Results From My V.P. Of Manufacturing!

A little different twist to today’s post. This is something that the Kid is doing. For me, yes, but I put him in charge and it is his idea and implementation. I’m call him my “V.P. of Manufacturing“. LOL

Recently, I wrote about a lady that I remembered from my childhood who opened up her basement and sold Barbie clothes to the little girls in the neighborhood. Memories from childhood are a powerful thing. And even though little girls aren’t likely to start dropping by my house on a regular basis, I loved the idea of sewing doll clothes and selling them for a reasonable price to the young ladies who are in love with their dolls.

Again, this recent post explained that I was excited by the prospect of not having to sew the tiny little seams and sleeves and waistbands of Barbie and her clan, but for a little larger doll introduced to me by my grandnieces. American Girl dolls are 18” tall and that makes sewing for them really a lot of fun. Not only are their clothes easy to assemble, but also not too big that I have to deal with large amounts of fabric, elastic, etc. There is something magical in the world of miniatures. šŸ™‚ And a fat quarter works nicely for knocking out a couple of pairs of pants or tops and most things only require velcro for closures. Not itty bitty button holes (unless I want). And with relatively decent sized seams and hems, I am able to generate outfits quickly. Need a good inventory.

But I also wanted to set myself apart from the “crowd”. I wanted to be able to assemble a full outfit so that there wasn’t pieces that didn’t get worn. Ever get a blouse that just doesn’t seem to ‘go’ with any skirt or pants? And even though you love it, it just doesn’t get worn? Specific patterns and colors can get difficult to match, so I opted to create outfits that include everything you need to get dressed, including socks or tights (shoes are another story, more about that later). And to complete the outfit? A hanger, of course.

I picked up some doll hangers from a local hobby store that were intended for 18″ dolls. They were really cute, complete with a little heart bent right into it.Very cute. But at about 4 1/2″ wide, they didn’t really work well for the tops and jackets that I was sewing. And priced at about $15.00 for 6 of them, well, you can say that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with them.

il_fullxfull.384451218_5xrw

I searched the web for ready to buy hangers for dolls. And either they were too small or too expensive or both. I did stumble onto a tutorial on how to make them from pipe cleaners (a cute little tutorial by an eight year old girl)… very cute! Obviously it wouldn’t work for what I needed, but it did spark an idea of how to make my own.

And this is where the Kid comes in. I show him the tutorial and the little hangers and challenged him to figure it out for me. And this is where the ‘incentive’ of being the V.P. of Manufacturing came in. I surmised that instead of raw material in the form of wire on a spool, we could ‘re-use’ full sized wire hangers. They would already be coated and smooth and we could get it free! A quick post on Craigslist and in no time at all we had several hundred hangers! (I had cleared out wire hangers from my own closets years ago… don’t get me started on why, you can envision Faye Dunaway a la Joan Crawford spewing “no wire hangers ever!” in Mommy Dearest!)

So, here was the first result:

Hanger2

A little fine tuning and here is the second result:

Hanger1Getting better and getting closer. We made a run to Home Depot to pick up some materials and this allowed him to create the form on which he would make the hangers. Here is attempt number 3:

Hanger3He wasn’t exactly happy with the results, so he tweaked a little more. And because some of the hangers we picked up came with the paper tubes on the bottom for pants, he made one of those as well.

HangerFinalI think we have it! I was so excited with the design that I had to take pictures and get ready to write the blog. I think the only thing I still might do is to protect little fingers from the two sharps ends, I’ve seen this dipping plastic that is used for tools that would be perfect. And I may add a little bow just for fun!

So, there you have the adventure of making the doll hangers. We did make them much wider, about seven inches at the widest part and the handle is made to fit over a 3/4 dowel. Now to get him to just sit down and crank them out! In addition to including a hanger with each outfit, we may sell them individually or in sets.

So excited about moving forward with this idea, I really believe that there is a market in my area for this. I can sell/market on Etsy, eBay and even my own blog, but on a new site called “Dollabee“, which is a Craigslist type site for dolls!

Thanks for stopping by! And as always, Happy Crafting Y’All!

julie

About MacCupcake

Obviously, a big Mac fan (my first Mac was the first Mac) and mother to the most awesome kid in the world. A techno-junkie and self-proclaimed geek... I love anything and everything relating to computers. Also love making things and figuring out how to make or adapt existing stuff into something new! Always ready to try something new!

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