There are so many ways to change up your sewing patterns to create your own unique doll clothes. One of my favorite fashion features is to add a pocket (or two) to a simple garment. Some of my patterns include pattern pieces to add a pocket (HalterAlls for example) but any square or circle scrap of fabric can work too.
My Oh Sew Kat! Testers love pockets too!! Michele is my pocket QUEEN! Pam, Sophie, and Shirley also add stunning accents to outfits with their pockets. Be inspired to try a few pockets on your next outfits.
That works for some of the summer outfits… and sometimes I just crop out their feet 🙂 but at the same time, a well dressed doll deserves some perfect shoes to complete the perfect outfit. If you are looking for doll shoes, and don’t want to make your own, I’m sharing where I buy most of my shoes to help your doll shoe shopping needs! (Kendall’s outfit is made with the HalterAlls sewing pattern.)
American Girl offers trendy shoes for your 18 inch Dolls.
My favorite place to buy shoes is directly from American Girl®. They offer trendy styles (although pricey, especially if you have to buy the outfit to get them), but they are well made, fit perfectly and come in all sorts of styles and colors. My daughter is now 18 years old. We got her Bitty Baby when she was 1, and her Mia GOTY doll when she was 6. That is a LOT of years of buying doll clothes and shoes from American Girl, so you just have to watch the styles and try and purchase what you like when you see them. (Riley’s boots- above- which I use ALL the time, are the meet shoes that came with my Saige GOTY doll.) Patterns used: Backyard Bibs, Playtime Peasant Top Pattern bundle.
Emily’s shoes above are from Nicki’s collection also from American Girl®. Nicki was the GOTY in 2004. Emily’s outfit is made with the Picnic Play top and the Everything Nice Skirt worn backwards.
Find a large selection of doll shoes on ebay and etsy.
Don’t forget some of the more popular online shopping sites to look for cute and inexpensive doll shoes. Etsy and Ebay also offer some options. You can find a whole range of styles by searching by doll size (Animators’, 14.5 inch dolls for example.). I’ve found lots of really cute shoes on Etsy. Plus there are tons of patterns out there if you want to make your own!
So those are places I shop the most often for my doll shoes. Do you have any shops you would add to this list? Leave a comment below and let us know!
I also had recommendations from readers about Sophia’s and also Monique’s. I think if you poke around the net, you will find lots of places to buy some cute doll shoes to match your adorable handmade outfits!
Make an easy button up doll skirt with the Sugar n Spice Sewing Pattern
The Sugar n Spice and Everything Nice PDF sewing pattern from Oh Sew Kat! is a short sleeved, full skirted dress with fun accessories, including a pinafore, and an overskirt. See this post and this one for the full look. The overskirt pattern, when turned around, makes an adorable button up skirt on its own!
Find the Sugar n Spice Everything Nice sewing pattern in 3 sizes HERE. The overskirt, included as an accessory to the dress, is a quick skirt as a stand alone piece too! Pair your skirt with the Picnic Play reversible top (below), which is available HERE, or the Popsicle Top (above and also reversible) HERE.
You can certainly add real buttons and button holes to your skirt. I opted for hook and loop tape to keep my skirts easy for children’s little fingers. I added enough of the hook and loop tape to close the skirt up. I added the tape first, then sewed the buttons next to it. I folded the edge back in and stitched down next to the buttons so I didn’t have to sew the buttons on through the tape.
The Sugar n Spice/Everything Nice pattern shows the overskirt with the opening in the back, but it’s your choice. The skirt works great both ways- buttons in front or the back! See another example with a 50s/60s flair in THIS POST. Find the pattern HERE. Pair your skirt with the Picnic Play reversible (one piece!) top.
18 inch Doll Skirt Sewing Hack- Make a button front skirt
Make 50s style Fashions and Outfits for your 18 inch Doll.
Maryellen Larkin and her family are glad WWII is over and everyone is hopeful about the future in 1954. She loves pretending to be a 50s movie star and playing the jukebox at the diner with family and friends. Use Oh Sew Kat! patterns to stitch up 50s style outfits for your Maryellen doll and her friends.
Ad: Want to learn more about Maryellen’s adventures? Find Maryellen’s stories by Valerie Tripp HERE and at the American Girl stores.
Use Oh Sew Kat! patterns to sew 50s outfits for your Maryellen Larkin Doll.
Do you want to make Maryellen a new outfit? Try these twists on patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Find all of these patterns in my Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/ohsewkat.
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.
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.
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.
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 by checking out these other pattern hacks here and here!
This 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.
How to make a head scarf or bandana for your 18 inch Doll.
Cut one 8 1/2 inch square of fabric.
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.
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.
Cut 3/8th inch wide elastic to 2 inches. Tuck each end into a corner of the scarf and stitch in place.
Make a bandana or headscarf for your 18 inch doll with this free pattern.
See more tutorials for your dolls here, and click here to see how to make Maryellen’s cute, 50s blue gingham version of the Bloomer Buddies dress.