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Buying Doll Clothes

As my readers are already aware, I sew and knit, but this doesn't stop me from buying clothes from other sources. However, I am fussy about what I purchase for my dolls and today I'm going to share exactly what I look for when I do make a purchase.

Top of my list is ~ AESTHETICS: Which is how I initially perceive the overall appearance of a garment's style and it's appeal.

Then ~ SUITABLILITY: I ask myself "Will this be the right garment for my dolls character, the right colour, length etc."

Followed by the fussy part ~ QUALITY, which encompasses:
(A) what type of fabric has been used, is it of good quality or just a cheap remnant
(B) is it sewn neatly with matching thread or does the top stitching stand out where it shouldn't
(C) are the seams finished properly or just fray checked
(D) how is the back closed, with metal press studs, zipper or just with Velcro
(E) if it has a hem, is it neatly hand finished or machine sewn

You may gather from this, I particularly like fine fabrics, dislike seeing top stitching unless it's meant to be part of the design and find fray check stiff and scratchy. I'm also not a fan of Velcro, as it tends to grab at the hair when dressing my dolls, especially those with long hair wigs. You may even think I am being silly and pedantic, but that's me, I simply don't like sloppy workmanship. The odd time I have been caught, the garment has been quickly moved on . . . either to a friend in need or the garbage bin!
I will always pay more for a garment where I can see the seamstress has taken the time to change the colour thread she was using to match the fabric, lace or trim and where she has had enough pride in her work to carefully hand sew each hem so as no stitches show through on the right side of her work and where each seam was finished by machine.
 
When it comes to knitted or crocheted garments, I am perhaps not quite as fussy, however, I do prefer a jumper with reasonably tight tension and a neat finish. From my own experience, it appears to me that the Europeans, and in particular the Russian girls, produce the better made knitted/crocheted garments.

I am always interested in other people's point of view and would love to read your comments on this matter. Also please click on the photos if you wish to see the detail better.

Comments

  1. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to handsewing, all the different techniques and tricks. When it comes to buying clothing though, I tend to stick to a few companies/individuals I have ordered from before. I already know the quality of their work and I like it enough to continue buying from them.

    For me, I look for unusual designs, fun prints, something with a bit of character. I don't recall from memory ever purchasing any piece of clothing that ever had bad workmanship to be honest. I am careful when I spend though. I hate having wasted my money on something so I tend to take a while to decide if I am going to purchase something or not. Sometimes this means I miss out and the item sells out but that's okay.

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    1. Hi Alasse,
      Handsewing isn't hard once you know the basic stitches and it can be very relaxing. If you have found a couple of suppliers that you are happy with and they offer the unusal designs you like, it's good to stick with them.

      There's nothing wrong with being careful when spending money, but by the time you get to my age you get to thinking "what the heck, I can't take it with me!" so you're a little more carefree. ;)
      Hugs,
      X

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  2. Hi Xanadu, I don't like velcro either, it's terrible if the doll's hair gets stuck on that! You are such a precise and excellent doll clothes maker, that it's only natural that you have high standards when it comes to purchasing other people's handmade outfits :-). My own garments are not so neat on the inside, I use zig-zag scissors a lot, but I don't mind (yet) because I'm not selling my clothes of course. If I had the skills to sell them, I would be as precise as possible. Hugs xx

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    1. Hi Night Owl,
      I don't know that I'm excellent, but I do try to make my clothes to the best of my ability, and I tend to expect a lot of myself which can befrustrating when things don't go as planned.

      Ahh, we call those pinking shears and I use them for trimming curves, they are very handy to have on hand when sewing. You just keep sewing and enjoying it!
      Hugs,
      X

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  3. I completely agree...you definitely get what you pay for and I far prefer paying someone who takes the time to do a really nice job. I never thought about the Velcro thing, but you are so right. Happy sewing! That is on thing I would like to start learning this year as I have so many ideas in my mind. :)

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    1. Hi Farrah Lily,
      You are not alone, I hear so many girls say they want to learn how to sew it makes me wonder if they no longer teach it in schools? I was very fortunate to have a mother who sewed, so I had a needle and thread in my hands almost as early as I had a pencil, then did two years at school. I think these days it's the creative hobby I enjoy most, as it allows me to design and draft patterns too.
      Perhaps, when I have caught up on my ufo's, I will do some more tutorials although I am sure there are already many on line.
      Hugs,
      X

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  4. It's okay to be picky, after all, you are paying for it! Besides, it means your attenttion to detail not only show in what you buy, but also in what you make.

    I'm not an expert in clothing making so I might skip some details when I buy, but I also try my best to buy really good pieces, but sometimes is hard because the pictures don't show much.

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    1. Hi Alejandra,
      I understand that sometimes price may inhibit some people from buying the best quality, but if you know what to look for, you can often find really good quality garments for quite reasonable prices.

      One thing I have learned is to check the zoom pictures, if the zoom pictures are the same size as the original showing, I steer clear of them. Noticeable machine stitching (black stitching on green fabric) would also put me off and I always read the descriptions to make sure the things I don't like (such as fray check & Velcro) are not used.

      Hope that helps you when making future purchases, now you set your own guidelines and expectations.
      Hugs,
      X

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    2. Hey you're welcome, I just hope it helps you. :)

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  5. Hello Sandy,
    I think it is only right that you are picky. We invest a lot of time, work and money in our hobbies...why would me not want the very best. Thank you for the great check list. I will keep this in mind.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Oh Giac, you are so right about the money investment !! Though I doubt if you will need any dolls clothes soon. LOL! But I suppose you could also apply it to miniature furniture too!
      Hope you are having a great week and getting plenty of work done on your mansion.
      Hugs,
      X

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  6. Sorry for commenting this late. Personally I don't mind having some clothes that aren't that well made as long as the price I pay reflects that fact. However I LOVE Spampy's stuff. I have a ton of it. I just wish she made clothes for MiniFees as well. Since I can't sew any more (due to illness) I love to be able to come up with my own ideas and see them as finished products.
    I think you are completely right about the Russian girls. And I think I know why that is. When I was 8 years old about half of the girls in my class were knitting clothes for their dolls and rather complicated things too. Today no kids know how to knit or croche. I think perhaps girls still learn as kids in Russia - or at least did not so many years ago.
    Hugs, Lene

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    1. Hi Lene,
      Not a problem, I don't expect my readers to comment on every post. :)
      I haven't seen Spampy's clothes, but I know they sell well. I have some lovely crochet pieces from Ulanna and also wish she would make larger sizes, but I guess they can't do everything. I know I only make things for the sizes of dolls that I have on hand to model them.
      Hugs,
      X

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  7. This is what I love about you! Your standards for sewing and knitting are very high, and you appreciate good quality workmanship.
    The clothing lines you create reflect these standards and are so well made. I love every piece of clothing that I own that has come from your hands!

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    1. Oh Sam, you are so very kind. I am particularly critical of my own work, that I sometimes become my own worst enemy. I like to buy well made things and expect no less of myself when making for others and though I may think my garments may not be absolutely perfect at times, I always do my best when sewing or knitting. So I'm sure you will understand when I say, your comment certainly does wonders for my self esteem. Thank you so much.
      Warmest hugs,
      X

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