I really enjoy sewing mix and match wardrobes for dolls. It’s very satisfying to choose a few fabrics, a few patterns, and after spending an afternoon sewing, end up with coordinated separates that can be used together, or with other pieces in your doll wardrobe (Like white shirts, jeans, blue or white jean jackets, tights, leggings etc.)
Make your Own Mix and Match Doll Clothes
As I have posted before, I don’t live too far from a Vera Bradley® outlet. They always have great sales, and I’m always on the hunt for things to repurpose into doll clothes. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s easy! These dresses were made from two Vera Bradley napkins I found one year, with the Sunshine Dress pattern. And I took a non quilted bag apart to make this dress. Much of Vera’s line is quilted, or canvas, so not much can be used for doll clothes. This time, I was picking up my usual “wet swim suit” tote to cut up, and found tea towels. Below the tea towels, whoo hoo!!! APRONS!!! Aprons are a little thinner than towels, and by price, gave me more fabric for my money.
Easy to Sew Mix and Match 18 inch Doll Clothes
I knew I wanted to make some clothes around this purple paisley print apron. I added some solid colors (the print is busy enough!) and spent some time thinking and planning. Vera Bradley fabric is usually a very large print, so although not ideal for doll clothes in some ways, it’s also perfect in others. In the end, I decided on the Easy Up! Jumper to show off the fun print (and the hedgehog I found in the middle!!!), and making it reversible was an easy choice. Put a solid peasant top underneath, that can also be worn with a print Sixth Grade Skirt. Just because they are so quick and easy, I always add a Popsicle Top (one print side, and one solid side) for good measure, even though I already had the darker purple popsicle top on hand.
18 inch Dolls: Mix and Match Wardrobe Sewing Patterns
My go to formula usually ends up being two tops, two bottoms, and one dress for a good array of outfits. With the reversible dress, I opted for just the Sixth Grade Skirt for now, but it would be simple to add a pair of shorts or capris if I feel like it needs a little more when I am done.
Once everything is cut, I give all the pieces a good press before I begin. With solid colors, or easily swapped pattern pieces (like the sides of the Sixth Grade Skirt), I keep the pattern piece pinned until I’m ready to sew, or mark each right side with a small piece of washi tape. I tend to sew all of the pieces at once. (It does help that I wrote the patterns and don’t need to follow them as I go.) My first step is to figure out which of my “hem” seams I can get done first.
I sit down at my serger, and finish off the bottom edges of the Playtime Peasant Top sleeves and the Sixth Grade Skirt waistband. I move to my sewing machine, and stitch the shoulders of the Popsicle Top pieces, stitch the Sixth grade skirt together, add the sleeves to the peasant top, sew the armholes of the Easy Up! jumper. Back at the ironing board, I press all my seams open (Sixth Grade Skirt, Popsicle Top) and clip any curves (Peasant Top and Easy Up!). I also press up the hems of my Peasant Top. Topstitching the Sixth Grade Skirt comes next, and in this case, for the solid side of the Easy Up! jumper, I added a strip of the apron strap down the center front. By this time, I’m off to the races. I seam any seams, moving from piece to piece, and then press them all at once. By using just one color of thread (usually white), I can get the whole wardrobe completed in one sewing session.
Once I’m done sewing, I look for other items I already have on hand that I can use. I do have a dark purple Popsicle Top, which didn’t make it into the photos. :). The purple headband is made by American Girl® and I knit and felted this cute, black bowler hat myself. Add in some shoes complements of Grace and Blaire (American Girls of the Year) to complete the look.
The Easy Up! Jumper is Reversible for Two Dresses in One!
Click each photo below to see more ideas for Mix and Match Doll Clothes!