About 18 months ago when we were on one of our night time dog walks around our town, my daughter and I spotted a modern play doll in a charity shop window. The following day I went to buy her, she was in very good / almost unplayed with condition and her long hair was very shiny and smooth, not tangled and matted like many played with dolls. She is an 18" Chad Valley DesignaFriend doll, usually sold at Argos in the UK. She has a soft body and vinyl head, arms and legs. The commercially made dress she was wearing was clearly not original to her (very short, different scale). My daughter brushed her hair and plaited it then for a year or more she languished on a box in my doll/craft room waiting for attention.
When I was working with a friend on the craft stall plans for our annual church Christmas Fayre this year, I decided to sort out some outfits for the doll, and turn her into a Guess the name of the doll raffle prize.
In the event, I was able to buy 3 pairs of DesignaFriend shoes, plus a pair of DesignaFriend boots with jeans. In our stash of 18" doll clothes, my daughter and I found a blue/purple/pink shirt, the pink, purple and white stiped hoodie and a small pink rucksack we'd won at a Sasha Celebration weekend raffle a few years ago. I bought a new doll hairbrush and got to work on outfits to go with the 3 pairs of shoes.
In July while we were in the USA, after the Sasha Festival, our friend took my younger daughter and I to a wonderful fabric shop not far from Boston, where we spent time finding buttons in the button bin (quite a relaxing pastime filled with interesting discoveries) plus some fine print red/white/blue fabric and a couple of other pieces of fabric. I made a dress with the fabric (using Simplicity 4364 18" doll clothing pattern), found some pink fabrics in my off cuts box to make a tank top (which uses 2 of the pink flower buttons from the USA) and boxer shorts, and make a plain turquoise A-line skirt with an elasticated waist, using patterns from 'Sew the Contemporary Wardrobe for 18-inch Dolls' by Joan Hinds. My friend and I made scrunchies for her hair and wrists.
I took photos of the doll wearing each outfit.
|The tank top (with pink flower buttons), boxer shorts and pink sparkly slippers|
|The shirt, skirt and turquoise trainers outfit|
|The hoodie, jeans and boots outfit|
|The dress and smart shoes outfit|
|The doll with her 4 outfits before we took her to the craft stall|
My daughter and I compiled a list of over 200 names into a spreadsheet, I printed these out with spaces for people to write names and contact details alongside their chosen name(s).
|The doll and her outfits on display on the craft table at the Christmas Fayre|