Thrift store finds for 18″ doll sewing

When shopping for 18″ doll fashion sewing projects, consider the thrift store as a place to find some special fabric contenders. Below are just a few repurposed thrift store and consignment finds that were used to create special 18″ doll wardrobe pieces.

Below are a T shirt and a pullover sweater using Simplicity 1243. The T shirt is made from a sparkly discarded T shirt…a repurpose creation that wowed a special little person!

The pullover sweater to the right was made from a pair of leg warmers. The lacy skirt was made using a discarded cami top. The leggings were made using crew socks. (Click: Leggings from socks PDF pattern for a free pdf pattern).

repurposed trepurposed leggings

The little hoodie (below left) was made from a childs’ hoodie using Simplicity 1580. The photo to the right demonstrates the strategic pattern placement to incorporate the zipper and band into the doll hoodie. Some adjustments were made to the hood pattern to clean finish the neck and zipper.

repurposed 2 strategically placement

The little T shirt below is made from a repurposed adult Tshirt. I like the cover stitch hem on ready to wear, so made use of that hem finish when laying out the pattern.


Sweaters are great to repurpose to 18″ clothing. For a most realistic 18″ doll sweater, seek lightweight (fine gauge) sweaters. On a recent visit to a thrift store I shopped through a sea of choices!

Strategic placement of the pattern can make use of  the sweater textures and give a realistic look to doll clothing.

accessing placement   placing pattern

Tip: Iron on featherweight knit interfacing can make sewing with knits easier for a beginner stitcher.

interfacing option

Iron on feather weight knit interfacing applied to wrong side of sweater knit.


Below are cardigans made using Simplicity 1443, which includes instructions to make a doll cardigan from a sweater. The cardigan to the left is made from a sweater. The cardigan to the right is made from T shirt yardage.

Simplicity 1443

Before you discard fashion pieces from your closet, consider making them into doll clothes!

For some additional tips on sewing a mini wardrobe, check out this earlier post: Success Tips for sewing 18″ doll clothes.

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When I learned to sew, I was totally hooked! My mission is to provide sewing projects that are easy enough for anyone to learn or to practice sewing... Let us know if its working!

4 Comments to “Thrift store finds for 18″ doll sewing”

  1. Stephanie says:

    Such a useful idea with so many possibilities!

  2. Cynthia says:

    Since I love one of a kind items, I can find wonderful fabrics not available in fabric stores! Not to mention, a whole lot more fabric for the money and to save for future projects..and to co-ordinate with things I have already done.

    • elaine says:

      Sometimes sewing stores just dont carry a type of fabric that you might have in mind for a project. I found that to be the case when making the mini doll sweaters. And they are one of a kind too!

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