Sewing clothes for your dolls such as American Girl is such a fun and fulfilling hobby but getting started on it can be quite overwhelming. In this post, I will share with you some of my tips and guide for you to get started.
1. Start with free and easy sewing patterns
- Using a pattern eliminates the guesswork and saves time. So less frustration and mistakes when sewing
- If you are a beginner, start with easy patterns. There are tons of free patterns that you can find in this blog as well as patterns that you can buy, complete with step by step instructions.
- Subscribe to our blog to free these free patterns.
You can also check out the patterns we offer here which are all beginner-friendly and easy to sew. The Wildflower Dress in particular is one of our bestsellers and a favorite among beginners.
2. Use fabrics that are easy to work with.
- Our recommended fabrics for beginners are lightweight woven cotton such as calico and quilting cotton. These are what you would typically see in fabric stores such as Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. They don’t stretch and have the right thickness, so they are beginner-friendly and very forgiving.
- Below are two helpful links on picking the best fabrics for sewing doll clothes.
3. Get your sewing tools and supplies ready.
- If you are just starting out, you just need the basic sewing tools to get started. These are scissors, seam ripper, tape measure and pins. For supplies, it will be the fabric of your choice, thread and Velcro. And of course, you need your sewing machine to sew and printer to print your fabric.
- In this link below, I shared some of my favorite sewing tools
4. Familiarize yourself with your sewing machine.
- Make sure that you read your sewing machine's manual and practice the basic stitches in order to get started.
- When sewing doll clothes, you mainly need to learn these few basic stitches - straight stitch, zigzag stitch and basting stitch. There are a lot of video tutorials online that you can watch to learn these basic stitches.
In you haven't decided yet on what sewing machine to use, you can read my post below:
5. Develop Good Sewing Habits
- Make sure to press your fabric before cutting them. And press as you sew, this will ensure that your doll clothes will look professionally made. Be mindful of the correct heat setting for your fabric, always sew on the wrong side or use press cloth to protect the fabric.
- Finish your seams. You can do that using a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. And if you are ready to take it to the next level, investing in a good quality serger is a must if you want a more professional finish.
- Be organized. Sewing doll clothes can be quite overwhelming in the beginning but if you are organized from the very beginning that can lessen the frustration and mistakes when learning how to sew doll clothes.
6. Take your time, enjoy the process and be proud of your work!
- Oftentimes, we are excited to sew a pattern that we will finish everything in one sitting. This is okay if you are sewing a simple pattern but if the patterns are a bit complicated, I suggest not rushing it.
- Take your time, enjoy the process and you will be rewarded with a better and beautiful result in the end.