How to cut out a Barbie doll clothes sewing pattern PART 2 (How do you cut out the tissue paper pattern?) @ #SewingTips #DollClothesPatterns #ChristmasCrafts

Here we see a coat pattern for sewing a Barbie doll coat. It has been cut away from the whole sheet, but there's still a square of tissue all the way around the edges of the pattern. This pattern belongs to View 5 for making a Barbie sized coat, hat, and shift dress from Simplicity doll clothes pattern number 7601.
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This week’s series of blog posts will break the process of pinning and cutting a doll clothes pattern, into several carefully explained steps.

For this series of blog posts, I’ll be using Simplicity 7601, a Barbie pattern that was published in 1991, for all of my examples and visuals.

When you first buy a commercial pattern, your pattern pieces will usually come on a big sheet of tissue paper, offering several different patterns, all on the same sheet. You must separate them into pieces, like the one shown at the top of today’s blog post.

In this photo, we see two pairs of scissors lying next to an uncut pattern for a doll hat's brim. One pair of scissors has a grey handle; the other pair of scissors has a purple handle.
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But what kind of scissors should you use to cut the tissue paper? Sewing scissors — the ones you use to cut fabric — must remain sharp, and cutting anything made of paper will dull them. So it’s a good idea to use craft scissors to cut out your pattern.

It can be tricky to keep the people you share your household with, from using (and dulling) your sewing scissors. When my children were little, I used a color-code to help them. Scissors with purple handles were always sewing scissors. Any other color was fair game!

Another thing you need to be aware of, is that with Barbie patterns in particular, some of the pieces are quite small. So before you even begin to cut out the patterns…

The image shows a woman's hand holding up a commercially made doll clothes pattern. On the pattern, the woman has written "cut one" and "simplicity 7601" and "view 5" in her own handwriting. The text on this image says, "write directly on your pattern."
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

…you may need to copy some of the writing that’s written beside the pattern, directly onto the pattern itself.

Some things you should copy, if they’re not already on the pattern’s shape:

  • Copy the name of the pattern company (i.e. Simplicity)
  • Copy the pattern number (i.e. 7601)
  • Copy the view from the front (i.e. View 5)
  • Copy any cutting instructions that you’ll need (i.e. Cut 1 or Cut 2 or Cut on Fold)

Once that’s done, take a look at your pattern piece. Will it be easy to cut? Or does it need a little flattening?

There are three photos in this image. In the upper left corner, we see a pattern laying on a surface, but the edges of the pattern are curling up. Beside this photo, to its right, a woman's hand is pressing the same pattern with a warm iron. In the lower left, we see a Barbie doll coat pattern laying on top of a swatch of lavender colored fabric, however the pattern does not fit the swatch of fabric. The sleeve cuff of the jacket extends beyond the edge of the fabric. The text that accompanies the top two images says, "To press a tissue paper pattern, make sure the iron is set to LOW." The text which accompanies the bottom image says, "When using remnants, be sure the pattern fits on the fabric swatch."
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

When I took my Simplicity 7601 pattern out of the envelope, it had been folded. At each of these folds, there’s a crease, and often the patterns want to curl if they were along the crease or fold, in the tissue paper. So what can you do to help your patterns lay flat?

You can actually use a warm iron to press them. Make sure there’s no liquid in your iron, of course, and you’ll want to keep the iron on a low setting.

Once I’ve trimmed away some of the excess tissue that surrounds my pattern, I often lay it on a swatch of fabric, to see if it will fit. I use a lot of remnants (left-over bits of fabric from other projects), so the measurements for fabric cuts, which we read about in yesterday’s blog post, won’t always apply for me.

By laying the pattern over the remnant, I can see whether or not there’s going to be enough of the fabric to make the garment. If not, I may need to go to the fabric store to purchase more fabric, or I may switch to a different fabric that I simply have more of.

In the lower section of the image, purple arrows point to a single notch on the hat brim pattern. It's shaped like a diamond sticking out from the edge of the pattern. The upper section of this image shows double notches (two side-by-side diamond-shaped images) and a pair of scissors is cutting around these two diamond shapes, but leaving a bit of tissue paper between the two diamonds' peaks, forming a sort of trapezoidal shape.
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

We cut the pattern along the outside edge of the black outline for the pattern, following the outside edges as closely as possible.

When you come to a notch (see the diamond-shaped or triangular extensions poking out of the edges of the pattern, shown above), it’s important to cut around these. Double notches can be cut separately (as two triangles), or you can cut a line between them, turning them into more of a trapezoid. But however you cut them, be consistent; here’s why…

Notches indicate where one garment piece (say, the hat’s top, for example) should align with another garment piece (say, the hat’s crown, for example). So if you cut your double-notches like a trapezoid (shown on the “coat back” piece below), do this for all instances where you run across a double-notch.

Here we see five cut-out pieces of tissue in the form of the patterns for Simplicity 7601 coat back, coat front, hat brim, hat crown, and an oddly shaped purse. Below these cut-out patterns is an envelope labeled thus: "Coat, hat, and purse patterns"...
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

As you can see in the image above, I keep my patterns organized by placing all of the pieces for View 5 — the coat, the hat, and the purse — in a single envelope.

The pattern maker may overlap patterns though. In my Simplicity 7601, the dress in View 5 uses the same pattern as the longer version of the same pattern, which is shown in View 4. So one of my envelopes is labeled, “Dress Views 4 and 5.” It contains only one dress pattern, but the dress can be cut short or long, depending upon which dress view you want.

The image shows Simplicity 7601 Barbie doll clothes sewing patterns (published in 1991). View 1 shows a white ball gown made of shiny fabric like satin. view 2 shows a pink satin shorter evening dress. View three shows a peach colored satin gown with tiny silk flowers sewn directly onto the dress and the blond Barbie modeling the peach colored satin dress also has a shawl draped over her shoulders. View 4 shows a sequined dress (quite long) with boa trim. View 5 shows two barbies. One wears a purple coat with purple pillbox cap. Her dress is pink to match her purse. The other Barbie wears a pink coat and hat with a purple purse and dress. In view 6, two Barbies model the same strapless swimsuit, but one is white and the other is black. In view 7, a Barbie models a baby doll style short pajama nightgown. The image is copyrighted 1991 by Mattel.
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

When the pattern maker suggests that we cut the pattern to shorten it, as is the case with this Simplicity 7601 Barbie pattern, I never actually cut mine. Sometimes I’ll use a lightbox to trace the shorter version of the pattern onto graph paper. Then I’ll place the shorter version of the dress (now cut out of the graph paper) into the same envelope with the other dress pattern.

In this image, some patterns lay in a pile on an envelope. These are made of white tissue paper. Above them, on a cutting mat are the coat front and coat back pattern pieces, but also laying on the cutting mat are several older-looking, slightly yellowed patterns that probably are meant to fit a different doll -- not Barbie -- because they're a bit bigger. Through these discolored patterns is a crossed out red circle, the symbol which means "DON'T!"
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

What you want to avoid, is mixing patterns from one doll clothes pattern envelope and another doll clothes pattern envelope.

Often when I buy a used pattern, I’ll find an oddball in with all the patterns that were pictured on the cover of the original pattern envelope. That’s because the sewist who owned the pattern before me laid her shirt pattern for a Butterick baby doll pattern right next to the patterns for the Simplicity 7601 Barbie pattern.

Once again, I’ve barely gotten started typing today’s blog post, and I’m already over 1000 words! So I’ll come back to this topic again tomorrow.

The image shows a woman who is bent over a cutting mat with large doll clothes patterns laid out on the cutting mat. Above her it says, "how to cut doll clothes sewing patterns". There's also a small pink stamp overlaid on top of the image, which says, "how to cut the tissue paper pattern" and the texts on either side of the woman say, "special thanks to the mom who reached out to me for help" (left of the image) and "I hope you get to read today's blog post" (to the right of the image).
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

As I said in yesterday’s blog post (the first in this series), I would like to thank a woman who contacted me quite some time ago, asking me “How do you even cut out a Barbie doll dress pattern?”

Her daughter wanted to learn how to sew Barbie clothes, but she (the mom) didn’t know how to sew. I wrote her question in my booklet of doll clothes pattern requests, and about three weeks ago, I started working on this week’s blog posts, to answer that question for not just the woman who reached out to me for help, but also anyone who needs this question answered.

Thank you, dear lady, for your question! It has sparked a series of blog posts that will, hopefully, help other people understand the basics of how-to-cut-out-doll-clothes-patterns before sewing them.

May you have a fruitful 2023!


Most of the commercial patterns I display and talk about here on 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 website, so I can continue to provide you with all the free patterns and tutorial videos offered here.

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

For my free doll clothes sewing tutorial videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, ChellyWood1.

Maybe you already own some great commercial patterns, but you really wish you could alter them to look just a little different. If so, my Creative Spark class, “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” may be just what you need to make your commercially designed patterns into the pattern you see in your imagination.

Are you worried that you won’t have time to take a course in doll clothes pattern alteration? You’ll be happy to learn that, for any class on Creative Spark, you don’t have to follow a schedule. Just sign up when you’re ready.

It’s a one-time fee for the course, and there’s no specific time limit to finish your course. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you. So please go have a look at my paid courses on Creative Spark, using this link.

Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:

* 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 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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