Perhaps the most challenging thing about making doll clothes for Barbie is working in such small sizes. There are some simple designs you can use to make outfits, and none require much sewing. This is a great project to help preteen girls learn to sew by hand. It can easily be modified to suit younger girls also. The clothes can be as complicated or as simple as you like. With many variations possible, girls who own Barbie dolls will be inspired to create new designs.
Make Barbie a winter cloak with fur and fabric. Cut a piece of velvet, jersey or other warm fabric into a 9-inch rectangle. Stitch a piece of thread through the top to gather the material together at the neckline, allowing the cape to hang in folds. Create a collar with a small piece of fake fur with a thin backing. Edge the bottom and opening of the cape with fur. Sew two narrow ribbons to the front to tie the cape shut.
Sew a matching fur hat. Cut a 5-inch piece of fake fur. Sew the edges together so it forms a circle that fits over Barbie's hair. Cut a circle of fur large enough to cover the top of the hat. Attach it by sewing it on.
Make a swimsuit cover-up using a facecloth. Cut a 3-by-10-inch piece of terry cloth. Cut a round hole in the centre for Barbie's head. Try it on to adjust it. It must be wide enough to fit around, but the shoulders can be cut narrow so it hangs properly. A long, narrow piece makes a belt. Make belt loops with pieces of thread on either side of the waist. This is a good project for younger girls because it needs no sewing. Preteens might want to sew the sides of the outfit.
Make a corduroy jumper or dress. Cut a 10-inch piece of fabric, making a hole in the centre for the head. Sew the sides together, and hem the bottom. Attach two long thin rectangles of fabric as straps. Sew tiny buttons or other decorations on the front.
Help younger girls create a dress using paper towels, sequins and glue. Cut a 15-inch piece of plain white paper towel. Cut a hole for the head. Tape the sides together under the arms. Glue sequins along the neckline and hem. This is a quick, simple and elegant dress young girls can make themselves.
Alter these designs to be easy or elaborate. The outfits can be made in fabric from silk to cotton and in patterns from stripes to florals.