To make your Peasant Top into a Dress, add 2 inches to the length for the 18 inch doll
Optional depending where you want the sleeve hem to fall: Add 1/4th inch to the length of the short sleeve
Cut your two ruffles twice as long as the hem of the sleeve by 2 1/2 inches wide
Press each ruffle the long way with wrong sides together
Gather the raw edges of each ruffle and pin it to the right side of the sleeve hem
Complete your top according to the pattern directions
Joss looks so pretty in these soft floral prints.
You can also make it into a dress like Grace’s festive outfit below. She is also wearing Luciana’s red belt purse to complete her outfit. To make this dress, I extended the bodice piece by 2 inches to make it dress length and then added the ruffles instead of hemming the sleeves. These green ruffles are a little wider than the ones above, so the sleeves go down to her wrists. Add a belt if you like to complete the look; Grace is using Luciana’s belt purse from American Girl®.
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Try this easy craft project to make doll necklaces for your 18 inch dolls like American Girl® and Our Generation®. These necklaces are perfect for Valentine’s Day or for any time of the year. Finish off that special hand made outfit with the perfect jewelry accessory.
There are a few different ways to make your doll necklaces. You can string beads on a thin ribbon, string or piece of elastic and tie it in back. You can buy premade bracelets and put charms on them. Or you can buy jewelry wire and add your beads and clasps with crimp beads. Choose the option to give you the look you want. If you want to make a simple wire necklace with clasps, try THIS TUTORIAL on WikiHow.
My beaded necklaces are about 8 1/2 inches finished length. My gold chain necklace is 10 inches. I like this style of chain HERE as I can cut it to the length I want and just add the clasps. They offer it in GOLD too. Another option is to buy inexpensive chain bracelets or anklets at the craft store like this one. You can make your doll necklaces as long or as short as you like.
If you are just starting out, and plan on making a lot of jewelry, this KIT gives you a great assortment of beads, tools, findings and more. This smaller and cheaper KIT also has everything you need to get started.
I purchased boxes of small beads in assorted colors. They are available at most craft stores or you can find some similar pink beads here. I also added some sparkly crystal beads at set intervals on some of my necklaces.
Make an easy charm necklace for your doll.
Add a simple charm to a chain for a super fast and easy accessory. There are so many to choose from and you can change them to fit your doll’s mood. Choose charms that are smaller than your doll’s hand so they don’t look too big.
You will find a very large selection of inexpensive charms at your local craft store. When you use the chain necklaces, it’s super easy to swap out the charm for a different look. Check out this charm assortment on Amazon for a great selection of doll sized charms for necklaces.
Easy 18 inch doll necklaces that can change with the season.
You can also use the standard ball chains for easy necklaces as well. The clasps are easy to move around and charms easily slide on and off to change them out.
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 doll sized Cheer Bow with this easy tutorial
*This post contains affiliate links. Read my policy HERE.
Joss Kendrick™ is the American Girl® Girl of the Year for 2020. She’s a ten year old girl living in Huntington Beach, California. She loves to surf with her friend and surf sister, Sophia, and her brothers. In her story, she tries out something new- cheerleading. She finds that she can be both a cheerleader and a surfer in the process. Her cheer bow is an important part of her story. Here is a quick tutorial to make a felt cheer bow for your Joss doll or any of here friends. I used my cricut machine but you can cut the pieces by hand as well.
Find a full selection of easy PDF sewing patterns for 18 inch dolls and other sizes in my Etsy Shop to make your own surf outfits and cheer uniforms too!
hair clip, hair tie or headband to attach bow to (I like these alligator clips from Amazon.)
tool to push the hot glue and keep your fingers safe
1. Choose your bow design. You can use any image or design that will produce a 3D bow. In Cricut Access, choose a bow design that makes a 3D bow. You can also find an svg file on etsy or even google. You will know it is a 3d bow because it will import as pieces that might not look like a bow yet. I used the “short bow topper” without the band for the loops (duplicate the loop layer and make one smaller than the other so you have two), and the “cute little bow” as my base layer.
2. Cut your design from felt. I like felt because it’s inexpensive and easy to work with. Be sure to try leather or sparkly faux leather. You can use one color or many. Keep all of your pieces together and size them to your preference. (My cheer bow is about 3 1/2 inches across the base layer.)
3. Heat up your glue gun, and place glue in the center of the larger loop layer. Glue both ends to the center, holding it down until the glue cools with a tool or the hair clip.
4. Do the same for the smaller loop layer.
5. When the layers are completely cool, stack them on top of each other with more glue.
6. If you are layering your bow on a solid base with tails, like I did, glue the center band to the center of your bow, and wrap it around the back, securing the edges.
7. Glue the entire bow to the base with tails. When it cools, glue your clip to the back side. Add little sparkles or sequins for decoration with more glue if you want.
8. Put Joss’ hair in a high ponytail and make sure her cheer bow stands up tall so she can fly high! (Be sure the hot glue cools completely before you put it in your doll’s hair.)
There are many bow designs to choose from. It’s easy to make them bigger, smaller, with tails or without. Alternate colors and try different materials. If you make a smaller bow without the tails, you will wrap the center piece around all the layers, including the base layer and the clip and secure it with hot glue.
Easy craft for 18 inch dolls: Make Cheer Bows with a Cricut Machine
I also made Joss’ practice shirt. I found this design in Cricut Design Space Library and added it to a simple, sparkly tee shirt. Find more information on how to do this in THIS POST.
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.
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.
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.
Please note: This tutorial includes affiliate links. See my policy HERE. This tutorial will also work with other e-cutter machines like Cameo and Scan n Cut (plus more), but it is written for the Cricut machine.
Make your doll a graphic tee shirt to fit your mood and your style.
I found this baseball graphic in the Cricut Design catalog. When I choose a design for a graphic tee for a doll, I look for bold designs with simple details. Fewer colors is a plus as well. If the letters are thin, they may be too hard to read or get messed up in weeding because it is such a small size.
SUPPLIES NEEDED: HEAT TRANSFER VINYL. You can find it on Amazon as well as from Cricut.
Tutorial: Set up your graphics on Design Space & Prepare Your Materials to Cut
Using Design Space, set up your design. For an 18″ doll, I try to keep my designs within a 3 x 2 inch rectangle as the shirts are not very big. Use a smaller area for smaller dolls to keep the graphics in proportion to their size.
Once your design is set up, you need to either reverse it so it’s now backwards, or use the “Mirror” button before cutting. Heat transfer vinyl comes on a “carrier sheet” and this carrier sheet holds your pieces of your design in place and together as you to put the HTV against the fabric. It will be sticky enough to hold your design in place while you press and will peel off after pressing.
Check your cut settings (heat transfer vinyl or iron on setting on your machine), cut your design, and weed off (pull off) the HTV that surrounds the design, so all that is left on the clear carrier sheet is the design pieces you actually want on your shirt. Be sure to get the little bits inside your round letters if you have any words in your design. If the design is multiple colors, cut each one and weed it individually. When you lay it on the shirt, sticky side down, it should now read correctly.
You will press your design from the bottom layer to the top layer, pressing each one individually. The bottom layer is often the biggest, and it will be closest to the shirt. Figure out your pressing order and line up your layers so you don’t make a mistake. For example, for the Captain America logo, I pressed the layers in this order: large red circle, large white circle, small red circle, navy blue circle, white star. Because these shirts are small, it’s easy to eyeball the placement, and I just used my regular iron. If you have a very intricate design, consider using registration marks to line everything up correctly. There are lots of videos on YouTube® on how to do this.
Fold your tee shirt in half to mark the center and press it with your finger. Do the same for the bottom layer of your design. Place the design, carrier sheet sticky side down, onto the shirt, cover with a teflon sheet, and press quickly. Remove the carrier sheet. The type of shirt and type of HTV will determine the temperature and timing for pressing. If you have a lot of layers, you may not want to press each layer for the full time as the layers will be pressed again with each layer. Give the last layer a good 10 seconds of press.
Working from the bottom layer to the top, continue to add each layer and press it in place. You can add multiple colors at one time, but only if the carrier sheets do not overlap. Use a teflon sheet over your design as you work. If you are using any kind of metallic, hologram, or glitter HTV, that layer must be the very top layer or it will not stay pressed in the long run.
Use your Cricut Machine to make your own doll sized graphic tee shirts and outfits.
This snowflake was cut from glitter vinyl and is much more sparkly than the photo shows. I found the design in the Cricut catalog. I have a subscription to Cricut’s Access– so I can use any designs marked with the “a” whenever I want, instead of having to purchase designs individually. So far, I’ve always been able to find something that I could use for any project I have worked on. Once it was pressed, I added to it with blue crystals for even more of an effect. (Find them in the craft store scrapbook aisle.) Each one you create will be unique and special!
Heat Transfer Vinyl comes in a large selection of colors and finishes. Try a few in doll scale to add your own personal touch to doll fashions you make or you buy.
You can find premade doll tees on Amazon HERE and THIS SELECTION offers a nice variety of HTV to give you lots of options when you start out. (I prefer SISER Easyweed HTV over some others.
In addition to my cricut machines, I also own two Cameo machines. The results will be the same, no matter which machine you own or use. The Silhouette software works very much the same, and you need to mirror your HTV designs as well. Have fun creating a new doll wardrobe with your choice of fun graphics!
Below you will find links to more Cricut related posts:
If there is one thing that little girls like to do with their dolls, it is to dress them for bed and put them to sleep. The dolls in your life will have sweet dreams with a flowing nightgown you make yourself with this easy PDF sewing pattern from Oh Sew Kat! Use this simple pattern hack to the Bloomer Buddies PDF sewing pattern to Step it Up!
Make a nightgown for your 18 inch doll with easy sewing patterns by Oh Sew Kat!
First, you need the Oh Sew Kat! Bloomer Buddies pattern. It’s available in three sizes where Oh Sew Kat! patterns are sold. Print out the pieces for the dress with short sleeves.
You will need to make a few minor adjustments to the pattern pieces. You may be able to lengthen the pieces on the original printout, or you may need to cut it out and then tape it to a fresh sheet of paper first, depending on the size doll you are sewing for.
Using the short sleeve pattern piece, and THIS TUTORIAL, add 3 1/2 inches to the length of the sleeve. Measure down from the side edge, not the center, and draw your new sleeve hem edge straight across, not curved. For this 18 inch doll nightgown, I lengthened my sleeve by 3 1/2 inches, and used a 3/8th hem/elastic casing. You will need 4 inches of 1/4th inch elastic for the wrist.
Add 1 inch to the front and back pieces length, below the dress length line to make a floor length nightgown.
Cut a ruffle so the nightgown will reach the floor. I cut mine at 3 inches by 44 inches. It can be anywhere from 33-44 inches long, depending how full you want your ruffle.
Follow the pattern directions as written, adding 4 inches of 1/4th inch elastic into the sleeve hem when you hem it, and gathering and attaching the ruffle to the hem before you stitch up the back. It’s easier to hem the ruffle before you attach it to the nightgown.
Make a snuggly nightgown for your 18 inch doll with the Bloomer Buddies Sewing Pattern.
Sewing doll clothes this weekend? Snuggle up! Use the simple to sew Bloomer Buddies PDF pattern to turn the dress into a snuggly nightgown for your doll. This easy pattern that you download and print on your home computer will work on any size doll. Use this simple pattern hack to the Bloomer Buddies PDF sewing pattern to Step it Up!
First, you need the Bloomer Buddies pattern. It’s available in three sizes where Oh Sew Kat! patterns are sold. Print out the pieces for the dress with short sleeves.
You will need to make a few minor adjustments to the pattern pieces. You may be able to lengthen the pieces on the original printout, or you may need to cut it out and then tape it to a fresh sheet of paper first, depending on the size doll you are sewing for.
Using the short sleeve pattern piece, and THIS TUTORIAL, you will need to lengthen the sleeve pattern piece to make it a long sleeve. Measure down from the side edge, not the center, and draw your new sleeve hem edge straight across, not curved. For this 18 inch doll nightgown, I lengthened my sleeve by 3 1/2 inches, and used a 3/8th hem/elastic casing. I used 4 inches of elastic for the wrist.
Sew the dress as directed by the pattern. Choose a snuggly flannel or pretty cotton for your nightgown. The nightgown Grace is wearing below, is the same dress length as the dress length pattern lines.
Another option is to add a pretty ruffle to the bottom of the dress length. Here I used a piece of a jelly roll, that was 2 1/2 x 40 inches long. A jelly roll is a quilting fabric precut of 20-45 2 1/2 inch strips like this one Ad: https://amzn.to/2VNxmED. I keep a few on hand to use as precut dress and skirt ruffles. I used one end of the same strip to cut the yoke. Any size ruffle will do; you can choose how long you want your doll’s nightgown to be.
Your dolls will be ready to snuggle into bed in a new, cozy nightgown. See more ways to sew the mix and match Bloomer Buddies pattern here and here. Be sure to pin these images to save them for later!