When you look for fabrics for doll clothing, especially for small dolls or dollhouse dolls, you need to check that the drape of the fabric, the size of the trims and the pattern are suitable for the size of doll. Using fabrics which are too thick, or too stiff will make your clothes seem badly fitted. This list has suggestions for where to find small amounts of fabric suited to doll clothing.
01 of 09
Handkerchiefs for Fine Fabrics and Trims
If you have access to flea or vintage markets or 2nd hand shops, you can often find great sources of plain, printed, and finely embroidered fabrics by looking for vintage handkerchiefs. These are usually an inexpensive source of lovely fabrics for doll clothing for 1:24 through 1:6 (fashion or play scale) dolls.
02 of 09
Finding fine knits which don't ravel for doll clothing isn't as difficult as you might think. Try the baby section for fine cotton knits in sleepers, shirts and hats, or use baby leggings and tights for dollhouse tights (the baby tights are designed not to ravel or run).
03 of 09
The article linked here uses a basic quilting cotton with a small print to show how the type of gathers and pleats affects how the fabric looks when used for small scale doll clothing. The example is set up with a 1:12 scale dollhouse doll.
04 of 09
Design and Print Your Own Miniature Clothing Fabrics
Custom fabrics for doll clothing or upholstery can be printed from any printable design onto printable fabrics or fine iron on transfer paper, like the TAP papers. Linked above are printables for a tartan design and a fine shirt stripe suitable for small dolls. Other printable designs on the miniatures site can be used as well.
For special designs in small quantities, you can design your own fabrics, or scale down the designs of talented artisans on the Spoonflower fabric service.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
A fairly easy process for hand weaving small scale fabrics involves using needles for the stick weaving technique. This technique works for both circular fabric sections (as linked here) or for flat sections of fabric.
You can achieve very elegant results for doll purses and couture jackets using this technique to make your own custom fabric.
06 of 09
Paints for Custom Fabrics
If you have a fine cotton or silk fabric for doll clothing, but it doesn't have a pattern, you can use rubber stamps, fine stencils, or a paintbrush to create custom colored or printed fabrics with fabric paints. Most of these paints are washable until they are set with the heat of an iron. Look for fine fabric markers or fabric crayons if you would prefer to draw, rather than paint
Two good fabric paint brands for miniatures are:
Jacquard Textile Color
07 of 09
Fine leather can be used to make doll accessories, as well as shoes and bags. Check out the sources and types of leather on the list linked here. If you can't find any of the leathers on this list suitable for your miniature scale, you can make your own "leather" using paint and lightweight interfacing by following the tutorial in the link above.
08 of 09
Fasteners and Buttons
Buttons are relatively easy to make for miniature dolls using polymer clay. This tutorial shows the process for miniature button making. Small scale plastic buttons are available, but usually only suitable for 1:6 scale dolls or as large coat buttons for 1:12 scale.
Another useful fastener for miniature doll clothing is hook and loop tape. Sometimes sold as 'doll velcro' this comes in shorter pile lengths and finer sizes which will work for doll clothing.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Online Suppliers of Miniature Doll Fabrics and Notions
Online sources of fabrics and other notions for dollhouse and fashion dolls include:
In the U.S.
- Dragonfly International for fabrics, leathers, notions and kits
- Doll Artist's Workshop for fabrics, notions and supplies
- Rio Rondo for leathers, leather lacing, buckles and conchos
In the U.K.