A year ago, I unboxed my grandmother's doll, cleaned her up, and determined to make a period dress for her. She's still sitting on a bookshelf, in her underwear, like many of us who work from home. The rules I found on period costume for antique dolls seemed to kill the fun of making doll clothes. This fabric was inappropriate, that trim was a synthetic fiber, any style ideas I had were not authentic. It was as if I had invited a really pedantic Civil War reenactor to live in my head.
My own dolly (from Christmas, 1962) was also inadequately attired. This year, when I dragged out the Christmas decorations, I was inspired to dress her up. She's a "Tiny Tears" doll, one of the types that you could "feed" water with a scale model baby bottle, and then you'd have to change her diaper. She has "tear ducts" that would also leak water. The little pink and white dress she came in has long since vanished, but it occured to me that the pastel baby yarn I had recently used for socks would be adequate to knit a dolly layette. I looked at a vintage knitting book from my mom's 1950's collection, and just made up a pattern for the "soaker" and the knit lace jacket. It entertained me greatly for a couple of evenings, and I feel confident it's "authentic" in style and materials.