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How to Make Clothes for Toys

By: Catherine Burrows - Updated: 26 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Crafts For Kids Craft Ideas Clothes For

If kids aren’t busy dressing up themselves, the next best thing is to dress up their favourite dolls or teddies. There is a huge industry built upon clothes for toys, you can buy any outfit in any size and for any occasion.

Unfortunately, small clothes cost large fortunes. Kids can have many more clothes for toys if they’re made at home.

Some crafts for kids require assistance from a grown up, here is an example. However, there are plenty of activities for kids to have fun with.

Fabrics to Use

Remember to keep the materials inexpensive as this is the whole point of most crafts for kids. Some good suggestions are:
  • Look out for bargain scraps in good haberdasheries.
  • Use fabric taken from old clothes which kids have outgrown.
  • Curtain and window nets make a good source of material.
  • Remember to use things like old handkerchiefs, pillowcases or gloves.

Keep It Simple

Making clothes for dolls and toys is very different to the full-size versions. The proportions are tiny in comparison which makes the whole process a lot simpler. For example, you won’t need a sewing machine or any fancy stitching.

Children who are learning to sew can practise their stitches without any fear of making mistakes with expensive fabrics. There is no need to think about proper hemming or darts. All you need to do is start with basic shapes, sewn together with tidied edges so the clothes don’t fray. For more complicated ideas, it’s possible to buy patterns but it’s best to try and keep things simple, as with most crafts for kids.

If both children and grownups are unable to sew, all is not lost. Clothes can be made using glue tape. This allows you to hem or bond fabric by placing the tape in between the layers of material. An adult then applies a hot iron and within seconds the job’s done!

You could also avoid sewing by using some child-friendly fabric glue. This works particularly well if the fabric you are using is felt. It’s not as effective on thinner material.

To make sizing easier, you can make very easy patterns from tracing paper. Lay the doll on the paper and using a pencil, mark out the rough proportions, showing where the waist, arm holes or legs need to be.

If kids really aren’t confident about sewing or using fabric, there are still plenty of craft ideas to try by decorating the clothes with glued ribbons, sequins or ‘gems’.

Easy Ideas

Start by remembering that to make most clothes, all you need are different size rectangles.
  • For a skirt, make your rectangle longer or shorter, depending on how full you want the finished item to be. Bond or sew the shorter sides together and gather in the waist with a length of elastic. Finish by tidying the bottom hem so it doesn’t fray.
  • A top is easy. It’s another rectangle, sewn into a square. Leave part of the top edge unattached for the neck and two sections at either side unattached for arms. The neckline can be shaped and tidied by gluing ribbon to the edges.
  • Make a simple cape with a large rectangle, tidy all the edges and attach pretty ribbon for fastening.
  • Young knitters might like to have a go at knitting the rectangles and attaching them with very basic stitching. Knitting is one of the most rewarding crafts for kids and a skill that should be encouraged.

Making clothes for dolls and toys seems to involve complicated craft ideas; however, it can be within the capabilities of complete novices. Keep crafts for kids straightforward, making these projects chances for children to learn basic needlecraft. Alternatively, they can stick to the process of decorating the clothes creatively. Have a go and prepare to be surprised at how easy this craft is!

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