Doll #Photography Tip #7: Maintain Ratios

Image shows three Breyer dolls standing next to two Barbie dolls, as a size-comparison.
Visit for free, printable sewing patterns for dolls of many shapes and sizes.

In the image above, I’ve included dolls from both a 1:6 scale (i.e. Mattel’s Barbie®) and a 1:9 scale (i.e. the Breyer® dolls). For a brief period, I used this image to demonstrate that offers FREE printable doll clothes sewing patterns for dolls of — as my catch-phrase states — many shapes and sizes.

However I got a little bit of negative feedback from people in various doll-collecting Facebook groups whenever I’d post this image. “Those dolls aren’t on the same scale,” they would say, or “Are the small dolls supposed to be the children?”

What people were commenting on is something called scale, a concept in which the doll-to-human ratio should be maintained.

When you place a doll into a background –whether it’s indoors or outdoors– and when you set one doll next to another, it’s important to make sure you create a scene that matches in scale. That’s why I changed my “dolls of many shapes and sizes” image from the one above, to the one below:

Visit for FREE printable doll clothes patterns for dolls of many shapes and sizes. Image shows Tall Barbie, Curvy Barbie, Petite Barbie, Skipper, Kelly Doll, Chelsea Doll, and Polly Pocket all wearing handmade doll clothes. The patterns for each outfit shown in the image comes from, which is known for its FREE printable sewing patterns (and tutorials) for dolls of many shapes and sizes.
Visit for FREE printable doll clothes patterns for dolls of many shapes and sizes.

Since the dolls in the image above are all made by Mattel®, they are made on a similar scale, the 1:6 scale, to be exact (making an exception for Polly Pocket®).

For some reason, when people miss the mark for scale, it sort of grates at the back of viewers’ minds. I’m not sure why that is, but I’ve certainly felt it myself from time to time. So if you want people to “like” your doll photos of Facebook; if you want people to retweet your doll photos on Twitter; if you want people to “pin” your doll photos on Pinterest… well, it’s probably a good idea to pay attention to scale/ratios (the size of a doll in comparison to other dolls around her and objects in her surroundings).


Additional Information:


My Gallery Page is the easiest way to search through all of my patterns to find what you want. Each image on the Gallery Page takes you to links for patterns and tutorials.

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.) To review my difficulty scale, take a look back at this blog post.

Please note: 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. These designs use a scant 1/4 inch seam (4 mm to be exact).

If you’re wondering why I make patterns and videos without charging a fee, please visit the “Chelly’s Books” page, and that should explain my general motivations. My patterns are now available through “Creative Commons Attribution.” This means that I created my patterns (and therefore I own rights to them), but I’m willing to share them with everyone who will tell people about my website.

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

Are you new to sewing? I’ve got a playlist of tutorials for the beginning sewists on my YouTube channel. It includes video tutorials showing you how to do a basic straight stitch when sewing by hand, how to use the whipstitch to hem a garment, how to sew on snaps, and even how to design your own doll clothes patterns, for those who are new to design and alterations.

In case you haven’t heard, I have actually designed some commercial patterns for Lammily LLC. They have some new dolls in their line, including a new male doll, so you might want to visit the Lammily website to see what they’ve got going on.

If your question wasn’t answered here, feel free to submit a question. I’m always happy to help my followers find what they need, so they, too, can make amazing doll clothes and crafts!

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