Creating Fashion Dolls, One-of-a-Kind by Sabrina Guidice
A Step-by-Step Guide
ISBN, Hardbound/Softbound, $19.95, Hobby House Press, Inc., PO Box 600, Grantsville, MD 21536, 800-554-1447 or 301-895-3792, fax 270-898-8890,, visit Sabrina’s website,

When I went online and saw the fashion doll Sabrina used as her example, I knew I would want to see just how these dolls are put together.  There is a whole world of fashion doll activity with makers and collectors.

Sabrina’s book is for beginners, wanting to learn how to paint and dress your fashion doll to make her one-of-a-kind.  You will find out what the word “Ooak” doll means.

Her instructions show you how to wash, curl and style the hair; paint the eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, lips and cheeks.  Sabrina’s how to example is one made from years of experience.  It will take a lot of time and experience to get to that professional level.  However, she includes a variety of finished dolls with faces that are more for a beginner and within your abilities to create the likeness.

The costume is worked with fabric pieces cut into shapes and permanently stitched and glued onto the doll.  Making costumes in this manner makes it easy for a beginner to create glamorous garments.  There are no complex pattern pieces or in-depth stitches required.  The back of the doll, the front of the doll, head, arms, legs, feet are shown in step-by-step color format with all the embellishing so you can see how to work the same embellishment on your doll.

A feather fan and headdress are next.  The headdress includes a beaded appliqué and feathers, glitzy and showgirl style.  The appliqué is a purchased piece with beads already stitched on and the feather piece is glued on with a gun.  Being a beader and fiber designer, I don’t like to use glue on any of my artwork because it can run through the fibers and destroy them many years later.  Of course, stud earrings and other findings require glue.  For these fashion dolls, using Sabrina’s methods are easy and would be applauded by many who do not want to do all the tedious work we beaders and stitchers do to make our work last l100 to 200 years.

The final touches include tips for making a doll box, painting and dressing it up and securing the doll and stand in the box.  If you want to display your dolls, a box may not be of interest.  The main portion of this book teaches you how to make your own showgirl fashion doll and the last section are a gallery of dolls in various costumes and makeup.  Most of the costumes are too complex for beginners, however, the painted faces are more like those beginners can make.

I have made my own dolls and figures for over 55 years, since I was 4 years old.  I never tired of these creative delights.  The instructions Sabrina has provided will be beneficial when I include a painted face on my designs.  Creating Fashion Dolls will not be of interest to advanced makeover artists; it is for beginners who are serious about learning to makeover their fashion dolls for their own enjoyment or to sell.

Review by Lydia F Borin