Playing Doll Dress-Up

Why dress or as we say in the world of doll art, re-dress, your new doll? Well first of all, there are those who do not dress their dolls in other outfits but prefer to keep them in the often hand created clothing that was designed for them designed with by the artist who made the doll or bear.

Some folks like to take re-dressing to an extreme and sew the outfits from scratch. This is not me, as I am all elbows on a sewing machine, but the idea is wonderful. Outfitting truly personalizes your doll. Taking a photo study after in various outfits and accessories tells a story.

A lovely variation on sewing, is  קידום אתרים dressing a doll or bear in an outfit that belonged to a family member, for example, your great-grandmother’s christening dress or the clothes your son wore home from the hospital when he was born.

The My Twinn company has a line of matching doll and child clothes and even sometimes clothes for the mom to wear to match the others. Baby dolls look more real when dressed as real infants. Store bought clothes tend to stand the test of play more durably than artist sewn creations which are often fragile and delicate.

Clothes and accessories make the doll into a child in the world of doll photography. Whether you are working with an antique doll, or an artist doll such as the Webbie Debbies from weight-loss guru and doll collector extraordinaire, Richard Simmons’ collaboration with Knickerbocker in the late 90s, matching the size of accessory to the doll or bear add a lot. The Webbies, for example, work well when combined with some of the American Girl accessories.

Smaller Boyds bears are perfectly sized for 18 inch dolls. Three inch bears and other animals made by for instance Ganz Co. go with the Webbie Debbie collection perfectly! Magic Attic Co. with doll outfits for collections and stories designed by Robert Tonner will fit them too.

I like to use certain make up products to create special effects as they do not stain vinyl. Some eye shadow makes a great black eye for a story about a child defending her little sister on the playground. I always test on an inconspicuous area with a tiny dot before applying anywhere that counts.

Not to be over-looked is that one should always keep the original outfit with the box and tags wrapped in acid-free paper so that in the event of a re-sale, your doll or bear will have the most value it can.

Realistic and life-sized baby dolls usually require diapers. A doll parent does not have quite the dilemma a regular parent does as one pack of Pampers will last for years for obvious reasons. And some dolls don’t wear them under their dress pants or overalls. However in the June 11, 2008, Syracuse Post Standard, Daily Dose column is a great article on the re-introduction of environmentally safe cloth diapers for babies.

This, too is a great option for baby dolls. If you don’t sew your own and prefer cloth to disposable check out this site for lots of choices in fabric design.

Rachael Ikins is an award-winning photographer of dolls at play; creating images that that mimic life and entice the viewer to take a closer look. Additionally, she writes children’s books and illustrates them with her photos to enchant her readers. You can be touched and amused by her life-like photos by visiting


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