Step it Up! Series: 50s Style Sunshine Overskirt Dress for Maryellen Larkin

These outfits came about completely by accident.  They don’t even need a tutorial or pattern hack. I simply used pieces from two different patterns together to make a new outfit.

I was making a doll skirt from my Everything Nice pattern. (The Everything Nice pattern is the accessory pattern that is sold bundled with the Sugar n Spice dress.) . It is a quick little skirt, attached to the waistband, with an open back. It was designed to give “dress up options” to the princess themed Sugar n Spice Dress.  In order to check my hook and loop tape placement, I grabbed the closest doll.  It was Melody, and she was wearing a Sunshine Dress I made for THIS post.  The dress seemed tight enough for my test, so I did not remove it.  As I stood back to check the skirt fit, I realized that by simply using two of my own patterns, I could create a similar look to Melody’s fancy dress or the popular overskirt fashions of the late 50s and early 60s.

I went right to Pinterest for some inspiration and found this pin,  and also this pin, and this pin.

Maryellen doll dress pattern 50s inspired

Next I went to my fabric stash- and found some navy fabric to match one Sunshine Dress I’d already made…and chose some creamy, dreamy roses fabric for the other one.

Doll dress sewing pattern 50s 60s inspired Oh Sew Kat

This dress is the Sunshine Dress sewn with the princess seams option.  The Everything Nice overskirt fits perfectly over it- open it in the front or in the back!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!  Find the Sunshine Dress HERE.

Sunshine Dress sewing pattern for 18 inch dolls

 

Maryellen 50s overskirt dress

Sewing patterns for dolls 50s 60sSewing Patterns for dolls by Oh Sew Kat-1350s inspired overskirt dress for Maryellen doll

What other patterns can be used together to provide more value for your time sewing and money spent?  Share in the comments below.  Make a 50s or 60s inspired dress for your dolls today!

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

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Step it Up Series: Sixth Grade Skirt with Ruffle or Lace Hem!

Add a ruffle or lace hem to your Sixth Grade Skirt!

 

American girl dolls DIY skirt tutorial

The Sixth Grade Skirt is the perfect skirt to make for your doll all year long.  It takes such a tiny bit of fabric and goes together in a jiffy!  Here’s a way to give your Sixth Grade Skirt a new look! Add a cute hem to your skirt with this easy tutorial.

American girl dolls sewing patterns

First, you will need the pattern.  I offer the Sixth Grade Skirt in five sizes:  18 inch, 16 inch Disney Animators, 15 inch Bitty Baby, 14.5 inch Wellie Wishers, and 14 inch HeartsForHearts Girls.  (Because this skirt is fitted and does not use elastic, I encourage you to check the fit on your own doll before you sew on the hook and loop tape, especially if your doll does not have a cloth body.  If you purchased this pattern before June 2018, be sure to get the updated version! (Check your etsy purchase history, contact me, or Pixie Faire.)

Sixth Grade A line skirt sewing pattern for dolls

Step 1. To keep the skirt’s cute silhouette, you need to remove a little bit from the hem of the pattern pieces.  You can do this after you sew the pieces together, but it’s easier to just cut the seam allowance off the bottom of each pattern piece.  Cut out your skirt and put it together according to the directions.  Before you add the waistband, complete Step 2 below.

Step 2.  To add a fabric ruffle for an 18 inch doll skirt, cut a strip of fabric 2 inches by 27-36 inches.  (27 inches will give a less full ruffle than 36 inches will.)  You will need a thinner, and shorter piece for smaller dolls. Measure the hem of your skirt, and cut the ruffle to 1.5 or 2 times that length.  Pre-gathered eyelet lace also makes a pretty hem!

Skirt with lace hem skirt with ruffle hem Step 3.  With wrong sides together, press your ruffle the long way.  The fold will be the hem.  Gather the top, raw edges or use (my new favorite!) a ruffle foot.  With right sides together, pin the ruffle (or your lace or trim) to the hem of your skirt, and stitch with a 1/4th inch seam allowance.  Use an overlock stitch, zigzag stitch, or serger to give the seam allowance a clean finish.  Press it towards the skirt, and top stitch close to the edge.

Step 4.

That was easy!  Complete the skirt according to the directions.  Your Sixth Grade Skirt is complete!

Skirt with lace hem skirt with ruffle hem

This post is the second post in a series of six posts:

Six Ways to Sew the Sixth Grade Skirt!

  1.  Add pockets to your Sixth Grade Skirt
  2. Add a ruffle or lace hem to your Sixth Grade Skirt
  3.  Check back to see another way to Step it Up!
  4. Check back to see another way to Step it Up!
  5. Check back to see another way to Step it Up!
  6. Check back to see another way to Step it Up!

Each post in this series will feature a new way to “Step it Up” and make your Sixth Grade Skirt just a little more unique.  Find the quick and easy pattern in my Etsy Shop:

Sixth Grade Skirt for 18 inch dolls like American Girl®

Sixth Grade Skirt for 15 inch dolls like Bitty Baby®

Sixth Grade Skirt for 14.5 inch dolls like Wellie Wishers™

You can also make Sixth Grade Skirt for Disney Animator Dolls and Hearts for Hearts.

American Girl Doll Sixth Grade Skirt Popsicle Top

Grace Thomas doll in Sixth Grade Skirt

Six ways to sew the Sixth Grade Skirt

Share your skirt with ruffles or lace online with hashtag OhSewKat.  Click HERE to see another way to step up your Sixth Grade Skirt.

Sewing patterns for dolls

4th of July Doll Clothes

It’s time to celebrate the red, white and blue here in the USA!  Here are a few 4th of July inspired outfits made with Oh Sew Kat! patterns.  Click on the photos to go right to the pattern.

Doll clothes patterns at oh sew kat

Melody looks adorable in Bloomer Buddies!Oh Sew Kat Sewing Patterns for Dolls-51

Kendall shows her pride in Party Time Peasant Dress (photo credit: Amy Violet’s).Party Time Peasant Dress by ohsewkat (2)a

Sam is also in a Party Time Peasant Dress.Party Time Peasant Dress sewing pattern by ohsewkat 4

The Bitty Twins are ready for a picnic in their HalterAlls.halteralls-bitty-baby-pattern-by-ohsewkat-6

Summer classic:  Popsicle Top and Sixth Grade Skirt.Oh Sew Kat wellie wishers american girl pattern-4-3

Emily and Mary keep cool in Popsicle Tops and Sandbox Shorts.Sewing patterns for american girl dolls by Oh Sew Kat

Nina Self made this cute version of Boardwalk Boutique.Boardwalk Boutique pattern by Oh Sew Kat sewn by Nina Self 2

Ashley Crawe has Bitty Baby all decked out for the holiday in a Popsicle Top and Sixth Grade Skirt.popsicle-top-and-sixth-grade-skirt-by-oh-sew-kat-bitty-10

Willa and Kendall look cute in their Popsicle Tops and Four Season Skirts.Oh Sew Kat wellie wishers american girl pattern-4-4

 

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Step it Up Series: How to Make a Patchwork Top for Dolls

Try something new today! Do you have lots of scraps or small pieces of fabric?  My mother was a big quilter, and she was always buying those cute little 5 inch square packs of fabrics. Here is a great way to turn those small pieces into cute, one of a kind doll clothes.

Use scraps to make doll clothes tutorial

The fabrics in this tutorial came from a pack of 5″ squares, called a “charm pack”.  This one is by Doodlebug Designs- I love the whimsical images.  None of the squares are big enough to make 18 inch doll clothes, so I picked a few of my favorites and patched them together, quilt style, to make my own fabric!

I used the Boardwalk Boutique pattern for this cute, halter top, but really any pattern will work to give the same effect.

How to make a one of a kind patchwork doll top

  1.  Choose your fabrics and lay them out on your table in a pleasing way.  Try to offset the colors and place the rows so you don’t have a four square in the center of your top (unless you are going for that look 😉 .  Ensure that your squares cover enough space for your entire pattern piece.
  2. With right sides together, sew the pieces together in rows, moving from bottom to top with 1/4th inch seams.  Once you have your two rows complete, put them right sides together and sew them together to make a larger square or rectangle. Press all of your seams open.
  3. If needed, trim the edges so your fabric piece is neat.
  4. Pin your pattern pieces to your new patchwork fabric (being mindful of one way designs) and cut out as usual.

Patchwork Top tutorial for dolls by ohsewkat

Once you have your pieces cut out, simply assemble the pattern as usual.

How to make a patchwork doll top

Ta da!! You’ve made a one of a kind top for your doll!

Luciana Vega 4th of July Boardwalk Boutique Halter Top

Find more tutorials for the Boardwalk Boutique pattern here and here.

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Pattern Update: The Sixth Grade Skirt by Oh Sew Kat!

The Sixth Grade Skirt has just been updated. It was the first pattern I ever published, so I have wanted to update the photos and images for awhile and finally got around to putting it at the top of the to do list.  I love this simple, little skirt! It has so much potential!

Doll Skirt sewing pattern by Oh Sew Kat!

The updated pattern is now available in all of my shops.  If you purchased your copy at Pixie Faire, you will receive an email. If you purchased it anywhere else, simply contact me, tell me when and where, and I will send you the updated copy.  There are not a whole lot of changes- I redrew the pattern pieces in new software, updated the photos, and added new images. The overlap in the back of the skirt was adjusted as well.

Sixth Grade Skirt doll skirt sewing patternNicki Fleming American Girl Doll Sixth Grade Skirt Popsicle Top

The Sixth Grade Skirt is a perfect match with the Popsicle Top pattern.  Directions are included to add lace or pleats to the center front panel.

American Girl Doll Skirt sewing patternSixth Grade Skirt sewing pattern for dolls

If you haven’t sewn a Sixth Grade Skirt in awhile, I encourage you to dust it off and give it a whirl. With a velcro close in back, it is easily adapted to fit nearly any brand of doll.

Find a tutorial to add the pockets to your skirt HERE.

Find the pattern in multiple sizes in my Etsy shop and on Pixie Faire.

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

 

DIy doll clothes bundle discount by oh sew kat

Tips for Beginners- Learning to Sew

sewing doll clothes beginner tips

I posted the following question on my facebook page:

Oh Sew Kat! patterns are designed with the beginning sewist in mind. What is one tip you would give to a young or new sewist who is just starting out in making doll clothes?

Readers from all over posted their tips if you are new to sewing- whether it’s doll clothes or other sewing projects, these few things will help get you off to a great start!

  • Jenny:  Go slow and read the pattern directions. Read them twice before even beginning your project. Nothing has to be perfect. If you don’t like your creation, put it away for a day or two and then come back and look at it. You might be surprised that you now like it!!
  • Anneke:  I never expect a planned pattern to come out as it should. My advise would be go with the flow. Let the fabric tell you what it wants. Sounds hazy and dreamy (which I am NOT) but that’s the way it works for me. I have no technical advice all. But before I start I do sit down read the instructions. Toss them aside and have FUN
  • Cindy:   Press, press, press
  • Deirdre:  Don’t be afraid to rip out a seam and sew it again, the truth is even experienced sewers have to do this at times.
  • Bee:  Read through all of the pattern first before you get started.
  • Julie:  Iron as you sew.
  • Barb:  Take your time. Read the instructions completely before you start and follow each one in order.
  • Jeanna:  Always double check your seam allowances as you go. Nothing worse than making an adorable outfit only to have it be too small 😫
  • Karen:  My advice is (and I really should take my own😂) that perfection, although nice…it isn’t necessary. Enjoy the process of making something cute. It took me ripping apart a genuine cabbage patch outfit to make a pattern to realize this! It was terribly sewn from the factory.
  • Nina:  Learn your sewing machine inside and out. Practice the threading pattern so it’s easy enough to do in your sleep!
  • Gail:  Turn on the iron before you turn on the machine. Sew a seam press the seam. Sew a seam press the seam. Every time!
  • Julie:  Have fun with it!! Really, doll clothes take such a little bit of fabric, if you make a mistake, you haven’t wasted a lot of fabric. Just toss it and try again! That takes the pressure off to be “perfect” and makes it so enjoyable 🙂
  • Paula:  Use good quality fabric. It may be tempting to use lower quality fabric to try it out, but it is much harder to sew on.

You probably see a few themes emerging here … read all the directions before you start and to press every seam.  But the themes of “you don’t have to be perfect” and “have fun” are obvious too! If you are just starting out learning to sew, doll clothes give you such a low cost way to jump in the pool and start to swim.  Enjoy the process and know your skills will build with every stitch!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Sewing patterns for dolls list of Beginner Tips

What tips would you add to this list?

Sewing for dolls? Find an assortment of over 50 digital patterns to print on your home computer in my Etsy Shop and start sewing today!

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

 

 

 

Bloomer Buddies 50s Style Dress for Maryellen Larkin

BeForever character, Maryellen Larkin, is a ten year old girl living in Florida in 1953.  Fifties fashions were all about fun prints, gingham, and full skirts!

With just a few modifications, you can make a cute 50s style dress  and scarf for your Maryellen doll (or her friends) using the Bloomer Buddies pattern from Oh Sew Kat!  I used THIS PIN from my Maryellen Pinterest board as my inspiration.  Make the scarf from matching fabric from THIS tutorial.

Maryellen Larkin BeForever Doll in blue Bloomer Buddies 50s dress

First, you need the pattern. Find it here.

Sewing patterns for 18 inch dolls by OH Sew kat dress and top and bloomers

The pattern has a little slimmer silhouette than the pinned image.  I made two modifications when I cut out my dress.

  1.  Move the dress center front fold about 1/2 inch.  This will give an extra inch of fullness to the front of the dress. You do not need to change the lining, as the finished front will still be the same size, just have more fullness.
  2. Add pockets to your dress front before you gather it and sew it to the yoke. Even though you can do it after, it’s just easier to work while it’s still flat.   I made my pockets so they would be two inches square when finished.  I used one edge on the fold, so my pocket pieces were 4.5 x 2.5 inches.  Press in all edges by 1/4th inch first.  With right sides together, fold in half and stitch the two short sides, plus the corners and some of the long side, leaving a 1/2 inch opening to turn.  Turn and press, tucking in your opening along the crease lines.  Top stitch the top edge if desired, then add to the front of the dress where the hands end up, stitching around both short sides and the bottom.

How to add doll pockets to a doll dress by Oh Sew Kat

Blue Gingham Bloomer Buddies Dress for dolls

Make the dress according to the pattern instructions.

Maryellen Larkin 50s gingham Bloomer Buddies Dress

 

To make a matching head scarf, click HERE for the tutorial.

50s style gingham head scart tutorial for Maryellen Dolls

Click here to see the Sunshine Dress made for 60s character, Melody Ellison and HERE to find the headscarf tutorial.

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Step it Up Series: How to Sew a 70s Sunshine Dress for Julie

The Sunshine Dress, with its three variations and classic A-line look can easily be adapted to look like it came from the 70s era with just a few minor tweaks to the pattern.

Julie american girl doll in pink daisy trimmed dress

I used this photo from Pinterest for inspiration.  Here’s another one.  Based on the first photo, I am using View C, the princess seamed option, but I really think that any of these views can be easily adapted to create this daisy trimmed look. The second photo definitely looks like View B.

Start with the Sunshine Dress pattern.  This pattern has had a recent update.  Check your file and make sure that it says Copyright 2018 at the bottom of the front cover.  If it doesn’t, you can find the updated version where you purchased the pattern, or contact me.

Sunshine Dress sewing pattern for 18 inch dolls

  1.  Raise the neckline by quite a bit- I used almost a half inch for the 18 inch size doll. Don’t forget the lining piece needs to match too!
  2. Skip the top stitching after assembling the dress front.  It would be covered by the trim. If you want your trim to disappear into the seam at the shoulders (and not go down the back), you need to add it over your seams before you stitch the front to the backs as I did hereIf you want the trim to go over the shoulder and down the back, it will be attached after the dress front and back are joined but before you do the hem.  I just attached mine to the front (to conserve my trim mostly).  Add the daisy trim with transparent tape to ensure you have the look you want; you can follow the seam lines if you have them, but if you don’t, put the trim where you think it should go. Stitch in place.  I used a machine and just carefully stitched down the center of my flowers.  You can also add your trim by hand.  If the trim was wider, or for a real girl and would be washed, I would put a row of stitching down each side to hold it securely.
  3. Raise the hem by an inch or even more. Dresses for girls were short then too! (I usually do this after the dress is sewn together unless I’ve done it before and have a good measurement.  Once the dress is done, it’s easy to (use a ruler) and trim off the right amount for right look for the era.) .
  4. Optional:  Add lace (again by hand?) around the neckline.

70s daisy dress for Julie Albright American Girl DollSewing Patterns for Julie doll by Oh Sew Kat

One final note.  I do not profess that this pattern is historically accurate.  I found an image on Pinterest and used my own pattern, which looks very similar.  However, in the world of child’s play, “close enough” is usually enough to save you a few dollars at the American Girl Store if you have a young friend pleading for Julie Albright or items from her time period and collection.  When my daughter was very young, and a new doll was released, I usually kept her focused on who she already had with just a few new doll dresses to fit the new era or theme.  The one that comes to my mind is when Elizabeth Cole, Felicity Merriman’s best friend was released in a beautiful pink, ball gown.  I was able to make and buy a few colonial dresses for my daughter’s Mia doll, and off we went to Williamsburg happy as can be.  Elizabeth never did join our doll family by the way.  😉

Sewing patterns for DIY Doll clothes 70s fashion

PLEASE NOTE:  The Sunshine Dress has been updated since it was first published. The current version has Copyright 2018 on the bottom of the cover page.  If you are unable to get the updated copy from where your purchased it (download it again from your Etsy or Craftsy account, or find the link in the update email from Pixie Faire), please contact me at ohsewkat@gmail.com with the details of where and when you purchased the pattern and I will get you the updated copy!

See other ways to make clothes for Julie here and here, and more ways to sew the Sunshine Dress here.

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

How to make a summer head scarf for dolls

50s style gingham head scart tutorial for Maryellen DollsThis quick project will give you the perfect head scarf for your doll’s favorite summer outfits.  It’s also perfect for making 50s style outfits for BeForever character, Maryellen Larkin like THIS. Girls in the 70s, like Julie Albright also wore scarves like this.

scarf tutorial for dolls by oh sew kat

 

Maryellen Larkin BeForever Doll in blue Bloomer Buddies 50s dress

  1.  Cut one 8 1/2 inch square of fabric.
  2. With right sides together, fold in half along the diagonal.  Start 1/2 inch from one corner near the fold, and stitch along the edge, around the top corner, and back towards the fold.  Stop 1/2 inch before you reach the fold.
  3.  Turn right side out and press well, being certain to push the top corner out.  Tuck the raw edges to the inside of the corners as you press.  Top stitch if desired.
  4. Cut 3/8th inch wide elastic to 2 inches.  Tuck each end into a corner of the scarf and stitch in place.

sewing pattern for doll size head scarf

See more tutorials for your dolls here, and coming soon, how to make this cute, 50s version of the Bloomer Buddies dress.

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

50s style gingham head scart tutorial for Maryellen Dolls

iCreate Monthly Doll Magazine May/June 2018 now available – Final Issue!

iCreate Magazine for Dolls

iCreate Monthly is available for May/June 2018!  This month’s theme is Makin’ A Splash!  This post contains affiliate links.

Whose dolls are ready to head into the fun and sun of summer! Be sure to head over to at iCreateforDolls.com to get your issue of the iCreate magazine! It includes full color articles, how to’s, and crafts! This issue features:

  • Sew a swim suit cover up (free pattern!)
  • Make a doll size photo booth
  • Plan a doll related party and make doll sized goodie boxes
  • Discounts and special offers
  • and much more!

I like to share great doll finds with my readers as I come across them.  Let me tell you, this magazine publication is top notch! Unfortunately, this is the last issue!! It’s full of ideas, patterns, interviews, printables, projects, information, coupons and more!  You can purchase a PDF download, or you can buy a printed version that is a full 8×11 size glossy magazine! Both are worth the money, in my opinion, for all the tips, ideas, and coupons you receive.  Head on over to www.icreatefordolls.com and get your copy today!  You can join the iCreate community for free and take advantage of many of its new features.

Be sure to purchase the back issues as this magazine will no longer be published after June 2018.  I am so sad to see it go, but you can still enjoy the “all about dolls” website as it moves into its second year.

Last winter, I hosted a holiday themed sew-along. There’s alot of fun doll related activities and chat going on at iCreate.  I’ll see you there! (Be sure to invite me to be a friend!)

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!