The Urban Housewife’s Guide to Making Doll Clothes

The Urban Housewife’s Guide to Making Doll Clothes

Creative playtime helps children develop both physically and mentally. It helps them to learn important social skills. It also gives kids a chance to engage with other children and their parents.

Dolls are a wonderful way for kids to enjoy these benefits. And making your own doll clothes can be a great way to get your kid’s imaginations flowing without spending a lot of money on expensive doll accessories.

If you want to start making doll clothes for your kids, keep reading for the ultimate housewife’s guide to doing just that.

Recycle Old Clothing

One simple way to get fabric for making doll clothing is by recycling clothes that your children have grown out of.

From t-shirts and leggings to jackets, jeans, and more, you can use just about any kind of clothing.

Baby clothes are easy to turn into doll clothes because of their small size. Onesies can become dresses or tops, and pants can be taken in and hemmed to fit your little one’s favorite doll.

Clothing for older children and even adults can also be turned into doll clothes with a bit more cutting. If you have specific designs in mind, it may be easier to use larger clothing to achieve them, as you’ll have more fabric to work with and a larger area to cut from.

If you don’t have any items lying around, you can also check your local thrift store to find affordable fabric to recycle.

Recycle Other Household Items as Well

It isn’t just old clothes that can be recycled into doll clothes. There are plenty of other common household items that make excellent materials for doll clothing.

Curtains and blankets provide plenty of fabric for clothes. Ribbons from holiday gifts make great decorations for clothing or to use for accessories. Patterned sheets or pillowcases can become pajamas. You can even make doll-sized shower wraps, beach towels, or a pool cover-up from your old towels.

Get creative and look around your house before you rush off to a craft store; you might just be surprised how much you find that can be easily turned into doll clothes.

Use a Pattern

Unless you’re a master seamstress, trying to make clothes of any kind without a pattern is a big mistake. From the length of a doll’s arms to the width of her chest and torso, there are far too many measurements to try to make on your own. And messing up just one can leave you with lopsided clothing that doesn’t quite fit.

Luckily, there are people out there who have done those measurements for you and created patterns you can use to make your own dolls’ clothes.

These patterns make it easy to cut your fabric to the exact right size for your doll. Plus, they are great for getting inspiration for your next design. Don’t drop a ton of money on pricey patterns from a craft store; there are plenty of free sewing patterns for dolls online.

Utilize Velcro and Stretchy Fabric

Dressing toy dolls with stick arms and larger heads can be a challenge for adults, let alone kids. Trying to pull stiff fabric or small clothes onto dolls over their heads is not only difficult but can end up stretching the pieces you worked so hard on.

To make your homemade doll clothes easier for little ones to use and less likely to stretch out when being pulled on, consider adding velcro.

Leave a slit in the back of tops and add velcro so that shirts can be pulled straight on and then secured. 

While velcro is harder to add to pants, there are ways to make easy-to-use clothes. Using stretchy fabric will make it easier to tug pants onto doll legs. If the fabric is too loose around the waist, you can add a simple elastic band to keep them on.

Don’t Forget the Accessories

Clothing isn’t the only thing that you can make for your child’s dolls. Leftover fabric scraps are also great for making accessories.

A tiny bit of fabric and a scrap of ribbon can become a purse. A strip of fleece can become an easy, no-sew scarf. 

From bags and belts to scarves, shoes, headbands, and more, you can recreate just about any kind of accessory into a doll-sized version.

Besides clothing and accessories, there are plenty of other simple projects you can make to help inspire your child’s playtime, like blankets and pillows, sleeping bags, tents, bean bag chairs, and more.

Start Simple

Trying to take on complicated, fancy outfits before you have any practice making doll clothes will only leave you frustrated.

There are plenty of simple patterns out there that are perfect for beginners. These will help you practice your new skills and learn the ropes of making tiny clothes before you try something more complicated.

Getting Started Making Doll Clothes

Making doll clothes for your little ones is a great way to put your craft skills to work. Compared to shopping for doll clothes from a store or catalog, homemade clothes can save you tons of money.

Plus, you can create your own unique designs. Make doll outfits that match your little one’s tastes or even match their own favorite outfits.

Unlike larger sewing projects, doll clothes are great for beginners to make. With just a simple pattern and a small amount of fabric, you can create shirts, pants, coats, and more than your child will love.

Looking for other ideas to spark your imagination and creativity? Check out our other DIY ideas to find your next project!