Velcro or snaps? Which one do you prefer and why…? #SewingChat #DollClothesPatterns

The Curvy Made-to-Move Barbie with pink hair is shown from the back. Now that we see her from this view, we can tell that the raglan sleeved pink cotton shirt doesn't quite fit her right. At the neckline, the Velcro closure seals behind her back nicely, but closer to her waist and hip, the seal is broken and pink Velcro sticks out from the opening. The ChellyWood.com logo appears in the upper right corner of this image.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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 this photo, the Chelly Wood doll (actually a Spin Master Liv doll that has had its face re-painted and its wig dyed grey to look like the doll clothing designer, YouTuber, and writer Chelly Wood) stands in her sewing room with her arms spread out wide in a welcoming stance. On the doll's right (your left) we see her hutch filled with tiny folded fabrics. There's a window directly behind her. At her side is her sewing desk with tiny fabrics, a miniature sewing machine, and other sewing supplies on top. To her left (your right) behind the doll, there's a sea blue mannequin displaying an in-progress sun dress with a tape measure around the mannequin's neck. Hanging from a sea blue hanger on the wall is the white party dress with tiny polka dots that often appears in Chelly's videos on the mannequin. The floor is hard wood. The wall is purple. Chelly's desk chair has been upholstered in sea blue fabric. In the corner of the image is the logo for ChellyWood.com
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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:

The image shows modern and vintage dolls wearing a variety of doll clothes from vintage patterns. Left to right you have: a Made to Move Barbie in a set of 1970s style scrubs with a purse; a 1980s Superstar Barbie wearing a similar era strapless evening gown with tulle around the bottom of the seashell print purple cotton fabric; a 1990's Barbie with makeup repainted wearing a pioneer style dress and pinafore from the 1970's; a made to move Barbie wearing a three-tier prom dress in burgundy cotton fabric, its style reminiscent of the late 1980's. The ChellyWood.com logo appears in the lower right corner.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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:

On a turquoise blue linen background, a miniature Anna doll and a Mini Elsa doll from Disney's Frozen face one another. They are both wearing handmade skirts with tiny print fabrics and a soft pink felt jacket that has been embroidered along the bottom of the coat. The overlay says, "free pattern" and the ChellyWood.com logo appears in the lower left corner.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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.

In this image, a 5 inch tall mini Elsa doll models a pair of pale pink cotton pants with an elastic waist. Her shirt is a simple sleeveless design, made of craft felt. The doll stands in a room painted turquoise blue and her pale pink clothes coordinate nicely with this background color. Her shoes are made of crimson plastic and she wears a pair of pink reading glasses. Her long hair is braided in a single braid down her back. In the corner of the image we see the logo for ChellyWood.com
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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:

In this close-up image, a mass of red hair appears to be tangled up in two hook-and-eye type toys that are ball shaped.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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.

A 9 inch Strawberry Shortcake doll is seated and her hair looks very messy.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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.

A nine-inch Strawberry Shortcake doll stands with her weight on one leg, wearing a purple felt dress. Her styled hair looks almost as if it's blowing in the wind.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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!

5 thoughts on “Velcro or snaps? Which one do you prefer and why…? #SewingChat #DollClothesPatterns

  1. I use both. I hate sewing snaps but sometimes my machine doesn’t like velcro either

  2. I prefEr snaps, as they don’t tangle in the long hair,slot of dolls have.? But oh, how expensive they are now!

  3. I have vivid memories of roughly pulling the little plastic snaps apart as a child and making the stitches come loose because my little fingers couldn’t pry them open. But age has brought me patience and wisdom. Snaps all the way.

    I think velcro can look better in some cases but i just can’t deal with the chaos it brings. No matter how carefully i approach the stuff, it ends up catching on seemingly everything i don’t want it near.

    I’ve occasionally seen doll clothing that utilizes a small square of velcro instead of a strip of it and i can see the logic behind it. It’s just a bit to fiddly for me to attempt.

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