Every doll needs lots and lots of basic tee shirts!! Whether to show her school spirit, or her favorite sport or band, you can whip up some easy tees with the Oh Sew Kat! Simple Sweet Tee pattern. I like to use fold over elastic on my tees for a quick to sew and fun to see trim. Find the pattern in four sizes here!
Try out these easy pattern hacks. Find more Oh Sew Kat! pattern hacks and tutorials HERE.
Everyone’s favorite dresses are comfy like tee shirts!! Use this pattern hack to make your doll a comfy tee shirt dress with the Simple Sweet Tee pattern. For these cute dresses, I used girls’ leggings I bought at Walmart (buy the biggest size they have to get the most fabric!). Find the full tutorial HERE.
Infusible ink is a product that sinks into the fabric and makes a permanent image. It won’t peel up or wash out. I use infusible ink with my Cricut machine to make super cute doll tees!!! Find the full tutorial HERE.
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.
This post includes affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy HERE.
Looking for a new and unique way to customize your doll clothes? Have you tried Cricut’s infusible ink yet? Infusible ink is different than heat transfer vinyl (iron on) in that it sinks into the fabric instead of sticks to it. The result is a vibrant, permanent image. Cricut offers a wide variety of blanks that are made of the right fiber content for infusible ink. They don’t offer doll sized tees yet, so I wait for a sale, and purchase the largest size of tee shirt available. I cut out my tee and turtleneck shirts using the Simple Sweet Tee and the Jumping Jack PDF sewing pattern.
Infusible ink is sold in transfer sheets. You can use your electronic cutter to cut out designs, and then use a heat press to infuse the ink to your item. It comes in solid colors and patterns too. You can also buy infusible ink markers and draw your own designs! Infusible ink is fun for gift items, coffee mugs, and of course, custom doll tee shirts! See the whole range of blank items HERE.
Choose your design in the Cricut Design Space software. Look for single color, blocky images for the best results. If you are using patterned infusible ink, remember that your design will be very small, so pay attention to where the coloring is on your infusible ink sheet. I size my images for doll tees shirts to about two inches.
I used the slice tool to create the white negative space of the butterfly design into a circle for the front of the shirt, then I was careful not to tear the butterfly that gets weeded out and I put it on the sleeve of the shirt. Learn how to use the slice tool here. Two designs in one! Once you have finalized your design, cut it out with your Cricut machine. I used my Cricut Maker for this project, but any Cricut machine will work. Here’s a quick video to show you how to set it up to cut the ink transfer sheet.
Prep your tee shirt pieces for the ink transfer. You can’t use just any tee shirt for an infusible ink project, it needs to be a special blend of polyester to take the ink. Cricut products are designed specifically for this, but you may be able to find other sublimation blanks to use as well. Need help? Check Cricut’s short video. Here’s a link to Cricut’s video of how to press your design into your tee shirt. My new Easy Press 2 is the perfect size for doll projects! Once I determined my design placement, (color side down), I used the Heat Settings APP to tell me the temp and time for the heat press. Once the design cools, remove the clear carrier sheet and your tee shirt is ready to be sewn together!
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure and policies HERE.
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 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!
Try these variations on a basic tee shirt pattern for your doll!
Make 18 inch Doll Sized Tee Shirts with this easy PDF sewing pattern from Oh Sew Kat!: The Sweet, Simple Tee
Before I publish a new pattern, I send it out to my amazing team of Oh Sew Kat! testers. I love to get their feedback and see what they come up with. Here are a few photos from some of the test outfits of the new Twinkle Twirl Skirt pattern. You can find it in my Etsy Shop with five sizes included in one pattern! Be sure to notice all the different tops you can use with this skirt. Patterns are all by Oh Sew Kat and found on etsy.
Twinkle Twirl Skirts for Dolls in 5 Sizes by OhSewKat.
Leah’s outfit, made by Michele, has a western flair. The sunny colors are perfect on her. Her top is made with just the bodice of the Spring Shine Dress pattern. Michele is very talented, no matter what doll size she is sewing for! All of her Twinkle Twirl Skirts are just darling!
Be inspired by the OhSewKat testers and the Twinkle Twirl Skirt Sewing Pattern.
Shh. Baby is sleeping! Magz not only stitched up an adorable Twinkle Twirl Skirt in the 15 inch baby size, but she sent over the cutest photographs! I love the pop of green with the black accents on this skirt. Her top is made with the Simple Sweet Tee Shirt pattern.
Does your Bitty Baby™ need some bloomers under her dress? Click HERE to get a free PDF Sewing Pattern for Basic Baby Bloomers by Oh Sew Kat!
Kathy’s cute Twinkle Twirl Skirt has a primary colors school theme. Her Popsicle Top is reversible for two outfits in one! Kathy made her own bias tape to match the ruffle on her skirt. There are so many options for you to try!
Michele added a patriotic theme to her test outfits. Aren’t these darling? Willa has a Picnic Play top with her Twinkle Twirl Skirt with hem ruffle and Kendall is wearing a top made with just the bodice of the Spring Shine Dress with her simple patchwork skirt. These girls are ready for a hoe down! Visit the inspiration gallery to see more ideas with this simple to sew pattern.
Find the Twinkle Twirl Skirt Pattern (with 3 styles and 5 sizes in one pattern) in the OhSewKat Etsy Shop.
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
Make a quick headband or belt accessory for your 18″ Doll with this easy tutorial.
Have you used fold over elastic before? Don’t you just love it? With so many colors and designs to choose from, it’s a go to trim for doll clothes, especially tees, panties, and swimsuits. The edges don’t ravel, and when folded in half along its center line, it makes a nice border trim for your project that is so easy to use. It’s featured in my Simple Sweet Tee pattern as an easy way to handle knit fabric edges for beginners.
Make a quick and easy doll headband and belt with fold over elastic.
Fold over elastic, available in colors and patterns, is the perfect, easy to use trim for doll clothes. Try it on hems and necklines, as belts, headbands, and straps! I use fold over elastic on a lot of different types of doll outfits as you can see below. I use it often as straps for the Easy Up Jumper or the Backyard Bibs to speed up my cutting and sewing and still offer a nice part of the design element.
The gray striped straps on this (below) bunny jumper is actually fold over elastic, (not folded) and because the Easy UP! Jumper straps are elastic anyways, using FOE is a great shortcut without sacrificing style! Click HERE to see more photos of this dress and to find a direct link to purchase the pattern.
Make an 18 inch doll headband in less than 10 minutes:
The greatest use I’ve found for FOE (Fold over elastic) is a quick and easy headband for your doll. The best news is that it also fits as a belt, so it’s a perfect two for one project that will take 10 minutes or less! Because it’s elastic, it’s easy to put on and take off the doll, yet still stays snugly to the doll’s head and waist. Use different widths, colors, and patterns, and add flowers, buckles, or fun buttons. You will find fold over elastic is also very inexpensive!
Doll Headband (Belt) Tutorial:
Choose your FOE (fold over elastic)- find it in your local craft store, on etsy, or even Amazon like this assortment: AD: FOE ON AMAZON. I like 5/8th inch wide, which is a pretty easy to find size.
Cut your elastic to 10 1/2 inches for an 18 inch doll or for Bitty Baby. For Wellie Wishers and Glitter Girls use 8 inches. For other size dolls, measure the size of their heads, and also their waist. Use the average of the two measurements, because the elastic will stretch. Try it before you sew if you are unsure.
If you want to add any sort of a slide buckle, put that on now, ensuring the front of the buckle and the front of the elastic are facing the same direction.
Over lap your elastic ends by 1/2 inch, being sure the elastic is not twisted. Stitch over the lapped edges, by forming a square, then sew an X in the middle. This will keep it nice and secure.
Leave it plain or decorate your elastic with a flower or button and put it on your doll as a headband or a belt! Make them in every color!
Easy doll accessories to make- Headband and Belt Elastic Craft
The elastic I used for Nicki’s belt below, already had the sparkly stones on it, so it’s not technically fold over elastic, but it’s about the same width and certainly works the same way. Can’t find any that sparkle? Use some strong glue and add your own sparkle! See the tutorial to make this Playtime Peasant dress HERE.
Follow these simple steps to make your own Fold Over Elastic headbands and belts for all of your dolls. You will love having a small basket of these easy accessories ready to go as you mix and match new doll outfits.
The Simple Sweet Tee pattern was designed around using fold over elastic to create a pretty contrast trimmed edge on the neckline, sleeves, and hem, but it also makes sewing knits a little easier for beginners to learn. Find the pattern HERE.
Find more tutorials for your dolls HERE and be sure to visit the Inspiration Gallery to see ideas for the entire line of Oh Sew Kat! line of PDF sewing patterns.
Sophie is one of my very talented, long time testers. Her sense of fashion and amazing photography give me so much joy. I hope you are as inspired by her cool, blue fashions as I am! Find more of her beautiful work on Instagram under Project_AG_Runway, and find the link to each pattern below the photos.
Sew a soft, ruffled skirt and eyelet top with the Playtime Peasant Top and Twirl Skirt Pattern.
Thank you again to Sophie for sharing her amazing talents with me. These outfits were all sewn using Oh Sew Kat! PDF patterns. Find all of these patterns and more in my Etsy Shop for 18 inch dolls and other sizes as well.
Willa and Camille are dressed in Simple, Sweet Tees with Four Season Skirt. Both of these patterns are so quick and easy, you can outfit the whole bunch of dolls in just one afternoon. The Four Season Skirt pattern is FREE right here.
Kelly’s dress was made with the School Dance Dress Pattern. With three different ways to sew it up, your doll will be ready for cooler weather in her own style! Grace is comfy and casual in her Simple, Sweet Tee and boots.
Are your kiddos ready to head back to school? Their doll friends will be with these cute outfits you made yourself!!
Get your dolls ready to head back to school with easy fashions from Oh Sew Kat! Sewing Patterns.
See more Simple Sweet Tee Ideas here and here, and the Four Season Skirt is here.