Recycling and No-Sew Techniques

Wait! I Can Use That!

~Recycling Fabric and Other No-Sew Techniques When Sewing Doll Clothes~

Did you know that you can create one-of-a-kind outfits and accessories without using your sewing machine? With just a few hand stitches (or none at all), you can transform ordinary items into one of a kind accents for dolly’s outfits. These easy sewing projects use easy no-sew methods that allow you to be creative and discover new ways to incorporate otherwise discarded items into dolly’s wardrobe to give her a style all her own. Take cloth and recycle it into any number of wardrobe options for Dolly.

Before making your first cut, it is always a good idea to think about which outfits each piece will go with and color coordinate as much as possible. Remember to use items appropriate for dolly’s size and shape. Not all dolls may have much stuffing. Look at accessorizing scrap dolls as well.


What items can I recycle?

  • Fingers from stretchy gloves
  • Stretched out pony tail holders
  • Hand towels and wash cloths
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Stretch elastic and beads
  • Old scarves
  • Paper bowls and cups
  • Use your imagination!

What can I create?


  • Enhance Dolly’s wardrobe and make a pair of leggings by cutting the fingers and tips off a pair of old stretchy gloves or create mittens out of the tips of the gloves. For a dressier option, use children’s stretchy gloves and hand stitch or use fabric glue to add lace to the top for fashionable socks.
  • Stretched out pony tail holders become unique necklaces, bracelets, and belts. The color and style options are limitless!
  • Hand towels and wash cloths transform into comfy blankets and beach towels.
  • Use pins or Velcro and turn a handkerchief into a cute summer dress or sarong.
  • Glue beads on bits of stretchy elastic for coordinating necklaces and bracelets.
  • Use a needle and thread to hand stitch an old scarf into a lovely gown, skirt, or neck scarf.
  • Make use of leftover paints, feathers, and beads to decorate paper bowls and cups for hats. Thread elastic or ribbon on either side to secure them to dolly’s head.
  • Turn remnants of polar fleece into blankets, ponchos, skirts, scarves, and shawls. This is a perfect area for fabric recycling.
  • Adhere Velcro to small strips of fabric and make a belt.

Use this as a teachable moment and introduce your kiddos to the world of sewing without turning them loose with a needle and scissors. Take a few minutes to cut out the fabric and other materials so they can piece together their own outfits in a few simple steps. Prepare strips of the sticky Velcro and show them how to line up each side to match when the garment is closed. Kids have a wonderful imagination and will come up with uses for odds and ends that you may not think of.

With these things in mind, see your sewing room with new eyes. Look at the bits and pieces of leftover fabrics and notions and find ways they can be used to enhance dolly’s wardrobe.

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