Doll Clothes Patterns: An Affordable Alternative to American Girl Dolls

Quite a few of the readers who are sewing doll clothes patterns for American Girl dolls are looking for a less expensive 18 inch doll who can wear the same clothes. The three dolls shown in the photo below are Madame Alexander Girlz dolls.

I bought these three dolls…last October at Costco. When I was shopping at Costco yesterday, I noticed the Christmas merchandise is already in the store. My local Costco store is selling three new Madame Alexander Girlz dolls, priced at $24.99 each. If you’re on a budget this Christmas, or just looking for an affordable ‘fit model’ for your doll clothes patterns, now is the time to shop. So run, don’t walk. Last year these dolls sold out very fast.

How do these dolls compare to American Girl dolls?

1.) Probably the biggest difference is that American Girl dolls cost around $100 and come with a very high quality, durable wig so girls can spend lots of time styling the dolls’ hair. The Madame Alexander wigs don’t seem to be intended for ‘hair play’ or styling. Their heads aren’t fully covered with hair. So when their hairstyles are changed, sometimes the Madame Alexander dolls may appear to have bald spots.

2.) Madame Alexander Girlz have very pretty faces and soft pink skin tones. The Girlz have heads that tilt side-to-side. They’re much easier to ‘pose’ than American Girls, so they have the ability to show many different expressions.

3.) There are only slight differences when sewing doll clothes patterns for the two dolls. The MA Girlz are a little taller than American Girl dolls, but it really doesn’t affect the fit. The main difference is the Girlz breast plate, which makes their shoulders seem a little thinner. But on the positive side, when the Girlz wear low cut necklines or sundresses, their cloth bodies are not exposed. American Girl dolls’ cloth bodies often show under their summer clothes. To see the dolls’ bodies and for more fitting information read the earlier post, Doll Clothes Patterns That Fit Perfectly.

Bottom line… the price is right! So, if you’re willing to handle the Madame Alexander wigs with care and make some slight fit alterations to your doll clothes patterns, these may be the Girlz for you!

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17 Responses

  1. Margaret Says:

    I have the black one that I purchased last year and she’s very nice!

  2. Jenifer Says:

    They are pretty cute. I think the wog problem could be fixed by rewigging them, which is pretty quick and easy. Do these dolls have wigs or is their hair rooted?

  3. admin Says:

    The dolls have rooted hair.

  4. Roxie Says:

    Wal-mart is currently selling the MA Girlz as well. Love the hobo bag. Each outfit now has a hobo bag to match. I’m playing with making different purse styles for some variety. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the money. What a cute and fun extra. Thanks for all the hints, tips and ideas!

  5. Kate Says:

    Jennifer says it is easy to to rewig dolls. I bought my daughter a MA doll @ walmart. How easy would it be to rewig?

  6. Dar Says:

    Thanks so much for the hobo pattern and the money download! Love them! Can’t wait to make them for my daughter and her best friend, who both have AG dolls.

  7. carin Says:

    I’ve re-wigged lots of dolls. If the doll starts with rooted hair, just cut it all off as close to the scalp as you can, then shave it with an electric (I use my Sheepdog’s)trimmer or with a straight razor…and shave her bald. Be certain to use glue specified for doll wigs when you put a new one on.
    There are some tutorials online, put “new wig on doll” in your search engine, you’ll get a lot of options!
    Best wishes,

  8. Adrianne Says:


    Rewigging a doll with rooted hair is costly, and time-consuming depending of what method you employ – at the end of the day it may noth be worth the difference in the price….

  9. tristin Says:

    After continuous play, does the hair get frizzy?

  10. admin Says:

    Eventually, any doll’s hair will get frizzy after continuous play. American Girl dolls have the highest quality synthetic wigs I’ve seen. The only way to avoid the frizzies over time is to have a human hair wig. That would be really expensive.

    So, don’t ever apply heat to the synthetic doll hair. I have had some luck repairing frizzy, dry American Girl doll hair by spraying on and combing in Armour All (that stuff that makes your tires shine). Let it set overnight. It seems to soak in.

    Before you do it, be sure to completely cover your doll’s body in plastic wrap, so you don’t get it in her eyes or on her cloth parts.

    Try this at your own risk. But if your doll’s hair already looks terrible, you don’t have much to loose.

  11. Becky Says:

    Actually, this doll’s hair does get VERY frizzy, quickly. My daughter had her two days and her hair was a tangled mess. Personally, I find the AG dolls to be creepy (eyes are too round and the buck teeth are unattractive). I ordered a beautiful wig from RubyRed Galleria (very popular for rewigging AG dolls) and will rewig my MA Mia Bella doll with it. Just Magic Dolls website has a great tutorial on rewigging. Including the doll and wig shipping, we’ll have spent a mere $45 on this doll. Not bad, when compared to $100 for an American Girl. I say go for it, REWIG!!

  12. Sandi Says:

    I bought the dark haired, dark eyed Madame Alexander ‘Girlz’ at Costco. She was so beautiful I could not resist her. I want to make her a wardrobe and was so glad to find your website. Thank you.

  13. smoochie Says:

    Thank you for the hobo bag, can’t wait to make it ~ great site.

  14. Rhonda Says:

    I have one and they are a great allternative.

  15. susan priestley Says:

    Hi I love your pattern. I don’t own an American Girl doll, but just bought an Australian Girl doll, available here in Australia were I live. They are a little bigger at 20 inches tall, but I should be able to adapt the patterns to fit my new girl. Many thanks,
    Susan from Brisbane, Australia

  16. Chloe Says:

    I have an American Girl doll and I can’t wait to use the money once I print it off. Now I know that if I feel my doll is getting lonely, I can get a Madame Alexander Girlz doll easily for a cheap price.

  17. laura Says:

    Just printed money ,my g-daughter will love that her doll can buy her own things.

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