For girls who love dressing up their dolls, learning to make their own doll clothes can be a fun twist to add to the normal routine, and a welcomed lesson that can spark creativity. And while it may sound like a hard task to undertake, you don’t actually have to be a seamstress to teach your child how to make some simple doll fashions. Many pieces of doll attire can be made with supplies you already have on hand.
- A dress made out of an orphaned sock. The size of the doll you have will determine what size sock you can use for this project. For a Barbie doll, a child’s sock will work well. For an 18 inch doll, you will need to use a large sock, such as an adult’s sock or a tube sock. Start by cutting the foot part off of the sock. Next, take the ribbed part of the sock and hold it up to just under the doll’s chin, as this will be the neckline of the dress. Eye ball where the arm holes need to be and then cut small slits in the appropriate spots. Remember the sock is stretchy so you need to keep the holes small. Try the dress on your doll and decide how long you’d like the dress to be, then fold the top edge down at the neck and determine where you should cut it off. Use a ribbon or a bracelet as a belt for the dress.
- Make a no-sew tutu for your 18 inch doll. Take 23 inches of a pretty satin ribbon. Tie the ribbon around your doll’s waist, looping it into a bow at the back. Now cut some strips of tulle into pieces that are 9 inches long and about 2 inches wide. Tie the strips of tulle onto the ribbon by tucking one end under the ribbon and pulling it until the two ends are even. Now tie a simple knot around the ribbon. Continue tying the tulle onto the ribbon until your tutu is as fluffy as you would like it to be. You’ll need approximately ¾ yard of tulle for this project.
- Put together an elegant outfit out of scarves. Using a long narrow scarf, wrap the scarf around the doll’s torso and between the legs and tie the ends at the waist. Now take another scarf that is more rectangular in shape and poke half of it through a thick rubber band that will fit around the doll’s waist. Slide the rubber band over the doll’s waist and adjust the skirt all the way around the rubber band so that the back is overlapping. Your ensemble is complete.
- A no-sew jacket for your doll is a snap to make. Lay your doll face up on some felt. Take a piece of chalk and draw an oval around the doll going all the way out to her wrists and almost to the top of her head. The size of the oval will depend on the size of the doll for which you are making it. Now, cut out the oval. With the doll’s arms down by her sides take your chalk and mark where her shoulders are. Cut a circle around that mark big enough for her arms to fit through. Next, put the doll’s arms through the holes and fold the top of the oval down in back to make a collar. Bring the jacket around your doll and mark where you would like the fastener to be. Using a small hook and loop clasp and attach both sides to the jacket to create the closure. At this point you can glue a non-functional button over the spot where the Velcro is so that it gives the illusion that the jacket is buttoned. Use gems, ribbon or other things to decorate your jacket and you are finished.
- Old T-shirts are a great source for dress material. For a Barbie doll, cut a circle out of the T-shirt approximately 13 inches in diameter. Fold the circle in half and then in half again. Next cut enough of the point off so that the hole will fit over your doll’s head. Open the fabric so that you are looking at a half circle. Now lay your doll on top of the half circle where her neck is at the opening that you cut earlier and make small cuts at the shoulder. These slits will be pretty close to the head hole. Cut small holes around where the slits are, just big enough for the doll’s arms to fit through. Raise your doll’s arms straight up and put the dress on over her head and arms. Cut a narrow strip of T-shirt fabric about 10 inches long and ½ inch wide. Pull on the strip until it forms a cord. Now use that cord as a belt and tie it at your doll’s waist. Your simple no-sew dress is done and you’ve recycled an old T-shirt too.