided not to risk it.

I created a brooch to cover the worst damage and a matching choker.
I had some left over sheer fabric and made 
a lovely filmy wrap.

While I know these fixes would never fly with
serious collectors, I am very happy with the results!

This Kirsten dress is the last. Overall the dress is in good condition.
No stains or tears, just loose sleeves.

As you can see the sleeves are badly stretched and need new elastic.
I laid new elastic over the top of the old and stretched it taught.  
I used a zig zag stitch on the new elastic while stretching which creates gathers.

I put together a simple apron with a small flower pattern.

I replaced the old cord bows on the sleeves with ribbon bows.
The cords were frayed, dirty and just not attractive.

Here is a little bit of a closer view.
She reminds me of Alice in Wonderland!

I know serious collectors would not appreciate my additions and changes, 
but I just like to have fun and save something that might otherwise have gone in the recycle bin.  
Now my daughter has some new American Girl doll dresses, that were a great deal and 
will hopefully get many more years of play.


Carrie said...

Good job! I love that you salvaged the dresses instead of dumping them.

Andrea Ream Ellwood said...

I very much appreciate the doctoring you were able to do on the dresses. I think one of my next major purchases will be a decent sewing machine so that I can make clothes with my daughter for the dolls. I have honestly never been all that great at sewing but I am wiling to try now that my daughter is so into the dolls.

Sophie and Brenda said...

Andrea, there are SO many great sewing tutorials just for AG dolls. Do a search on youtube and you will find lots of helpful links!