As I was taking them home from the market, I knew I would have so much fun cleaning up these second-hand dolls and dressing them in new crochet outfits, perhaps even with angel wings! In the end I settled on summer dresses complete with pretty bonnets and mary jane slippers. These tiny Kelly dolls are just 4.5 inches tall.
I first found the little blonde in a washing basket full of toys. The stall holder was busy selling a set of Dora dolls, so when I said I would like the tiny doll, she dismissed me saying I could have it for free. Well, I wouldn’t take something so special for free, it just wasn’t right! Her hair is in excellent condition, and she even has two near new shoes. I was thinking to give a dollar, but when we looked in David’s wallet a 50 cent coin was sitting on top so I grabbed that and pressed it into hand of the man that was helping her with the stall. I think it must have been Karma, because later on at another stall, I saw the three other dolls, all with different coloured hair and all just 50 cents each! It was so uncanny it must have been fate that these four tiny Kelly dolls should meet in this way!
Crochetting some clothes for these dolls turned out to be a lot more challenging than I first anticipated. I made several attempts before I ended up with a dress I was happy with. At first, I did a smaller version of the Barbie doll dress I usually do, using baby yarn, but I decided the result looked too bulky. Later, I made matching knickers for that dress using a free pants pattern I found on an old blog, again using the baby yarn. I made a top using baby yarn and a free ruffle top pattern, but I did not use the right size hook and yarn, and it didn’t fit. The problem was, I was using baby yarn when I should have been using fine cotton thread.
At first, I really didn’t think I would need to follow a pattern for this project, but I did. I had a little success with a free dress pattern @ Crochet Crafts by Helga, using fine cotton and 1.5mm hook as recommended. But I didn’t like the skirt, I thought it was too short so added more rows, which then made the result bulky. Finally, I made a dress I liked using the bodice from Helga’s free pattern, but adding my own skirt. Using the same cotton, I made some panties using Helga’s free pants pattern,shortening the legs by making just one row of sc. I stitched up the gap at the back of the pants as I don’t think it needs a button, pull on pants are fine for this small doll. I then made matching pull on panties for the other dresses I made, one each of pink, green, apricot and yellow. Each dress has one button on the back of the bodice.
Because you can’t see the panties underneath the dresses, I decided the dolls needed some little tops to show them off! Maybe these outfits can be PJs or summer beach outfits? The tops are just the bodice part of the dress, with every stitch in the bottom frill incr. The tops looked a little plain, so I crochet a tiny heart, clover, flower and sun to attach in contrasting colours to the front, to make them look more fun (hopefully!). The flower is just clusters to form 5 petals, and the sun is a round of 15 trbls, with a 2nd round of a picot in every 3rd trbl. I used the heart and clover patterns explained in previous posts.
Then I made them all matching Mary Jane slippers with my own made up pattern.
Mary Janes for Kelly Dolls by Teena Sutton
using 1.25mm hook, fine cotton
1. ch 7, trb (US db) in 3rd ch from hook, 2 trb, 2 db (US sc), turn
2. ch 2, trb in next 5 trb, 3 trebles in the stitch space at the toe, go round to the other side of the shoe and do trb in ea 5 trb, 1 trb at the heel, sl st in 1st trb of this round
3. ch 2, db in next 2 trb, sk 2 trb, trb in next 3 treble to form top of toe, sk 2 trb, db in next 3 trb, sl st in 1st db of this round
4. ch 8 to form ankle strap and sl st in 1st ch
Finally, I finished the outfits with bonnets, again with a pattern I made up myself. When I found these dolls, their hair was mostly ‘fly-away’ and a real mess. After shampooing, conditioning, air drying and finally smoothing with baby oil, their hair came up very nicely indeed. The pretty bonnets help keep the hair in place.
Pretty Bonnets for Kelly Dolls by Teena Sutton
using 1.25mm hook, fine cotton
1. chain 10, trbl (US dc) in 3rd ch from hook, trb in ea next 6 ch, 5 trbl in last ch which is the bottom of the last trbl, trb in the bottom of the other 7 trbl, turn
2. ch 2, trb in ea trbl, extra 3 trbl in last trb, trbl in bottom of each trb, turn
3. ch 2, sk trb, (3 trb in next trbl, sk trb, trb in next, sk trb) twice, 3 trbl ea in next 3 trbl (9 trbl), sk trb, trbl in next trbl (sk trbl, 3 trb in next trbl, sk trb, trb in next) twice, turn
4. ch 2, (sk trbl, 3 trb in next trbl, sk trbl, trbl in next) thrice, 3 trbl in next, trbl in next, (sk trbl, 3 trb in next trbl, sk trbl, trbl in next) thrice, turn
5. ch 2, repeat (sk trbl, 3 trbl in next, sk strbl, trbl in next) seven times, each cluster of 3 is in centre of cluster below, turn
6. repeat row 5 except don’t turn, ch about 12 or enough to be long enough to form the chin strap, measure, slip stitch into the other side of the bonnet to form chin strap, don’t turn
7 (bonnet frill), ch 2, repeat the pattern from previous row, except each cluster has 5 trebles instead of 3, turn
8. ch 2, repeat the previous pattern, except each cluster has 7 trebles instead of 5, fasten off.
Making outfits for these four Kelly dolls was heaps of fun and very satisfying. I learnt more about adjusting patterns for size, and also how to make pants. These are such a joy – but I think they will be going in a box soon. One day I’ll bring them out again as a special treasure.