Pattern Making for Dolls

Pattern Making for Dolls is a complete resource for drafting patterns for larger dolls by hand for beginners. It includes sections on drafting and then stylizing patterns for men, ladies, children and baby dolls. You will learn to measure and draft a pattern “by the numbers” resulting in a basic block set that can be modified into any design you can dream up! All the beautiful patterns on this site were created using this book’s methods for drafting for dolls!


Pattern Drafting Crash Course – Measuring Your Miniature Dolls

**NEW for 2018**

Click on the following links for a copy of the Measurement Chart in Google Documents or Word Document format.

Please right click and save the Word Document to your PC/Mac or save a copy of the Google Doc to your Google Drive for your own use.

Since most dolls are evenly made on both sides, the measurements are taken on the half or in the case of an arc the quarter. The exception is circumference measurements, which are all the way around the body. It is advisable that you mark somehow, either with scotch tape on the body and a pencil mark or however you are comfortable, the center front and back along with where your doll’s bust, waist and hip fall. Deciding this before you start measuring will make a big difference in how your patterns will turn out and how accurate they will be. For scale and 1/2 scale miniatures use metrics, as a millimeter is more accurate than rounding to the nearest fraction. When working with dolls this tiny it is imperative that your measurements be accurate.

Please note that after 9 years  this tutorial has been updated to reflect several minor errors that were made during the original writing.

Measurement Chart

This is a master list of all the measurements needed for all dolls. Copy the entire list and fill in the ones you need for whatever doll you are going to be currently using. Following will be explanations of how to do these measurements for each type of doll.
Permission granted by author to copy this page.

Key: A= All Dolls L= Lady dolls only C = Child dolls B = Babies M = ManKEY
1) Full HeightA
2) Bust/ChestA
3) WaistA
4) Hip/Hip With DiaperA, B
5) Center LengthFrontBackA
6) Full LengthFrontBackA
7) Across ShoulderFrontBackA
8) Side Seam LengthA
9) Shoulder LengthA
10) Shoulder SlopeFrontBackA
11) Bust DepthL
12) Side Seam To FloorL, M, C
13) Back Waist To FloorL, M, C
14) Crotch DepthA
15) Hip DepthA
16) Side Hip DepthA
17) Finger SpanA
18) WristA
19) Around FootA
20) Upper ArmA
21) Sleeve LengthA
22) Armhole DepthA
23)Waist ToA) AnkleB)KneeC)FloorL, C
D) Short TrainE) Long TrainL
24) InseamA
25) OutseamA
Waist ArcA
Chest ArcA
Hip ArcA
Arms TypeA
Legs TypeA
Body TypeA
Fingers TypeA

Pattern Drafting For Miniatures

pattern-drafting-for-miniaturesPattern Drafting for Miniatures is a complete beginner’s guide to drafting miniature patterns by hand. It includes sections on drafting and then stylizing patterns for men, ladies, children and baby dolls. These drafts and styles are specifically geared to work in small scales from half-inch scale to about 10″ dolls. It also includes general construction instructions. ©2001-2017


Pattern Drafting Crash Course – Miniatures Chart Measurements

Pattern Drafting Crash Course – Miniatures Chart Measurements

Miniature Doll Chart
The chart on this page is a list of all the measurement amounts for places within the drafting instructions that say ‘see chart’. It is divided so that you can find the right measurement for your size doll that you may currently be working with and use the correct numbers for the step you are on. Most are for all the different types of dolls but one or two are for specifically just lady dolls or just babies and say so in the doll
column. The chart is for just the drafts of the basic blocks – bodice, sleeve, skirt, and pants for the lady, child, baby and man sections in section I. Separate charts will be in later sections for other measurements as needed.
Pattern PieceDoll SizeMeasurementAmount
1:12 or 1″ Scale1/8
1:24 or 1/2 Scale1/16
Skirt6-10″Skirt Ease1/4
1:12 or 1″ Scale1/4
1:24 or 1/2 Scale1/8
Pants6-10″Pant Ease1/4
1:12 or 1″ Scale1/4
1:24 or 1/2 Scale1/8

Pattern Drafting Crash Course – Sleeve

Copy the following to your paper before you start and fill in with the correct measurements for the doll you are working with. The ones in italics can be found on the Miniature Draft Chart.
Sleeve LengthFinger Span
Upper ArmSleeve Cap Bottom Marks
WristSleeve Cap Top Marks
1) Sleeve length-Otherwise referred to as center2) Cap height-1/3 of sleeve length marked
and squared out from the top, 1/2 of the upper arm measurement
3) Wrist or finger span-Mark
out 1/2 of the wrist or finger span (whichever is larger) to either
side of center
4) Sleeve sides-Connect cap
height to wrist level, forming the sides of the sleeve.

5) Sleeve cap bottom marks- 1/8 of upper arm measurement
marked from the outside in and up according to Miniature Draft Chart for your size doll
6) Sleeve cap top-Square out to either
7) Sleeve cap top marks – Using the same
1/8 of upper arm from the bottom marks, mark from the center out
and down according to the Miniature Draft Chartfor your size doll.
8 ) Sleeve cap mid marks- Measure diagonally
from the tips of the small marks and divide in half. Mark.
9) Sleeve cap curve- Form sleeve cap by using your French curve to connect the side to the bottom mark tip, then to the mid point, up to the top and down the other side.
Alternate Sleeve
Measurements Needed Copy the following to your paper before you start and fill in with the correct measurements for the doll you are working with. The ones in italics can be found on the Miniature Draft Chart
Sleeve lengthArmhole circumference****
****Armhole circumference- measure your finished bodice
pattern’s armhole from shoulder tip to shoulder tip
Armhole CircumferenceX2X length= light gathers
Armhole CircumferenceX3X length= medium gathers
Armhole CircumferenceX4X length= very gathered
Only does puff sleeves that are gathered at the top and then pulled in by way of elastic at the wrist
*Determine how full you want the sleeve (see chart)
*Measure from shoulder tip around elbow to wrist this will be your sleeve length
*Measure your armhole of your basic block
*Multiply the armhole circumference by desired fullness (see chart) draw first line as the sleeve length
*Label sleeve length
*Square out to one side only the distance of the armhole circumference from the top and the bottom
*Now draw the other sleeve length line
*Your result will be a rectangle that is your desired fullness wide by your dolls arm length long. From here you can add seam allowance to the top and bottom length and gather to fit.
*This sleeve draft ONLY makes a puff long or short sleeve.