You’re starting to sewing your own doll clothes, congratulations sewing your own doll clothes is so much fun. You can create any type of outfit from doll tees to dress shirts, from any era or style. I love to make outfits for my 18 inch doll, I especially like to make historical clothes for my doll. You can make outfits for any 18-inch dolls or even for smaller dolls or any kind of doll. Sewing doll clothes together is a great memory maker for a Mom and her little girl. Doll clothes don’t take much fabric or a lot of work and you can find free patterns online. Or, you can buy patterns, I love the digital patterns you just buy them and print them out. The easiest piece of clothing to make for your doll is doll skirts.
My favorite shops to buy patterns
Here are a couple of of my favorite Etsy shops where I buy my doll outfit sewing patterns
And there are many other places you can buy a new pattern.
When you’re sewing doll clothes you just have to remember it’s like sewing human clothing just on a small scale.
Down below are some of the best tips I can think of to give you for sewing doll clothes. Sometimes it’s the small things that help.
Buying a pattern
For your first pattern try not to use a pattern that has a lot of really small pieces. You can find a lot of free doll clothes patterns online or for a little extra cost you can buy a pattern. Just make sure that the pattern has pattern pieces you can print out. Because trying to draw the pattern free handed is harder.
Like people’s clothes have sizes you need make sure that the pattern you bought will fit the size of your doll. The only big difference is that you’re sewing small. And be sure that you print out the pattern to actual size or 100%.
When purchasing fabric for your doll’s outfit it’s a good idea for your fabric choice if it has a print to have a small print. Because you’re sewing small doll clothes, so you don’t want the print to overpower the outfit. There are a lot of beautiful fabrics that have smaller prints. I like to go to Hobby Lobby and look at the fabrics in person, but online a lot of the fabrics have a measuring tape thing at the bottom of the picture so you can see how large the pattern is.
And the amount of fabric you buy is also important, doll clothes do not take a lot of fabric, but you need to buy enough fabric. The pattern will tell you how much fabric you need, but I like to buy a little extra. Because there is nothing more annoy than to make a mistake and ruin a fabric piece and not have enough fabric to cut another piece. I know I’ve done that a few times.
Also, when buying fabric you need to make sure that you buy the right fabrics for the pattern. All patterns will tell you what is the recommended fabric and what is not. Like on patterns that recommend cotton or linen fabrics say the pattern is not suitable for knit fabric or stretchy fabrics.
Cutting the fabric
When you go to cut the fabric, first you need to iron the fabric that’s all the prep. I do to the fabric. I like to lay my fabric on a cutting mat. After you lay your fabric out lay all your pattern pieces on the fabric the way the pattern indicates then cut. And I use both a rotary cutter and regular scissors to cut out my fabric. I also use rotary rulers on pieces that have long straight edges.
Always read through the sewing instructions first, so you can understand the way the outfit goes together. It also helps you from getting stuck. Also be sure when you buy a pattern that it’s not harder than you can make. Because most if not all patterns will tell you if they are beginner, intermediate, or advanced. And on Etsy you can always ask the seller to help you with something.
Sewing a correct seam allowance is very important. Because if you off by even a little bit it can change the way the outfit fits. Since most doll clothes seam allowance is 1/4″ I like to use a 1/4″ quilting foot for my sewing machine to sew my doll clothes. If the seam allowance is larger than 1/4″ you can always place a piece of tape on the sewing machine to show the correct stitching line.
To me the hardest thing to sew together is sewing the top edge of the sleeves to the shoulder seams. But, the more I do it the better I get at it. You just have to remember to take your time no matter what you sew. Because practices makes perfect, and the more you do something the better you get.
And if you are using stretchy fabric to make something like doll leotards, be sure to use a stretch stitch for the best results.
Stitch length is important to, I like to set my stitch length to 2.25 or 2.50.
You probably have hear this a lot learning to sew, but pressing is very important. Pressing helps all the seams to lay down flat and it make’s the seams look more professional. You can use just a regular ironing board or a smaller one. Also the I’ve found the best way to press the seam is with a mini iron, that really helps with the small seams on the tiny clothes.
To finish a seam you can use a regular sewing machine or a serger. Or you can go the easy route and use pinking shears or even using something like fray check. You can also use bias tape on the hem if that is easier to you.
Selecting the right closure is also very important. The pattern will tell the type of closure to use, but can you use a different type of closure. Yes, most of the time you can use the closure you prefer, hook and loop tape or snaps or buttons. I like to use sew-on snaps.
And of course you’ll need all kinds of different embellishments, like lace, rick rack, trim, decorative buttons and ruffles.
The extras you’ll also need are a seam ripper, I use mine a lot. A washable marking pen and sewing pins.
And don’t worry we’ve all made mistakes and messed up a pattern, the fabric and even a needle. Don’t get frustrated, just take out the stitches or throw away that piece of fabric. Being frustrated will cause you to make more mistakes, so step back breathe, get a cup of coffee or your favorite soft drink and try again later.
I hope that this post helps you with sewing your own doll clothes.