Doll clothes patterns are easily adjusted before cutting to ensure a good fit for 18 inch dolls. It is very easy for a seasoned seamstress to quickly gauge size differences by comparing popular 18 inch dolls. If your kids own dolls from different companies and you do not want to take custom measurements for various patterns you can consult charts that contain measurements of popular doll brands. There are charts readily available with neatly cataloged measurements for most leading brands that sell both doll clothes and doll clothes patterns that just need to be sewn together!
Stitching for dolls is more of a challenge than stitching for children as dolls can be inflexible, requiring a thorough seam and plenty of margin to allow for rigid hands and legs. It is a good idea to backstitch and reinforce seams at stress points like underarms, hips and waist. Try to make plenty of allowance so that the clothes are a little roomy, this prevents tearing when children pull them on their dolls quickly and impatiently!
Choosing the right Pattern
Choose patterns that look good on a doll's exaggerated proportions, with a big head and a slim body and a short neck. A smaller size for little dolls calls for changes in the technique adopted and the material you pick. Use gently flowing fabric that is malleable and very easy to sew over bulky, stiff fabric that cannot be easily folded over or twisted for fancy styles. You should also be prepared to put in a lot of effort when hand stitching, as it is not always possible to stitch delicate fabric with your sewing machine. When you are piecing together a set-in sleeve for example, the arm's opening could be too small to put under your machine.
Tying up loose Ends
To finish raw edges after stitching the seam, zig-zag close to the fabric edge. This prevents the doll's clothes from falling apart when you run it in the washing machine or dryer. If you are using knit or polar fleece, you will have to finish the seam. Velcro is a great idea for fasteners, as they make it very easy to open and close the garment, even for small kids' fingers. Velcro is much easier to attach than delicate, fastidious snaps and can usually be found in clothing retail stores.
If you are having trouble stitching, place a thin sheet of paper under the piece of fabric and let it act as a stabilizer while you stitch. Once you are done you can pull out the paper.
The final Touch
As you choose a doll fabric for your 18 inch dolls keep in mind the desired color and texture of the doll outfit, occasion and the physique of the doll. Choose the right colors that will enhance the doll's eyes, hair and skin. The fabric you choose when sewing doll clothes is as important as the technique used.
Light weight, flowing, non-bulky fabrics made of cotton or polyester blends are best suited for doll fabric. It is best to stay clear of polyester knits as they are too thick and difficult to sew.
There are free doll clothes patterns that work for 18 inch dolls on many websites ready for be easy download. Just follow their simple instructions and doll up your princess’s best friend in the comfort of your home!
But if these don’t appeal to you, you can also make custom doll clothes with little tid bits available at home. Doll patterns are available through blogs, art, crafting and sewing websites, and most of these websites offer free downloadable versions that can be printed for reference.