Tips for Beginners- Learning to Sew

sewing doll clothes beginner tips

I posted the following question on my facebook page:

Oh Sew Kat! patterns are designed with the beginning sewist in mind. What is one tip you would give to a young or new sewist who is just starting out in making doll clothes?

Readers from all over posted their tips if you are new to sewing- whether it’s doll clothes or other sewing projects, these few things will help get you off to a great start!

  • Jenny:  Go slow and read the pattern directions. Read them twice before even beginning your project. Nothing has to be perfect. If you don’t like your creation, put it away for a day or two and then come back and look at it. You might be surprised that you now like it!!
  • Anneke:  I never expect a planned pattern to come out as it should. My advise would be go with the flow. Let the fabric tell you what it wants. Sounds hazy and dreamy (which I am NOT) but that’s the way it works for me. I have no technical advice all. But before I start I do sit down read the instructions. Toss them aside and have FUN
  • Cindy:   Press, press, press
  • Deirdre:  Don’t be afraid to rip out a seam and sew it again, the truth is even experienced sewers have to do this at times.
  • Bee:  Read through all of the pattern first before you get started.
  • Julie:  Iron as you sew.
  • Barb:  Take your time. Read the instructions completely before you start and follow each one in order.
  • Jeanna:  Always double check your seam allowances as you go. Nothing worse than making an adorable outfit only to have it be too small 😫
  • Karen:  My advice is (and I really should take my own😂) that perfection, although nice…it isn’t necessary. Enjoy the process of making something cute. It took me ripping apart a genuine cabbage patch outfit to make a pattern to realize this! It was terribly sewn from the factory.
  • Nina:  Learn your sewing machine inside and out. Practice the threading pattern so it’s easy enough to do in your sleep!
  • Gail:  Turn on the iron before you turn on the machine. Sew a seam press the seam. Sew a seam press the seam. Every time!
  • Julie:  Have fun with it!! Really, doll clothes take such a little bit of fabric, if you make a mistake, you haven’t wasted a lot of fabric. Just toss it and try again! That takes the pressure off to be “perfect” and makes it so enjoyable 🙂
  • Paula:  Use good quality fabric. It may be tempting to use lower quality fabric to try it out, but it is much harder to sew on.

You probably see a few themes emerging here … read all the directions before you start and to press every seam.  But the themes of “you don’t have to be perfect” and “have fun” are obvious too! If you are just starting out learning to sew, doll clothes give you such a low cost way to jump in the pool and start to swim.  Enjoy the process and know your skills will build with every stitch!

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Sewing patterns for dolls list of Beginner Tips

What tips would you add to this list?

Sewing for dolls? Find an assortment of over 50 digital patterns to print on your home computer in my Etsy Shop and start sewing today!

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

 

 

 

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iCreate Monthly Doll Magazine May/June 2018 now available – Final Issue!

iCreate Magazine for Dolls

iCreate Monthly is available for May/June 2018!  This month’s theme is Makin’ A Splash!  This post contains affiliate links.

Whose dolls are ready to head into the fun and sun of summer! Be sure to head over to at iCreateforDolls.com to get your issue of the iCreate magazine! It includes full color articles, how to’s, and crafts! This issue features:

  • Sew a swim suit cover up (free pattern!)
  • Make a doll size photo booth
  • Plan a doll related party and make doll sized goodie boxes
  • Discounts and special offers
  • and much more!

I like to share great doll finds with my readers as I come across them.  Let me tell you, this magazine publication is top notch! Unfortunately, this is the last issue!! It’s full of ideas, patterns, interviews, printables, projects, information, coupons and more!  You can purchase a PDF download, or you can buy a printed version that is a full 8×11 size glossy magazine! Both are worth the money, in my opinion, for all the tips, ideas, and coupons you receive.  Head on over to www.icreatefordolls.com and get your copy today!  You can join the iCreate community for free and take advantage of many of its new features.

Be sure to purchase the back issues as this magazine will no longer be published after June 2018.  I am so sad to see it go, but you can still enjoy the “all about dolls” website as it moves into its second year.

Last winter, I hosted a holiday themed sew-along. There’s alot of fun doll related activities and chat going on at iCreate.  I’ll see you there! (Be sure to invite me to be a friend!)

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Step it Up: How to Make a Lace Backed Halter Top with Boardwalk Boutique

Every little girl loves lace and roses! This tutorial will show you how to take the Boardwalk Boutique Halter Top up a step with a pretty, lace back.

Grace Thomas Doll in lace backed Boardwalk Boutique Halter Top

Start with the Boardwalk Boutique sewing pattern.

Doll clothes boardwalk boutique sewing pattern by oh sew kat

Choose your lacy trim. I use pre-gathered lace because it’s already got a pretty, hemmed edge. When you buy it, buy as wide as you can.  Smaller dolls will use smaller trim. If you use eyelet or lace fabric, simply follow the directions as written.  Use these few changes to add the lace trim to the back of your halter top.

Carefully remove the stitching of the top of the lace trim with a seam ripper. If you lace trim is much wider than the pattern piece, you can cut it off. As you can see in the photo below, my trim was just a little shorter than my pattern piece (no need to turn up the 1/4th hem at the bottom) so I knew my top would be just a bit shorter than the pattern.) . Iron your trim and cut it the right size based on the pattern piece.  Cut out your front, facing, and ties (or ribbon).

lace trim and sewing pattern pieces

Construct the front of the halter top according to the pattern directions, to include the back elastic casing and elastic.  You will have to hem the front piece before you attach it to the back.  Determine how big this hem needs to be based on the lace back piece as seen in the photo below.  Serge or zigzag the front hem, press up, and stitch in place.  With right sides together, sew the back to the front on each side.

Lace doll top instructions by ohsewkat

It’s kind of hard to photograph these dolls’ backs.  🙂

American Girl Doll in Halter Top with lace back

Try this simple hack of the Boardwalk Boutique Halter Top for your dolls!  See more ways to sew this pattern here and here.

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

18 inch doll with lace halter top

Sewing Pattern Bundles from Oh Sew Kat!

DIy doll clothes bundle discount by oh sew katDid you know that I offer selected Oh Sew Kat! patterns in a bundle discount?  If you are new to Oh Sew Kat! patterns (welcome!), my pattern bundles are a great way to start your collection.  These bundles are available exclusively in my Etsy Shop and are currently available for 18 inch dolls such as American Girl® dolls, Animators’ Dolls by Disney, and 14.5 inch dolls such as Wellie Wishers and Glitter Girls.

Click here to see all of the bundles available.  I currently offer bundles around four basic themes:  Basics, Summer, Holiday, and Back to School in a few doll sizes.  Leave a comment below and tell me what other types of bundles you would like to see!  It’s probably time for me to put together some more options!


 

Sew Basic:  This 3 pattern bundle for the WellieWishers dolls offers the first three patterns I created for this size.  It includes two tops and two bottoms.  The reversible Popsicle Top, the easy to make Sixth Grade Skirt, and the most popular Boardwalk Boutique Halter and Capri (can also be made into a sundress!) patterns will give you lots of pieces to mix and match if you are just starting out sewing for this sized doll.

Oh Sew Kat sewing patterns for wellie wishers

 

 


 

Sounds of Summer Bundle:  This bundle offers the short and sassy fashions to keep your doll cool and stylish all summer long with four patterns to mix and match.  Pair the reversible Popsicle Top with the Sandbox Shorts or the ruffled capri pants from the Boardwalk Boutique pattern.  The Sunshine Dress has three variations and also looks cute without sleeves as seen in this tutorial.   The Halter Top in the Boardwalk Boutique makes a cute sundress too!

summer clothes sewing pattern bundle for doll clothes

 


 

Back to School Bundle: This bundle offers the long pants and the long sleeves basics your doll will need to head to school in the crisp, fall air with 4 popular patterns.  The Playground Pants, and Sixth Grade Skirt provide the basics to pair with pretty School Bell Blouses (two styles).  The School Dance dress has three variations for even more options to sew!

Doll Clothes Sewing Pattern bundle by OH Sew Kat

 


 

Holiday Bundle:  This bundle offers 4 patterns.  I put these four patterns together to make an “essential” wardrobe for someone who wants to give a doll a basic wardrobe.  It includes pajamas, a dress, a skirt, a blouse, a halter top, and capri pants, all of which can be mixed and matched in to make so many different outfits.  See THIS POST for a trio of outfits I made that inspired this bundle.

Sewing patterns for American Girl dolls bundle


 

I’d love to hear what bundles you’d like to see in my Etsy Shop.  Maybe multiple sizes of the same pattern? Maybe bundles of tops and bottoms, or a set of three dress patterns?  Pattern bundles are offered in select sizes as described, and there are no substitutions of the selections.

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Sugar n Spice & Everything Nice for St Patrick’s Day

Sewing patterns for 18 inch dolls by oh sew kat

This spring I stitched up a donation for a local church’s St Brigid’s Day celebration.  I chose the Party Time Peasant Dress and made one with short and one with long sleeves. This is my go- to dress for quick, easy and cute!

I wanted to make a single outfit, with a St Patrick’s Day theme, that could also be used for other seasons for extra doll play.   I loved how these came out!

Dolls in St patrick's day party dresses

Once the under dress was done, I wanted to make a shamrock themed “overdress” to go with it.  I turned to the Sugar n Spice Dress, and decided to modify the pinafore to get the look of a vest.

18 inch doll in St Patrick's Day dress

I printed a new Sugar n Spice bodice, and on the back, I cut a low, scooped neckline.  I put it together following the pattern, and attached the skirt moving the skirt edges in about an inch on each side of the bodice, so the polka dot party dress could be seen underneath.  I added a few AD: kam snaps and it was done!  I think the overdress could also be worn reversed as well.  I don’t know which sleeves I liked better.  🙂

Saige doll in St Patrick's Day dress made with Oh Sew Kat! patterns

See more dresses in the INSPIRATION Gallery and purchase your copy of the pattern here.  Are your dolls ready for St Patrick’s Day jigging?

 

Sewing patterns for dolls

Sewing patterns for 18 inch dolls by oh sew kat

Wellie Wishers showing off their Shamrocks

Enjoy these adorable outfits made by Shirley Fomby of DollClothes by Shirley on Etsy.  She used the Popsicle Top pattern with the free pattern, Four Season Skirt.  Aren’t they ready to find some leprechauns?

Find the Popsicle Top in my Etsy shop and sign up for my email to receive the Four Season Skirt patterns.

Wellie Wishers doll clothes sewing patternsFour Season Skirt and Popsicle Tops sewing patterns

See more Popsicle Tops for Wellie Wishers!

Make it a Great Day!

~Kat

 

St Patrick’s Day Inspiration- Green Dresses for Dolls

Need a little inspiration for your March sewing?  How about some shamrocks and rainbows?  These adorable dresses are made with the Oh Sew Kat! Party Time dresses sewing pattern for dolls. It’s now available in 4 sizes with one more on the way!!

Doll dress sewing pattern by ohsewkat

The Party Time Dress is a quick dress with a full gathered skirt and elastic at the neck and sleeves.  Here I left out the sleeve elastic for fuller sleeves.  It goes together in just an afternoon!  With a fully open back, it’s very easy for little hands to dress their own dolls.  Mix and match your fabrics to create a unique dress for your own doll and it’s quick enough to make one for every season!

American Girl doll in green Party Time shamrock dress

How about the smaller dolls?  The Party Time Dress is perfect for Wellie Wishers dolls too!

Party Time Peasant Dress sewing pattern for dolls shown on Willa

The Wellie Wishers sized pattern will fit your Hearts for Hearts dolls too!

Hearts for hearts doll dress sewing pattern Zelia

Find the patterns to make your own:

Party Time Peasant Dress for Wellie Wishers

Party Time Peasant Dress for 18 inch Dolls

Now!! Don’t forget the bitty crew! Party Time Peasant is now available in two new sizes!  Bitty Baby and A Girl for All Time 16 inch slim doll patterns are available in my Etsy shop.

Bitty Baby Dress sewing pattern by oh sew kat

A Girl for All Time Doll Dress sewing pattern

See more Party Time dresses here and click this link to see more ideas to sew for Valentine’s Day.  Happy Heart Day to you and your little friends!

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

 

iCreate Monthly Doll Magazine March/April 2018 now available

https://icreatefordolls.com/ref/ohsewkat/

iCreate Monthly is now available for March/April 2018!  This month’s feature is science and space!  This post contains affiliate links.

Maybe the 2018 Girl of the Year (GOTY) Luciana has landed at your home, or maybe your doll friends are just into STEM! Be sure to head over to at iCreateforDolls.com to get your issue of the iCreate magazine! It includes full color articles, how to’s, and crafts! This issue features:

  • Free sewing pattern to make a lab coat for your doll
  • Free tutorial to make your own space lab or space room
  • Space and science themed artwork craft projects
  • The run down on the latest trend:  3d printing for your dolls!
  • Discounts and special offers
  • and much more!

I like to share great doll finds with my readers as I come across them.  Let me tell you, this magazine publication is top notch! It’s full of ideas, patterns, interviews, printables, projects, information, coupons and more!  You can purchase a PDF download, or you can buy a printed version that is a full 8×11 size glossy magazine! Both are worth the money, in my opinion, for all the tips, ideas, and coupons you receive.  Head on over to www.icreatefordolls.com and get your copy today!  You can join the iCreate community for free and take advantage of many of its new features.  If you pay for a subscription, you will also receive PDF magazine free each month!

Last month I hosted a holiday themed sew-along. There’s alot of fun doll related activities and chat going on at iCreate.  I’ll see you there! (Be sure to invite me to be a friend!)

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

New! Bitty Baby Sewing Pattern: Party Time Peasant Dress

Just released! The popular Party Time Peasant Dress is now sized for your 15 inch baby doll like Bitty Baby® and Bitty Twins®.

Blonde and brunette bitty twins wearing yellow and black matching dresses

This easy pattern has lots of options to make your dress your way!

Collage of four bitty baby dolls in different colored Party Time dressesBitty Baby doll in pink flowered dressBitty Baby doll in teal flowered dress with lace edge

The elastic neck and open back make this dress easy on and easy off for little hands.

Party Time Peasant Dress Sewing Pattern for Bitty Baby (3)

Find the pattern for Bitty Baby here.

Find it for other doll sizes in my Etsy Shop.  See more ways to sew the Party Time Peasant Dress in the Inspiration Gallery.

Logo Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

PDF Sewing Pattern for Bitty Baby Doll in a pink dress

Make a Country Western Outfit for Your Doll- with a Free Skirt Pattern

It’s easy to make these adorable, country and western inspired outfits for your dolls like Tenney Grant or any of her friends!

Two dolls wearing clothes made of pink bandana fabric with denim and lace accents

I bought this cute bandana fabric at Walmart.  They offer it in fat quarters in quite a few colors. I wanted to make some country and western inspired fashions!

I started with the simple peasant top in the Playtime Peasant Top pattern.  I made one top with short sleeves, and two others with long sleeves. Both are included in the pattern.

18 inch doll in western bandana outfit with cowboy hat

Grace Thomas doll in bandana peasant top with blonde 18 inch doll in skirt and blouse

American girl doll blonde with bandana dress and cowboy hat

Get the FREE Skirt Pattern

I made both skirts here using this TUTORIAL and the FOUR SEASON SKIRT.  Mix and match your denim and lace layers to create your own style of skirt!  You can also use the skirt pattern in the Playtime Peasant Top and Twirl Skirt.  They are very similar.   I added an easy elastic belt to complete the look.  The hat and boots are from American Girl® and belong to the Nicki Fleming GOTY collection.

 

I simply cut a triangle of fabric from my leftover scraps for the pink bandana, and dressed my dolls with hats and boots.  I think they look ready for some square dancing, don’t you?

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Lace Skirt Country Western Doll Clothes by Oh Sew Kat patterns