Re-Make It – An Outgrown Shirt Becomes A New Outfit For An American Girl Doll…

I have always been a big fan of recycling, now also known as re-using or re-purposing. As far back as I can remember my Grandmother could always find a way to re-use items like : coffee cans, jars, pantyhose, old clothing, even those little left over pieces of soap, she would keep to compress together.  She frequently gave me scraps  and buttons from my Grandfathers old shirts to make things for my dolls.

So it is no supprise that I have followed suit. I find it challenging to throw things away, I stare at the item and try to think what could be done with it now, especially when I was home-schooling. Which, of course, could easily put me into the catagory of “hoarder”. We are in a time of cross purposes: recycle, re-use, re-purpose, or on the other hand  we hear “don’t hoard- purge!” So, in trying to find a happy medium, I recycle in the usual community way and since I am a seamstress/designer, I examine every piece of clothing that is ourgrown or damaged in our house, before it goes to Goodwill or the trash.  If I am particularly attatched to the item, like baby clothes that hold a special memory, it is saved, or if it is something I think I can use in a new project, it is put in my Project box- or boxes, in my case!!This pillow, for example, was made with my sons’ outgrown Tshirt and matching patchwork shorts, that he and I both loved, and co-ordinated with the “surfer” theme we were working on in his room.

Recently my daughter, Brianne,  outgrew a favorite shirt that she did not want to part with as it is an official “American Girl” shirt and she just recieved an “American Girl” doll for Christmas, that of course, looks just like her.  So my solution? I will make her doll an outfit from the shirt. 

So I cut it up through the sides, seperating the front and back, then cut out the “American Girl” emblem so that I can later applique it to the front of the dolls’ top as it did not fit the pattern piece for the top because of where it was located on the shirt.

Then, using a popular 18″ doll’s clothing pattern, I laid out the pieces I needed to make a similar style top and matching pants for our AG doll.

Notice I cut the doll’s top using the existing bottom hem as the doll’s hem as well to retain the original decorative stitching.

I was able to get all the pieces I needed for the top and a ruffle for the pants, from my daughter’s shirt.

I appliqued the American Girl emblem to the front of the top, suprisingly it just fit!

Then I  went on to finish the outfit and – voila!!

She has a new outfit similar to one of my daughter’s favorite outfits!!!  Needless to say, Brianne was thrilled!!  Considering how much these American Girl outfits cost, this is a great thrifty way to fill up her closet. (No we don’t have the “Armoire” yet- but I am sure we soon will!)

Best of all I did it all with-in one hour!!

Next week I will show you how to make something really practical that everyone could use and will save you money!!!

Keep up the recycling, re-using, and re-purposing.