Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Miniature Jean Grey

I, like many other young women, have fond childhood memories of playing with my American Girl Dolls. Also, like many other young women, I have the trouble of figuring out what to do with them once my playing days are over. I refuse to put them into storage, so that leaves me with figuring out how to display them...

The top of my bookshelf is perfect. However the dresses were all made nearly ten years ago and I'd like to update them a bit. Also make the display a bit more tied into my current interests. So I hit on the idea of giving them X-Men costumes - but adapting the costumes just as I would for a 10-year-old girl, since that is after all the body shape the dolls have.

For Felicity I picked Jean Grey's Dark Phoenix costumes because, while I'm not crazy on Jean, I adore that costume. Above is my initial sketch. Not too many changes, but I did decide to go with a skirt because that seemed more age appropriate/fun to me.

It's been awhile since I drafted a pattern for American Girl dolls. For the most part this one turned out all right, and only careful inspection would show any problems. I did, however, note some issues that I'll need to correct for future projects.

The next issue was the Phoenix emblem. I had some nice gold material in my large fabric stash, but it is the easily fraying kind which meant that making something that small yet detailed was going to be a pain. I solved this issue by using a diluted craft glue to apply the gold to a spare scrap of red. This protects the gold from fraying, and adds stability for cutting out and sewing the tiny details.

I cut the circle in the proportional size before checking my reference photo. If I were doing it again I'd cut it in a triangle instead.

Here you can see a bit of Jean's original costume, alongside my applique. Here I'm just beginning the process of binding the edges.

 Tacking down the Phoenix. To a viewer, it looks as though the phoenix was stitched onto the red fabric with the gold thread. ;)

A trick for doing doll sleeves is to set in the sleeve before sewing the sides of the sleeves and bodice. You can do those seam in one swoop, as demonstrated below.

Bodice is coming together! I went back and forth on the collar and finally decided to add one.

The collar is just a folded over rectangle, with one end stitched into a notch for overlap.

A quick peek at the bodice!

The skirt was a simple half circle that I hemmed and attached at the waist. Looking pretty sweet?

Stay tuned for a bunch of gold as I take you through the craziness of crafting doll-sized boots, glove, and sash!


  1. That is such a great idea and the costume looks great!!! looking forward to the next part.

  2. Interesting! I absolutely adore that outfit!


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