Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pattern Review: Simplicity 4297 (18'' Doll Clothing)

      I made doll clothes for a gift to our niece this past Christmas. She enjoys a particular 18'' doll company whose prices, in my opinion, were...well, ridiculous. Instead, I decided to sew an outfit, and hope and pray that my modest take on doll clothes would be equally acceptable.  The project started out as just one outfit, but I was enjoying the cute materials and outfit pieces that I ended up making the entire (minus the pajamas) pattern package! I worked on the project for about four days. I'm not the most experienced at sewing, and so the tiny pieces were a bit challenging initially but got easier with repetition. They also taught me a lot! 

       The pattern instructions were easy to follow. I was surprised at how easy it was to attach yokes to the skirts and set in the sleeves to the tops and jacket. The hardest part of constructing the pieces was definitely attaching the thin strips of Velcro to the backs. I never want to use Velcro ever again. I fought to get it sewn on, but in the end I left the poor work quality as is. (My sister-in-law is also learning to sew, and so I decided that I'd send the Velcro work as is and if need be she can attempt to reattach it). It absolutely wan't the best of solutions as I hated sending it imperfect, however, doing so was better than allowing frustration to develop ugliness in me and my home. In the future, I'll probably just use snaps. snaps I can handle. haha

       As far as the fabric, I selected a variety of cottons, fleece and flannel. Although I think the fleece and flannel worked, I was concerned about their ability to stretch sufficiently around the doll's head. A knit would probably have been much better for the hoodie piece. I loved the patterns of the cottons. I went for more mature patterns and styles in the fabrics, even though they were for doll clothes. The cashier at the fabric store was rather surprised when I said that the material was for doll clothes. Dolls can be modern and stylish in their wardrobe too! haha! (At least, I hope that's how my niece views the outfits as opposed to the other perspective which is that they and I have a boring style. haha!). It was really nice to only need pretty small amounts for each piece, which allowed me a greater selection of fabrics that would have otherwise had been too expensive (like the tweed for the jacket). 

Green patterned poncho with denim skirt. So cute! I think this little outfit would also make a good kids clothes outfit. hmm..

     Print skirt with a fleece long sleeve shirt. Perhaps my least favorite outfit. It just lacked pizzazz. Perhaps a little mid-waist belt? I don't know. I'm sure my niece will be able to come up with a creative way to style it better. 

     Pleated plaid skirt and maroon hoodie sweatshirt. I added a pocket to the front to give it more of an actual hoodie look. I really liked the tiny little front pocket!

     Printed paisley skirt with teal long sleeve top. I added the trim to the bottom. I orginally intended to use bias tape, but couldn't find any that matched. Then, I figured out that I could make my own using the scrap left over from the top. (I really, really like this skirt print! I'm tempted to make me one. haha)

      Lined tweed jacket with fully pleated khaki skirt. I saved the most complex piece for last. This jacket came out really cute, but was definitely the piece that made me feel like I had lost my mind in tackling this project all together. Four days of sewing doll clothes ending with setting sleeves of a tweed jacket involving a lining, interfacing and tweed material. Oh my. I do love the look of the outfit though. haha 

*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of Simplicity Pattern Co. and was not asked or compensated for this review. (I just enjoyed working with the pattern :))


  1. Cute! I am getting ready to make a few outfits for my daughter as she's turning 4 this Friday and asked for doll clothes for her dolly. I have made several outfits for my oldest daughter's American Girl dolls. They're fun to put together...and fast too!

    I'm hosting my Homemaking Linkup Weekend and would love to have you join, if you haven't already!

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

  2. I learned to sew by making doll clothes! And using the simplicity patterns!

  3. Adorable! My eldest niece is just really starting to get into American Girl dolls and I agree - the pricing is outrageous! I'd much rather be able to give her several outfits like this than 1 from the store. Thanks for sharing the pattern!

  4. Oh my! How cute those dolls clothing are. But I especially love the printed paisley skirt with teal long sleeve top. But is it easy to make those patterns? I love to make one for my niece too.

    1. The patterns were fairly easy to sew. The hardest part for me was the velcro. I don't think I got a single piece of velcro sewn in correctly. I'd rather put snaps or buttons on everything because they're so much easier to sew. haha. The paisley skirt is probably my favorite too. I was tempted to get more material and make a skirt for myself! haha.


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