Frequently Asked Questions at Oh Sew Kat! Designs ~ Sewing Patterns for Dolls

General Questions about Oh Sew Kat! Sewing Patterns

What size dolls do Oh Sew Kat! patterns fit?  Oh Sew Kat! Offers patterns in 5 popular doll sizes from 14-18 inches.

  • 18 inch Dolls like American Girl® and Our Generation®
  • 16 inch slim Dolls like A Girl for All Time® 
  • 16 inch Dolls like Animators’ Dolls by Disney
  • 15 inch Baby Dolls like Bitty Baby® from American Girl®
  • 14/5 inch Dolls like Wellie Wishers™ from American Girl®, and Glitter Girls® from Our Generation®
  • 14 inch Dolls like Hearts for Hearts Girls®

What are the levels of difficulty?  Oh Sew Kat! Patterns have a difficulty rating clearly marked on the pattern cover.  Even though smaller doll patterns may use the same sewing skills, sewing smaller pieces (sleeves, collars etc) will naturally be a little harder than sewing for larger dolls.

  • Very Easy:  Great pattern for beginners, Uses basic sewing lines, and threading elastic.
  • Easy:  Simple construction, few pattern pieces, included rounded necklines and sleeves
  • Confident Beginner:  Uses a few advanced techniques such as button holes, knit fabric etc.
  • Intermediate and Experienced:  Oh Sew Kat! Doesn’t make sewing patterns that are this difficult.  🙂

What is included in the Oh Sew Kat! PDF patterns?  Each Oh Sew Kat! Pattern is packed full of instructions, tips, and inspiration.  Each pattern includes:

  • Basic pattern reading instructions
  • Cutting layout and print guide
  • Step by step, full color photos and instructions
  • Text only printable instructions (to save paper and ink)
  • Full size, computer drawn, labelled pattern pieces
  • Sample Idea Gallery and Tester Samples
  • Find a Full Inspiration Gallery, Pattern Hacks, and Sewing Tips at http://www.ohsewkat.com.

Do Oh Sew Kat! patterns include a seam allowance? Yes, every Oh Sew Kat! pattern piece has a 1/4th inch seam allowance included. This is clearly marked by a dashed line.

Do Oh Sew Kat! patterns include the large pattern piece for a gathered doll skirt or ruffles? Oh Sew Kat! patterns do not include a pattern piece for the rectangles used to make doll skirts. Measurements are always included and pattern pieces for waistbands and straps are always included, along with the measurements. Read why I do it this way and how to make your own skirt pattern piece in THIS POST.

How long does it take to make a doll outfit?  The amount of time it takes you to sew one outfit will vary depending on your experience, but as a general rule, most Oh Sew Kat! Patterns are simple to sew without a lot of fussy details and small pieces.  They are designed to be completed in an afternoon. Some patterns will sew up very quickly (Sixth Grade Skirt, Halteralls, Boardwalk Boutique, Four Season Skirt, Backyard Bibs) and can probably be made in about 1-2 hours.

How much fabric do I need for each pattern?  Each pattern will specify exactly how much fabric will be needed, depending on the doll size.  As a general rule, if the pattern is for a doll dress with a gathered skirt, you will need a minimum of 1/4th to 1/3rd yard of fabric, cut off the bolt.  If there isn’t a gathered skirt, most Oh Sew Kat! Patterns will easily fit on a fat quarter of fabric (18×22 inches), that are often offered in pretty, folded bundles of coordinating fabrics.  You can also find a great selection at Ad: Cricut.com

Can I purchase a printed copy of the sewing patterns? I don’t normally offer printed patterns. If you are interested, please CONTACT ME for more details. In order to purchase a printed copy of the pattern piece pages, you would also need to purchase the full digital copy.


Questions about Where to Buy Oh Sew Kat! Patterns

Where do I buy PDF patterns?  The entire Oh Sew Kat! Pattern library is available at www.etsy.com/shop/ohsewkat.  You can also find a selection of my patterns on You Can Make This and Pixie Faire.  There are a very, small number of patterns available on Blueprint.

As a rule, I like to sell my patterns where YOU like to shop. To this end, I have my patterns listed on multiple internet sites. Internet sites and shops come and go, but you can always find the most current list of where to buy Oh Sew Kat! PDF Sewing Patterns on the SHOP PAGE.


Questions about PDF Sewing Patterns

What is a PDF pattern?  A PDF sewing pattern is a digital computer file, created for your use on your home computer and other devices, that uses your home printer to print the sewing pattern pieces.  There is no tracing required, as you simply print the pages of the pattern that contain the pieces and cut them out. Pattern pieces that are larger than a standard sheet of paper will have instructions to piece them together to make full size pattern pieces. 

In order to read a PDF pattern, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer or device.  This free program is widely available on the internet and allows you to view the file. You do not have to print the entire pattern. You can print the pattern pieces, and use a computer or tablet to follow the step by step sewing instructions.

How will I receive my pattern?  Your pattern purchase is a digital PDF file.  There is no physical product. You must download the file from the purchase site and save it to your computer in order to use it. The file will not be emailed to you.

Why should I use PDF patterns?  PDF patterns offer many benefits over commercial, store bought patterns.  Aside from being able to shop online, they often provide full color, photographic step by step instructions, and do not use giant pieces of light tissue paper that easily rips and is hard to put back in a small envelope.  The pattern pieces are usually set up in a logical way to help you only print what you need for each view of the pattern. Patterns also include a “text only” set of instructions to minimize printing. PDF patterns are simple to store, as they live in folders on your computer. You only need to print the pages you need, and if you don’t want to store the pieces in a binder, or envelopes, simply toss them and print new pieces the next time you need them.  I store my printed pattern pieces in clear envelopes, made for comic books, with a mailing label on the front to let me know the pattern name, designer, and doll size. These envelopes fit neatly in a drawer, binder, or filing cabinet.

Where can I buy Oh Sew Kat! Patterns?  The entire Oh Sew Kat! Pattern library is available at www.etsy.com/shop/ohsewkat.  You can also find a selection of my patterns on You Can Make This and Pixie Faire.  There are a very, small number of patterns available on Blueprint.

*Even though patterns are not designed specifically for them, customers have told me that the 14.5 inch size usually also fits Disney Toddler 14 inch dolls, and some Baby Alive dolls can wear the Animators’ size patterns.  If you are sewing for a different doll other than what the pattern was designed for, look for looser fitting patterns, and measure and test on your own doll as you sew.

How do I buy PDF patterns?  The easiest way to buy Oh Sew Kat! Patterns is to set up an account on Etsy, log in, and click ADD TO CART. Once you check out and pay, you will receive an email receipt, which will also include the link to download the file.  Click the link, and download to your computer. Often, the file will end up in your DOWNLOADS folder. Once you have downloaded the pattern, open it up on Adobe Acrobat Reader to print the pieces. If you ever lose the file, you can always find it again in your Etsy account, under PURCHASES and REVIEWS under your profile picture.

What do I do with my PDF pattern after I buy it?  Download your PDF file, and save it to your computer.  You can sort patterns by Designer/Company name, or by category, or both.  Once you have it downloaded, open it up with the Adobe Acrobat Reader, in order to read and print your pattern pieces.  Ensure ACTUAL SIZE is checked when you print and measure the one inch test square for accuracy. Cut the pieces out of your fabric and sew them according to the instructions.  To search for your Oh Sew Kat! Patterns on your computer, search for OSK as all of my pattern names start with the letters OSK.

What is the best way to use my PDF pattern?  Because Oh Sew Kat! Patterns are digital, I include a few extra pages that show other ideas, variations, and explanations.  Most people print the pattern piece pages, and the cover (and the text only directions if they like those), and store those together (page protectors, binders, etc).  When they go to sew the pattern, they pull up the PDF and follow the instructions on their tablet or other device. 

Who can use a PDF pattern? PDF patterns can be used by anyone that has a computer.  You will need the program called Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to open, view and print.  In my Etsy shop, you must be on a computer to download your file; it will download on a tablet or other device.  Once you have it on your computer, you can easily send it to your tablet or other device to use it.

Can I give a PDF pattern as a gift?  When you purchase a digital pattern file, just like purchasing a song on iTunes, you purchase the use of that one pattern.  If you do not intend to use it, you may give it as a gift. If a copy will remain on your computer, the correct thing to do is to purchase a second copy to share as a gift.  This is also true of the printed file, due to copyright.

Can I share my PDF pattern with a friend?  When you purchase a digital pattern from Oh Sew Kat!, it is the same as buying a song on iTunes. You have paid for one copy of that file for your own use.  You may not email it, share the link, or put it in a folder for others to download as this violates the digital terms of use. If someone else would like to use the pattern, please direct him/her to the Oh Sew Kat! Shop to purchase his/her own copy.

Can I use your patterns to teach my sewing class?  Yes! Please contact me for more information.  Oh Sew Kat! Patterns are perfect for people learning to sew.  Depending on the venue and situation, each student may be asked to purchase his or her own copy of the pattern.

How do I save and store my PDF patterns?  Your PDF patterns are computer files, just like your photos and other documents.  Once you download them, I suggest you set up a folder for your patterns. You can add subfolders by designer, type of clothing, time period, or whatever makes sense to you.  Many people print their patterns and store them in page protectors in binders. I often print only the cover page, and wait until I need a pattern before I print the pieces. If I think I will sew it again, I save the pieces in clear, comic book sleeves that I purchase on amazon.  If I don’t think I will sew the pattern again any time soon, I toss the pieces and plan to print again if needed.

How much money will PDF patterns save me?  When you purchase a sewing pattern from a store like Joann’s or Walmart, the price can range from $8.99 to $22.99, depending on the pattern.  A PDF pattern will cost anywhere from $3-10. You can certainly get commercial brand patterns during a sale, for 99 cents to two dollars, but you will have to store that pattern until you are ready to use it.

How much time will PDF patterns save me?  I love to shop from home. The biggest advantage of digital sewing patterns is you can purchase, download, and print the pieces out in less than ten minutes.  Unless you live right next to a fabric store, that will save you a lot of time, and if you shop like I do, it will save you a lot of money too. I can never get out of a fabric store with just one pattern.  In addition, you will have to cut out your pattern whether it is tissue or printer paper. PDF pattern pages are much smaller so it’s easier to locate your piece, cut it out, and then you can just store them in a page protector or envelope for next time.

How do I print my patterns at home? Because web browsers can vary, it is strongly recommended that you do NOT print PDF patterns directly from your web browser.  Download the file to your computer before opening or printing. Once you download your pattern, locate it in your downloads or other file, and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Read through the instructions to find the patterns piece pages. Select the print option, make sure you have the setting for “Actual Size” checked, and print the correct pages. Measure the one inch square with a ruler to make sure it printed correctly.  

How do I print my patterns if I don’t have a printer?  The easiest way to print a pattern is to put it on a portable flash drive, and take it to a local office supply store.  You can also usually print at local libraries, but you need to make sure you don’t print it from a web browser. You need to print it from a file for it to print correctly.

What are some advantages of PDF patterns over tissue paper patterns from a store?  PDF patterns are much easier to store, as you can opt to not print them until you use them, and even then, you can print only the pattern pieces, which is a few pages.  Once you print the patterns, it’s easy to sort the pieces and cut them out. You can choose to print them on stiffer paper or cardstock to reduce wear. With the commercial patterns, the pieces are often printed on large sheets of tissue in random order, so it’s a puzzle to find all the pieces you need, then cut them out, and put the unused tissue back into the envelope (an exercise which is often equated to folding a fitted bed sheet!).  Tissue patterns are easily ripped as you pin and will show their wear much sooner than printing your own patterns on copy paper. When copy paper patterns rip or seem worn, simply toss and print a fresh copy.

Where do I find my Etsy patterns?  In order to have access to your patterns purchased on Etsy in the future (should you replace a computer for example), you need to set up an account and purchase the patterns while you are logged in.  Once the payment has cleared, you will get an email receipt. This email will have a direct link to your download. You can also find the file on the Etsy site. Click the arrow under your profile photo that says “YOU”.  Then click purchases and reviews. You will find the links to download each file along the right side of each order. Please note:  You cannot download your purchase from the Etsy App at this time. You must be at a computer the first time you download it.

What if I buy a new computer?  If you replace your computer, log into your Etsy account, and download all of your purchased patterns.  There is no limit to the number of times you can download your files.

How do I use the PDF pattern?  The digital PDF pattern is a computer file, with full size pattern pieces and full color step by step instructions. You can print your entire file , or just print the pattern piece pages and read the instructions on a tablet or other device. Using a tablet or other device also lets you zoom in the photos if needed.  When you are finished, you can store the pieces in an envelope or throw them away and print them again when you need them. Once your pieces are printed, measure the one inch square to ensure they printed accurately. Cut out each pattern piece on the solid, black line.

What goes into making a PDF pattern?  Like all sewing patterns, Oh Sew Kat! Patterns begin with an idea.  That idea is then sewn, and tweaked, and sewn again. Once the design is complete, the pieces are scanned into the computer, and then traced in computer software.  The digital pieces are then printed, and sewn again, with a photo taken of every step. The photos and instructions are combined in a file, and photographs of the completed outfits are taken.  Once these photos are edited, the file is “dress up” and sent to testers. The testers sew the pattern exactly as written, and provide feedback if changes are needed. The pattern is then finalized, and published.

Why does it cost so much if it’s just a digital file?  It takes a lot of time and hard work to create a high quality, digital pattern for doll clothes.  In addition to basic supplies to make the samples (sewing machine, thread, fabric etc), there is time and money invested in dolls and accessories, photography equipment and editing software, copywriting, marketing, sewing, testing, drafting, website hosting fees and payment processing fees, and more.  So although the end product is just one PDF file, there is quite a bit more that goes into it beforehand to make sure you have a successful sewing experience.

Questions about Selling doll clothes made with Oh Sew Kat! patterns

Are these patterns good for craft fairs?  Yes!  Because Oh Sew Kat! Patterns are quick to sew with a few basic pattern pieces, they are well suited for your craft fairs.  Many of the patterns mix and match together perfectly to create full outfits. Be sure to check www.ohsewkat.com for ideas to make these basic patterns look unique and different in the Step it Up Series Tutorials.

Can I sell the items I make with your patterns?  Yes,  I always appreciate credit as the pattern designer when you sell the items you make with Oh Sew Kat! Patterns.

Can I sell your digital patterns in my store or craft fair booth? No. In general, it is illegal for you to sell copies of my patterns. If you own a store and would like to sell copies of my patterns, please contact me for details and licensing information.

Can I sell printed copies of your patterns in my store or craft show booth? No. When you purchase my pattern, you agree to the terms of use which is purchasing one copy to use to sew doll clothes. Any other use violates my copyrights. You cannot sell or share the pattern in any form, its contents, photographs etc with anyone. Please contact me if you need more information.

Can I produce items from your patterns commercially in a factory and sell them?  No.  Oh Sew Kat! Patterns are not designed or intended for mass manufacturing. Please contact Oh Sew Kat! If you have questions or for more information.

What other items can I make from the pattern I bought?  Visit www.ohsewkat.com/tutorials to find ways to change up the Oh Sew Kat! Patterns.  Some ideas include making dresses from top patterns, making pants from shorts patterns, adding pockets to skirts, making a short dress into a long nightgown, and much more.


Questions about the Advantages of Sewing Doll Clothes instead of buying them.

How does sewing doll clothes compare in cost to buying them in stores?  The cost of an average outfit from American Girl® is $22-35. Oh Sew Kat! Patterns average $5, and on average, use one quarter yard of fabric. Not counting the cost of a machine, and minimal costs for thread, ribbons, buttons, velcro etc, sewing a pattern will cost about $7.50, and that includes the cost of the pattern file and using expensive fabric that costs about $10 per yard.  If you buy one yard of fabric, you can make at least four doll outfits, more if the doll is small.



Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Updated 10-14-19

This site, this page, and its contents are copyrighted by Oh Sew Kat! Designs.