It’s really difficult finding patterns for small dolls that aren’t knitted, crocheted or just the wrong size. Equally it can be hard finding free patterns in the exact right size you need so I’m going to show you how I do it!
Here are two outfits. One is a shirt dress for Dolly (12 inches) and one is diaper shirt and bloomers set for Daisy (21 inches) .
Both were made using this pattern: PAT023_blouse_chouquette you can use my link by clicking the words and will take straight to the pdf the page it’s from is in french so you do need basic sewing knowledge of constructing clothes. As you can see I made two very differently sized items from same pattern.
First download the pattern. It’s important you download and reopen in a pdf reader and not just on the internet as you will need the option to resize it on screen. I will add at this point I have no printer and I draw my patterns off the screen. To date it has worked and I will show you at the end how I do this. If you have access to a printer you can test different percentages using same method to check sizing.
Next you need your doll’s chest measurement. Dolly’s is 23 cm. As this is a flared out style the chest measurement is fine. However if it’s a straighter style make sure the widest part (waist or hips) matches up too.
Now taking the measurement halve it and halve again so you’ve 1/4 measurement of the chest. For Dolly this is 5.75 cm. Now take into account you will need seams and add 1 cm to this and round to nearest cm. 5.75 + 1 = 6.75 rounded to 7 cm. If you want an easier fit you can add extra. bear in mind if you add 1 cm to the chest to make it baggier once you’ve cut it out on the fold you’ll have added an extra 2 cm to front or back and 4 cm overall as the first pattern piece is one fourth of complete item.
Also bear in mind the rounding up adds extra and my rounding up added extra 1 cm overall 0.25 x 4 = 1.00.
Now you need to play with your percentages until that chest measurement is 1/4 of your dolls. The chest measurement is measured directly under the armpits.
Once you’ve achieved this you can draw the pattern out. You can use the other parts for different things. Provided the chest measurement is correct the sleeves and other sections will be too. You can reuse the sleeve part for different projects just make sure to lengthen if needs be. You can straightened off the bodice to use for dresses or less a line style. For Dolly I measured from her neck to knees and carried on the bodice line past the hem line using a ruler.
To draw off a pattern successfully when you do have the correct size is easy.
I am using the free June bug dress pattern in size 2T as my example. Click the dress name for pattern link and visit Craftiness is not Optional for the tutorial.
Again adjust your percentages but this time instead of measuring chest you are comparing the width of an A4 sheet of paper to the screen. For me this is 90%. You know have the option to download patterns and not be restricted to paper patterns, if you’ve the patience.
Watch out for my post where I use the junebug dress to make the girls matching dresses.