For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere of Planet Earth, winter is fast approaching, so let’s talk about how to keep your dollies warm!
Today I’m answering the question, “Which fabrics are best for making doll coats?” and I’m bringing to your attention the vintage McCall’s Craft sewing pattern #2686, which shows three views of fashion doll coats.
The original pattern isn’t marked with “View A” or “View B,” so I took it upon myself to provide markers like that for our general discussion here:
First, let’s take a look at all the great things this pattern offers!
How often do you find a Barbie doll clothes pattern with a body suit? Never! So that’s pretty cool. And it’s a turtle neck too, which is hard to find as well.
For anyone who stumbles across this web page in search of a Barbie or Ken turtle neck pattern, by the way, I have one of those available for free on my site. Just click here for that free PDF sewing pattern.
Another thing I love about this McCalls Craft #2686 pattern are those beautiful scoop-neck gowns! The Holiday Barbies often come dressed in similar gowns, and little girls just love to dress their Barbie dolls in anything with puffy sleeves and ruffled skirts.
But now let’s address the issue with making jackets and coats for 11 inch fashion dolls like Barbie.
What fabrics should we use? How do we keep them from looking frumpy and bulky? Well, you’re about to hear my take on it, but feel free to leave comments about the fabrics you’ve used that worked well for making doll coats and jackets…
The pattern suggests using fur fabric for the coats pictured in A and B on the cover of the pattern:
But it recommends a cotton or lining fabric to line these with. In my humble opinion, that’s going to be super thick when it’s all done, especially if you use a cotton fabric to line long pile faux fur.
Another option might be a lightweight flannel for a furry, moleskin, or leathery look to the coat or jacket. That’s what I used for my beautiful Barbie medieval cloak, seen here:
Of course lightweight short pile furs are available that would do the trick too, as would a thin wool, but most thicker fur fabrics would be way too bulky to look good on a Barbie doll. So be wary of thick, long pile fur fabrics.
I used a jersey fabric fur for my 28 inch Barbie sweater, which is shown in this image:
But of course the fabric doesn’t look too bulky on her because she’s a huge 28 inch Barbie doll! But I used the same Fabric to make my patterns for the Lammily LLC company’s commercial Lammily doll clothes patterns (and their photo examples), so I’m sure this fabric would also be perfect for Barbie sized dolls.
When it comes to sewing, I’m a rule breaker — in case you hadn’t noticed — so I would most likely skip the fur coat idea and use the pattern in View A as a trench coat.
For it to be a true trench coat, though, we’d have to add a collar, of course, but I’d stitch a single-layer collar of thin felt onto a matching cotton or polyester fabric, and that way I wouldn’t have to fiddle with creating a double-layered collar that has to be hemmed.
I also think quilted fabric — even in its thinnest form — is too bulky for fashion dolls. When I designed my Barbie ski jacket, in order to get that “slippery fabric” look that ski jackets have, I used two different colors of thin and shiny polyester. The white polyester even had a bumpy texture to it, so that it seemed quilted, even though it wasn’t.
To get that same “slick” look for a trench coat, I’d also recommend using polyester. It isn’t as thick as real trench coat material, but it offers the same visual perception.
For the dinner jacket in View C, the pattern lacks advice on fabrics, but it looks like they used a cotton print for that project. That’s not a bad option for bigger dolls, like my 16 inch Tonner doll, seen here:
But if you’re going to line a garment for an 11 inch fashion doll, it’s important that the fabric you use be very lightweight.
If you have additional advice you’d like to share, please leave it in the comments. Have you made doll jackets that turned out to have the realistic look and feel of a real coat or jacket? What fabrics did you use?
And before you buy patterns on eBay, it’s a good idea to read my blog post entitled, “Tips for Buying Used Doll Clothes Patterns on eBay.” It may save you a little time and money!
Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:
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, 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.