My daughter just had her 7th birthday. The day before her birthday we did some things to celebrate as a family and we got her a gift. We explained that that was her birthday gift and she wouldn't be getting anything on her actual birthday and she was fine with that, until later that night when she started talking about what she wanted on her actual birthday. I know my little girl and I know what a big deal her birthday is so I wanted to surprise her with something small for her birthday. The week leading up to her birthday we spent working on moving some rooms around and working on some stuff in the house. Part of that was moving my craft room stuff so I hadn't really had much of a chance to work on a gift the days leading up to her birthday. She is really into American Girl dolls, and by American Girl dolls I really mean the cheaper knockoff versions that you can get at Walmart or Target, so I had planned to make some little clothes and accessories for her doll. I did a search for free doll clothes patterns, printed some off, chose fabrics, cut out some outfits, and did a little sewing.
The patterns that I used were from Imagine Gnats. I printed of the dress, pants, and shirt/cardigan patterns. I cut things out using all of them but I didn't get the shirt that I cut out sewn together so I only actually made the dress and pants. In addition to those I also made a skirt, a tote bag, and a necklace.
The Imagine Gnats patterns come in 2 different sizes and which one you use depends on the brand of doll and its measurements. Of course that day Eliza decided to take her doll to school with her so I couldn't measure her. Just to be safe I made the bigger size and it seemed to fit well. Her doll came from Walmart, I think My Life is the brand.
The first thing that I made was a little pair of jean shorts using the Eva Pants Pattern. I had a scrap of denim that I have had forever and there was enough to cut out both a pair of shorts and pants. The only thing that I did differently was that I added a casing for the elastic. I folded it down about 1/2" twice and then put some 1/4" elastic in the casing. I only folded the hem up once and then stitched around twice, really close together with a yellow gold color of thread.
I made the pants the same way but I added a few extra little details by topstitching on the pants. I made a little fly and front pockets to make them look more like jeans.
On the back I stitched tiny little back pockets. I just free-handed all of it while I was sewing so they are not at all even but I don't think my daughter will notice.
Next I made a dress using the Chloe Dress pattern. I used the cap sleeve version because I wanted there to be a little bit of a sleeve but I didn't want to sew a sleeve in.
I really like this pattern, it was really easy to sew together (partially because of the cap sleeves). I only cut the lining for the top version. I just cut one skirt and hemmed the bottom and sides of the skirt and then sewed it onto the bodice.
For the back I just added a couple of snaps to the bodice. The skirt is open and I thought about adding another snap further down but I decided that since it is a doll dress I want it as easy to get on and off as possible so I just stuck with two. I just happened to find some plain white snaps in some stuff that I inherited from my husband's grandma.
Eliza loves jewelry so I thought it would be really easy to make a little necklace for her doll. I just cut a piece of elastic cording that I had and found a few matching beads that were not pony beads or some other really cheap looking bead. The colors of the necklace were completely determined by what I found in my little drawer of beads. I strung them on in a pattern and then knotted it really well and trimmed them ends. Super simple and she loved it.
Next I made a little skirt. I just cut a rectangle, I didn't measure or anything, just cut something that looked about the right size. I sewed it into a circle, hemmed the bottom, added a casing and some elastic. I decided to add a little ric-rac around the bottom afterward and because we are in the middle of moving my craft stuff into a new room all of my thread was downstairs so I didn't even bother to change the thread to a matching color. That was another one of those, this is for a doll and my 7 year old is not going to notice, moments. I thought it turned out pretty cute, it would be a really easy way to use up scraps and Eliza could even help me sew them together.
The last thing that I made was a little tote bag. I came up with the idea because I was looking for fabric to make the other stuff and came across a couple little scraps left over from some bags we made for the kids teachers a couple years ago.
How to Make a Doll Tote Bag
Finished Size 6" tall (including handles), 3" across, 1 1/2" deep
You will need:
- Scrap of heavyweight (home dec) fabric
- sewing machine
2- 6 1/2" x 5"
1- 15" x 1 1/4"
Sew the 2- 6 1/2" x 5" rectangles together on 3 sides (6 1/2" side, 5" side, 6 1/2" side). Box the corners by folding the the corners so the the bottom seam and side seam line up and draw a line where measures about 1 1/14"-1 1/2" and sew across that line. Trim the corner. Fold the top down about 1" twice and hem.
Fold the long strip in half, so that it is a skinnier 15" strip and sew along on short side and the long side. Clip the corner then turn right side out. Press and topstitch, then cut in half. Pin evenly onto bag, about 1 1/2" between the straps on each side. Sew a little square around the bottom of the strap to hold it securely in place. Now your little bag is done.
My daughter loved all of her new doll clothes and I already have some more cut out, ready to be sewn up. I'm not sure which piece was her favorite, mine was the dress, I will definitely be making some more of those. Doll clothes and accessories are a great way to use up all of the little scraps I have laying around.