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Old clothes vs new fabic. Doll clothing craft prefrence.

Feb 4, 2016

    1. I was looking at tutorials on making things and began to wonder if any dolly owners had a prefrence on where they like to get their fabric from.

      I don't mind much of either. I like to use old clothes I been torn or can't fit but I like the material or even the pattern but I also like going to a fabric store and picking up new fabrics to use from there.

      What do you prefer and why?
    2. I donate the clothes that I find that I've lost interest in so I don't really have many old fabrics to choose from.
      However, my local Joanns sells remnants which are 50% off the original price- I found that they're perfect for doll clothes.
    3. If clothes are still in good shape, I always donate them... When it comes to useful resources, people will always come before dolls in my mind. But otherwise? If the cloth itself is sound and the weight or pattern looks useful for small-scale sewing, I'll definitley take the thing apart and keep the fabric rather than just throwing it away.

      Salvaging an old pair of jeans when they wear out is pretty much the best way to get good denim, in my opinion. New-from-the-shop denim will just never have the same kind of faded, "lived in" look that a pair of reclaimed jeans' fabric has. You might as well give your old favorites a new lease on life by taking advantage of that. ^_^
    4. I'm not too picky, as long as the fabric isn't gross. I'm really fond of hitting up the fabric district in Dallas, though. Cheap fabric everywhere!
      But I've also used alarming amounts of fabric from my mother's collection- which used to be an even older lady's collection. It probably continues like that, since some of the fabric has a really sketchy origin date.
    5. So far most of the fabric I have for clothing has been bought from the local market. This ranges from plain fabrics to fabrics with small patterns.

      The reason most of it is new is because I have only recently started considering making the clothing myself. I think once i have maybe sorted out clothing in the future i can see all sorts of different types of fabric being used.
    6. Second hand stores, thrift stores, and outlet/discount stores are a great place to get fabric if you watch for sales, as are yard/garage sales. I've found that baby and toddler clothes are a good source for prints that are in scale for dolls. Post holiday you can even get a lot of fancier fabric, like laces and velveteens from holiday and party clothes.
      If you're making shoes, old purses are a great way to get material for soles, and depending on thickness of the leather. If they're stained, or otherwise damaged (handle popped off, etc) you can get them for practically nothing.
    7. It depends on what I'm making, but my handmade clothing is probably about 50/50 between recycled clothing and new fabric. It is cheaper to buy old clothes at thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales, and sometimes they have buttons or trim that can be used too, but sometimes I need something very specific and have to buy new.
    8. Most of my doll clothing is made from "recycled" scraps from my human sewing projects. I usually go down a weight when sewing for dolls, though. (Shirt for me fabric --> dress/shorts for doll; pants for me --> coat for doll.) My favorite scraps are those I buy off quilters, especially the hard to find weights, like gauze or cotton lawn. Doll clothing fabric goes so far I can justify buying more expensive fabric than I can for me, but coming from the human-sized side of sewing (especially with a background in historical recreation and tailoring) means what I think is cheap for a fabric and what is actually cheap may be dramatically different.

      But my human-sized handsewn clothing doesn't wear as much as my purchased clothes (especially because I have a habit of eliminating points of wear from my patterns), and dolly clothing never wears, so there's that too.
    9. I donate most of my good clothes I no longer wear, but damaged things tend to be fought over by my dolls and my rats, depending on what they look like, as the rats are less picky on what their hammocks look like. ;) That said, I have re-purposed scarves and things into doll clothes, with my limited sewing ability. We used to have a great quilt shop that was good for doll fabrics because the scale of the patterns were small. We have a different quilt shop in town now, but I haven't really checked them out because my sewing skills aren't really improving very quickly, and I tend to hoard crafty supplies and never want to use them.
    10. My dolls get first dibs on my old clothes and any kid's clothes that I come across and like. I like using old kid's fabrics because the prints are cute and they've been washed so much that I don't worry so much about them staining my dolls. New fabrics I have to wash them several times and even then I'm usually putting a white t-shirt under the shirts and tights under the pants just in case.

      Lately the thrifts in my area have taken to pricing adult clothing at what I consider steep prices for used clothing. It's getting a lot harder for me to just go to Goodwill or wherever and buy new stuff I can afford. I know someone who runs one so I know how many clothes they get, how they sort them out, and how much of it gets sold to scrappers versus put in the store to sell. Lately 90% of what they will sell is higher end clothing, stuff they can mark up a lot. The stuff I really want goes to the scrappers and that irks me.

      Recently I've been losing some weight and my jeans are all just falling off me at this point. I went to the thrifts, the local discount stores, Walmart, Target looking for jeans I could afford and they're all $20 and up a pair. Even at the thrifts they were asking $15 a pair and UP and I couldn't find anything that wasn't designer, pricey, and a size 2. Kids clothing is still fairly cheap so at least my dolls get some new fabric once in a while but me I can't afford to hit Goodwill anymore. It's a good thing I have tons of material stocked and can sew simple skirts or I'd be walking around naked at this point.

      I still love thrifting and now and again I still get a good deal. I picked up a $300 curio cabinet for $30 the other day. Cost me another $50 to get it delivered but still it was a $300 cabinet and that was $200 off, probably a bit more given there was less tax. But lately finding decent clothing at prices I can afford is getting a lot harder than it used to be. The days where I could take $100 to Goodwill and load up on a whole new wardrobe of clothes are long gone it seems....
    11. Well, most people do not want used infant clothes. That's why I kept a good number of my daughter's old clothing, as there are often little spots which can't be removed, but with cute patterns.

      Otherwise, I have often special needs, which leaves nothing but visiting the fabric store and choosing something. Luckily, my fabric store is only 15 km away.
    12. I like using new fabric, only because I have alot lying around from craft projects that I planned but never started.
      Using old clothes is cool if you want a more realistic look to your doll clothes. I find that some patterns are too big and some fabrics too thick, though.
    13. I donate or sell my nice clothes that I don't use, but when it comes to ones that have pit stains or are too worn, I like to use them for fabric. And honestly, it depends--I use new fabric for dollies who have the personalities of liking "nice" things but for my casual or grungy kids the second-hand fabric feel makes sense--it's pre-worn!
    14. I love reusing old clothes--that aren't donateable--to make dolly things. Granted I also really love digging through clearance bins for random cool fabrics too. To me, it's always fun cobbling together things from what you've found or gathered.
    15. New fabric all the way <3 I'm a super picky textile snob anyway and each piece needs to be just right. The likelihood of that happening with random old shirts or whatever is very low. Besides, I love perusing the aisles of the fabric store! I can spend hours there :D
    16. I reuse clothes as fabric for dolls clothes. My own, my kids' and also I buy clothes from fleamarkets and thriftstores. They are cheap and wellwashed clothes don't stain anymore.
    17. I prefer to use my old clothes or anything that comes my way for free. I've got plenty of new fabric I bought at the start of the hobby and there is always too much of it left after using.
      I don't give old clothes to thrift stores anymore unless they cannot serve any dolly purposes. I tires quickly of seeing the same outfits on my BJDs. The only way of providing them with new ones on the cheap (i.e. so that next year I can buy a new dolly :sweat) is to make them. I surfed the web yesterday night and bought some clothes for my newly bought boy and this morning I am stunned how much I paid for them. I don't regret it because my skills don't match the professionals' but, ouch, in the stark cold morning light, it seems outrageous.
      I don't bother with thrift stores that much nowadays. As others said, prices are just too high for what is on offer. Sometimes, new human clothes cost less and the fabric is fun looking :3nodding:.
      #17 Lilla, Feb 6, 2016
      Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
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    18. I use both. Lord knows I've got a lot of new material (well, it started out new when I brought it in the house - never mind I've had some of those swatches 10+ years) but I go to Goodwill etc for baby clothes, old denim (best for jeans) & interesting prints/material. Right now I'm on the prowl for 1:3 scale camouflage, US Marine circa 2003 ~sigh~ and unless I luck out with some baby NON stretchy downscaled camo stuff I'll be going to Spoonflower for the real pricey kind LOL Also, I always use MY old T-shirts for the dolls :D

      Oh, Lilla, don't feel bad about caving & buying clothes LOL I AM a professional seamstress and I still buy stuff - often stuff that I can make just as well or better LOL I've been known to buy something for the hardware/buttons/material then when I get it home resew all the seams, or line it, etc. This for my own costumes as well as the dolls.
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    19. When I first started I used a lot of old clothing since it's what I had on hand it was FREE and it looked good. But then I started to get REAL fabrics in the textures and styles I really liked and never really looked back. Except for cute socks. Cute socks are forever an exception.
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    20. My favorite thing is remnants and fat quarters. They're perfect, and you can sometimes find damaged or marked down fashion (i.e. Expensive) remnants!

      I don't like using other people's clothes or fabrics, and though there are lots on eBay I'm a bit iffy because you don't know what bugs could be in them.

      But I do also use old clothes. Knit fabric is one of my favorites to use because it's easy to handsew.