For a long, long time, I always passed by the batik sections of my favorite fabric stores. My mother, on the other hand, used more batiks than any other fabrics in all of her quilts. When she passed away, I picked through her collection and came home with some very pretty pieces of fabric. I also purchase batiks online at the Fat Quarter Shop (Like these from the Batik Club AD: Batik Clubs).
This rosy batik looked so different each time I used it. I think I’ve made four different items. These two were both made from the School Bell Blouse pattern. Grace is wearing the top, and Kendall is wearing the Dress Hack. Both have added crystals instead of buttons for some extra shine.
There are so many pretty batiks in bright fall colors and with leaf pattern designs.
These fall batiks had lots of swirling colors- each item made from it can take on a completely different look. Both dresses (photo above and below) were made with the Sugar N Spice Dress for 18 inch dolls. See more info in THIS POST.
Try a few fabrics from the batik section of your fabric store or at the Fat Quarter Shop at this AD: LINK and make the magic happen in your doll clothes sewing too!
Make an American Girl doll skirt with this easy sewing tutorial.
Make a Super, Simple Doll Skirt for 18 inch Dolls
Make a mini skirt Pattern Piece
Supplies: measuring tape, ruler, copy or graph paper, 18 inch (or any size) doll, 12×12 inches of cotton fabric, sewing machine or needle and thread
Take three measurements of your doll: waist, hips (widest part), and length from waist to where you want the finished skirt to end. I used 10.5, 11.5 and 4 inches for my 18 inch doll mini skirt. When you make your pattern piece, you will add 3/4 inch to both the hip and waist measurements for ease *use less for smaller dolls.
From the top left corner of the paper, along the left side, mark three measurements. 3/8th inch (waistband casing), 4 inches (or finished length), 1/4th more (hem). Photo 1.
Make a line at the lowest mark, across the page (at least 8 inches) Photo 1.
Divide the waist and hip measurements in half (pattern piece will be on the fold.) (5.25 and 5.75 on my doll.)
Across the top edge, mark out your half waist (plus 3/4 inch) and two inches below the top edge, mark the half hips (plus 3/4 inch) Photo 1.
Draw a line from your hip mark, down to the hemline. Photo 2
Connect your hip and waist marks, rounding a bit for the bum. Photo 3
Mark the fold on the left and cut out your pattern piece. Photo 4
Use some scrap fabric to cut out and stitch up your skirt. Make any adjustments to your pattern piece for ease or length.
Clean finish (serge or zig zag stitch) the top and bottom. Press up hem and press down waistband casing. (Photo 1 and 2)
Stitch waistband casing. Add 10 inches of 1/4th inch elastic and tack ends in place. Do not stitch hem. (Photo 2)
With right sides together, stitch the back seam from top to bottom, being sure to catch the elastic edges in your seam. (Photo 3)
Fold up hem and stitch in place. (Photo 4)
If you prefer the skirt to open at the back instead of pulling it on over the doll’s feet, press in the back edges and attach hook and loop tape instead of sewing the back seam.
If your skirt seems a little baggier than you’d like, simply turn it inside out, and stitch the back seam in little more. Once you get the look you like, adjust your pattern piece to have it for next time.
Easy to Make- 18 inch Doll Mini Skirt Sewing Tutorial
Joss’ pink top was made with the Popsicle Top pattern. You can find it HERE. Find more pattern tutorials and hacks on THIS PAGE.
Use your cricut maker or cricut explore machine to make doll clothes sewing faster, easier and more precise. You can also use a Brother Scan n Cut machine.
This post includes affiliate links. Please read my POLICY here. I’ve been a cricut user since the very first “baby bug” machine came out. Cricut sure has come a long way since then! Don’t know what I’m referring to? Check out this LINK to see what a cricut machine is.
Decorate your doll clothes with easy to cut pockets, appliques, or accessorize with purses and belts.
Included with the Design Space program are a lot of basic shapes that you can manipulate and cut for free. You can also weld shapes together or slice them apart. Save your files to use them again later. The sparkly pumpkin face on Kelly’s Boardwalk Boutique dress was part of a full pumpkin image. I simply told the cricut to only cut the face using the contour feature in Design Space. You can weld a square and a triangle together to make a pocket. I made the belt and buckle for the holiday apron with two rectangles, and did the same in these Santa and Elf outfits HERE. Iron on is much quick than embroidery!! The new cricut Maker cuts leather very nicely, which opens the door to fun accessories like purses and belts. See my HTV TUTORIAL HERE.
Try Infusible Ink and Create One of a Kind Doll Tee Shirts
Infusible ink is a fun new way to add permanent images to your doll clothes. I’ve got a full tutorial on what you need and how to do it HERE. There are so many colors and patterns of infusible ink transfer sheets to choose from, you will easily find the perfect pattern for your dolly girl. The butterfly image on Blaire’s tee was found in the Design Space Library. After I cut it out, I added the piece from the center to the sleeve. My 9×9 inch Easy Press makes this job quick and easy!!
If you are looking for unique images outside of your cutter machine’s library, check out DREAMING TREE and see what is new for you to create!
Make Fun Accessories for Dolls on your Cricut, Cameo, Scan n Cut Machine
You will have more ideas than time to make them once you dive into your cutting machine and all it can do. Use faux glitter, felt, or faux leather to make cute accessories like belts, bows, straps and more!! See how I made a big cheer bow for Joss in THIS TUTORIAL. This bow (and many more!) can be found in Cricut’s Design Space Library. (Joss’ shirt was also made with HTV from a design in the Cricut library.)
Make Cute Holiday Decorations for your Doll House with your Cricut or Cameo Machine
Use your cricut machine to make cute holiday banners in tiny doll sizes to decorate your doll’s party rooms and birthday celebrations. See how I made this adorable LOVE banner in THIS TUTORIAL.
What other ways do you use your cricut machine to have fun with your dolls?
Too busy right now? Pin these images for later! What other ways can you use your Cricut machine to enhance your doll world? Need some basic LEARN HOW TO CRICUT tutorials? My favorites can be found HERE. Tell Megan you were sent by Oh Sew Kat!
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.