Looking back at one of my favorite posts!! Next time you get ready to throw away something you have outgrown or send it to the thrift store, take a closer look at how you might be able to up-cycle it into some new clothes for your dolls. Most clothing items have at least one or two nice finished hems and in many cases the hem is tall enough for you to feed a piece of elastic or ribbon through to make a waistband. I made two new items for our dolls in about 10 minutes and now we can continue to enjoy two of Natalie’s favorite dresses even though she has outgrown them.

No sew doll top

Isn’t this top for McKenna just adorable? It started as a dress Natalie wore in Kindergarten. I love the colors and the stripe is fun, too. This dress actually had two hems in the bottom of it – the striped material was hemmed and the dark pink was hemmed too. At first I ran my elastic through the pocket that the pink material made but I didn’t like the finished look. Then I ran the elastic through the smaller hem pocket and couldn’t be happier with McKenna‘s new top. It looks great paired with white capris and is definitely a way of giving an old dress a new life!

How to make a no sew doll top

To make a top like this – remember every piece will be a bit different – start with a dress or top that is no longer in use.

  • Step 1 – Hold the material up against  your doll to determine how long you want it and where to cut.
  • Step 2 – Cut across the material and up each side to make sure there is an opening to your hem pocket on each side.
  • Step 3 – Attach a safety pin to a piece of elastic so you can thread it trough the hem pocket easily. If you are using elastic, measure around the part of your doll where the elastic will be and make sure you cut it just a bit smaller so the elastic has to work to stay up. If you are using a piece of ribbon, make sure you cut it long enough that you can tie it into a bow when you are done.
  • Step 4 – Thread the elastic or ribbon through the hem pocket and attach to the other side when done.
  • Step 5 – Adjust the gathers and place on your doll!

How to make a no sew doll skirt

You can easily use the same method to make a no-sew doll skirt! For Sonali‘s skirt, I used ribbon instead of elastic and tied it in the back.

Really there are no rules with this activity – except to check with your parents before you start cutting ANYTHING! You can use old leggings, t-shirts, dresses, skirts – just about anything – just use your imagination.

There is no printable today, but no worries, more are on the way!