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.
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!
Use Fold Over Elastic instead of sewn straps on jumpers like Backyard Bibs and Easy Up! Jumper, like in this POST and this ONE. Use ribbon instead of fabric ties. (Try this: Boardwalk Boutique and HalterAlls)
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 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.
Here at Oh Sew Kat! Designs, you will find quick and easy sewing patterns to make an entire doll clothes wardrobe for your 18 inch dolls (like American Girl®) as well as other, smaller sized dolls, like Wellie Wishers and Bitty Baby®. PDF patterns are simple to use (shop and print at home!) and easy to store (computer files- save your pattern pieces for next time or toss them and print them again later). Read below to learn more about the pattern sites where Oh Sew Kat! patterns are sold.
Many of us have favorite sites we like to use and choose and collect reward points to buy (yes!) more patterns. I want you to be able to shop where you like to shop- so I offer my patterns on multiple selling platforms. Each platform is a little different, and all patterns are not available on all the sites. Click HERE to find the FREE Four Season Skirt pattern in 3 sizes.
Please note: Due to the variety of internet browsers, you should always download your PDF file first, and save it on your computer, before opening it and printing your pieces at actual size.
Where to buy Oh Sew Kat! PDF sewing patterns for dolls
You Can Make This
Update 11/21/19: You can still find and purchase my patterns on the YCMT site, but I am concerned it may have been hacked. If you purchased patterns there before, download them now for safekeeping as I am unsure if the site will be around much longer. I encourage you to shop elsewhere for Oh Sew Kat! patterns.
You Can Make This, or YCMT, is a sewing lovers’ dream! This was the site where I first found my love of PDF digital sewing patterns. This site offers much, much more than doll clothes, with a large variety of handbags, kids’ clothes, craft projects, toys, and more from over 300 designers. They offer weekly newsletters, a place to feature the items you’ve made, and also take most forms of payment. You will need to establish an account, but your pattern files will always be available for you in your pattern library. You can also earn points for purchases and use them for future purchases as well.
Use your cricut maker or cricut explore machine to make doll clothes sewing faster, easier and more precise.
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.
1. Make graphic tee shirts for your dolls with a cricut or cameo machine.
Use your cricut machine to cut out cute designs and make your own graphic tee shirts and outfits for your dolls! Boy and girl dolls alike love tees with clever sayings and personalization. I find that heat transfer vinyl is much quicker and easier than using my embroidery machine! With a subscription to Cricut Access, I have thousands of designs at my fingertips that can be resized to doll scale with a push of a button.
2. Cut out your PDF doll clothes paper patterns with your cricut machine and Design Space software.
If you have a cricut machine, no matter the size or name, you can use it to cut out your paper patterns that you purchase from Oh Sew Kat! and other online designers. You will need a cricut account and to be able to use Design Space. You can also do this on the Brother Scan and Cut and Silhouette Cameo machines. You will need to get the images from the PDF pattern into the cutter’s software. I convert mine to SVG files but there are lots of way to do this, depending on your software. (You can try the cricut SNAP Mat for example, or in the Silhouette software, it might be easier to print your pattern page and scan it back in as a jpg file. Load that into the software and use the TRACE tool for each piece.) Again, a little extra prep work the first time you do this, will save you lots of time later on when you go to use your patterns again. Once you cut them out, be sure to label them with the piece name and size, plus add any markings like notches, dots etc.
3. Cut out your doll clothes from fabric with your cricut maker machine.
Yep! You read that right! Technology has arrived!! The newest cricut machine on the market, the Cricut Maker, is the only one that has a rotary blade, that can easily cut fabric on a specially treated mat. There is a learning curve and a time factor to get a pattern set up, but once it’s complete, you can just pull it up and be cutting your doll clothes out in minutes. The cricut maker does not require the fabric to be stiffened to work. Just lay it on the mat and cut! What a time saver, especially for you craft show sellers! Read more in THIS POST.
4. 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. You can weld a square and a triangle together to make a pocket. The new cricut Maker cuts leather very nicely, which opens the door to fun accessories like purses and belts.
5. Make doll shoes with your Cricut machine.
There are lots of ways to use your cricut machine when it’s time to make doll shoes. Use the cricut to cut the foam or chipboard for nice, precise soles. Use the leather and cut out the uppers.
Too busy to sew right now? Pin these images for later! What other ways can you use your Cricut machine to enhance your doll world? Need some specific cricut tutorials? My favorites can be found HERE. Tell Megan you were sent by Oh Sew Kat!
When an Oh Sew Kat! pattern uses a gathered skirt, it’s very difficult to please everyone by either including large, blank pages of pieces of paper to print and tape together to make a rectangle pattern piece, or to just put measurements and let everyone cut their fabric with a rotary cutter. As a pattern designer, I find it to be about a 50/50 split on what people prefer. Personally, I either rip my fabric, or I use my rotary cutter and quilting rulers (like these: AD: https://amzn.to/2XaHDeC) but if you don’t have one, or prefer to cut around a paper pattern, here is an easy tutorial to make a paper pattern for the gathered skirts if one is not included in the pattern.
Make a paper pattern for a doll skirt with just copy paper, a ruler, and a pencil.
First of all, no graph paper is needed. You can, of course, use graph paper to make an easy paper pattern. Most graph paper is 1/4 inch squares, so simply count and mark off your inches and tape them together. This technique does not use graph paper, but rather standard, 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper and a ruler.
It’s actually really easy to make your own pattern with regular printer paper. Start with the basics of the math. A piece of standard, US printer paper is 8 1/2 inches x 11 inches. If you fold it in half the long way, it’s now 4 1/4 inches wide on each half by 11 inches long. Use this basic concept to make your paper pattern.
Let’s start with an easy example, like a skirt that measures 4 x 20 inches.
Fold your paper in half the long way (hot dog). Cut down the center fold, and then measure over and cut off 1/4th more from the long side of each piece. Each piece now measures 4 x 11 inches. (Use a scrapbooking type paper trimmer if it’s easier for you!)
Tape the short sides together, so they overlap by one inch exactly. The piece will now measure 4 x 20 inches. Ta da! Wasn’t that easy?
To make a skirt that measures 5 inches by 20 inches, you will need two pieces of paper instead of one. Fold down the middle, and then measure over another 3/4th inch from the fold in either direction. Cut on that line (5 inches from one edge. You will not use the other part of that paper). Do the same for the second piece. Overlap the short edges by one inch, for a total of 20 inches by 5 inches.
Let’s try one that is a little harder this time. Let’s make a pattern for a doll skirt that measures 6 x 36 inches.
Fold your paper in half the short way (hamburger). This fold will be at 5 1/2 inches. Measure one half inch from the fold in either direction and cut along this line. You will not need the smaller piece you cut off. Your piece now measures 6 by 8 1/2 inches. Do this 5 times, so you have a total of five pieces.
Overlap each one by one inch and tape them together. The piece will now measure 36 1/2 inches. Measure 1/2 inch of one end and cut it off.
Use basic math to make a paper pattern piece to cut out your doll skirt.
If you like to have a pattern piece when you make a gathered doll skirt, these tips/ideas will work for any size that you need. Simply work with what you know. You know what your copy paper measures, so trim it down and overlap it to make it the desired size. Save it for next time with your other pattern pieces.
When you fold a standard piece of American copy paper in half the long way (hot dog), each side measures 4 1/4 x 11 inches.
When you fold a standard piece of American copy paper in half the short way (hamburger), each side measures 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.
Now anytime you purchase a PDF pattern that does not include the pattern piece for the gathered skirt, you have an easy way to construct one yourself without having to run out to buy graph paper.