At the start of the new year, I did a survey. Do you remember that? A lot of people requested free patterns to fit 18″ (46 cm) dolls, like American Girl Dolls, Madame Alexander Dolls, etc. Well you talked, and I listened!
Now I’m pretty new to this size of doll, so my first prototypes didn’t fit correctly and I’ve had to make adjustments. It really does take about 6 months to create an outfit like this with patterns that I can be sure will really work. (Some of you have made requests and been surprised that it takes that long to create a pattern.)
Finally I have an outfit completed that I am sure will fit American Girl, Madame Alexander, and similar-sized dolls! We’re going to start by making the duffel bag /overnight bag / kit bag that my Kaya doll is holding in the image above and my Madame Alexander doll holds in the image below:
As you can see, this gym bag has pockets on the side and straps to hold it. I used a rectangle of foam and another rectangle of cardboard in the base to help it keep its shape.
For the straps, I will provide a pattern, but you could also use bias tape or ribbon.
As you can see in the image above, the 18″ doll carry-all bag can hold an overnight outfit, swimsuit, pajamas, or other doll clothes. You can open and close it because I’ve designed it with a Velcro® flap. When completely sewn, it’s 5 3/4 inches long (14 cm long) and 2 inches wide (5 cm wide). It has four side pockets (2 on each side).
This week I’ll be posting the free sewing patterns and DIY tutorials for making this gym bag for 18″ dolls (46 cm dolls) like American Girl Dolls, Madame Alexander Dolls, and others. Later I’ll post free printable sewing patterns and DIY tutorials for each item in the outfit, including the super-easy-to-make sandals shown in the image below:
Special thanks to Brian Garcia, who allowed me to adapt his duffel bag pattern for this project! Thank you so much for sharing your pattern with me, Brian! I hope I do it justice!
Some of my followers have wondered what motivates me to give my patterns away for free.
First of all, I’m a librarian by trade. Librarians love free stuff! We believe that the more a person knows, the more enriched their life will be. So it may sound kind of crazy, but I want ChellyWood.com to become a sort of library of free patterns that help people learn to sew doll clothes.
If you’d like to learn more about my motives, feel free to visit my Chelly’s Books page.
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 (demonstrating how hard or easy a pattern is by the number of flowers displayed), 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).
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:
- You can pin them on Pinterest.
- You can like them on Facebook.
- You can tweet about them.
- Use any other form of social media that appeals to you!
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.
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.