Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

Dressmaking for Penny


And now for how to make a Penny Doll dress…  Pick out a pretty color fabric with a small print, cut:

skirt – 8 x 3″  fabric

bodice – 3 x 4 1/2 “

bodice facing – 1 1/2 x 2 “

From the four corners of the bodice piece cut away 1/2″ x 1 1/8″, that will form the sleeves.   Then draw a 5/8″ oval for a head hole in the center of the bodice, and draw a straight pencil line down the center to the edge.


As the above picture shows, press each hem up two times, and stitch.

One along the bottom of the skirt, and one on each short end of the bodice to form sleeve hems.



Now place the facing centered over the bodice, with right sides together.  Stitch up one side of the center line and around the neck hole and back down the other side of the center line.  This makes a keyhole-shaped  seam.  With fine scissors clip the neck hole seam into little tabs so it will turn well.

Then turn the facing right side out, press, and top stitch.  You may now trim away the sharp corners inside.  This gives you a very neatly finished neck and back opening of the dress.




The fun part is adding the pretty trims.  Here I used a narrow ribbon, and a cream-colored lace.   Trim the sleeves and the dress hem.  And while you are stitching, you will need to baste the upper edge of the skirt so it can be gathered in a ruffle.




Sew the underarm seams of the bodice, first on one side…




Then on the other.  Now you see it looks like a little shirt!




Turn the bodice right-side out and see what you think!  Find the center front of the bodice and pin to the center front of the skirt.   Draw the skirt into a ruffle and pin well to the bodice.




Sew the bodice to the skirt.




The final seam is to hold the back together.  Fold the dress right sides together, and sew from the bottom hem almost up to the waist, leaving enough room for the doll to get into her dress.




Now it is finished!  You may add small snaps to the back of the dress if the doll will be changing clothes occasionally.  I usually just stitch the back shut by hand once it is on the doll.




Here is Penny modeling her new dress in our sewing room, with Ruby nearby to give her approval.




Beneath the dress I have a little petticoat made of eyelet lace cut 2 3/4 x 8″.

I double fold the top into a hem, and I place the drawstring inside before I stitch it.  (Sooo much easier!)  See, below it is only partly sewn to demonstrate that the string is inside the hem before I stitch the hem.

Once the top edge is sewn, fold the ends together to sew, and draw the drawstring around the doll’s waist and tie in a bow.




Little bloomers will keep the clothespin doll legs covered underneath.

To make these, cut the fabric, 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″.

Sew the drawstring into the top hem as with the petticoat.

Press the bottom hem up once and add a pretty trim.  Sew in place.

Fold in half, sew sideseam, then the partial center seam about halfway up.  Snip center and turn.

These also I tie around the doll’s waist.




Thank You so very much for helping us all who view these tutorials on how to make your lovely creations for ourselves and to share.

these are absolutely gorgeous and so clever.thankyou for sharing xx

These are awesome! Do you have a pattern for the boy clothes? The overalls?

Thank you, Kate, I am glad to hear that you enjoy these dolls. I’m sorry that I have not perfected the overalls pattern, since I mostly make the girls dresses.

Thank you so much, my husband bought me a dremel set and wanted to made wooden arms and legs for dolls and your idea as give me courage to try.

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