Dressing Dolls

dressing dollsDressing Dolls

People collect dolls.  They even collect dolls from many eras.  If you collect, say, a Barbie doll from the 1970’s, would you make her clothes to go with her era?  Is that why this book is still gracing library shelves all over America?  If, on the other hand, you just like making clothes for dolls, the clothing in this book is very outdated.  I love the little cowgirl doll below.  Ken is looking a little too groovy, though.

Keep or weed?  What’s your call?


back cover


  1. Comments now open. Geesh…some weird check box in a compeltely unrelated menu was suddenly checked, requiring people to register and log-in to comment (on any post, not just this one!). No clue how that happened. WordPress likes to “play” with us some days, I think.

  2. As a sewer of costumes I would find this book very interesting. It contains both historic content and sewing patterns.

  3. I’d LOVE to find this book in my library! I have a friend who runs a doll repair shop and he’s always looking for patterns for vintage and antique doll clothes. I realize this is a “niche” sort of item, but if it wasn’t too ratty, I would hope the library would keep it.

  4. Update with something new. Something with patterns for 18 inch dolls. Any mom that is at all crafty and on a budget starts to think that for the price of 1 American Girl doll outfit she could make 5 outfits on her own if she only had a pattern.

  5. WEED WEED WEED!!! This is the kind of book that gives public libraries a bad name. It’s awful!

  6. Agree with weed, but sell this book at the next book sale. Market slightly higher. You know someone would buy this book for more then a dollar. I would dare say 3.

  7. Keep it! Yes, people collect many kinds of dolls, and they don’t always come with their original clothing. This book seems to cater for different kinds of dolls, and the patterns are authentic to that era – while it’s niche, it’s not niche within its niche.
    But I hope this isn’t the only book in the library on dressing dolls – as D, Elizabeth and Dinah’s responses indicate, anyone looking for patterns to dress dolls that kids are playing with now would be disgusted to find only this!

  8. Elizabeth and Dinah rule. This stuff has to go unless you are running a historical library. There is only so much space. Be hardhearted.

  9. I’d say keep if the instructions and patterns are good. I’d go by quality of content, not flashy modern photos, like. If I knew of a modern book with great patterns and instructions then I’d replace it maybe. Depends on what shelf space the library has available too, I suppose.

  10. I love vintage books!! Just because a book is old/outdated does not mean it is irrelevant! I say it is a definate keeper!!

  11. I am a seamstress and doll collector and I would snatch this up in a minute if I saw it for sale… especially for the great pictures of vintage dolls.

    From the looks of things, the fabric is really what’s making it look outdated, not really the cut of the clothing. Made with more modern prints it would probably be fine… however there might be better doll clothing books out there. I would sure be glad if I found this book though!

  12. I’d say it comes down to, quite simply, keep if people are checking it out, and weed if they’re not. But it probably would sell, I agree.

  13. I’d go with Leigha. People whom restore dolls would want this book as they’d want to make era-correct clothing. Today’s books likely would not have these patterns.

    And even if you can’t keep it, find out if the information is still under copyright, and if it’s free to distribute, scan and save in a special file to print out for people who need this type of pattern. That way you have the information available, but the book not taking up room on your shelf.

  14. Honestly, how many historical doll restorers does the average community library serve? There’s a difference between a book having no worth and a book being too specialized for a general library, which is the category in which I think this one falls. You also have to take into account the turn-off factor when stuff is this outdated–I think a fashion-oriented young person thinking of maybe making clothes for her Bratz dolls would take one look at this book and go, Oh, that was a dumb idea.

  15. @Polly – I’m sure there’s a few hundred on eBay whom restore dolls who’d love to use this book. Not to mention esty or however you spell that craft site.

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