Blaire’s new outfit is simple but stylish! You can use Oh Sew Kat! Pdf patterns to make your own unique doll clothes.
The Sixth Grade Skirt uses very little fabric and goes together quickly with just straight seams. This pattern is the easiest one in the Oh Sew Kat! Collection and is a perfect starter project. Find it here.
Create your own graphic tee shirts with infusible ink and tee shirt blanks from Cricut. I cut up an XXXL adult shirt to make doll sized tees with the Simple Sweet Tee sewing pattern.
I easily cut a butterfly graphic on my Cricut machine and pressed it to the shirt with my easy press 2. See more details here.
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If you are a fan of the American Girl® 18 inch play doll line, you might already know that American Girl is celebrating its 35th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, they have released the original 6 American Girl® doll characters, for a limited time.
American Girl Doll Fan Tee Shirts for the Original Six Dolls
The doll are at a great price point, since they can be expensive on the secondary market and also come with their complete meet outfit and their accessories.
My daughter and I have been collecting these dolls since she was six years old in 2006. Over the years we have added and been gifted many of the historical characters. Of the original six, the only one that was not already part of my (or my daughter, Molly’s) collection was Kirsten Larson. So I just had to, right?
When my daughter was young, we used to travel to Wisconsin to visit my sister. This usually included a trip to the American Girl Outlet Store, which at that time was in OshKosh. We never got any dolls there, but they always had a fun assortment of items, doll and girl clothing, accessories etc and they were usually very cheap. My daughter and I have always been big fans of all things American Girl!
One item we picked up at one time were some coloring and cooking book sets for the historical characters. I found a page that had all six dolls in silhouette outlines in one of those book (Photo #1) and thought they would look cute on doll sized tee shirts. You can probably find some similar images on Google. My computer scanner is not working at the moment so I had to improvise a bit. If you use a google image, you’ll be ahead of the game. A few trips through the Brother Scan n Cut (see THIS POST for a quick video tutorial) and my Cricut Design Space software, and I cut the six head shot cameos out of glittery HTV and I was ready to make some tee shirts for my dolls to show their fan love of the original characters! Photo 1 below, from left to right: Addy, Josefina, Felicity, Molly, Samantha, and Kirsten. Let me share how I did this quick and easy project!
Once I scanned my doll silhouettes into my computer (Photo 1 above), I was able to cut them from heat transfer vinyl (Photo 2) – Don’t forget to reverse anything you cut from iron on! I used this sparkly gold glitter HTV. Cut with the shiny side down- I used my Cricut Joy machine and the Design Space software, but I also could have used my Scan n Cut probably more easily with fewer steps. However, I’m more familiar with the Cricut software (having had it longer) so I like to keep my entire design library there for now if I want to repeat the project.) Weed the excess HTV from around your images, and cut them apart. They are still on the clear carrier sheet. (Photos 3 and 4)
Warm up your heat press. The Cricut Mini heat press is both adorable and doll sized!! It’s perfect for these quick and tiny projects. You can certainly make your own tee shirts (See the Oh Sew Kat! Simple Sweet Tee Sewing Pattern HERE) but I find it’s worth it to shop at Amazon and have a set of premade tees on hand for these types of projects. I just put my Cricut pressing mat on the kitchen counter and pressed both of these shirts in less than 10 minutes. Once they are pressed, you can peel and toss the clear carrier sheet. Give one more quick press on the inside of the shirt for good measure.
Make a Kirsten Larson Fan Doll Tee Shirt
Here is my beautiful new Kirsten doll in her Kirsten Fan Tee Shirt. Kirsten’s character had a lot in common with the Little House on Prairie books and TV Shows.
Make Samantha her own Fan Tee Shirt
And the always iconic Samantha- of course her tee shirt had to be pink!
Which of the original six characters is your favorite? Did any of them find their way home to you? I think it’s so awesome that the next generation can enjoy these classic doll characters! See my collection of pattern hacks for some of the historical characters HERE.
Easy Graphic Tee Shirts for 18 inch Dolls with Cricut Joy
Have you tried the Boardwalk Boutique doll clothes pattern? With this pattern you can learn to make a variety of breezy outfits for summer. Here are a few other ideas to try with your pattern- and don’t forget to visit the Boardwalk Boutique Inspiration Gallery to see how others have sewn it too!
The Boardwalk Boutique pattern is simple to sew with just a few pattern pieces and makes a cute doll outfit for summer- a long ruffled halter top and ruffled capris to match. This popular patterns comes in four dolls sizes in my SHOP.
Try these sewing variations with the Boardwalk Boutique PDF Sewing Pattern for Dolls
Use the Oh Sew Kat! School Bell Blouse PDF Sewing pattern to make cute, floral feedsack dresses for the Depression era American Girl® dolls, Kit and Ruthie.
Easy Feedsack 1930s Dresses for 18 inch Dolls like Kit and Ruthie
The School Bell Blouse is a simple pattern with a few special details. It’s designed to make two different styles of cotton blouses. In THIS TUTORIAL, I explain how easy it is to make the blouse into a cute dress!! Choose vintage 30s fabric or soft florals to give your dress a 30s vibe.
Add a few buttons, crystals, or even a tab of fabric at the neckline!
It’s easy to add a collar or neck tab to your feedsack dress. Looking through pinterest, it seems geometrics were popular and pretty much anything goes. I just cut mine free hand and sewed it around the edge, flipped it and pressed it. I added some topstitching and basted it in place before sewing the dress to the lining. You could also try lace, ribbon or trims. Just remember to add an extra 1/4th inch to the top for the seam allowance.
Kat’s Tip: If the tab doesn’t lay flat after pressing your dress, you can top stitch over it, or add a little bit of iron on hem tape underneath to tack it down to the dress.
School Bell Blouse Pattern Hack: Make a Depression Era A Line Dress for your 18 inch American Girl Dolls
See how to make more historical fashions for dolls using Oh Sew Kat! patterns in the Inspiration Gallery HERE.
*This post has affiliate links. Read my full disclosure HERE.
Electronic cutters are gaining popularity not just with paper crafters, but for those that sew and craft for American Girl® and other dolls too. I have had a Cricut machine since they first entered the market and have owned just about every version at one time or other. I currently own three of them! I also have one Silhouette Cameo and recently sold an older one. I added the Brother Scan n Cut to my craft room in 2020. All three machines have a place in my craft room. Read on how you can use your Cricut Machine to cut out your paper pattern pieces in a snap!
What are some advantages to spending the time to load your PDF sewing pattern into the Cricut Design Space and cutting them with your Cricut Machine?
The truth of the matter is that you can do pretty much the same things on all the machines. Which one you choose will likely depend on the ease of the associated software, the content libraries available, price, and whether or not you want to cut fabric “straight off the bolt”. The Cricut Maker and the Cameo 4 are the only machines on the market that can cut fabric that has not been bonded or stiffened. I’m not a fan of that extra step, so it was worth it to me to get the Maker.
Pattern pieces storage- with your pattern pieces just one cut away, there’s no need to hang on to the paper after you sew. When you want to use the pattern again, just open Design Space and cut a new set.
Pattern pieces are cut with precision
Save wear and tear on your hands and muscles
If you own a Cricut Maker, you can easily cut the fabric pieces as well using the same file
When you purchase a PDF pattern from Oh Sew Kat! you will receive a digital PDF file. There are a few ways to get this pattern into your Design Space software for cutting. I outline how to use Adobe Illustrator in this POST. You can find a full tutorial on how to adjust your PDF patterns in Adobe and Design Space to cut your fabric pieces on the Cricut Maker HERE.
Here is another method if you don’t want to tangle with fancy and expensive software.
Print out your pattern pieces as usual
Using a scanner, scan the image into your computer as a JPEG (photo) file (if you have software that will do this, it’s easier to do it that way. Print and scan it if you don’t.)
You will see your image and it will ask how complex it is. Choose the bottom choice, COMPLEX
You may have to zoom out. Use the magic wand tool and touch it to the background. The entire background will likely disappear. (Shown by a gray and white checked pattern). Continue to zoom in and out, erasing anything but your pattern pieces and the one inch square.
Click NEXT and choose CUT FILE. Give it a name and keywords to help you find it later
Highlight the file you just imported and add it to your design canvas.
In the top left corner of your grid, you can click the square to toggle between a blank canvas, one inch grid, or smaller grids. Choose the one inch grid.
Zoom out and resize your piece (or pieces as one group if you have more than one piece) until your one inch square matches the one inch grid lines.
Once it is correct, you highlight the group again, choose CONTOUR (bottom right) and turn off the one inch square if you don’t want it to cut.)
Save your project
Choose MAKE IT and load your paper or cardstock to cut your pattern pieces out. Please note: If you use this method for cutting the fabric pieces, you will have to duplicate pieces you need two of (ie sleeves) and create adjusted/full pieces for any pieces cut on the fold, as the machine can only cut one layer at time.
See more ideas to use your cutting machine with your doll crafts HERE, HERE, and HERE. After cutting your smaller pattern pieces, you can use THIS tutorial to make a paper pattern piece for your gathered skirts.
Do you have a Brother ScanNCut machine? See this VIDEO TUTORIAL for quick and easy paper pattern cutting.
I simply searched through my stash to find any silver sparkly material I already had on hand. You can often find it in the costume fabric section of craft stores- and enjoy great sales leading up to Halloween (Kat’s Tip: stock up on a yard or two of some basics colors each year and you won’t be overwhelmed, but still have enough to use for small doll projects.)
You can use a pattern (Four Season Skirt? Sixth Grade Skirt?), or you can simply make your own. Here is a simple way to make a gathered skirt.
Materials: 7 x 20-30 inch piece of fabric (depending on size of doll) and fold over elastic that matches for waistband (7-12 inches depending on your doll), and basic sewing supplies
You need two measurements for your doll. Waist and length from waistband to hem. For 18 inch dolls, I use a 10 inch waist, and 5 inches from waistband (top of) to hem as the finished length. If you have to hem your fabric, you will need to add an additional 1/4-1/2 inch (no matter the doll size) as well as 1/4 inch to attach the skirt to the waistband.
You will cut the skirt piece longer (side to side) for a fuller skirt, and shorter for less fullness. I suggest a minimum of 1.5 times the waist measurement for a basic skirt. Most skirts are more along the lines of 2 or 2 1/2 times the waistband measurement. Keep in mind that thicker fabrics will have more bulk when gathered so you may want to reduce the length to keep the fullness down. It’s all a lot of trial and error and personal choice, of course.
Cut your shiny fabric skirt. For an 18 inch doll, I cut mine 30 inches long by 5 1/2 inches tall because of the drape and weight of the sequin dot fabric. The thinner your fabric, the longer you want to make your skirt so it will be more full. I would probably use more if the fabric was cotton or another stiff fabric. Many specialty fabrics do not fray, so you may be able to get away with just a serged edge/rolled hem or even none at all. It will depend on your fabric. If you need to hem one edge, do this now. Sew the short ends of the skirt together, with right sides together to make one big circle. Place a pin, piece of colored washi tape, or clip at the seam. Using the seam as your first mark, divide the skirt into four equal sections, marking each one with a pin, tape, or clip. I usually put the seam as one side, and extend the piece out to mark half way. Then line up the seam and the halfway pin, pulling the sides out to now show the 1/4th. You should have divided your hemmed skirt piece into four equal sections. (Photo 1)
Cut your elastic to fit the doll’s waistband – 1/2 inch. For an 18 inch doll, I cut mine at 10 inches. This gives me some overlap while still ensuring a snug (but not tight) fit. With right sides together, overlap the edges and sew the waistband together, making a circle. Like the skirt, divide the waistband into four equal sections and mark with a pin, tape, or clip. (Photo 1)
Run a row (or two) of gathering stitches along the top edge of the skirt.
With right side of the skirt to the wrong side of the waistband, pin the skirt top edge to the waistband, matching up the pins or clips and pulling up the gathering thread to fit. Ensure that the edge of the waistband fully covers the raw edge of the skirt. Stretch the waistband as you sew with a 1/4th seam allowance. Remove all pins, tape, and clips, and also the gathering thread. (Photo 2 and 3)
DIY Simple Sparkle Skirt for Dolls like American Girl® and Our Generation®
Easy peasy, right? You can easily make this skirt out of any fabric you have- knits, wovens, satins and more. It’s also a great way to make a simple tulle tutu! Increase your skirt length to make it longer, or width to make it more full. Add fun lace, hems, tulle, or layer fabrics together for even more different skirts. In fact, you can also use the free pattern: Four Season Skirt pattern like I did in the photo below. My silver fabric was so sheer- it wouldn’t work for a skirt (maybe a pretty overskirt! Will have to try that!) so I placed it on white fabric and sewed it up as one piece. It’s also quite sparkly and super easy to do as well!
Choose a more slim or modern look- Grace is wearing a fitted tee (from Amazon) and the Sixth Grade Skirt made out of the same sequin dot fabric. It gives the same vibe, but with a little less “fluff.”
Which version of this “SNOW CUTE” outfit is your favorite? Find more holiday ideas to dress up your doll outfits by clicking the photos below.
Sew your 18″ American Girl® doll some fun fashions for the 50s with easy Oh Sew Kat! patterns.
Visit the Oh Sew Kat! 50s Inspiration Gallery for ideas and links to sew the Oh Sew Kat! patterns with a fun, 50s flair. Your Maryellen Larkin™ doll with love fabulous fifties fashions that you made yourself!
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 have a Brother ScanNCut Machine? I’m loving it to perfectly cut out my paper pattern pieces for my 18 inch doll sewing patterns (and other sizes too!) It is quick to learn, and can be a big help for people that have trouble with their hands and scissors. Your pattern pieces will be smooth and accurate and you can even cut them from cardstock for longer durability. Save yourself the time and get exact cuts with the Brother ScanNCut. Click below to watch a quick video on how it’s done.
Use the ScanNCut to Cut out Paper PDF Sewing Patterns from Oh Sew Kat!
After seeing this video- you may be tempted to get a ScanNCut for yourself. Here’s a link to the model I purchased on Amazon: Ad: Brother ScanNCut SDX 125e. I’m in love with this machine. It worked perfectly right out of the box and I was cutting within minutes. Stay tuned for more ways to use this machine with your dolls, their clothes and accessories!
Cut out paper PDF Sewing Patterns with the Brother Cut n Scan Tutorial from Oh Sew Kat!