Doll Clothes Pictures

Here are 4 dresses that I already have pictures of. The pink one has gone to live with Maggie (from AL–Hey Sweetie!). The others are in my doll cupboard. I think to sell them I would have to have better pics. I took these outside and it messed up the focus a little. Ones I have taken inside with a white background have been much better focused, but I don’t have them online yet.

These are for 18-inch dolls. I don’t have any American Girl Dolls in my personal collection, but I do have Christian Alternatives (Elsie Dinsmore from A Life of Faith, P31, and some day the Beautiful Girlhood collection from the Vision Forum)

I also have 14-inch dolls from the Faith and Friends collection. They’re moderately priced and suprisingly good quality. Perfect Christian alternative to Barbie. They’re shaped like little girls instead of sex-symbols, but they’re the perfect size for playing and dressing up.

Lastly I have an assortment of 7 to 8-inch dolls such as Ginny, Riley-Kish, & Alexanderkins.

I know some of the recommendations given are to copy American Girl designs, but I don’t think I can do that. I don’t think I’m a “copy” type of person, but more of a “create my own original” type of person.

You know how some actors are compared to others, like “He’s another James Dean” or “She’s the new Sarah Berhart”. I would rather be James Dean or Sarah Berhart, doing my very best and then being the one that others are compared to. It may be a little egocentric to think that way, but my momma did teach me to be an original, if nothing else.

My question is, how much do I sell them for. One lady said that $20 was too much, but I know that the work that went into the Civil War era green one below is worth at least $20, and actually even more. So how do I determine prices? Does anyone know or have a link to somewhere wtih information on how to figure it out?

The green dress is circa 1862. The blue one is late Victorian, after the second bustle era, so about 1890. The other two are mostly modern.

civil war era doll dress 1865late victorian era doll dress 1890doll dress 2doll dress 1

Click here for Larger Pics.

Any help would be much appreciated.



Filed under Budget, doll clothes

32 responses to “Doll Clothes Pictures

  1. I am going to talk to my sister. She is both budget minded and price savvy. The invest in a few top quality toys for little one, instead of doing the American thing of lots of low quality ones.

    She was very, very impressed with the workmanship of the dresses!

  2. Aww, thank-you honey. That would be wonderful! We try to do the same thing with the boys, key word being try. We’re not always successful.

    I’ve never purchased AG doll clothes, so I’m not sure about their quality. I try make mine so I’ll be proud of the finished product, but that’s the only “quality control” I have.

    The clothes that came on my P-31 doll was so shoddy I wondered if they had been made by child slave labor in China. Worst quality doll clothing I’ve ever seen. Which is extra sad because they’re supposed to be a Christian company. Poor witness to the rest of the world. I know I want to do better than that.

  3. cbrunette

    Here is a seller on Etsy who has a few comparable items for sale:

    and another:

    You could comfortably price the historically accurate dresses for $25-30, I’m guessing.


  4. Melanie

    My daughters have American Girl dolls and the clothes are very good quality. (they have held up well to lots of playing) I would go to their website and you can get an idea of how to price your clothes which look wonderful. A G dolls are from different time periods, so your designs would work well for them. Good Luck.

  5. Those are cute! Being a boy with little to no knowledge in doll clothing, I am sorry I can’t help, but if you wanted to make a kilt for Ryan, he is kinda of a big doll!

    I am loving your new sight! Whats this talk of Recession? My suggestion to the Govt is “Print More Money!”

  6. Leta

    I have no help, but I just wanted to say that these dresses are beautiful. You are quite talented.

  7. ROTFL, Eric! Lovely to see you bro. The Gov’t is already printing more money, that’s why the value of our dollar is dropping so fast and buying so little. Fred and I both believe it would be better for everyone to go back to the Gold Standard, but with the current political situation that’s only a Pipe Dream.

    Who are yall favoring in the election, Obama or Hillary?

    Tell ya’ what, You send me (or grams & gramps) our little roly-poly sweetie-baby’s measurements for waist, hip, and the length you want his kilt to be and I’ll see what I can do. I’ve never made a kilt, but I don’t think it’s too much different from a pleated skirt. Also, I assume Ryan prefers a waistband with a little ‘give’ to it. Jamie only wears waist-bands with a little give and finds it monumentally more comfortable.

    Do you have a favorite color, type of plaid or fabric? Or rather, does Ryan? Give Carrie my love! :-)M

  8. Anna, thank you for the links. Etsy is looking very good to me right now. Having the others to make comparisons helps a lot. gives me the start of a baseline.

    Melanie I’ll learn more about A.G. dolls while I’m at it. A Life of Faith Collection is also historical, mostly from the Victorian era though, early, mid and late (including civil war).

    Leta, thank-you honey 🙂 I do my best.

  9. For Eric–

    Something along these lines?

    Or even faster (but not homemade)–

    These are especially inexpensive, lots of kilts in all sizes from kids to dads, even Fred size I think.

  10. In my humble opinion, these items are luxury items, so I would think that you could figure up how much supplies cost, then add how many hours you put into it times a reasonable hourly wage (minimum wage would work for me) and that is a good price.

  11. Hi Maggie,

    Wow, that first dress especially is SO lovely! Its so funny, i have a friend who sews (though she doesnt sell them) and she’s been making dollclothes too, for her grandchildren. So we were just talking about historical dol lclothes….small world.

    With sellimg advice, i’ll ask around and see if anyone knows, but the others sound like they know a lot more on this. Some folks will get others to sell the items for them (the seller being a person familar with the types of things you are selling and knowing what to ask for them and where to adverstise them). They’d get a percentage though, of course.

    Well, peaceful day m’dear : ) Wendy

  12. I will do that! I think I will send some shots of my Fav Utilikilt (a sage or basil green) would be easier than finding a tartan (plaid) close to what I wore for the wedding. Yes I am also betting a little extra room for a growing boy’s belly! 🙂 And for a guy his size, it is basicaly a pleated skirt. We bought a “kilt” from a Fred Myers (like a K-mart) here, granted it was in the girls section around Christmas time. It works, and only a few people can tell that its not a boys kilt. As for voting, no offense to any body here who is southern, but I want to vote for a “not a white southern male” so I will be happy with either. I also need to update my blog with your new blog address. Yell at me if I don’t do that soon. I love reading your work, and i love knowing that there are people like you out there trying to be good people! As some long haired folks “odd smelling” folks say, Keep on Keeping On!

    love from the West COast


  13. Those are BEAUTIFULLY done, it is so hard to find good quality doll clothes nowadays for actual play instead of display. Pricing any handmade good is tough, especially since handmades are notoriously underpriced by hobbyists and that makes it harder for someone making a career out of it to sell their wares at their actual value. I’d sell those for 35-50 a piece, honestly. That’s what I’ve seen clothing sets for American Girl dolls go for in the past.

    I feel for you, I am a spinner and pricing my yarn is always the toughest part of it – but be proud of your beautiful work, you’ve been blessed with QUITE a skill and I hope they sell quickly for you!

  14. Eric, you may remember dear that I was a long-haired (odd smelling) hippy long before I was a Titus 2 woman. And I’ll have you know that not all southerners are racist white men. Some of us are transplanted Northerner’s, females infact, who might take small offense at being sterotyped.;) I don’t make fun of you for being a long-haired, kilted hippy, (I actually admire you for being an independant thinker, always have) so it might be best if you don’t group all of us Southerners in the same boat. Noah’s ark perhaps, but that’s another story.;)

    Now that you’ve had a good big-sister-scolding I will admit that I am keen on Hillary. She reminds me of Mom when she was younger. Fred adores Obama. The folks are firmly in the McCain camp. The boys are not interested in it one way or the other and complain loudly when I try to discuss it as part of “Current Events”. I suspect Cathy secretly likes Hillary, but we haven’t had time to discuss it lately. Wonder who the MN crew favor? Any clues?

  15. Ginny, very practical, thank-you. Taht would put the green dress at about $35 and the purple and white one at about $10.

    Thank-you Wendy. I am looking to cut out as many middle-men as I can, to keep more of the profits for myself. We must be on the same wave-length.

    Taryldactyl, thank-you for your comments. I needed input from another crafter. It’s good to know I’m not the only one having trouble with this process 🙂

    I found one place with really nice doll clothes that I think I will use as a goal for what I aspire to be.

    Some of my stuff is as good as hers. Some isn’t quite there yet. I’ll just keep working at home and see what I can come up with. I liked Ginny’s advice because it gives me something concrete to work with.

  16. Beautiful dresses! My oldest wants an American Girl doll for Christmas and those would look so cute on her! (she wants Molly if you ever browse through the catalog)

  17. I’m Wendy’s friend, the one who makes dollclothes for her grandchildren. Your creations are very impressive! I love the historical ones, especially.

    I don’t sell the things I make, so I don’t know about pricing. I do know how finicky it is to sew those little seams, though!

    My main interest is in dressing baby dolls. Most of my items are knitted or crocheted.

  18. Gilana

    Maggie, I’m absolutely in love with that blue dress. I don’t know much, but my advice to you is err on the higher priced side. If the market is accepting, fine, if not, you can move down. It’s far harder to go up in price, I think, than to come down. If I was a person searching for beautiful doll’s clothes, I would not blink an eye to see a price of $50 on that dress, so if labor plus materials comes to that, don’t balk! And I see no reason for you to minimum wage yourself. Test the market. Why SHOULDN’T you be compensated well for a skill YOU have that most people don’t have? I’m not advocating something ridiculous, just something that respects yourself for your legitimate labor, creativity, and abilities.

  19. Billie

    These are beautiful, Maggie, and I don’t even collect dolls. Whatever you do, don’t sell yourself short. It seems that people who don’t sew don’t know how much work goes into things like this. I especially love the period style dresses, and $50 – 60 would NOT be too much IMO for that much detail work. You can’t compare handmade with something mass produced in China.

  20. Thank-you April. I’m familiar with the AG dolls. There was an uproar in the Christian Community a few years back. At that time several Christian alternatives became available, so I’ve been trying to support them instead of AG. Also, since Mattel bought AG from the original Pleasant Company, the quality has diminished somewhat and for my money, I prefer to support other Christians rather than Mattel.

    Links to more info. on the scandal.

    Also, if you go to and request a free catalog, they’ll send you one for many hours of free ogling pleasure. 🙂

  21. Anonymouse, thanks for taking the time to visit. I am not very good at crocheting or knitting, but much admire the skill. 🙂

    Giliana & Billie,
    Thanks for the compliments and the advice. It does take a LOT of skill to do all of the detailed work. I love making doll clothes though, have for, well, 30 years. I’m taking y’all’s comments into consideration as I figure out pricing.

    This part, from Giliana, really spoke to me “something that respects yourself for your legitimate labor, creativity, and abilities”

    🙂 Maggie

  22. AnnMarie

    I was NOT picturing the green dress when I said $20 would be too much! 🙂 That’s beautiful.

    I hope you do some on the lower end cost side, too, however. That might be a way to get people hooked on your stuff, then they’ll come back to buy more expensive items. Its hard to send someone $30+ having only see an online photo.

  23. Paula

    Hate to burst your bubble, but in my experience, sewing doesn’t pay. No one is willing to pay what our time and effort are worth; so there’s no sense spending the time and money for no compensation. The dresses are beautiful though. If you are still going to try and sell them, go to the American Girl site and see their prices.

  24. Hey Anne Marie, 🙂 No worries. I understand your point completely. I won’t pay other folks to sew for me because to me it seems wasteful. Not everyone sees things that way though. So I’ll just keep plugging away on my sewing machine and see if I can come up with a collection so I have a variety with which to start.

    🙂 Hugs, Maggie

  25. Roxanna Meiske

    I agree with you that American Girl dolls are not of the same quality as they used to be. I have a few of them. I have picked them up at garage sales, thrift shops, and even on ebay. One, for my grand daughter I brought new in 2002. It has held up under years of play. It was her first doll from Grandma. (I wanted it to be special) and she plays with it today. She just turned 9. I have never brought anything else from the Amercian Girl cataloge or web site, but I admit I do look at their items and copy them for my grand daughter. I make her a dress and the doll a dress almost always. Over the years she has a very well dressed doll. Her grand father has made her a bed, a chair, and wardrobe for the clothes. I have brought hangers for her clothes at Hobby Lobby. I buy shoes and such at Hobby Lobby too.
    I have never sold any of my American Girl doll clothes. However in the 1980’s when the Cabbage Patch Kid dolls were all the rage I sold clothes for them as fast as I could make them for $10.00 each. A dress and panty…for shirt and pants it was $12.00…(I keep a diary and looked up the prices) I made almost $1000.00 for Christmas that year selling my doll clothes to the other ladies in the office I worked in. That was the key to it, I worked in a huge company at the time. I took the doll with the outfit to work and set it on my desk. Word spread like wild through the company. I had more orders than I could fill. I started in Oct. at the company picnic and was still sewing like crazy on Christmas Eve.
    Good luck with selling the items. I was wondering though if you might do better offering a mending service? I did that too to pick up extra money. I made money fast by fixing things for people. Buttons, zippers, hems etc. I made a few things for people too. I charged by the hour. Back then my hour rate was $7.50…It would be much more today. Good luck to you. Your work is beautiful. Roxie

  26. BarbC

    The doll clothes look lovely! I think it is a good idea to look at the amount of time you put into the clothes and consider that in your prices. Usually craft items are the price of the materials X the time you take + a bit to cover costs of supplies you use (sewing needles, trim and such) X 2 = price of item.

    Also you have some nice details in the clothes, make sure you have pictures of the doll clothes showing the details up close. The pictures will help you get top dollar. People want quality and that can show nicely in a good photo. If you finish the seams on the inside, mention it and even give a photo. Finishing the seams can be a good plus for doll clothes to make the clothes washable.

    I think it helps to have the doll clothes on the actual dolls they are intended to fit. The 18″ dolls all vary a bit in size and some people look for that . I sewed doll clothes for 16″ fashion dolls. It was fun.

    You might also consider using your sewing for mending and repairs. You would be surprised how many people want repairs made. Just make sure you charge a decent hourly wage because that will offset the inconvience it might be to your family when you have a deadline and can’t give them attention.

    I have done many jobs on the side while home with kids, sewing, crafts, dollmaking, and making doll clothes. I am working full time now so my life is busier right and my kids need my attention too. It has always been nice to be able to make things instead of buying them and for many years (pre kids) I sewed most of my work clothes.

    Good luck!


  27. Jennifer in MD

    You could try selling them on ebay first and seeing where the price ends up, or as someone mentioned check out etsy which is one of my favorite sites. I love seeing people’s handiwork.
    I personally would probably pay up to $40 for the historical green dress, and up to $25/30 for the others, but we are financially doing pretty good, and it would depend on other people’s pocketbooks.
    Best of luck with this new venture!

  28. Kathy Jones

    Miss Maggie, I asked my artist friend and he said to go to and they may be able to help you. I went to the site and loved it!

  29. sodbusters

    Hello, I had this site bookmarked for a while and just found it again while purging bookmarks.
    I tend to make doll dresses too and I have to say WOW! Your’s are GORGEOUS!
    $20 is NOT too high a price!!!!!!! Most people do NOT take the time to concider value, costs to you, etc. I actually had to write a post about the cost of making things becuase people were complaining that $10 a jumper was too high once shipping was involved and wanted me to lower my prices. It’s unbelievable! Don’t sell yourself short. Quality clothing, items, crafts are worth their weight in gold and bargain hunters tend to think like supermarkets. You can’t mass produce like Wal-mart or any big store for that matter. Again I say, your items are gorgeous. I would concider looking into something like Etsy or ebay. Well worth the $$ you are asking.
    Some clothes on Ebay sell for $50 a peice while others just make a buck or two so it’s all in the presentation and how well you are know/how well your craftsmenship is. 🙂

  30. hey its maddie behiter just wantred to say hi

  31. Elizabeth Sacksteder

    I am a homeschooling mother of seven. I just had my seventh at home last Saturday. I know how to sew, but am short on time! I would love to purchase the green and blue dresses.

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