Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sew a Cute and Simple Tiered Doll Skirt

Tiered doll skirt from All Dolled Up by Joan Hinds

Do you know a little girl who loves dressing her favorite doll in new outfits? Make her day with this easy-to-construct tiered skirt for an 18-inch doll. Featured in Joan Hinds' fabulous doll clothes book All Dolled Up, this skirt combines coordinating cotton prints, rickrack trim and ruffles to create an adorable boutique look. And be sure to check out the book for instructions on making a matching tiered skirt for a little girl!

Before you begin, note that it's a good idea to scale down the size of fabric prints and notions when sewing doll clothes. Rickrack comes in a variety of sizes too; a smaller size should be used when making this skirt.

The skirt combines coordinating prints, rickrack trim and ruffles.

What you'll need:
• 2-1/4 × 18 inches cotton print fabric for the upper tier
• 2-1/4 × 26 inches coordinating cotton print fabric for the middle tier
• 3-1/4 × 32 inches coordinating cotton print fabric for the lower tier
• 2-1/4 yards rickrack, 1/2-inch-wide
• 10-1/2 inches elastic, 1/4-inch-wide

Constructing the skirt:
1. Press one long edge of the upper tier 1/4 inch to the wrong side. Press again 1/2 inch and stitch close to the pressed edge to make a casing (fig. 1). Set aside.

Figure 1

2. Serge or zigzag stitch one long edge of the lower tier and press 1/2 inch to the wrong side. Sew rickrack over the pressed edge (fig. 2).

Figure 2

3. Gather the top edge of the lower tier following the gathering instructions below and stitch it to one long edge of the middle tier with right sides together. Gather the other long edge of the middle tier following the gathering instructions below and stitch it to the bottom edge of the upper tier (fig. 3).

Figure 3

4. Sew rickrack over the upper/middle tier seam line and over the middle/lower tier seamline.

5. Thread the elastic through the casing and secure the ends (fig. 4).

Figure 4

6. With right sides together, sew the center back seam and press.

Gathering instructions:
• Place the fabric under the presser foot on the stitching line about a seam width away from the edge. Turn the wheel by hand to make one stitch. Pull up on the top thread and bring the bobbin thread to the top of the fabric. Pull both of the threads simultaneously to a length equal to the area to be gathered. Place the threads under the presser foot after giving them a gentle twist. 

• Now adjust your machine for a medium zigzag stitch with a length of about 3.0. Stitch over those threads just inside the seam allowance, making sure not to stitch over the twisted threads. Stop a seam width away from the edge. Pull on the twisted threads to gather the fabric. Since the threads were secured in the beginning, they will not come out. Secure the thread tails by wrapping them around a pin after the gathers are pulled to the correct size.

Ready to take on another project for an 18-inch doll? Check out the great selection of doll sewing books available in our online store! We also have even more ideas for sewing matching dresses for little girls and their 18-inch dolls in the newest issue of Sew Beautiful.

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia


  1. I bought that book by Joan Hinds a couple years ago, and I was very disappointed. I think it should have been marketed to young girls who want to sew for their own dolls, because it's full of super simple beginner projects, like this one. (Most of which you can find in a free internet tutorial somewhere.) My other problem with this book is that about half the patterns for the matching little girl outfits are NOT included. The text just tells you to go find a comparable child pattern. If you're looking for a good deal on a bundle of interesting "dolly and me" patterns, don't buy this one!