Monday, 6 April 2015

Hello Dolly - My Tree Change Doll Project

I know, I said I'd wait until 2016 to give this project a go. However my sister found some dolls in serious need of a Tree Change / Make-Under, and they kept looking at me with their ghastly eyes, so I had to do it!

If you're not familiar with this whole idea, Tasmanian Mum and artist Sonia Singh has started something amazing called; Tree change dolls. Sonia has been 'rescuing' dolls (mainly Bratz) from op shops and giving them a 'make-under', making them look like actual normal people and dressing them in the most adorable outfits that her mum makes.

These are my efforts

While I had the paint out, I gave this one scars like Sophie's

Firstly, it's not as easy as it looks! It was very time consuming, and being the perfectionist I am, I am not 100% happy with the paint job (I am no artist!). However I am happy that they no longer look scary, and I hope that Sophie loves them when she is old enough to play with them.

This one has a birthmark due to irremovable fluro pen
Not sure of the make of this one, she was a mermaid

The feet / shoes are a major dilemma. Bratz dolls have removable shoes that clip on to the legs. The shoes they came with are hideous and had to go. The problem is, how to replace them? I tried using Fimo, which was my absolute favourite when I was a kid. However it didn't really work.

Photo Shoot!

There is a brilliant group on Facebook called Rescued Dolls where like-minded people discuss and share all the different problems and solutions, tips and patterns related to rescuing these dolls. It was here I found my feet solution. I am knitting little jumpers for a fellow rescuer, and in return, she is making my dollies some feet! Hooray!! If you are thinking about rescuing some dolls yourself, I highly recommend joining this lovely online community.

Clothing was my next dilemma. I tried a few different ideas for knitted clothes, but my brain just wasn't in the right gear. So I ended up purchasing the pattern that Sonia's mum Silvia created for the dolls.

My little jumpers!

The pattern is simple to follow and presented in a very cute manner. You can purchase and download it instantly from Etsy. Of course afterwards I discovered a multitude of free patterns on Raverly which I am sure would have worked just as well. Still, supporting handmade is what it's all about.

To put my own spin on these little jumpers, I knitted some little motif's into them. Below are the charts for the ones I have made so far. If you make your own, I'd love to see them.


Love Heart

Little Rabbit, Add a French Knot for a 'fluffy' tail

Currently my dolls have plenty of jumpers, but they are sharing one pair of pants. Am hoping to swap some jumpers with some talented sewers for pants. Reminds me of my favourite book as a kid; Socks For Supper. That's a whole post of it's own though!

Have you tried giving a doll a make-under? Or has something else made you stray from your Handmade Challenge List?

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