Helpful Tips and FAQ’s

If you click on the question, it will take you to the answer below.


Why do you give your patterns away for free? Why not charge people?

This question is answered in detail on my Chelly’s Books page.


Do you ever take requests?

I do take requests, and I keep a running list of these requests in a notebook. But there’s no guarantee about whether or not I will get to your requests. It has more to do with my own inspiration than anything else. If I feel inspired by your request, I may start on it right away.

However, if I never get to your request, there is still hope…

Behind the scenes, I’m creating a series of classes that will teach you how to design your own doll clothes.

My classes will be available through C&T Publishing’s Creative Spark platform, starting in 2022. Click on the link provided to learn more about my own classes and the other wonderful courses you can take on the Creative Spark platform.

Once it’s available, this class will probably help you create exactly the patterns you are hoping to find for your dolls. Meanwhile, feel free to submit a request using the “Contact” button.


It’s really nice of you to give us free patterns. Is there anything I can do in return? 

My patterns and this website use the Creative Commons Attribution mark, which means that you’re supposed to tell people where your patterns come from. You can do so by sharing them on Facebook, pinning them on Pinterest, using the hashtag #ChellyWoodPatterns on Instagram, and/or tweeting about them. This will help spread the word that my FREE printable sewing patterns and tutorials for doll clothes exist. 

I also encourage you to add my YouTube channel’s videos to your playlists, and click on any links from that interest you. Some of my links (to things like Dritz snaps, tiny buttons on Etsy, used patterns on eBay, and dolls you can purchase on Amazon) are affiliate links. As an affiliate marketer, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Typically there’s no extra cost to you.

This website also has a “shop” page. A lot of the links in my “shop” page are also affiliate marketing links (as an Amazon affiliate, for example, I earn from qualifying purchases), but sometimes you can also buy physical products from me, like pin cushions, handmade doll clothes, and fabric remnants.

And finally, it’s now possible to donate to Click on this link to donate any amount of money you wish. You can make a one-time donation, a monthly donation, or a yearly donation. Every little bit counts, so thank you, in advance, for your thoughtful donation!


Once I’ve made doll clothes using your Creative-Commons-marked patterns, am I allowed to sell what I’ve made?

Patterns are kind of funny when it comes to copyright. In the United States, where I live, anyone can use patterns to make and sell whatever they want with very few cases of lawsuits or legal repercussions for those who use a pattern to make money. But please read on…

Click here for details on the laws protecting creators. In that article, Jessica Meindertsma of The Ohio State University website states, “The view commonly held by designers is relatively simple: follow the restrictions set in the pattern’s disclaimer.”

With that said, if you download my patterns which have been marked with the Creative Commons Attribution mark, then you should also tell people where your patterns came from whenever you sell them or whenever you display your creations online.

Source: Meindertsma, Jessica. “Patterns and Copyright Protection.” The Ohio State University. 14 July 2014. Web. 11 Jan. 2020.


How can I find the pattern I’m looking for?

This video was designed to help people understand how to navigate on my website


In a nutshell, you start at the home page, and choose the doll’s size from the gallery there. Then click through to the right doll in that size category. If your doll isn’t listed, I advise you to choose a doll with a similar body type, in the same size range.

Once you arrive at the gallery of photos of your doll wearing various outfits, click on the outfit you would like to make. It should take you to the patterns and tutorials you’ll need, in order to make that outfit.

After navigating around, though, if you are still having trouble finding the pattern you want, please submit a question with a detailed description or screenshot of the pattern you’re looking for. If possible, I will send you the link to the right pattern page in response to your question.


How do I print your patterns from my iPhone/ laptop / computer, etc…?

Need help printing my patterns? This link offers a tutorial showing you how to download and print my FREE patterns using Google Docs. (For the older print-a-pattern tutorial, which uses Microsoft Word, click here.)

Please note: if you’re downloading the pattern as a graphic image, you must enlarge my patterns to fit a full-sized piece of American computer paper (8.5 x 11 inches or 216 x 279 mm) without margins, before printing.

I’m in the process of converting all my patterns to PDF for an easier download, but there are hundreds of patterns here. So please be patient as I work behind the scenes to get them all converted.


Am I allowed to share your patterns on my website/ Facebook page/ social media venue?

My doll clothes patterns are available for free through “Creative Commons Attribution.” This means that I created my patterns (and therefore I own rights to them), but by using them, you are promising me that you will tell people about my website.

Here are some helpful ways to tell the world about my patterns:

If you wish to post one of my patterns or doll photos on your website, feel free to do so, but kindly include a link to my website in your article. Each visitor to this website helps fund, so it’s important to direct traffic this way, in order to keep my website up and running. Thanks for understanding! 😉


Do your patterns use a seam allowance?

Yes, all patterns use a seam allowance. For dolls that are 12 inches tall or smaller, use a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance (4 mm). For dolls taller than 12 inches, use a true 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Older patterns are not marked with the seam allowance lines, but the seam allowance is assumed on those patterns.

When creating a casing, I usually make a 4 mm fold for the first fold; then, on the second fold, I deepen the fold to approximately 1 cm for dolls 12 inches or smaller and 1.5 cm for dolls bigger than 12 inches. However you should adjust the depth of your casing further, to fit the elastic you’re using.


I’m new to sewing. Do you have any tips or tricks for beginners?

Are you new to sewing? I’ve got a playlist of tutorials for the beginning sewists on my YouTube channel. It includes video tutorials like:

And there are many others!


Can I iron my handmade doll clothes? Can I wash them in a washing machine?

I wrote a blog post that answers this question on 24 February 2020. Click here to read that blog post. It includes links to my tutorial on how to iron doll clothes and how to press seams for doll clothes, and it offers tips for washing doll clothes in a washing machine and what brands of mini irons are best for doll clothes.


Do you have any additional patterns for the Lammily doll?

In case you haven’t heard, I have actually designed some commercial patterns for Lammily LLC. You might want to visit the Lammily website to see what they’ve got going on.

Also, after designing a pattern for other dolls (Curvy Barbie, Ideal’s vintage Tammy dolls, etc.) I sometimes try the clothes on Lammily to see if they fit. If so, then I include Lammily dolls in my blog post’s “Who can wear this pattern?” list. Or you can just click on Lammily right here to access those patterns.

What do the little flowers mean on your patterns?

The flowers on my patterns are used as a difficulty scale. Here’s what you need to know in order to create the project that has been marked with…

This sewing tutorial and/or pattern uses little or no actual sewing. It may require the use of felt fabric, which doesn’t need to be hemmed. It may use traditional glue, safety pins, or hot glue. If any sewing is involved, it will be a straight stitch only. You may need to know how to print my patterns for older projects, but any single-flower projects are for absolute beginners, little kids who are learning to sew, and those folks who don’t like to sew at all.

This sewing tutorial and/or pattern will require knowledge of some of the concepts bulleted below too…

This sewing tutorial and/or pattern will require knowledge of all of the above bulleted items, in addition to any of the following

This sewing tutorial and/or pattern will require knowledge of all of the above bulleted items, plus a few more concepts like…

This sewing tutorial and/or pattern will require knowledge of all of the above bulleted items, plus some additional concepts like…

Feel free to leave comments at the bottom of this page. Are there any sewing concepts not listed, that you’d like me to explain or make a tutorial for? I’m anxious to receive your requests!


Do you offer any paid courses in doll clothing design?

Last but not least, I offer paid courses on the Creative Spark website. Here’s a link to my instructor’s page on Creative Spark, so you can see what classes are available at this time.

For any class on Creative Spark, you don’t have to follow a schedule. Just sign up when you’re ready.

It’s a one-time fee for the course, and there’s no specific time limit to finish your course. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you. So go check out my paid courses on Creative Spark, using this link.

By taking my paid courses, you will learn something new, while also helping to fund, a whole library of free patterns and tutorial videos for sewing doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes!

13 thoughts on “Helpful Tips and FAQ’s

    1. Yes, sleeves can be tricky. I find it easiest to sew from the underarm to the shoulder on one side of the sleeve; then go back and sew from the underarm to the shoulder on the other side of the sleeve. If the shoulder then has too much sleeve fabric, I sew a little dart or gather the fabric before attaching the sleeve at the top. I hope this helps!

  1. Can I print the sewing instructions for your Ken clothing patterns? Not easy to watch a video while I am at my sewing machine.

    1. I do a lot — and I do mean A LOT — of my sewing by hand, but not all of it. When I test my patterns, I try to do the first test by hand because there’s less margin for error that way.

  2. I already asked this on your Michelle Nichols Christmas dress page, but I can’t actually see comments and replies there. I can see the whole threads on this page, so I’ll ask again here. Do you have a tutorial on making cloth shoes? The Christmas dress comes with a pattern for them, but no instructions, and I feel like those are going to be more challenging than the dress.

  3. I am having issues finding sewing notions for the clothing. Is there one vendor that you can suggest to find the small notions?

  4. I would like to make the 12″ baby doll footy pjs as a one piece so I’m going to experiment by attaching the pj bottom to the ruffle/waist seam then will adjust the back seam so my grand daughter can dress her baby easily. It should work. Thank you for the pattern! I have been looking for one like this for some time.

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