How to Make American Girl Doll Clothes- Easy Skirt
I’m living my childhood fantasy by creating doll clothes, my younger self would be so jealous! Today I am going to show you how to make a fun doll skirt. This circle skirt is a great project for beginners. It requires just a few straight seams. Teach the kids to sew and they can participate! Have something special you want to learn to make for your doll? Share with me in the comments below.
How to Make American Girl Doll Clothes- Easy Skirt
Please note that American Girl dolls and Our Generation dolls (from Target) are the same size. So you can use this tutorial for either doll. You can also use the formula for a circle skirt in THIS post to create a skirt in any size, so you can go smaller if your doll is smaller!
How do you make homemade American Girl doll clothes?
Making your own doll clothes can be fun! There are lots of great no sew tutorials out there if you aren’t ready to take the sewing plunge.
This tutorial is for sewing your own doll clothes. If you are new to sewing you might want to start HERE.
Here are some tips for making your own doll clothes:
- Back stitch to start each seam. Then back stitch to finish each seam. It goes without saying that kids tend to be hard on their things so adding some extra stability to your seams with a back stitch is crucial.
- Use durable materials. If you are going to do all this work you want it to stand the test of time, right?
- Take your time, you are working on a small scale so the pieces require you to use a bit of patience. Slow and steady wins the race!
- Have fun with the process. Think about letting the kids get involved and teaching them to sew!
How do you make an American Girl doll skirt?
What do I need to make the skirt?
This skirt can be made with just a few supplies. I used an organic quilting cotton from Spoonflower. The cotton is a bit stiff which allows it to stand up above the tulle. I find cotton much easier to work with than knit so my first choice is always cotton.
You can use a knit fabric for the skirt but knit fabric is not stiff and it will lie flat and weigh the tulle down towards the doll’s body. This is not necessarily a bad thing, the fabric choice is a personal one. Knit can also be trickier to cut and sew than cotton.
Fat Quarter of fabric
2-3 yards tulle (optional)
Small poms (optional)
How do I find the skirt pattern?
You can find the formula for a circle skirt in THIS post. First you need measure the waist of your doll. My doll’s waist is 12″. Then measure from the waist down to find the length you want the skirt.
Using the formula find the measurement to use for the first step. This is the first line that you will draw. Then from that line you will draw another line to give you the length of the skirt.
How do I make the skirt?
Fold your fabric in half long ways. Then fold it in half short ways.
Using your first measurement and a tape measure draw a line from the bottom corner. Then draw your second measurement
Cut along the two lines that you created.
Cut a waistband that measures the width of the waist plus 1/2″ seam allowance X 2″. Fold the waist band in half. Sew above and below the clips in the picture, leaving an opening to insert the elastic.
Press the seams open. You can sew these down, it will help you thread the elastic in the last step.
Now fold the waist band in half and press.
To attach the waistband we need to quarter the band and the inside of the skirt. To do this simply fold the band in half and mark the edges. Then fold it in half the other way with the two marks touching and mark the second two halves. Repeat this step with the inside of the skirt.
With the raw edges of the waistband facing up pin the waistband on the outside of the skirt. Match up the quarters. There may be some excess skirt fabric which is ok, it won’t be noticeable when the skirt is finished.
Sew the waistband and skirt together. Gather any excess fabric under your needle. Don’t leave it all until the end. Gather it within each quarter of the skirt. This will ensure that the gathers are evenly distributed rather than having one large gather somewhere on the skirt.
How to add tulle and pom poms to the skirt:
If you don’t want to add tulle you can simply skip this step and scroll down to finishing the skirt.
A few notes:
- The more tulle you add the fluffier the skirt will be. If you are using cotton this might result in the skirt going straight out and not down at all.
- You can use as much or as little tulle as you want. With the least amount of tulle being a piece that looks exactly like the original cotton circle that you cut for the skirt. I used 8 yards and the skirt was VERY full!
- The more tulle you have the more gathers you will need. The less tulle the fewer gathers.
Cut your tulle to double the width of the skirt length you used above X 3 to 8 yards. For example I cut mine to 10″ x 8 yards.
Fold the tulle in half long ways. So your tulle will be 5″ x 8 yards (or however many yards you are using.)
With the waistband folded so that your waist seam is exposed clip the tulle so that the raw edge matches up with the raw edge of the waist seam. Leave a couple inches unclipped at the top to close the two edges of tulle at the end and add the pom poms.
Start your stitch. As you stitch you will stop every few stitches and gather the tulle. Be sure that you are sewing both edges of the tulle and your folded edge is at the bottom of the skirt. Continue to sew and gather until you are around the skirt.
When you come to the end of the tulle open the fold at the bottom to create a hole and pour your poms into the opening. Then clip the two edges (the start and end) of the tulle and sew one straight seam to close them.
Shake the poms to distribute them around the entire skirt.
Finishing the skirt:
There are two more steps to finish the skirt. The first step is to hem the bottom edge of the skirt. Fold the bottom edge up 1/8-1/4″ and then use a zig zag stitch to sew in place. Alternately you could finish the edge with your serger.
Lastly we have to add the elastic.
Cut the elastic to the waist measurement or slightly smaller. Use a safety pin to thread the elastic through the opening in your waistband.
Use another safety pin or a clip to keep the back end of elastic from feeding through.
Pull the elastic so that it overlaps by 1″ and then stitch in place. You might want to sew this by hand as it can be difficult to get into your sewing machine. If you want to put it in the sewing machine I recommend you pull the elastic out and push the skirt away from the elastic so that you have plenty of space to work with.
Feed the sewn elastic into the opening of the skirt. You can close the opening in the waistband with a ladder stitch or you can leave it open. The gather of the waistband will hide the opening and leaving it open gives you easy access to fix any issues down the line, including the ability to tighten the elastic if it stretches after use.
More Free Doll Patterns
I am slowly adding more and more doll patterns. See a few more free doll patterns below. Have something you are wanting to make? Leave me a comment or find me on Facebook or Instagram and let me know! I love reader requests and will do my best to accommodate!
Check this out!
If you or your little one love dolls you might love THIS fun box. Get cute accessories, clothing, coloring pages, play prompts, and more!
This would make a great gift for any doll fanatic!
Pin How to Make Doll Clothes
Easy Doll Circle Skirt
- Sewing Machine
- 1 Fat Quarter fabric Cotton is preferred
- 12" 3/8" elastic
- 3-8 yards tulle
- 1 bag mini pom poms
- Measure the doll's waist. Then use the measurement in the formula provided to trace and cut the skirt.
- Cut a waistband. Sew the waistband in half short ways and then press in half long ways.
- Sew the waistband to the skirt.
- Add tulle and pom poms if desired.
- Thread elastic through the waistband.Sew elastic together and feed ends into the waistband.