First Doll Rebecca

I’ve begun sewing doll clothes for a Christmas present, and my sewing room is starting to get messy again, with all the scraps and pattern pieces swirling about like my creative juices. This doll and her clothes were waiting on the bed in that room, and as they have already been lost in the house several times in the last years, I thought I better take their pictures right away and add to my blog sewing archives the first successful doll clothes I ever made.

Oh, I sewed some other ones by hand when I was ten years-old or so, for my Barbie. But I didn’t have a pattern, just laid the doll on some scraps, cut out what looked to me like the shape the garment should take, and when I sewed the pieces together I was always surprised at how ill-fitting the clothes were. I can almost see the very shirts and dresses in my mind, though I threw them away pretty early.

Rebecca was the first doll given to my first daughter Pearl. She was hard and small and her limbs didn’t move, but I thought she was good enough to be The Doll, and I discouraged relatives from giving Pearl any more because “She has a doll already.” I was different then.

Sewing for a doll like that is challenging; knitted clothes are a bit easier to get on when the dolly insists on holding her arms stiffly by her side. I wasn’t an experienced knitter but I found some patterns for much larger doll clothes at the thrift store and managed to adjust them for this little mite. This gives me hope that in the future I might be able to at least knit a dishcloth that I like.

The pictures show most of the wardrobe I made for Rebecca 30-plus years ago. Nowadays I like to use velcro fasteners; I don’t know if we didn’t have it back then or if I just liked the old-fashioned and time-consuming snaps or button loops that the little girl almost certainly couldn’t do up for her own doll. As I recall, the young children are good at ripping off the dolls’ clothes and then they come to Mama to help them dress up the dolls again. If Mama is busy there can be a lot of naked dollies lying around.

Pearl did eventually get some other dolls, the My Friend Dolls made by Fisher-Price, and I sewed for them a little. I never thought to take photos of the clothes, but I plan to, next time I see Mandy, Becky and Jenny.

For the granddaughters’ dolls, so far I’ve only made the clothes for Maxi-Muffin shown here. Now I’m working on an American Girl type of doll clothes, for which many patterns are available. With luck I’ll have some photos of these creations within the month.

Because — Christmas is COMING!

11 thoughts on “First Doll Rebecca

  1. I would love to make doll clothes but I don't know any little girls. Great excuse for keeping scraps though and rummaging in oddment bins (like I need one). Your clothes are lovely, esp the little knitted coat.


  2. That is wonderful! This brings back fond memories. My grandmother used to make clothes for our Barbie and she also made doll houses for us out of recycled items.

    Those dresses are adorable.


  3. Ah, what a nostalgic post! Of course I had to go have a look at your more recent creations, too. Very nice!

    This first doll Rebecca seems special, as though she had a nice relationship with her dolly mother. And she has a varied wardrobe, too, which is important when little girls dress their dolls. There's something very satisfying about knowing your doll is well-dressed whether she does to bed or to a Christmas party, in warm weather or cold ;-).


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