Doll clothes patterns can be adjusted before cutting, to ensure a perfect fit for a variety of dolls. You can easily see size differences by comparing the measurements of three popular 18-inch dolls:
- Madame Alexander ‘Girlz’
- American Girl Dolls
- Gotz ‘Precious Day Collection’
The lines drawn on the dolls in the photo above show exactly where to measure your dolls. American Girl dolls have become the standard for the proper fit of doll clothes patterns. But, if you measure first and adjust carefully, your doll clothes and doll accessories can fit most 18-inch dolls. Let’s compare.
Bust and Shoulders: One obvious difference among the three dolls is the bust measurement, which is quite a bit larger on the Gotz doll. But, her larger bust line is really caused by the width of her shoulders. The distance around her shoulders is a full inch larger than the American Girl doll… and 1-5/8 inches larger than the Madame Alexander doll.
Sleeve Length: The Madame Alexander doll has slightly longer arms, but because her shoulders are narrower, her sleeve length is almost identical to the American Girl doll. And, don’t forget the Gotz doll’s wide shoulders. Even though the Gotz arms are the same length as the American Girl, you have to increase her sleeve length if you don’t increase the width of the shoulders on the doll clothes patterns.
The American Girl doll has bigger hips and a more rounded bottom. She also has a shorter, thicker neck than the other dolls. When you’re making tight pants or boots, remember the Gotz doll has larger, 5-1/2 inch calves. (Although it’s not shown here, the older American Girl dolls also have 5-1/2 inch calves.) All the dolls’ heads and feet are almost identical in size. Their inseams are similar enough to make their pant lengths the same.
So, even if you’re sewing for just one doll, always measure your doll. Then, measure the doll clothes patterns and compare each area. If you’re making doll clothes to sell, or if you own several different 18-inch dolls, you’ll need to make a few alterations so the clothes will fit all the various dolls. Begin by using this chart.
For all of the dolls to wear the same clothes, cut the doll clothes patterns large enough to fit the biggest measurement in each body area. For example, make sure the bust fits a doll that measures 12-1/8 inches; the waist 10-1/2 inches; and the hips 12-1/4 inches. Remember to add a small amount to each measurement for ‘ease,’ unless you want the dolls’ clothes to be skin-tight.
Until we talk again, this information should get you started using doll clothes patterns to create a wardrobe that fits almost all of your 18-inch dolls perfectly.