When I was a kid my dolls had, maybe, one change of clothes. These days, kids’ toys have wardrobes bigger than many living adults. And while you may be clutching your wallet in fear at the thought of it, you don’t have to pay huge money for your children to have tons of dolly haute couture. In fact, with very little experience and few supplies, your poppets can make their own doll clothes. (Keep ‘em entertained and save money!) If you don’t have a sewing machine, never fear. Hand sewing is fine, and the following instructions will even work for kiddos who can’t sew at all. With your help, even the younger ones can craft these clothes.
What you need:
You can use a small piece of new fabric—about 1/3 of a yard—or any scrap fabric you have. Try a worn out dress or shirt that has cool print. Even an old napkin or towel can make an interesting article of doll clothing.
-Fabric measuring tape
-Needle and Thread OR fabric glue
-Ribbon, yarn or elastic
-A small safety pin (for threading waist bands)
-A pencil (for marking your fabric)
-Decorative baubles, such as buttons, sequins and paint (optional)
Easy Skirt Instructions
1) First you will need to draw a rectangle on your fabric.
Measure your doll around the widest part of the waist. Double this measurement and add ½ an inch. This is the width of your rectangle. Now measure the doll from the waistline to where you want the skirt to stop. Add ½ an inch. This is the length of your rectangle. Draw the rectangle and cut it out.
2) Fold up the bottom end of the rectangle ¼ inch and sew or glue it down. Make sure you have the print side of the fabric facing down on the table and are folding the hem up, to the inside.
3) Fold down the top of the rectangle ¼ inch and sew or glue just the very end down. You are creating a little fabric tunnel through which you will put the waist tie.
4) Fold the two sides of the rectangle together, with the print side in. Sew or glue the side ends together, from the bottom hem up. Stop just before the top, leaving the tunnel open.
5) Cut a piece of ribbon the same as the original measurement of the width of your rectangle. Attach a safety pin to one end. Slide the pin into the tunnel and use it to pull one end of the ribbon through the top of your skirt. (Be careful not to pull the other end through!) When one end of the ribbon sticks out each end of the tunnel, take the safety pin off. Slide the skirt onto your doll, cinch the ribbon and tie. Voila!
Easy Tunic Top or Dress Instructions
1) First, make two rectangles that are the same size.
Measure your doll’s torso around the biggest point, probably the chest. This number is the width of each rectangle. Then measure your doll from the bottom of its neck to where you want the shirt to stop.* Add ½ inch. This is the length of each rectangle. Fold your fabric in half, draw one rectangle and cut it out to make two that are identical.
2) Place the rectangles print side down on the table. Turn up the bottoms of each rectangle by ¼ inch and glue or sew down. Repeat this on the tops.
3) Place the rectangles with the print sides facing one another. From the bottom, start to sew or glue them together up the sides, but not all the way. Leave enough space at the top on both sides that your doll’s arms can fit through. (The amount will depend on the size of your doll and fabric.)
4) Sew along the top of the rectangles, just at the corners. You want an opening in the middle to be big enough for your doll’s head, so check it first before sewing both ends. Turn the shirt inside out and slip it over your doll’s head and arms. New shirt-tastic!
Decorate your clothes with a small amount of fabric glue and any objects you want. With buttons, beads or paint your design munchkins can create a collection all their own.
*To make a tunic dress, just increase this measurement to desired dress length and follow the rest of the steps.