Peg dolls have been called by many names, including peg woodens, Dutch dolls, and Flanders Babies. According to the National Museum of Wales, "In the 17th and 18th century children played with Dutch dolls called 'Flanders babies'. In America they were called peg dolls although they were not made out of pegs." Making clothes for a peg doll isn't any different than creating clothes for any other doll, except that peg dolls are rigid. Therefore, dressing the doll will be easier if the clothing opens in the back or front.
Measure the length of your doll from the shoulder to below the knee, then add 2.5 cm (1 inch) to this measurement. Measure the width of the doll from shoulder to shoulder and then add 2.5 cm (1 inch) to this measurement. Cut a paper rectangle (dress pattern) to these new width and length measurements.
Fold your fabric with the right sides touching so the horizontal width from Step 1 forms the shoulders of the dress along the fold. You won't sew any shoulder seams. Place the pattern on the fabric, aligning the top of the pattern rectangle with the fold and pin. Cut the two layers of fabric. Don't cut the fold.
Use the ruler to determine the centre of the width measurement (width divided by 2) and cut a vertical line up the centre back. Measure the diameter of the doll's head and cut a circle half of this diameter for a neck hole in the centre of the top fold of the dress.
Fold the edges on each side of the cut dress back and the neckline over against the wrong side of the fabric 6 mm (1/4 inch) and pin. Sew, using a 6-mm (1/4-inch) seam allowance and a straight stitch. Remove the pins from the hemmed dress back and neckline as you sew.
Align the sides of the rectangle/dress with the right sides of the fabric touching. The dress should be inside out.
Measure the diameter of the doll's arms, add 13 mm (1/2 inch) and divide by 2. Measure, on the dress, from the shoulder fold down the dress sides according to this measurement. Fold the edges of the sleeveless armhole 6 mm (1/4 inch) over against the wrong side of the fabric and pin. Repeat for the other sleeve/side of dress.
Sew using a 6-mm (1/4-inch) seam allowance and straight stitch to hem the sleeveless armholes. Remove the pins.
Align the sides of the dress. Pin the sides beneath the hemmed armholes. Sew each side, using a 6-mm (1/4-inch) seam allowance and straight stitch. Remove the pins.
Fold the bottom edge of the dress over against the wrong side of the fabric, 6 mm (1/4 inch), and pin. Sew using a straight stitch and 6-mm (1/4-inch) seam allowance. Remove pins.
Place one side of the snap on top of the left upper corner of the divided dress back (on the right side of the fabric) and sew into place with a needle and thread. Place the other section of the snap beneath the top right corner of the divided dress back (on the wrong side of the fabric) and hand sew into place.
The dress can be shortened to make a shirt or lengthened to ankle length to make a longer dress or nightgown.
Tips and warnings
- The dress can be shortened to make a shirt or lengthened to ankle length to make a longer dress or nightgown.