Monday, November 8, 2021

Clothes for Sister

This is Sister.  Sister is an 18" doll belonging to family friend Lady Bug.  Lady Bug will turn 5 soon and when I asked her momma for birthday present ideas, Momma said that if I want to make something, Lady Bug loves clothes for her dolls.  I hadn't made doll clothes before but man what a rabbit hole that is!  I spent some time on youtube and got some great ideas and figured that I could play around on my own.  

The first dress I made is this fancy dress that's actually a leg of my son's sweatpants!  The other leg had a hole in it, so this was an easy first fabric to play with and not feel bad if I screwed it up.  But I actually quite like it.  The back of the neck lays a little weird but I'm going to call it high fashion.

Next I made a denim jumper.  I had planned to cut up an old pair of my jeans but I actually found this denim fabric in a drawer and it was the perfect length.  That's pre-made bias tape for the top, bottom, & straps.  I accidentally bought the super-skinny bias binding but it looks good and in proportion on this small scale.  This jumper is a little plain and I plan to embellish it a bit before Lady Bug's birthday party next weekend, but I haven't decided exactly how yet.


Having been successful with one jumper, I decided to make a second but with ruffles this time.  That red ruffled trim is left from my Red Riding Hood Halloween costume of several years ago.  Good thing I have a bin with bits of trim and lace in it! I think this dress is my favorite.

Next was a nightgown.  Lady Bug's mom mentioned that Sister did not have any sleeping clothes, so a nightgown seemed necessary.  Knowing that shirts would be difficult for me, I bought a 3-pack of preemie sized onesies so I didn't have to make a top.  I added a skirt of gray star fabric and got out my rubber stamps, looking for something night-time-ish.  I found a moon with stars and used a fabric marker as ink to create a repeating pattern of the moon & stars.  I hope it's obvious that it's a nightgown but I guess if it's not, it's fine as a dress.

I'm gonna look in my button bin to see if I have any heart-shaped buttons to add to the straps
Somewhere in my internet searching I had seen a circle skirt and I thought that would be relatively easy, so I tried that.  I did add interfacing to the heart fabric to give it a bit more heft.  I had jumbo pink rickrack in my trim bin.  After making the skirt I saw a youtube video tutorial with a head kerchief so I made one that coordinates with the skirt.  Then of course she needed a shirt for the outfit.  The shirt is more of those sweatpants of Fire Monkey's, this time the other leg but less fabric was needed so I cut off the hole.  More rickrack so it matches.  It actually looks like a dress in the photo but it's a skirt and top.  Here's just the skirt and headscarf, though if you are offended by a half-naked doll, scroll past it! 

I actually like the skirt better on its own, maybe she has a plain shirt at home

Since I bought the 3-pack of onesies, I knew I should use them so I looked through my novelty scraps for a fun fabric to use for the skirt of a t-shirt dress.  I absolutely love this rainbow unicorn fabric and I had a piece that was a great height for a skirt, so that was an easy choice. The onsies were long-sleeved and too long for Sister's arms, so I cut them down and added ribbon, probably the fiddliest part of the whole doll-clothes making experience.

I originally was going to make another dress from that third onesie but I was running out of steam and time, so I figured I would save it for another time.  But as I started to clean up and put away a bag of novelty scraps, I noticed a strip of balloon fabric.  And I knew I had cupcake fabric in the same bag.  This was for a birthday party, after all, so clearly Sister would need a birthday party outfit! The strip of balloon fabric became a tube top and I made a second circle skirt out of cupcake fabric.  Now Sister is ready for a party!

ready for a birthday party!

This is clearly not my normal sewing but it was a lot of fun! I don't think any of the other kids in my life are into doll clothes, but hopefully Lady Bug will stay interested for a while and like these enough to ask me to make more!


  1. Well, I'm pretty sure Lady Bug will be delighted with Sister's new wardrobe! How creative and fun!

  2. Great job, Em!!! Very creative! Lady Bug will really enjoy all the fashion changes in store now. I've made my fair share of 18" doll clothes, so I know what it's like!?!

  3. What fun you had! Lady Bug and Sister will be so pleased. I have never done that…having one boy…but sewing Barbie clothes is how I got started sewing!

  4. I agree it is a rabbit hole, I love making the 18" clothes. If you want more free patterns sign up with Pixie Fare site. They have Friday freebies often. Nice work Emily, glad you had fun with it.

  5. Holy smokes! You've done a superb job! I"m sure Lady Bug will be delighted! Well done you!!

  6. These are adorable, Emily! I know they will be very loved!