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Make Doll Clothes without Sewing

Updated on April 12, 2015
The doll's skirt and top and sash are all made from scarves.
The doll's skirt and top and sash are all made from scarves. | Source

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)

Source

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

Cut off the toe of the sock.
Cut off the toe of the sock. | Source
Cut slits for the arm holes.
Cut slits for the arm holes.
Turn down the cuff of the sock to form a cowl collar for the sweater dress.
Turn down the cuff of the sock to form a cowl collar for the sweater dress.

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 No-Sew Doll Clothes to Make - A tutu and sheath dresses from scarves

Learn to Sew Doll Clothes - A Good Book for Beginners

Learn to Sew for Your Doll: A Beginner's Guide to Sewing for an 18" Doll
Learn to Sew for Your Doll: A Beginner's Guide to Sewing for an 18" Doll

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

Wrap a scarf around the doll. Just experiment, wrapping the scarf around her torso, behind the neck and so on to get the look you want.
Wrap a scarf around the doll. Just experiment, wrapping the scarf around her torso, behind the neck and so on to get the look you want. | Source
Use another scarf for the skirt.
Use another scarf for the skirt.
Use a thick rubber band for the waist. Fold the scarf over the rubber band.
Use a thick rubber band for the waist. Fold the scarf over the rubber band.
The finished outfit...
The finished outfit...
Look at all the scarves that can become clothing for the doll.
Look at all the scarves that can become clothing for the doll.
Here's the skirt made from a scarf and rubber band again. For the tutorial on the fleece vest, go to:http://virginiaallain.hubpages.com/hub/doll-clothes-ideas  The vest does require a little sewing.
Here's the skirt made from a scarf and rubber band again. For the tutorial on the fleece vest, go to:http://virginiaallain.hubpages.com/hub/doll-clothes-ideas The vest does require a little sewing.
Learn how to make this doll outfit from a scarf at http://virginiaallain.hubpages.com/hub/doll-princess-dress-scarf
Learn how to make this doll outfit from a scarf at http://virginiaallain.hubpages.com/hub/doll-princess-dress-scarf
Same doll, same scarf... but this time we made an Indian sari outfit. For the how to tips, go to http://virginiaallain.hubpages.com/hub/doll-sari
Same doll, same scarf... but this time we made an Indian sari outfit. For the how to tips, go to http://virginiaallain.hubpages.com/hub/doll-sari

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?

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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.

Michley LSS-505 Lil' Sew & Sew Multi-Purpose Sewing Machine with Built-In Stitches
Michley LSS-505 Lil' Sew & Sew Multi-Purpose Sewing Machine with Built-In Stitches

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.

Source

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

Tell me about fun times you've had with your dolls and making clothes for them.

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    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      I love the sweater dress. Sweet.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @BLouw: i do because i'm a kid looking at this now and i love to make stuff out of clean socks for my ag doll because the clothes online is too expensive

    • estellaeffects lm profile image

      estellaeffects lm 4 years ago

      I am bookmarking this for my daughter.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for posting all the fun information! We're throwing an 'American Girl in Paris' birthday party for my DD this weekend, so these will be really useful and fun!

    • profile image

      sherioz 4 years ago

      I also love the dress from the sock. Great ideas here.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @belinda342: I hope you'll try out some of my other pages about making doll clothes.

    • belinda342 profile image

      belinda342 4 years ago

      I love the doll dress made from a sock! How wonderfully creative that is...

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      I have a 9 year old grand-daughter who loves American Girl dolls. I know she would be able to follow the instructions on this page for making doll clothes. Thanks for sharing.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      Do children still make doll's clothers? Nice lens, Virginia - takes me back!

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: Soon she will have a better wardrobe than I do.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very stylish. Your doll is on the best dressed list.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      Your doll dress made from a sock rocks! That's my kind of clothing creation... I've owned my sewing machine for seven years, and I semi-successfully hemmed something with it... once.

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      So cute! I wish I had your talent!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      The sock dress looks simply brilliant! You can make one for a doll today and the kids will think you are a genius!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh I just love the idea of a sweater dress from a sock! And the scarf for a skirt is really cleaver!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 5 years ago

      Who would have thought socks and scarves could look so good on a doll?

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 5 years ago

      Very clever! =D

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      Oh, you brought back so many wonderful sewing memories. I started making doll clothes as a wee tyke (like the cuties in your vintage poster art) and continued through making clothes for my little girls and their dolls, teaching them to sew as well, and more recently making matching outfits for my granddaughters and their dolls. The creative reuse of socks and scarves is so much fun, and saves lots of money and time! You've inspired me to make a new doll and outfit for one special little girl for Easter this year.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Ahh, this is so sweet! We had some of those kinds of dolls. I love how creative you are! That sock dress is great and the scarf looks fabulous!! Love the bracelet belt too.

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