Notes on sewing doll clothes

by Alison Rasmussen


After my recent purchases from Ebay, I figured it would be great to sewing a few outifts for the underdressed additions to my collection. I'm a quilter, so I wondered, how different could it be? And besides, I told myself, it won't be like sewing those tiny outfits for Barbie that I did in grammar school. I'm much more coordinated now. I was mistaken!
Any new hobby needs practice.  Here are a few things I've learned so far:
  • Just because you buy a pattern does not mean it will include clear directions. I found a seller on Ebay with her own line (I assume) of patterns. All the pieces and instructions are included, but I can't tell which way is top/bottom or front/back on the pattern pieces!
  • Plan on hand sewing. You have to be exact, and many things I'd usually do on my machine just are too small.  (Your stitches do get more even with practice.)
  • Don't plan on using the serger (as much).  I love finished seams, but I do not have as good of control of it as I do the sewing machine. Plus, the seams get bulky.
  • Use natural fabrics.  Silk and cotton are the only materials I've been able to use to make a dress that hangs naturally on a doll.  I'm sure there are tricks for other synthetics, but I haven't found them yet. And I still haven't found a good lining.
  • Plan to make practice pieces.  And, oh yes, don't use your silk fabric for these.
  • Quilting pins are much too big for dolls.
  • Normal size buttons and trims are also too big for dolls.
  • Practice, practice, practice! I'm banking on the hope that I will get better with practice. I spent several hours crafting today and my doll is still naked. Ack!
If you have any tips for me, I'd really appreciate it. I'm about to pull out the fabric glue and start another outfit!