Thursday, January 05, 2006

Create Keepsake Dolls From Your Kids and Grandkids Baby Clothes

I just got a wonderful package of baby clothes from my daughter-in-law the other day that contained some baby jeans from my twin grandsons. I was THRILLED. Seems like a strange thing to be thrilled by, doesn't it? Not for me. I see old kids clothes and immediately think about the dolls I can use them on.

The reason she gave them to me is that every one in my family knows never to throw away their old socks, flannel shirts, baby clothes, vintage material, fancy dresses, baby shoes, etc. They all know that they should give them to me as I will utilize everything and anything craft related and love to recycle old materials (especially old Victorian dresses).

In my previous article entitled "The Story Behind My Baby Nicky Doll" I mentioned that his mother, my step-daughter, used to give me all his baby clothes and shoes. I just loved this as little baby jeans, pants, corduroys, sneakers and shoes can all be utilized as is or just slightly altered to make some great doll outfits.

Plus, they make for such a nice memento. Every time I look at a doll that I've made that has some one of my grandchildren or relatives piece of clothing I'm instantly taken back to a memory of them. It's just such a nice way to remember loved ones and some wonderful times. My favorite, of course, is old vintage clothing especially Victorian clothes but, second to that, is baby clothes. There's just something about tiny little clothes.

So, I thought you might like to see a few of the dolls I've made over the years for myself or as gifts that were made based on other designers patterns and where I used some of my grandson's baby clothing, brother's clothes, etc.

The first picture DI172 (left hand corner above) is of a 3 foot bear that I made based upon a pattern from Design Farm - Designs by Lori Gardner and Sharon Reynolds. The bear is wearing my grandson's jeans and shirt unaltered. His feet are made from wood covered with one of my relatives socks made to look like sneakers.

The 2nd picture DI162 (upper right) is of a old fisherman that I made based upon a pattern and kit by Courech Creations - Designs by Susan Courech. The old man is wearing light exercise pants from my grandson that I altered to look like a fisherman's wet overalls with matching boots. The flannel shirt is altered from another one of my grandsons and the vest and hat is material I cut from a brushed felt coat.

The 3rd picture above DI164 (above and left) is also an old fisherman that I made based upon a pattern and kit by Courech Creations - Designs by Susan Courech. This old man is wearing a pair of my infant grandson's sweats slightly altered, material from one of my brothers flannel shirts altered to make his shirt, and flannel material for his vest from someone's flannel shirt.

The 4th picture DI030 (to the right) is of a little boy that I made many, many years ago based upon a doll craft book I bought or was given. Unfortunately, I tore the page out of the book and don't know who the author was or who's design to credit. In any event, the shoes are my grandson's infant baby shoes and the jumper is altered sweatpants from someone.

The last picture DI165 ( to the left) is of a hunting and fishing bear. He's wearing a pair of my grandsons unaltered brushed denim jeans, material from one of my brother's flannel shirts, material for his vest from one of my brother's sweatshirt, and cut up socks from someone in the family. I think his bandanna is from one of my brother-in-laws flannel shirts.

As you can see I love to recycle old clothes especially if they create a keepsake memory for me. So, the next time you think about throwing away some old baby clothes think about making a doll keepsake that you can have forever. Memories last forever if you can just remember them. Sounds redundant doesn't it. Let's say, memories last forever, when you have a visual keepsake like a doll to look at and remind you. The only problem you might have is where to store all the old clothing.

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