We all know American Girl collecting is a very expensive hobby. I like saving money whenever possible (to the point where I sometimes stubbornly refuse to turn on my air conditioning even in the middle of summer) and have been working to transfer to my super-cheap ways to my doll collection, though I admit that is one area where I tend to spend a bit frivolously. Ebay is a great way to get some good deals, and AG offers those enticing sales and coupons once in a while, but the best way to really save a buck is to get messy and make your own stuff. My Kirsten collection from my childhood is full of homemade outfits and items that my mother spent painstaking hours getting to look exactly like those in the catalogue. The result was pretty darn good and they have the added bonus of being a priceless heirloom made with love to be treasured for years.
I have decided to start a blog segment to be posted each Thursday documenting my thrifty crafts and cheap finds that I use to help grow my collection without breaking the bank. My big focus on Thrifty Thursday will be on projects made from upcycled materials, therefore literally costing nothing, as opposed to materials from a fabric or craft store (which I will still continue to show in regular posts). I will include some tutorials to hopefully inspire you to get creative and make some masterpieces for your dolls that cost little to nothing!
The first project I will share is pretty simple and didn’t take any strokes of genius. My husband was about to throw some corduroy pants into a pile for Goodwill (eight years after graduation, he is finally starting to admit he can no longer wear the clothes he wore in high school) and I yelled, “NOOOOOOO!!!” Well, maybe not, but I did seize them in a lightbulb moment and turned them into these (for some reason the legs look like different sizes in this picture, but they’re the same, I promise):
I used a really basic pants pattern (Butterick, I think) that literally involved cutting three pieces plus a small piece of elastic. It took maybe half an hour. I did have to be sure to cut the fabric in areas where it was still nice looking, avoiding the worn parts on the knees. As Kit’s Aunt Milly would say, “Waste not, want not”, so I saved the rest of the pants for future projects (already scheming).
Your question probably is, “What are the pants for and who is going to wear them?” Well, that is an excellent query and the answer will be revealed next Thursday, when this outfit will be completed in all of its thrifty glory with a project and tutorial a bit more exciting than pants. It is for one of my girls, and a clue I will reveal is that I am creating an outfit from a book illustration. You will soon see! 🙂