Friday, August 2, 2013

Taking Stock

Six months already...and the fashions to prove it!!!
Over the past six months, Fashion Doll Stylist has attempted to help you see and create doll clothes in line with current fashion trends. We've shown you where to look for inspiration and how to translate many of the worlds' hottest catwalk styles into easy-to-make clothing for your favorite 12" diva.

We showed you how to create basic slopers for your doll, explored everything from undergarments to shirts, pants and skirts and even had some fun by transforming objects like gloves, caps and even toilet paper into high fashion. We provided a few ideas as to modifying Barbie's shoes to create something more sophisticated . And we had lots of fun with our "mini-crafts" making head gear, jewelry and designer handbags. And then came Ken and his friends!

We delighted in taking you to the catwalks of New York and Europe in search of inspiration. As well as to the red carpets of the Oscars and Cannes Film Festival for a blast of glamour. And we also invited you to come along with us for fashion exhibitions and window shopping tours of Paris. We hope you've enjoyed every step of the way as much as we did preparing and posting each blog.

Needless to say, all of our adventures has left a trail of fashions and accessories too numerous to list. And so the time has come to stop, take inventory of the things we have created over the last six months, then create some system to accommodate all of the dolls' stash.
A simple frame with rods set at intervals to accommodate different lengths of garments. A wicker box holds hats.

Admittedly, I had been keeping everything wrapped in tissue paper and stuffed in shopping bags stored in closets all over the house. Finally I set out to create a "closet" for my girls.

Our needs are simple. I created, essentially, a deep frame with dowels for rods. This closet measures 36" high by 18" wide by 4" deep. In the picture: two 36x4" wooden panels. Two more cut into four 18x4" panels and 1/4" dowels cut into 18" lengths. The space between each dowel was dictated by the length of clothing likely to be hung on each level. Measure one 36" board and place a vertical line down the midpoint. Mark, then drill the hold on that panel then copy it onto the other 36" board. Assembly is simple. You can use wood glue and small nails to hold each of the 18" boards top and bottom boards onto the side panels. Take the remaining two 18" boards and place one at each end of your frame near the top and the bottom. (This is for support.)

If you don't have the time to make your own and need something simple to hang clothes, I would recommend one of those pants hangers that have several rungs. The one pictured has rungs that swing out. can do what I did when I first started out.....simply hang the doll clothes' hangers on one big (normal sized) hanger.

Pants racks are a cheap & easy solution for organizing mini wardrobes.

Quite naturally, you will need clothes hangers. Somehow I received a wire hanger ages ago. And mine are copies of that hanger. I've used 12 gauge wire which I think makes a sturdy hanger, however you can use finer wire as well. You can also use pipe cleaners for very light clothing and sweaters, but the wire in them is quite flimsy. Using ordinary jewelry pliers, make a half curve then bend it back a little to create a hook. Bend about 2" of wire for one side.

The bottom is roughly 3-1/2 inch, then bend the third side back towards the hook and wrap around the stem. If you end up with an odd amount of wire at the end of the roll, you can always create a "pants hanger" by adding a small extension to the bottom of the hanger. Note the tiny doll sized clothes pins (found at most crafts shops). I use them to hang skirts, pants and tops.

For accessories like belts, bags, jewelry and shows, the desk top 3-tiered plastic drawers are perfect for organization.
Those tabletop drawers make excellent organizers for dolly's miniscule accessories.

And then there is the question of the patterns we create. At school, my students were always required to maintain pattern making/draping binders complete with their drafts, notes and patterns folded into envelopes. This is a very good practice which I use to keep the patterns and drafts for doll clothes. I put the individual patterns in small envelopes on which I make sketches indicating the contents. Each category of garment is organized and placed into a large envelope. My binder also contains graph paper and ruler.
Our pattern making notebook.

Just a's easy to find all of the tutorials we've covered thus far. Look under "Pages" and you'll find everything organized in sections by content. Click on what you're looking for and the link takes you to the appropriate posting.

Impressed by the number of drafts, clothes, and pictures on our blog? So are we. (Cannot believe we did the WHOLE thing!!!) So you're probably wondering what on earth could we possibly come up for the next 6 months? Oh my goodness....if you only knew. Fashion is a living, breathing an ongoing entity. We have only just scratched the surface!

Stay tuned for more!!!!
Note: There is an update to this post--"Taking Stock (Again)." Sept.9, 2018.

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All images and text property of © Fashion Doll Stylist. 2013. Please do not reproduce without prior permission.


  1. Hi April!
    I've tried to find the "Pages" section you are referring to above, but couldn't find it anywhere ... Can you help me locate it, please??

  2. Sorry for the confusion, Calafia. Look under "Tutorials" in the right hand column of this blog. When you click on any of the titles in the list, you will find a subset of subjects. It's literally a table of contents for the entire blog! Thank you for your visit.

  3. More brilliant ideas! I'm working through the back catalogue and I am just so impressed by the whole site. Every page has something wonderful. I love the little hangers and pegs on this post.
    I'm still at the stage of making first outfits for my new family but the future storage issue had already crossed my mind and I had considered converting old legal box files that are collecting dust at work.

  4. Stevi, thank you so much for the wonderful compliment. Wow--you really are deep in the depths of this blog which I launched almost 4 years ago! My family has grown by leaps and bounds and so have their needs! If you're looking for more ideas on organization...take a peak at "Closet Boxes" (09/11/16) I'm still making those!!!

    1. I'm just loving every page! And believe me I rarely get this enthusiastic about anything! My friends and work colleagues are getting used to me talking about my "Barbie habit" now that they realise I'm talking about dolls rather than drugs.
      I'm giving all of my purchases one set of clothes to start off with. I have two charities to donate to - one is my hairdresser who raises funds for muscular dystrophy research and holds fashion shows in her salon and the other is a shoebox appeal for Roumanian children. And I have about 24 (so far) that I'm keeping for myself. I buy from eBay and look for faces I like or the fully poseable bodies and match them up as much as possible - so I have a lot of spares.
      It may be much later in the year before I need clothes storage but I mean to be ahead of the game.

    2. Stevi, first of all, I think what you are doing is absolutely wonderful! When you are buying dolls to give away, are they only the dolls that you personally like? I'm asking because, later this year--June 10, to be exact--is "World Doll Day." Go to for more info. I do a funny little post on our "Fashion Doll Diva" site and I've been encouraging others to find some way--no matter how small--to mark the day. If you let them know, you could possibly get a little publicity from the person behind that site on what you're doing. Also, you could also put the word out that you're opened to doll or doll accessory donations. (Though I have a feeling you'd get swamped with stuff from all over!)
      As far as doll collecting is concerned....well it starts out with the light stuff....a few Barbies here, a few Monster High there. And before you know're an fully fledged addict looking for your next "fix." You see dolls others have and you want them too. Been there, done that! You know you're a dollaholic when you put their "needs" before your own and the dolls are better dressed than you! I started out with one Tonner doll and a handful of Barbies and now I won't admit to the exact number of dolls in my collection. least this "drug" is legal! You are not alone The doll community is filled with lots of wonderful people who collect everything from inexpensive Barbies to Fashion Royalty, Superdoll's Sybarites and art dolls by independent designers. Enjoy!!!

    3. I will certainly look up World Doll Day. The on's I'll be giving away are generally the heads from fully jointed bodies transferred on to the older bodies - I'll keep the ones with the faces I like and put them onto poseable bodies.

      I'm really enjoying working on small outfits - not too much heartache if a 6 inch square of fabric goes wrong. And discovering new uses for fabrics - tulle makes great fishnet stockings. I've made a couple of hats out of felt that (if I say so myself) look good - though I'm not impressed with Modge Podge and will go back to my own mix of ova and water for stiffening.
      What I'm really missing is a good hobby/craft/ haberdashery store for unusual items. Britain's getting better but soooo far behind France. Postage costs can make the Internet an expensive luxury.

      I will keep working through the back catalogue of posts here!


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