What are you sewing this summer? Let’s share for inspiration! #Summer #Sewing

An image of 5 different vintage patterns is shown, with a circle skirt pattern showing. A purple arrow points at a McCall's 4716 vintage doll clothes pattern for the Sunshine Family dolls, and a yellow arrow points at a McCall's 7137 doll clothes pattern with a square dance dress for Barbie and a Western shirt with pants and cowboy boots for Barbie, showing from under a pile of vintage Barbie doll clothes patterns.
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.

Let’s share! What are you working on this summer? What sewing projects do you have underway?

Leave your summer sewing project descriptions in the comments section to give inspiration to everyone who reads this blog post!

See the pile of vintage sewing patterns at the top of this post? That’s what I’ve been working on…

I found all of these lovely uncut, vintage doll clothes patterns on eBay in a store owned by CreativeDaisy, and she has more of these wonderful patterns, along with dolls and other collectibles!

You should go check out her store!

I was especially thrilled to find the vintage Sunshine Family patterns (see purple arrow above). I do have quite an extensive collection of vintage-to-modern doll clothes patterns — and of course, I’ve made a few Sunshine Family doll clothes patterns of my own (see image below) — but I had never seen the McCall’s Sunshine Family patterns before.

The image shows four different outfits you can make using the free printable PDF sewing patterns designed by Chelly Wood of ChellyWood.com to fit the 9 inch Sunshine Family female or "mom" dolls.
Visit ChellyWood.com for free printable doll clothes sewing patterns to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

So this summer I’d love to make some of the projects from the McCall’s 4716 Sunshine Family pattern set.

And while I sew, I love to listen to Patsy Cline. That’s why I just had to buy the McCall’s 7137 Barbie Western-themed doll clothes!

If you’re not familiar with Patsy Cline, here’s one of my favorite songs by her, which may help you feel inspired to sew as well:


Just look at that gorgeous dress Patsy’s wearing in the thumbnail for that video! A lot of her videos show her in beautiful, amazing, vintage garments! And did you know her mother made a lot of Patsy Cline’s stage clothes?

Soooo inspiring!

But in the pile of doll clothes patterns I bought from CreativeDaisy, the one that truly inspired me — and I’ve already started to sew adorable little outfits with this set — is the Simplicity 5861 Skipper set.

Simplicity 5861 vintage doll clothes patterns for 9 inch Skipper from the 1960's is shown along with some of the patterns contained inside the pattern envelope.
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.

I can’t even begin to tell you how impressed I’ve been with this set of Skipper patterns from Simplicity.

One of the problems I’ve found with Skipper pattern is that they often fit a little big on Skipper. This is true, even with more modern Skipper patterns.

Maybe designers are afraid they’re going to fit too tightly. I don’t know what the deal is, but Simplicity 5861 has, so far, had an amazing fit to each of the garments I’ve made so far.

And while working with these vintage Skipper patterns, I’ve been inspired to create my own version of some of these patterns too. Watch for those Chelly Wood-made patterns around Christmas time or maybe in early 2024.

Here we see a Simplicity 5673 vintage Barbie doll clothes pattern and a fabric quarter (black and white gingham fabric).
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 project I’d like to make this summer is a matching Skipper and Barbie vintage outfit set.

In the summer, it seems like I’m always drawn to gingham, so I bought some black gingham fabric quarters to work with.

As you can see in the image above, this Simplicity 5673 vintage Barbie pattern has a jumper along with a shirt with a collar and 3/4 length sleeves that actually looks very much like the Skipper version of the same outfit from Simplicity 5861.

But I’m not sure this jumper set is what I want to make for Barbie and Skipper using black gingham fabric. Instead, I might make ankle pants and a short-sleeved shirt. Or maybe a dress with a bolero jacket.

I’ve already made these cute ankle pants, and I love how they fit my vintage 1963 Skipper:

On a blue background, we see a pair of yellow ankle pants for a very small doll -- handmade by Chelly Wood -- and the words "Summer projects!" This is a thumbnail for a blog post about summer sewing projects for people who enjoy sewing doll clothes.
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 enough about my summer projects. What are YOU working on? What videos do you watch or what music do you listen to when you’re sewing?

Inspire the rest of us! Please leave comments!


Do you wish you could afford to buy more doll clothes patterns, but your budget just doesn’t allow you to? If so, my Creative Spark class, “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” may be just what you need to make my free doll clothes patterns into the patterns you’d like to buy.

I also have a class called “Design Your Own Doll Pants Patterns from Scratch.” In this class, which costs only $19.99, you will learn how to create your own pants patterns, including leggings, fly-front jeans, elastic-waist pants, and overalls.

With 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 go check out my paid courses on Creative Spark, using this link!

In this image, we see a smattering of tools that will be needed to take the Creative Spark course on doll clothes pattern alterations with Chelly Wood. The items include the following: a doll, a ruler with metric and imperial measurements, a pencil with an eraser, graph paper, patterns that don't quite fit your doll, fabric, craft felt, ribbons, elastic, and post-it notes or scratch paper.
Visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

As always, feel free to pinlike, or tweet about my free patterns and tutorials. You’re welcome to share any of the images from today’s blog post on social media.

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 Amazon, eBay, Michaels, 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.

To honor the trademark rights of the doll companies mentioned in this blog post, I am including links to their websites here. Please feel free to visit their website and consider purchasing one or more of the dolls mentioned.

10 thoughts on “What are you sewing this summer? Let’s share for inspiration! #Summer #Sewing

  1. Hi! I am currently working my way through bins of dolls that I’ve found at yard sales. I buy them for cheap and refurbish them–a good bath, a couple of new outfits. Then, at Christmastime, I donate them to local charities. There are a lot of different type dolls.
    Your Strawberry Shortcake pattern came in very handy with my latest batch, for a Shortcake doll and her lavender-haired friend! You do good work for crafters like me that sew for a wide variety of dolls in a wide variety of sizes!

    1. I love to hear about stories like yours. It inspires me to maintain this free pattern website. Thank you so much for taking the time to write your detailed comment! And the best of luck to you with your charity work…

  2. Hi there Chelly. I’m planning to get back in the swing of sewing clothes for my dolls for the first time in 17 years. My two projects are the dress pattern from the now defunct Barbie Bazaar magazine and the gown from Simplicity pattern #4704 for the Barbie dolls with belly button bodies. Thanks again for your blogs and patterns.

    1. Do you mean Simplicity 4702? I looked on eBay and in Google images for Simplicity pattern number 4704, and I can’t find one that’s related to dolls. There’s a vintage one from Simplicity that’s number 4700 (It’s one I really want to add to my collection!) but that would be for the busty Barbies from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

      I’m thinking you’re talking about Simplicity 4702, which I do have in my collection, but I haven’t made anything with it yet. It has a lot of halter top style shirts and dresses, and it looks fairly simple and fun.

      It does have a hoodie, and those can be challenging, but you said you’re planning to make the gown. That looks like a lovely pattern with a split at the front. Very nice!

      I wish you the very best of luck with your projects! After 17 years, if you need any tips or guidance, feel free to browse my website for helpful tutorial videos. I respond well to these comments also, as you can see by my lengthy chat here!

      1. Thanks for correcting me about Simplicity pattern #4702. Like I said before, I’m planning to make a gown as well as a pair of pants. I will watch your videos to brush up on my sewing skills. Again thank you very much.

  3. Hi from Italy, Chelly.
    My plans for summer-autumn period are to make your reversible “Summer outfit” for Barbie, but I have to choose the right fabric and I’m going to use your pattern bodice for vintage Barbies.
    I’m going to make some tests, I have read somewhere on the web that a Barbie pattern reduced to about 54% can fit a Dawn doll. I’m working with your sundress pattern. Who knows? It seems possible.
    I’m thinking about Christmas, I need to make a dress with classic period fabric, even if I have not yet chosen the model.
    I need to make some veils for wedding dress too. I have made a couple of them and I have bought some on Ebay but they all comes with no veil.
    I have to find the right material too. The tulle I have found is too much transparent, maybe I need to use something different, more white.

    1. Marco, I’m so glad you made a comment! Here’s why:

      I’ve recently bought a Dawn doll, and I’ve got about six or eight different patterns drawn up, waiting for completion, so they can be published here on my website. All of them are vintage in style, and one — a long dress — would make a fabulous early 70’s wedding dress!

      With that said, if it’s the Barbie summer dress that you’re really wanting to sew for your Dawn doll, you may want to think about taking one of my online classes because in each of them, I teach you how to re-size doll clothes patterns with a simple mathematical formula. It makes re-sizing super easy!

      I also have a tutorial under Tall Barbie (look in the 12 inch doll size section) which shows you how to make a wedding veil. I really should make more wedding veil videos, though, as they can be super easy to do, in a variety of different styles. Thank you for putting this idea into my little brain!

      Best of luck to you with your summer-through-autumn projects! And thanks again for leaving a comment.

      1. Thanks, I’m going to check the veil.
        I’m very glad I have been able to suggest something usefull.
        For the class I’m going to wait until September.
        Maybe it’s my limit but I can only see Daw dolls in ’70s style clothes.
        I forgot to say that I’m probably going to make something for the Winx doll I have found in a group of dolls I have had on Ebay, but she is missing an arm…
        poor thing. I hope to be able to fix it.

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