Posts Tagged ‘sewing for small dolls’

Altering My Patterns for Dora the Explorer and Lalaloopsy Littles

September 20th, 2014

I made a few fairly easy alterations in my A-line Dress, Jacket, and Bloomers patterns to make them fit eight inch (20 cm) Dora the Explorer and Lalaloopsy Littles better. Here is Dora in the small doll (Florabunda) size A-line dress.


I decided that the dress pattern did not need alteration. If you make an A-line dress for Dora, you should close it with Velcro or snaps all the way down the back. Dora cannot wear the dress with a zipper closing. Her feet are too big to step into the dress.

The short jacket was difficult to put on Dora. She had to reach back with both hands at the same time.


Here is Dora wearing the jacket when I finally got it on her.


I added one fourth inch (6mm) to the jacket back pattern at the fold line.


Here is Dora wearing her new altered jacket.


I used my mini doll (Twinkle) patterns to dress my Lalaloopsy Little. Here she is wearing an unaltered mini doll A-line dress and short jacket.


The dress is too long. I shorted the dress by three quarters inch (2 cm) at the hem.


I shorted the jacket sleeves by one quarter inch (6 mm) and added one quarter inch at the jacket back fold line.


Here is my Lalaloopsy Little wearing her altered A-line dress and short jacket.


If you make a  Lalaloopsy Little an A-line dress, you should close it with Velcro  or snaps all the way down the back.

To order a down-loadable  A-line Dress, Jacket, and Bloomers pattern, see the small dolls section of my Patterns page. The down-loadable pattern contains both small doll and mini doll size patterns. To order a book with the patterns, see My Books page. All of Florabunda’s patterns are in the Sew a Small Doll and her Clothing book. All of Twinkle’s patterns are in  Sewing for Mini Dolls.

Patterns for Dora the Explorer, Patterns for Lalaloopsy ,

Making a Dance Rehearsal Costume for your American Girl Mini: Part II Dance Skirt

August 16th, 2014


To make the dance skirt, make three copies of my A-line skirt pattern.

Cut the hem off all three pattern pieces. For the back pattern piece, use the entire pattern without the hem. For the right front, use the entire skirt waist, but cut a curve starting at the hem line and stopping half way up the side cut line. I traced around a drinking glass to get a smooth curve. For the left front the top of the skirt start at the side seam and measure one and one eighth inch (about 3 cm) at the waist line. Mark the measured point. Draw a straight line down the skirt from the measured point for about one and three quarters inch (4.5 cm). Then begin curving the line back to the bottom of the side seam.


From fabric, cut two of each pattern piece. You will use the second set of pattern pieces to line the skirt.

Sew the skirt left front and skirt back together at the side seam. Sew the left front skirt lining to the back skirt lining down the side seam. Sew  the left front/skirt back piece to its lining down the curve and hem. Sew the right front and right front lining together down curve and hem.


Trim the pieces, turn and press.


Lap the lined right front piece over the left front/skirt back piece. Line up the edge of the right front with the left front/skirt back side seam. Pin and then had baste the two pieces together.


Finish and then fold over the top edge of the skirt to make an elastic casing, and follow the directions in my pattern guide to finish the skirt.

Put the skirt on the doll and tie a matching or contrasting ribbon around the waist.

For free tips for making an elastic casing download my free Tools, Tips, and Techniques booklet and look on page 9 of the booklet.

You can purchase a download of my pattern Pants, Skirt and T-shirt from the small doll section of my Pattern page. It is the fifth pattern in that section.

If you are only interested in AG mini dolls, the pattern is also in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. If you only want mini doll patterns, I think that the book is the best buy. You can find out how to order it from My Books page.

Last week I showed you how to make the tights and top for this outfit. If you found this article from a web search, you may not have access to the rest of my blog. If you would like to make the tights and top, go to my blog and search for August 9, 2014.

Playing with American Girl mini dolls ,

Making a Dance Ensemble for Your American Girl Mini Doll

July 6th, 2014


This dance ensemble for AG mini dolls is made from a ladies’ thin sock, elastic, ribbon and tulle fabric.


I adapted the pants pattern from my Pants, Skirt and T-shirt pattern to make leggings.


I made a copy of the pants pattern and cut off the side seam allowances and the fold line for the elastic casing.

Cut the leggings from the foot and toe end of the sock. Follow the pants directions to make the leggings. Use a quarter inch (6 mm) seam but sew the seam with a zigzag stitch. I sewed the elastic casing at the waist and the leg hems by hand, because the sewing machine tended to stretch the sock fabric too much.

The doll’s top is made from the top of the sock, after the leggings have been cut out. Try the sock top on the doll, by having her “step into” the sock top. The cut end of the sock should be pulled up to just below her shoulders. The finished end of the sock should be at her waist. Trim the cut edge of the sock to shape it like a doll’s top. Remember to leave enough of the sock fabric to add a hem. I hemmed the shoulder/neck/ arm opening by hand to prevent the sewing machine from stretching the fabric.

I had to make a seam down the back of the top to make it small enough to fit the doll. Hem the shoulder/neck/arm opening by hand. Add ribbon ties at the shoulders.

For the tutu, cut four 16 inches by 5 inches (41 cm by 12 cm) rectangles of tulle. Stack the tulle rectangles together and fold them lengthwise to make stack of folded rectangles measuring 16 inches by 2.5 inches (41 cm by 6 cm). Make an elastic casing by sewing a seam three eighth inch (1 cm) from the folded edge of the tulle stack. Insert about 5.5inches (14 cm) of one eighth inch (3 mm) wide elastic. Secure the elastic on both sides and then sew the two short sides of the gathered rectangle together to make the tutu back.

For free tips for making an elastic casing download my free Tools, Tips, and Techniques booklet and look on page 9 of the booklet.

You can purchase a download of my pattern Pants, Skirt and T-shirt from the small doll section of my Pattern page. It is the fifth pattern in that section.

If you are only interested in AG mini dolls, the pattern is also in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. If you only want mini doll patterns, I think that the book is the best buy. You can find out how to order it from My Books page.

Playing with American Girl mini dolls , ,

Florabunda the Christmas Angel

December 18th, 2012

We have a small tree this year and so I decided that my small doll, Florabunda, would make a great angel for the top of the tree. I made her gown from my “Gown,Smock, and Two Tiered Skirt” pattern. I cut the pattern from white bridal satin and made the skirt extra long. The wings are from two layers of gold lame bonded together with low heat fusible webbing. Her halo is made from a pipe-cleaner wrapped in gold midi braid.

Here is a picture of our little tree with Florabunda perched proudly on the top.




Christmas Sewing ,

Christmas Dolls for 2012

October 14th, 2012

I like to dress a doll or two every year to donate to Blue Santa or similar groups. This year I decided to use my own patterns to dress an eighteen inch (46 cm) doll and an American Girl mini. I am going to donate the dolls as two separate gifts, but I am making them matching outfits for my own pleasure.

Last week I made dresses using my A-line patterns. I added the ruffles as an experiment. Instructions for ruffles at the hem are not included in my A-line patterns. I may blog about how to add ruffles at a later time. Here are the two Christmas dolls wearing their first outfits.

I am also making Florabunda matching clothes, so that I will have a record of the doll clothes that I am making this year. Here is Florabunda wearing her new dress. Kitty is modeling the larger Christmas dress, just for fun.

Christmas Sewing, my patterns , ,

Printing on Fabric

April 16th, 2012

Look at the right bottom corner of my new book’s cover.

Florabunda is wearing a sundress that matches the eighteen inch doll’s dress. Here is a close-up of the two dolls.

The pattern on Florabunda’s dress is scaled to match her smaller size. The smaller size print was not available at a fabric shop, so it was printed with a computer printer on printable fabric. I do not have the skills to create this interesting fabric on my own. I had my husband’s help and we found that the project took more effort than we expected. The first step was to scan the original fabric.

Then we picked out a rectangle of fabric that included the complete design without any repetition.

My husband used a photo-processing program to straighten the design so that it would match the straight of grain when it was printed. He also used the program to crop the scan, leaving only one complete design.

While he was still in the program, he shrank the design and then repeated it until the now smaller design would cover a sheet of printable fabric.

The colors on the first printed sheet did not match the original.

We went back to the photo-processing program and worked on making the colors match. We printed several paper samples before using another sheet of printable fabric.

The computer printed fabric is a little more difficult to sew on than regular fabric. It is slightly thicker and does not drape as well. It took some effort but, I was happy with the little dress when I had finished it.

learning to sew, My books, sewing tips ,

I’m Back

April 9th, 2012

I am sorry that I have not posted in a while. As a rule I try to post every week. For the last few months, I have been writing books, and I haven’t had any words left over for the blog, or even to keep up emails with my friends.

Here is my latest book,Sew a Small Doll and Her Clothing:

This book contains the pattern for Florabunda, all of her clothing patterns, and her shoe patterns. If you are interested in a 7.5 inch (19 cm) cloth doll patterns or clothing patterns for this size doll, and would prefer a hard copy to a downloaded pdf, please check this book out on “My Books” page.

My next book should be out early this week. I will tell you about it soon.

My books

Christmas Shopping Ideas

November 20th, 2011

A kit of basic sewing tools is a nice gift for many people. Anyone who wants or needs to learn a few sewing skills would appreciate the gift. Check my free download “Tips, Tools, and Techniques” (available on my patterns page) for tool suggestions.
If you are making a doll wardrobe for a special little girl’s Christmas, she might enjoy a sewing kit. She could try her hand at sewing for her doll after Christmas. The pillow, pillowcase, and cover from my “Doll Bed and Accessories” pattern are excellent patterns for beginners. Next she can make the simple sundress  from my free sundress pattern. It is also a good pattern fro beginners.
With a few tools and instructions you might give someone a lifetime of sewing pleasure.

Christmas Sewing, learning to sew, my patterns

Dolls in Classic Dresses

October 9th, 2011

The pattern I am currently designing for princesses’ ballgowns can change to a pattern for  girls’ classic dresses. Fabrics, trims, and skirt lengths make all the difference.
Here are my three small dolls in their classic dresses.

The girls have dressed up before having  tea from my dainty tea set. The set is new. I couldn’t resist showing it. It was hand painted by Ellen Westmoreland, a friend of mine. Ellen’s business is called Ellen’s Hand Painted Treasures.
To see the ballgowns check my posts for September 18 and 25.

Displaying Dolls, my patterns

Two More Princesses

September 25th, 2011

I have finished Tender Heart and Twinkle’s ballgowns. Tender Heart’s gown has a slightly higher neckline than the ballgowns for the two smaller dolls.
I am happy with the design My husband copied the patterns into the computer and tidied them up for me. I still have to edit my instructions. I also need to sew the dresses with shorter skirts and less elaborate trims to make a modern version of the pattern.
Here are Tender Heart and Twinkle in their ballgowns.

my patterns, Pattern Making