In this video sewing tutorial, I will show you how to make Barbie clothes ( a top and a skirt) easily using my free printable Barbie clothes patterns PDF.
If you are looking for creative things to do while staying at home you will like my idea of sewing clothes for Barbie.
The top has kimono sleeves, a collar and can be tied at the front or back. The skirt is gathered around the waist. I tried to make the Barbie clothes patterns as simple as possible so even beginner sewists can make these cute DIY Barbie clothes without problems.
Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you order a product through one of my links. I only recommend products I believe in and use myself.
What you’ll need to make these Barbie clothes
Small piece of fabric (medium weight)
Trims for embellishment
Regular sewing notions
Barbie dolls are very popular toys among modern girls, and the most interesting part of the game is, of course, dressing them up.
I hope this tutorial on making Barbie clothes will be relevant, since it’s not always possible to find ready-made beautiful Barbie clothes in the store, and sometimes they are not cheap.
DIY Barbie clothes don’t look different from real life clothes but making them can be much simpler and the amount of work is less of course.
I made free printable Barbie clothes patterns for the top and the skirt.
For these Barbie doll clothes I decided to use spandex fabric. It doesn’t fray, which is a very big plus, you don’t need to finish raw edges because they don’t fray. It’s not flimsy and it keeps its shape very well but at the same time it’s stretchy. They use this fabric in making costumes a lot. So I think this fabric is very suitable for making Barbie clothes. It also looks very pretty – kids like shiny and bright fabrics. You can read more about how to sew spandex in this tutorial
But obviously spandex is not the only option here. You can use any medium weight fabric that doesn’t fray. I think even quilting cotton will be good for this project.
The first step is cutting the fabric using my free Barbie clothes patterns. I think it’s better not to cut on fold in this case – the pattern pieces are very small so I made 2 front pieces left and right and two collar pieces.
I am using my stone figurines instead of pattern weights. Use your favorite fabric marker to draw around all pieces. Try to be precise as the pieces are small and even a few millimeters off can result in big differences.
Try to follow grainlines – on the pattern you can see the marked grainline. Place the pattern pieces with the grainline parallel to the fabric selvages.
Cut all pieces using good fabric scissors.
Or you can cut using Cricut. With a cutting machine the cut will be much more accurate.
You can find SVG files for Cricut in my resource library.
Let’s sew the top now.
Prepare your sewing machine – change the needle, choose the thread you are going to use. For my project I used a ball point needle specially designed for knit fabric.
For my spandex fabric I used Eloflex thread – it’s a very interesting thread, it’s strong and durable, but the main point is it;s stretable! And you can use it in the bobbin of a regular sewing machine for sewing stretchy fabrics.
I have a review of this thread on my blog How to use Eloflex – an innovative stretchable sewing thread from Coats
So, pin front to back at shoulder seams with right sides together matching edges and stitch. Seam allowances are 3/16 inch or 5 mm.
Sew also the collar pieces together.
Trim the seam allowances on the collar and don’t forget to cut corners. Turn the collar right side out.
Now we need to iron the seams.
Be careful with the iron settings. For example, for my spandex fabric I set my iron on wool.
The collar piece is so small so I decided to pin it to my ironing board so it doesn’t move out of its shape.
Use pressing cloth for ironing. I usually use silk organza fabric as my pressing cloth.
Press also shoulder seams open
I decided to embellish the Barbie clothes. Embellishments options are practically endless. You can decorate the finished product with rhinestones, beads, fabric flowers, trims, embroidery and other decorative elements.
I want to use a golden rick-rack ribbon for the sleeves and for the skirt hem.
To attach the ribbon I used fabric glue.
I like to use glue that’s called The Ultimate. They say it’s the only non-toxic, water based super glue.
I like it because it dries clear and doesn’t leave any marks on any fabric.
You can make a stitch after glue dries out. But I decided not to make it because it seems to me this glue is holding the ribbon very well.
Now let’s sew the collar.
We marked the center of collar pieces and the back piece. Start pinning the collar to the bask at the center back. Then pin the edges. The collar edges should be pinned 3/16 inch (or 5 mm) from the cut fabric edges.
Stitch the collar to the top. Clip curves.
Machine-stitch neck edge along the seam line over collar seam allowances.
Now we need to stitch the side seams. Pin them right sides together matching the edges and stitch.
They are curved so make a few little snips in the seam allowances at the curve for the top to fit well. Don’t cut the stitches though.
Press the side seams open.
The next step is finishing the hem of the top. Carefully hem the edges.
Fold the fabric under 3/16 inch (5 mm) and baste it by hand first. Press it and after that stitch close to the edge. Press again.
Sew a plastic fastener. Maybe it’s not absolutely necessary but I decided to use it.
Also, when I put the top on my Barbie I noticed that the collar doesn’t really sit nicely so I decided to make a few hand stitches to the collar so it stays down.
Now let’s make the skirt.
We’ve already embellished the skirt with the golden ribbon.
Now let’s put gathering stitches. Set your sewing machine for a straight stitch with length around 3.5 – 4 mm and turn tension to 0.
Sew one stitching line. Gather the fabric by pulling the bobbin thread.
The width of the gathered skirt is 4 inches ( maybe 4 ⅛ inch). Leave 3/16 inch (5mm) on each side of the skirt without gathering.
For the waistband you can use a piece of double folded bias strip.
I decided to use a double folded elastic strip. The length of the strip is 4 inches.
I like to burn the edges of the elastic so they don’t fray and I don’t need to fold them inside.
I used glue to attach the gathered skirt to the elastic waistband.
After glue dries out, sew the waistband to the skirt. Use a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch.
Now we need to sew a strip of Velcro for fastening the skirt on the doll. I used a piece of Velcro that has glue for attaching it to the fabric. It’s very convenient because it holds the Velcro in place very well. But it’s better to sew over it anyway. If you have a Velcro strip that doesn’t have glue on the back attach it to your skirt with fabric glue before sewing.
The last step is sewing the center back seam of the skirt. Press the seams allowances open after you’re done with stitching.
And this is the result.
You can also watch my YouTube video tutorial on how to make Barbie clothes step-by-step.
Did you find this tutorial helpful? If so, save this pin (see below) on your sewing board so you can come to this tutorial later when you are ready to sew your own knit pencil skirt and follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration!
Ready to take the next step in your sewing journey? Check out more step-by-step tutorials from my blog and don’t forget to share!