Sewing Sleeves on Doll Clothes

Sewing sleeves on doll clothes is different from sewing full sized sleeves because they are so small. When you sew clothes for people, you commonly sew the bodice shoulders and side seams. Then you set in the sleeves.

On doll clothes, usually the seams are way too small to be able to set them into the bodice. The best approach is to sew the shoulder seam, then sew the opened sleeve to the bodice—before the side seams of the bodice or the seam on the sleeve is sewn!

Sewing Instructions for the Sleeve

Run a line of ease stitching just inside the sleeve cap seam, either by hand or machine. Pin the sleeve to the bodice—this is where those appliqué pins come in handy! Next baste by hand. Finish by sewing the sleeve cap to the bodice, either by hand or machine.

Sometimes for very small dolls, like Barbie Dolls or Fashion Royalty, it works best if you sew the sleeve cap seam by hand. Use a tiny running stitch, the same as you would use for hand sewing a quilt.

You may find you need to sew other parts of a doll’s dress, skirt or pants in a different order as well, depending on how small the doll is and how tiny the pattern pieces are.

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