Have you priced ballet sets for American Girl? Yikes! We have tons of clothes for our American Girl dolls, and only a few are 'original' AG purchases. The rest are homemade, or purchased from other handmade sellers who are more proficient than I. :) I do like to get free patterns from Liberty Jane, and we've made 4-5 pieces using them. I am not so great at sewing clothes, however, so I look for other sources pretty frequently. We have a favorite Ebay store that I highly recommend for American Girl doll clothes. Email me if you would like the info and I'm happy to share!
Sp in lieu of a purchased ballet set, and since her lessons are, in fact, FREE...we improvised and made our own ballet tutu.
Today's project is what I like to call "on-the-fly"...meaning I had a random thought to make it, then sat down and fifteen minutes later it was done. Not a lot of thought, which can sometimes be the projects that are the most fun.
SUPER easy to make for the 18" doll in your life.
Here's what you need:
ponytail band,in pink or a neutral color
I started by measuring the doll from the waist down to where I wanted the tutu to fall on her legs. My tulle strips were cut (and not precisely) to about 5" long. I had lots leftover from my Fancy Bird Nest, so I just started cutting on that. It takes lots of strips, so just keep cutting. :)
After you cut your strips, you are basically just going to start tying knots on the ponytail band, all the way around. I thought it was easiest to tie the knots on while the ponytail band was actually around the doll's waist. Slide a strip through...
...and tie it in a tight knot.
Slide each knot very close to each other, and the tutu will be fuller.
Just keep doing this all the way around, knotting, tightening, and sliding the knots close together. It's that simple!
I left lots of extra at the top of the tutu to start with, so that I could cut it to size and not worry about mistakes. Once I got 4-5 strips knotted, I went back and trimmed the top pieces sticking up to about where I wanted them to stick up above the waist.
See how much extra I gave myself? Once you have it all trimmed, it looks like this:
So easy, and you now have a tutu for cheap! :)
We could have purchased the whole ballet outfit for $40-$50, and I know it would have been lovely and quality. (I've been happy with ALL of our American Girl purchases.) BUT...my kiddo doesn't play ballet with her dolls every day, and for that price, I would want her to. It doesn't seem right to MAKE her play ballet everyday (wink), so we went with a modified ballet outfit for only a dollar or two and I don't care what she does with it. (Last time I saw this it was stuffed in a dresser drawer.) :) That's the beauty of kid-projects on-the-cheap, no?
Make one of these for the doll in your life...or show your daughters how and enjoy a project together. Afterward you can meet up at the 'studio' for a lesson and some ice cream afterward. :)
Have a great day,