Author Archive

A Free Template to use with Your Twinkle Pattern

September 15th, 2019

I had been designing doll clothing and cloth dolls for years, when my husband and I started publishing doll patterns. My husband is an electrical engineer and natural problem solver. He observed how much time I spent carefully cutting out each doll. He noted that I sometimes ruined a carefully constructed doll when I made a mistake on the face. We had tried several solutions to these two problems that worked fairly well, when my husband discovered Spoonflower. Anyone can upload a design to Spoonflower and have it printed on a fabric chosen from the Spoonflower fabric selection. I found it was much faster to make a doll when the pattern has been printed on a Spoonflower fat quarter. The printed faces were wonderfully reliable. We had such a positive experience with the printed patterns, that we decided to make the printed fabric pattern available to the public. When someone buys fabric printed with one of our patterns, we are compensated a small percentage of the sale. We usually take the credit toward a fabric purchase. We don’t make much profit from the fabric sales. We made them available as an extra feature for people who enjoy our patterns.

At first we put out a fat quarter with a trio of dolls patterns and a selection of faces and a work area for the arm and leg templates. We filled extra space on the fat quarter with some shoe patterns, a picture of the completed doll and templates for the arms and legs. Later we put out a fat quarter with a quintet of dolls by limiting the choices of faces and omitting the extras.

The dolls are the same on the two fat quarters and require instructions for my book Sewing for Mini Dolls. Pattern on my Etsy shop.

At this season some doll makers find themselves making multiple dolls for craft shows and charity give-a-ways. We find that some crafters are purchasing whole yards of the quintet on Spoonflower. They are apparently planning on sewing up not just a trio or a quintet but a whole chorus of dolls! For those ambitious sewers we got the idea of providing a PDF file with a whole page of templates so that they can easily print extra copies of the arm and leg templates on printable freezer paper. The freezer paper method should be used to apply the templates. This method is described as an option in the pattern instructions. For your sewing pleasure, the TwinkleTemplates is here for a free download. Be sure to select print full size when you print the templates and check the ruler printed with the templates before using them.

Printable freezer paper is available at sewing and craft stores and on Amazon.



Christmas Sewing, my patterns, Uncategorized

A Free Ballet Costume for 6.5 inch Mini Dolls

September 26th, 2018

When I was writing my newest book, Learn to Hand Sew for Mini Dolls, I created several patterns that I could not use in the book. Some of the patterns were not easy enough for the book. Some of the patterns could not be made with knits and I had decided that all the clothing should be made from knit fabric. My favorite pattern that did not make the book is this ballet costume.

The little tutu is made from tulle and is too difficult for a beginner. Here is a picture of a second, easier version of the tutu.

The free instructions include both versions of the tutu. Neither version is difficult for an experienced sewer, but I don’t think that a beginner should try either version.

The leotard is difficult to cut out, but once it is cut out I think that a beginner can sew it with needle and thread. An experienced sewer can make this whole costume or let a beginner help complete the easy parts.

I am giving this pattern away because I think it is too cute not to publish and I don’t have a place for it in any of my books right now. If you like the pattern, I hope that you look at my books, Sewing for Mini Dolls, which is for intermediate sewers and Learn to Hand Sew for Mini Dolls, which is for beginners. You might find a use for one or both or the books.

Click here for free ballet pattern 2.



Free Patterns, My books, my patterns ,

A New Sewing Book For Beginners

September 24th, 2018

After I wrote the first edition of Sewing for Mini Dolls, many of my readers tried to use the book to teach their children and grandchildren to sew. I did not intend this book for children. Using a sewing machine to make items as small as mini doll clothing can be challenging for the beginner.

I considered including simplified handsewing patterns for beginners in the revised edition of Sewing for Mini Dolls that I wrote last year. I found that the book was too long for the added patterns.

I have just completed and published a separate book of simplified doll clothes patterns. If you need something for the complete beginner try my new book Learn to Hand Sew for Mini Dolls. The patterns will fit American Girl mini dolls, Target’s Our Generation mini dolls and Lori mini, Madame Alexander Travel Friends dolls, and my cloth doll Twinkle.

I have also found that these easy clothes sew up very, very quickly. I am planning to make a bunch of them for my Blue Santa project this year.

Check back in a few days for a free pattern that will fit the dolls that I have mentioned in this post.



My books ,

A New Edition of Sewing for Mini Dolls

September 28th, 2017


American Girl® Dolls has recently slightly changed the body of their American Girl mini doll.  Target now has Our Generation® mini dolls and Lori® mini dolls. Because of these changes, I decided to revise my “Sewing for Mini Dolls” book.

I have changed my Twinkle doll pattern to more nearly match these commercial dolls and have revised my mini doll clothing patterns to give them a better fit on these new dolls.

Because I was revising my mini doll book anyway, I decided to add new patterns to the book to offer a more complete doll wardrobe. I have also added accessories and extras to make the book more fun.

I have simplified the shoe patterns and added new touches to patterns that were in the book’s first edition.

I have slightly changed the book’s formatting.

I hope that you will take the time to check out my new book on Amazon. Sewing for Mini Dolls: New and Updated Patterns for Mini Dolls

My books ,

Make a Mini Doll Wardrobe with Free Patterns

December 1st, 2016

There is still time to make a mini doll wardrobe before Christmas. I just recently spent all the spare time I had for a week making wardrobes for two mini dolls. The two dolls and their clothing are for a church toy drive. I used two fat quarters, two felt squares, and some scraps of knit and flannel that I had on hand. I also used two pairs of baby socks for the little sweaters. I purposely gave myself gave myself a week that was also filled with other commitments to make the doll clothes. I wanted to prove that there is time in a busy week to make a mini doll wardrobe. Here is a picture of one of the dolls and her wardrobe. Remember I made the same number of clothes for a second doll.


You can have almost all the patterns it takes to make the wardrobe free for a short time. My last three blogs have patterns for the jumper, vest, sweater, leggings, and tights. The summer top is a free pattern on my pattern page. Click on Small Doll Patterns in the directory at the top of the page, and it will take you to the free sundress and summer top pattern.

I am offering my down-loadable pattern: “Gown, Smock Top, and Two Tiered Skirt” free until December 15. If you would like this free PDF, please email me at  and ask for it. I’d love to send you a copy.

Unfortunately. I don’t have a finished pattern for the little robe. It’s still only a draft on graph paper.

The shoes are in my book Sewing for Mini Dolls and in the Mini Doll Shoe Cut and Sew kit. I hope that you have fun doing Christmas sewing this month.


Free Patterns for a Mini Doll Jumper and Vest

November 27th, 2016

If you are looking for free patterns for 6.5inch (16.5 cm) mini dolls, you might want to try my easy (and free) patterns for a jumper and vest. Grace is wearing a jumper made from this pattern. She is wearing a smock top under the jumper made from a pattern in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. The pattern for her white shoes can also be found in the book. You can  make the sweater from last weeks instructions to go under the jumper instead of using the smock top pattern.


Addie is wearing a vest made from today’s pattern over the sweater made from last week’s instructions and leggings made from the patterns  found in a blog from two weeks ago. Her brown shoes were made from the same pattern as Grace’s white shoes. You can order a Mini Doll Shoe Cut and Sew kit that has the brown shoes and three other mini doll shoes to make.


I am planning to remove this PDF from my blog at the end of March 2017, so if you want the patterns, you should down-load them soon.

Update March 31, 2017– I have removed the PDF of these patterns from this page. Look for them in a new book of mine that I hope will be available in the early fall of this year.

Free Patterns

Free Instructions for Making a Mini Doll Sweater

November 17th, 2016

If you are sewing for 6.5inch (16.5 cm) mini dolls, you might want to use my easy (and free) instructions for turning a baby sock into a mini doll sweater.

Kendra is wearing a sweater made from a baby sock.


The leggings she is wearing were made from the free pattern found in last week’s blog. The pattern for her brown boots can be found in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. You can also order a Mini Doll Shoe Cut and Sew kit that has the brown boots and three pairs of mini doll shoes to make.

I am planning to remove this PDF from my blog at the end of March 2017, so if you want the instructions, you should down-load it soon.

Update March 31, 2017– I have removed the PDF with the sweater instructions from this page. Look for them in a new book of mine that I hope will be available in the early fall of this year.

Free Patterns

A Free Pattern for Mini Doll Tights and Leggings

November 9th, 2016

If you are sewing for 6.5inch (16.5 cm) mini dolls, you might want to use my easy (and free) pattern for tights and leggings.

Addie is wearing the leggings with a sweater made from a baby sock. The sweater instructions will appear in my next blog. The pattern for her brown shoes can be found in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. You can also order a Mini Doll Shoe Cut and Sew kit that has the brown shoes and three other mini doll shoes to make.


Grace is wearing the tights made from this free pattern under a sundress. You can order a Mini Doll Cut and Sew kit to make the sundress , jacket, sandals, and belt. The kit is designed for beginning sewers. The sundress pattern, but not the accessories is available free on my pattern page. Use the directory at the top of the page to select Small Dolls. The free sundress pattern is the first of the small doll patterns.


I am planning to remove this PDF from my blog at the end of March 2017, so if you want the pattern, you should down-load it soon.

Update March 31, 2017– I have removed the PDF of these patterns from this page. Look for them in a new book of mine that I hope will be available in the early fall of this year.

Free Patterns

How the Earth and Moon Pincushion was Designed

July 10th, 2016

This blog is a continuation of tech support’s (husband’s) guest blog on the Earth and Moon pincushion. In this blog Joe explains how he designed the pincushion. -Sherralyn

Several years back I got the idea to use a globe of the Earth with attached Moon as a novelty pincushion and emery in place of the traditional tomato and strawberry. I talked to Sherralyn about the idea and she thought it might work but said that it was not obvious how to sew up a pincushion sized sphere. So I looked at some possible solutions. I considered a gore map. But Sherralyn didn’t like all the darts that approach implied.


I looked into using approaches like those used to make tennis balls


and soccer balls.

I came across dymaxion maps


and Cahill’s  maps


and Waterman’s butterfly maps.watermanMap

Finally we settled on the Waterman butterfly projection map as perhaps the easiest to sew up on a machine. Its compact shape fit onto a 8½”x11” piece of paper better than the more elongated maps. As a sewing project, this approach has two single darts, four clusters of triple darts, and one main seam.
I drew shapes based on the Cahill/Waterman octahedrons, added seam allowances, and marked the darts. I made the shapes blue and manually placed images of land masses copied from a map where I thought they should go.

Oh, and I added a patch with Antarctica on it.

As the Moon is only about ¼ the size of the Earth, Sherralyn thought that a simpler approach was needed for the satellite. Photos of the two sides of the Moon were placed into yellow circles and a few darts were added. This allows the Moon to be sewn up like a small cushion. While the Earth and Moon are roughly to scale, the cotton pearl connecting the Earth pincushion to the Moon emery would need to be almost 7 feet long to keep to scale so you may want to compromise accurate scaling there with a more practical length.

The original pattern was scaled for US letter size paper but would fit on A4 paper as well. When I uploaded it to Spoonflower I rearranged the components to fit an 8”x8” swatch but did not change the original shapes.

Pattern Shapes ,

Custom, Print-on-Demand fabric and the Globe Pincushion

June 28th, 2016

Hello. Hello. Thump. Thump. Is this thing working?

Hi. It’s me, tech support (husband). Doing a guest blog for Sherralyn. I haven’t blogged here since early 2009. And that was just part of trying to get he blog software set up.

This time I’m going to blog about the globe pincushion that has been available as a free download on this site for some time and about a new version of that pattern.


A key aspect of the original pattern was printing the pattern on to cloth using an ink jet printer. Running a piece of cloth through an ink jet is not something everyone is comfortable with. One reader wrote Sherralyn that “my husband would have kittens if I did that”. But Sherralyn and I have been doing it for some time and I have yet to have kittens myself so we know that not all husbands necessarily have kittens if cloth is run through an ink jet printer. That’s just not the way cats, husbands or ink jet printers work. There are commercially available printable fabrics that work well and Sherralyn’s patterns have instructions for a DIY approach that has also worked for us. We use the DIY technique not only for the globe pincushion but for some of the doll patterns.

Nevertheless, we recognize that not every one is willing to give this technique a try. And, we have come across a solution! There are online services that will custom print on fabric for you. We have been trying out a site called Spoonflower that will print patterns that we have uploaded onto 8”x8” swatches, fat quarters, or yards of fabric. A swatch runs about $5 plus shipping. The cost of larger quantities varies with the type of fabric selected. Sherralyn has been very impressed with the quality of the Kona cotton fabric that we have ordered from them. The grain is unusually square and the colors are bright. On the other hand, the cost per yard is, as you would expect for custom, print-on-demand fabric, relatively high. And, delivery times can run a couple of weeks. But you may consider these disadvantages a small price to pay to avoid kittens.

cute kittenG

If you want to give this a try, we have updated the original pincushion instructions slightly to accommodate the print-on-demand fabric here. And a link to the globe pincushion fabric pattern on Spoonflower is here.

blog, Free Patterns