Saturday, February 9, 2013

Save Money Sewing Your Own American Girl Doll Clothes!

My daughter LOVES American Girl dolls.  She received her first doll, Ruthie when she was only 6 years old.  This past Christmas we gave her, Molly. The only draw back to these dolls is the price of their clothing.  If you have ever looked through the pages of an American Girl catalog, then you know what I mean.  Most the dresses and outfits run between $24 and $32 a piece.  If you are like me, you don't even spend that much on outfits for yourself let alone a doll!  Well, there are ways around this dilemma.  There are some great online resources for free or almost free patterns for 18" inch doll clothes in a variety of fun styles.  One of my absolute favorites is a site called Liberty Jane Patterns. Liberty Jane carries a wide selection of AG doll patterns...everything from historical dresses, costumes, pants, tops, swimwear, etc.

 My daughter had a little bit of money and didn't know what to buy with it so I volunteered to sew her doll a dress if she bought the fabric.  She picked out the 1930's Vintage Inspired Dress pattern from Liberty Jane ($3.99) and we made a trip to JoAnn Fabrics.  

Pattern we chose.  

This was actually rather simple to make and you really can mix it up quite a bit to get a wide variety of styles.  It would even be easy to use the bodice part of the pattern to create a top and the skirt part of the pattern to make a separate skirt.

I used bias tape for the sleeve, trim, and hem edging and it made for a nice clean look to the finished dress.  The heart buttons gave it a fun touch and the matching headband completed the outfit.  After everything, this dress only cost about $4 (not including the pattern).

Next, I found a GOLD MINE of actual American Girl patterns for FREE!!! You can download the clothing collections for Molly, Felicity, Josephina, Addy, and Kirsten at

I made the school dress jumper and blouse for Molly. Although the patterns were easy to follow there were a lot of steps and so this set took me almost 14 hours to complete.  Final price was right at $5.50.  Awesome!

Now, if you have some old plaid fabric lying around you can make this outfit for virtually pennies.  We bought new fabric as we were trying to match the dress on the book. I am so pleased with how this turned out.  So cute!

 I made the blouse using  fabric from an old white cotton pillowcase.  The only thing I had to buy for it was the lace trim.

 I closed the back of the blouse and back of jumper with velcro for easy dressing.

I love the blouse!  It has a peter pan style collar trimmed in white cotton lace.  The sleeves are puffy and are trimmed with lace at the wrists.

 The wrists open with a velcro closure.  Here is a closer look to show the lace.

Do you have a young daughter who loves to sew?  I found this cute drawstring dress pattern for free at Liberty Jane Patterns.  My 10 year old daughter sewed one herself (with a bit of help from me) and it turned out so nice.  Liberty Jane has a whole section with free patterns.  Click here it take a look.

My daughter's drawstring dress.

This dress cost us nothing to make as we already had the fabric and ribbon on hand.  So, you see...dressing your American Girl doll does not have to break the bank!  

Where do you find clothes for your 18'inch dolls?  I would love to hear about the bargains you have found.  Please share.

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Daydream Doll Boutique said...

We off a lot of free and easy 18" doll patterns on our blog.
They are great for a beginner sewer.

HappilyDomestic said...

Oh yes, thank you! I did see some of your patterns awhile back. I love the apron and chefs hat pattern. Thanks for sharing! :-) I pinned some on my Pinterest page.

Michelle - Blessed Mom of 4 said...

Good job! I wish I could sew better, just don't have the time to figure it out right now. And your daughter did great too! I actually tried that pattern a couple years ago and failed. :) I will just have to stick with crocheting doll clothes for now!

Mindy said...

How fun! I pinned this. :)

HappilyDomestic said...

Thanks everyone! They were fun to make. :-)

Amanda Sikes said...

Our local Dollar Tree often has 18 inch doll clothes for $1 an outfit. When I find them I buy one of each.

Dianne said...

I have just started to teach my granddaughters to sew and we are making a simple dress for their American Girl Dolls. I found some cute accessories like shoes and glasses from Nancy's Notions online and they are a better price than the ones at the American Girl store.

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