Today I’m doing something in this series that I’ve never done before.

Today I’m sharing some gifts that Winter made!

Doll Shirts The Prudent Homemaker

I actually had planned to make these doll shirts (just like the pink one that she made) for the girls this year. We had seen similar shirts in the American Girl catalog. So, when I saw what Winter was making, I was rather surprised! 

Winter is 12 (almost 13) and this is her first time making doll clothes. She has used a sewing maching a bit, but not a lot. It’s also her first time sewing on knits and her first time using a pattern.

I think she did a fabulous job, and I know her sisters will be thrilled!



Jersey knit (you can reuse old worn shirts if you like)

Tulle (we used a couple of old, worn dress-up ballet skirts from the Dollar Tree)


Sharpie (permanent marker)


Shirt Pattern (it’s free)




Sewing machine

Ball-point needle (when sewing on knits, a ball-pount needle is important)


Light table or bright window 

Hand-sewing needle


Winter followed the directions for the free shirt pattern to make the shirts. She then traced a ballerina and a fairy silhouette onto each shirt (she found the silhouettes on Pinterest). 

For the tulle, she cut small pieces and sewed a gathering stitch (a long stitch) though each bit, and then pulled the threads tight. She then stitched then on top of the ballerina and the fairy.

She added some tulle around each sleeve as well.

She hand-sewed each sequin on around the shirt. The sequins were ones that had come off something that she had.



I had all of the supplies on hand to make these. Most were repurposed items, but I did purchase the pink knit, the velcro, the thread, and the marker at one point. These cost about $0.25 each to make if you are buying all all of the supplies on sale/with a coupon.



Each shirt took Winter, a 12-year-old beginning sewer, about 1 1/2 hours each. 


Doll headbands


When she was done, she used the scraps and two hair elastics (1 cent each from The Dollar Tree) to make a couple of matching doll headbands. They are simply braided strips of fabric sewed onto hair elastics.

She is also planning to make some jeans for the dolls, using the bottom half of jeans we’ve cut off of worn jeans (when the knee was ripped and I cut them off to turn them into shorts).

Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?




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  1. how awesome! I am hoping to have a sewing machine in our craft/homeschool room when we buy a house (hopefully) next year.

  2. My youngest girl loves to make clothes. Thanks for the link. We were able to download it. She is ready to grab the sewing machine as soon as she finishes her studies today. It’s too cold to do anything outside here.

  3. Bowled over by Winter’s sewing smarts and creativity. What a clever girl. Her little sisters will be so pleased.

  4. I’m a seamstress and I still struggle with knits some days.
    It looks like Winter has done a wonderful job on these tops.
    What a loving big sister she is. You must be very, very proud of her.

  5. Winter did a gorgeous job!! I love that she is joining in making presents with you. You are doing a fantastic job teaching her to become a wonderful homemaker. You both inspire many of us.

  6. I’m 45 and can’t sew. When I was little and my mom and grandmother tried to teach me to sew, I was interested. Now I wish I had learned more. Winter, I am so proud of you.

  7. Great job. I started sewing at age 9 using old sheets as fabric. I made Barbie clothes. I thank my Grandmother for teaching me to sew. She had a real talent for sewing. I loved to sit and watch her work. I would gather the small scraps for her. She was not a quilter but I loved it. I still love the piecing of a quilt. It is always like a puzzle to me to sit down and piece a quilt. I do not like the work that goes with putting the quilt together. I have dozens of quilts pieced and ready to be made into a quilt…….I keep saying SOMEDAY….but then I will start a new top. Right now I am working on a hexagon just 2″ big. I am hand piecing it. It is good work to do when I am waiting on the boys or sitting in a waiting room. I also work in the car. I hate to drive.
    Your daughter shows good talent for her age. I know her sisters will love the gift.

  8. It is seriously hard to make doll clothes, so tiny and fiddly. Winter did awesome!

    My doll clothes story: I bought my (toddler) son a boy doll. The doll wasn’t wearing much, and it made me feel cold to look at the poor, almost naked, doll. I made the doll a sleeper. Oh! What a lot of trouble that was! I could have made an outfit for my SON quicker and easier than that doll sleeper. Please tell Winter to try making herself a skirt next time–so much easier!

  9. I’ve really enjoyed seeing what your daughter has made…how motivational! She has done a wonderful job. I’ve always said that making dolls and doll clothes are the perfect way to learn how to sew. You learn lots about how to work with fine details as well as various fabrics and if it isn’t perfect, nobody will care. I’m sure her sisters will love their gifts. Thank you so much for sharing Winter’s gift giving with us! I’m curious if all your children make each other gifts as well?

  10. How sweet of their big sister to make the younger girls doll clothes. When I first saw the pictures I thought they were for “big” girls! What lovely and loving gifts for Winter’s sisters. She is very crafty like her mother! What a thoughtful sister and what a great model for her siblings. Winter’s parents and siblings should be very proud of their thoughtful daughter/sibling.

    For my own lovely children I made Bible bags, prayer beads, lace headbands and a ruffled key chain. I especially like the Bible bags and prayer beads I made for each kiddo. I hope to be done with my gifts this week.

    Thank you for sharing Winter’s gifts and thank you to Winter.



  11. Great job Winter! I know your sister’s will love having the doll shirts!
    And I think I may just have to borrow your idea and make some for my 9-year-old this year for her dolls this Christmas. She I sewing quilts for her Grandparents, her brother and her teacher, so she is plenty busy with those but she just might want to make some of these for her friends for birthday gifts this next year.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. These are adorable… Winter did an excellent job on them..I know her sisters will love them, and
    have lots of fun playing with them. She is such a sweet girl,know you are so proud of her..
    I love to sew, and am so happy when I see young girls learning to sew./Can’t wait to see the jeans
    that she makes.

  13. Hi! its great that by your example she is aware of different patterns and silhouettes in internet and can search for them. My 10-year girl would not have any idea how, where etc because she has never seen me doing so. Lovely! NB I have to say I miss those black-and-white old-fashioned drawings from your old webpage. Still – basically – developing is good!

  14. Beautiful shirts! Too bad my youngest is outgrowing her passion for doll clothes…this will be the first year I haven’t made her something for her small-size friends.

    What did I make today? A woven cushion cover, made from vintage bias tape, an old pillow case, and two thrifted placemats. Frugality rules. Link included , scroll down to November 19th for the photos.

  15. Wow! Doll clothes are in many ways more difficult to sew than the human sized equivalent! And knit material besides! Good for Winter! She did a great job!

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