Tips for Sewing Doll Clothes

Making doll clothing is so rewarding and a great way to use up some of your favorite small pieces of fabrics. It is also a great way to teach kids to sew as most patterns are very simple and don’t take long to make. The first thing I ever made was a simple elasticized skirt for my beloved teddy when I was 7. I still remember it so clearly. I don’t have the skirt still but I do have the teddy! Here I will give you tips on how to sew doll clothes for beginners including choosing fabrics, cutting, stitching and finishing.

Choose fabrics wisely. Yesterday Natalie wanted this cute ruffled skirt, but she picked out costume satin for the ruffles! Ummmm, nope. I encouraged her to pick something that doesn’t ravel so I could avoid narrow hemming all those ruffles. We went with two colors of cotton lace. They don’t ravel and are easy to gather. It saved me work and it saved the skirt from looking super messy over time. If you do use fancy fabrics, read on and I have tips for those too. 

Get creative with fabric choices! Doll clothes make a great use for the small scraps of garment fabrics you don’t know what to do with, but even if you don’t have a fabric stash at all, they’re a great reason to raid your giveaway bag! Before Casey took a load of stuff to Goodwill yesterday, I dug out some workout shirts (great for doll leotards, swim suits or leggings) and some t-shirts to use for doll tees. You can use any of your cast off clothing to repurpose into doll clothes, it’s so much fun to get creative and a great upcycle project. For doll camp last week, we used this pattern and made all the pajama shirts out of my family’s unwanted t-shirts!   

Finish seams smarter, not harder. Doll clothes don’t get washed like your regular clothes do, so you don’t need to finish the insides quite so much.

Sew in the flat. This is a trick that makes sewing doll clothes a ton faster, in my experience. Sewing “in the flat” means you do certain steps before sewing sides seams. Like sew the sleeves on, make hems, add trim, etc… anything that helps you avoid sewing tiny tubes or circular hems. Yesterday I made a doll leotard and sewed all the hems first, before sewing the sides and crotch seam, so I wouldn’t be trying to make those little hems after the fact! Big time saver. 

Fit to the doll. Layla’s doll (the blond doll in these photos) is a Journey Girl and is skinnier than most other brands of 18″ dolls. I ignore the elastic guides on the patterns and just fit the elastic to the doll’s waist. Or when something is too big for her, I just size it up when I’m done, usually taking in the center back, or just moving the closure over until it fits how we want it and trimming off the excess. 

I hope these tips are helpful! Doll clothes are so much fun, they’re some of my favorite things to make! I usually make an outfit for the girls for their Christmas stockings, or Easter baskets.

Let’s see some designs of doll clothings at Babeeni for reference:

Cinderella carriage appliqued doll dress – D 045

Feature: Pretty dress for doll with cinderella carriage appliqued pattern on the bodice and short sleeves

Material: White knit fabric + Blue with tiny dot fabric

Egg basket bishop smocked dress for doll – D 044

Feature: Beautiful bishop smocked dress for doll with egg basket smocked patterns around the neck

Material: Hot pink with multi colors dot

Heart and arrow smocked dress for doll – D 041

Feature: Adorable smocked dress for doll with heart and arrow smocked patterns on the chest of dress

Material: Red with big and small white dots

Egg basket smocked dress for doll – D 039

Feature: Beautiful smocked dress for doll with egg basket smocked patterns on the chest, 

Material: Hot pink with multi colors dot

Bunny and flowers dress for doll – D 038

Feature: Pretty smocked dress for doll with bunny and flowers smocked patterns on the chest, 

Material: Hot pink with multi colors dot

Minnie appliqued dress for doll – D 040

Feature: Lovely appliqued dress for doll with appliqued minnie patterns on the body of dress

Material: White knit fabric + Red plain fabric

Minnie doll smocked dresses – D 034

Feature: Cute smocked bishop dress for doll with minnie smocked patterns around the neck, short sleeves

Material: Red with big and small white dots

Minnie applique set for doll – D 033

Feature:  Cute applique Minnie set for doll with Minnie appliqued pattern on the middle of the chest. 

Material:

+ Top: White knit fabric +  red knit fabric

 + Bottom: Red stripe knit fabric + red knit fabricl

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