How to sew a cute Barbie skirt and top – quick and easy beginner’s sewing tutorial

by Claire

What you need:

  • Jersey fabric for the top
  • Cotton fabric for the skirt
  • 50 cm bias binding (2 cm width)
  • Matching thread
  • 8 cm hook and loop tape (sew on not sticky backed) – if wider than 1cm, cut lengthways so it’s about 5 mm wide

How to make the skirt

Top tip – The measurements are for a Made to Move Barbie.  If you’re making for a different size doll, you can easily adjust the sizes to fit.

Cut a piece of cotton fabric 28 cm x 9 cm (11″ x 3 1/2″) for the skirt (you can make it longer or shorter). Sew two rows of stitches along the top edge of the skirt, close to the edge. These will be gathered so you don’t need to secure each end of your sewing with backstitch. Pull the underneath threads together and gather the fabric so it fits your Barbie’s waist.

Cut a length of bias binding to fit your Barbie’s waist measurement plus an extra 1 cm. If you’re making for a Made to Move Barbie, it will about 11 cm. Fold the binding in half lengthways and tuck the top of the skirt in between, with the wider part of the binding inside the skirt. Stitch along the bottom edge of the binding on the outside of the skirt, leaving about 5 mm overhanging on each edge. Then cut a length of binding 28 cm (11″) for the hem and repeat with binding at the bottom of the skirt to hem.

Fold the skirt in half, right sides together and stitch from the bottom up to the point shown in the picture below. If your Barbie has different proportions, check that the skirt will fit over her hips before sewing the back seam. You may need to stop sewing further down and use more hook and loop tape. There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to fit a skirt over your hips!

Finish the back seam using zigzag stich or ‘fray stop’ glue. Then sew the hook and loop tape to each side of the opening, tucking in any excess binding and folding the raw edges under the tape.

How to make the top

Cut a piece of jersey fabric 13 cm x 5 cm (5″ x 2″). Fold the top and bottom edge in, lengthways and press. Use zigzag stitch (because it allows the fabric to stretch) to hem the top and bottom. Try not to stretch the fabric as you sew.

Wrap the top over your Barbie and pinch the fabric at the back, so it fits snuggly (as Barbie doesn’t like wardrobe malfunctions…). Cut off some excess fabric but allow enough to overlap by the width of the hook and loop tape. It will be wider at the top and narrower at the bottom to fit her waist. Add the hook and loop tape as shown below.

You’re finished! If you want to keep sewing check out this post and make a Sindy dress as well.

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