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?


  1. Somewhere about this time last year I saw a similar tute. except it was for doll diapers. It got used so much over the year! I'm adding this to my list too!

  2. I can't tell you how great it was to find this pattern/instructions!! It was FIRST attempt at sewing anything and they turned out beautifully! It gave me the confidence I needed to get started on a great new hobby! I made these for a 15 in Waldorf doll. I will be trying out the t-shirt tonight! Any other of the doll clothes patterns you are able to share would be greatly appreciated. :) Thanks Tricia

  3. Tricia - thanks so much for your enthusiastic comments! It made my day knowing my tutorial was so well received! And you reminded me that I do have more doll clothes tutorials to share (I forgot over Christmas). Good to know the pants fit other dolls too as I'm not sure how popular Cabbage Patch Kids are!

  4. Adorable pants, I am so glad I found your tutorial. I'm making pants for my 20 inch hand-painted cloth doll.

  5. I made these for a 15 in Waldorf doll. I will be trying out the t-shirt tonight..

  6. I've been learning a lot about this dolls. It's easy to take a child out to the mall, snatch a pricey doll off the shelves, and pay for it at the register. But will it be memorable for the child? Another way to approach the situation is to take the time to sit down with them and make a simple yarn doll and this blog could be a good tool for it, isn't? 23jj

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  8. Thanks so much! This was so easy to follow. I made some matching pants for my daughter and her doll. They turned out so cute and were so easy! I appreciate it!

  9. Thanks a lot. This tutorial helped me so much. I just wanted to do it but didn't know how.