Its festival season and this year I chose to make dresses for the dolls instead of my girls. Remember the sari that I made for them last year on Diwali, well they are well preserved in the dresser drawer ever since and I am not sure if they’ll wear it again (read: fit into it again).
The little 18 inch dolls offer a lot more predictability and the kids are still introduced to a cultural element, hence the decision to make lehnga for the dolls. Lehnga is a traditional Indian dress comprised of a long skirt, a short top and a veil; and to stitch this outfit I used a combination of red polyester fabric and upcycled the embroidered sheer fabric from an odhni (veil).
I have no formal training in dress making and learned everything by watching my mom complete her assignments for the dress designing course. My mom never pursued a career in dress making but in the process of her education, I got the fanciest dresses in latest styles. The reason that I never learnt it in an official way contributes to the fact that I don’t develop my own patterns or follow that of others. All my dresses are their unique pieces.
Side Story: One time while my mum was visiting me here, she created custom patterns for me so I could sew my own blouses that match the saris but I never got around to it and still depend on my not-so-frequent India trips to get blouses stitched.
Anyways, long story short, I ended up making a few extra ethnic Indian lehnga dresses for the dolls that would be available for sale in my Etsy shop. It is a three piece set with choli (top), lehnga (long skirt) and odhni (veil) and does not include the doll or the bindi that she is wearing.
If you know a girl or yourself own an American girl doll or any other 18 inch doll that is in need of a unique party outfit, consider purchasing it. Its festival season and with every product that you buy on my Etsy shop, you are giving back to the artists that need your patronage. As I had mentioned in my previous post, this shop is my way of generating funds to help women artisans earn a living for themselves. And I’d rather generate funds through sustainable methods than ask for contributions for a charity.