5 Ways to Make Doll Clothes Collars that WORK (Tip #1) @ ChellyWood.com #SewingTips #DollClothesPatterns

Within a quilted frame, we see a stitched-style title that says "Doll Clothes Collars" and three different images of dolls wearing doll clothes with collars. On the far left is a baby doll in a plaid suit with his little white shirt having a pressed collar; in the middle is an 18 inch doll wearing a dress with a jacket that has a pretty pink collar, and on the right is a Ken doll wearing a Hawaiian shirt with a collar. In the lower left is the ChellyWood.com logo.
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.

Today’s blog post is the first in a series of five blog posts that will teach you how to create collars for your doll clothes that actually WORK. In the coming weeks, watch for each of these tips and tricks on sewing doll clothes collars for dolls of every shape and size.

Let’s face it, making a teeny tiny shirt’s collar look right is crazy-hard!

If you’ve been sewing for dolls for very long at all, you’ve probably tried making collars. With people’s collars, it’s tricky enough, but when you size-down a collar to fit a Barbie doll, it’s terribly difficult to make that collar look right and lay flat.

The pattern’s packaging shows a fancy collar with lace trim, and what you end up with is weh-weh-weh:

Image shows an Ashlynn Ella doll from the Ever After High Dolls (EAH Doll) collection. She wears a handmade white blouse which is very elegant with a high collar, a pair of khaki trousers that are short like capris, and a pair of felt handmade shoes. Overlay says, "ChellyWood.com: FREE Printable sewing patterns for dolls of many shapes and sizes.
Please Click here for all the patterns and tutorials you will need to make this outfit: http://wp.me/p1LmCj-Ft4

Right? So here is the first of my 5 ways to create collars that look believable on your dolls…

Collar Tip #1: Use Lace

The image shows a close photo of Simplicity Tressy Doll Clothes Pattern 5731 (Copyright 1964). The doll clothes patterns offered in this pattern set include a long green ball gown with 1960's bodice style; a knife pleated skirt with a 3/4 length sleeve shirt; a pajama; a pair of pedal pusher pants with a 3/4 length sleeve shirt; a ruffled blouse with an American style jumper; a V-neck dress that goes above the knee; a swing coat with 3/4 length sleeves.
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.

If you look closely at Views 4 and 2 in my Simplicity 5731 Tressy Wardrobe pattern, you’ll see that these garments both apply lace to the doll’s collar.

This is an okay solution, but it’s best to choose a lace that has been gathered by the manufacturer to avoid a bumpy effect. And even with that, it can still look a bit bumpy around the collar when all’s said and done.

I made this top (see below) using the Tressy Wardrobe pattern shown in View 2, and I did apply pre-gathered lace:

Here we see the white "frilly blouse" from vintage Tressy doll clothes pattern #5731, and in closer detail, we now see that the sleeves end not in ruffles but in straight lace edging. There's also a white ribbon (trimmed on both sides in silver glitter) running down the front of the shirt like placket. On either side of this placket, we see lace also trims both sides of the ribbon. There's also a puffy white lace collar at the doll's neck.
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 as you can see, even with the gathered lace, it still looks a bit bumpy. So lace isn’t an ideal collar option, but it IS an option.

In fact a lot of doll clothes patterns use this collar method. Check out my vintage Crissy Simplicity pattern #9138 for example:

The image shows a close-up of Simplicity doll clothes pattern 9138, which wlll fit (as it says on the cover of the pattern) 17 and a half inch dolls. The doll clothes pictured on the growing hair dolls and possibly other dolls pictured here include the following: view 1 is a long dress with lace ruffle, lace collar, ribbon-tie belt, and ruffled sleeves; view 2 is a short shirt dress with buttons running down the front; view 3 shows a floor length skirt with a ruffle neck and ruffle sleeve blouse and short bolero vest; view 4 shows a doll in a very short pajama with bloomers exposed beneath; view 5 shows a tunic with ruffled sleeves and lace trim over a pair of trousers; view 6 shows a short sleeved shirt with pants and a see-through poncho over the top. The dolls pictured here are representative of Ideal Crissy dolls. The date on the package (not visible in the picture) is 1970.
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.

Views 1, 3, 4, and 5 all use the “lace collar” to solve the wonky-sticking-up-collar problem.

Bigger dolls don’t have as much of a natural-looking collar problem as small dolls do, though, but they can have problems too. We’ll address those in next week’s tip for sewing doll clothes collars.

So don’t forget to come back later to check out my other tips for sewing doll clothes collars!



In this photograph, a Madame Alexander 18 inch doll models a traditional Swedish costume. This costume includes a little bonnet, a shirt with a collar and cuffs, a lace-up vest, a black skirt, and a folk apron. There's also a traditional Swedish "pocket purse" made of embroidered felt attached to the waistband of the apron. Although it's not pictured here, the costume also includes a neckerchief.
Click here to find all the patterns and tutorials you’ll need to make this project: https://wp.me/p1LmCj-Gxa

Most of the commercial patterns I display and talk about here on ChellyWood.com are also available for sale on eBay. However, if you’ve never purchased a pattern on eBay before, it’s a good idea to read the article I wrote called, “Tips for Buying Used Doll Clothes Patterns on eBay.” It will save you time, money, and will likely prevent buyer’s remorse.

And by the way, if you use the links I’ve provided to make your eBay purchase, this website will receive a small commission, which helps fund the ChellyWood.com website, so I can continue to provide you with all the free patterns and tutorial videos offered here.

In case you haven’t heard, my Creative Spark class, “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” is now live on the Creative Spark platform. You can sign up any time you want!

And don’t panic if it seems like too much to take on right now — sometimes our lives get really busy. I get that. But for any class on Creative Spark, you don’t have to sign up any time soon. Just sign up when you’re ready.

If you’re interested in taking my paid course, you will pay a one-time fee, and there’s no specific time limit to access your course. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you.

To read more about my free sewing patterns and tutorials, please visit the “Helpful Tips” page.

Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:

*ChellyWood.com earns money by linking to JoAnn Fabrics, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other online affiliate programs. Links provided above may be affiliate links. For a full list of my affiliate programs, and to understand how cookies are used to help this website earn money, please see my “Privacy Policy” page.

Chelly Wood and the ChellyWood.com website are not affiliated with the pattern company or companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly finds inspiration in the doll clothes designed by these pattern companies. To purchase patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick, Vogue, or other pattern companies shown and discussed in this blog post, please click on the links provided here. These links below the “Disclaimer” section do not help raise money for this free pattern website; they are only offered to give credit to the company that made these patterns.

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