Scaling Down Pattern Sizes

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Spy_on_the_Inside

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My niece loves few things more than her doll, Lilian. And one of her favorite things to get for presents are new clothes for Lilian. My problem is that almost all the clothes found in the pattern books at the fabric stores are sized for American Girls, and Lilian is only 14 inches tall and very thin bodied. In short, the clothes I would make from these patterns would completely hang on her body.

Does anyone have any advice for scaling down patterns, particularly for doll clothes? I'm still something of a novice, so my sewing refinement still hasn't grown beyond 'follow the pattern'.
 

Orianna2000

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If the doll is a completely different size and shape, it would probably be easier to make your own patterns, rather than try to alter them. There are books on pattern-drafting that will show you the basic shapes. Or you can use the too-big patterns as a guide.

Draw the basic shape on a paper towel. (Viva brand works really well for this.) Cut it out, then drape the paper-towel-pattern on the doll and pinch out the excess material. Turn the excess into seams, if it's on the sides, or darts, if it's in the front. Use a pencil to draw the edges, like necklines and armsyces and hems. (Never use a pen, as it could permanently stain the doll if it leaks through.)

I know that's over-simplifying the matter, but it's a complicated subject, so it's hard to summarize in a quick post. I'm actually writing a book on how to draft your own doll patterns, so feel free to PM me for more help!

(You could also check Etsy for patterns that fit this particular doll.)
 

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