Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A 12" doll babygro: pattern and (very simple) tutorial

Remember the Merchant and Mills mantra?

'Sew cloth together patiently and with care for your industry will be rewarded beyond all measure.'

Well, it's true. My recent forays into sewing with wool and silk have convinced me of that.

And yet... sometimes the exceptions prove the rule, and here's another exception: 
dolls' clothes.

There are moments when dolls need new outfits in a hurry... and this babygro can be made from an old T-shirt during a toddler naptime. There are lots of very lovely, and more sophisticated doll clothes patterns out there, but not many for teeny-tiny dolls like this one, so I've included a template which will fit a 12" doll. I've made it using various knits, mostly harvested from the children's old clothes, and it seems quite forgiving in most fabrics.  

Here's what to do...

 Cut one babygro front (on the fold) and two babygro backs using this template. The back pieces have sticking-out-bits at the centre where they will overlap, and which I will call 'placket extensions' until I can come up with a more elegant or accurate description.

Stitch together the two back pieces - with right sides together and 1/4 inch seam allowances - starting the the base of the placket extensions, and pivoting to stitch down the centre back.

Press the seam to one side. This will naturally lead to the placket extension on one side folding back on itself, and the other side extending over it - perhaps the picture below will help to explain this a bit better.
It might be worth pinning them together at this stage to keep it all lying nicely.

Place the front and back pieces with right sides together, and mark the centre of the top (the blue pin in the photo below). Mark one inch either side (the two red pins). Stitch front and back together along the top seams, with 1/4" seam allowances, leaving an opening for the neck between your markers.

 Press the seam open, then fold and stitch a narrow hem at the ends of each sleeve (it's easier to do this before the next step, which will be stitching the side seams).

Now match front to back, right sides together, and stitch the side seams and inner leg seams, with the same 1/4" seam allowances as before.

 Add a press-on snap at the back of the neck. The snap will catch the folded upper edge and folded-over placket, and hold them in place.

You could even add another snap or two.  Or buttons.

(This is a felted wool version with more carefully finished edges.)

And it's done.  Here it is in real life, as it were...

Happy sewing!