When my daughter was younger and her holiday gift list was long with dolls, outfits and accessories from the American Girl® store, our budget was not quite as big as she might have liked. Even back then, I knew a few crafting skills and tools would let me spend my budget on dolls and furniture, and I could save more than a few dollars by creating my own outfits for the dolls. Sometimes I did historical fashions- sometimes I matched my daughter’s own clothing, and sometimes I just did a DIY of my own version of something in the shop.
Create your own sparkly pink snowflake tee shirt and silver sparkle skirt outfit with a few craft supplies and fabric. This post contains affiliate links. That means when you click on a link, I may receive a very small compensation (at no cost to you, of course!) but all the products used were purchased by me for my own use. See my full policy and disclosure HERE and thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to support my blog and Oh Sew Kat! pattern shop!
Here is the outfit I made- and I was able to personalize it a little bit as well.
Make a Pink, Sparkly Snowflake Tee Shirt for
your 18 Inch Doll
The easiest way to create your own snowflake tee shirt is to purchase shirts that are already made. I found some short sleeve ones on Amazon. (I like to keep a bunch of solid tees on hand in a variety of colors, but didn’t have a long sleeve pink one today.) You can also make your own! I did one of each! See more winter themed outfits for dolls in the Winter Outfit Inspiration Gallery.
To make your own long sleeved tee shirt there are two options with Oh Sew Kat! patterns. Use the Simple Sweet Tee pattern and simply add some length to make the sleeves longer (with this pattern, you can also use sparkly fold over elastic at the neck and wrists for even more shine!), or use the turtleneck shirt pattern found in the Jumping Jack 3 in 1 bundle. Find both patterns HERE.
I make my graphic tee shirts with my Cricut® machine. I actually own three of them- the Cricut Maker, the Cricut Explore Air, and the Cricut Joy. You can use any one of the machines, or any other electronic cutter that you like. You can even use scissors!! Here is what you will need to decorate your own tee shirts:
- Heat Transfer Vinyl (found in most craft and big box stores, or order from Cricut HERE. I am using Cricut Smart Iron On made specifically for the Cricut Joy machine, which allows me to cut without using a mat, which is great for small projects like doll tees. I used glossy holographic HTV for my tees.
- Electronic Cutter (I am using the cute Cricut JOY. It’s perfect for doll size projects, Learn more about all of the machines HERE.)
- Weeding Tools – Your seam ripper also works great for this!
- Heat Press or Iron (I’m using the Cricut Mini heat press which is also perfect scale for doll projects. A regular iron will work just as well but if you find yourself doing a lot of HTV projects, you may want to invest in a press that runs a little hotter and is easier to set to a specific temp and time. Cricut makes 4 sizes! Find them at Cricut and Amazon.
Snow Cute Outfit Part 1: Pink Snowflake Tee Shirt
Tee Shirt Prep
- If you are using a tee shirt you purchased or have already made, skip to the next step.
- If you are making your own tee shirt, cut out all of your fabric pieces according to the pattern directions. I used the Jumping Jack 3 in 1 turtleneck (but made it with a lower neckband) or you can use the Simple Sweet Tee and lengthen the sleeves. You will want to add your snowflakes before you sew your shirt together. This means you can also decorate the sleeves if you like! (I decided to do this at the last minute. I used another doll shirt for a placement guide as I didn’t want the snowflakes going down the back of the doll’s arm where it would not be seen. Your design will be more to one side than down the center of the sleeve in this case.)
Create Your Snowflake Graphic and Cut it Out
- Shortcut for Cricut Users: CLICK HERE to access my Design Space File. All of these snowflakes are available to use with Cricut Access. You can use any snowflakes you like.
- I’m using Design Space from Cricut. If you are using a different software, refer to that site for instructions to create and cut a design. (You tube is also a great resource!)
- Open Design Space and search for Snowflakes in the Design Space Catalog. For a small fee (less than $10 a month) you can have access to thousands of designs whenever you need them. It’s called Cricut Access and is well worth the investment if you do a lot of crafting projects. Read more about it HERE.). Choose a few designs you like and add them to your canvas/page. Because dolls have small shirts, keep designs simple. You can see the few I selected in photo 2. You can also choose two color designs and use hologram, gold, silver, white etc in lots of fun different ways.
- Select your design and resize it to fit on the front of your doll’s tee shirt. I usually size it to around 2-3 inches for 18 inch dolls. Play with the angles and arrange them. Once you are happy with how it is arranged, draw a marquis (drag a square) around the design, and click ATTACH so the snowflakes will stay arranged exactly how you placed them. Kat’s Tip: Draw (add a cut line) a square/rectangle around your completed design and attach it when you are ready to cut. This will also cut lines around your design to help with weeding and to preserve your materials for the next project. (Photo 2)
- Follow the screen prompts to cut your HTV. (Photo 1) Remember to place the shiny side down! If you have words or a one way design, don’t forget to hit mirror as you are cutting it backwards. I am using Cricut holographic Iron On vinyl. The front side is a silver rainbow, and the back is pink. Your material may look different. Save your scraps! Doll projects are great HTV scrap busting projects.
DIY Pink Snowflake Tee Shirt Tutorial for 18 inch Dolls
Press your Snowflakes onto the Tee Shirt
- Once your design is cut out, use your weeding tool to remove all the negative space, so the only material left on the clear carrier sheet is what you actually want to show up on your tee shirt. (Photo 2) You can see from the photo above, that the square I cut around my design made it very easy to weed and to cut away from my unused material. I cut the design two times at once because, well, why make one when you can make two in the same amount of time?
- Heat up your Heat Press or your Iron and following the heating guide for the material you are using, press the snowflake design to your tee shirt. I like to press mine on a press mat for the best results. I saved the link to the Cricut Heat Press Guide to the home screen of my phone for easy access. (Photo 3)
- Tip: Crease the center front to show you where the center line of the tee is to help center your design.
- Place your design (wrong/sticky side down). Press it in place, following the appropriate heat press guide.
- Once the shirt front cools, you can assemble the shirt as directed if you are not using a premade shirt. (Photo 4)
The holographic HTV is stunning!! It even comes in different “shades of color”- I think this is the pink one. Fun!! These pictures do not do it justice. But add a little more sparkle if you like with crystals from the craft store. My favorite brand are Swarovski like this assortment on Amazon. The best part about making your own version of this pretty pink shirt, is you can easily make the design a little bigger- and make one for your girl to match!
Snow Cute Doll Outfit Part 2:
Super Simple Sparkly Skirt for your Doll
Say that five times fast!!!
Make a Simple, Sparkly Doll Skirt
- I simply searched through my stash to find any silver sparkly material I already had on hand. You can often find it in the costume fabric section of craft stores- and enjoy great sales leading up to Halloween (Kat’s Tip: stock up on a yard or two of some basics colors each year and you won’t be overwhelmed, but still have enough to use for small doll projects.)
- You can use a pattern (Four Season Skirt? Sixth Grade Skirt?), or you can simply make your own. Here is a simple way to make a gathered skirt.
- Materials: 7 x 20-30 inch piece of fabric (depending on size of doll) and fold over elastic that matches for waistband (7-12 inches depending on your doll), and basic sewing supplies
- You need two measurements for your doll. Waist and desired length from waistband to hem. For 18 inch dolls, I use a 10 inch waist, and 5 inches from waistband (top of) to hem as the finished length. If you have to hem your fabric, you will need to add an additional 1/4-1/2 inch (no matter the doll size) as well as 1/4 inch to attach the skirt to the waistband. (For a 14 inch doll I would use a 6 inch piece of elastic, and cut my skirt about 3 1/2 x 18-20 inches, depending on if it needs to be hemmed or not.)
- You will cut the skirt piece longer (side to side) for a fuller skirt, and shorter for less fullness. I suggest a minimum of 1.5 times the waist measurement for a basic skirt. Most skirts are more along the lines of 2 or 2 1/2 times the waistband measurement. Keep in mind that thicker fabrics will have more bulk when gathered so you may want to reduce the length to keep the fullness down. It’s all a lot of trial and error and personal choice, of course.
- Cut your shiny fabric skirt. For an 18 inch doll, I cut mine 30 inches long by 5 1/2 inches tall because of the drape and weight of the sequin dot fabric. The thinner your fabric, the longer you want to make your skirt so it will be more full. I would probably use more if the fabric was cotton or another stiff fabric. Many specialty fabrics do not fray, so you may be able to get away with just a serged edge/rolled hem or even none at all. It will depend on your fabric. If you need to hem one edge, do this now. Sew the short ends of the skirt together, with right sides together to make one big circle. Place a pin, piece of colored washi tape, or clip at the seam. Using the seam as your first mark, divide the skirt into four equal sections, marking each one with a pin, tape, or clip. I usually put the seam as one side, and extend the piece out to mark half way. Then line up the seam and the halfway pin, pulling the sides out to now show the 1/4th. You should have divided your hemmed skirt piece into four equal sections. (Photo 1)
- Cut your elastic to fit the doll’s waistband – 1/2 inch. For an 18 inch doll, I cut mine at 10 inches. This gives me some overlap while still ensuring a snug (but not tight) fit. With right sides together, overlap the edges and sew the waistband together, making a circle. Like the skirt, divide the waistband into four equal sections and mark with a pin, tape, or clip. (Photo 1)
- Run a row (or two) of gathering stitches along the top edge of the skirt.
- With right side of the skirt to the wrong side of the waistband, pin the skirt top edge to the waistband, matching up the pins or clips and pulling up the gathering thread to fit. Ensure that the edge of the waistband fully covers the raw edge of the skirt. Stretch the waistband as you sew with a 1/4th seam allowance. Remove all pins, tape, and clips, and also the gathering thread. (Photo 2 and 3)
- Easy peasy, right? You can easily make this skirt out of any fabric you have- knits, wovens, satins and more. It’s also a great way to make a simple tulle tutu! Increase your skirt length to make it longer, or width to make it more full. Add fun lace, hems, tulle, or layer fabrics together for even more different skirts. In fact, you can also use the free pattern: Four Season Skirt pattern. My silver fabric was so sheer- it wouldn’t work for a skirt (maybe a pretty overskirt! Will have to try that!) so I placed it on white fabric and sewed it up as one piece. It’s also quite sparkly and super easy to do as well!
DIY Simple Sparkle Skirt for Dolls like American Girl® and Our Generation®
Find more ideas for fun holiday outfits for your dolls on the Winter Inspiration Gallery page or by clicking the photos below: