Sindy doll wearing a coat
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If you’ve ever tried to make a coat for a small doll like Sindy, Barbie or Kruselings then you will know that it can be very fiddly, especially when inserting the sleeves. Trying to fit the rounded top and curved underarm of that sleeve into those tiny armholes can seem abnormal. Then of course there’s the easing of the top of the sleeve so that it fits neatly. That’s the part I absolutely dread. Also there’s the collar and trying to make it sit level but given the option between the two, I’d choose the collar over the sleeves any day. However, there is another way for a beginner sewist to make a small doll’s coat without giving up over the sleeves, or the collar but more about that below………

When I stumbled across an old, vintage sewing pattern that was without any instructions it gave me an idea of how a beginner sewist could make their own Sindy or Barbie a coat with relative ease. Having made adaptations and sewn several of these coats now I’ve developed my own method of construction so that it can be made in less time and with less chance of error. For me it really has been a journey of practise makes perfect!

make a coat for a small doll

The coats I’ve made with this sewing pattern are listed for sale in my Etsy shop. They’ve proven popular and have had lovely reviews (click on the shop link to view them). The template is so versatile. It can be shortened into a jacket or have patch pockets added. It suits different types of fabric and I’ve made it with wovens, knits and fleece. One thing to bear in mind though when thinking about fabric for a small doll’s coat is that it cannot be too thick. There just isn’t the wiggle room for those small hands if the coat has thick cuffs, and a bulky neckline does not help the coat sit right on the shoulders.

But I’d encourage any Sindy or Barbie doll lover who can use a sewing machine (or confidently hand-sew) to try and make their own doll’s coat. If you can sew in a straight line then you can follow this pattern. If you use my pattern template and follow each step of my instructions then I’m sure you will succeed, even if a little practise is required.

This sewing pattern I’ve developed will soon be available for purchase as a PDF download from my Etsy shop LittleMissDressyUK and it’s also my intention to provide the option of a hard copy for those without access to a printer. If you do purchase the pattern and have a go then please send me a photo!

This is the coat you can make from my sewing pattern

Sewing Pattern Details – Make a Coat for a Small Doll

  • The sewing pattern is sized to fit small dolls like Sindy, Barbie and Kruselings.
  • Instructions are written in English in a step-by-step method with colour images provided for each step.
  • The sewing pattern comprises 24 pages in total detailing 40 steps and the pattern template is on the last page.
  • The coat’s style is a raglan sleeve with edge-to-edge front opening. It is unlined and the neckline is finished with bias-binding.
  • The doll’s coat can be made from an A4-size piece of fabric. The neckline needs a five-inch piece of bias-binding, 18mm wide. Also needed are a needle, pins, matching thread, marker pen and sharp scissors.
  • There are three pattern pieces; a body section and two sleeves.
  • The pattern has a ¼ inch seam allowance for the arms. The hem and front edges have 1/3rd inch allowance for turning under.
  • The written instructions assume a sewist has knowledge of using a sewing machine. Some hand-sewing is required for piece placement and for hand-finishing the neck.
  • The coat can be made in a half-day with a sewing machine but it could be wholly hand-sewn, although this would be more time-consuming.
  • Suitable fabrics for beginners to use are those that don’t fray, such as the medium-weight fleece shown in the sewing pattern instructions. Stable knits and wovens are ideal for more confident sewists.
  • The use of an overlock machine is optional, not a necessity.
  • Sewists are advised to read through the entire instructions before cutting and making the coat.
  • The sewing pattern is for personal use only and is the copyright of Little Miss Dressy with all rights reserved.

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