- Arts and Design
Make Doll Clothes without Sewing
Children Learn a Lot Making Doll Clothes
Save money by making doll clothes with your child or grandchild. They learn some valuable lessons at the same time, while you have fun together.
Making outfits for a doll provides some teachable moments. The child learns how to improvise, recycling/repurposing, and fashion design. Making doll clothes is a good opportunity to slip in some history, cultural and literary lessons too, as you make doll clothing from different eras or get inspirations from clothing around the world or from books and movies.
Along the way, if you want to teach them a little about sewing, go ahead.
(photo by Virginia Allain)
Graphic from Zazzle: Girl Sewing Dollies by VictoriaShaylee. It can be ordered on cards or other products.
Photo Steps for Making a Doll's Sweater Dress - Photos by Virginia Allain
Make a Sweater Dress from a Sock
Repurpose a sock for this no-sew dress
This doll dress makes use of an orphan sock or one with a hole in the toe. I've used a white one, but other colors would look great too.
Decide the length of the sweater dress. The top of the sock will be the neck of the dress. Cut off the foot part of the sock. Use the tube part for the dress.
Decide how much of the top to fold over for the collar of the sweater dress. Cut small slits (one on each side) for the doll's arms to go through. Remember the sock stretches, so keep the slits small.
Fold the excess length up inside the dress (no need to sew a hem). You can glue the folded under part if you want. Add a bracelet for a belt for the dress.
More Ideas for Doll Clothing
- Make Doll Clothes - Getting Ideas
Designing outfits for a doll is fun and can be an inexpensive activity with a child or grandchild. It's likely that they have a doll already. You probably have many of the basic supplies for making the doll clothes. You just need various fabrics, a..
- Doll Princess Dress from a Scarf
Expand your doll's wardrobe with skirts and even exotic outfits using scarves. You probably have some on hand so get started. No sewing is required. Have fun!
- Doll Princess Dress and Cone Hat
It's fun to make doll clothes with odds and ends that you have around the house. This no-sew outfit turns your doll into a princess.
More No-Sew Doll Clothes to Make - A tutu and sheath dresses from scarves
Learn to Sew Doll Clothes - A Good Book for Beginners
If you would like to learn to sew clothes for your American Girl doll, this helpful book will walk you through the steps to complete some simple projects. Great for teaching a child to sew!
Video Demo of a Scarf Wrap Dress Made without Sewing
Photo Steps for Making a Doll Dress from Scarves - Photos by Virginia Allain
Turn Scarves into Doll Clothes
No sew techniques for doll outfits from scarves
Use a long, narrow scarf to wrap the doll's torso and tie the ends at the waist. (see the photo section below the instructions)
Choose a scarf for the skirt. Fold it over a rubber band that will fit around the doll's waist.
Slip the rubber band with the scarf folded over it around the doll's waist.
Spread the scarf at the waist to completely encircle the doll. Overlap it slightly in the back. Drape the ties from the first scarf over the skirt. This skirt is a little too long for the doll.
Have You Made Doll Clothes?
Vote in the poll
A Child's Sewing Machine - if you want to sew doll clothes
This makes a great gift to start a child learning to sew. Making dresses for the doll provides the incentive to learn sewing techniques.
One reviewer noted that it worked fine for her 9 year old daughter to make American Girl doll clothes.
Here's a simple doll's vest that makes a good sewing project for a beginner.
Think how much you will save over buying new outfits for the doll. The fleece vest on the doll above did require some sewing.
Books about Making Doll Clothes
If you are an advanced seamstress, you can make your own patterns and sew the clothing without the guidance of books. Not me, I need all the help I can get.
My mom made lovely dresses for my sister's Toni doll when we were kids. She never used a pattern for those. Sure wish I'd inherited her talent.
Mouse pad from Zazzle: Vintage Child Doing Laundry by YesterdayCafe
I Found My Doll on eBay - Check the Auctions if You Want One Too
People usually get dolls for little girls, but I wanted the doll I remembered from childhood. She's a Toni Doll by Ideal and I found the one I wanted on eBay. Now I have my very own doll to make clothes for. I'm naming her Sabrina (no, not after the witch in Bewitched), after the character in Elswyth Thane's book, Tryst.
© 2012 Virginia Allain