After searching for the right handmade waldorf doll and then waiting eons to receive it, now you have a sweet (or several) little wool-stuffed creature in your hands; although he or she came fully dressed, in hopefully some wonderful outfit that complements their personality and the local weather, you need to get more doll clothes.
Or, perhaps you have spent hours and hours creating a doll of your own, for you, your child or a loved one, and now you are confronted with the obvious: “how do I dress this doll?”.
Well, ponder no more. I have quite a selection of waldorf doll clothing makers, DIY patterns and free tutorials for you to choose from.
Waldorf-style dolls (or their newest incarnation: natural fiber art dolls) can vary greatly in proportions from maker to maker, and they rarely fit in American Girl clothes or any other mass-produced outfit.
Most commercial clothing patterns that you will be able to find at the sewing shop will definitely need to be adjusted to fit your doll, a feat that if you’ve just started sewing can be daunting. I know it was for me.
So, my recommendation would be to buy clothes and/or patterns from doll-makers who actually make this style of doll.
And while I mention they vary greatly, by checking the measurements of the finished outfit and measuring your doll, you can get an idea wether the clothes will be able to fit your little natural fiber art doll or not.
Related : If you just happened to discover waldorf dolls and would like to know a bit more why they are called waldorf, about the philosophy behind their all-natural and simple facial features, plus a few resources on how to create one, head over here to this post.
Doll Clothing for Waldorf dolls, the Knitted kind
We will start with knitting patterns, as is much easier to make something knitted fit a doll than something sewn. Knitting fabric stretches and can be easily folded up, tied tighter or loser, etc.
Dolls wearing knitted clothing do bring something very special, they conjure memories I suppose, bring us back to dolls of our childhood or flashbacks of seeing babies when we were growing up, all decked out in their knitted outfits.
1. Ready-made knitted
If you would like to buy ready-made outfits for your dolls or even order something custom made, please check among the following crafters.
They produce (to my eye) high quality items, made with beautiful yarns and attention to detail:
If you would like to create a knitted outfit for your doll, then the possibilities are endless. There are tons of free knitting patterns online, but you can also buy them.
I offer very simple ones, geared to the very beginner, because I want to encourage doll mothers and children to get going with their own crafty adventures and since I learned to knit with doll patterns I think is the perfect, most simple way to start clicking those knitting needles.
2. To purchase doll knitting patterns
I am giving you direct links to stores stocked with all sorts of waldorf-style doll knitting patterns or giving you a direct link to a particular pattern that I find very endearing.
Hope you agree with the selection:
Winterludes - advanced patterns for the courageous knitter. Very stylish.
Fig & me - patterns for the very sweet beginner.
Little Jenny Wren - a sweet pinafore and a favourite bear hat.
Mini Me Woolies Union Suit - so your doll doesn’t go cold this winter: #bumflap.
Luletti - Sweet and romantic knitting patterns for your girl doll.
Dahlia Dress by October Rose Dolls - instruction in 3 sizes for an endearing dress.
Ewe Need Darling Knits Darling Little Tights - You can't go wrong with this pattern, fits many dolls sizes.
3. Free knitting patterns
All of these lovely makers (myself included, ehem) have provided a freebie or two to encourage you to get those needles and yarn in your hands. Some are easier than others, but hey, they are free!.
Meadowfinch sweater - a cute top down cardi for your wee doll.
Fig & Me Simply Baby bonnet - a super simple topper for your baby doll.
Luletti Pola Scarf pattern - with a pretty lace detail to keep you interested whilst knitting.
Little Jenny Wren Shoe - extremely simple, therefore guaranteed adorable results.
Maizy Moo Knits Classic Beret - a quick knit suitable for beginners with a pension for fashionable accessories.
Fig & Me Knitted Doll Collar - so simple and with cute embroidery.
Doll Clothing for Waldorf dolls, the Sewing Kind
If you are more venturesome, then sewing can be your ally when trying to achieve a large wardrobe for your doll.
I remember very well how frustrated I was when I started making dolls because my sewing skills were so lacking. But I persevered, vied to learn something new with each outfit, if not because the dolls loved it, at least because then I would understand clothing construction a bit better.
I started with simple peasant-style tops and wide leg pants, two piece hats with bought ribbon for ties and bloomer-style underwear.
Then plod on adding puffed sleeves, elastic on cuffs and legs, front bibs, super gathered dress skirts, fancy pockets, more stylish overalls, etc.
We moved on to collars: Peter Pan, circular, a collar with a stand, shawl collars on linen jackets; kimono tops with fancy construction, side pockets on trousers, top hats for boys, newscaps, and the list is quite endless.
I say all this not to brag, though I should because really, the first time I used a sewing machine I never brought down the presser foot and I sew the whole thing winging it!.
I say all this to show you that you don’t start sewing the hard stuff to begin with. You pace yourself.
You start with something that has but few pattern pieces and is more minimalist in design, then you start adding details to this shape, or move to something that has more steps to be constructed.
That’s how I learned and how I recommend others do, because sewing doll clothes is extremely satisfying, you can achieve them with little material (compared to sewing for humans) but it can also be extremely frustrating trying to wiggle little sleeves or hem tiny underwear. Pace yourself, be gentle, be prepared and you won’t regret it.
1. Ready-made Doll Clothing
If you want to buy Ready-made doll clothes for your lovely doll, then I encourage you to pay a visit to any of these highly-skilled doll dressmakers. They create based on their aesthetic and you can almost identify their clothes on dolls because they have such a peculiar style.
Reggie’s Dolls - a store usually full to the brim with charming doll clothes.
byPilou - I absolutely adore Anouk’s style and wish one day to produce clothes with her high quality.
My Vintage Dolly - Dawn usually sews for waldorf style dolls, so just ask her if you don't find anything modelled on a cloth doll.
Serendipity Dollworks - Molly kindly let us know she also sews for waldorf style dolls, and do take a look at her shop, all that smocking!.
2. Sewing patterns for Doll Clothing
If you want to try your hand at creating doll clothes with proven patterns, I am linking you directly to specific patterns that make lovely clothes or accessories.
Reggie’s Felt doll shoe - a very sweet and whimsical design for those pretty feet.
Fig & Me Little Tammy set - you get a summer dress with patch pockets and jolly bonnet.
Meadowfinch Pajamas - made with envelope construction, in knit fabric. Sweet dreams.
Petit Gosset Hooded coat - a simple construction but excellent finishing.
Fig & Me Ermentrude - two piece outfit for the intermediate seamstress.
Mariengold Oh Girl - an e-book shock full of all the basic pieces, both knitted and sewn.
Sami Dolls Reversible Overalls - simple and cute, with side pockets.
Mon Petit Frère Baby Doll Dress - for a 9" or 12" doll.
Down Under Waldorfs Hooded Bomber Jacket - Bravo to Olga for providing something so fresh and modern and suitable for boy dolls too.
3. Free DIY Patterns for Doll Clothing
If you would like to try some free patterns first, to get your feet wet with sewing for dolls, by all means go ahead. I have seen doll clothes made with these two tutorials, albeit they both make undies, and they come out quite fetching.
Notes from Björkåsa undies - boxer style undergarments, for boy or girl.
Fig & Me Sewing doll underwear - It comes in two sizes, and is available as a handy PDF. Unlike the version created by my friend Juliane, this one is a one piece affair.
If you are the maker type and would love some inspiration to get started, there are a few doll clothing gallery groups where you can see patterns used, and also what other clothing items go well with a specific dress, etc. I personally recommend the following two (I have been a member since forever).
Waldorf doll clothes on Flickr - varied photos from makers all over the world.
Waldorf dolls on Ravelry - This group is of amazing help to the knitter, as you can see how the clothes made with a specific pattern fit different dolls. Especially helpful is that you can note different yarn choices as well as pattern alterations or modifications.
Also be sure to check out the Doll Dresmaking series by Lisa at Phoebe & Egg. Although she doesn’t create waldorf-style dolls, she walks you through several design techniques that you can easily adopt or implement on whatever pattern you are trying to sew up. Kind of takes the mystery out of certain techniques.
And last but not least, hop over to my two new Pinterest boards where I will be sharing many beautiful images of doll clothing from makers around the world, and as a bit of an inventory of all the things I have added to my clothes as well. You are bound to find something intriguing enough that might inspire you to grab a sewing book or two, google a tutorial for a particular technique and get started.
Are you feeling inspired now, to try something new in your sewing career? or even to begin making clothes for your little doll? Do you have a shop where you provide clothing for this kind of doll? Well, don’t be shy and write your address in the comments so that we can find your store and see your selection.
I hope this post opened your eyes to the possibilities when it comes to doll clothing. The list is endless. All you need is determination and a little patience. You are bound to come out the conqueror.
And, if you happen to create something from any of the above mentioned tutorials or patterns, don't forget to let me know. I would love to see what you create. Remember, if you make clothing, design patterns or have any free tutorials for doll clothing geared to this special kind of dolls, don't forget to include your info in the comments so we can all check it out.