Doll Clothes Patterns: Always Pre-Wash Fabrics

Doll clothes patterns are sized for an exact fit. You invest lots of time and money to sew them into great outfits for your American Girl and 18-inch dolls. But, you may be overlooking something very important. Did you launder the fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces? There are several good reasons to pre-wash:

  1. The most obvious reason is to maintain proper fit. When you wash and dry the fabric before cutting out your doll clothes patterns, you can be sure the doll clothes won’t shrink later. Shrinking makes the garments too tight for the dolls. It also causes the seams to pucker.
  2. Pre-washing helps to release the extra dye on the surface of the fabric. Even if the fabric doesn’t look like it will fade, the dye may rub off on your doll’s body. This discoloration can be very difficult to remove. Suede cloth or other ‘brushed’ fabric surfaces often fade. Beware of a colored fabric that stains your hands when you’re laying out your doll clothes patterns. (Helpful hint: Always remember to remove all clothing and accessories before storing your doll to avoid staining and discoloration from fabric dyes.)
  3. Pre-wash your fabrics to make them softer, so they’ll hang or ‘drape’ nicely. When you select fabric, consider that if it’s too hard or rigid, the doll clothes will look stiff and ‘unrealistic.’
  4. When you’re using denim to make doll jeans and jackets, pre-wash the fabric several times before cutting out your doll clothes patterns, to create garments that look pre-aged.

It’s better to be safe than sorry! Always pre-wash fabrics.

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6 Responses

  1. carol Says:

    Hi I was wondering if you had any more free patterns. Such as shirt and pants and coats and thing like that. I have doll that is a bit bigger than the patterns that I bought from the store. I am having a hard time making them fit her. I thought I could make them bigger when I print them off

  2. admin Says:

    I have several new patterns (for sale) coming on the site soon. There will also be a (free) project for making a hair-styling cape for your doll.

    If you’ve already purchased printed patterns and they’re just a little too small, take them to the office supply store and try setting the copy machine on 110% or 120% (depending on how much bigger your doll is) and print them out larger. Just print out the bodice front and back, then sew them out of scrap fabric until you’re sure you have the right fit. Once you know what (percentage increase) fits your doll, you can buy other patterns that size and always print them out the same way.

    Hope this helps. Thanks for reading the blog,

  3. Elaine Dobrowolski Says:

    I made the hobo bag and my granddaughter loved it. It is so cute, I plan to make more. Thanks for the free pattern.

    Do you have patterns for the My Twin Dolls? They are 23″ dolls rather than 18″ like the American Doll.

  4. admin Says:

    Sorry. I only make patterns for 18 inch dolls, like American Girl dolls.

  5. Sally Says:

    The trick for enlarging on a copier also works for the My Twinn dolls. It takes patience using 8×11 paper because you have to tape pieces together. I made 4 hobo bags enclosing your free money, the granddaughters were thrilled. Thank you

  6. Ramon Says:

    Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to look it over.

    I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and brilliant design and style.

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