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American Girl and Similar 18 Inch Dolls - Tutu Costume

This tutu costume is a nice addition to your doll's wardrobe. It will fit 18 inch (45cm) American Girl, other American historical dolls, Gotz Precious Day Girl Dolls, Corolle Dolls, and similar size dolls.

These instructions are for your doll with a 12 inch waist. And with a length from waist to knees of 5 inches.

I recommend making this longer version of the tutu with the full bodied 18 inch dolls.

The photo below shows how your doll tutu will look with the fullness I recommend here.
tutu costume by Susan Kramer

- Two thirds yard of nylon net that is 42 inches wide.

- One quarter inch elastic that is one half inch longer than waist measurement.

- Decorations for the finishing touch.


1. I used a stiff nylon net material in a strip 11 inches by 42 inches (the width of the nylon net).

2. Fold the netting in half on the long edge so it is 5.5 inches wide and 2 layers thick.

3. I recommend the fullness to be 7 times the waist measurement of your doll. So, if she has a 12 inch waist you'll need to make the width 84 inches. That would be one more piece like in number 1.

This gives your doll a nice full skirt.

There is no need for a side seam because of the fullness of the skirt and additionally, nylon net does not ravel.

4. Next, sew a casing for one quarter inch wide elastic along the folded edge by stitching in one half inch from the folded edge.

5. Measure your dollís waist and cut a one quarter inch wide piece of elastic one half inch longer for overlap.

6. Thread elastic through casing and stitch elastic closed. Again, you do not need to sew netting together because it is so full.

If the dollís waist is 12 inches around, the fullness of the tutu will be 7 times greater. This is full enough for the finished tutu to stand out to the sides.

And, by having folded the netting in half you've made a built in lining, creating a nice fullness. Tease the layers apart after dressing the doll.

To finish, pull the tutu on and decorate it if you wish. Some ideas are small bows of satin ribbon, satin rosettes, dabs of glue and glitter (tutu will not be able to be washed).

This basic tutu can be used as the basis for many costume ideas, such as a bridal gown, ballet skirt, Cinderella skirt, and fairy costume.

Bodice Costume Sewing Instructions
Bodice Costume Pattern

Special Doll Making Techniques

Article and photo of tutu by Susan Kramer

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Content copyright © 2013 by Susan Kramer. All rights reserved.
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