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How to Sew Doll Clothes for Beginners

Buying the right clothes for dolls can not only be expensive, but tricky as well. However, with a little sewing experience, you can create magic.

Also, if you can find a few patterns you love, it would be easy to customize it with different fabrics, and you would create a new look.

Regardless of the size of the doll you want to sew a cloth for, we have compiled a few free pattern guides that would be of help, and in no time, you should be a pro.

How to Make Doll Clothes Out of Socks

Are you thinking of throwing out your kid’s old socks? Pause on that thought.

Do you know you can make nice and colorful outfits for your dolls using old socks?

Making Your Doll Clothes from Socks – No Sewing Machine

Here is what you’ll need to get started:

  • Barbie doll
  • Bobby pin
  • Ponytail holder
  • Toddler socks

Let’s begin

1. Cut out the socks into three parts – the shirt, skirt, and head

2. Measure from the sock to waist to create a skirt. And then draw the cut off line

3. Wear the skirt on the doll, and this should fit in perfectly

4. Use the ponytail holder to secure the skirt in place

5. Measure out the top with the sock, and you can trim it a bit if it’s too long. Also, if you want a more colorful outfit, use different colors of socks for all three parts

6. Carefully put the shirt on, so you don’t break the fingers of your doll

7. If the top doesn’t fit, make use of the bobby  pin to hold it at the back

8. Use the tip of the socks to make a hat for your doll. And that’s all.

Quick note – Before starting on this project, take a look at the size of your doll, so you can easily decide what size of socks would be appropriate. For instance, you can use a toddler’s sock for an 11 inch Barbie doll.

Free 18” Doll Clothes Patterns

I remember when I first started making doll clothes, I was a bit obsessed with 18” doll clothes, and I could spend hours creating something new. So, today, we would be discussing a very easy pattern for 18” dolls, and this is pretty straightforward even for a beginner. If your kids have a passion for sewing, they might want to hop on this too. The truth is, once you get a hang of this pattern, you wouldn’t be able to stop sewing, and you will be amazed at the different outfits you’d end up creating.

Let’s get started.

1. Select the fabric you want to use, and its best you go for a stretchy fabric that is resistant to fraying. But if you decide to go ahead with a woven fabric, you would need to serge all the cut edges, so why go through the stress?

2. Cut out all the pattern pieces.

3. Place the right sides together and sew the front to the two back pieces at the shoulder seams. Ensure that you use a ¼ inch allowance when working on this project.

4. Carefully roll the fabric about 1/8 inch and then proceed to wrap up the neckline. Don’t stretch out the fabric, so your neckline doesn’t wrinkle.

5. Again, roll the bottom edge over and do a narrow hem. But, if you are working with an old shirt, the chances are that the bottom edge is already hemmed.

6. Position the right sides together, with the sleeve matching the shoulder seam, and then pin it together. Match the edge of the armhole to the edge of the sleeve, and start sewing. While you are sewing, ease up the fabric as you go, because this will make the two pieces line up.

7. With the right sides still in place, carefully arrange the bottom sleeve edges. Sew from the sleeve to the bottom hem.

8. Close the back edge openings and make sure to narrow hem the bottom edge. You can add Velcro closures, and that’s all. Your doll cloth is ready to wear.

There are so many other styles you can try out with this pattern. You can make it shorter, so it can be worn with a pair of leggings, or you can even add a ruffle to the bottom hem. The list is endless; with this little pattern, you can explore your creativity.

Tips for Sewing Doll Clothes

As with sewing of any project, there would always be methods and tweaks you can try out to make your sewing experience an interesting one. While sewing doll clothes, there were few things I learned along the line, and I would love to share them with you.

1. Choose the Right Fabrics

When sewing doll clothes, you need to be sure that if the fabric you are using would achieve the image you have in your head. For instance, if you want to create ruffles on your project, using a satin fabric would not be a wise choice, because you would need to hem all the ruffles, so it doesn’t unravel. So, why go through the stress, when you can make use of cotton lace. This would save you a lot of work, plus they are easy to gather.

2. Explore With Fabric Choices

Doll clothes don’t require much fabrics, so you can use scraps of garments you are tired of wearing and don’t know what to do with them. You can raid your giveaway bag, and trust me; you would find shirts you can use for doll tees, swimsuits, and even leggings. If you have a stash of cast-off clothing, you can repurpose them into doll clothes, and you can bet that’s a fun way to get creative.

3. Pay Attention to How You Finish The Seams

Doll clothes won’t get washed like your regular clothes, so you might not want to pay much attention to the insides. But do you realize that they are going to be played with just as much? And I am sure you want to end up with an unraveling mess. So here is what you should do:

  • Make use of a Serger if you have one, and if you don’t, you can use pinking shears for the bigger seams on the inside, that’s after sewing it. If you don’t have pinking shears, that’s alright too; you can make use of cotton. It would be best if you avoided satins because they unravel a whole lot.
  • However, if you want to make use of fancy fabrics, make sure that you use a zig-zag stitch on all the inside seams after sewing. This would prevent it from fraying.
  • You can also use nail polish on the edges.

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