During one of our workshops at the beginning of the summer holidays, we made simple hand-stitched skirts for dolls that can be tailored to fit any type of doll. During the workshop, we made them to fit both our Betty Buttons Simplicity doll and the American Girl dolls which some of our attendees brought along.
To make our skirt you will need:
- Fabric that will fit comfortably around your chosen Doll’s waist, then allow more if you would like a gathered skirt & allow 1cm extra for seams/hems
- Length of ribbon which will fit around waist and tie into a bow
- Embroidery thread (we use Coton a Perle 08)
- Pins & needle, tape measure, safety pin,
- An adult to help you with an iron
First of all, cut your material using your doll as a guide. You need to ensure that the material fits comfortably around the waist and then allow at least 1cm seam allowance. If you would like a fuller/more gathered skirt then add on more on the sides. You also need to allow at least 2cm for the bottom hem and 3 or 4cm for the top waistband.
Next carefully iron 1cm up on the bottom hem and then turn again a further 1cm and press and pin. Turn down 1cm on the top waist band and then a further 2cm or 3cm (depending on the width of your ribbon). This also needs to be pinned to keep in place whilst you stitch.
Threading your needle with your chosen embroidery thread, stitch a simple running stitch along the length of the bottom hem. You could of course also neatly hem the edges with hemming stitch, but we liked the look of the embroidered running stitch in a strong bold colour! Try to keep your stitches in a straight line and stitch close to the top of the folded hem. Do the same with the top waistband but you must make sure that you really do stitch close to the hem fold so that your ribbon will be easily threaded through.
Then fold in half with the right sides together and pin the raw edges together. This will be the back seam. Draw a line for your 1cm seam allowance and mark with a dot a point 2/3rds of the way up from the bottom of the skirt leaving the last third open.
Starting at the bottom of the skirt, back stitch the sides together, finishing off with a neat finish stitch at the 2/3rds point. Once you have pressed out the side seam, turn the skirt the right way around.
Attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon and thread it through the waistband from one open end until the other. Then dress your doll in the skirt, take out the safety pin and gather the skirt and tie into a neat bow. Voila! a simple hand-stitched skirt! Or you could make the skirt longer and the doll could wear it as a strapless dress, using different fabrics you could create a whole wardrobe of clothes fit for a queen.
Here are some photographs from the doll’s skirt workshop