Tools and Supplies Needed to Start Sewing Doll Clothes
Making doll clothes can be a little different than making normal size garments. There are a few tools that every doll clothes maker should have. Here we will go over some of the essentials and explain what they are used for.
If you are just starting out and trying to see if sewing doll clothes is for you, here are my recommendations for the basic supplies you need. Most of these are available at your local craft store such as Joann and Hobby Lobby and at Amazon if you want to buy online.
The measuring tape will be useful when taking the doll’s body measurements, but it can also be helpful for checking the measurements of your fabric and patterns. It is recommended to get the measuring tapes that have smaller measurements, as it will be easier to use in measuring the small-scale dolls.
Fabric scissors are helpful when cutting some of the thicker fabric. Generally, fabric scissors are sharper than regular scissors and easier to cut through all type of materials easily. Make sure that you only use this scissors for cutting fabrics and not anything else to maintain its sharpness. A small scissors for sniping would also be great to have for thread cutting.
Pins and Pin Cushions
Pins will come in handy when constructing the doll clothes. It may also be helpful to get pins with different colored round heads. Having different colors will allow you to pin certain sections and color code when needed. In addition, a good pin cushion or magnetic pin holder will hold all your pins together.
A good quality seam ripper can come in handy. Even the most experienced seamstress makes mistakes, and a good seam ripper can be a life saver. Seam rippers are not just great for the mistakes, but they can also easily take out baste stitches.
The kind of threads I recommend are the ones that are called all-purpose thread because they are suitable for most fabric types. I would also recommend getting them in neutral colors such as off white, cream or white. These colors will be fine to use on most light-colored fabrics so you don't have to keep changing the thread when youre practicing your sewing. Coats and Clark is a favorite thread brand that I use and recommend.
Fabric Marker or other Marking Tool
A marking tool will allow you to temporarily mark notches and other places on the fabric that may have to match together when sewing. These are the notches that you can find in your sewing patterns.
Velcro (hook and loop tape)
Velcro can be used to close doll clothes. Velcro allows the clothes to easily go on and off the dolls.
And of course, these these three are given in order to get started sewing doll clothes:
There are so many great fabrics to choose from for doll clothes. Make sure you read the pattern requirements to ensure you are getting the correct type of fabric.
Printer and Paper
Many great doll clothes patterns can be bought online as a pdf. Make sure you have a good quality printer and paper for printing these patterns once purchased. We also have a link here for free patterns that you can practice first.
Even though many doll clothes can be sewn by hand, a sewing machine is more efficient and produces better quality clothes.
Secondary Tools for Sewing Doll Clothes
I would say that the following tools are not required in the beginning but it will be fun to have once you get serious with your sewing.
Pinking shears are great to use on woven fabric. These scissors cut fabric in a zigzag pattern which prevents fabric from fraying. It is also an amazing tool for clipping seam allowances on your doll clothes.
A small scissors or thread nippers also be great to have for cutting and cleaning some of the excess threads on your finished project.
A mini-iron, and even a mini ironing board (sleeve ironing board), is a great item to use when pressing seams. The smaller irons are helpful when making the smaller clothes. You can however use a regular iron you have at home. Pressing and ironing your doll clothes will make your clothes look more professional.
Small Ironing Mat
When I use doll clothes, I have my iron and ironing mat close to me. In fact it is place beside my sewing machine for easy reach.
Sleeve Ironing Board
Although not essential, a sleeve ironing board can be great to have when sewing smaller clothes. It is especially helpful for ironing your finished project especially the skirt part of the doll clothing.
Rotary Cutter, Rotary Rulers, Cutting Mat
The rotary cutter, rotary ruler, and cutting mat all go together. These tools make it easier to cut fabric with rectangular patterns, like doll skirts and skirt ruffles. The smaller rotary cutters also make it easy to cut around small spaces, which is essential when cutting small doll clothes. I would recommend getting a cutting that that is at least 18" x 24" in size.