Monday, March 11, 2013

Valentine's Day Dolly Outfit Tutorial

Last month, I guest posted over at Nap Time Crafters in Amy's Dressing Up Dolly Series where I shared this fun tutorial on how to make your American Girl doll her own Valentine's Day outfit.  Now that Valentine's Day has come and gone, I thought I would repost this tutorial to give you some inspiration for making your dolly another seasonal outfit--like St. Patrick's Day or Easter!  Have fun!

A few months ago, I visited a friend who asked if I could make her daughter's doll an outfit.  You can read all about the matching skirts and bag here. When Amy announced her series, I thought of that post and decided to make an outfit for another friend's daughter's doll.  I know I could definitely use the practice making these tiny outfits.  This time, I documented each step of how to make the doll skirt and bag so you, too, can make a similar outfit for your little doll's doll!  

First, here's what you'll need to cut out to make the doll skirt and bag.  

Starting with the doll skirt, place the fabric right sides together and sew the side seams (the 7" long sides) using a 1/4" seam allowance .  Finish the seams by your desired method.  I serged the edges.

Before you begin sewing the purse, fold the main fabric and lining fabric in half so that each is now 5 1/2" W x 3" L.  Along the fold, cut out a 1" x 1" square.  Your purse fabrics should now look like those above.

Next, fold the purse main fabric in half as shown below with right sides together and sew the short edges together with a 1/4" seam.  Do the same with the purse lining fabric.  Press open the seams.

To create the purse straps, fold the fabric in half with wrong sides together and press.  Open this back up and fold in the raw edges toward the fold and press.  Fold the strip of fabric in half again along the original seam encasing the raw edges.  Sew along the open edge using a 1/8" seam allowance.

Now to finish the skirt...

Sew around the top using a 3/8" seam allowance making sure to leave at least a 1" opening for inserting the elastic.  Take a 10 1/2" piece of 1/4" elastic and run it through the casing you just created.  Sew the ends of the elastic together and then sew to close the opening in the casing.

Hem the bottom by stitching all the way around the skirt.  The skirt is complete!

Now, to finish up the bag, pinch the fabric at the holes in the bottom with right sides together so that the raw edges line up.  Pin and then sew together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Do this for both the purse main fabric and the lining.  

Next, cut about 3" off of each purse strap.  We'll use one of these leftover pieces a little later, so don't throw them away just yet!

Sew the main fabric to the lining fabric using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Be sure to leave an opening that is at least 2" wide for turning the purse inside out. Once you have flipped the fabrics the right way, press the opening and then topstitch around the edge of the bag using a 1/8" seam allowance.  This will close the hole you used for turning.

At this point, I decided to make a simple little fob to attach to the purse handle.  Take one of the 3" long pieces that you cut off of the strap earlier and wrap it around one of the purse handles.  Stitch the ends together.  Then cut out two small hearts (mine are approximately 1" x 1").  

Now there are two ways you could do this next part.  I put the two hearts wrong sides together and then stitched around the edges leaving an opening at the top of the heart large enough to insert the end of the fob strap.  I then stitched over the fob strap when I finished sewing the hearts together.

Another way I could have done this is to have cut out a piece of heat and bond lite the same size as the heart and fused it to the back of one heart. Peel the backing off the heat and bond lite and place the end of the fob between the two hearts.  Iron according to the heat and bond lite directions and then stitch around the edge of the heart.

Now onto the t-shirt.  First let me say that I am very new to sewing with knits, and so far, I haven't been very successful.  But I'll keep trying! Anyway, I found an American Girl doll free t-shirt pattern online from Liberty Jane, and I used an old white baby onesie for the fabric.  

I had major problems sewing a nice hem at the bottom and neckline of the t-shirt.  Even though I used a double needle, both areas stretched out as I was sewing.  Also, I realized after the fact that I should have hemmed the sleeves before I sewed them onto the bodice of the shirt (I admit I did not follow the pattern instructions).  I became so frustrated with the neckline stretching out that I opted to just leave the sleeves as is.  The shirt is not a total loss though.  It's just not as nice as I'd hoped it would be!

I cut out two more little hearts and used heat and bond lite to fuse them to the fabric.  For the back closure, I sewed on a narrow strip of velcro.

Now my neighbor's little American Girl Doll, Maggie, is all ready for Valentine's Day! 

Linking up at these parties and others shown here!  


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  1. I think that is a great outfit! I've been wanting to find doll clothes patterns for my daughter to make. I think we will have fun with these. Thanks!

  2. I love this outfit. I found you from Sew Chatty. My post is an Easter Dress:

    You may want to look around, as I also have American Girl outfits as well.

  3. oh goodness - that little bitty doll basket! Too cute!

  4. This is adorable! I can't wait to try it with my daughter.

  5. Lovely patterns .what size doll


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