Blythe On A Budget: Sourcing doll-friendly sized prints

Written on January 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags:

I have a hard time finding fabric prints that at a size that won’t overwhelm my dolls. There are a lot of cute prints available online, but I have a hard time making myself want to pay for the cost of shipping that it can cost to have things delivered to Canada. Which means that I’m constantly on the look for small, adorable and doll-friendly sized prints. And here are a few suggestions of places to look for small print fabric.

  1. Your local thrift store. It’s not just a great place to look for that elusive thrift store Kenner, but if you go to the kids clothing section, you’re bound to find a lot of clothes that come in small prints. The beauty of looking at baby or children clothes in the thrift stores is that they’re generally in pretty good condition. This is because babies grow really quickly and grow out of their clothes before they get to wear out the fabric. The bonus to thrifting is that the clothes will be generally inexpensive (or at least they should be!) and you should be able to get a few articles of doll clothes, even from a baby or toddler’s clothing item. Just be sure to throw everything into the washing machine first (or wash by hand, if that’s your thing) before using, you don’t know where it’s been.
  2. Your local dollar store. Now this may not apply to you, but a few dollar stores that I’ve gone to carry socks (in plain colours and in stripes and other prints), t-shirts (mostly for babies/toddlers) in cute prints as well as underpants (!) for kids and adults. The underpants usually come in some of the best prints and I’ve come across things like lip prints, ice cream cones and cute stripe patterns. It’s definitely worth a look!
  3. Your local department store. Or any place that has a clearance bin for children’s clothing. It’s a lot like the thrift store suggestion: a lot of children’s clothing has a lot of cute prints and they’re generally small because, well, babies and kids are small people.  I don’t usually buy things out of the clearance bin at department stores because I feel that it’s usually cheaper if I go for the thrift store, but sometimes there’s some incredibly adorable prints that you can’t find anywhere else or something that’s steeply discounted that makes it a great deal.

If you have any other suggestions for places to find cheap and inexpensive small print fabric, be sure to share below in the comments.

5 Responses to “Blythe On A Budget: Sourcing doll-friendly sized prints”

  1. Barbara AKA @rhubs

    looking for fabrics I have gone to my entire families older clothes that I have not felt were good enough to give to goodwill or ARC, but are great in most areas and so can not only find the smaller prints from my children’s clothes, but also find beautiful tweeds or organzas, etc. for more stylish clothes for my blythe. I also unravel old sweaters that may have a hole in the elbow and reknit something for my blythe or make a small weaving for the wall. I also felt a wool sweater and then cut out the fabric to sew together into something else for my blythe.

  2. Alice says:

    I’m a fan of buying underwear with cute patterns on! Marks & Spencers has really good but decently priced ladies knickers in the UK that I can recommend!

  3. Moonlily says:

    Don’t forget fabric ribbons with designs on them, they make cute holiday clothes. Then there’s old ties, scarves, hankies, cosmetic bags, potholders, napkins, placemats, purse linings, kitchen curtains and chair pads. Some hair scrunchies have small patterns on them. You can use plain fabric and some fabric paint with a stencil or stamp and make your own designs. Anybody can paint dots or stripes on fabric. Elastic hair ties or ribbon make great tube tops for small dolls, you can sew on lace at the bottom and for straps for another look. Ribbons and scrunchies make easy skirts for small dolls. Use lace or patterned net material over plain fabric for a pattern. Small doilies make good skirts, just cut a hole for the waist and sew a ribbon around the top for a waistband. You can cut a petticoat from a clear plastic bag or sandwich wrap and tape it on to stiffen a dress or skirt. And of course, you can always cut down larger doll clothes to fit, just don’t ruin any vintage ones. Use new ones from the dollar store.

  4. Kimberly AKA @MaidenCanada

    Walmart has really cute fabric that is super cheap. I also go to a quilting store and dig through their fat quarters…they have so many little patterns and cute cartoon stuff. When in doubt I ask my friend or bring a doll dress to check the sizing.
    For cheap ribbon michaels has so many and a lot are seasonal and go on sale constantly.

  5. Maddie says:

    Thank you for the tip! I went to a thrift shop and got a necktie patterned with tiny fireflies! It will look perfect on my factory doll (Lulu) and my LPS petite (Carotte).

Leave a Reply