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Page 5d. How to Hand Sew Doll Bodies and Clothes &
How to Make a Lined Bodice

Costume & Clothing

Susan Kramer
Dolls sitemap with many patterns
Doll dress designed and made by Susan Kramer

5. Attach Lace to Finished Side of Skirt Hems
5. Contrasting Top Stitch
5a. Decorative Edging Stitch
5a. Decorative Stitching on Ribbon Trim
5b. Horizontal Trims
5b. How to Attach Lace and Ribbon to Sleeves
5c. How to Attach Lace to Underside of Skirt Hems
5c. How to Gather Skirts
5d. How to Hand Sew Doll Bodies and Clothes
5d. How to Make a Lined Bodice
5e. How to Make a Ribbon Waistband
5e. How to Make Contrasting Panels in Skirts
5f. How to Make Rolled Hems
5f. How to Sew Skirt to Bodice
5g. How to Sew On Sticky Tape Closures
5g. Press then Sew Doll Clothes
5h. Ribbon and Lace Collars
5h. Stand Up Collars
5i. Vertical Trim
5j. Circle Skirts

  • 5d. How to Hand Sew Doll Bodies and Clothes

    I recommend sewing doll bodies and their clothes by hand for ease of manipulating the small pieces and for a finished quality look.

    I hand sew all most of my dolls and their clothing using either one strand of quilting or buttonhole thread. If the doll is not going to have much rough use you could also use cotton / polyester thread which is less expensive. Be sure to double your strand of yarn when sewing with it, though.
    Doll Clothes Patterns by Susan Kramer
    I knot the thread on the underside of seams where it will not be seen. When at the end of a thread and have made my knot I cut the thread leaving one quarter inch hanging just incase the knots loosen.

    I keep in mind that my grandkids will be putting these clothes on and off their dolls and stuffed animals, so make the sewing as strong as possible.

    Another hint for your handsewn items is keep an outfit all together in a half gallon size clear ziplock bag.

    For embroidering features on doll faces and for embellishing clothing I use either 6-strand floss, or for a small design I separate a sewing length of floss in half so it is just 3 strands.

    To knot on yarn wigs I use either 4-ply wool or acrylic yarn. My recommendation here is to make sure your choice of yarn for wigs washes nicely, so you can use the washing machine to launder the whole doll.

    Article and photo credit Susan Kramer

    5d. How to Make a Lined Bodice

    Cut out 2 sets of bodice pattern pieces - one set will be the lining. The entire bodice is lined.
    Doll dress bodice; photo credit Susan Kramer
    With right sides of back and front bodice facing, sew together at shoulders. Press seam open. Repeat for lining.

    See illustration.

    Align the good side of bodice to the good side of bodice lining and sew along all edges except lower edge.

    Clip curves, turn inside out and bring front and back side seams just together to abut seams.

    Blind stitch front of bodice to back of bodice at these side seams.

    Try to make tiny stitches when you are sewing by hand so the seams do not pull apart. I find this is a concern with some of my doll clothes making on very small pieces of clothing.

    If you are sewing by machine set the tension to 12 stitches per inch. This is a tight enough stitch so it won't pull out and at the same time large enough to get a seam ripper into if you have to open a seam.

    Another concern on curved seams is the clipping at one quarter to one half inch intervals. Be sure not to clip into the seam as you will be left with a hole at that part of the seam, and end up having to make your seam larger to repair it.

    Unfortunately, with my eyesight not what it used to be I have to be extra careful clipping curves.

    I remember my home economics teacher paying close attention to the way we clipped the curved seams on our boat neck blouse!

    Article and photo credit Susan Kramer

    Books for teaching toddlers to teens by Susan Kramer - ballet, rhythmic dance, meditation and yoga, kinesthetic lessons, crafts

    All doll reviews and content on this site are copyright Susan Kramer
     and may not be copied in any manner without express written permission.

    How to Sew Cloth Dolls and Costumes plus Traceable Patterns
    Book by Susan Kramer
    How to Sew Cloth Dolls and Costumes by Susan Kramer
    Medium Doll Clothes
    with Full Size Patterns
    Ebook by Susan Kramer
    Medium Doll Clothes with Full Size Patterns - ebook by Susan Kramer

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    page updated March 14, 2009
    Dolls sitemap with many patterns