Velcro. It’s that fabulous hook-and-eye stuff that you can sew onto fabric, making a doll dress or shirt’s back closure easy for children to take off and put back on.
But is it the best closure method for your doll clothes?
In today’s blog post, I’m going to explain when I use Velcro for my doll clothes and when I use snaps. Plus, at the end of the blog post, I’d love it if you’d share your preference for garment closures, and again, please tell us why you prefer that method.
I use both Velcro and snaps, but each for a different reason.
I first take into account who I’m making my doll clothes for. If the child is quite young, like 6 years old or younger, I almost always use Velcro.
I have my sister to thank for that. For Christmas in 2020, I sent my niece a selection of Barbie doll clothes that I’d made using my old vintage Barbie patterns. I was pretty proud of this ensemble, as you can imagine:
But my sister said, “She can’t get the clothes off.” My niece was only four at the time, and unfortunately, I had made snap closures for all of these doll clothes with the exception of the pinafore, which had a ribbon tie instead.
Emily (my niece) was unable to dress and undress her dolls because snaps are tricky for little chubby four-year-old fingers to work with. My sister requested that any future doll clothes I would make, should have easier methods for getting the clothes on and off.
So for the next two years, all the doll clothes I made Emily had Velcro closures instead of snaps.
Only recently did I start using snaps, when Emily turned 6 this year. She requested that I make her a bunch of teeny-tiny mini Elsa and Anna doll clothes for her birthday:
As tiny as little mini Anna and Elsa are, it’s just not reasonable to use Velcro for their garments’ closures, even though Velcro is an easy choice for bigger dolls because you can just use your sewing machine to apply the strips of Velcro sewing tape.
But that’s not the case with teeny-tiny dolls’ clothes. I actually think it’s much easier to use snaps because their back closure areas are soooo tiny! They don’t fit under the presser foot of my sewing machine, and even when they do, the teeth don’t grab the fabric right. So snaps make more sense for itty-bitty doll clothes.
Also, when you use felt, like I did with the Anna and Elsa shirts, Velcro will get tangled up in the fabric. In fact this can be true of other types of fabrics as well. So before you choose Velcro for your closure, test some of it on the fabric of the garment, to make sure it doesn’t stick to the fabric.
Another down-side to using sew-on Velcro strips is the way that Velcro sticks to everything in a child’s play space… not just fabric, but also carpet, clothes (especially if you have to wash your doll clothes), socks, stuffed animals, and even dolls’ hair:
Those are actually a Velcro-like toy that were jumbled up inside the locks of my Strawberry Shortcake’s hair, when I rescued her at the Goodwill.
The photo above is the “before” picture, and the photo below is the “after” photo. It took me hours to pick that Velcro-like toy out of my doll’s hair!
Because of this kind of issue, I don’t have a warm spot in my heart for Velcro, even though it’s easier to sew on most doll clothes than snaps are, and even though it’s easier for very young children who want to be able to dress and undress their dolls.
So although snaps can be tedious to sew onto doll clothes, they are my closure of choice. And as I have said many times before on this website, I prefer Dritz snaps to other brands.
In tomorrow’s blog post, I’ll explain why I like Dritz snaps more than any others.
Before I’m done, though, I want to ask all of you to please leave a comment. What do you prefer for your garment closures? Snaps? Velcro? Another form of closure?
I look forward to reading your comments!