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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Nanas Create Doll Clothes

Yes - I'm a 'Nana', as I imagine many of you are blessed to be as well. We have 5 grandchildren, and the 6th (another girl!) on the way! Granddaughters aged 7, 5, 3 are my excuse for lots of fun sewing - especially at Christmas. Kids have way too many clothes today - at least that's what THIS Nana thinks - and the 'heirloom' type I'd prefer to make would never be worn - much less cared for in the laundering process, so I've just accepted that and have LOTS of fun at Christmastime.

Since the 7, 5, and 3 year-old received 18" dolls this summer, I've planned for some time to make some doll clothes for their gifts. But, first, I wanted to quickly stitch up and put some Twirly skirts in the mail.....


Attending the Nutcracker with their Dad has become a tradition for their family, so I thought some Twirly Skirts would be good since my students who make these EZ Skirts seem to always love them!

I selected panne velvet knits in each one of their favorite 'colors'. Here they are with their hard-working handsome Daddy who owns his own handyman business.

Creating these skirts is SEW EASY! All I had to do was to measure the girls' waist and determine the length. Using the 'Flounce' methodology as explained in this video, it was easy to create the skirts. I didn't even bother to hem the skirts - as knits don't ravel. The waists were finished with a 3" wide elastic. What I had on hand was Black - you can find it at Joann's Fabrics HERE.

Matching Doll Clothes

From the scraps of their kirts, I made

  • circular skirts (ruffle edged hair band elastic for waists

  • one seam pants

  • bolero jackets

Again, all edges were simply cut edges. I didn't even do any kind of closure on the little Bolero jackets.


I remember well how much I treasured my Bride Doll laying on my bed as a girl. My goal was to try to make three 18" doll Bridal Gowns out of fabrics and trims I had on hand - and I did it! I did make some design 'concessions' such as white lace on an off-white brocade, and the lower ruffles were all of off-white silk taffeta. Here are close-ups of each gown.

Kenzie's Doll Bridal Gown

The veil is lace that I glued to a barrette, and to which I hand-stitched the tulle veiling.

The fabric for this gown was cut from a long vest that I had made for my Mom years ago. I organize my stash by color - so I only had to 'dive' into my White/Cream bin. As I look at this picture, it is hard to tell, but the lace IS white.

Hadasah's Doll Bridal Gown

This gown mixes the silk tafetta AND the overlays from my sister's wedding gown. I really loved working with the double-looped trim.

It was fun to play with it, discovering how easily it bent around the bodice neckline, and even into a medallion shape at the center front.

Honestly, the hardest part of the gown ensembles was the veil/headdresses. I consulted good old You-Tube for some how-to's and learned that heavy jewelry wire could be bent into headbands, even this wreath-style. The flowers were in my trim stash. I use E6000 glue for all of this kind of work. It smells, but sure does hold well.

To close the backs, I just stitched a very narrow strip of hook & loop (Velcro) tape.

Shiloh's Doll Wedding Gown

This gown was 'eeeked' out of the least amount of fabric I had, but was a hit because of it's 'shiny' character. For the trim, I combined several different trims of a Venice nature. Note that the sleeves on this gown are gathered to a narrow band. THAT was NOT fun, so for the remaining two gowns, I simply left that edge UN-gathered, in a Bell Style. I'll make you a bet that Shiloh will never snap those sleeve bands shut! If she does manage to snap them, it will be an indication of VERY good eye-hand coordination.

Underneath each dress is a Petticoat that is the old 'sticky' and stiff net gathered to a wide band of a lightweight lining type fabric and elastic in the upper casing, PLUS another ruffle at the bottom edge. Sorry - I forgot to snap a picture of the petticoats.

There was lots of gathering to do on these dresses, to say the least. This video shares my technique for setting gathers - making use of needle position to set the 2 rows. Seam allowances of 1/4" on these dresses meant that I placed these gathers at 3/8" and barely 1/8" from the edge. Watch this video to learn my technique.

I learned quite quickly that serging even that uppermost edge that would be gathered BEFORE I set the gathering rows greatly facilitated pulling up the threads to gather withOUT lots of stray fraying threads from the raw edge. After gathering and attaching, I also then serged the edge as I know that these dresses will likely get lots of 'on and off' wear.

I did package each in a large plastic bag and tried to stress keeping all 3 parts in that bag when the dolls weren't playing 'Bride'. We'll see.....

And, here are my munchkins, as still as I could get them, holding their dolls all dressed up ready to walk down the aisle.

 I welcome your Comments - even with pictures, or send them to me at - that being permission to share them here - we could call it a 'Christmas Sewing Guest Blog'.

Is it time to CLEAN OUT and ORGANIZE your sewing area??? Gee - I wonder why I ask.

When the world is out of control (as usual these days!), retreat to my sewing world/studio where I AM IN CONTROL. I am ever SEW grateful for this wonderful hobby, and love sharing it with ya'll!

I will work next on my SWAP (Sewing with a Plan) Wardrobe that I created this fall, and I also have an amazing Blog Post on a good friend's Dressing ROOM you'll not believe! And...I have a few more How-To Videos taped and ready to stay Tuned! Check out my recently-posted Videos at my Channel HERE.

Happy New Year - my Sewing Friends!


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