Making clothes for a doll is a lot of fun and very simple! Making clothes for your doll can be as simple as sewing together a top, dress, skirt, or a pair of pants. It only takes a few scraps of fabric and a few other basic crafting supplies to complete this project. Take a doll and start working on a completely new wardrobe for her to wear!
Method 1 Making a Top or Dress
1. Make a pattern out of a piece of fabric. Felt, for example, is a durable fabric that will not fray when used outdoors. The fabric should be large enough to wrap around the doll and have at least one inch of overlap on all sides (2.5 cm). The length of the fabric piece depends on how long you want the top or dress to be. The width of your doll can be determined by measuring the widest part of the doll. After that, measure the length with the doll.
Dresses should be made so that the fabric falls approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the doll’s waistline.
Dresses that are only a few inches longer than the doll’s knees should be cut from the same fabric.
If you’re making a long dress, make sure the fabric is long enough to reach the doll’s toes.
2. Place the doll on the fabric and make a mark on the fabric next to the doll’s shoulders to guide the sewing process. From the right and left sides of the fabric, centre the doll on the fabric. Doll’s shoulders should be approximately 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) to 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the top edge of the fabric at their widest point. A small mark on the fabric next to each of your doll’s shoulders can be made with a pen or with fabric chalk, depending on your preference. When you are finished, you should have two marks.
3. Make holes in the fabric where you’ve marked it with a pen. Making the armholes for the doll dress or shirt is as simple as cutting along each of the marks you made on the fabric. In order to ensure that the holes are large enough for the doll’s arms to fit through, insert the doll’s arms through each hole.
4. Insert the arms of your doll into the holes. Fill in the holes with your doll’s hands and slide the holes up to the level of your doll’s shoulders. If the holes are not large enough to accommodate the doll’s shoulders, snip a small amount of additional fabric to make the holes larger.
Maintain the mentality that it is preferable for the armholes to be a little too small rather than too large because you can always make them larger if necessary.
5. Cross the fabric in front of the doll’s body so that it is visible. Then, as if you were closing a robe, wrap the fabric around the doll’s body and secure it. Wrap the fabric in a manner that is as tight or as loose as you desire. You should have plenty of fabric leftover to wrap around the back of the doll if you want it to do so completely around.
6. Make a long strip of fabric to tie around the waist of your doll’s shirt or dress to keep it in place. Make a strip of stretch fabric to tie around the waist of the wrap dress you’ve made to keep it in place. Wrap it around the doll’s waist and tie a bow around it to keep it in place.
If you prefer, you can use a piece of ribbon to tie the dress around your waist.
7. If desired, you can fold the collar back. You can either leave the neckline area of the dress as is, or you can fold it back to give the appearance of a collar on the dress. It is entirely up to you!
8. Jewels, beads, and sequins should be used to embellish the dress. Attach jewels, beads, and/or sequins to the dress with glue to give it a more finished look. You are free to place them wherever you want. Apply a dab of fabric glue to the jewel, bead, or sequin and press it onto the dress in the location in which you want it to appear. Allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours.
Add a jewel to the center of the neckline.
Apply some beads to the bottom of the skirt.
Layer the skirt with sequins.
Method 2 Making a Wrap Skirt
1. Place the doll on the fabric and mark the fabric with a permanent marker. Felt, for example, is a durable fabric that will not fray when used outdoors. Making a skirt for your doll is similar to making a dress for your doll and can be accomplished in the same manner. The fabric should be large enough to wrap around the doll and have at least one inch of overlap on all sides (2.5 cm). Cut the fabric to the length you want the skirt to be by measuring it against the length of the skirt. Make a mark on the fabric to indicate this length, and then turn the doll so that she is centred on the fabric between the marks. a. Make a mark on the fabric where you want the skirt to begin and end on the doll so you can cut it out later.
Example: If the doll is 18 inches (46 cm) tall and the skirt is to be 10 inches (25 cm) long from its waist, the rectangle should be 18 inches (46 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) long.
2. Using the marks, cut a rectangle of fabric out of the fabric. With a pen or a piece of chalk, draw a line connecting the marks in a rectangle. Then, using a pair of sharp scissors, cut along the lines that have been drawn. This rectangular piece of fabric will be used to make the skirt for your dress.
3. To keep the skirt in place, cut a strip of fabric. The strip of fabric should be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and as long as the width of your rectangle. It should be sewn together to form a rectangle. This is required in order to be able to wrap the strip around the doll’s waist multiple times in order to secure the skirt in place. After you have tied it around your skirt, you can also cut it to a shorter length if desired.
The length of the strip should be 18 inches (46 cm) if the rectangle is 18 inches (46 cm) wide.
4. Wrap the rectangle around the doll’s waist and secure it with tape. Place your doll in the centre of the rectangle, with the top of the long edge about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) above your doll’s waistline. Repeat the process with the other side. Next, use the rectangle to wrap around the doll’s waist and legs to form the hem of the skirt. You have the option of wrapping the fabric around the doll so that it is either tight or somewhat loose in appearance. Just make sure that the ends are at least 1 inch apart from one another (2.5 cm).
Make a pencil skirt out of the fabric by tightly wrapping it around the doll’s waist.
Make a loose wrap around your waist for a full, flowing skirt.
An A line skirt is created by wrapping the fabric so that it is tighter at the top than it is at the bottom.
5. A strip of fabric is used to hold the skirt in place. When you are satisfied with the fit of the doll skirt, take the strip of fabric and tightly wrap it around the doll’s waist several times. To keep the skirt in place, tie a knot or make a bow.
Method 3 Making Pants
1. Place your doll on a piece of folded fabric to protect her from the elements. To make doll pants, you don’t need to follow a pattern. Purchase an item of fabric that is long and wide enough to cover the legs of your doll when it is wrapped around her shoulders and around her waist. Fold the fabric in half to make a square. Make sure your doll’s legs are centred over the fabric when you place her on top of it. Make sure that the print sides of the fabric are facing each other when you are cutting the fabric.
2. Draw a line along the outside of your doll’s legs. Trace around the edges of your doll’s legs with a pen, pencil, or a piece of chalk to make them more realistic. You can move the tracer closer or further away from the edges of the doll’s legs to adjust the fit of the pants. Stop tracing at the point where you want the pant legs to come to a complete stop.
Try tracing 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) from the edges of the doll’s legs for fitted pants.
Trace 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the doll’s legs for loose fitting pants.
Trace 2 inches (5.1 cm) from the doll’s legs for baggy pants.
Stop tracing at the ankles for full length pants, or stop tracing higher up, such as mid-calf for capris or mid-thigh for shorts.
3. Cut the pieces out of the paper. The doll should be taken out of your fabric when you have finished tracing it for the pants. Maintain the folded position of the fabric and cut along the lines with a sharp pair of scissors. Don’t separate the two pieces you’ve cut out of the paper. Just as they are, you will need to sew or glue them together to make them functional.
4. Sew or glue the pieces together to form a complete unit. Sew a straight stitch along the inside and outside edges of the pantlegs with a needle and thread or a sewing machine, about 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) from the edges of the inner and outer edges of the pantlegs. Alternatively, place a few small dots of fabric glue between the two fabric layers along the edges of the pant legs to secure them.
Make sure the non-print sides of the fabric are still facing out.
If you use glue, make sure to let it dry overnight.
Ask an adult for help if you want to sew the seams on the pants.
5. Turn the pants inside out so that the pockets are visible. You should turn the pants inside out after you have finished sewing or glueing them so that the seams will be concealed but still be able to see the print. If necessary, you can use a capped pen or marker to assist you in inverting the pants.
Try the pants on your doll once they’ve been turned right side out.
6. If desired, a strip of fabric can be used to secure the waist of the pants. If the pants are a little too loose around your doll’s waist, you can add a belt or sash to the outfit using a scrap of fabric from your stash. Fabric strips that are approximately 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and long enough to wrap around the doll’s waist a few times are best for this project.
For example, if the doll’s waist is 5 inches (13 cm), the strip should be at least 15 inches in length to accommodate it (38 cm).
The strip should be tied in a knot or a bow to secure it around the doll’s waist, over her pants, and around the doll’s legs.
Method 4 Making a Sock Dress or Skirt
1. To separate the cuff section of a sock from the foot section, cut the sock in half. Make use of an old pair of socks that have a long cuff and will fit around the torso of your doll, such as a baby sock for a Barbie doll or an adult-size sock for a larger doll to complete this project. If you want, you can use a plain coloured sock instead of one that has designs printed on it. Afterwards, cut the sock where the cuff meets the ankle of the sock and discard the sock.
If you want a shorter skirt or dress, you can trim the sock cuff even further if you want it even shorter.
2. Make armholes for a dress by cutting them out. When making a sock dress, you’ll need to cut armholes into the sock to accommodate the sleeves. Make a small hole in each side of the sock, about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) to 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the top edge of the sock cuff, and stitch it closed. Make sure the holes are large enough for the arms of your doll to pass through comfortably.
Don’t be concerned if the armholes are a little too small. Adding more width can always be done later on if necessary.
3. If desired, add embellishments to the sock. You are not required to embellish your sock dress or skirt, but you are welcome to do so if you wish. Before you put the sock dress or skirt on your doll, attach the decorations and allow the glue to dry completely.
Create polka dots, stripes, or another design on the sock by painting it with fabric paint.
Glue on some beads, sequins, or jewels to finish it off.
Make a belt or a decorative sash for the dress or skirt out of a piece of ribbon or scrap fabric to match your outfit.
4. Dress the doll in the sock dress or the skirt made of socks. Put the doll’s legs through the sock dress or skirt first, and then slide the sock onto her body from there. If you’ve made her a sock dress, you’ll need to pass her arms through the armholes.
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