Who doesn’t love March? With the small glimpses outside that spring is just around the corner, and the daylight lasting a little longer each day, it’s fun to sew with shamrocks and rainbows. Here are a few dresses to inspire you this Shamrock Season.
I used my Cricut Maker to cut out these Party Time Dresses. Every doll in the house got one this year! I think the rainbow waistband gives a perfect pop of color!
Are you on a tight budget when it comes to doll clothes for your 18 inch dolls like American Girl®? When my daughter was growing up, I know I sure was. The outfits at the store are super cute, but wow, do they add up quickly!!
My daughter really enjoyed planning her own doll outfits, and from this love and process, Oh Sew Kat! Patterns were born.
As you wander through Walmart for this or that, be sure to stop by the fabric & craft sections! You can find these darling packs of fabric (called Fat Quarter Packs, which means each piece in the pack measures 18×22 inches.) for just $3.97. You read that right! That is a full yard of fabric for under $4. PS. They also offer bundles with bunnies!! See the dresses I made HERE. Here are two outfits I made from just one of those packs…and I still have a whole lot left to go! That means at a MINIMUM, each dress was only $2. I still have almost the whole piece of the red polka dot (enough for another bib or easy up jumper– maybe some Playground Pants?) and a few scraps from the other three. That could mean 3 outfits total for just $4! Wow!!!
Yes, you do have to add the cost of the PDF sewing pattern- but at $4.99, or even $5.99, you can still consider the outfit less than $10. And the best part? You can use the pattern over and over again, reducing your cost each time you do! And without any bothersome tissue to lay out, cut out, fold up (only to rip each time you pin!), your print at home PDF patterns live safely inside your computer and your etsy (or other) accounts until the next time you need them!
The Party Time Peasant Dress is my absolute favorite for any holiday dress. I love the accents, the ease, and the full skirt! The top and waistband take inches of fabric. The problem with fat quarters is the skirt. Anything over 22 inches (remember, this was a fat quarter of fabric), has to be pieced. My answer to that seam was to offset it from the middle, and accent it with pretty bows! I also considered red heart buttons! I trimmed the hem with a gingham bias tape trim… easy and cute!!
The next pattern I turned to is the Backyard Bibs. This quick and easy overalls dress takes very little fabric, very little time, and looks adorable over the Playtime Peasant Top, which can also be used with other outfits. Cue the cute heart buttons for Kailey! Find these patterns in a special bundle value HERE. This pattern is also available for 14 inch dolls like Wellie Wishers!
So you see, making your own doll clothes really doesn’t have to cost too much because the fabric requirements (even for the 18 inch doll- smaller dolls require even less!) are so low. As long as you have a basic sewing machine, some basic tools, thread, pins, and maybe a few extras (see my favorite notions HERE), you too, can make a “SWEET” outfit for your doll this Valentine’s Day for very little money. See what I did there? 😉
Oh Sew Kat! patterns are quick and easy. Choose a fun, holiday print and stitch up a new dress for your doll this holiday in just an afternoon! The design is in the details. Add pretty piping or fun buttons and bows to enhance your dress.
Is it too soon? 🙂 Have you thought about the special girls in your life that might enjoy new clothes for their special dolls this holiday season? Here are a few ideas to inspire you to ring in the season! Click on each photo to go right to the Oh Sew kat! sewing pattern I used. Visit my Etsy Shop to find a full selection of patterns for dolls from 14-18 inches tall.
Four Season Skirts ^^ Find this free pattern HERE.
Here are a few more Party Time Peasant dresses stitched up by the Oh Sew Kat! testers to inspire you. This popular pattern has been resized for these sweet, British dolls. Find the pattern in my Etsy Shop. (It is also available in other popular doll sizes.)
This simple dress is all one piece- with a fitted waistband and pretty puffed sleeves that can be made with or without the elastic cuff. Carol Greklek made this pretty three tiered version for her doll, Maya.
Make a dress for your A Girl for All Time® Doll with this easy, sewing pattern.
Sasha dolls are a little more slender than A Girl for All Time Dolls. Use a bit less elastic and this pattern will work for them too! Julie Helmer, of Sew Dolled Up 81 made this pretty dress for her Sasha doll.
Be still my Irish heart! Carol Meadows made this gorgeous green dress below.
The Oh Sew Kat! testers had a ball with the Party Time Peasant Dress. This pattern is my first pattern resized for these sweet, British dolls. Find the pattern in my Etsy Shop.
This simple dress is all one piece- with a fitted waistband and pretty puffed sleeves that can be made with or without the elastic cuff. This blue and white dress was made by Sandy Simpson. Such a fresh and pretty look for spring and summer!
Juliette Auckland made these next two beauties. Mixing and matching different fabrics makes the dress look a little different each time! Try a contrasting ruffle!
Sewing doll clothes can be a pretty quick project as a general rule. The pieces and seams are small, they don’t take long to cut out, and they don’t use much fabric. However, if you want to sew a lot of clothes (like for a craft show) or you just have a short nap time to work in, here are four tools that can save you a little more time and make your sewing time more efficient, and, in my opinion, are really worth the investment.
1. A good Serger- sergers are funny machines. People that sew fall into three categories. Those who can’t live without a serger, those that bought one but it’s still in the box and are afraid to use it, or those who simply don’t want one or see its benefits. No matter which category you fall into, one sure way to speed up your sewing is with a serger. First of all, the speed settings on a Serger are higher than a sewing machine. It doesn’t stitch backwards, but it goes faster! 🤗 When you use a serger, you learn to work with flat construction. This also speeds up the sewing process. Spend some time on you tube watching videos of your specific model, as well as how to use one in general. If changing the thread is intimidating, you can simply leave it with gray or white thread for most fabrics. 😉 I love my jet air threading Evolve serger made by Babylock! (I use stickers to help me remember the settings for quick stitch changes!)
2. A Ruffler foot- if you like gathered skirts and ruffled hems, this one tool can save 10 minutes per outfit- at least! My machine is a Bernina, and yes, the ruffler foot was pretty pricey. I watched one you tube video and I was off and running. There is a great e-book here if you want to get serious with the math. I just started to experiment and kept a spreadsheet with every measurement I tried. With that sheet, I have a baseline to start with to vary the stitch length to ruffle the skirt from each if my patterns with. It doesn’t have to be exact- just “close enough” at first. (You can always pull a little back out at either end if it ends up too short.) It takes 15 seconds to gather an 18 inch doll skirt this way! Well worth the hefty price tag and time to learn and experiment in my opinion. (You can also attach and gather the ruffle to the fabric at the same time…I intend to learn how to do that too, I just haven’t gotten to it.)
3. An overlock foot- this probably came with your machine; mine did. This is a much cheaper option than the serger. Again, hop on over to you tube and learn how to use it. Since I purchased my new Bernina last June, I have really started taking advantage of all the feet that are offered. I change feet at least 9 times an outfit. (Bernina has an easy one hand hook mechanism so this doesn’t take long at all.) My Serger is around the table from my sewing machine. In some cases, making a quick switch to the overlock foot is faster and just as productive as using the Serger. I also really like this thinner stitch for underarm sleeves on smaller doll clothes. Will this save you a whole lot of time? Probably not like the two above, but it’s another tool for your tool box and a great option if a serger machine is not on your wish list or in your budget.
4. The Cricut Maker- this is definitely not your cheapest time saver! At $399, it’s a big price to pay for something you can do with a nice pair of scissors. (You can save 10% with a subscription to cricut access; click AD: here to read more about that.). If you’ve never used an electronic cutter, you may need to get familiar with your machine and its software first. Once you are comfortable using it, and you spend the time to get your files set up, this can really be a huge time saver, especially if you sew mutliples items at once! The cricut maker cuts up to 12×24 inches- it’s perfect for doll clothes! I set up all of my patterns for the cricut maker and can cut them out quickly and cleanly in literal minutes! See this tutorial for more specifics. There are also so many other fun things you can do with a cricut machine; sewing doll clothes is just the start! (If you don’t want to splurge on the Cricut maker, or already have a cutting machine, the time to set up your files can be worth it to cut out your printed patterns as well, as another way to save a little time.)
So many sewists have a room full of tools and toys and still sew with the same 2-3 sewing feet or stitches day in and day out. Hopefully this post has given you a little inspiration to dig out something you’ve already bought, or invest in something you hadn’t thought of. The right tool for the job makes this hobby even more fun! What tools might you add to this list? If you try something new, leave a comment and tell us about it!
These adorable outfits were made as a special order for a good friend to give as a gift. She gave me a price range, and let me decide what I would make. I love to sew that way! I don’t know the child, so I thought a few pieces that mixed and matched together in different ways might be a good place to start.
Make doll clothes for Wellie Wishers and Glitter Girls 14.5 inch Dolls with easy sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat!
My favorite pattern for all dolls, but especially the Wellie Wishers, is the Party Time Peasant Dress. This dress lets me use three different, cute fabrics at once and is now available in 5 doll sizes!
The two bottoms I decided on are the Four Season Skirt, and Sandbox Shorts with contrasting pockets. Between these four pieces, the lucky, little girl can make 6 different outfits! Because I used fat quarters, I still have enough of each color that I could make another set. Inexpensive fat quarter bundles from Walmart and other craft stores like Hobby Lobby are great for these kinds of projects!
I hope the little girl enjoys her new doll clothes! I had fun making them for her! Find the link for the free Four Season Skirt pattern by clicking HERE.