For this pattern, it is important to maintain a consistent seam allowance of 3/8″
This shirt requires some type of closure. For more on that… scroll to the bottom of the page.
The smallest shirt can be made from 1/4 yard, while the largest will require 3/8 yard. I strongly recommend using upcycled materials. For the shirts pictured above, I used dress shirts that I bought at the thrift store for $3 each on sale.
If you are a beginner, use some cheap or free fabric to make the first one, at least. This pattern can be tricky for newbies, so don’t risk destroying good fabric on your first go. Give it a try!
Print the pattern:
Download and print the pattern Actual Size. To see how to do this, click here. If you are having difficulty finding your pattern, see Etsy’s directions here. If your pattern won’t download, check the security setting on your device.
Use the chart to print only the size you will be constructing to save ink and paper.
Cut the pattern along the solid black lines and assemble at the shaded areas.
Fold the collar piece in half, long ways, and press well. Sew the ends with 3/8″ seam allowance and trim the points. Turn right side out, press well, and set aside.
Place the Fronts on the Back and pin the shoulders. Sew with 3/8″ seam allowance.
Open the bodice and pin the collar to the neckline, starting with the notch a the center of the back. Baste the collar to the neckline close to the raw edge (not a 3/8″ seam allowance).
Pin back facing to the bodice and sew using 3/8″ seam allowance.
Pin the back facing to the neckline. Match the notches first. Fold the neckline in half and make sure it is even (ie: there is equal space from collar point to facing fold on both sides).
Sew the facing to the bodice using 3/8″ seam allowance. Trim the points and turn right side out. Press well.
Pin the facing to the bodice. This is important to do before sewing in the sleeves! The facing will be sewn into the sleeve seams to prevent it from riding up while on the doll.
Sleeves can be tricky, and everyone has their own way of approaching them. My approach is to guide the sleeve into place while in the machine, always sewing with the sleeve on top of the bodice. For me, it is easier to do this than to pin it before sewing. Sew in the sleeve how ever is most comfortable to you. The notches should relatively match a the back of the bodice and the piece should fit nicely without extra sleeve or bodice a the armpits.
the facing should be sewn into the sleeves at the shoulders.
Use the shirt to measure for the length of the sleeve. You could also measure from the armpit to the cuff with a measuring tape to determine the length needed for the sleeve. Use whatever method is most comfortable to you. Mark the length of the sleeve with a pin and fold the cuff. You may choose to trim the excess fabric before pressing. Press the cuff into place on the wrong side of the fabric and sew into place.
With right sides facing, sew the side seams using 3/8″ seam allowance.
Fold up the bottom of the shirt, with wrong sides facing, and sew a hem. You may choose to measure on the doll for the appropriate length. Be sure to press down the hem the entire length of the shirt, but when sewing, fold in the facing as shown in the circled areas in the picture below.
Choose a closure that is appropriate for the use of your garment. Keep in mind that buttons can create a choking hazard for little ones. Closures can be tricky for beginner sewists, and I encourage you to close up your garment in a manner that is most comfortable to you. If your machine has a buttonholer and you are comfortable using it, then make button holes and sew on buttons.
For this tutorial, I used the buttons that came with the shirt I deconstructed for fabric. I use a lot of upcycled materials, and always cut off the closures and save them in a jar.
The tiny collar and cuff buttons on shirts make good buttons for the smallest shirt sizes (particularly the 10″ doll).
Hook and Loop Tape Closure:
For this tutorial, I made a closure from hook and loop tape and sewed button to the outside. I will admit that I am not skilled with buttonholes, so this was the easiest substitute for me. On a side note, buttonholes with buttons are great for fine motor skills (occupational therapy), but again, they can pose a choking hazard, so use caution when using any buttons.
For the tape option, cut a length shorter than the front closure. Apply the tape a distance from the collar points and end before the hem. This will allow the collar to fall nicely from the neckline and not bind the waistline.
I chose to apply buttons to the outside for aesthetic appeal. For the smaller sizes, the buttons were placed 2 cm apart. I used a ruler and marked the distance with chalk before sewing on the buttons. Because the hook and loop tape is very stiff, I used a thimble to save my fingers from needle sticks.
This pattern can be a little tricky for beginners, so I recommend using upcycled fabric for a the first try. If you use an old men’s dress shirt, you could make more than one to get used to the pattern before buying fabric for a more formal piece. Try using an overlock to shore up the raw edges, if you are so inclined. The result will be a more professional finish, but it isn’t necessary for home use of the garment.