The Finishing Touches

~How to Choose the Right Closure When Sewing Doll Clothing Patterns~

Hannah dresses dolly When I change out of work clothes, I want to wear what I can easily unsnap, unbutton, or quickly pull over my head. The thought of facing a row of tiny buttons, no matter how many compliments I received during the day, is exhausting. Make similar considerations when choosing closures you will use for dolly’s outfits. Here are just a couple considerations to get you started when sewing for dolls:

Who will dress dolly?

Little fingers fit into little spaces, but will not have the same dexterity as adult fingers. If you are sewing doll clothes for a child’s doll, consider the versatility of Velcro when sewing.

What is the clothing style?

Fancy buttons may look out of place on a simple cotton t-shirt and plain zippers may look out of place on a formal gown. Whatever dolly’s clothing choice, make sure the fasteners match the style of garment.

What next?

Whatever closures you choose for your 18 inch doll clothing patterns, make sure they are secure. Tiny fingers can get in a big hurry when dressing dolly for her next outing. Each closure has different considerations when sewing for dolls.

  • denim button front jumperButton holes are least likely to be used on doll clothes as the openings are much too small. When sewing on a button, sew it over the top of a snap or piece of Velcro for a “button look.” Tiny fingers will say thank you.
  • If you enjoy hand sewing, add small snaps at the end of the project. They are great for holding together overlapping edges when you don’t have much room to strain or pull or when you want an invisible closure. They are more difficult for tiny fingers to maneuver so this is my least favorite option. Keep these sewing notions on hand though! You never know when you might need them.
  • Exposed Zipper - Fleece JacketExposed zippers are great for quick pull downs. Keep in mind the size of the clothing and avoid the lapped and centered zippers. Remember to sew the zipper in while the fabric is flat, before putting the pieces together. You can use Velcro as a “look alike” zipper by extending the Velcro 1/4” from the outer edge of the garment.


  • I prefer to use Velcro as a closure when sewing. Although it can snag in dolly’s hair, it works well for all ages. Cut the length of Velcro you need and then cut it in half lengthwise. Sew one section to the underside of one edge of the garment and the other on the top side of the other edge, making sure your measurements match up when closed. It is important to use the sew-in variety as the stick-on will gum up the machine needle and come off in the wash if not stitched on.


Using this information, you can easily adapt any of the above sewing closure options when sewing doll clothing patterns  for your dolls.

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