Spend £25 for FREE UK shipping

The UK’s Biggest Pattern House

Sewing and Pressing Basics

Part 2: Sewing and Pressing Basics

Seam Allowances

Most factory doll clothes are sewn with a .5 cm seam allowance, which is about 3/16″. Doll clothes patterns for the home use a ¼” seam allowance, which is easier to sew, but can get bulky. After sewing, seam allowances can be trimmed to 3/16″ or even 1/8″. Use fabric glue or special non-fray seam edge treatment to keep the edges from fraying if needed.

Basic Sewing

When constructing doll clothes it is best to work flat as long as possible. In most cases, pins get in the way when sewing tiny clothes. Sew a seam by firmly holding it in place to start.

Then use the seam ripper or tweezers to guide it the rest of the way under the presser foot

It is always OK to hand-sew parts of any seam. Hand-basting is a good technique for hard-to-control places. While sewing is usually the best way to apply trims, gluing can be a very good method as well.


Since pressing doll clothes can be difficult, be sure each cut piece is wrinkle-free before beginning to sew. A small ironing board, such as a sleeve board, will make pressing tiny garments easier. Often finger pressing is all that is needed to flatten a seam enough to proceed to the next step.


Most hems are made with a single ¼” turned-back fold that is top stitched in place. Hemming a knit fabric can be difficult if it’s too stretchy. This can be solved by cutting a ¼” wide strip of lightweight fusible interfacing and pressing it to the wrong side of the fabric before hemming. This will help give the fabric stability and keep it from stretching. Hand sewing the hem is also a good option.

Turning Tight Corners

Sometimes fabric can get pulled down into the stitching hole of the throat plate when turning a tight corner, such as a collar might have. To solve this problem, insert a length of thread with a hand needle and thread near the end of the point before sewing.


Are you sure you’d like to cancel your membership?

Your Sew Today VIP Membership 40% discount on all products on sewdirect will no longer apply.