Filed under: Article with tags: blythe on a budget
For those who already know or are learning how to sew (Mama Lisa is doing a guest authored series called Sew With Me, check out part 1 and part 2!), one of the things I find that ends up being the more expensive part of the whole sewing hobby isn’t the sewing machine itself – it’s the fabric and all those little notions you end up buying (ribbon, trims, snaps, hooks, lace, elastic, buttons, thread, etc.).
One way to save on all that money spent is to go do a closet clean out! And I don’t mean a closet clean out for your dolls, but for you. I go through my wardrobe maybe 2-3 times a year and pull out the things that I no longer wear, that no longer fit properly (i.e. I’ve grown or it’s shrunk due to the dryer or it’s been stretched out) or is somehow otherwise damaged (i.e. bleach stains due to someone else’s laundry ineptness, rips in the knees of jeans). There’s always something that can be removed from my wardrobe.
Anything that’s still good to wear gets donated – I donate generally to the Canadian Diabetes Association, it’s also an organization that my mom volunteers with twice a year for a week seeking donations. They collect used clothing and other items, usually for resale to earn money towards research and educating the public about diabetes.
But the things with the holes or the stains are either used as rags around the house or are tossed. Or, at least, they used to be.
Provided that there is a decent amount of fabric that’s not stained left, I’ll use it for making doll clothes. Remember that clothes for Blythe don’t require a large amount of fabric. If you were using patterns you find online or the Simplicity Blythe patterns, you will notice that it all calls for fabric scraps. This is because they use so little that you won’t need anywhere near a fat quarter.
There’s always something that you can make with the fabric out of old clothes. For instance, I had this ratty old dress shirt that I was given by my parents to use as a painting smock when I was younger (size large for men covers a lot of a small young child when they’re painting!). I used that shirt for making my first-ever Blythe dress and for the linings for bodices for (so far) 12 different Blythe dresses. That’s fabric that I probably would have cut out of the ‘good’ fabric if I didn’t already have it available.
Used clothes that you don’t mind cutting up are also a great way to test a pattern that you’ve never used before so you don’t use your more expensive on a pattern that you may end up making a lot of adjustments on. It’s also a great way to recycle and to keep it out of the landfills – so you’re both helping the environment and clothing your Blythes at the same time. I call that a win-win situation.