Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Doll Pants Tutorial

This is the first tutorial in a series of doll clothes tutorials I am planning. All are sized to fit a Cabbage Patch Kid as I am planning to outfit my cousin's CPK in a new wardrobe for Christmas. Maybe you also know of a doll in need of some new clothes for Christmas? If you don't have a Cabbage Patch Kid in need of clothes fear not! This pattern should work for any soft doll about the same size (18" tall, 13" waist). The pants shown during this tutorial are flannel but I have sewn the pattern with knit, corduroy and denim with equal success. You won't need much material so raid your stash or use old clothes.

What you need:

  • Fabric - a small piece of any "pants" type fabric (i.e. probably not tulle).
  • Elastic - you don't have to get too particular, I used elastic that was 3/8" wide but use what you have on hand.
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Pins

Step 1:
Print off the pattern. It should fill a letter size (8 1/2 x 11") paper.

Step 2:
Cut two of the pattern on the fold of your fabric.

Step 3:
Unfold each leg so it's flat, fold up 1/2" of fabric from the bottom hem line and pin in place. Sew 1/4" from the fold to hem the pants. If you're used to sewing it will seem incredibly strange to be doing the hem first but it's much easier then trying to get a tiny pant leg sewn by machine!

Step 4:
Fold each pant leg in half, right sides together, pin the inseam (the seam from the crotch to the hem) and sew - starting at the hem and sewing up to the crotch.

Step 5:
Turn one pant leg right side out and slide it inside the other leg. Line up the open section and pin in place. Sew this U shaped seam (the turn at the bottom of the U is what I find trickiest!).

Step 6:
Almost there! Fold down the waistline to make the casing for the elastic. How deep your fold is depends on how wide your elastic is. I just eyeballed it but measure if you're unsure. Sew around the waist leaving a space wider then your elastic, and leaving an inch or so unsewn so you can get the elastic in! On these pants I marked the "Do Not Sew Area" with my fade fast marker.

Step 7:
Measure around your doll's waist with the elastic. I make a little mark at this point rather then cutting the elastic. This makes it a lot easier to keep the end from disapearing into the waistband casing! Attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and thread through. Remove the safety pin, cut the elastic where you made the mark and sew elastic ends together, making sure the elastic hasn't got twisted in the casing somehow.

Step 8:
Stretch the waistband a bit to get the sewn ends tucked into the casing and sew the final inch along the waistband casing. Try to line this seam up with the one you did before. Turn the pants right side out and you're done! Dress your doll in their new pants and admire how cute they look.

General notes:

  • I used a 1/4" seam allowance for all seams and backstitched at each end of each seam.

  • If you want to add trim to the bottom of jeans (or other pants) do this after you sew the hem, at the end of Step 3.


There are a couple things you can do to make these pants even faster to sew by utilizing existing seams and hems on garments.

  • Cheat #1: Cut your pattern along the hem of a T-shirt eliminating the need to sew a hem.

  • Cheat #2: Cut your pattern out of two sleeves of a T-shirt, eliminating the hem and the inseam sewing! Basically you cut a chunk off the end of the sleeve, cut the little U shaped bit and go right to Step 5.

Next time we'll sew a top to go with the pants. Can't have our dolls running around topless can we?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend Find

This weekend I was at the library's annual book sale. I only had about 20 minutes to look which isn't really long enough to fully explore all they had to offer. I spent a fair amount of time looking through the boxes of sheet music and found this:

I was quite excited - I love the long dances on Jane Austen movies (particularly the BBC versions of Pride & Prejudice and Emma) and this book has the sheet music as well as the instructions for the dance! What fun! Now I need a dozen people or so to do the dances with. It's been interesting reading through and trying to figure it all out. Some of the steps are self-explanatory: "Turn Single" for instance is a dancer making a whole turn on their own. Some make less sense. "The Single" - On the first beat of the bar a spring is made, forwards, or sideways, on to one foot, say the right; the left foot is then brought up beside it, the weight wholly or in part momentarily supported up on it, and, on the second beat of the bar, transferred to the right foot in position. Whew! I don't suppose I'll find a companion DVD, do you? A fair amount of experience in ballet and Irish dancing, as well as multiple viewings of Jane Austen films, has helped deciper all this.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Eek! Almost a month since my last post! Everytime I sign into Blogger I see that "last published" date and cringe. How did I get so far behind? I think it's one of those things that can be hard to catch up on once you get behind, "oh, I haven't blogged for a week, what would another few days matter" and so on and so on until you find it's been nearly a month since your last post! How do you stay motivated to blog? I'd love to hear your tips.

I have been doing some crafting in that time. Knitting some things for Christmas gifts. I'm not sure if I'll get through all the gift knitting I plan to do, I'm starting to feel a little behind and it's only October!

I sewed a "winter" Birdie Sling out of some lovely fabric from Michael Miller. ("Winter" meaning it's not white and flowery like my "summer" one.) This was the first time I've ordered fabric from the internet and I was very pleased with how it went. Mostly I plan to stick to shopping in person and at the local shops when I can, but I couldn't find anything that was just right for this bag so off to Etsy I went.

My big project this month has been sewing clothes for my cousin's Cabbage Patch Kid for her Christmas present (my cousin that is, not the doll)! It's still a work in progress as I keep thinking of other things I can make. By December the doll will be better dressed then I am! It's a lot of fun because it doesn't matter too much how the clothes fit (dolls don't complain about tight waistbands or short sleeves!) and the garmets are so quick to sew! Here's a picture of my Cabbage Patch Kids modelling pyjamas that are part of the present. (I did explain to them that they don't get to keep all these clothes they're trying on, don't want them getting too excited after all!)

I'm planning some tutorials for doll clothes in case you want to sew some too. I hadn't thought about that when I started so some may be text heavy with just a picture of the finished project but today I had the forethought to take pictures of the pyjama bottoms as I went so that will likely be the first tute - stay tuned!