Doll clothes are great for busting those teeny-tiny fabric pieces in your stash, and this postage stamp doll skirt is an especially good stash-buster.
Postage stamp quilt squares work well for doll clothes, as their small size looks just right on a doll. When you sew for dolls, you’ll find that many fabric prints, and especially novelty fabric prints, just don’t look right when sewn into doll clothes–those teddy bears on a blue background that look just fine on your kid’s pjs can look absurdly huge on his doll’s pjs. Your kid won’t care, of course, but it might bother you.
It certainly bothers me!
Okay, the Type-A sewing rant is over, except to point out that whether or not it bothers you, you won’t have that problem with a postage stamp doll skirt. No matter the fabric’s print, those 1″ squares are just the right size to work as patchwork on everything from a Barbie to an American Girl.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this particular postage stamp doll skirt:
wrap doll skirt tutorial and pattern. I use the wrap skirt pattern from You Can Make This, and it is my absolute favorite doll skirt pattern EVER. It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s cute, and it’s reversible!
Feel free to substitute your own favorite skirt pattern, if you’d like, but you’re going to have a lot of seams going on with the postage stamp pieces, so make the pattern a simple one.
postage stamp quilt blocks. Follow my postage stamp quilt tutorial to sew some postage stamp quilt blocks to get you started. Be careful, though–it’s addictive!
sewing and cutting supplies.
1. Prep your pattern and fabric. If you haven’t done so already, familiarize yourself with your doll skirt pattern, ideally by sewing it up in another fabric. I have sewn this particular wrap skirt so many times that it’s ridiculous.
For the fabric, you’ll want enough postage stamp quilt blocks to cut out the entire pattern. The easiest way to do this is to sew the blocks together until you’ve essentially made yourself a piece of new fabric large enough to work with. You can see in the photo above, for instance, that I’ve laid out a row of postage stamp quilt blocks that is two blocks tall by four blocks wide. I decided that if I was very careful, I could *just* squeeze the skirt onto this, and I pretty much could.
You’ll also certainly have some waste when you cut the skirt out, so another trick that you can do if your fabric is almost, but not quite, enough is to cut out what you can of the skirt, then sew the waste pieces onto the skirt ends and trim them to fit the pattern. I did this at both corners of the skirt, actually rounding one corner, and you can’t tell anything strange about it.
2. Cut out the skirt pattern and sew according to the directions of the doll skirt tutorial. Once you have your skirt cut out of the postage stamp fabric, you can sew it as your tutorial dictates, although you may find that all the seams require a longer stitch.
I especially like this wrap skirt because, since it’s reversible, I can sew one side with a fun print, and the other side plain. To back this VERY busy patchwork pattern, then, I chose a plain blue cotton. I stitched it and turned it and ironed it–
–and then, varying from the tutorial’s instructions, I edge stitched all the way around it, because I prefer that look to edge stitching only along the top.
If you’d rather not make doll clothes out of these postage stamp quilt blocks, you can, with just a little more effort, make an actual doll-sized quilt from them. Just sew them together as in Step 1 (2×4 is a good set of dimensions for a doll quilt), then cut out a second piece of fabric of the same dimensions. Sew them right sides together with an opening for turning, turn the quilt right side out and iron it, then edge stitch around it, catching the opening and sewing it closed as you go.
Soon your kid’s doll will have all the patchwork accessories that it needs!