Thursday, February 4, 2010

On a Smaller Scale

I never thought I'd make anything for anyone but humans. I guess I was wrong. When you have kids, you'll do just about anything...if you think it'll make them happy.

Well, my girls love the Bratz dolls. It's funny, because even long ago, before the birth of Bratz, I used to sit and thumb through the Barbie clothes patterns in the pattern books in the fabric store. Of course I thought it would be a cute idea to make them, but I never actually tried. I think I just couldn't bring myself to have to deal with something that small. Sewing is complicated enough, but having to do it for a tiny doll?

I thought about the baby dolls the girls slept with every night, but really. Was I up to the challenge of making clothes on this really small scale? Needless to say, I just passed the patterns by. There was no way I was gonna even bother...

Then came the Bratz dolls, all sassy and done up with their fashion forward clothing. This wasn't a deciding factor for me or anything, because I still didn't want to deal with the small clothes. Plus, the Bratz dolls are even smaller than Barbie. I could see myself trying to force a piece of cloth the size of my finger into the feed dog and under the needle.

I don't think so!!

But as my daughters grew, so did their love for these dolls. So I began to search the stores for clothes... No luck. Barbie clothes everywhere, but no Bratz. Only the outfits that came in the box. Eventually, I discovered lots of cool stuff on eBay, but decided I couldn't keep paying the high price for these tiny matter how cool they were.

So, I had to dig deep, and come up with a plan. I began measuring the doll, just like you measure a person, so I could make up patterns. With no guide, lots of tweaking go into the pattern making. I'd make a pattern on my computer, cut it out of muslin and try it out on the doll. When it didn't work like I wanted, I'd have to start all over--re-tweaking the pattern, cutting it out of muslin, and trying it on the doll. Finally, I had my first creation: a dress. It wasn't terribly detailed, but it worked, and it was cute. Strangely, from then on I was hooked!

I think the thing I like most about creating for the Bratz dolls is that I can put the coolest, up to date fashions on them, and not feel guilty, because it's not my children. They allow me to play with bigger styles than the cute little princess things I make for my girls to wear, and at the same time my girls get more things to put on and take off of their dolls. It makes me feel so good that they treat the things I make just like the rest of the pre-made Bratz clothes. They even have favorites!

Looks to me like handmade can go anywhere on the spectrum...even to the dolls!

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