Do you often have a hard time finding the perfect fabric for your doll projects? Find the right print but not in the right size or find the right size but not in the right fabric. At My Fabric Designs, you can choose ANY design from our Shop page or a design you have created and have it printed on any of the 27 fabrics we have to offer in the scale you need! You choose the print, the size, and the fabric! We even have a Project Creator, which we use in this tutorial to fill a single yard of fabric with an assortment of prints. Since dolls don’t need a ton of fabric, we made use of all the fabric to use on several projects!
What Kind of Doll Do You Have?
This is important as there is a wide range of doll styles and sizes. Below are some references of the more common styles ranging in height from 12″ – 24″. A smaller doll will likely require a simpler or tiny print in order for the design to be seen well, where a larger doll can accommodate a more detailed print and larger in scale. The great thing about custom printing your doll fabric is you can choose any design from our shop page and have it scaled down to work for almost any doll!
There is also the world of Ball Joint Dolls that should also be addressed. Check out our collage below to see a bit about the variety seen in these types of dolls. There are just SOOOO many styles, brands, and body proportions! The sizes alone look something like this: 1/12, 1/6 1/4, 1/3 scale, and larger. That’s only the height, there are different colors (natural and unnatural), body proportions, genders, and species! For those who are in this community of creators, you know!
Choosing a Pattern
You will want to measure the height of your doll and know the brand of the doll if available. If your doll isn’t a common brand then knowing the type of doll will help in searching for a sewing pattern: baby dolls, 18″ doll, ball joint doll, reborn dolls, barbie doll, Bratz, etc. Try to look around Google or Etsy to find a sewing pattern made to fit your type of doll in the style you are looking for.
We went to Etsy and searched for 18″ American Girl Doll Sewing Patterns and found this beauty by PemberleyThreads! To achieve this look, it was actually two different patterns, the Molly 1830’s dress + the Molly Sleeve Variation Pattern.
When looking for a print to use, we found this absolutely perfect Chintz Vine Teal Stripe by MariahPattie. Now when you first open this design, you will see its original design size which is too large for almost any doll. Using the scale function, which is represented by a Smaller & Bigger button in the Project Creator, we can shrink this print way down to a much more appropriate size for our doll.
Figuring out Fabric Usage
Before we jump into the Project Creator we need to figure how much fabric we will need to complete this project. Your pattern should come with an instruction sheet or PDF file that will tell you how much fabric is needed to complete that garment.
For this dress, our instruction sheets recommend we purchase a WHOLE yard of fabric! For a doll dress, this seemed like a bit much so we took a look at the cutting guide that was supplied as saw that with a better layout we would use less fabric! We printed our pattern pieces and laid them out onto a similar size table or cutting mat and figured how much exactly that was. The new cutting layout we came up with had us using less than a 1/2yd worth of fabric.
This allowed us to fill the other half of our fabric with an entirely different print to use on another project! YAY!
Making use of the Project Creator
To get the most use out of our fabric we will be using the Cheater Quilt 6″ x 6″ Square project panel from our online Project Creator. You will have the ability to use a different print in EACH square, you can even change the scale of the print to fit your project!
To start, you will…
- Select all the squares you want to fill with your first print
- Then, click the Choose button to the right of Fabric
- this will allow you to choose any design from our Shop page, created by many talented freelance designers, to fill the selected fabric squares with
- Once you have selected your desired print, you will see this fill the space you defined in the previous step. This area should still be highlighted so you can use the Scale bar to shrink your print.
- Repeat these steps to fill the rest of your fabric yard.
If you are going to lay out your pattern pieces differently than suggested in your pattern instructions, make sure to cut on the correct grainlines! Each pattern should have an arrow drawn on them to represent which direction to place your pattern piece on the fabric. This will ensure proper fit and that the print of your design will show correctly on the cut fabric. Just be aware of these arrows and make your pieces fit as snuggly together as possible.
Note: Many of our pieces are meant to be cut twice, the second being cut as a mirror image of the first piece. Be careful to cut these out as so!
For this step, since you will be choosing a commercial or indie pattern to work from, you will be using their supplied instruction on how to assemble your project.
And that’s it! We hope you enjoyed this walkthrough on how to use our online Project Creator to order just what you need for your next doll project!