Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I hope everyone had a happy Mother's Day (whether you have human children, animal children or doll children - it all counts).  I spent mine sewing - not for me but for the dolls.  (I'm not really complaining, I did have a happy day.)

When the dolls heard I had agreed to make another wedding dress, they chucked a wobbly.  (I'm not sure if that's an international phrase or just an Australian one but think of two year olds and temper tantrums and you'll get the idea).  They said I hadn't done any sewing for them for ages, that the amount of fabric I had to sew into doll clothes was getting bigger than Mt. Everest and they DIDN'T HAVE ANY NEW CLOTHES!
"I've got the tiara.  Now where's my dress?"

So I decided to refine a design I had at the beginning of the year.  I was trying to design some very quick and easy outfits that anyone with very little sewing time or experience could create.

And so here's my first tutorial - for this very quick and easy skirt.:

It's a variation of a pull-on tube skirt so you need to use stretch fabric.  And because you see both sides of the fabric in the finished skirt you need a stretch fabric that looks good on both sides and that stays lying flat when it is cut. (The edges of some stretch fabrics roll around themselves when they are cut - don't use them for this design,)  Here are some of my selections:

I found the following measurements where the ones that worked with a wide variety of stretch fabrics.

For Barbie,  cut a rectangle that is:
           10cms (4") wide  (this is to go around Barbies body so make sure the fabric stretches this way)
            12cms (4 3/4") long

For Monster High dolls, cut a rectangle that is:
           8cms((3 1/4") wide (again this has to be the stretchy way)
           11 cms (4 3/8") long

Fold this in half so that the two long sides are together, and the right side of the fabric is to the inside.  Pin from the top down to just over half way down to the bottom.

Using a 6mm (1/4") seam sew from the top down to the pin and back stitch. (Use a ball point or stretch needle).
Now cut through the seam allowance to your stitching line but not through it:

Now turn your tube of fabric inside out and pull the uncut part of the seam to the outside.  It should look like this:

Again using a 6mm (1/4") seam, sew from the point where you finished stitching last time to the bottom of your seam.  Make sure you tie your threads off at the top and bottom of your stitching so your seam doesn't come undone.

You've now finished sewing your skirt.  What you have to do now is turn the skirt back to the inside (the way you had it when you first started sewing).

Now roll the top part of your skirt down over the bottom part until you can't see the seam and you are happy with the length of the two layers:

If you want to, you can sew a couple of hand stitches at the sides of the skirt to keep the layers together the way you want.  Or you can leave it so you can adjust the layer length for different looks when your doll wears the skirt.  Slide your skirt onto your doll.  It should stretch to fit over her hips but then shrink again to fit close to her waist. 

No, I didn't leave them topless.  I also designed three easy tops to go with the skirts.  I'll tell you how to make them in my next post.