Doll Clothes Patterns: Make a Hair-Styling Cape for American Girl Dolls

When you think about doll clothes patterns, you usually think about making doll clothes. But clothes are just the beginning. Your doll needs lots of other things to maintain her high-fashion lifestyle, especially if you style her hair.

Every doll needs a hair-styling cape for her at-home beauty treatments. Here’s a fun new project that’s quick and easy.

Start with some water-resistant fabric. I bought a pink nylon raincoat at the thrift store for $1. An old or ‘outgrown’ windbreaker will work just as well. You can even recycle a shower curtain if the plastic is soft and flexible enough. You don’t  need doll clothes patterns to make this cape for your American Girl dolls.

Just follow these directions:

1. Cut a rectangle 20 inches long by 12 inches wide. (This size will fit most 18 inch dolls.) Then find and mark the center point of the rectangle with a dot, as shown in the photo. Draw a line from the center point to the hemline on one of the long sides. This will be the center front opening.

2. Hem all four sides. Turn the raw edge up 1/4 inch. Press in place. Then turn up 1/4 inch again to create a rolled hem. Press again. Topstitch as shown below.

3. Draw a circle (about 2 inches across) around the center point to create an opening for your doll’s neck. I drew around a spice jar to mark my circle. It’s just about the right size.

Then cut along the line and around the circle to create the front opening.

4. Sew contrasting trim around the center front and neck  opening, near the raw edge. I used ready-made piping in a lighter color to add an accent to my cape. You can make your own trim. Or, you can skip this step if you don’t want to add trim.

5. You’ll need some kind of facing to finish the raw edge. I used seam tape because it’s easy. But, you can make your own bias binding out strips of the raincoat fabric if you prefer. With right sides together, sew the seam tape or self-binding along the edge of the front opening as shown.

Then turn it back and topstitch.

6. Next, you’ll need some kind of closure, so your cape stays in place while you’re styling your doll’s hair. I used more of the same seam tape to make ties. Attach one set at the neckline and another set near the waistline. For a final step, tack the rectangle with a few stitches under the doll’s arms, between the shoulder and the hemline.

    You can open your cape in the front or back. I like to open mine in the front, so the cape will feel less bulky in back, when I brush the doll’s long hair. So get busy sewing! You can be styling in your home salon in no time. The only doll clothes patterns you need for this project are the instructions in this blog post.

    And, please leave a comment to let me know if you like this project!

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    41 Responses

    1. AJ Says:

      This cape is the most adorable thing I have seen in a long time for American Girl Dolls in a long time! And it is free!!

    2. Emily Says:

      Thank you so much for posting this! It looks like a fun project my daughter would be able to help with. Next time we’re at the thrift store we’ll have to look for a wind breaker. Thanks!

    3. Linda Says:

      Great project to do with my 8 year old! I may add simple sleeves and a zipper to turn it into a raincoat as well.

    4. Jane Says:

      I am going to make one for the doll and one for myself. It looks easy and so cute.

    5. Carolyn Says:

      Patterns are adorable. Hope you can do a wallet pattern for the money that fits the bag as well.
      I was thinking of making the cape up a bit longer using terry to make it a quick robe.

    6. Lucie Says:

      I saw this and thought that I have to try this project! Just too cute! Thanks for constant great ideas for the American Girl dolls!

    7. Marcia Says:

      What an adorable idea! Thank you!

    8. Ann Says:

      What a great idea and I know my grand-daughter will love this. Thank you for making this freely available.

    9. lois correia Says:

      when will the hoodie pattern be available. i have leftover fleece material which should work fine.

    10. Hal Says:

      This looks good, and most inexpensive to make, especially useful these days.

    11. Marsha Says:

      Adorable! Thank you for the free pattern.

      S.W.A.K.

    12. admin Says:

      Lois,
      The hoodie pattern is a winter style, so I plan to introduce it in the fall.

      There will be three adorable summer styles introduced soon.
      Peggy

    13. admin Says:

      Hi Peggy,
      Thanks for the cute idea. Hope to try one of these and maybe even have one ready when I try to sell other clothes in the Oct. Arts & Craft show at one of our schools here in MI. Busy making one of a kind AG doll clothes. Am having some difficulty with the cute hobo bag. Will keep trying. Thanks again.
      Toni

    14. Mari Says:

      Thanks so much for sharing! Great idea! Will make one soon and resize for the smaller guys in the house. :)

    15. JO-ANN Says:

      I PICKED UP A NYLON LAUNDRY BAG FOR 1.48 IN A DOLLAR PLUS STORE.IT WAS ABOUT 3 X 4 FT AND A NICE WEIGHT TO MAKE THE HAIR CAPE AND A RAINCOAT AND HAT. KEEP THE IDEAS COMING.

    16. Anne Says:

      Thanks again for another great idea. Looks easy to do. I also really love the hobo bag, my grand-daughter will love it too and it’s just the right size. I made it in denim and put a little pink elephant on the front of it.

    17. Denise Says:

      Love the pattern for the styling cape. I like your model too. Maggie is my favorite doll.

    18. Debbie Says:

      I love your patterns and ideas Thank you so much!

    19. bearpicnic Says:

      Hi Peggy,
      The bag is adorable and the money fits right in! You’ve got a lot of great ideas on your blog; I can’t wait to see what else comes in the email sign-up!
      Thanks,
      Karlie

    20. Elizabeth Long Says:

      Very adorable… can’t wait to make it!

    21. Pattie Bernardo Shaw Says:

      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, THIS IS PERFECT FOR MY GREAT GRANDAUGHTER AS I JUST BOUGHT HER THE STYLING CHAIR FROM TARGET. KEEP UP THE FUN PROJECTS

    22. Megan Says:

      Very cute.. I’m already addicted to American Girls and creating doll clothing and accessories, though my almost 2 year old has little interest just yet. I can’t wait until she does..how fun! I’ll add this to my list of projects! Thanks!!

    23. Katie Says:

      The doll in the photo is lovely. What kind of doll is she? And, if so, where do you buy them?

    24. Cheryl Says:

      What a clever idea! I can see several variations to this simple design to expand my doll wardrobe………thanks for sharing!

    25. admin Says:

      Katie,
      The doll in the photo is made by Heidi Ott. One of comments above refers to her as “Maggie.” I don’t know if that’s the correct name. I bought her on eBay for $30-$40. Her hair is a little frizzy, but that makes her look just like my sister, so I couldn’t resist.
      Peggy

    26. Janice Says:

      Thank you for the cute hobo bag pattern and doll money. My granddaughter loves them. I live in a rural area and need a
      good source to order small doll clothes notions like light weight velcro, etc. I enjoy your website.

    27. KIm Says:

      I love this. Will make with my daughter this weekend. i also love the doll money, my daughter was just crazy aout it. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

    28. Lockie Says:

      Thanks so much for the money.
      I just made a different purse for my granddaughter’s birthday. Can’t wait to make the one you sent and some of the other patterns. Made the headband to match a dress I made. It’s so cute.
      Thanks again.

    29. Elizabeth Says:

      Lovely site! I will be having a granddaughter soon, and bet some day she will have one of these beautiful dolls and the clothes. I think I will have to start sewing, again. Thank you for following me on twitter!
      Keep following your dreams and Enjoy the Ride!
      Elizabeth

    30. Eileen Wolf Says:

      I love, love, love your patterns. I would love to see a wallet for her money. Just a huge thanks for every thing.

    31. Carla Unruh Says:

      What a creative idea, many thanks.

    32. oksana Says:

      Thanks so much for the patterns.

    33. American Girl Doll Clothes Says:

      Thank you very much for your ideas to post comments. The content was really very interesting. I am really thankful to you for providing this unique information. Please keep sharing more and more information…..

    34. lindy Says:

      I can’t thank you enough for the clothes and accessory patterns, as well as all the helpful directions and suggestions. I have spent my share of money at American Doll store. This is great!

    35. Ana Says:

      Just got my doll and having so much fun discovering all the things to make for her. Can you style their hair and if so how? I have made her an apron and a pair of jeans and she is only two days new to me. Looking forward to that hobo pattern and what ever others. Thank you. Ana I am afraid to work with knit material. Any suggestions?

    36. admin Says:

      Ana,
      With knits, be careful not to stretch the fabric when you’re sewing. If a seam is critical to proper fit, like a shoulder seam or a fitted waistline, sew a piece of seam tape along the seam line to ensure the seam turns out the correct length. Don’t be afraid of knits. In many ways they’re easier to work with.

      Search online (especially on YouTube) for videos that teach you how to style the hair. American Girl also publishes a great book with instructions for hair styles. You can order it on Amazon.com
      Peggy

    37. Kathleen Schwalb Says:

      Peggy,
      Your blog/website is the only one I have found that gives so many FREE projects and patterns for accessories. I have just started making AG clothes for my granddaughters dolls! I am a long time accomplished sewer, made every thing from clothing, coats, heirloom (also taught heirloom sewing) quilting, home dec, but never have I made doll clothes, so I am looking forward to a new sewing experience, I really love your designs!

    38. Becca Says:

      I luv this site! People tell me I’m too old to play with dolls, but who cares. I am going to use this pattern for my dolls!

    39. Kyla Says:

      Cute pattern! Thanks for sharing! I think if I shorten the length of the neck opening, use brocade, and frog closures it could easily look like an oriental shirt? A pair of basic matching pants and it would be a cute halloween doll costume or pair of PJs! :)

    40. admin Says:

      Kyla,
      Sounds cute. You’ll also need to sew the sides closed under her arms.
      Peggy

    41. Roberta Says:

      Love this simple pattern so easy can’t wait to start it. Thank you so much.

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