Doll Couture – Making your own doll clothes & dolls

Many girls learn to sew by making doll clothes. I think most of us had a favorite doll or two growing up and if we sewed we made our favorites cute outfits. My grandmother made one of my favorite dolls and she made a closet full of clothes for her. When I learned how to sew I had so much fun making clothes for her.

doll clothes post Doll Couture   Making your own doll clothes & dollsMaking doll clothes is a great way to learn techniques that will server a young sewer well in to the future.

Did you make doll clothes or did you have a grandparent or relative make them? I was looking through these doll books and thought this would be such a great introduction for someone just starting to sew, or for anyone who loves making dolls and doll clothes.

To be entered to win this collection leave me a comment about your favorite doll growing up, or if you like to make dolls and doll clothes.

I would love to hear!

One winner will be picked on Monday January 26!

head shot200 Doll Couture   Making your own doll clothes & dollssignautre 200 Doll Couture   Making your own doll clothes & dolls

 Doll Couture   Making your own doll clothes & dolls

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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111 Responses to Doll Couture – Making your own doll clothes & dolls

  1. Jan Jones says:

    My favorite rag doll were made by my grandmother and had the strangest names like mr. Snerd, ms. Hobbles….

  2. Susan Sheridan says:

    I really enjoy making dolls and doll clothes. I give most of them away as I have no girls of my own. Would love to learn new techniques from these books.

  3. Jackie says:

    My sister and I learned to sew making outfits for our Barbies with our Grandma. I still have one of the patterns we used. It’s very “retro” now!

  4. My first sewing projects were crudely whipstitched Barbie doll clothes. My Grandma would let me raid her scrap bag for the material. It’s been 35 years or more, and I still love to make doll clothes. :)

  5. Beth Dishong says:

    My mother saved up to buy me a Barbie that I had seen at the thrift store we went to. We had very little money to spend and rarely ever bought toys at any other time than Christmas and birthdays. When she brought her home and gave it to me I was so happy I cried. My mother would use old clothes and clothes we had out grown to make clothes too for my new baby. Mom never had any patterns for doll clothes but she would make patterns for clothes from newspapers. Mom began teaching me to sew on the machine and by hand. My mother was the most awesome person I have ever known. She always made my clothes for school too. As I got more comfortable I started making my clothes. Now I am sewing doll clothes for my granddaughter.

  6. Beth Dishong says:

    My mother saved up to buy me a Barbie that I had seen at the thrift store we went to. We had very little money to spend and rarely ever bought toys at any other time than Christmas and birthdays. When she brought her home and gave it to me I was so happy I cried. My mother would use old clothes and clothes we had out grown to make clothes too for my new baby. Mom never had any patterns for doll clothes but she would make patterns for clothes from newspapers. Mom began teaching me to sew on the machine and by hand. My mother was the most awesome person I have ever known. She always made my clothes for school too. As I got more comfortable I started making my clothes.

  7. Rebecca says:

    My mom made my Halloween costumes growing up. The earliest one I remember is a princess dress in navy blue and it had the princess hat with a long lace train. I had a baby doll too, which she made clothes for. My daughter got an 18in doll for Christmas and I have been going non-stop on Doll Clothes for her. Making doll clothes is not something I’m used to, and we are trying to make them together, (she has a Hello Kitty Sewing machine.) We would use the books together and make wonderful wardrobes for the dolls.

  8. Alene says:

    Suzi Q!!!! I was so little and she was so big…we were almost the same size! And someone made us some matching outfits, tho just who is lost to my memory.

  9. Robin G says:

    When I make an outfit for my granddaughter I use the leftover material and make an outfit for her doll. Her reaction to having a matching outfit for her doll is priceless. Almost as good as her reaction when she finds out I made her a new outfit.

  10. Karen Decker says:

    When I was growing up, playing dolls was my favorite pastime. I loved Barbie dolls, baby dolls, and everything in between. My of my best childhood memories was of my birthday when my parents took me downtown to the toy store. I was told I could pick any doll I wanted as my present. After carefully examining every doll in the store, I selected an auburn, curly headed toddler that was about 18″. She was always my favorite doll. Eventually, I got a wooden doll bed and chest of drawers for Christmas that year. My mother made so many beautiful outfits for my doll. I was able to pass all of this on to my daughter and enjoyed making countless doll clothes outfits. We still have everything in tact and in pristine condition just waiting for the birth of a possible granddaughter in the future. Although we do not know when this will happen, we do know that she will have a wonderful piece of history waiting for her to enjoy. We know she will be a doll lover; it is in her genes.

  11. Lynda says:

    My grandmother taught me to sew doll clothes at a very young age. I had a baby doll and several Barbies. Those dolls had quite a collection of garments. I still sew, almost every day. I just finished restoring a 97 year old leather bodied doll. Her porcelain head has her original number on the back of her neck. When I was a child she lived in an old baby rocker at my grandma’s house. I inherited her. I really had a lot of fun dressing her. I even used my embrodery machine to made her a little lace purse. The doll I am restoring now is also very old…but I know nothing about her. I am making her clothes out of my great aunt’s linens. Dolls are so much fun!!! Everyone loves to see them!!!

  12. Sue says:

    My mom did not require me to sew my own clothes even though I learned to sew at age 7. I was allowed to sew whatever I wanted. I sewed a LOT of Barbie clothes, including an ice skating costume with panties attached to the skirt! I carried on the tradition with my kids, letting them sew whatever they wanted. My daughter has sewn some strange things, including lots of 18 inch dollclothes. Now my granddaughter has an American Girl doll, so I make matching outfits for her and her doll. I have lots of doll clothes patterns so I combine and adapt them to match the patterns for my granddaughter’s adorable clothes. I love adapting patterns to get what I want. Doll clothes books would definitely help with that!

  13. Janie says:

    I had a pajama doll that I liked when I was growing up. I have an 11 year old friend who sews her dolls clothes. I would give all the books to her. I am a quilter the best I can do is make her dolls bedding. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Mary Ann Nelson says:

    I make dolls and they are truly wonderful to create. This is my idea of a child’s first lesson in sewing: doll clothes. I’ve yet to find a boyish term for doll ; )
    My home business is just starting up – I have “guinea pig” neighbor kids and they are quite excited about learning! My hope to have paying clients by Spring.

  15. Kimbar says:

    My grandmother made kid sized raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. I loved to have a doll the same size I was. My sister and I had many fun hours.of playing with our dolls.

  16. Pam S says:

    One of the most memorable gifts I ever received was a whole box of Barbie outfits that my aunt sewed for me when I was seven. As soon as I learned to sew in junior high, I started making Barbie clothes for my younger sister’s dolls. Now I make cloth dolls for friends and for myself! This is an awesome book collection. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  17. Bev Plewa says:

    I had a Betsy Wetsy doll from the time I was four years old. One day when I came home from school, Betsy was no where to be found. I was very upset, and Mom said I must have put her someplace safe before I went to school. On Christmas Eve, Betsy showed up with new clothes!! Grandma took Betsy and made her new clothes as my Christmas present. Today, I make clothes for Betsy (now 60 years old) and Harold (now 85 years old), my Mom’s doll when she was a child. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!

  18. Alexis says:

    One of my fondest memories is making dolls and doll clothing for my daughter and now my granddaughters. I never really played with dolls as a child – well we played with cut out dolls. Loved the Lennon Sister paper dolls. I did play with those. After my daughter was born I really got into sewing for her and then I made my first Raggedy Ann doll. I have made over 500 of them over the years. Everyone loves Annie! After making Raggedy Ann I moved on to Patty Cake. She is still in my attic along with the first set of Ann/Andy that I made my daughter.

    The year the Cabbage Patch dolls came out, we could not get one anywhere. So I made a set of twins for my daughter. I ended up teaching a class on how to make them. I still have those original patterns. I guess I wasn’t so much of a tomboy as I thought.

    Now I make lots and lots of 18 inch doll clothing for the granddaughters.

    Thanks for the chance to remember all these sweet memories.

  19. My favourite doll was a pancake doll make out of sacking. She had button eyes and wool for hair!

  20. janice urffer says:

    Used to sew clothes for my Barbie Doll still making doll clothes for Barbie and American Girl sizes. Would love to win and thanks for the chance.

  21. MM Rose says:

    My mother made clothes for my Miss Revlon doll. I learned my dress making skills sewing for her and my little sister’s Barbie. I now make doll clothing for my granddaughters american Girl dolls. I would like to learn how to cloth dolls.

  22. Susan says:

    Hello,
    My favourite doll was Bizzie Lizzie. She was fun!
    I make dolls for my granddaughters so they always have a part of me with them.

  23. Dawn Jones says:

    My favorite doll growing up was a life sized stuffed Annie doll. I am new to sewing currently, but when I was a child my mom did sewing for my dolls. Have a great day!

  24. Sharon says:

    I had a Ginny doll that I loved and I still have the doll Santa brought me who cries when you tilt her back. My brothers pulled her legs off and my mom sent her to the hospital. Still have her displayed in a case with an antique quilt. Did not sew clothes for dolls until I had a daughter. Nice memories.

  25. DeniseMarie says:

    I would love for my Mom & I to start making rag dolls for OCC shoeboxes

  26. As a tomboy, I was never into dolls, but my favorite stuffed animal was Fuzzball, a little white bear. I used to dress him up all the time in my baby brother’s clothes! My daughter, however, loves her dolls, and we have started learning how to sew basic shift dresses for them!
    allisonpogany@gmail.com

  27. linda blanton says:

    My grandma taught me to sew using my Barbie doll. She taught me how to make my own patterns with the doll as well. I still love my Barbie and still design my own patterns and love to sew.

  28. Babs Jenkins says:

    I still have my baby doll – she is about 57/58 years old now – her plastic head and rubber body have both taken on a yellowish hue. But I remember cutting up bits of fabric to make clothes for her, getting so involved in her minature world and learning so much about the joy of sewing (maybe not the technicalities of sewing though).
    Now my ambition is to make some wonderful Art dolls – just for me.

  29. Cheryl Derrick says:

    My favorite dolls were Madame Alexander dolls and Ginny dolls. My friends and I would play for hours with them. My mother used to make clothes for my dolls. I would like to make doll clothes and dolls to be given to less fortunate children at Christmas and in hospitals.

  30. Trish Beard says:

    I used to have a Sindy doll and make cloths for her and also rag dolls and rag clowns

  31. Kitty Michael says:

    For my seventh Bday in 1985, I received Nikki. She was my best friend and looked kinda like me. She was a lot like an American Girl doll. Oh, I loved her. I have even tried to buy dolls like her for my daughter just so I could play with them!!

  32. Kathy Davis says:

    My favorite doll was my Raggedy Ann. She has now turned 60 years old and lives on a shelf in my laundry room. I loved her so much I wore her face off. (Literally, she has no face.) and… yes I love to make dolls!

  33. Debbie Miller says:

    I starting sewing in high school.Back when they had home ec class.Long time ago!
    Then I got away from it for to long!I have started sewing again in the past 5 years
    and now I have a 2 year old granddaughter that loves her baby dolls so I have started
    making doll clothes,diaper,blankets.I love all the patterns that they make for dolls today
    they are adorable not like back in my day.I know she will love the doll clothes.I am
    really enjoying sewing again.

  34. Karen Coleman says:

    I really liked my sister’s Mrs. Beasley. I now have a granddaughter who loves my homemade doll clothes.

  35. auschick says:

    I started out sewing by making clothes for my barbie dolls when I was about 8. I haven’t made doll clothes in a very long time, but I have a 3 year old girl now and I’m sure doll clothes are right around the corner!

  36. Caroline Quintos says:

    The first dol that I sewn cloths for was my barbie doll. I loved making doll clothes for her out of old clothes. It was the beginning of my love of sewing and that was the beginning of ky sewing obsession.

  37. Mary says:

    I started sewing doll clothes when I was six,my mom would only change the thread once on the sewing machine so some of the skirts had black thread but I didn’t care. Since I have sewed Barbie , cabbage patch and now I am sewing 18inch doll clothes . I like sewing for the dolls because they never complain and always like their new outfit and so does my grand daughter.

  38. Sarah says:

    My first sewing memory is “helping” to sew a shirt for one of my dolls on my mother’s lap. Doll clothes were not bought, they were made. I still LOVE making dolls and doll clothes! I will soon be starting some dresses for my mother-in-law’s American Girl dolls. I would love to win these books. Thanks for the chance.

  39. Michelle says:

    I think I may have had one barbie doll growing up but nothing else that I can remember. I have been sewing since I was 8 years old but never made dolls until I had children. I made 2 life size children’s dolls for my son and daughter when they were young. I had someone working on my house and he had to go into their rooms and he came out and told me he didn’t want to make too much noise as my kids were sleeping. I was confused at first as I knew my kids were at school and then remembered their dolls. I told him about them and we had a good laugh. I have made several dolls for my children and grandchildren and each one is unique it its own way. I made a cheerleader doll for my daughter in law with her football team cheerleader uniform on it and one for my son (was actually a horse) with a colts outfit on it. Love coming up with different ideas for dolls and especially ones that can be used for something besides playing with, like pajama bag dolls, or dolls that hold grocery bags, etc.

  40. Michelle Ferracciolo says:

    My mom sewed a lot of doll clothes for my sister and me. We had a My Baby Beth and a My Friend Mandy doll. Mom managed to find patterns to fit them and made beautiful clothes. My favorite outfit was a winter coat with a muff to match!

  41. Linda Odle says:

    I started sewing at age 10 making doll clothes on my Singer Sewhandy machine! I graduated to a regular Kenmore machine and made tons of Barbie clothes and even sold some to neighborhood kids for Christmas gifts. More recently I made Cabbage Patch clothes, and am ready to start on American Girl outfits!

  42. Judith says:

    My favorite doll was Miss Revlon. My Aunt helped make clothes for her with hats and accessories to match. Unfortunately, she was coming apart and I had no idea how to fix her. She ended up in recycle. The biggest mistake I ever made because just after that I found out where I could have taken her to be fixed. I now am starting a doll collection. Actually, I started about 10 Years ago and hope someday to give it to a grand daughter. I have been making some doll clothes for my bigger dolls. I have a great niece that spent a weekend at my home and we sewed together. Reminded me of when my Aunt helped me sew. Memories are great.

  43. Melanie Parker says:

    I have been an avid doll collector for my entire life, including well over a thousand Barbie dolls. My mom has been a part of hw Barbie collecting and made a great Barbie wardrobe for me as a child all carefully hand and machine-sewn. I taught myself to sew as a child and recall “sneaking” to use my mom’s sewing machine to make a
    carrying bag for my baby dolls’ clothing. The bag had a lining, 2 handles, and even an inserted zipper, all of which I figured out how to do on my own around age 9 or 10. I continued to teach myself more and branched into making customized Barbie dolls as an adult then sewing doll clothes for my 9 children (and clothes for them). My daughter is expecting my first grandchild, so I hope she may start sewing for her own child as I will for my grandchildren, too!

  44. Beverly Kiddy Johnson says:

    Tiny Tears doll – had lots of clothes but it got lost in a move overseas when I was a teenager. Also had a Barbie, which I still have with many of the clothes my Mother sewed and my Grandmother crocheted, including a wedding dress!

  45. Marah says:

    I am just now starting to try to make my own dolls and doll clothes for my 2 toddlers-3 year old boy and 2 year old girl-who are both very passionate about dolls and love playing mama and daddy to their store bought dolls.

  46. Cheryl says:

    I only remember one doll and I still have her. My sister lived with her father and one time she came to stay with us (a rarity) I went in my room after school the day she arrived and there was a rag doll on my bed. I thought it was hers, but when I went back to the living room my grandmother asked me did I see something on the bed and I said yes, Debbie’s doll. She then informed me she had brought it for me! I never received gifts at odd times. A friend of hers had made her. I have always wanted to make dolls but have only made two, one for each of my girls. But I really would like to I am just afraid they will turn out badly. I would love to try these books and see if I can. I want to make them for kids in need. Thanks for the chance.

  47. Janet Rettig says:

    My favorite doll growing up was one that I got for christmas that pulled the string and she said cheers. She was very special because my dad had to open a savings account to get her at the local bank. I loved that doll and still have her. I have always wanted to start making doll clothes and have a few patterns but haven’t quite found the time yet. Maybe if I could win some books about it, I would be inspired to start.

  48. Dana says:

    Favorite doll was a toss up between Raggedy Ann and Baby Go Bye-Bye. Learned to sew from my grandmother and just made bedding items for dolls. Started sewing doll clothing when my daughters got AG dolls in 1997. Have continued sewing them and sell locally. Just love creating for models who don’t complain!! Lol

  49. Rhonda Hearn says:

    I had a Barbie doll and the Tammy family when I was little. My Aunt made me a whole wardwobe for them including a real mink stole made from a collar from my grandmothers coat. I played for hours with them. Our house burned to the ground and I lost all of them but they are in memory forever. I now sew doll clothes for my grandchildren.