I hesitate to call this a tutorial, because it’s pretty simple, but I couldn’t think of a better phrasing. Tutorial it is!
For reference, the doll shown is approximately 15 inches high — she is the Baby Stella from Manhattan Toy.* American Girl dolls are only 3 inches taller, so I think this would work well for them too! The (adorable) girl wears 5T clothes.
- Skirt pattern
- Package of bias tape (single fold is shown here, double fold would work fine as well) — 40″ required for girl’s skirt, 25″ required for doll’s skirt
- Coordinating or contrasting thread
- Fabric – Girl’s skirt requires a rectangle 30″ long X 18″ high — Doll’s skirt requires a rectangle 20″ long X 12″ high
- Sewing machine or needle to hand sew
- Pinking shears or scissors
Steps for the skirt:
1. Download the awesome, free printable pattern from The Selfish Seamstress’ blog here.
2. Print and tape the pattern! When you hit ‘print’ you should see an option for scaling ( as opposed to ‘print actual size’ or ‘fit to paper’). For the doll skirt, type in 50% and for the child skirt, type in 75%. This adjusts the size.
3. Fold your fabric in half, with the selvages matched up, and lay the skirt pattern on the fold. Cut out! I prefer to not use weights or pins and just go carefully around with a rotary cutter.*
I also pinked the waist edge, which will help make it stronger and last longer.
4. Finish the edge of your skirt. There are many ways to do this, and it’s important because otherwise your fabric could unravel when washed or worn. I used my Brother 1034D serger to do a rolled hem, pulling slightly as it fed through for a cute little ruffle. I followed the tutorial at lbg studio with great results! You can also pink the edge, or turn it under and hem it. The Scientific Seamstress has a great hemming printable that I laminated and use.
5. Prepare your bias tape. Cut a 40″ piece for the girl’s skirt and/or a 25″ piece for the doll’s skirt. I cut a triangle on each end so I could iron it in without any awkward edges hanging out when it’s sewed in half. Iron the creases out of the bias tape.
6. Fold your bias tape and skirt in half, pinning or clipping the two together. Then draw the bias tape along the edge, pinning at the ends of the skirt and leaving the excess hanging off as ties.
7. Sew your bias tape in half! Bias tape has one edge that is slightly shorter so you can sew through it and catch the other side, so position that edge facing up. Quick and easy, starting from one folded edge to the next. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end so it doesn’t pull apart.
8. Admire! You’re done!
I have made a few of these at ‘regular’ size for my older nieces and some of the smaller ones for my younger niece! They are so easy and fun. I’ve adjusted the pattern slightly to fit scraps I had; knit fabric already has its own stretch and bounce so the shiny, gold fabric was cut different to match the piece of fabric I bought from the remnant bin.
Naturally, I tried one on over my sweatpants. Classy!
I hope you whip some of these up as presents this year!