Tutorial :Reverse Engineering Doll Clothes- Moxie Teenz Gavin Pants

Do you want to make clothes for a doll that there are no commercial patterns for? Here is one way--I like to call it reverse engineering, this is where you take apart the original clothes and make patterns from them. In this tutorial I am making a pants pattern for Moxie Teen Gavin out of the pants from the shiny blue suit he came with.
On the left Gavin's sporty new pants on the right shiny blue pants.
Photo heavy tutorial after the jump.

Carefully remove all the stitching from the pants along the seams--use a seam ripper or a small sharp scissor. Label each piece--RB for right back, LF for left front etc. as you remove the pieces.

Iron them flat.

Trace them onto paper--I just use printer paper and pencil. . I have only traced one front and one back because the shapes are exactly the same for RB/LB and RF/LF, so I will just cut two of each.Label your patterns. Gavin's pants, like many commercial doll clothes do not finished edges on the waist or cuff.

Add 1/2 inch to you tracing at waist and cuff. This is so we can finish the edges better so they will not fray.

Fold a piee of fabric in half so you have two layers of fabric and pin your pieces on. Pin vertical or horizontal to selvedge-(edge of fabric) not diagonally (on the bias) which can cause shape/stretching issues with the pants

My cotton fabric is the same on both sides, but if yours had an outside and inside pay close attention when assembling below.

My helper.

Take the two fronts, with right side together (on the inside) sew the front seam.

Seam Sewn

Clip curve--to bit not through stitching--this will make it fit better, closer to the body.

Open so you have the outside of the fabric facing you use a chalk to trace any stitching if you like from original. A word about boy/men doll clothes--if you leave out details like the fly--it will look like they are wearing girl clothes. I also sewed a line of top stitching from the center crotch to the waistband edge--again just for more realism.

I want these pants to be sporty--In my opinion nothing makes them sportier that some more top stitching--if you are make a pair of formal pants I would leave this out.

Now the back--using you original pants as a guide position a small piece of Velcro for the closure on the OUTSIDE of the pattern peice (just like the original) and sew in place--just a zig zag stitch down the center of the Velcro will work at this scale.

Stick the velcro together and sew the little backwards "c" here--(the good side or outside of the fabric again is on the inside here.) The dark part here has been treated with fray check liquid.

Line up the crotch seams of the fronts and the backs.

Pin it so it does not slide around--keeping the seam lined up will look so much better on the finished pants.

Sew the seam from one cuff to the other.

Finish this long seam edge. I used my serger--but you could use a zig zag stitch or even just some fray check  or pinking shears.

Very important--press flat seam to one side.

This is the cuff edge of pants leg--I finished the edge with the serger--finish as you desire.

Fold up 1/4 or as on original and sew.

Add more top stitching if you like.
Pin side together and sew and finish as you like-pants are inside out at this point

Turn the pants right side out. Try the pants on and fold waist band down to desired level. Pin, remove from doll and press well. make sure the back edges are folded under and behind and the velcro matches up.
You can sew the velcro down on the outside like this, it will also secure the edges of the fabric and keep the waistband folded and in place.If you do not like this look. just put a few stitches by hand into the seams and at the Velcro to hold the waist band in place.
Gavin loves his new pants :)


  1. This is a good way to get extra patterns, particularly basic patterns that you can then change. And you can tweak the pattern to correct the things you don't like - don't you find you do that too?

    1. Absolutely--I find the hardest part is getting a perfect fitting pattern--after that you can change it--lower rise, bell bottoms, skinny jeans etc all from modifying the original.

  2. Great tutorial. I love your added touches of topstitch.

  3. Who is the doll with Gavin? He looks niceee, want one :D


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