Make Doll Clothes for Any Size or Shape of Doll

Customized Free Pattern Instructions

Use the free easy step by step instructions linked to this list to make removable clothing or costumes or shoes for any size of doll, including 'Barbie" ™, American Girl™ dolls, dolls' house dolls and baby dolls, and popular BJDs.  There are a wide range of clothing possibilities for any level of sewer, including leggings, vests, jackets, shirts, jeans hats and shoes, made from easily available materials. Scroll all the way down and click on the 'next'  button to go to the...MORE rest of the pages in this list for commercial pattern sources and references for doll clothing patterns, custom fabrics and trims, as well as easy to sew felt animals and other items.

  • 01 of 36
    Lottie doll in a simple gathered sundress.
    Lottie doll modelling an easy to sew gathered sundress suitable for a beginning sewer. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    It doesn't get much simpler than this gathered sundress for a doll made from a simple rectangle of fabric with ribbon straps. The dress is made from one piece of material and can be adjusted to suit the way it has to fit over the doll's arms, head or hips.

    If you've never tried to make doll clothing before, this is an easy project, but you'll need a bit of fine elastic sewing thread.  Click on the headline link to get to the instructions.

     

  • 02 of 36
    Three swimsuit styles made to fit any size or shape of doll.
    Three easy to sew suimsuit styles for any size of doll can be made from this one tutorial. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    This easy to hand sew  doll swimsuit can be adapted to fit little girl and miniature dolls like Lottie, (see photo) or fashion bjds or larger children's dolls. There is no pattern for this swimsuit. The instructions show you how to cut and fit it to your particular doll. You can make it with or without a skirt, and with a number of different necklines.

     

  • 03 of 36
    Beach sandals and flip flops in 1:12 dollhouse scale.
    Beach sandals and flip flops with a 1:12 scale doll. To fit the doll's feet, the flip flop elastic would need to be placed closer to the front. Photo © 2013 Lesley Shepherd

    These beach sandals and flip flops can be made elegant or traditional depending on the materials you use. Use fine elastic cord or thread for 1:24 scale dolls, or make the shoes with patterned elastic or fabric covered elastic for larger dolls. The elastic used on the shoes makes them easier to fit on a doll's feet. For display only, you can use ribbon or other trims.

  • 04 of 36
    Tiny slip on doll shoes in a Mary Jane Style made from faux leather.
    Doll shoes in a Mary Jane style designed to fit a scale minaiture doll. Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

    You can make these shoes for any size of doll from a variety of materials. As shown here the shoes are just over 1/2 inch long and made from fine flexible faux leather which is easy to produce in any color.

    Once you've made the basic shoe pattern for your doll you can adapt it for a number of different styles. The Simple Mary Jane Shoes are a good test of the basic pattern and can be slipped on and off your doll's feet with the aid of a doll shoehorn

    Continue to 5 of 36 below.
  • 05 of 36
    Suede "Desert Boots" made for a dollhouse doll.
    A pair of ankle high, removable suede "Desert Boots" sized to fit a dolls' house doll. Photo © 2015 Lesley Shepherd

    These miniature ankle boots can be made from a range of materials. I used faux suede to make a pair of soft green "desert boots" with a 'crepe rubber' sole. You can also use the faux leather fabric, or use fine leather from a number of sources. If you'd rather make a set of canvas 'high tops' just change the base materials and the cut of the sides slightly. You can use paint for the toes.

     

  • 06 of 36
    Basic flat paper pattern or sloper for the front torso of a female doll, used to make custom clothes
    Basic paper pattern to custom fit the front torso of a female doll. This pattern can be used to draw up a range of clothing patterns for this particular doll. Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd

    You can make patterns for all kinds of dolls clothes for any doll if you begin with a custom fit sloper pattern, an exact fitting pattern for a doll's top, without any seams. Use these instructions to make custom fitted bodice or torso sloper for your doll, then use it to adapt commercial patterns, or clothes, or create pattern pieces for custom clothes and costumes for your doll.

    Custom Fit a Torso Sloper to Any Doll

  • 07 of 36
    Basic front opening doll's shirt with sleeves is shown worn under a simple vest.
    The basic front opening shirt with sleeves is shown worn under a simple vest made from the same custom sloper pattern that can be made for any doll. Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd

    This basic long sleeved shirt can easily be made with a front (or back) opening. The sleeve length can be adjusted to suit your doll. Try it in a plain fabric first, then experiment with different fabrics and prints.

  • 08 of 36
    A simple western vest for a Breyer rider doll made from felt with a one piece pattern.
    A simple western vest for a Breyer rider doll made from a one piece pattern with glued tabs at the shoulders. Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    This simple vest can be made first from felt, as a test, then from a range of fabrics or leathers to make various style vests for any size of doll.

    Make a Simple Removable Vest for Any Size or Shape of Doll

    Continue to 9 of 36 below.
  • 09 of 36
    Basic pant pattern slopers custom fitted to a doll and used to make pants and shorts for that doll.
    Basic pant pattern slopers custom fitted to a doll and used to make pants and shorts for that doll. Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd.

    Use these instructions to make a custom pants sloper pattern to fit your particular doll. With your pants sloper fitted to your doll, you can adapt the slope to custom fit a range of pants, short and culottes to the doll.

  • 10 of 36
    Custom fitted removable doll jeans on a Brenda Breyer model horse rider doll.
    These simple custom fitted removable doll jeans are easy to sew for any size or scale of doll including the 1:8 scale Brenda Breyer model horse rider doll shown here. Photo copyright 2011 Lesley Shepherd

    This pattern for simple doll jeans is based on a pattern drawn from a custom pants sloper fitted to your doll. I used a worn blue jean work shirt for the fabric to make jeans in scale with this 1:8 scale doll. Take care to use fabric which is thin enough for the size of your doll.

  • 11 of 36
    Customized lab coat, jeans and long sleeved plaid shirt on a doll.
    Customized doll clothing made from simple sloper patterns fitted to the doll includes a lab coat, long sleeved shirt, and jeans. Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

    Once you've made the basic coat pattern for your doll, you can make a range of front opening lapel jackets and coats. The coat can only be fitted to dolls with arms that move enough to fit in the sleeves.

    A good test of the pattern is to use it to Make a Custom Fitted Lab Coat for Any Size or Scale of Doll

  • 12 of 36
    Lottie doll in a simple hand sewn nightdress with gathered ribbon trim.
    A Lottie doll dressed in a simple hand sewn nightdress / nightgown made from ribbon and cotton lawn. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    This simple nightdress / nightgown is made from lightweight cotton lawn with ribbon trim. Here it is shown on a Lottie Doll.  This type of doll clothing is easy to make in smaller sizes using cotton handkerchiefs which are the right fabric weight and often have interesting patterns or embroidery.

     

    Continue to 13 of 36 below.
  • 13 of 36
    Simple doll leggings made to fit any size of doll.
    Doll leggings designed to fit any size or shape of doll. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    Sew these simple doll leggings for any size of doll using the basic pant sloper pattern to cut the legging sections. You can sew these with no outside seam, or with an outside leg seam, depending on the shape of your doll. Shown here on a 1:12 scale bjd they are made from a baby's knit undershirt.

  • 14 of 36
    removable briefs and camisole for a tiny ball joint doll in 1:12 scale
    Briefs and camisole for a dollhouse scale ball joint doll. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    These essential underclothes can be easily hand sewn, even for tiny dolls, if you use the right fabrics. As shown here on a 1:12 scale doll the underclothes are made from a pair of baby tights, this makes them stretchable, without worrying about them unraveling. The briefs can be made for male or female dolls, and with simpler trims, the camisole can become a vest. For my dollhouse scale doll, I used baby stocking fabric for the briefs and camisole.

    Make Camisoles and Briefs for Any Size or Scale...MORE of Doll

  • 15 of 36
    Velvet skating outfit with an easy to sew skirt, cape and top on a Lottie Doll
    A simple circular skirt, cape and tank top make a skating outfit for any doll. They are shown here on a Lottie Doll. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    This skirt (or cape) can be sized to fit any doll. I used stretch velveteen to make a skating outfit for a Lottie Doll, but the same method will work for larger or smaller dolls.

     

  • 16 of 36
    Skating or santa's elf outfit for any size or shape of doll.
    Easy to sew circular stretch velvet skater skirt and top for any size of doll. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    Shown here with a simple circular skirt, the stretch tank top can be adapted to fit onto dolls with limited arm movement. This is a very easy project to hand sew.

     

    Continue to 17 of 36 below.
  • 17 of 36

    The well-dressed baby can change out of this removable sleeper you can custom fit to most baby doll sizes. The baby shown here is 1:12 scale. There are also instructions for making diapers and diaper pins.  As shown here, the sleeper is sewn from knit fabric from inexpensive underclothing.

  • 18 of 36
    Polly Pocket doll in an easy to make evening dress.
    Polly Pocket doll in an easy to make evening dress made from two way stretch fabric and wired ribbon. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    This strapless evening dress is made from a simple tube of knit fabric. For smaller dolls, like the 3 1/2 inch tall Polly Pocket doll shown here, the dress can be fitted with a bodice made from a strip of wired ribbon trim. The trim helps to hold the dress on the doll like a "twist-tie".

    Although this is an easily removable dress to make for small dolls, the method can be scaled up to make dresses for dolls in any size or scale. As the dress is pulled on over the doll's legs, it is...MORE also suitable for dolls with larger than normal heads.

  • 19 of 36
    Tiny handsewn dress and skirt for miniature dolls
    Simple handsewn doll dress and skirt made from quilt fabric for dolls in 1:24 and 1:12 scale. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    This is a great starter project for learning to hand sew doll clothes. This simple skirt or dress can be made from 'fat quarters' used for quilting if you can find an appropriate small scale design for your doll. The skirt or dress takes less than an hour to make, even sewing by hand.

  • 20 of 36
    Simple empire waisted doll dress on a dollhouse scale doll
    Made from cotton quilting fabric, this simple empire waisted doll dress is easy to make for any scale or size of doll. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    This empire waisted dress is a great staple for a doll's wardrobe. It can be made from quilting cotton as shown here, or you can use finer fabrics with a better drape. If you are working with a doll pattern like this one which has fabric gathers or pleats, use the information on Choosing Small Scale Printed Fabric for Pleated or Gathered Miniatures to help you select a suitable fabric.

    Continue to 21 of 36 below.
  • 21 of 36
    Winter fairy in a simple dress made from swimsuit fabric with wings of organza ribbon
    Easy miniature winter fairy costumed with a dress made from swimsuit fabric and wings from organza ribbon. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    This is a simple sewing project based on measurements on your doll, not patterns. I used swimsuit fabric and outdoor ribbon as my doll will be spending some time out of doors as a decoration. Any four-way stretch (wide and length stretch) fabric will work well. The doll shown here was only 3 1/4 inches tall but was very easy to dress.

  • 22 of 36
    A three inch tall felt hippopotamus models an easy to make dollhouse doll dress.
    Hortense the Hippo models an easy to make dolls house scale doll dress which can be removed from a doll. Photo copyright 2009 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    Make an easy full skirted dress with a crinoline for a dolls house doll or miniature stuffed animal. This is a good project for a beginning sewer.

  • 23 of 36
    Easy knit skirt and hooded sweater made for a doll from socks.
    Simple hand sewing of toddler socks makes this hooded sweater and matching knit skirt for a doll. Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

    A great source of knit fabrics for doll clothing are smaller sizes of knit socks. Learn how to hand sew a quick hooded sweater for a doll, and make a coordinating knit doll skirt from a sock leg in less than fifteen minutes.

  • 24 of 36
    Dollhouse baby in a hooded towel with a pig face.
    Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    The hooded towel shown in these directions was made for a 1:12 scale baby, but you can use the same method to make towels for other sized dolls or real children. I made a piglet as I had pink toweling. You can use the same directions to make puppy towels, frogs, hippos, any animal that appears to have a 'snout'. 

     

    Continue to 25 of 36 below.
  • 25 of 36
    Miniature woven garden hat on a dollhouse scale ball joint doll.
    A miniature garden hat for a 1:12 scale doll, woven from raffia. Photo © 2013 Lesley Shepherd

    This miniature garden hat is woven using traditional techniques for weaving over a form. You make the form from a roll of paper, so it can be custom sized for any size hat, from a doll, on up to a hat for a child or adult. As shown here I have made the miniature garden hat from garden raffia, but you can also weave it from paper, ribbon, or other flat weave materials.

  • 26 of 36
    Santa hat and elf hat handsewn from stretch velvet for 1:12 and 1:24 scale dolls.
    Santa and elf hats made in 1:24 and 1:12 scale for a Polly Pocket doll and a BJD "Mina". Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    These cute hats are quick to make from scraps of four-way stretch fabric. If you adjust the seam and change the colors, you can make great hats for any elf. and change the colors, you can make great hats for any elf.

  • 27 of 36
    Finished silk hat with broad rim and floral decorations made from a Dragonfly International Kit.
    A finished hat made from a laser cut silk hat kit by Dragonfly International. Photo copyright 2009 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    A range of suppliers have specialty trims and fabrics for miniature and dolls house dolls. Here are a few to try:

    • Create Custom Small Scale Fabrics at Spoonflower Design

    U.S. Small Scale Fabric Suppliers

    U.K. Small Scale Fabric Suppliers 

     

  • 28 of 36

    This book is a classic reference on making, assembling and dressing dolls house dolls, including shoes, hats and undergarments and wigging for men, women, and children. The patterns are for costumes from the 1700's through to 1910. Unfortunately, it is now out of print, but if you can find it in a library it is an excellent reference for a beginner through advanced doll maker, with a wide assortment of well-illustrated patterns to choose from as well as good information on styles suitable to...MORE various periods. Prices vary widely for this large format paperback book. Check to see if your local club or library have a copy you can borrow.

    Published by David & Charles

    ISBN-10: 0715307886 ISBN-13: 978-0715307885

    Continue to 29 of 36 below.
  • 29 of 36
    Cover Photo From The Miniature Costumier by Catriona Hall
    Cover Photo From The Miniature Costumier by Catriona Hall. Photo Courtesy PriceGrabber Used With Permission

    This book by Catriona Hall features a range of removable modern dolls clothes for men and women, babies through the elderly. It includes information on dolls house linens, as well as knitting in 1:12 scale. Some of the work featured in the book can be seen on Catriona Hall's Webpage

    Large Format Paperback Published by Sally Milner Publishers, ISBN: 9781863513296

  • 30 of 36

    This large format paperback book features the creation of a 1:12 scale bridal salon, including the building of the salon, as well as the creation of several wedding dressing and all accessories for a wedding. The patterns range to accommodate a number of bridal styles, as well as a range of sewing skills. You can view photos of the completed wedding salon, as well as some of the bridal gowns at Sue Johnson's web page Sue's Enchanted Cottage.

    Published by The Guild of Master Craftsmen....MORE ISBN-10: 186108451X # ISBN-13: 978-1861084514

  • 31 of 36

    This book is a compilation of costume designs previously featured in The Dolls House Magazine. Costumes include projects by Janet Harmsworth of Mini Mannequins, as well as Carolyn Harding of CaroDoug Miniatures, and Sue Johnson of Sue's Enchanted Cottage. The projects are interesting, well laid out and illustrated, but they do not form a full collection for a learner or for someone who wants to dress a collection of dolls in related dress.

    Large format paperback,Published by The Guild of...MORE Master Craftsmen, ISBN-10: 1861085052 ISBN-13: 978-1861085054

  • 32 of 36
    1:12 scale shirt stripe and tartan designs for printable wallpaper or fabric.
    Menswear fabrics in scale designs are hard to find. These printable miniature tartan and shirt stripe designs are scaled for 1:12 or dolls house scale, but can be made smaller using your printer. Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    Printable small scale wallpaper and fabric designs, many of which are suitable for dollhouse doll clothing in 1:12 scale.

    Continue to 33 of 36 below.
  • 33 of 36
    Cotton lawn fabric printed with several coordinating miniature designs.
    Treated cotton lawn sheets can be printed with an inkjet printer to make coordinating miniature fabrics for scale scenes or dolls houses. Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    Print directly on cotton lawn using your ink jet printer. Although this produces fabric which is a bit stiffer than regular cotton lawn, it does enable you to design and print your own miniature fabrics, suitable for trim or some styles of dolls house clothing.

  • 34 of 36
    Miniature dolls house teddy bear in a red night shirt and cap.
    This miniature night shirt was knit using one of Lesley Manieri's patterns for miniature teddy bear. Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    Information for knitters on working in dolls house scales. There is also a review of Lesley Manieri's Knitting Supplies. Lesley produces a range of miniature knitting patterns and also sells yarns and needles suitable for working in smaller scales.

  • 35 of 36

    Roz Walters book covers a range of crochet clothing for dolls, from layettes and christening gowns, through to outfits for a full wedding party. The patterns are mainly worked in English double and treble crochet (American single and double crochet) with much of the lacy detail of the pieces coming from careful use of various shell stitches. They are worked with steel hooks sized from .60 to 1.75 metric needles, or roughly # 4 to #14 American sizes (depending on the manufacturer). The book has...MORE good information for beginners as well as experienced crocheters.

    • Miniature Crochet Projects in 1:12 Scale

     

  • 36 of 36

    These three little spring or summer clothing pieces make a great set of co-ordinates for a doll.