Tuesday, December 10, 2013

American Girl Doll one seam skirt tutorial

Hi guys! Today we're participating in the Holiday Sewing Tour hosted by the lovely Jamie over at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom!

We've been loving watching all the amazing projects coming from the other bloggers in this tour! You guys need to go check this series out for sure if you're looking for some fantastic holiday sewing projects.

I (Jessica) knew that I wanted to go in a slightly different direction with our post for the tour. I decided to sew a gift that can be easily made with only one seam, and will make some little girl very, very happy! I'm going to show you how to sew a one-seam American Girl (or 18 inch doll) skirt like this one:

Hooray for cute AG doll photo shoots, am I right? Dolls are so easy to photograph, they stand so still and don't complain about the cold.

Doesn't Felicity look festive? This skirt is a doll-sized variation on our dress to skirt tutorial, and just takes some elastic and an old (or thrifted) skirt to make!

To start, you'll need to find yourself a baby or toddler sized skirt. This sequined beauty in a 9 month size was only $0.50 at the thrift store, and I knew it needed to become a doll skirt:

Isn't it perfect? When you're looking for a skirt to use, try and look for some small scale details to avoid overwhelming your doll, and look more "professional." A small pattern or embellishment (like these mini sequins) make for the perfect doll skirt.

In addition to the skirt, you'll need some 1/2 inch elastic, or some fold over elastic, which is what I chose to use for this project.

1. Lay your skirt over your doll, with the hem of the skirt where you want it to hit your dolls legs.
2. Fold the top of your skirt down to your doll's waist.
3. Using a pin, mark where your doll's waist is on the skirt.
4. Cut all the way across the skirt at the place where you marked and pinned. I cut the waistband off of my skirt first to make sure I got an even cut.

5. Take your 1/2 inch elastic (this is fold over elastic in pink) and measure around your dolls waist. Cut your elastic, adding about 1/4 to the length around your doll's waist. Using a zig-zag stitch, sew your elastic's ends together so that it becomes a circle (the waistband).
6. Lay out your skirt and your waistband elastic, with the waistband centered on your skirt piece.
7. Begin to pin your skirt into your elastic, making sure that you pin evenly all the way around.
8. Once you have pinned all the way around, it will look like the picture above. You will now sew your skirt to your elastic along the bottom edge of the elastic, using a zig-zag stitch. Make sure you stretch your elastic as you sew! Stretching will ensure you get a nice, evenly gathered skirt.

Now you're done! That was it, isn't that nice and easy?

With a project this quick, it would be easy to make several of these skirts to gift to any little girl and her doll!

Here's felicity enjoying her new skirt in the snow. Felicity desperately needs a coat! I feel guilty just looking at this pic. But doesn't she look pretty?

Thanks for checking out our little gift idea and tutorial! If you're looking for other gifts for the kids in your life, you can check out our round up of DIY gifts to make for children here. And don't forget to follow along with us for the Holiday Sewing Tour over at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom:


Yesterday's project was this super cute Christmas tree ornament tutorial from Sew Very:


And tomorrow you can stop by Sew Much Ado for this adorable mini stocking ornaments tutorial:


Hope to see you guys there, and Happy Holidays!

~Jessica & Hilary


  1. Shut the front door. This skirt is so cool, I know I'd wear one! Some of your refashions are above my level but this one, I know I'm going to do a million times:) btw, I'm loving the cute hat & scarf!!

  2. Such a cute skirt!! I've linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-easy-american-girl-doll-skirt-from-baby-clothes/2013/12/11/

  3. This really is too cute and I love that you used fold over elastic on the skirt... I was just noticing the other night that one of my favorite pair of pj bottoms were made with fold over elastic around the waist. I may have to try it too.
    Thanks for participating in the Holiday Sewing Tour!

  4. Really cute! I made some doll skirts out of some sleeve cuffs I cut off of a sweatshirt. I will be posting them soon.


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