The image above shows Simplicity pattern number 5390, which was published in 1981. I would have been 14 years old when I bought this.
The Simplicity 5390 pattern brings to mind my earliest memories of sewing “people clothes” for myself. I believe I made every single outfit shown on the cover of the pattern… except maybe the pants — and I may have made them too but I’m not remembering them.
I need to preface what I’m about to type next with a quick explanation: I try to create my blog posts two weeks before they go public. So it’s actually Labor Day weekend when I’m typing this blog post, and my daughter is coming home from college for a little “shopping with Mom” and a fun sewing get-together.
So in anticipation of our sewing fun time, I went through some of our old patterns to see if we could find some clothes to make for ourselves. That’s when I pulled out this little gem.
When I looked at the back of the pattern, I suddenly realized something:
These designs have inspired a lot of the doll clothes I’ve made over the years. “Holy uncanny photographic mental processes, Batman!!!“
I had no idea I had been inspired by this old Simplicity 5390 teen sewing pattern! But take a look… Here’s View 1 on my Francie doll:
Here’s View 2 on my Ever After High doll:
Here’s View 3 on Barbie:
Here’s View 4 on my Creatable World doll:
Did I subconsciously create doll clothes that remind me of happy sewing memories from my teenage years? Or was I inspired by these patterns when I first sewed them, and those inspirations have woven themselves into the fabric of my everyday sewing experiences?
It really freaked me out when I realized that this pattern in particular — Simplicity teen fashion pattern #5390 from 1981 — looks exactly like every wardrobe I’ve ever designed for dolls!
Wow! How did this even happen? Take another look. Am I imagining this?
Okay. Here’s a question for all of you… What “people clothes” inspire your doll clothes? Leave your responses in the comments. I’m dying to hear from you!
Most of the patterns I display and talk about here on ChellyWood.com are also available for sale on eBay. However, if you’ve never purchased a pattern on eBay before, it’s a good idea to read the article I wrote called, “Tips for Buying Used Doll Clothes Patterns on eBay.” It will save you time, money, and will likely prevent buyer’s remorse.
And by the way, if you use the links I’ve provided to make your eBay purchase, this website will receive a small commission, which helps fund the ChellyWood.com website, so I can continue to provide you with all the free patterns and tutorial videos offered here.
Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:
Chelly Wood and the ChellyWood.com website are not affiliated with the pattern company or companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly finds inspiration in the doll clothes designed by these pattern companies. To purchase patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick, or other pattern companies shown and discussed in this blog post, please click on the links provided here. These links below the “Disclaimer” section do not help raise money for this free pattern website; they are only offered to give credit to the company that made these patterns.
2 thoughts on “What “people clothes” have inspired your doll clothes? #SewingPatterns #DollClothes”
Hi Chelly, how are you doing? In 1981, I was 15 years old (which means I’m one year older than you). At that time, I was taking a sewing class in high school and I made a blouse and skirt using a McCall’s pattern. Very few people clothes inspired me to make outfits for my dolls. I enjoyed reading your post. As soon as I find time and get the money for my doll clothes projects, I’ll rekindle my interest in making clothes for Barbie and friends for the first time since 2006. Thanks again and please reply as soon as possible.
You never forget that first outfit you make for yourself, do you? It’s like the first day of school or your first kiss!
Glad to hear you’re re-kindling your interest in making doll clothes, and I hope something on this website inspires your creative energy! Thanks for the kind comment. 💟