Sew this pretty puff sleeve top and mini skirt for Barbie – free sewing pattern

by Claire

If, like Anne Shirley (of Green Gables fame), your dolls are feeling that life is not worth living without a puff sleeve, then this Barbie sewing pattern is for you. The top has an elegant puff sleeve with a delicate peplum and flattering plunge neckline. I’m just sad that it doesn’t fit me! The skirt is a simple straight mini skirt, which is quick and easy to sew. I’ve made my skirts in upcycled denim, but they would work equally well in a pretty patterned cotton. This post includes step by step instructions and a free Barbie sewing pattern for you to download. If you’re a Sindy fan, then this pattern also works for Sindy dolls.

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What you need:

  • Cotton or similar fabric for the top – I used an upcycled linen shirt for the white top and a Kona Solids cotton fat quarter in ‘Buttercup’ for the lemon top
  • Denim or cotton for the skirt (chambray would work well as it’s lightweight)
  • Matching thread
  • 10 cm length of 2-3 mm width elastic
  • Small safety pin to thread elastic
  • 3 x 6 mm snaps (or hook and loop tape if you prefer)
  • Puff sleeve top and skirt pattern – download below

How to make the puff sleeve top

Cut out pattern pieces for the top and pin to fabric, making sure you transfer the star pattern markings. Cut out. I always use fray check to stop the raw edges fraying – apply it to all of the raw edges before you start sewing.

I like to sew doll clothes by hand as I can sit in the garden! If you find it too tricky on the sewing machine, don’t be afraid to hand sew.

Claire x

Fold and press the neckline in on both the left and right sides of the bodice top. Sew along the neckline from front to back, stopping at the back where it turns a slight corner (see image below).

Hem the neckline

Fold the lower edge of sleeve along fold line and press. Stitch closed to form the casing.

Sew the casing for the elastic

Sew two rows of gathering (running) stitches between the two stars on the top of each sleeve. Gather.

Gather the sleeves

Pin and sew the sleeves into the arm holes, right sides together. Make sure the gathers are even.

Inserting the sleeves

Cut a 4 cm length of elastic. Attach the end to a small safety pin and thread it through the casing. Secure at each end with a couple of stitches. Repeat with second sleeve.

Adding the elastic to the sleeves

Gather lower front edge of bodice front pieces between stars. This gives the bodice a nice shape.

Gather under the bust

Pin bodice front sections to lower front section, right sides together and stitch.

Attach the lower part of the bodice

Press the seam down and top stitch the front of the bodice. Attach back bottom pieces to the bodice back, matching stars.

Top stitch the front of the bodice and attach back pieces

Sew the side seams of the bodice from the end of the sleeve to the bottom of the bodice.

Sew the side seams

Sew the peplum to bodice, then press the seam down and top stitch. Then hem the peplum.

Try on your doll and press back edges to fit. Hem edges and add snaps or hook and loop tape.

Add the snaps to each side of the back closure

Making the skirt

Sindy’s modelling the skirt and top

Cut out the skirt pieces from your denim fabric. If you are upcycling, see if there are any features you can use – like the stitching on the skirt above left. Apply fray stop to the raw edges. Sew along the dart line on the skirt back sections. This helps to shape the skirt and narrow the waist – as dolls have impossibly small waists.

Sew the darts

Next, place the back pieces on top of the skirt front, right sides together, and sew the two side seams. Press seams open.

Sew the side seams

Fold over and press about 6 mm at the top, to form the waistband, and sew. If you want a denim look, you can use a gold coloured thread to add stitching detail to the skirt. Then, press and sew the bottom hem. Fold the skirt in half so the back edges align. Sew the back seam, stopping short of the top to make sure it will fit over your dolls hips. Add a snap at the waistband to finish.

All finished! If you like my patterns and want to support me please make a donation below.

Fancy making something else for your dolls? Check out these other free sewing patterns:

This skirt pattern is easy to customise – you could make it in any length, add a peplum, add some button details, use floral fabric – the possibilities are endless! I love seeing your makes – use #galaxiadolls on Insta and tag me @galaxiadolls on the photo. Follow me on Insta, Facebook or Pinterest to get the latest patterns and inspiration.

Happy Sewing – Claire x

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