Doll Clothes Patterns that Fit Perfectly

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:

  1. Madame Alexander ‘Girlz’
  2. American Girl Dolls
  3. 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.

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31 Responses

  1. Donna Says:

    I’m a new knitter looking for gift ideas for the granddaughters.

    Thank you for your posts!

  2. Jean Says:

    This is a great website. Gives a lot of information for making doll clothes.

  3. Sally Robertson Says:

    Thanks for the information on the measurements of the different dolls. This is so helpful when making doll clothes.

  4. EJVC Says:

    Thanks for this — I have an 18″ Gotz doll and it’s nice to have the precise measurements. I have made some Kirsten dresses/aprons for my dolly without alteration and they have fit fine — I found this at the AG Playthings website (I’m not affiliated, I just visited the site). They have reproductions of the original patterns issued by Pleasant Company for six of the dolls — I think they are Molly, Addy, Kirsten, Samantha, Felicity and Josefina. Anyway it’s a great resource if you sew and want to make some outfits. But they don’t have modern clothes and I like these for Julie, which my niece has. Maybe she’ll be gettting a hobo bag or rag scarf in the mail!

  5. PHAYDEN Says:

    Is anyone aware of a program/application/designer that will show how to take a child’s regular pattern (Simplicty 2876) and design a pattern just like it for an 18″ American Girl so that a type and her doll can dress alike this winter???

  6. Patty Tippens Says:

    looking for patterns for 24″ Madame Alexander vintage dolls. Help.

  7. admin Says:

    Hi Patty,
    I only make patterns for 18 inch dolls. Sorry. Maybe one of the blog readers will know of something.
    Peggy

  8. Victoria Sullivan Says:

    “Is anyone aware of a program/application/designer that will show how to take a child’s regular pattern (Simplicty 2876) and design a pattern just like it for an 18″ American Girl so that a type and her doll can dress alike this winter???”

    Well, I know a way, but it is neither cheap nor easy. Livingsoft.com sells a program called Dress Shop. The whole program is pretty expensive, but they do sell Doll Shop, which comes with measurements for the most popular dolls and costs $99. You select the doll size you want, then choose the design that is most like the child’s pattern you have. Trouble is, I don’t know what designs are included if you just buy Doll Shop.

    Cheaper would be to look in the pattern books for a doll pattern similar to the design you have, then alter it to match the child’s pattern. Or you can look on ebay, as there have been a number of “Dolly and Me” type patterns published over the years. Good Luck!

  9. Marilyn Says:

    I bought a Madame Alexander “Girlz” doll at Costco for myself to make doll clothes for my Grandneice’s American Girl doll. I am very happy with the Madame Alexander doll. She is well made and and better qualilty than the Amnerican Girl doll. She has nicer hair and a prettier face. She was only $25 compared to the $100 plus that the American doll cost. Thank you for your website. I made a good decision.

  10. pam Cortez Says:

    I read where you give us the locations on where to measure the dolls for the patterns but what do I do with this information on the pattern. When looking at my pattern piece how do I adjust it to fit my doll?

  11. admin Says:

    Pam,
    It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If your doll is an American Girl doll, the patterns on this site should already fit. If she’s some other kind of doll, measure your doll and compare her measurements to the measurements of the American Girl dolls listed in this blog post. For example, if your doll is one inch smaller in the waistline, make the pattern one inch smaller in the waistline.

    Since I really don’t know what you’re trying to do, the safest way for you to proceed is probably to cut a garment out of scrap fabric using your pattern, then sew it up and try it on your doll to determine where to make the alterations.
    Peggy

  12. Stampcos Says:

    This is very helpful, thank you. Do you know the measurements for two other 18″ dolls, Today’s Girl and Favorite Friends? I sew for granddaughters’ AG dolls but wondered if they might enjoy one of the less expensive dolls for ‘friends.’

  13. admin Says:

    Stampcos,
    I don’t own a Today’s Girl or Favorite Friends doll, so I can’t give you the measurements. Sorry.

    However, I would stick with dolls that can wear the AG clothes without alteration. Then all the dolls can wear all the clothes. It will be much easier for you and more fun for the girls at play-time.
    Peggy

  14. Donni Says:

    Thank you for a terrific website! Your patterns are great, what fun for granddaughters and grandmas too!

  15. Pauline Says:

    I absolutely love your patterns. They are really creative. Your blogs are very informative. Thanks for sharing.

  16. ljg456 Says:

    Thanks so much for this wonderful contribution. I am knitting AG clothes and didn’t have the measurements. I have linked this site to one of my finished objects on Ravelry (I found your link through an American Doll group on Ravelry).

  17. Kelly Says:

    Thx for the measurements! I love sewing clothes and I don’t have many patterns for my AG doll, Felicity. This helps me a lot! Thx again!

  18. Evelyn Morrell Says:

    Thank you so much for the help in the measurements for the AGD. I have just started knitting clothes for her for my 3 granddaughters. Having fun,

  19. Lynn Says:

    I was shopping at Michael’s in the section where they have felt rectangles. They had a brown one that was embossed with a pattern, like I’ve seen on women’s leather purses. I thought this would be perfect for my hobo bag! They had other colors and patterns also. Never saw this before, but I haven’t looked at felt in a long time!

  20. admin Says:

    Lynn,
    Look at the fringed knee boots that come with the “Hoodie” pattern. They are made from black embossed felt. I really enjoyed using it. …So easy to sew. Felt shoes are great.
    Peggy

  21. Grandma Says:

    Dear Stampcos,
    My Favorite Friends doll measurements are as follows:
    bust 11 1/8″
    waist 10 3/8″
    hips 11 5/8″
    foot 2 1/2 by 1 3/8″

  22. Laura Says:

    Do any of you know the measurements for the Dollie and Me 18″ dolls made by Madame Alexander? Thanks!

  23. westies Says:

    Can anyone tell me the measurement, on the AG doll, from neck to back of the knees? I’m knitting dresses for my granddaughters dolls. They are in R.I. and I’m in N.C.. They are a complete surprise so I don’t want to ask parents for the additional measurement.
    Thanks in advance for any help.
    westies

  24. admin Says:

    Westies,
    It’s 9 inches from the top of the cloth body (at the center-back neck) to the back of the knees.
    Peggy

  25. Abigail Says:

    thank you! the AG clothes r very expensive! now i can MAKE some clothes for my soon to come AG doll!

  26. carol Says:

    Awesome site! THANKS!! My girls have AG BITTY TWINS.. well they will be getting them later this month. Does anyone have measurements of those dolls? I’d love to adjust patterns so they can have more clothes when they arrive.
    Thanks,
    Carol

  27. Susan Mayhew Says:

    Here is another doll size chart:
    http://www.clothesbycarole.com/dollsizechart.html.

  28. Tawana Dreyer Says:

    Thanks so much for this website! It is absolutely wonderful! I am a beginner at sewing and these instructions are pretty easy to understand. My daughter has 10 AG dolls and will be receiving two more for her birthday in February. My husband is making her two sets of bunkbeds 7 dolls high for her birthday. I have been working on mattresses and bedding for her the beds. I usually buy her clothes from ebay because they are so expensive from AG but having been wanting to try my hand at trying to make some on my own. I can’t wait to get started on it all! Thanks again for sharing and helping to make things more affordable for parents/grandparents so the girls can have their dreams more easily met. You are wonderful with some VERY cute ideas! Can’t wait to see more!

  29. Kathleen Schwalb Says:

    I love your doll clothes and the way you give options. This chart of the different measurements is wonderful! Thank you for all of the fine details. I appreciate all of your hard work.

  30. admin Says:

    Tawana,
    Great job. Sounds like you’re having lots of fun. You guys are very ambitious!

    For safety, make sure you anchor the bunk-beds to the wall. If they’re 7 dolls high, they’ll get top-heavy and fall over easily.
    Peggy

  31. Pozycjonowanie www Says:

    Hey there! I’ve been following your web site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the good job!

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