MillWorks: Simple Skirts for American Girl WellieWishers

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Simple Skirts for WellieWishers

I have no connection to American Girl, other than being a fan since childhood.

This type of skirt pattern can be adapted to fit any size doll.

The hardest part of these skirts? Pretty much getting them prepped for sewing (although threading elastic can sometimes be a bit tricky, too). The sewing is pretty easy!

Begin by cutting fabric to size.

The approximate starting sizes of the skirts' pieces shown on this page were:

Brown: 6 1/2" x 21 1/2"
Dark blue: 6" x 20"
Light blue: 7" x 26"

Note: I really recommend washing fabrics to help remove any chemical residue and at least slightly reduce the risk of color transfer. Unlike me in this case, you should wash them first, just in case the fabric shrinks a bit. :)

The look of a skirt can be changed a lot just by adjusting the height or width! However, the wider you make a skirt, the more bulk there will be at the doll's waist, so I wouldn't recommend going too much larger than the light blue skirt.

Iron the bottom edge down a bit under 1/4" and then a bit under 1/2" to prep for the hem. Don't worry about being exact--although if you like smaller hems on smaller dolls, you can adjust the size to your preference. I eyeballed all of this, as part of the goal of these skirts is to just have something that can be made quickly and easily with no stress! (The brown dress' hem was done differently, so skip this step for that style. Instead, please see "Trim Variation" right now.) Open all this back up.

Do the same with the top to create your elastic casing, but don't open it back up. Instead, sew this down as close to the fold as possible, creating a casing for the elastic.

Use a safety pin to thread 6" of 1/4 elastic (or 1/2" trimmed down a bit) through the casing, tacking it down to hold it on both sides once it's successfuly threaded.

Sew the back seam with a 1/4" seam allowance. Keep the bottom edge OPEN.

Refold the hem, and stitch near the top fold to hem the skirt.

That's it!

Trim Variation

There are all sorts of ways you can change this simple pattern to make it more unique, with things like trims or embellishments. What about a fabric ruffle? Lace? Ric rac? Ribbon? The brown skirt shows one possible variation.

Create the trim by cutting a strip of fabric 2" x the skirt's widest dimension.

There is no need to cut this on the bias. Although it will be used like bias tape, it doesn't need to stretch (in fact, you don't want it to).

Iron this strip in half the long way, and then fold the edges in and iron them down (so it's in quarters), as bias tape is folded. Both edges are thus folded to the inside.

If making this style of skirt, sew this on first, before putting in the elastic. Open one side and sew it, right sides together with the skirt, just to the right of the closest fold.

Iron and fold the excess bias tape to the back, so that it is slightly above the sewn line. When you sew on the right side of the skirt, that excess fabric will get caught in the stitching.

Sew just above the bias tape on the right side, about 1/8" away from it, catching and sewing down the trim that has been ironed back to the wrong side.

Continue with the other instructions for making a skirt (beginning with the elastic casing steps). You won't refold the hem when you get to that part since you already have a finished hem.


WellieWishers are small, and the smaller a doll is, the more tedious it can be to sew for. Any little change can set your pattern way off. But this pattern is really easy and forgiving, and a neat way to use up fabric scraps.

I think it's so nice that people are posting free patterns for WellieWishers-sized dolls online, and wanted to pass on the fun. Here's where I found the patterns for other clothing my Willa is wearing:

Knit hat: Beret for Les Cheries Dolls, by Janet Longaphie (

Knit sweater: Kimono Sweater Fits 13 & 14-inch Dolls, by Janice Helge (

T-shirt: Trendy T-Shirt Designed to Fit 14.5" Dolls Such as WellieWishers, by Liberty Jane (

Have fun!

Providing crafts since October 2011. This project tutorial was created in September, 2016. Copyright 2011- and all contents by Melissa J. Taylor. Resulting products can only be kept or given away as gifts. Always keep safety in mind. FTC disclaimer: The fabric in the shirt on my doll was from a shirt I received for review that did not fit. No endorsement is implied--I was trying to make use of something that wasn't getting any use. :)