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Sewing Doll Clothes for American Girl Dolls | Patterns and Tips
Create a Wardrobe for your Doll
I have been sewing for American Girl Dolls and selling my designs on line since 2006. I wanted to share some of my knowledge and resources so you and your child can create a wardrobe for your doll. Below are some unique pattern resources, all available on-line.and I've included some tips and tricks that can take your efforts to the next level. Plus I've posted two videos to showcase a couple of sewing techniques for doll clothes. and I hope it will encourage you to search for more videos on other sewing techniques. Happy Sewing!
Where can I get Patterns???
If you have an American Girl Doll or another soft bodied 18 inch doll, you or your child may want to create clothes for the dolls. This is a great way to introduce children to design and sewing, and it is also a wonderful way to create gifts for your children, grandchildren, nieces and friend of all of them. Sewing an outfit for your doll starts with have the right pattern. You can shop online or at the local fabric store for Vogue, Butterick, Simplicity or McCalls patterns for 18 inch dolls and find many useful patterns. However, you may find that you want to explore more patterns options to find that "unique" design that's perfect for your doll. Followings is a list of sites offering Doll Clothes Patterns for American Girl and other dolls that are available on-line. Some designs are harder than others to construct, but the information is available for each pattern, Click on the link to visit the sites. Some of these sites offer a free pattern or two for simple doll clothes
- MHD Designs
Skill Level: Not for beginners, but the patterns come with complete instructions (almost a sewing lesson). These patterns are the most original offered on-line. Magalie H. Dawson is an experienced costume designer and seamstress,and brings years of e
- Keepers Doll Duds Patterns on Etsy
Real Clothes for real dolls. Excellent patterns with clear instructions. Good for beginning sewers.
- Liberty Jane Doll Clothes Patterns
Doll clothes patterns for American Girl ® dolls, 18 inch dolls, BFC Ink dolls, and Karito kids dolls. Skill Level: The majority of these patterns are easy to sew and are styled for the modern tween doll. There are also knitting patterns for your doll
- Primrose Lane Doll Patterns
Skill Level - Varies, but each item description indicates sewing level required. This is a great site for historical clothing for your doll as well a "play outfits", i.e., doctor's scrubs, western wear, and costumes. These patterns are mailed to you
- Carpatina Dolls
If you want to create a "princess" costume, this is the place for historical doll clothes patterns. Offering some printed patterns and some that can be downloaded. Free pattern available.
- Infinite Freedom
All of their doll dress patterns fit American Girl Dolls and the similar popular 18-inch dolls with a cloth body and vinyl head, arms and legs. Some of our patterns also fit slim 18-inch dolls (such as Carpatina and Magic Attic) and slim 20-inch doll
- Lincoln Mold Company
Amazing American Girl Doll Victorian Dress Patterns. Also collectible dolls and other Victorian Era Patterns.
If you only have one Pattern Book...
This is my favorite of all the pattern books offered today. I purchased this book when I begin sewing for dolls, and to this day I still use some of the basic pattern pieces. The book includes comprehensive sewing instructions, photographs and, of course, the patterns. None of the outfits are difficult to sew, and each design comes with fabric recommendations.
Pattern Books for 18 Inch Doll Clothes
These books are a great way to obtain many basic patterns. I still use some of the pattern pieces today for my design.. These books have complete instructions and patterns, large photographs and offer helpful sewing tips.
- Free American Girl Doll Historical Dress Patterns
This link will take to you American Girl Doll Playthings - Historical Pleasant Company Patterns for Felicity, Samantha, Addy, Molly, Kirsten and Josefina.
Tips, Tricks and Tools
You can spend a lot of money on equipment to sew for your doll, but most of it isn't necessary. If you have a serger to finish seams, great!! But if you don't, you can nicely finish your seams with a simple zig-zag stitch. Simply stitch next to the seam line, and trim the excess. If you are using a fabric that has a serious "fraying" problem, zig-zag stitch it again after trimming.
If you are just starting to sew (for your doll or otherwise), choose you fabrics carefully. I would recommend starting with a cotton fabric or broadcloth. Because of the popularity of quilting, most fabric stores offer a wide selection of prints and colors in cotton fabrics. Hint: Choose you print carefully - be sure it is the "right size" for your doll. Large prints do not translate well onto 18 inch dolls.
If you are sewing for your doll, or your child's doll, you can use old t-shirts to get the feel of sewing with knits. When you do start sewing with knit fabrics, be sure to get the right needle. Ball Point needles are used for sewing on knits; the rounded tip allows the needle to pass between the fabric threads by separating them. (Using a regular point needle on knit fabric will result in skipped stitches and fabric damage, causing it to curl.)
Fit the doll clothes as you proceed with construction. Soft-bodied dolls, such as American Girl, change shape with age and "hugs". So keep checking on fit as you sew.
The Basics - Little Tools that Help in Big Way
Finally, there are two tools that I consider "must haves" for sewing doll clothes. If you don't have these basics in your sewing kit, get them right away.
Dritz Loop Turner
I still celebrate the day I discovered this tool!! Turn spaghetti straps, button loops, frog closures, string belts and much more Latch-hook end catches fabric to pull it through bias tubing Made of wire, hooked end grabs and hangs on to fabric as you pull.
Dritz Loop Turner
Dritz Point Turner and Seam Creaser
Point Turner - This little, unassuming tool is the simplest on my list of must haves. Its pointed end is used to poke the corner right side out when turning corners, and its rounded, beveled end smooths out curves and seams.
Quick Sewing Tricks - Video - Sewing pleated ruffles with No Attachment
Creating Embellishments for Doll Clothes - Vidoe - Save money, create your own.trims
My American Girl Doll's Wardrobe
My Doll needs more:
Check This Out!!
If you are interested in making doll furniture and accessories for your American Girl Doll, read my lens "Building Furniture for American Girl and other 18 inch Dolls." Link below in All Things CSB Sews.
Eveything CSB Sews
- Building Furniture for American Girl and 18 Inch Dolls
Information and Resources for building 18 inch Doll Furniture.
- CSB Sews Doll Clothes on Etsy
I now sell my one-of-a-kind designs on Etsy.
- The Stitching Post
Visit my blog to see the Gallery of CSBSEWS Designs.
- CSB Sews Doll Clothes on Facebook
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- CSBSEWS on Twitter
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© 2013 Carolyn Bennett