and Tools for Creating Designer Doll Clothes
I started making dolls for my children when I could not
find any fabric dolls for them to play with. As a former art teacher,
I had always worked with fabric and paint, so armed with these skills,
I ventured into the world of dollmaking. For the past 20 years, I have
been designing dolls for Vogue Patterns. I am as excited today about
dollmaking, as I was the day I created my first doll. Here are some
of my special tips and techniques for making beautiful doll clothes. Pattern Selection
Doll patterns are available for different size dolls, ranging from an 11 1/2" fashion
doll up to a 36" doll. Select a pattern that is the same size as your
doll. Take your doll's measurements, using the Narrow
Tape Measure (#4032). The 3/8" width is easy to wrap around tiny waists.
Record your doll's chest, waist and hip measurements
as well as the leg and arm length and overall height. Compare these measurements
to the actual pattern pieces. If necessary, alter the pattern.
Using a Dressform
Dritz For Dolls Dressforms are available in 2 sizes - 18" Doll
Dressform (#4060) and the 11½" Fashion
Doll Dressform (#4061). These dressforms are padded so you can pin into
them. Compare your doll's measurements to the dressform. If necessary, the
dressform can be "padded out" with polyester batting to match your
- Create your own designs!
- Check the fit of your doll's tissue pattern.
- Fit doll clothes as you sew.
- Determine the placement of pockets, buttons, ribbons,
trims, appliqués and other embellishments!
- Display your doll clothes.
Fabrics for doll clothes are limited only by your imagination. Experiment with
all types of fabrics, from silk to UltraSuede®. Make use of fabric ,
lace and trims cut from old garments, hats and bags. It's the little details
that will make your garment special and unique.
Use the Mini
Tracing Wheel (#4040) with a 5/8" diameter and serrated edge and Double-Faced,
Tracing Paper (#4056) to transfer pattern markings. Using a pen, the Tracing
Paper can also be used to transfer the details for doll's face.
|Using the Mini
Tracing wheel with a 5/8" diameter and serrated edge
and Double-Faced Tracing Paper to transfer pattern markings.
||Using a pen, the
Tracing Paper can also be used to transfer the details for
your doll's face.
- The 11½" Doll
Ironing Board (#4062) is a small wooden board with a padded
cover that is designed to clamp to a sewing table for stability.
It's perfect for pressing miniature garments.
- Try the Seam
Presser (#4042) for hand pressing short, narrow seams or seams
in hard-to-reach places.
|The 11½" Doll
Ironing Board is perfect for pressing miniature garments.
||Try a Seam Presser
for hand pressing.
Sewing Construction Tips
- Use the flat method of construction for sewing
most doll clothing, especially for the 11 1/2" doll. Flat construction
is simply working on the garment flat. Stitch the shoulder seams;
attach the sleeves, collar and trims. The side and back seams are
- Eliminate Bulk wherever possible. Trim seam
allowances closely. Instead of making facings and cuffs, trim sleeves
and necklines to the finished length. Secure raw edges with Fray
Check™ (#4040) to stop fabric from fraying. Stitch continuous
side and sleeve seams. Hand stitch lace or trim over raw edges.
- When hand sewing trim to sleeves on 11 1/2" dolls,
insert a pencil into sleeve. This prevents catching other side of
trim while sewing.
- To attach elastic, zigzag stitch over narrow
elastic without catching it in the stitching. Pull elastic to gather
to desired size.
- Use a Flat
Bodkin (#4057) for threading ribbon through eyelets and for
pulling elastic through narrow casings.
- Create fashion style by adding Mini Shoulder
Pads, available for 18"dolls
(#4058) and 11½" -
15½" dolls (#4059), to dresses, jackets and coats.
- Stiffen and support curved hems using Mini
Horsehair Braid, White (#4038) and Black
(#4039), now available in a ¼" width, which is just
right for doll clothes.
|Secure raw edges
with Fray Check™ to stop fabric from fraying.
||Insert a pencil
into sleeve to prevent catching other side of trim while
|To attach elastic,
use a zigzig stitch.
style by adding Mini Shoulder Pads.
|Stiffen and support
curved hems using Mini Horsehair braid.
Creating Designer Accents with
Today there are many helpful notions to give your doll clothing a very professional-looking
finish. Your doll comes alive with these realistic touches.
|Mini Clasps and
Mini Release Buckles are great for making belts, backpacks,
creates too much bulk. Stitches became "invisible" with
this fine, transparent nylon thread.
|Use in combination
with boning to create corselettes.
||Mini Skirt Pins
- The perfect accent for your doll's skirt.
|Use Mini Suspender
Clips to give pants a grown-up look.
||Use Mini Drawstring
Locks to secure drawstrings on jackets.
- Make use of all kinds of scraps. A few inches
of lace or trim can create a beautiful hat.
- Don't be afraid to use glue! Unique
StitchTM (#4071) is a permanent fabric adhesive that can be
used to attach pearls, beads, feathers, ribbon and appliqués
to doll clothes, hats and bags. It can also be used to make doll
hair with yarn.
- Make your own narrow bias tape with scraps of
organza using the 1/4" Bias
Tape Maker (#4033). It's a beautiful finish for necklines, sleeves
- Make a collar or necklace by stitching rhinestone
buttons, pearls, shells and beads to elastic.
|Make your own
narrow bias tape with the ¼" Bias Tape Maker.