Make a Mix and Match Doll Wardrobe

I really enjoy sewing mix and match wardrobes for dolls. It’s very satisfying to choose a few fabrics, a few patterns, and after spending an afternoon sewing, end up with coordinated separates that can be used together, or with other pieces in your doll wardrobe (Like white shirts, jeans, blue or white jean jackets, tights, leggings etc.)

Make your Own Mix and Match Doll Clothes

As I have posted before, I don’t live too far from a Vera Bradley® outlet. They always have great sales, and I’m always on the hunt for things to repurpose into doll clothes. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s easy! These dresses were made from two Vera Bradley napkins I found one year, with the Sunshine Dress pattern. And I took a non quilted bag apart to make this dress. Much of Vera’s line is quilted, or canvas, so not much can be used for doll clothes. This time, I was picking up my usual “wet swim suit” tote to cut up, and found tea towels. Below the tea towels, whoo hoo!!! APRONS!!! Aprons are a little thinner than towels, and by price, gave me more fabric for my money.

Easy to Sew Mix and Match 18 inch Doll Clothes

I knew I wanted to make some clothes around this purple paisley print apron. I added some solid colors (the print is busy enough!) and spent some time thinking and planning. Vera Bradley fabric is usually a very large print, so although not ideal for doll clothes in some ways, it’s also perfect in others. In the end, I decided on the Easy Up! Jumper to show off the fun print (and the hedgehog I found in the middle!!!), and making it reversible was an easy choice. Put a solid peasant top underneath, that can also be worn with a print Sixth Grade Skirt. Just because they are so quick and easy, I always add a Popsicle Top (one print side, and one solid side) for good measure, even though I already had the darker purple popsicle top on hand.

18 inch Dolls: Mix and Match Wardrobe Sewing Patterns

My go to formula usually ends up being two tops, two bottoms, and one dress for a good array of outfits. With the reversible dress, I opted for just the Sixth Grade Skirt for now, but it would be simple to add a pair of shorts or capris if I feel like it needs a little more when I am done.

Once everything is cut, I give all the pieces a good press before I begin. With solid colors, or easily swapped pattern pieces (like the sides of the Sixth Grade Skirt), I keep the pattern piece pinned until I’m ready to sew, or mark each right side with a small piece of washi tape. I tend to sew all of the pieces at once. (It does help that I wrote the patterns and don’t need to follow them as I go.) My first step is to figure out which of my “hem” seams I can get done first.

I sit down at my serger, and finish off the bottom edges of the Playtime Peasant Top sleeves and the Sixth Grade Skirt waistband. I move to my sewing machine, and stitch the shoulders of the Popsicle Top pieces, stitch the Sixth grade skirt together, add the sleeves to the peasant top, sew the armholes of the Easy Up! jumper. Back at the ironing board, I press all my seams open (Sixth Grade Skirt, Popsicle Top) and clip any curves (Peasant Top and Easy Up!). I also press up the hems of my Peasant Top. Topstitching the Sixth Grade Skirt comes next, and in this case, for the solid side of the Easy Up! jumper, I added a strip of the apron strap down the center front. By this time, I’m off to the races. I seam any seams, moving from piece to piece, and then press them all at once. By using just one color of thread (usually white), I can get the whole wardrobe completed in one sewing session.

Once I’m done sewing, I look for other items I already have on hand that I can use. I do have a dark purple Popsicle Top, which didn’t make it into the photos. :). The purple headband is made by American Girl® and I knit and felted this cute, black bowler hat myself. Add in some shoes complements of Grace and Blaire (American Girls of the Year) to complete the look.

The Easy Up! Jumper is Reversible for Two Dresses in One!

Click each photo below to see more ideas for Mix and Match Doll Clothes!

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Make a Vera Bradley bloomer buddies Doll Dress

Use a pdf sewing pattern like Bloomer Buddies from Oh Sew Kat! to turn a Vera Bradley Tote Bag into an 18 inch Doll Dress. Lots of styles available.

Ready to up-cycle?  Up-cyling fabrics from ready made items and clothing can be a lot of fun.  You can go to Good Will or other thrift store to find some cheap items. Another option is to use something brand new.  Today I’m going to take this little totebag that I found at the Vera Bradley outlet and turn it into a cute, Vera Bradley doll dress.

Turn a Vera Bradley Bag into a Cute Doll Dress

Use a pdf sewing pattern like Bloomer Buddies from Oh Sew Kat! to turn a Vera Bradley Tote Bag into an 18 inch Doll Dress. Lots of styles available.

I’m lucky enough to live near an outlet, and they usually have some amazing sales.  Most of their bags are quilted, and can’t easily be up-cycled, but these little plastic lined bags were on special last year for around $6 or something crazy, so I stocked up on a few.  (Here’s my affiliate link to show you what this bag looks like- it’s called the “Ditty Bag” . The bag has two layers, one fabric and one a thick plastic, but they are not stitched together aside from the seams.)

Use Oh Sew Kat! PDF patterns to make quick and easy 18 inch Doll Clothes

Use a pdf sewing pattern like Bloomer Buddies from Oh Sew Kat! to turn a Vera Bradley Tote Bag into an 18 inch Doll Dress. Lots of styles available.

Sometimes when I cut up an item to repurpose it, I cut carefully along some of the basic seams and then use a seam ripper in order to really maximize the fabric I’m going to get.  This bag won’t leave me much left over.  By simply cutting it apart, I have the circle base, the rectangle “bag”, and the top casing which had a thick cord in it.  I’ll just save the plastic liner for another project.  This particular bag has a cute little border print sewn on the bottom so I’m going to use that as part of my design.

Upcycle a tote bag and Make Fun Doll Clothes

Doll Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat!
After I’ve pressed my fabric, I can see how much I really have.  The rectangle measures about 26 x 11 inches.  If I’m making an 18 inch dress (as I am here) I probably don’t have enough to make a bodice and a gathered skirt- I’d have to piece the skirt to make it long enough. Instead, I look for a pattern that has few pieces and slimmer lines.  The Sunshine Dress, Boardwalk Boutique or HalterAlls, Bloomer Buddies, and the Sixth Grade Skirt are all great options for something like this.   I chose Bloomer Buddies without the sleeves for a fresh, summer look.

Doll Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat!
I simply pinned my pattern pieces to maximize my fabric and the designs, which are quite large on this fabric.  The Bloomer Buddies pattern is a perfect choice for a project like this, because it really takes a very small amount of fabric. I sew a lot of doll clothes,  so I spend a little $$ and keep a white, Kona layer cake on my sewing table at all times.  The 10 inch squares are easy to grab (compared to rolling out my white yardage) and perfect for most doll linings.  I use this for most of my doll bodice linings,  one, to save my pretty fabric (I often buy fat quarters), and two, just an extra layer of color fast protection. Quick and easy lemon squeezy!  Kelly has a cute new dress for summer!

DIY your own 18 inch doll dress with the Bloomer Buddies PDF sewing pattern

Use a pdf sewing pattern like Bloomer Buddies from Oh Sew Kat! to turn a Vera Bradley Tote Bag into an 18 inch Doll Dress. Lots of styles available.

Have you up-cylced something into doll clothes?  Head on over to http://www.facebook.com/ohsewkat and share what you made!

Purchase the Bloomer Buddies pattern on Etsy. Also available for Animators and WellieWishers dolls!

Use a pdf sewing pattern like Bloomer Buddies from Oh Sew Kat! to turn a Vera Bradley Tote Bag into an 18 inch Doll Dress. Lots of styles available.
Sewing patterns for dolls

Step it Up! Series – Make a Sunshine Dress without Sleeves Pattern Hack

Make a dress for your 18 inch American Girl® doll with easy to sew patterns from Oh Sew Kat! The Sunshine Dress is a versatile pattern. Read on to see how to make it without the sleeves!

Make a sleeveless shift dress for your 18 inch doll with this easy pattern hack.

Sleeveless dress from Sunshine Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat! Take a regular doll dress sewing pattern and learn how to make it without sleeves for more fashion options!


Don’t you just swoon every time you see one of those cute sleeveless sundresses made by Lily Pulitzer?  I mean, how cute is this?

This adorable dress is basically exactly the same as my new SUNSHINE DRESS pattern.

WANT A SIMPLE PATTERN HACK????

Make a sleeveless doll dress with the easy Sunshine Dress sewing pattern.

First you will need the sewing pattern. This pattern hack will work for all sizes. Find the 18 inch doll sized Sunshine Dress HERE.



Sleeveless dress from Sunshine Dress Sewing Pattern by Oh Sew Kat! Sew a doll dress 3 with variations for more fashion options! #easytosew #sewingpattern #18inchdolls #ohsewkat #easysewing #dollclothes

With a few simple adjustments, and the right fabric, even a beginner can create this same look! Here’s my version using Vera Bradley fabric.  Read on to see how easy it is to step up my simple SUNSHINE DRESS pattern to a super trendy look!

vera bradley easy to sew doll dress

Make a Sunshine Dress without the Sleeves Tutorial

1.  Choose your fabric and cut out the following pattern pieces:  1, 2, 3, 4.  (back, front, lining back and lining front. If you want to use princess seams, use the pieces the pattern specifies for that view instead of piece 2 (front).)

2.  To make my dress, I used luncheon sized napkins I bought at the Vera Bradley outlet. (Yes, Virginia, there is a such a thing, and yes, it is truly amazing!)  The napkins have a bound edge, and I decided to use that as my dress hem. The pieces just barely fit!  I used two of my four napkins to make this one dress.  It’s a little shorter than the pattern piece by about an inch, which okay, as I want a shorter sundress.

Sleeveless dress from Sunshine Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat! Take a regular doll dress sewing pattern and learn how to make it without sleeves for more fashion options! #easytosew #patternhack #sewingpattern #18inchdolls #ohsewkat #easysewing #dollclothes

3.  Follow the pattern instructions and sew the shoulder seams of both the dress and the lining.  Finish the bottom edges of your lining before you attach it.  Line the pieces up with right sides together, pin, and sew the neck and sleeve edges.

Sleeveless dress from Sunshine Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat! Take a regular doll dress sewing pattern and learn how to make it without sleeves for more fashion options! #easytosew #patternhack #sewingpattern #18inchdolls #ohsewkat #easysewing #dollclothes

4.  Carefully pull the back pieces through the shoulders to the front, flipping the pieces inside out. If you’ve never done this before, see my TUTORIAL.   To make it easier, use a FASTURN set (*affiliate link – Tutorial here).  Press for nice smooth edges.  With RST, line up your side seams, opening out the bodice pieces as well, and sew one long seam from the hem of the dress to the hem of the bodice lining.  Fold the insides together and press if needed.  Finish the back edges and hem according to the pattern directions.  I skipped the hem part, as mine was already finished!  That made this quick project even quicker!

Sleeveless dress from Sunshine Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat! Take a regular doll dress sewing pattern and learn how to make it without sleeves for more fashion options! #easytosew #patternhack #sewingpattern #18inchdolls #ohsewkat #easysewing #dollclothes
Sleeveless dress from Sunshine Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat! Take a regular doll dress sewing pattern and learn how to make it without sleeves for more fashion options! #easytosew #patternhack #sewingpattern #18inchdolls #ohsewkat #easysewing #dollclothes

5.  Once my dress was done, I added the pink sparkles (from the craft store) with my iron to complete the look.

Sleeveless dress from Sunshine Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat! Take a regular doll dress sewing pattern and learn how to make it without sleeves for more fashion options! #easytosew #patternhack #sewingpattern #18inchdolls #ohsewkat #easysewing #dollclothes
Make a doll dress for your American Girl Doll with easy to sew PDF patterns and tutorials from the OhSewKat etsy shop.

Ta da!! I used a dress pattern I already had on hand, to create a trendy look by leaving off the sleeves and shortening the length a little bit.  With a little imagination, a simple little pattern can go a long way!

Sleeveless dress from Sunshine Dress Tutorial by Oh Sew Kat! Take a regular doll dress sewing pattern and learn how to make it without sleeves for more fashion options! #easytosew #patternhack #sewingpattern #18inchdolls #ohsewkat #easysewing #dollclothes

I can’t wait to see what you sew!! Post your Sunshine Dress on social media with #ohsewkat!

See more Sunshine Dress tutorials HERE and HERE.

Make a sleeveless doll dress for 18 inch dolls from any dress pattern with this easy hack.

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!