Easy to Sew Tops for American Girl Dolls

My daughter has been asking me for days to sew summer tops for her dolls. It is already in the high 90s here in AZ (sometimes 100+) so it is really hot and dry. My daughter feels that her dolls should be wearing comfortable, fun and fresh clothes that go with our weather here. Since my daughter wants to try sewing, I came up with something really easy that needs no pattern. So we made these together and we ended up with a haltered, off shoulder, ruffled and tube top.

UPDATE: This is the written updated tutorial as per request by so many of my awesome subscribers. Please note that all seams are sewn at 1/4 inch allowance and the pattern can be downloaded after step 9.

Step 1


Cut your fabric according to this measurement – 10 inches in height by 15 inches in width

Step 2


With right sides together, fold fabric in half like the photo above and sew on both sides.

Step 3


Turn the fabric to the right side and fold in half to find the center. Mark it with a pin.

Step 4


Fold one side overlapping 0.5 inch from the center as marked by the pin.

Step 5


Do the same for the other side. Fold it towards the center, overlapping at 0.5 inches away from it.

Step 6


Using a doll shirt or the pattern I provided here, trace the outline on the fabric (sides only) to shape the bodice. Remove the pattern and pin the fabric together.

Step 7


Sew on the outline that you just traced to shape the bodice as show in the photo above.

Step 8


Turn the fabric to the right side. Zigzag the bottom edge and fold about 1/4 inch to the wrong side and hem/sew to finish it.

Step 9


For the straps, I cut about 4 inches matching ribbon and I sew it about an inch away from the side. This is not the same for all dolls though as they can differ in sizes. The best way to do this and put the bodice on your doll and measure how much strap you need and where to best place it. I sewed velcro on the back for closure.


And this is the finished product on McKenna

easy top for american girl dolls

The photos below are variations that you can do using the basic top above.

ivy For the peplum on Ivy, I cut the fabric at 8 inches in height (instead of the original 10 inches). The peplum measures at 2 inches in height by 26 inches wide. I gathered it to fit the bodice and sewed it to bottom edge.
kanani For this one shoulder style on Kanani, the ruffle measures at 20 inches wide by 2 inches in height. I hemmed the bottom and gathered it to fit the shoulder.
halter-top The strap on this halter-top style measures at 7 inches long each. I put a little pearl button on the center for accent.
tubetopamericangirldoll Instead of adding a strap, I added ruffles instead to make it a tube top. Jessica wore it over a tank top for style.

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