Doll and doll clothes

stitcheasy2003January 8, 2008


I want to make doll clothes for my little granddaughter and buy the doll. This is for a young child. What kind of doll do I buy? Does anyone here make doll clothes? Do you have to have a brand name doll to the make clothes and get a pattern or do you go by how tall the doll (any doll) is and use any doll pattern with the height of the doll?

Thank you B.

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I don't know what you mean by a young child but it has been my experience that even as young as 2 or 3 they already have a preference for a particular type of doll...for most really young ones it's baby dolls and then the fashion dolls...It also depends on the amount you want to spend...American girl is probably one of the most popular with say school age girls and there are plenty of dolls and patterns available...There is always Barbie...everyone loves Barbie and then there's Bratz...see what I mean...

If she is young I would suggest bitty baby from the American girl group of dolls...she is adorable and there are patterns to fit...the doll is a nice size and easy to hold and carry...Lots of patterns around for Bitty Baby.

Now with all that said...if you don't want to spend 80 and up for a doll...just go to the closest toy store and buy a sweet little doll and one that will fit the bitty baby patterns.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 10:18AM
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I have sewn a lot of dolls clothes (for granddaughter and also for my own doll from childhood).

First, as Ruthie says, choose the doll. Let the child choose if at all possible. Then measure the doll - height and waist are the most important. From there you can select simple patterns. There are tons of patterns available for 18" dolls (just double check to see if the waist measurement needs adjustments because some are slimmer than others).

While there are lots of Barbie patterns available, be aware that because of her small size (and unlikely proportions) Barbie clothes can be a little more challenging to sew than clothes for a 14" to 18" doll.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the order (because of the smaller size) of sewing is usually different. You do as much as possible while the garment is flat. For example, you sew the sleeves to the top or dress before sewing the side seams.

A great book that may be available at your library is The Doll's Dressmaker.

And have fun with it. It's really fun to make a simple outfit for the child and use the same fabric for the doll. They love it.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:03AM
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Good advice here! I think you need to decide if the doll is to be a baby or a little girl. To do this, you may want to ask the child to pick out a doll. You control the cost by taking her to the store and you select the choices - or you surprise her (first checking with her mom) with your choice of doll.

There are lots of patterns now for the 18" (height) dolls like the American Girl "girl" dolls. These are very easy to sew and lots of fun. I made several outfits for my niece's doll years ago. At the time, I bought the AG patterns, but now there are McCall's, Simplicity, Butterick, etc. patterns available.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:08PM
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There are also a ton of free patterns on the internet...I have lots of patterns too....I just wait for joAnns to have a 99 cent sale and then I go and stock up...

One thing I do that I will share in case you might be interested....

at the 99 cent sale when patterns are cheap...I buy 2 patterns exactly is the working pattern and one is filed to use later or if a piece gets lost etc or just to trade somewhere down the line...I have a gazillion patterns.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:50PM
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I've sewn doll clothes for years(over 40),for my DD then GD'S and now GGD's.And the other poster are correct,get the doll first.I have a soon to be 3 year old GGD,and she loves the soft dolls i make,(think rag dolls).She loves to drag them around with her for play and for bedtime.I make her the dolls and the clothes.She isn't to the stage yet where she just wants to change their clothes all the time,she just likes playing with them,talking to them etc.

I've made her dolls,bunnies,bears etc,and different sizes in all of them.Then she just took over some of those sort of dolls that i keep around the house for when the kids come over.

If she lives close by,take your cues from her!!My almost 3 year oldGGD plays with Barbies,but she doesn't try to dress and undress them yet.She just talks to/with them,and shows them her other babies.Make sure to make her some dollie blankets as well.

I have doll patterns going back to when my DD was little 44 years ago,and for all sorts of dolls.

Check your thrift stores also for old doll patterns,ours has lots of them from time to time.

2 years ago i made a wardrobe for my niece for her American Girl doll,she was 11 at the time.She was thrilled!!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 1:05PM
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Some of the pattern companies have not only doll clothes patterns, but also patterns for the dolls themselves, such as the one I've linked to below.
There are lots of doll clothes patterns on eBay for a fraction of the price of the pattern companies and fabric stores.

Here is a link that might be useful: doll pattern

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 2:58PM
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Great advice from everyone. One more suggestion I would make - I would have the back seam completely open with a strip of velcro going from the neckline to just a bit past the waistline. THere is nothing more frustrating for the younger ones than to have to struggle with the clothes. I made and sold clothes for the American Girl dolls for well over 10 years and we did all our dresses that way - velcro was our friend. Even the more expensive dresses that we got $20-35 for we did that way and got positive feedback. Now if I was doing a special order for porcelain dolls then I sewed the back seam and had the fancier buttons or snap closings but for childs play we always used velcro closures......


    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 3:55PM
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If you are sewing for American Girl type dolls, here is a link for FREE clohting patterns. These patterns are retired Ameican Girl patterns that you can download free. The link is

Happy Sewing!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:40AM
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URL above does not work (missing a character, I believe) - here's the fixed link....

& Thanks! Looks like a cool site = )

Here is a link that might be useful: AG Doll Dress Patterns

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:46AM
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