May 04, 2015

Colonial Shirt for American Girl Doll

See the other free colonial tutorials

These shirt instructions are super easy and can be done by a beginner sewer.

What you need

  • 1/4 yard lightweight cotton fabric
  • 20" string (cotton twine, cotton string, yarn,  ...)
  • small safety pin

How to make the Shirt

1. Cut a rectangle 30" x 8 1/2". To get a true rectangle I normally tear the fabric rather than cutting.
    To tear, make a small cut with your scissors and then rip the rest of the way.
    If you rip the fabric, I recommend ironing afterwards to shrink the rips back into shape.

2.  On one of the long sides, make a 1/4" double hem (fold up 1/4" then another 1/4")
     This is your bottom hem

3. Zigzag or serge both short ends

4. Fold both short ends in 1/4" to the wrong side.
    Then on the other long side, make a 3/8" double hem (fold up 3/8" then another 3/8")
    This is your neck hem.

5. Align both short ends, right sides together.
    Try to unfold the 1/4" that was folded in earlier as far as possible.
    This crease is where you sew your seam (this is going to be your back seam)

6. Mark your center on the other side with a pin on top and bottom

7.  Align your back seam with the pins marking the center

8. With a pencil mark a 4" long line 2 3/4" parallel to the outer edges.
    Line should start at the bottom hem (1/4" hem)

9. Sew 1/4" on either side of the line and connect the two sew lines.
    You can do that in one go.
    Repeat for the other side

10. Take scissors and cut along the pencil line until 1/4" to the sew line.
      Cut a Y going very close to the sewing corners but make sure you don't cut the thread.

11. Zigzag or serge the rough edges

12. Take a small safety pin and tie cotton twine/yarn to the safety pin.
       Thread safety pin through neck hem and gather fabric.

You are done !!!


  1. Thank you so much for the patterns! I live these. Trying to turn a pile of old clothes into doll dresses.