How To Pages

How To's for sewing for the 18" American Girl type doll, or for any of the popular 18" dolls. This page has alot of info on it, but it is well worth the time to scroll through..
Here are instructions for making AG sized knee socks that could be adjusted for bobby socks:
Cut 2 rectangles 3 1/2" wide x 7 "long from T-shirt ribbing
Fold each sock piece in half lengthwise meeting 7" cut edges.
Mark a point 2" from one end of the folded sock and sew cut edges up to the 2" point. Be sure to backstitch, then clip seam allowance to stitching line at the stopping point. This is the top of the sock.
Turn the sock inside out and sew from the clip to the bottom. You will have a seam on the right side & wrong side of the sock. This short section is the bottom of the sock.
Sew across the bottom of the sock & trim to 1/8". Turn sock right side out. When you roll the sock down it will hide the seam on the outside of the sock.
Ribbing is cheap & these are fast to make once you get past your first pair. Serging won't give the socks enough stretch. A stretch overcast stitch on your sewing machine would be better. The top raw edge is folded under at least once. You can anchor the folded down top by stitching in the ditch of the sock seam and not bother with finishing the raw edge at all. This is how I make socks for my own dolls. If I know someone has a child who will be dressing the doll, I will finish the raw edge, but I don't think it's really necessary.

Scrunchies, by (Anne)
I like this one-made it to match a shorts set-because it can be used as a hair tie scrunchy or a headband- cut fabric strip 45" x 2.5 inch (wider if you like a fuller scrunchy) cut 1/4" elastic 10"
Make a tube of the 45" strip, leaving ends open, turn, insert elastic (i use a safety pin for this, attached to the elastic), sew ends together well to make a ring. be sure to secure the elastic well.
Accessories: something I've made alot are headbands. I use the 7/8"( i think) stretch elastic lace--ordered from Homesew and it was cheap-- cut to fit the doll head, add a bow made from the same fabric, they sew up quick and easy. To make the bow-cut a rectangle of fabric-maybe 3 x 5", fold in half, sew 2 sides, turn, sew the other side, take a smaller rectangle, maybe 1" x 1" fold doubled and put around the center of the bigger rectangle to make the bow, you can hand stitch it or stitch it right onto the headband fabric.

AG Swap-Sewing Question- Making Mitered Ties for Dresses, by
I am assuming that this question about making ties in the back of a dress was that you were making single-thickness ties and wanted the ends cut at a 45 degree angle. There shouldn't be any problem if you have the ends straight: just hem the long sides first and the short end last.
I find that the best trick when hemming ties with a 45 degree angle on the end is to mitre the corners. Iron 1/8" all the way around, down to 1/4" from your angles. Fold inward with your fingers and carefully estimate how much extra fabric you will have at the join. Snip it off carefully (I use embroidery scissors. Make your second 1/8" fold, mitering the corners together. Since you don't have a right angle to start with, you will have a wide-angle mitre on one side and a narrow-angle mitre on the other side. Pin, press the second 1/8" all the way around, and sew.
The old Anchor Manual of Needlework has an excellent set of illustrations on making mitred corners in their section on hand-hemmed handkerchiefs. Very few seamstresses in the day and age of Kleenex make or break their reputations on hand-hemmed handkerchiefs, but the principle of the mitred corner remains the same.

AG-Coll: Poodle Skirts and Stretchy Fabric - Sabina.J.Dougherty-
Sewing with stretchy fabric is the pits unless you have a machine that has a stretch stitch or a serger or both. One thing that I found helped a bit before I got my machine that does stretch stitching is to stretch the fabric as you sew it. Then when the fabric relaxes the stitches are still "stretched" so that when the material is stretched in putting on the garment, they don't "pop out".

As to a simple version of a poodle skirt. Take the pattern from Fancywork and Fashions Best Doll Clothes pattern book (the old version of this book) and do the following. Add 1/2" to the side seams of both front and back pieces. Cut the waistband 14" by 2". Sew the side seams together, attach the waistband, sew up the back seam, fold the waistband down to the wrong side and stitch to form a casing (I stitch just below the seam where the waistband is attached -- in the ditch -- and it's barely noticeable but you could do this by hand if you wanted an invisible look). Run a piece of elastic through the casing to fit the doll's waist and stitch the elastic together, close the casing and you have a simple poodle skirt that any AG doll with any sized waist can wear.

Making Crinolines, by Virginia -
For making an "authentic" 1950's crinoline: they are tiered. You do not start with a petticoat and sew the tulle on.
At the waistline, gather one layer to the elastic, not too full (you don't want a lot of bulke at the waist). Using pieces 1 1/2 to 2 times, gather three layers and sew them to the first tier. Separate those three layers.
Using pieces 1 1/2 to 2 times the length of the second tier, gather three layers and sew to EACH of the ones above (9 layers altogether). I think that's as far as you can get with a doll. On real ones, we used to get one more tier with 27 layers. Virginia

Jo Miller - How To Make an AG sized Nurse Hat
Remember when we were children and you made paper hats... Lets fold a nurse hat with material and have pins to hold it in place after it is folded....Do this with paper first and then you will have the right size....
1.Take a rectangle piece of matereial and have it starched.......fold down the short side leaving 1 and half inches at the bottom
2. Find the middle of the folded edge, place a pin there......fold AT pin, so fold edge,. to right is going north and south... and Press.
3.Now fold the folded edge to left of pin so the folded edge is going north and
4.You now have a triangle, top and 1 1/2 inch bottom, fold this 1 1/2 inch section up to the outside ( band across the front of hat) Press.
5. Fold down POINT of hat to back.....Press.... tack point down with button... top of hat is flat now...
6. Back of hat , you take the raw edges and turn them under and blind stitch. this makes a nurse cap.... you will have to play with paper size to find the right size...for your doll.....
7. Emb. a red cross on cap ....

Sewing Velcro On Bodices: by Bridgett (RoknBobbin)
I make the Best Doll Clothes blouse quite often and use Velcro as a closure. I hate that nasty seam that results from sewing the Velcro down the front of the blouse. Here's my solution: After cutting the pieces out and before assembly, sew the Velcro to the front bodice lining section ( the piece that will lay against the doll's chest). Be sure to sew it 1/2" from the edge as at least 1/4" will be taken up in the seam during assembly. Proceed in assembly as usual. When you're finished you should have the Velcro sewn in on the right side without a seam showing. The left side Velcro can be sewn on after assembly since its seams do not show on the outside. Bridgett

Slippers For the Dolls! Suzanne WC
When it comes to slippers, I only make the scuff kind. I use something like a terry cloth on the top of the slipper with a " ribbon" over the toe of the scuff. Then I use a piece of vinyl for the sole of the slipper. First I trace off the dolls foot, then I cut 2 pieces of fabric the same size as the shape I cut out, next I cut out 2 pieces of vinyl the same size as the foot shape I cut out, then I cut about a 2" long piece of " ribbon". I glue the ends of the ribbon to the bottom of the fabric, and then I glue the vinyl to the bottom of the fabric so that the ribbon ends are sandwiched in between the top of the slipper and the bottom of the slipper. I made flip flops the same way to match bathing suits and beach coverup's. They were very cute! Suzanne√Ě

Poncho For Ben (Or Any Of The Dolls!) Aenglebach
(This is can be sewn with the plastic that is sold in rolls at home stores, but if you have small children, use cloth) Cut a square 18", and rectangle 5" x 8"---fold that down the middle, seam one side-this is the hood. Fold the 18"square into halves, then quarters-triangularly, and cut a 2" triangle from the center point for the head, then slash down 3" on one side for the dolls head to go thru, sew the hood on around the neck edge, and that is it! It looks fine, thought it would go good with a camping set. If you are using the clear plastic instead of cloth, this will tear if the opening is not big enough, also, use a basting type stitch, because if you sew small stitches it will tear, and don't backstitch too much. If you have small children,,, use cloth instead of plastic... you can never be too careful! Anne

Felt Hats for AG dolls! Submitted by Ruth Nelson for Patricia Nelson To make Felt Hats for the AG dolls; just cut a ball in half, tape it to a flat surface, soak a circle of felt in boiling water and tug and shape it over the ball...let dry, cut a circle of felt larger than the circumference of the crown, then cut out a circular home in the cetner that is smaller (not larger ) than the circumference of the crown... dampen it and tug it over the crown to lie flat on the board. tug a brim down over it and stiffen it with Fabric stiffener or Elmers glue....Shaping felt is really easy and except for the drying time the whole thing takes about ten minutes...Also, you don't have to use balls or foam balls if you don't have any available because it's really easy to make half a sphere by wadding newspaper and taping it into a half sphere onto a board...

Hint for Headbands or Dolly Earmuffs
While doing costumes for dolls I needed something to make the horns stay on my little devil.... Ran across a pair of people earmuffs that were broken and was going to throw them out. One half of the band, the plastic kind that slide together, is just the right size for the girls. Take the cloth ears muff part off of both sides and remove little clip that holds them on, there will be a little hole, don't worry about that. Slide the curved peices apart, you now have the makings of two head bands. With an old pair of shears trim away the part that sticks up and smooth sharp edges with sand paper. Cut a peice of fabric wide enough and long enough to cover band + seam allowance. Knit fabric works great. Sew right sides together and turn. Slip band into tube and finish ends. The girls can have head bands to match everything. Add trim or ear muffs or anything else that you like. Sherry

Glass of Milk For The AG Doll
"I made Mary (Bittled) milk by using white paint and rolling it to the height that I wanted it to go in the "glass"(the clear top of a hair spray bottle) and then letting it dry. It really turned out cute. Sue P. :)

Make Your American Girl Doll A Crown! By Terry
* 8 oz. dairy container - sour cream or french onion dip are good but the cottage cheese ones fit better.
* Metallic gold (or silver) acrylic spray paint
* Utility scissors
* Sequins on a string
* Gem stones
* Bond 527 cement or other really good glue
* Clear Elastic
1. Eat the contents of the container, this is the best part unless you have to make 10 crowns!
2. Wash and dry the container. I don't think I really need to include this step but just in case my children are reading this.....
. 3. Don't throw the lid away, put it in that stack of lids we all have that have nothing to lid to.
4. Now, set the container on the doll's head, open side down. Isn't that a beautiful crown? That is how it will fit. Don't worry if it seems a little small, we will fix that.
5. Draw a series of points on the container so that the tips of the points are at the bottom edge of the container.
6. Cut off the bottom of the container. That makes it easier to cut out the points.
7. Cut out the points making sure not to cut through the bottom of the crown.

8. Spray paint the appropriate color, 2 to 3 coats. Don't forget the inside and the bottom!
9. Decorate as you wish. This is the other fun part, besides the eating part. I put a row of sequins on a string on the bottom rim of the crown. It kinda covers up the fact that it's a cottage cheese container. Then put on gem stones or any other baubles you have that will match the dress. I used "Bond 527" multi purpose cement in a tube and it worked really well. I bought mine a while back at Walmart in the craft department with the other glues.
10. If you used a smaller sour cream or dip container you will need to add a clear elastic chin strap. The same glue will hold the elastic in place.
11. This is imiportant. Do not play with it for an hour or two. It is not quite dry so you will just have to wait. Have a cup of coffee or a glass of lemonade to help pass the time. Better yet, go cut out another princess dress and eat more cottage cheese, you're going to want to do this again.

How to Make Tights For Your Dolls: From: CynBerg1
For tights, take one knee-hi sock and turn inside out. Serge 2" off the toe. Next "eye" middle of toe and start serging up the sock towards opening withing 4" of end , stop serger, pull other side of sock (that you serge open with the cutters ) and continue serging down it (second leg). I use invisible thread or matching thread to match knee-hi. The tights look small but stretch plenty! I have received many of those gift boxes of those colored knee-his over the years and have now found a new use for them! Tights for the girls! Have fun everyone! Cindy, Knits and That

How to Help Your Dolls Sit In Position: From: CynBerg1
Posing dolls in a sitting position was troublesome until I came up with the coathanger idea...lay coathanger flat on table and place undressed doll thru center of coat hanger, Bend the hook part under the doll's bottom and wrap in ribblon to protect doll cloth. Bend one arm at back of doll "up" to support doll's back and the other arm I pull up between the doll's legs above the knee and spread out and down to bend the dolls legs dowb for siting position.......try and use your imagination to suit your purposes... After I have hanger arranged to suit me, I dress the doll and she/he are sitting at the chair...How To's for sewing for the 18" American Girl type doll, or for any of the popular 18" dolls. This page has alot of info on it, but it is well worth the time to scroll through..