Doll haute couture

My very first sewing projets as a child (at 5) were clothes for my dolls and Barbie dolls. I'd love to still remember how made them because the only thing I can recollect is the fact I didn't use patterns. So UI'd love to see pictures or, even better, still have the tiny clothes.

I still love sewing little clothes for small dolls. In fact, that is my favorite part of creating dolls. I used to go about very organically, measuring fabric right on the doll. But a couple weeks ago, I had to make clothes for a doll I didn't have on hand. The little character was with its author. So I had to work with measurements, using real dressmaker techniques. And it worked perfectly! So I now have on hand, patterns to dress that little mouse.

You can find the pattern to make the raccoon here

Here is how to draft patterns for your dolls and plush toys.

To help you tacking measurements and drawing, you can download graph paper (inches) PDF file and graph paper (CM) PDF file.


A = wanted sleeve length form center base of neck

B = wanted length shirt length. Starting from base of neck.

C = where the arm is thickest, measure (as loose or as tight) how you want the sleeves to be.

D = where the body is thickest, measure (as loose or as tight) how you want the body of the shirt to be.

E = measure as accurate as possible, the waist where the pants will start.

F = desired pant length.

G = where the leg is thickest, measure (as loose or as tight) how you want the pant legs to be.

H = crotch length. From center top of pants to right under the body, where you want the pant crotch to fall.

For the top :

Begin at te corner. Trace A on top. Trace C/2 going down. Go back to the corner. Trace B down. Trace D/4 to the right. Draw a line going up as high as the lower part of the arm. Join the lower end of C/2. Add seam allowances (1/4in or 0.5cm) to lower arm and to the right of the body. Add 1/2in (or 1cm) to the body length and to the sleeve length. For hemming or to make sure the shirt and sleeves are long enough (better cut too long than too short). Trace lines to indicate where to put pattern piece on fabric fold.

Cut pattern piece. Fold fabric in 4. Put patter piece right on the corner. Trace and cut. Sew. Fold in 2 and cut an opening (oval or round) as wide as the neck.

For the pants (version 1):

Trace a line at 1/2in (1cm) from top. Trace E/4 to the right. Trace F down. Trace G/2 to the left. Trace F - H up. Go back to the left end of E. Trace H down. Trace a line to the right to go join the inside of the leg. Trace a line indicating where to put the pattern piece on the fabric fold (left of pattern piece). Add seam allowance (1/4in or 0é5cm) at the right of the leg and at the left of the leg as well as under the crotch. To make a smooth transition from the crotch to the pant leg, trace a curve. Add 1/2in (1cm) to the lenght of the pant leg.

If G/2 is the same or almost the same as E/4 (version 2):

Trace a line at 1/2in (1cm) from top. Trace E/4 to the right. Trace F down starting at the left end of E/4. Trace G/2 to the left. Trace a line to join the right end of E/4. Add seam allowance (1/4 or 0.5 cm) to the right. Trace a crotch using H (see picture). Join lower end of crotch to right end of pant hem. Add 1/2in (1cm) to pant length. Add line that indicates where to put pattern piece on fabric fold (left).

Cut pattern piece. Fold fabric. Place pattern piece on fold. Trace and cut twice.

If using version 1: If the stuffed toy has a tail on the side, decide where you need to leave an opening on the side of the pant. Sew that side (leaving the opening).

Open and finish the opening. Fold back. Sew the rest of the pant. If version 2. Sew the pant. Both versions: Finish the top by folding and sewing. Turn and try it on.

To finish the hem, you can use a liquid that prevents fraying, you can hand sew a tiny hem, you can use the sewing machine's zigzag stitch or if you are using a fabric that does not fray, you can leave as is.

You now have basic pattern pieces you can customize to make other pieces of clothing. If you lengthen the sleeves and cut the front, you can make a jacket using the top pattern. Using a larger seam allowance, you can make leggings with the pant pattern. Using the top pattern, you can lengthen the body and cut out the sleeves to make a sleeveless dress. So get you pencil, paper, tape measurement and go make tiny clothes!