Helpful Tips and FAQ’s for People Who Love to Sew for Dolls #DollClothes #SewingTips

In this photo, an 18 inch Best Friends Club doll sits at a toy-sized sewing machine. Beside her sewing table is an empty dress form. She wears handmade doll clothes. The logo at the bottom of the page says, Chelly Wood dot com, which is a website where you can find free printable PDF sewing patterns for dolls of many shapes and all different sizes. This image accompanies an FAQ's page that offers many tips and tricks, specifically for people who love to sew doll clothes.
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for dolls of many shapes and sizes.

It has been about 4 years since I published my “Frequently Asked Questions” page (i.e. FAQ’s), and since I’m doing a series of re-posts while I take time off to make my Creative Spark class, I thought you might enjoy seeing this page. It’s filled with helpful information for those of us who love to sew for dolls!

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 in 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 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. When you click on these links and make a purchase, some of your money goes to support this website.


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 website was redesigned in 2021, so you should be able to click through to the patterns you want. 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 showing you how to do a basic straight stitch when sewing by hand, how to use the whipstitch to hem a garment, and how to sew on snaps.

A couple of videos that give you advice on how to buy fabric and how to find matching notions are provided on my YouTube channel as well.


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!


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

Here’s the link to the explanation about why I’m re-posting old blog posts.

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