Doll Clothes Patterns: How to Find Tiny Materials

I’m often asked where to find small-scale materials and supplies to use when sewing doll clothes patterns. For example, it’s difficult to find light-weight ribbed knit trim to use on the cuffs and waistbands of your doll’s hoodie. The adult-sized trim looks too bulky on your American Girl, or other 18 inch doll.

Find used baby clothes in good condition, and recycle the ribbed knit trim:

Try this idea. Go to your local thrift store and look for infant clothing. Babies outgrow their clothes so fast, it’s easy to find outfits in great condition. Many show very little wear and are very inexpensive. Recycle the baby clothes by removing the ribbed knit trim from the sleeves and around the neck. Then reuse the baby’s knit trim for your doll clothes patterns. The buttons on baby clothes also work perfectly for dolls.

One of the secrets to maintaining a great source of materials is to go to the thrift store often. Get to know the people who work there, and let them know what you’re doing. Tell them you’re always looking for baby clothes with white knit trim, …or whatever colors you use most. As they get to know you, they’ll start setting things aside for you. You’ll soon have all the supplies you need for your doll clothes patterns.

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36 Responses

  1. Kathleen Says:

    Love the play money! Thanks. We are printing it out now… it’s always great to find sites like yours.

  2. Lenore Says:

    Thank you so much, spent the afternoon printing and cutting the play money. Now on to making the Hobo bag….my granddaughters will love it!! Thanks for this website that I just found with all the great ideas and hints. Now that my granddaughters have an American Doll is time for me to sew clothes.

  3. nina Says:

    love the play money I’m going to make the hobo bag. I had gone to arts craft
    show last week my granddaughter saw all the clothes made for american girl dolls I looke at the clothes adn knew if I could find patterns I could make them much cheaper then they were selling. I went home and found this web site. Now I’m going to make doll dresses for my two granddaughters who have 6 american girl dolls between them.

  4. Wilma Knowles Says:

    You can find the white ribbed knit at JoAnn stores and usually the off white too. But the colors are hard to match.

  5. Pat Says:

    Where can i find small lace and eyelet trims for doll clothes. I am having a hard time finding some.Thanks

  6. admin Says:

    Rip them off of used baby clothes and recycle them. Look in fabric stores, like Joann Fabrics. You can also do a Google search for tiny materials, zippers, lace, etc.

  7. Connie Hodgdon Says:

    Thanks for the cute hobo bag pattern and play money! I’m getting set for Christmas early!!

    Also thanks for the tip about used baby clothes. T-shirt material and rib knit is difficult to find this year.

  8. Brenda Says:

    I LOVED your pattern for the Hobo Bag. I just got finished designing a wallet for it. Is any one interested in the pattern?
    My granddaughter will get her doll for Christmas. Even though she went to Chicago to pick it out.
    She left the doll with me so I could make a new wardrobe for it. Guess I know what I will be doing till Xmas.
    Does anyone have any other patterns that we can exchange?

  9. Joan Says:

    Thanks so much for the hobo bag pattern, and now the money to go in it…I am starting on my granddaughters Christmas presents. I also liked your tip on using old t-shirts for tops, etc. Last year I “looked” carefully at a boughten pair of panties and made my own for their dolls. FUN!

  10. Joyce Says:

    I have one pattern that calls for a 6″ front zipper but only on the top bodice, not the full lenth of the top. Where would I find such a small zipper?

  11. Macy Says:

    I have a doll named malary. I have a room for her too. I sighned up on you website a few days ago and I am just dieing to get the email.
    great ideas! Malary will be happy!

  12. Macy Says:

    Have you ever herd of our generation dolls? That is the kind of doll I have.

  13. Macy Says:

    Does anyone know how to make more doll purse stuff?

  14. Lynn Says:


    I would love to have the pattern for the wallet you designed. I’m making the hobo bag this weekend. I just found this site myself and am new to making doll clothes but am very flattered that my daughter-in-law asked to make some.

    Thanks so much for sharing what you have. I’m hoping there will be more updates in the future.

  15. Judy Says:

    Thanks for this adorable hobo bag pattern and the play money. Can’t wait to make this for my granddaughter! Any patterns for Bitty Twins Boy? Love your site.

  16. admin Says:

    Sorry Judy, no Bitty Boy patterns yet. Maybe in the future.

  17. admin Says:

    Note to Joyce (above) – For tiny zippers, go to


  18. Pamster Says:

    I just joined your site. Just Printed out the Hobo bag and mini money. Was reading through some comments, Would love to have the pattern for wallet. Also have a place near me that sells 6″ zippers. (separating) They also have as small as a 3″ non-separating.

  19. patsy Says:

    Anyone able to get the wallet design from Brenda? I love this site and am busy planning Christmas gifts 2010….Thanks everyone.

  20. Rosalind Says:

    I use the ribbed knit from old tee-shirts for the cuffs and I use the tee-shirt body for P J’s. Works great !

  21. Linda Says:

    Trim for doll clothes can be found on EBay and Etsy, and you have to wade through all the listings to find suitable sizes, but it’s worth the time. I’ve found quite a bit of pretty lace, etc at reasonable prices. Hobby Lobby usually has a good selection, too, if you have one in your area.

  22. Antoinette Says:

    My daughter got an AGD for Christmas. Now we are ready for the fun to begin ;) I am so excited about all these cute patterns. We just printed money and love the pattern of the hobo bag and wallet. Thanks!

  23. Ethel Says:

    I love the hobo bag pattern. I am making this bag to go with Sophia’s new jacket and hat. Thanks again for the pattern. I would love to receive the pattern for the wallet.

  24. jeanne Says:

    I bought some tiny zippers and snaps, buckles, overall strap buckle. etc…
    at CR’
    Thanks for the hobo bag. I would like the wallet pattern if it is available.
    Love your site,

  25. jeanne Says:

    I also buy plaid wool shirts for a Scottish kilt and vest outfit, and buy pretty sweaters to make doll clothes and smaller sweaters for your doll. So much fun, so little time.
    Take care.

  26. admin Says:

    You can get the wallet pattern on Facebook.
    Go to:

  27. Carolyn Says:

    Love the hobo bag and the play money is just the icing on the cake. My DGD will be getting it for Christmas.

  28. Gail Says:

    I have been getting baby clothes from the Goodwill for some time now and also the 99 cent store is a good source

  29. Denise Says:

    I found small ribbed fabrics at They deal in baby and childrens patterns and material. Sometimes they have some good sales around the holidays. She also sends coupons via e-mail. They have a lot of small print fabrics too.

  30. Teri Iverson Says:

    Love your site! The play money is printed and ready to give to my Grandkids with a few outfits I made for Christmas presents! Looking forward to making the bed!

  31. Shonna Says:

    Hi, love this site… just found it. My daughter has outgrown her AG doll, but I am now using her doll for making clothes, accessories, and other items for people who don’t know how to go the handmade route. I would love to have the wallet pattern to go with the hobo bag pattern which I am looking forward to receiving in a day or two. What a great combo that would be!! Thanks and keep up adding all of your great ideas…

  32. Patti Says:

    This is so much fun outfitting this doll – I almost want one myself! I love the idea of recycling baby clothes. The search for all the little bits and pieces is as much fun as the making is. Thanks for the super ideas!

  33. Anita Says:

    Hi… my mom told me about your site… I will print off some play money and make the hobo bag for my two girls. They each have an AG doll and an Our Generation Doll. I would love to have the pattern for the wallet, but do not have facebook. If I had facebook I would definitely ‘like’ you. Is there a way I can get the pattern still?

  34. admin Says:

    Watch for an email. I will probably give the wallet away later this year as a bonus with another pattern.

  35. Lisa Says:

    Thanks so much for the info, and I love your site.

  36. jill Says:

    this website is awesome and so helpful .. am new to making doll clothes .. a friend of mine got one as a gift and she (8) ask me..(old) to help her learn to make clothes .. so i am ssssooo excited to find your site …
    thank you very much

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