Book Review: The Dolls Dressmaker


When I first started dressing antique reproduction dolls, The Dolls Dressmaker The Complete Pattern Book by Venus A. Dodge was THE source of  inspiration I turned to again and again.


In the book, basic pattern shapes are given for dolls from 11 inches (28cm) to 22 inches (56cm). The author explains in wonderful detail how to combine these shapes, alter them and add to them to make an endless variety of doll clothes. These patterns can work for antique, vintage or modern dolls.


Ms. Dodge shows how to take basic shapes and make them up in a variety of ways. She takes you beyond merely following patterns into the creation of your own designs.


There are patterns for a variety of underwear styles. Over the years I have adjusted and adapted these patterns, but the underwear patterns I use today started with this book.


She even covers hats, shoes and accessories.

This is a great starter book for anyone who wants to dress their dolls. I learned many valuable lessons about how to “make it work”.

It does not, however, cover costuming of tiny dolls. I found that I could adjust the size on my copier for dolls as small as 9 inches, but they didn’t work well for smaller dolls.

The Dolls Dressmaker was first published in 1987. My copy is from 1991, but I believe that there were later versions published. It is now out of print, but both new and used copies can be found online for very little money.

If you decide that you need to add this book to your library, promise me that you won’t just look at the pictures. You will only get the full benefit by reading and studying the text, as well.

If you own this book, please share your thoughts about it.



Book Review: The Dolls Dressmaker — 2 Comments

  1. This was also the first book I found on costuming. I still pull it out every once in a while. All those sizes were very helpful before I could scan and change the size of patterms.