Use the Oh Sew Kat! School Bell Blouse PDF Sewing pattern to make cute, floral feedsack dresses for the Depression era American Girl® dolls, Kit and Ruthie.
Easy Feedsack 1930s Dresses for 18 inch Dolls like Kit and Ruthie
The School Bell Blouse is a simple pattern with a few special details. It’s designed to make two different styles of cotton blouses. In THIS TUTORIAL, I explain how easy it is to make the blouse into a cute dress!! Choose vintage 30s fabric or soft florals to give your dress a 30s vibe.
Add a few buttons, crystals, or even a tab of fabric at the neckline!
It’s easy to add a collar or neck tab to your feedsack dress. Looking through pinterest, it seems geometrics were popular and pretty much anything goes. I just cut mine free hand and sewed it around the edge, flipped it and pressed it. I added some topstitching and basted it in place before sewing the dress to the lining. You could also try lace, ribbon or trims. Just remember to add an extra 1/4th inch to the top for the seam allowance.
Kat’s Tip: If the tab doesn’t lay flat after pressing your dress, you can top stitch over it, or add a little bit of iron on hem tape underneath to tack it down to the dress.
School Bell Blouse Pattern Hack: Make a Depression Era A Line Dress for your 18 inch American Girl Dolls
See how to make more historical fashions for dolls using Oh Sew Kat! patterns in the Inspiration Gallery HERE.
Make 1950’s fashions for your 18 inch American Girl® Doll like Maryellen Larkin with easy sewing patterns.
You can make iconic looking doll clothes for 1953 American Girl® character, Maryellen Larkin with Oh Sew Kat! PDF patterns and hacks. Print the patterns on your home computer- find the full selection in the OhSewKat Etsy shop. Use these easy hacks (same pattern with slight changes) to make your doll a sweet wardrobe inspired by the Fabulous Fifties! Find more ideas for Maryellen in the Oh Sew Kat! 50s Gallery HERE.
Make Maryellen a Shift Dress with Overskirt- Add pearls and gloves for a Fabulous Fifties Outfit
Make a floral 50s inspired dress for your Maryellen doll with the Sunshine Dress pattern.
The Sunshine Dress is a simple, A Line dress (with short sleeves) that is timeless through the decades. Use THIS tutorial to make a sleeveless shift dress and then add an overskirt, made with the Sugar n Spice and Everything Nice pattern for the “skirt over dress” look that was popular in the 50s and 60s. The overskirt can be worn with the opening in the back (above) or in front (below). Try different fabrics with the same patterns.
Your doll can also wear the floral Sunshine shift dress all by itself for even more play value.
Find these and many other sewing patterns HERE. See more ideas for Maryellen’s fashions HERE, HERE, and HERE.
See more dresses made with this Playtime Peasant Top pattern hack here and here. Add a cute belt and matching shoes to complete the look!
I used a fat quarter of cotton fabric. I cut the ruffle first at 3 inches (I had to piece it together to make it long enough- I like to use double the length of the piece I am attaching it to- in this case, the bottom edge of the Playtime Peasant Top. Then I found I didn’t have quite enough fabric left for the full sleeve pieces. I cut the bodice as normal, and then shortened the sleeves so they would fit. I used the rolled hem on my serger to hem both the sleeves (a great way to hem if you are short on fabric!) and the ruffle.
I used a fold over elastic headband with a flower attached as the belt. I purchased this one in the baby section of Target or a similar store. You can easily make your own with this Tutorial.
Find the Playtime Peasant Top & Twirl Skirt Pattern in the Oh Sew Kat! Etsy Shop
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 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.
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)
DIY Simple Sparkle Skirt for Dolls like American Girl® and Our Generation®
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 like I did in the photo below. 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!
Choose a more slim or modern look- Grace is wearing a fitted tee (from Amazon) and the Sixth Grade Skirt made out of the same sequin dot fabric. It gives the same vibe, but with a little less “fluff.”
Which version of this “SNOW CUTE” outfit is your favorite? Find more holiday ideas to dress up your doll outfits by clicking the photos below.
Girls and dolls alike will fall in love with pretty, Easter fashions that you sew yourself with the easy to follow PDF sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Find a full selection of patterns for dolls that are 18 inches, 16 inches, 15 inches, and 14.5-15 inches in the OH SEW Kat Etsy shop and download and sew today!
Easter Dresses for Your Dolls- DIY Doll Clothes
Click on the photos to go right to the post. Click on the description’s pattern name, to go to the Inspiration Gallery for each pattern. Find all the patterns in the OhSewKat Etsy shop for instant download.
Travel in Ireland: World Traveler Outfit for 18 inch Dolls by American Girl® Review
I saw this outfit on the American Girl® website and just knew it was coming home to me! I purchased it right away. It cost $36 and also has an accessory set for an additional $18. Without any little girls at home to play with it, I opted just for the outfit. It’s a great value for the cost and I thought I’d share my own opinions with you about it!
I chose Jenna to model my Ireland World Traveler outfit. Of all my red headed dolls (and I do have a lot of them- Saige, Emily, Felicity, Blaire, Maryellen, Nicki (sort of), I chose Jenna (JLY #38) to be my model. American Girl® makes a lot of different dolls- but they’ve just never landed on a curly haired red head with freckles and green eyes. Aka, a mini me!! LOL. So despite Jenna’s lack of curls- she won the new outfit lottery today!
Top o the Mornin’ To Ya! World Traveler Ireland Outfit for Dolls
Here Jenna is dressed in the full outfit: boots, tights, kilt, tee, sweater, cap. Everything feels really high quality (love love love the boots!), although the sweater is a little thin. I realize that miniature doll sweaters can feel bulky, but being Irish, having been to Ireland, and having many, many hand knit aran sweaters made by my mom, this is the only part of the outfit that falls a little short for me. I like the green cardigan style (exactly what I bought for myself when I travelled to Ireland a few years ago) and the skirt is absolutely adorable. The tee shirt is a cute graphic tee, very similar to something my young daughter would have worn. I’m not very good placing the caps, but this one feels like real wool and is very high quality. The tights are super strong- although I wish the tee had a yellow accent to sort of pull it all together just a bit more.
Here is Jenna without the tights. The yellow doesn’t pop from the skirt as much without the tights but still a super cute outfit overall in my opinion. If you are on the fence about this outfit, I highly recommend it. It has a lot of pieces for the price (high value) and they can easily be mixed and matched with other outfits all year long.
Jenna’s shamrock and rainbow capri pants are made with the OhSewKat! Picnic Play PDF sewing pattern. It matches the World Traveler Tee perfecly for a casual look or even pajamas! Find the sewing pattern HERE.
Sew your 18″ American Girl® doll some fun fashions for the 50s with easy Oh Sew Kat! patterns.
Visit the Oh Sew Kat! 50s Inspiration Gallery for ideas and links to sew the Oh Sew Kat! patterns with a fun, 50s flair. Your Maryellen Larkin™ doll with love fabulous fifties fashions that you made yourself!
Have you tried the Simple Sweet Tee Shirt pattern? With this pattern you can learn to use fun colored fold over elastic to give a plain tee a new spin!! Here are a few other ideas to try your tee shirt pattern- and don’t forget to visit the Simple Sweet Tee Inspiration Gallery to see how others have sewn it too!
Try these variations on a basic tee shirt pattern for your doll!
Make 18 inch Doll Sized Tee Shirts with this easy PDF sewing pattern from Oh Sew Kat!: The Sweet, Simple Tee