Antique Doll Dresses, Doll Dresses, Clothes & Patterns for Doll Clothing
The first Toni Heirloom Wedding dress ensemble is now on the cart, the other sizes will be on in the next day or so, here is the P-93 Toni in her dress.
Custom Sewing—why it costs so much
I frequently get requests for custom doll dresses, and I have to explain why I can't do a custom dress in the same price range my "rack" dresses are.
I supplement my social security--which -won't even cover utilities-- by sewing the doll clothes you see here on the website. Like everyone else, I can't live on less than $15 an hour, and even that is not very much, as I manage to sew only about 7 hours a day, five days a week, except when there are problems, then it is less.
I don't sew for fun or a hobby. I truly love my work, but this is just that—work. I cannot live without the money I earn here.
To be able to sew dresses for the prices you see on the site, I must sew production line style—I cut out several at a time that all use the same color thread and the same trims, so I don't have to spend time switching threads, searching for trim, etc. If I did one dress at a time, I would either work for a lot less money or have to charge more.
Below is an example of requested custom sewing, and a breakdown of what is involved in it:
A potential customer recently sent me photos of an antique silk dress and teddy she wanted me to make an exact copy of, wanted it sewn in just the same fabric in just the same color. It was a crepe silk of the 1930's, so to even find the right fabric I would spend at minimum an hour on the internet finding the right fabric in the right color and ordering it. Silk is not cheap. Even a quarter of a yard would have cost $6-$8 plus $5 shipping, so we are already into it at least $11, plus an hour of my time for $15—that's 26.00. Then I would have to make the pattern, which could take an hour at least, because the dress was a style I have no standard patterns for, had a large collar, and matching teddy. (This is for a fairly simple dress. To make a more complicated pattern, with darts, set in sleeves, separate skirt, and so on, could take a day or more) So another minimum of $15, now we are up to $41, and I haven't started cutting out the fabric. Before I can do any sewing, I have to find matching thread and fill a bobbin and thread the machine. The dress had a self-trim with a hem-stitched edge which I would also have to make a pattern for and then make—it went around the collar, around the armholes, and around the bottom of the dress. It would have taken about 40 minutes to measure out the amount of trim needed, cut it out, finish the edges with a stitch similar to hemstitching. Then I would cut out the dress and teddy and begin sewing.
The finished trim had to be gathered and sewn between the two layers of the collar to finish it, and there was hand embroidery around the collar as well. I would have to find the right color embroidery thread and do that before the collar could be finished and ready to apply. Then the dress would be sewn at the shoulders and trim put on the armholes and the collar applied, then the sides sewn up and the trim put at the bottom of the dress. The back would have to be finished and snaps applied. I would start on the teddy. I do very detailed and professional work, which is fitted specifically to the doll.
I don't just slap things together—in fact, this lady said I was the finest seamstress she knew, which is why she wanted me to make the dress. Did I mention that silk is very hard to sew, and silk crepe is even worse? So suppose I am pretty fast at all this. It would still take at least, very minimally, three hours to cut out and make the dress and Teddy. Add $45. I have not added anything for thread, snaps or embroidery thread, and we are still up to $86.00. Suppose there are a couple of emails back and forth to discuss the details and the finish time and the billing, and packing the dress for shipping. Another half hour-- $93.50. And that is minimal on every phase. Some people read this and think, oh, for less than $100 she can make a pattern and prototype of any design--( the example listed here is for one simple design, most would be more complicated, in particular if someone wanted to design it and have me make it-- I just don't do that as people simply do not know how time consuming it is and want it for nothing. If I hope to make even a low wage of $15 an hour, consider that for a days work, your cost would be $120 just for that day. Just for labor. I cannot look at a design, make a pattern, and make a finished prototype of anything in one day. Few people could, and certainly not anyone who does quality work. And one would have to add hours of phone calls, emails and letters and mailing times, too. Any time you make a living with your hands every minute you spend on a project has to be counted, or you won't make a living.)
If I had to make a trip to the store to get the fabric, instead of buying it on line, that would take 2 gallons of gas and two hours of my time. Or just to run to the nearest fabric store and get the thread and embroidery thread I needed. A gallon of gas and 45 minutes. Or I might have to spend 6 hours finding the silk crepe in the right color and weight, instead of one hour.
The person who asked for this custom work is someone I have known for almost 20 years, and was supposed to be a friend.Since I told her what the approximate cost of the outfit would be, I haven't heard from her. I doubt I ever will again. It is sad that a friend would think you could work for pennies or even less, because you are a "friend" , yet when you remind her you have to make a living like everyone else, she becomes angry and offended.
I wanted to do this article so my customers or potential customers have some idea what goes into custom doll costuming, so you would know that I am not just being mean. I in fact have several ladies I do custom work for, and I charge them only my usual $15 an hour plus fabric, and they are very happy and consider my prices very reasonable, because they understand what is involved—and have also gotten some very bad dresses at much higher prices over the internet from other people. I do do custom work for those who don't mind paying for it. I enjoy the variety in my work, making something new. I just can't do it for 10 cents an hour.
I also don't do any boy clothes, special costumes like skating outfits or casual clothing. I only do custom clothing for antique dolls, not modern dolls, and only do fine clothing for collectors dolls—even for people who want to pay for it; for instance, I won't make jeans and top for a modern doll, Halloween costumes, sports costumes, and so on. There are thousands of people on the internet who do that. I do only classic dresses and underwear in authentic styles and fabrics.
Thank you for understanding!
Antique Doll Dresses are suddenly in demand! That is, dresses that are appropriate for Antique Dolls-- I have had so many requests for more of these that I am working on adding several new styles that are actual copies of antique doll dresses that I have at one time had on antique dolls when I was in the antique doll business for 25 years. I will send out a newsletter as I add more antique doll dresses. Please be patient and I should have a good selection soon. I also make slips to match the antique doll dresses because most are of light, semi-sheer 100% cotton fabrics similar to the old fabrics originally used to dress antique dolls.
Antique Doll Dresses (Dresses for Antique Dolls), Dresses for Hard Plastic and composition Dolls and Baby doll dresses, Doll Dress Patterns, and Collectible Dolls
Doll Dresses and clothing for older dolls such as antique bisque dolls, Patsy and other composition dolls, Toni, Sweet Sue, Maggie and Margaret hard plastic dolls, Cissy, and many of the newer fashion dolls,
including but not limited to Robert Tonner fashion dolls,Betsy McCall, Linda McCall and Anne Estelle, Toni, Antoinette, American Model, Ellowyn Wilde, Gene dolls and Tyler; Ideal Toni; Sweet Sue, Mary Hoyer, Cissy, and other 1950's dolls. We are dedicated to bringing you top quality original doll clothes. All of our dresses, especially our antique doll dresses, are made of authentic fabrics of their era.
A Word About Our Doll Dresses and Clothes Prices
I have been sewing for more than 70 years and it is not just a way to make a living, it is an art I enjoy. If you are shopping for cheap doll clothes or inexpensive fashion doll dresses, there are lots of them on eBay and other websites. I don't try to compete on prices, I try to bring you superior quality doll clothes for each doll I sew for, and know you will see the difference. Click here to read what some of our doll dress customers have written.
Many years ago I bought a collection of old dolls, and in the collection was a carved wooden Queen Anne doll from about 1760. Her arms and legs and most of her paint were missing, but she still has her glass eyes with black irises and no pupils. When you touch her you feel the 250 years or so she has been around.
Quite a few years after I got her, I finally decided she needed to have limbs and be dressed, although I would never repaint her, so I took her to my son, who was quite a good wood carver. I also took many books with clear photos of these old Queen Anne dolls that were complete so he could easily see how her arms and legs should be made.
At last! Those of us who once owned the National Doll and Teddy Bear magazine, have launched a brand new site where you can sell your dolls, teddy bears and related items-- for FREE! Yes, FREE.
Combining the best features of Craig's list and Facebook, we have created a wonderful website with articles, pictures and other items of interest, where anyone can run a FREE classified ad to list their dolls, teddy bears and related items forsale or trade on line.
Unlike most online sale sites, we will NEVER charge you commissions, percentages of your sale,final value fees, or listing or other fees. You may run as many free classified ads as you like as long as they are doll and/or teddy related. Each ad can have up to five free images/pictures. You control the ads completely, you can edit or change the ad any time you like-- but to protect our advertisers from unwanted materials, each time you place/edit an ad, it still has to be approved, which only takes a short time, then it is posted. Each ad runs until you cancel it.
Etsy seller? Sign up at NDANDTBC and link to your Etsy pages!Ebay seller? Sign up and link to your eBay seller site. EVEN BETTER! You can now have your own website-- absolutely free. You build it, you manage it-- you sell your doll and teddy related items, including dollhouse items.
Want to write articles about dolls or bears? Start a group! Well, COME ON DOWN to NDANDTBC and get going! Get your photo album up on your profile page and share what you have or are interested in to buy, sell or trade. Tell everyone where your next show is.
Your show events and club events can be posted free too.
I know it is hard to believe that stuff is free-- but it is here. We want collectors, dealers, traders, stores and all to come together for dolls and/or teddy bears and related items.If you have a doll store, sign up and put a link to your store! Same for teddy bears. Same for doll houses and doll house dolls and supplies. Put in links to your website, your seller site on eBay-- whatever you want, as long as it is doll and/or teddy bear related.
If we make any money on this site it will not be from members-- it will be from someone who wants to sponsor the site. Just click here to go sign up and start having fun!
Feel free to call me between 12 noon and 10 PM ( Pacific time)if you have questions, 360-573-1846 or you may email me from the contact us page.
NDandTBC.com is a service offered by Coburn Enterprises, and JoAnn Morgan.Com to promote the wonderful hobby of collecting, buying and selling dolls and teddy bears.
HUGE CLOSE OUT! CHECK OUT THE SALE PRICES ON my clearance sale!
Doll Dresses - Doll Clothes
- DOLL CLEARANCE SALE
- Doll Dresses, Clothes, Misc. Dolls
- Antique Doll Dresses
- Antoinette Dresses
- Baby Doll Dresses
- Ballet Doll Dresses, Doll Tutus
- Betsy McCall Doll Dresses
- Bleuette Doll Antique Style Dresses
- Bride Dresses for Dolls
- Christmas / Special Occasion Dresses and Items
- Cissy Doll Dresses, Clothes
- Clea Bella Dresses & Clothes
- Composition Mama Doll Dresses, Clothes
- Delilah Noir BJD
- Ellowyne Wilde
- Euro Girl, Magic Attic, Slender 18 Inch all Vinyl Dolls
- Gene, Madra, Alex, Clea Bella Dresses
- Helen Kish Doll Dresses
- Madame Alexander Maggie, Margaret
- Marley, Agnes and Friends
- Mary Hoyer Doll Dresses
- Patsy Doll Dresses, Patsy Doll Clothes
- Robert Tonner American Model 22 inch
- Robert Tonner New 10" Patsy, Mary Englebright, Ann Estelle
- Robert Tonner 18" Kitty Collier Dresses, Clothes, Outfits
- Robert Tonner Tyler, Sydney, Brenda Starr, Dresses
- Robert Tonner New York City Ballet Doll Clothes
- Sweet Sue, Nanette, doll dresses
- Super Dollfie, BJD Doll Dresses, Clothes
- Toni Doll Dresses and Toni Doll Clothes
- Tween Dolls, Senson, BJDs, Other