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How to Make Doll Clothes and Accessories

When I was young, I loved my Barbie dolls.  My mom was an avid sewist, but she was not interested in learning how to sew Barbie clothes.  I suppose Barbie clothes patterns were not on the top of her list of things to sew!

Being creative, I decided that I was going to learn how to make doll clothes myself. I started with Barbie clothes patterns, then eventually developed my own way of making doll clothes.

American Girl Dolls were not something my generation had access to, but I am sure I would have learned how to make American Girl Doll clothes if they had been!

Here you will find a plethora of ideas to learn how to make doll clothes, both for Barbie Dolls and American Girl Dolls.  The American Girl Doll clothes patterns will fit any 18” doll, so the contents on this page are very versatile.

What is the best fabric to make doll clothes?

When starting to use doll clothes patterns, sewists often wonder what is the best fabric to make their doll clothes. 

The most common fabric used to make doll clothes is quilting cotton, and it is the best fabric for beginners.  The quilting cotton at large stores is not expensive and comes in many designs that are great for making American Girl Doll clothes and Barbie clothes.

Look for small prints since the clothing pieces will be small. The clothing for larger dolls, such as the American Girl Dolls, can be made with medium sized prints.  The smaller the piece of doll clothing, the smaller the print design should be. 

Once the sewist is familiar and comfortable using quilting cotton, more difficult fabrics to sew such as knits, bamboo and wool can be used as well.

How to make Barbie clothes without sewing

Several ideas on this page include making Barbie dolls without sewing!  Making no-sew doll clothing is a very fun and simple craft project. This is something young children can do as well.

Examples of items the sewist may want to have on hand are fabric, straight pins, chalk, scissors, craft glue, ribbons and an iron, plus any other materials to add embellishments. 

Fabric glue, fusible tape and hot glue are some other things that will be helpful to make no-sew Barbie doll clothes.

Making the Barbie doll clothes without sewing is something I did regularly when I wanted doll clothing that was quick and easy. When I did sew, I didn’t use a sewing machine. Instead, I made them with hand stitching.

Since the 18” dolls are larger, it might be simpler and neater to learn how to sew the American Girl Doll clothes.  Some of the links below have tutorials on making  doll clothes and accessories that don’t involve sewing or require very little sewing.

With glue or hem tape and an iron, it is possible to make American Doll patterns into no-sew projects too!

Our list of ideas below include both sewing and no-sew projects for Barbie and American Girl Doll clothes.  You will find:

  • Accessories such as purses, stockings, backpacks and tote bags
  • Tutorials for doll tops, skirts, and dresses
  • American Girl Doll clothes patterns to match children’s outfits
  • American Girl clothes patterns inspired by bridesmaid dresses worn in Princess Kate’s wedding
  • Instructions showing how to make sleeping bags for dolls
  • And so much more.

If more items for Barbie Dolls and American Girl Dolls are of interest, check out our page devoted to everything a doll could need!

Scroll down and look for ideas to share with your child!  The possibilities are amazing!

How to Make Doll Clothes and Accessories

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18" Doll Shirt

18" Doll Shirt

Here is a tutorial and free 18-inch doll printable shirt pattern that is so simple even kids can sew it! Mama Smiles

American Girl Bridemaid Dress

Here are instructions for making short sleeve bridesmaid dresses to fit 18inch American Girl Susan Kramer

American Girl Candy Corn Dress

American Girl Candy Corn Dress

Make a fun candy corn dress with this free tutorial for an American Girl Doll. Diana Rambles

American Girl Doll Simple Doll Skirt

American Girl Doll Simple Doll Skirt

Learn how to make a super simple doll skirt for an American Girl Doll or 18" doll. No pattern necessary. Needlepointers Staff

American Girl Doll Skort (Bodysuit with skirt)

Here are free instructions for making a skort for 18" doll or American Girl Doll. Susan Kramer

American Girl Doll Swimsuit

A free swimsuit pattern for American Girl, BFC Ink, or Karito Kids Doll. Liberty Jane Patterns

American Girl Doll Tights from a Sock

American Girl Doll Tights from a Sock

Making doll clothes is fun. Start by making simple tights for an American Girl or 18" doll using socks with this free doll clothes tutorial Needlepointers.com Associate

American Girl Doll Tote Bag

American Girl Doll Tote Bag

This tutorial will show you how to make a cute tote bag for your 18" or American Girl Doll. Needlepointers.com

American Girl Doll Trendy T-Shirt

Step-by-step guide to making a trendy T-shirt for 18" doll. Liberty Jane Patterns

American Girl Purse

Every 18" Doll needs a Purse, Money, Wallet, Passport, Checkbook. Learn how to make them here. Pieces for Reese

American Girl Short Sleve Dress

Here are instructions for making short sleeve or cap-sleeve dresses to fit 18-inch or American Girl doll. Susan Kramer

American Girl Sundress

This sundress is simple and quick to sew. Oliver + S

American Girl Twirly Skirt

A tutorial on how to make a doll skirt with free pattern instructions. Polka Dot Chair

Barbie Circle Skirt

With the free skirt pattern, sew ruffled circle skirts for Barbie dolls. Create Kids Couture

Barbie Skirt

Barbie Skirt

A tutorial on how to sew a simple skirt for a Barbie doll. This project can be made with scrap fabric. Needlepointers.com

Bubble Skirt

A free tutorial for making a cute, easy bubble doll skirt for an 18" doll. malenk

Coat for Barbie

Here is a free pattern and instructions for sewing a coat for Barbie doll. For Dolls With Love

Doll Apron

Free pattern and instructions for making a doll apron. flutterby Patch

Doll Apron for 18" doll

Doll Apron for 18" doll

How to sew a doll apron for an American Girl Doll or any 18" doll. This doll apron is also reversible. Needlepointers.com

Doll Backpack

Doll Backpack

Learn how to sew a doll backpack for an American Girl Doll or any 18" doll. Needlepointers.com

Doll Backpack Tutorial

Doll Backpack Tutorial

This Doll Backpack can be made to suit any doll by adjusting the side of the template. Make it now. My Poppet Makes

Doll Bed Quilt

Doll Bed Quilt

How to make a quilt for a doll bed. This doll bed quilt can be made in any size. Needlepointers.com

Doll Clothes Hanger (Video)

Doll Clothes Hanger (Video)

A video on how to make easy, inexpensive doll clothes hangers. Needlepointers.com

Doll Dress

Create this zipper back dress for an 18" doll with this free tutorial. Sew Like My Mom

Doll Fleece Hat

Doll Fleece Hat

Learn how to sew a cute and easy fleece doll hat with fringe. Needlepointers.com

Doll Jacket

A sewing pattern for a funky doll jacket. Dollmaker's Journey

Doll No-Sew T-Shirt

Doll No-Sew T-Shirt

Learn how to make a quick and easy no-sew tee shirt for an 18" doll (American Girl doll). Needlepointers.com

Doll Pillowcase Dress

Doll Pillowcase Dress

A video on how to sew a no pattern doll dress for an 18” doll or an American Girl Doll. Needlepointers.com

Doll Skirt for 18" or American Girl Doll

Doll Skirt for 18" or American Girl Doll

A video on how to make a simple skirt for a doll. Needlepointiners.com

Doll Sleeping Bag

Quick sew a sleeping bag for a doll or stuffed animal. Sleep bag can be made in two different sizes. Craft Elf

Doll Sleeping Bag

Directions on making a sleeping bag for a doll or stuffed animal. Thrifty Fun

Doll Sling

Photo of doll sling and link to pattern. Craftastica

Doll Sling

How to make a doll sling. Jan Andrea

Dollar Store Doll Clothes

With this tutorial, learn how to make doll underwear from dollar store finds. Old Days Old Ways

Dolman Ruffle Dress

Sew up this cute dress for an American Girl doll or 18" doll. Doll It Up

Drawstring Bag for Doll

How to make a drawstring bag for a doll to use to carry all their stuff to school or on an overnight visit. Flutterby Patch

Drawstring Dress

Make a drawstring dress for your 18 inch American Girl doll right now! Liberty Jane Patterns

Dress Pattern

This is a super simple dress that can be made in less than an hour for an 18" doll. Skip to My Lou

Fashion Doll Trendy Tee

This doll clothes pattern is designed for 16 inch Ellowyne Wilde dolls. Libery Jane Patterns

Felt Kitty Hat

With one sheet of felt, needle, thread and scissors, create a cute kitty hat for a doll. The Bean Stalk

Headband for American Girl Doll

Headband for American Girl Doll

How to sew a doll headband for an American Girl Doll or other 18" doll. Needlepointers.com

How to Make Doll Socks

Either use old socks or buy dollar store socks to make some socks for your doll. Doll Crafts

Leotard/Swimsuit for American Girl Doll

A tutorial on how to make a leotard or swimsuit for an 18" doll. My A G Doll Craft

Pencil Case for a Doll

Pencil Case for a Doll

This video will show you how to make a pencil case for an American Girl Doll or 18" doll. Needlepointers.com

Sleeping Bag

How to make a sleeping bag for American Girl doll. Make Life Lovely

Sleeping Bag - Doll

Another sleeping bag tutorial for an 18" doll. A Pinch of Joy

Sleeping Bag and Pillow Tutorial

For American Girl or any 18" doll. Polka Dot Chair

Tinkerbell Doll Costume

Tinkerbell Doll Costume

Time for your doll to dress up in a Halloween costume. Here are instructions for an easy no-sew costume to make. The Kim Six Fix

Trendy Tank Top

Free tank top pattern for 18 inch American Girl dolls! Liberty Jane Patterns





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Annette & Chris are a mother/daughter team. We've brought you craft projects and tutorials through this web site for over 20 years.

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