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Sewing for Dolls is NOT the same as for people!   Different techniques are necessary to make everything smaller--seams, hems, decorations, and to reduce the bulk of the doll clothes so that they are in scale. girlsew.gif (14779 bytes) In fact, SCALE is the main consideration in sewing for dolls--if the print of a fabric is too big, or the fabric too stiff so that a dress doesn't fold correctly on a doll, the outfit will NOT work, no matter how fine the sewing techniques of the seamstress.

This page shall provide techniques and tips for sewing for small dolls, ESPECIALLY for small dollhouse size dolls and small all-bisques.


NATURAL FIBERS:   Use only natural  fibers.  No matter WHAT you do, synthetic fibers, and synthetic/natural fiber mixes will NOT hang naturally on a small doll. googly.jpg (4881 bytes) Use cottons, silks, maybe a fine linen, and for trim, use all-cotton laces, and all-silk ribbons.  Look at the little googly doll at the right--she is exactly 3 inches tall!!  Her dress is made entirely of china silk and very old, small lace trim.  She wears a bow of silk lace in her hair, and little silk shoes/  This dress would be impossible to create with a synthetic fiber; it would NOT fall on the doll correctly (it is hard to see in the picture, but her little dress is pleated!)

STABILIZER:  If you machine sew seams, it can be helpful to sew over a sheet of stabilizer (the lightweight kind, used for machine embroidery).   It will prevent your small garment from being caught in the needle opening on your machine, AND it will give you more control over the seam, hem, etc.

EXTRA SEAM ALLOWANCE:  If you need a REALLY tiny seam, you can hand sew it, OR give yourself an extra-generous seam allowance when cutting out the pattern pieces, and then, after machine sewing the item, trim the seam allowance down.

GLUE:  Sometimes, glue is the only solution for keeping the clothes of the  ultra-mini dolls in scale.   On the tiny googly, although the skirt is sewn, the sleeves are glued with a very small amount of tacky glue.  Also, the shoes are glued.  However, for long-term preservation and survival of ANY garment you sew for dolls, sewing is the safest method

FRAY CHECK:  When you are sewing the ultra-minis, this can be the ONLY solution for ravel control on unfinished ends of fabric.  I use a hypodermic needle to apply the THINNEST application; and be CAREFUL, since fray check can stain many fabrics, like silk.

/ Buttons for Dolls / Tips and Tricks

flowerd.gif (2304 bytes)See tips and tricks for small-scale doll sewing!

For more examples of very small-scale doll sewing, please see "Denise's Dolls!"


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