Easy Headband Tutorial: Make a two colored knit headband for your 18 inch Doll
Kira Bailey™ is the 2021 Girl of the Year from American Girl®. This Michigan girl spends the summer in the Australian Outback, working at her aunt’s animal rescue. Her fashions are utilitarian and pretty! Make your Kira doll a two colored knit headband with this easy sewing tutorial.
Use a stretchy knit fabric for the best results. Tee shirts from the craft store are perfect for this project.
Cut two rectangles of knit fabric, one of each color, 2 inches by 10 inches.
With right sides together, use a 1/4th inch seam to sew the long side of each piece, to form tubes (Photo #1)
Turn the tubes right side out, and give them a press with steam to reduce any stretch from sewing. (Use the FASTURNS to make this task super easy!!)
Lay the tubes on the table, forming a cross. One tube will be below the other at the middle. (Photo #2)
Fold the bottom tube in half, aligning the short ends, so the other tube is inside (Photo #3)
Fold the other tube to align the short ends with the short ends of the first one. All four ends are now stacked on top of each other. (Photo #4)
Stitch across the four layers using a 1/4th inch seam.
Turn the headband right side out, so the stitching in on the inside, and pull the headband so one color is on one side, and the other side is the other color. (Photo #5)
This headband is a quick project! Finish it in an hour or less!
Make a knit headband for your Kira™ American Girl Doll
This headband is quick to make – you can make it in colors to match all of her outfits. It looks just like the headband that American Girl® sells with the Kira Bailey™ comfy jumpsuit outfit.
See more tutorials for 18 inch Doll Accessories by clicking the photos below.
Do you use a serger when you sew your doll clothes? I’ve always felt that a serger is as essential as my sewing machine but I know everyone has a different view on this.
Try this easy Serger Setting Tip from Oh Sew Kat!
The Twinkle Twirl Skirt PDF sewing pattern offers many variations for adding different ruffles and hems. When making long and thin ruffles, the serger can be your best friend! You can use a rolled hem to finish the edge (in matching or contrasting colors) in just one step, compared to finishing, pressing, and hemming those little strips.
You can see that the thin, black ruffle at the bottom of Joss’ pink Twinkle Twirl skirt (above) is gathered just above the middle of the ruffle and is attached to the skirt on the outside. Both edges of the ruffle, as well as the pink hem, were finished with a rolled hem.
Use this Serger Settings Tip to Easily Change from an overlock to rolled hem stitch
Here’s a quick tip to make it super easy to switch back and forth between your 3/4 thread overlock stitch and a rolled hem. You will need two colors of some sort of sticker, washi tape, or vinyl scraps. Cut each color into 4-5 tiny triangles. And by tiny, I mean tiny. Maybe 1/4th inch long.
Most of us leave our serger set to a standard overlock stitch. I use a three thread since it creates a smaller stitch for doll clothes. Take one set of your colored triangles and use them to “point” to the current settings. My serger has two knobs, plus one letter dial. So I made a blue triangle point to each dial’s current setting.
Next, you will want to set up for a rolled hem.
The first place to look to make a rolled hem on your particular serger is in your owner’s manual or threading guide. This will tell you how to set your machine up and what dials and settings you will likely use. I also suggest heading over to YouTube to search for your specific brand-rolled hem.
Change all the settings to the rolled hem settings and test it on a scrap of fabric like the fabric that you use most often. Adjust the length and / or width until you are happy with the stitch. Now use a different color to mark these settings.
You might want to add an extra little sticker on a piece of tape on the inside of your machine as a key to remember which is which.
Once you finish your rolled hem, simple move all of your dials back to your 1st color (blue in my case), and test it on a scrap. The next time you need a rolled hem, you won’t need to look up the settings again, just turn all of your dials to your second color. You can add more colors if there are other stitches that you frequently use, such as a 4 thread, which on my serger, are green. For the most part, I just move back and forth between the 3 thread (blue) and a rolled hem (pink). I also used my label maker to remind me which dial is the width and which is the length.
Try Kat’s Quick Tip for Your Serger Settings
Easy peasy, right? I’m sure you will now find lots of way to reduce your sewing time plus add a fun accent to your doll clothes by adding a rolled hem.
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.
Make a quick spring skirt with this FREE SKIRT pattern for Dolls
Spring has sprung!! With flowers and showers, the entire world seems to wake up overnight when Spring arrives. Maryellen can’t wait to remove her saddle shoes and put her bare feet in the grass. Her cute whale skirt is paired with a reversible Popsicle Top and the skirt waistband matches the top. This skirt was actually one of the prototypes I used when I created the Four Season Skirt pattern, which you can get for free HERE. This skirt is a little shorter in both the waistband and the skirt, which gave it a fuller flare for spring!! Check out Grace in her pink Easter egg skirt here. See more Four Season Skirts here and here.
Joss Kendrick™, the 18″ doll of the year for 2020 from American Girl® is a surfer girl and a cheerleader. She has a pair of pajamas that are simply a pair of pants with a tank top. Use this tutorial to take the Simple Sweet Tee shirt pattern by Oh Sew Kat! and with a few adjustments, make your Joss doll some cute tank tops for bed, or cheer practice, or just to play on the beach!
Make a cute tank top for your 18 inch doll with the Simple Sweet Tee Shirt pattern from Oh Sew Kat!
Method 1: Simple Tank Top
Supplies Needed: Simple Sweet Tee pattern, ruler, knit fabric, fold over elastic (8.5 inches). Print out the Simple Tee Shirt pattern pieces- front and back. Do not cut them out. Always check the one inch box to make sure you printed correctly, even if you have used the pattern before.
Measure up 1/2 inch from CF and make a dot. Measure up the neckline seam line (dotted line) two inches, and make another dot. Connect these two dots with a tiny amount of curve. From the second dot, make a straight line down to the armsye corner. Cut out your new pattern piece.
Flip the front pattern piece over onto the back and trace the new armseye, extending the top edge (CB) up one half inch.
Cut out the two pieces from your fabric, with the front on the fold as before.
Fold each armseye in 1/4th inch and stitch in place. This fabric is a pair of girls’ leggings I bought new at Kohl’s. It’s got a lot of stretch to it so I used wonder tape and my walking foot to make the sewing easier.
With RST together, stitch the side seams.
Cut 8 inches of 1/2 inch fold over elastic. This will form the neckband, connecting the sides in the process. Find the center of your elastic and pin it to the right side of the center of the shirt. (Follow the instructions in the Simple Tee pattern for the elastic- start with wrong sides together, then flip to right side and topstitch.) . Leave a gap of 3/4 inch between front and backs for the shoulders.
Fold the elastic to the outside and top stitch in place. The ends of the elastic will hang off either end by about 1/2 inch. Steam the elastic if it stretched out when you sewed it.
Finish the back seams, trimming off excess elastic.
Fold up hem by 1/4th inch and stitch in place.
Try the top on your doll and attach the hook and loop tape to both back edges as directed by the pattern.
Method 2: Contrasting Trim
Another variation would be to sew the side seams first, and then either fold the armseyes in as one long seam, or even add fold over elastic to each side of the armseyes for more contrast. Then add the neck elastic to cover the edges. You will need about 6 1/2 inches per side of FOE plus 8 inches for the neck.
If you plan to use this method, add a little bit of a curve to the under arm portion of your pattern, so you won’t have such a severe “V” to add the elastic to. Cut 1/4 inch off the center front and the center back lines. (If you fail to do this, the top will be too wide. (Ask me how I know… you can cut the center line and add a seam to make it the right size, like I did. I then covered it with ricrac to hide the seam before adding the neckline elastic.)
Sew side seams and press open
Cut Fold Over Elastic to two 6 1/2 inch pieces. Following the method in the Simple Tee pattern, attach the wrong side of the elastic to the wrong side of your top, fold it over along the fold line, and topstitch from the right side.
Add the neckband in the same manner, with 8 inches of Fold Over Elastic. Start pinning at the middle of the top with the middle of the elastic and butt the FOE edges right next to each other, without a gap. Stitch as above and trim off any extra at the edges.
Finish the back edges and add hook and loop tape according to the pattern directions. Press up 1/4th inch at the hem and stitch.
Make Joss a cute tank top with thise easy Simple Sweet Tee Pattern Hack
With Oh Sew Kat! pdf sewing patterns, it’s SEW easy to take a basic peasant top, and step it up with a cute, neckline ruffle. You will love this simple technique to take a plain peasant top from fine to fabulous!
Add a ruffle to the neckline of a peasant top for a whole new look!
You can make a thin ruffle, or let it be a little wider and add your own unique flair to the peasant tops you sew.
It’s easy to add a ruffled neckline to a peasant style doll top
Adding a sweet ruffle to your pattern is simple. Follow the steps in this tutorial, and read more in THIS ONE. You can use this technique on tops, dresses and skirts! (See a tutorial to add lace between the layers of a skirt here, and sign up to get the skirt pattern FREE right here!
Add a ruffled neckline to your Playtime Peasant Top for Dolls
Use lace as a ruffle! Lace is available in so many sizes and colors! It’s usually already gathered, so it will ruffle up even more. This is the Party Time Peasant Dress on Bitty Baby. You can use this technique with every doll size.
Make a simple top spectacular with an easy neckline ruffle.
Read more about Maryellen’s stunning fall top in THIS POST. Find the Playtime Peasant Top (long and short sleeves included!) HERE.
Use this easy hack for tops and dresses too! Nanea’s muumuu is an easy variation of the Playtime Peasant Top. With an easy added neckline ruffle and simply extending the top length down to floor length you can make a beautiful Hawaiian dress in a very short time! Find the full tutorial HERE.
With Oh Sew Kat! pdf sewing patterns, it’s SEW easy to take a basic skirt or dress pattern, and step it up with a cute ruffle at the hem. This is also a great trick for any time a dress or skirt turns out shorter than you’d like it to be.
Add a lace or ruffled hem to your Doll Dresses and Skirts
Use lace as a ruffle! Gathered lace is absolutely the easiest way to add a pretty hem to your skirt or dress. Attach the lace when you create the hem, so the ends will be finished in with the back edges for a clean look. Look for lace in different colors for even more options!
Another easy way to add a ruffle is to purchase trim that is already gathered. This polka dot trim was quickly added to the Sixth Grade Skirt with almost no work at all! It looks so sweet! Find more information on how to do this in THIS POST.
It’s easy to add a ruffled hem to a peasant style doll top Dress
Nicki’s dress was made using the Playtime Peasant Top. I cut the top as usual, but instead of hemming it, I added a small ruffle. Read more, and see more photos in THIS POST.
Adding a fabric ruffle is also very simple. Figure out how wide you want the ruffle when it’s done (usually 3/4th to 1 1/4th inch depending on doll size.) You can also shorten the skirt by this same length to keep the finished length the same- but sometimes a ruffle is the perfect solution if a doll skirt ends up too short for your liking.
Double this number and add 1/2 inch for your seam allowances. This will be your WIDTH. Cut the length one and a half to two times as long as the skirt. The longer the length, the more ruffled your hem will be. Fold your fabric with wrong sides together the long way and press. This pressed side becomes your bottom hem. Gather the raw edges and attach to the hem of your skirt with right sides together. Easy peasy, right?
Any skirt or dress can have a ruffled hem. Be creative and mix and match your fabrics. Visit the Inspiration Gallery for even more ideas! Download and sew these easy sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat! for your dolls today!
Like many of us these days, I love to shop for my fabric online and have it delivered right to my door. Sure, I miss out on the wandering through the aisles of beautiful fabrics, but when I shop online, I usually spend a little less money than when I’m seeing and touching fabrics in person, at least that is what I tell my husband! This post has affiliate links. Please read my policy here.
Shop for doll clothes fabric online with these great fabric retailers.
Be sure to pin this list to save it for later!
Lanie’s green outfit (below) was made using the Easy Up! Sewing pattern. I cut it across the middle, and gave the skirt a center seam. I later adapted this pattern hack into the Backyard Bibs pattern and added three variations. Both patterns are available in multiple doll sizes in my ETSY SHOP.
Fat Quarter Shop– for me, this is just fabric heaven. They offer fast shipping, great service and a huge selection of fabric and fun notions. They stock all of the latest quilting colorways and show you what is coming down the pike. Weekly specials offer a chance to stock up on basics and more. When white kona layer cakes go on sale, I usually buy a few and have them on hand for lining the inside of Backyard Bibs and Sugar N Spice Dresses.
Cricut.com– Although not really a fabric shop, you would be amazed at the small scale bundles and amazing sales offered by Cricut. Shipping is quick and often free. Join their email list to be notified of sales and then stock up on some neat, fabric fat quarter bundles or layer cakes.
Fabric.com– If it’s not here, it probably does not exist. Fabric.com is a one stop shop for all of your fabric needs, from home decor to small scale doll prints.
Shabby Chic.- This adorable site offers its own style of charm in its fabric collection. Although the selection is curated and limited a bit, when you find what you like, it’s all color coordinated and presented in a gorgeous way. You’ll surely find something to love here!
Missouri Quilt Shop– Like the Fat Quarter Shop listed above, this is your quilter’s cotton heaven online! With daily deals and an extensive collection of fabrics and notions, you’ll surely find a few you can’t live without here.
Do you make doll clothes to sell? Craft show season has started! Many sellers use Oh Sew Kat! patterns for craft shows because they are quick and easy, and don’t use a lot of fabric but still offer fun design options for a few sizes of popular dolls. Here are a few tips to speed up your doll clothes sewing whether you are sewing 1 doll outfit or 100…use one or many to be more productive this craft show season!
Read through all directions first so you know what you will have to do. Look for places where you can combine steps. Most patterns are written in sections (bodice, sleeves, skirt for example.) . There is no reason you cannot hem the bodice lining, the sleeves, and the skirt all at one time. Also look for ways to maximize the changing of your sewing machine feet by waiting to top stitch until you have another part ready as well. (Try this: Party Time Peasant Dress, Playtime Peasant Top, Sugar n Spice Dress)
Chain sew your pieces together. Sew a seam, then add the next pieces without clipping the threads in between. If you have to sew them twice (like two shoulder seams), clip the last one and put it back in front.
Cut more than one garment at a time, that uses the same color of thread. Sew both at once, even if they are different patterns.
Spend down time cutting out projects in advance. Keep them in zip lock bags until you have time to sew. Even if you just have time to sew a few steps or seams, those captured moments can really add up if you only sew 10 minutes a day for a week or so.
Press as you go (again, possibly working on two or three sections at one time.) Sew what you can, put aside what needs to be pressed, move on to next pieces until they also need to be pressed, and then press all at once. Example- finish the edge of the sleeves, bodice lining, and skirt hem. Take them all to the ironing board, and press them up, then sew all the hems.