Here’s another fun project you can cut and sew without needing to buy doll clothes patterns.
Look in your closet for cotton knit fabric you can recycle and reuse to make your doll a rag scarf. All you need are two or three old t-shirts in coordinating colors. If you’re creative, you can use white t-shirts and dye them before cutting the strips.
Be brave with your color choices. Experiment. Mix and match until you find striking combinations, like sky blue, aqua and teal …or maroon, apple red and pumpkin.
The ‘rag boa’ shown in the Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin with Stacie Stukin inspired our doll’s scarf. We converted their human-sized project to a doll-sized scarf. We made the finished scarf 27 inches long for one of our 18-inch tall American Girl dolls, Julie.
To begin, cut strips of cotton knit in three graduated widths. For example, cut strips 3 inches, 2 inches and 1 inch wide, using a different color for each width. Make each strip 27 inches long, or as long as the finished scarf. These important dimensions are the only doll clothes patterns you’ll need to complete this project.
Please note: It’s important to cut the length of the scarf (the 27 inches) on the straight of the grain of the knit. This is the direction of the stretch.
Stack the colored strips as shown in the photo, using the width of each strip as a guideline. For example, from the bottom to the top, layer the strips by the width. (1-2-3-2-1) Start with the orange strip that’s 1 inch wide, then add the brown 2 inch strip, then the light blue 3 inch strip, add another brown 2 inch strip and finish on top with another orange 1 inch strip. Sew the stack of five colored strips together lengthwise, with your stitches running down the center of the strips.
Finish by making parallel cuts in the stack of strips about one-half inch apart, the entire length of the scarf, to create the rag effect. To avoid cutting through the center of the scarf, stop cutting about one-eight inch before you reach the center seam line.
Wash and dry the scarf to get it to curl. Pull each small piece from the end, to make the knit roll up and curl more. Then, fluff the scarf with your fingers until it looks full. Now your 18-inch doll has a cute and colorful scarf.
The next step is to select some great doll clothes patterns, and give the rest of the old clothes in your closet a new life. Your dolls can have an inexpensive, fashionable wardrobe from your recycled hand-me-downs. And, you can help save the earth. Cool, dude.
Here’s a close-up, so you can see it better.