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Drafting Doll Garments the Easy Way

Designing clothes that fit your doll

Drafting Doll Garments the Easy Way

For custom-fitting clothes for your doll, bring her into the kitchen.

Grab some paper towels, and get drafting!

This doll’s body is sewn, stuffed, and constructed, but she needs clothes.  Making original clothing can be a challenge because the outfit is so important.  It’s what gives the doll character – and sometimes it can be harder for me to decide what a doll should wear than myself!

Whether you have an idea, an actual photo, or a drawing of a dress you want to make, you can get started with a paper towel.  By making a rough demo, you’ll have the measurements you need to start planning your doll’s garments in more detail.

I like to start with the bodice, which is like the foundation.  Once it’s done, the collar, sleeves, and everything else begins to come together.

I’ve drafted the pattern, transferred it onto paper towels and taped the pieces together to see how the bodice fits.   It’s not quite there just YET, but I will cut, tape, tuck, tweak and try to get it right.

The dots are marks where my pins were.  Pinning the paper towel into the doll’s body helps hold the paper towel down as I draw and cut the pattern.  As you go along, you might need to make a few darts, and you will probably need to cut a seam.

As you can see, the back is open.  That tells me that I need to add more fabric.  I will tear some more paper towel, tape it on, and cut it again.  If I want a closed back, then I can add more paper towel, tape it, and make darts.

The moral of this story is:  
If you have paper towels, a felt tip marker, scissors and tape, you can drape a shape right over your doll to make a bodice.  If you don’t feel comfortable designing your own, use one that you’ve already made or that you like a lot, and try to modify it right on your doll.  It’s a very good method.    If you’re good with computers, scanning and resizing things can be helpful.

The bodice is the main part of the dress.  Once the sizing and rough pattern draft are done, the whole dress should come together fairly quickly.  I already have my fabric picked out!

Many doll makers have their own way of making original garments.  This is the way that I know how.  If you have a favorite method, please share!

Have a dollightful day!

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