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!
Make your own 70s or 80 style doll clothes- print at home patterns
For this easy doll clothes tutorial, start with the Bloomer Buddies PDF sewing pattern from Oh Sew Kat! It comes in 3 sizes, so if you are making a blouse for a doll other than 18 inches, simply adjust your measurements to fit your doll’s arm. Find the sewing pattern HERE.
Print out all of your pieces to make the doll top, including the sleeve. Cut out your pieces, and tape your sleeve piece to a new sheet of paper (near the top) so the fold line is even with the left edge of your paper. Measure down the edge by 3 1/2 inches, and make a mark. Use your ruler to draw the new sleeve hem at a 90 degree angle from your fold line. You can then connect the new hem back up to your short sleeve edge. Cut out your new piece and label it for 18 inch dolls.
Follow the pattern as directed. You can put wrist elastic (4 inches) in or leave it out. You can also make longer sleeves on the tunic or dress length too! Depending on the fabric you choose, your dress can look modern or retro.
Long sleeve, baby doll blouse for your Julie or Courtney 18 inch doll with Oh Sew Kat! PDF patterns
The American Girl BeForever® characters are 9-10 years old in their books. I was seven years old in 1974 (so a little younger than Julie) and my youngest sister was six years old in 1986 (so a little younger than Courtney.) My sister and I BOTH had clothing made from this little rosebud fabric. My sister also had a dress in the same fabric that was pink. Such memories! What do you think? 70s? 80s? I think it works for both!
See more ideas to sew for Julie HERE.
See more ideas to sew for Courtney HERE.
I think this top might also be cute for a set of pajamas!! See it used for nightgowns HERE.
Easy Sewing Patterns for Courtney and Julie Dolls- DIY retro doll clothes
As an 80s gal myself, I am pretty excited about Courtney and all her fun things. Even though I was in college, I still loved the Care Bears (I also had a six year old sister at the time, LOL) and my mom and I tracked down some Cabbage Patch Kids. I didn’t hear about American Girl® until I had children of my own- I guess that is what happened in the times before the internet!
Before I even saw her collection, I started to look at 80s fashions and colors and came up with a few pieces to mix and match for her as soon as I brought her home.
Courtney needs new 80s themed clothing!
I used 3 patterns and made 5 pieces for my Courtney’s new Mix and Match wardrobe. Because both tops are reversible, I get two shirts in one. I tried to pick fabrics that also coordinate with the tights, purple tank top, and jean skirt that she came dressed in (called her “Meet” outfit) so I would have even more wardrobe options.
Easy to sew 80s Fashions for your 18 inch Dolls
I used the Picnic Play Top, Sandbox Shorts, and the Four Season Skirt. The Four Season Skirt pattern is a free gift when you subscribe to my email newsletter. You can find it HERE. Click the links below to see each tutorial. The purple skirt is the Four Season Skirt without any changes to the pattern.
Easy to sew 80s Fashions for Dolls from Oh Sew Kat!
Make an 80s style mix and match wardrobe with Oh Sew Kat! PDF patterns.
Use bright colors and match prints and solids to create a lot of different outfits with just a few basic, quick to sew clothing pieces. Courtney is ready to play PacMan at the arcade!
I’ve been scouring the internet and Pinterest looking for ideas to sew for 1980s BeForever™ character Courtney Moore™ from American Girl®. She’s the newest character to join the historical line up of dolls like Julie, Melody, Maryellen, Nanea, Molly, and more!
Make 80s Doll Clothes for Courtney Moore, American Girl Doll 1986
This PIN (Don’t forget to follow me and save my pins on Pinterest!) reminded me of the boxy summer outfits that were so popular in the 80s so I immediately set about creating the same or similar look for Courtney using Oh Sew Kat! patterns that I already had on hand. I first used the Picnic Play reversible top (adding square chest pockets on some of them); read all about it in THIS POST.
Next I needed to make wide shorts with big pockets. I used the Sandbox Shorts pattern, view C, which has a wider leg. Because the pattern has a flat front and elastic back, I couldn’t just add pockets to the sides without changing the whole pattern. My answer was to add the pockets, just before or just after sewing the leg hems. I used a 2.75 inch square, taking in .25 under each edge. Bam! Perfect 80s shorts! You can find both patterns in the Oh Sew Kat! pattern shop! (Note, you can also use the Jumping Jack 3 in 1 pattern if you have that one as well!)
Make 80s style shorts for your Courtney Moore™ American Girl® Doll
Courtney Moore Doll Clothes: Patch Pocket Shorts
See more sewing ideas for Courtney in my Inspiration Gallery.
Be sure to PIN IT for later!!
Make an Eloise Inspired Outfit for your 18 inch Doll
The Sugar n Spice and Everything Nice patterns are mostly sold as one pattern or bundle. The 18 inch size was only created as one version, but both the 16 inch Animator and 14 inch Welliewisher™ sizes can be purchased as the Sugar n Spice dress pattern, the Everything Nice accessories pattern, or as the Sugar n Spice Everything Nice pattern bundle. Find them all in my Etsy Shop.
To make the black suspender skirt, an iconic look for Miss Eloise, I used the overskirt pattern, found in the Everything Nice accessories pattern. You might want to make it more full than the pattern calls for, but this basic, open back gathered skirt has a nice waistband. My fabric was 29 inches long, so that is what I used. I also took off 1 inch from the hem. Instead of a regular gathered skirt (which will still look very cute!) I pleated my fabric every 3/8th inch or so (I did not measure) and it fit perfectly to my waistband. If you choose to do this, I recommend cutting your skirt piece longer than you need and trimming to fit just in case.
18 inch doll sewing pattern for an Eloise inspired Suspender Skirt
Once you attach the skirt to the waistband, try it on your doll and mark or pin the strap placement. Pin the straps in place inside the skirt (front and back, being careful not to let them twist). On the front, sew a few stitches to secure the straps right in the center of the waistband. On the back, consider hiding your stitches in the hook and loop tape area or the topstitching. Sew the buttons to the front of the waistband where the straps meet the skirt, covering the stitches that attached the straps. For this outfit, I used 9.5 inches of black Fold over elastic for my straps. If using fabric, cut two pieces, 11 x 1.25 inches, folding in each long edge to the center and stitching in place.
Easy doll Costume: Eloise inspired Suspender Skirt
I chose a Playtime Peasant Top for my Eloise costume because all the photos of her seem to have a baggy, almost untucked look to the front of her shirt. Even though it doesn’t have a collar, it still created the look I was after. You could easily add a collar to the bodice of the Sugar n Spice dress and make it into a blouse. You could also use the school blouse pattern from the Pleasant Company Molly’s Pretty Clothes patterns. You can find those at a site called AG Playthings. White knee socks and black mary jane style shoes can be found at American Girl®. See this POST for more doll shoe sources.
Courtney Moore,™ the newest BeForever character from American Girl® is a true 80s girl. With hair scrunchies, boxy clothes and bubble skirts- you can create similar looks with PDF sewing patterns you may already have!
It’s pretty simple to make a basic bubble skirt for your doll. You can start with the free Four Season Skirt pattern from Oh Sew Kat!
You will want to choose a fabric that has some “drape”. That means it softly hangs. Stiff cottons and wovens might not be the best choice. The Four Season Skirt pattern doesn’t have pattern pieces since it’s just too basic rectangles. Cut your waistband as the pattern directs. For the skirt part, you will still have the same length (the long way that goes around the doll), but you will want to double the width of your rectangle (the short way- from the waist to the hem.)
Press your fabric well before you start. Fold your skirt piece in half the long way, with wrong sides together. Baste the raw edges together to hold them in place, and gather as the pattern directs. Do not press the folded edge (which is the hem).
Make a reversible top to match Courtney’s skirt with the easy Picnic Play pattern and this Tutorial. Find more PDF sewing patterns for dolls in 5 sizes in the Oh Sew Kat Etsy Shop, and visit my new Courtney Inspiration Gallery page.
See more about the Mix and Match Wardrobe I made for Courtney in THIS POST.
Click the photos below to see more ideas and pattern hacks for the Free Four Season Skirt pattern.
Doll scale bandana fabric can be hard to find. A few years back, my Walmart had some in just a few colors. I’ve not seen it in a long time, and wish I had purchased more, because it’s such a short cut to making western style doll outfits!! Above, Kelly’s blue outfit is actually two pieces- The free FOUR SEASON SKIRT and the Playtime Peasant Blouse. The cowboy hat and boots are made by American Girl® and are part of Nicki Fleming’s collection.
Use THIS TUTORIAL to make a cute Playtime Peasant Top Dress. In this red bandana fabric, it takes on a western vibe especially when you add the boots! I also added a sparkly elastic belt using this tutorial.
Grace’s pink outfits is one of my favorites. It is also made with the free PDF pattern, the FOUR SEASON SKIRT and the the Playtime Peasant Top. I added the lace to the skirt and you can find the tutorial HERE.
Try this simple pattern hack to the Oh Sew Kat! Backyard Bibs to replace the sewn straps with pretty ribbon bows!
The Backyard Bibs is one of my favorite patterns to sew. It doesn’t take a lot of fabric, has just a few steps, and looks great no matter what fabric I choose.
This idea was shared with me by one of my customers. Thank you, Laura!! It’s really easy to switch out the sewn in straps on the Backyard Bibs pattern and replace them with pretty ribbons you can tie into bows. I used 1/4th inch ribbon for this adorable sundress. Simply cut 4 pieces, 9-10 inches each, and stitch one into each part of the bodice (one on each side of the front, and one on each back.) Remember to keep the ribbons free as you complete your sewing!
Easy Oh Sew Kat! Pattern hack: Make ribbon tied straps on the Backyard Bibs
It doesn’t matter which version or which size of the Backyard Bibs pattern you are making. Four simple ribbons are the perfect touch to give your Backyard Bibs a unique look, no matter the season!
Tie the ribbons in pretty bows, and leave them tied, as you dress and undress the doll. You could even stitch them in the tied position to keep them looking perfect through hours of playtime!
Use the Backyard Bibs PDF Sewing pattern for 18 inch dolls to make fun summer sundresses and rompers.
You can add elastic to the legs of the capri length version and make a cute, summery romper too! The Backyard Bibs pattern has so many options!
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.
It’s easy to add pockets to doll clothes sewing
Enjoy these outfits that POP with the addition of pockets.
Make your own doll clothes with fun pocket accents.
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.
What outfit will you add cute pockets to?
The Sixth Grade Skirt was the first pattern published by Oh Sew Kat! back in 2015. With simple lines and a hook and loop tape close, it’s a quick sew from scraps of fabric and can be adjusted easily to fit other sized dolls. It’s available in 6 sizes (18 inch dolls, 16 inch A Girl for All Time®, 16 inch Animators’, 14.5 inch dolls, and 14 inch Hearts for Hearts Dolls) in my ETSY SHOP, sold alone and in value bundles. Often paired with the Popsicle Top or a Jumping Jack turtleneck, it’s a go to skirt for year round fun.
The pattern includes instructions to make a pleated or lace center panel for the skirt.
Try these other fun ways to change up this simple pattern to create even more fashion wardrobe items. Click on the photo to go right to the tutorials.
Add pockets to the Sixth Grade Skirt.
Use contrasting fabric or the same fabric to add easy pockets to the Sixth Grade Skirt.
Add trim or lace to the hem of the Sixth Grade Skirt
A little trim, eyelet lace, or a small ruffle is the perfect addition to the Sixth Grade Skirt. This polka dot trim I used was pre-ruffled so it was super quick and easy!
Make an Elsa Inspired outfit for your dolls with this Sixth Grade Skirt Patten hack
Make the Sixth Grade Skirt into a sparkly maxi skirt with this easy tutorial.
Visit the Sixth Grade Skirt Inspiration Gallery for more ideas and stitch up a Sixth Grade Skirt for your dolls today!