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Doll Dressing Techniques

Mar 10, 2017

    1. So I've noticed something that has made me curious lately. I've seen videos of people who pull all their doll's dresses and tops over their heads, and I've been wondering why? It makes sense for a pull over or sweater, but if it's a dress that fastens in the back, why not pull it up from the bottom?

      This is the way I grew up dressing dolls, because when you're dressing a non-jointed doll like a Barbie or an American Girl, it's generally easier to pull the clothes up from the bottom. So I was wondering why it is that some people dress their BJDs the same way they dress themselves?
    2. I personally prefer to pull a dress up from feet not over head. Most do allow this but if hips are extra wide like with some Doll Chateau dolls you have to pull on over head. If I have to pull anything over head I removed head or face plate.
    3. I generally prefer dolls with an hourglass figure as opposed to pear shape, so I guess that's not much of an issue for me.
    4. Most are hourglass shape, I have only eight girls and one is a child character and the rest are magical so they aren't in anything hard to put on.
    5. That is odd. I dress my dolls from the bottom whenever possible, weather it Barbie or BJD. I am officially going to be watching other people dress their dolls now.
    6. I have seen a lot of pear-shaped dolls, though not necessarily from Doll Chateau. Doll Chateau doesn't really suit my aesthetic though. I have two Doll Legend dolls, one of which is a child.
    7. I think I dress my dolls "from the top down" because they're very human to me. A lot of my girls are bottom heavy/more pear shaped than hour glass, so that might also be part of it? Idk. It never occurred to me to dress them any other way.
    8. How interesting. I always dress feet first, it just seems easier. I make most of my dolls' clothes so dressing isn't really a problem. Most of them have back closures so I don't have to struggle to dress any of them. I've even taken to adding sleeve plackets for the long sleeve items so they can go over the hands easily. For some reason, I love to make little button and chain stitch loop closures on most of the things I make--even crochet items. it's a great look and doesn't add bulk.
    9. I had to think about this for a second, but I don't have many female dolls and male dolls don't have that issue.
      You can't pull pants from the top :lol:

      Anyway, I dressed up my Blythe yesterday, who all wear dresses, and I definitely dress them up from the bottom; i.e. I put their feet through the collar first.
      However, depending on the outfit this is not necessary, if it's a dress without arms you can put it on like a shirt from the top most of the time.
      Really depends how much I need to wrestle with the arms for this particular outfit.
    10. For most of the tops and dresses I have, the bottom is wider than the neck hole... so it would be hard or impossible to pull that all the way up over the shoulders. It just makes more sense to pull it down from the head because I don't want to tear the neck.
    11. Maybe it's just my dolls, but there honestly isn't a great deal of difference in how much stretching would be done when going over the head. Although, you might be able to avoid it if you took your doll's head off. I've seen people do that. I would just find it a pain in the butt to do that.
    12. I usually dress feet first and have clothing that like... wraps around the doll. If it goes over the head i'd remove the head because it pulls the wig off and messes with the eyelashes and stuff otherwise, which is annoying and the heads don't exactly take much to get off.
      It's easier than taking off hands and feet anyway. Man I hate getting hands and feet off, it's really hard.
      Now some of my dolls need to be dressed by effectively wrapping the clothing around them. My DC Carol for instance has such a wide butt there's no way a shirt would come up over those hips, but he's strung so tight there's no way I can get his head OR his wings off and the S hooks are so small anyway. So I basically sewed his clothing TO him hahaha. His shirt is halter necked so it unties and then the whole thing attaches with a popper so it unwraps. It was the only way I could get a shirt on him.

      But most dolls? Tops I usually would have them popper or button up or lace so they don't need to be pulled on and anything else, over the feet.
    13. I'm sure it depends on what sort of dolls you have. I have some busty girls, and their heads definitely aren't larger/wider than their hips, busts or shoulders. I don't usually take heads off (like you, I find it a pain in the butt and generally avoid clothes that require head removal), but I will remove their wigs.
    14. For me it depends on the shape of my doll (how large her hips and chest are) and the garment itself. If it's a t-shirt / scoop neck type shirt or dress with no fasteners then the only way is to pull it on over the head. If it's a dress where it's possible to dress from the bottom up then I'll do it that way.

      I have to admit that my instinct is always to dress a doll like I would but on the clothing if I were wearing it. :XD: Maybe that's why I don't mind wrestling things on that don't have any fasteners. It's realistic to me.
    15. My doll's bust is about Medium. However, when I say her hips are not wider than her head, I'm talking about actual circumference. If you just measured from one hip to the other, yes, it would be wider than, say, one temple to the other. But the overall circumference difference is only about 1.5cm

      To be honest, it makes me scared that I'll break something
    16. @Pinkrose064 Well, maybe I should have specified that it's not violent wrestling. :XD: The worst I've ever done is scuffed the sealant of a face-up on dark resin by accidentally scraping her arm over her face. But I think it's best to stay in your comfort zone with your dolls. Whatever works for you. :3nodding:
    17. If there's one thing I always do, it's pop the head off; practical AND protective.

      Everything else depends on the doll itself and the clothes in question. My Feeple65 girl is easily disassembled (lots of locking magnetic joints); starting point is irrelevant. The others are more traditionally strung making the process more involved. Bottom up is preferable when possible in that situation, but not all cuts have that much wiggle room.

      Basically: it's all situational.
    18. Unless I absolutely have no other choice, I like to dress my dolls from the bottom up. I hate taking their heads/hands off and will avoid doing it at any costs, though on certain dolls I might remove their faceplate and dress them from the top depending on what clothing item it is. Sadly my 70cm girls don't have faceplate systems so I can't do that with them. Most of the clothes my dolls own is made by my mother and she's not a fan of taking their heads off either, so whenever she can she adds snaps or some other form of closure to the backs (or front if it's a nice detail) to make it easier to dress the doll without removing any body parts.
    19. My dolls are usually dressed bottom up, unless the garment is a shirt or vest. I don't like to take my dolls heads off to change their clothes, and some of the wigs are a PAIN to put on. One of my dolls has a fantasy head, so getting anything over her head would be impossible. I make most of my dolls clothes, so I can make sure I can get them on easily.
    20. Mostly I dress my dolls bottom-up, unless it's shirts or coats, but there is one exception. My larger girl has a very delicate outfit (a shirt-dress) that isn't quite her size (it fits, but it's tight) and I'm afraid of tearing it, so I put it on top-down and carefully bend her arms through the arm-holes, then settle it down over her shoulders. I think that if I brought it up from the bottom, her wide hips would stretch it too far.

      Other than that, my general rule is to dress them like I dress myself- except I don't have to remove my head to put on t-shirts, of course.
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