DIY No Sew Dresses for Dolls

Our Generation Dolls from Target’s Online Toy Emporium & a No-Sew Doll Dress Tutorial

cbias-disclaimer-june2014When you have a little girl – you are bound to get a certain doll catalog in the mail. You guessed it – American Girl! When Lennox looks through the catalog she wants it all but there is no way that mommy and daddy’s wallet can afford what is in there. That is when trusty Target comes into the picture, since they always have the best toys! Recently, while shopping at Target I noticed a whole aisle dedicated to the Our Generation brand. I had noticed some of these toys in the past, but recently it has really grown, just in time for the holiday season. When I noticed they had a large line of 18″ dolls – I knew this would be the perfect toy for Lennox and I could not see any difference between these Our Generation dolls and American Girl — other than the price tag!

our generation toys at targetSo, Lennox and I last week headed to Target to get a special new member of our family – Olivia! Olivia is an Our Generation 18″ doll – who honestly, I am so impressed with. I knew that Target wouldn’t fail me. They always have such a great toy selection and have recently started their online Toy Emporium – just in time for your Christmas shopping! This doll only cost $21 and had so many options. We picked Olivia because she looked so much like Lennox. When we got home, we were quick to get her out of the box. When I was doing so – I noticed some great information about the brand – which just makes me love Target even more! 


Our Generation stands for so much and really gives back. A proceed of all sales, goes to Free the children’s Power of a Girl Initiative. This is an initiative to help children in developing countries get an education – which is one of the most powerful tools we can give a girl in hopes they can escape poverty. The packaging is also made out of recycled materials, is 100% recyclable and uses natural based inks. It doesn’t get much better than that. Our Generation is promoting strong, educated, free and creative girls – I love it!

Anyway – meet Olivia!
our-generation-girl-doll-lennoxLennox quickly got her inside and start using her imagination! For some reason – she was tickled by the idea of her having underwear on … and quickly found a potty for her… so random! She started taking care of her as soon as she could. She considers Olivia her baby and hasn’t stopped using her imagination since! She will feed her, care for her, dress her and even has a bed set up for her next to her own bed! If she forgets to get her up before school, she just tells me that she was really tired and had to spend the day in bed. I know how Olivia feels sometimes!

our-generation-girl-pretendNow that we officially have an 18″ doll in our house, I wanted to be creative with Lennox. So many times I see super cute doll clothes that you can sew yourself on Pinterest, but I don’t have a sewing machine or many sewing skills so Lennox and I decided to try out a no-sew dress pattern! We had great success and made 4 different dresses – all costing only about $1.50 each and about 15 minutes of your time! Here are the directions on how to do this for your child’s 18″ dolls as well!


how to make a pillow case dress for an 18" doll, no sew american girl clothes, no sew american girl dress

What you will need:

  • Fabric Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • 1 sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper or fabric tape measure
  • Fabric (you can make these out of a fat quarter or 1/2 yard of fabric.
  • Thin ribbon or string
  • 1 large safety pin


  1. Take your fabric and cut out 2 – 8.5″ x 11″ pieces. You can use a fat quarter for this or even a 1/2 yard of fabric. I was able to even use remnants from the fabric store for super cheap!
    no sew 18" doll dress step 1
  2. Turn over each piece of fabric and create a small hem on one of the short ends, about a half inch. Put a line of hot glue and glue down to the back of the fabric. This will create a cleaner line for the bottom of your dress as well as prevent fraying of the fabric. It also hides uneven lines!no sew 18" doll dress step 2
  3. Once you have created both hems, place the pieces of fabric pattern side together and hot glue the 2 long edges together, leaving about a 2.5″ unglued area near the top for the arm sew 18" doll dress step 3
  4. Once dry, cut approximately a 2.5″ arm home on each side – rounding out the bottom. This will be come the very top of your pillow case dress.
    no sew 18" doll dress step 4
  5. Fold over one of the top pieces so that you leave a lip of about a 1/2 inch to put the ribbon straps through. Put hot glue only on the very bottom/edge and glue down.Repeat on the other side.
    no sew 18" doll dress step 5
  6. Taking a large safety pin, pin one end of the ribbon. This will help you thread the ribbon through the top holes of the dress.
    no sew 18" doll dress step 6
  7. Put the safety pin through the hole, crunching up the fabric to get it all the way through. Pull the ribbon through the first hole and loop it around through the other side. This will create the shoulder strap on one side and shoulder bow for the sew 18" doll dress step 7
  8. Turn the dress inside out carefully and even out the ribbon! Now you just need to put the dress on the doll and tie the bow and you are done! If the fabric is really wrinkled or you are using a thick fabric – you may need to lightly iron it!no sew 18" doll dress step 8
  9. Put the dress on your doll and tie the bow and you are done! Here is the finished product! This dress falls just above the doll’s knees!DIY No Sew Dresses for American Girl Dolls

This is so easy to do and there are so many possibilities. I made another version – and added an extra hem on the bottom to make a strip of accent fabric. 

DIY No Sew Dresses for American Girl Dolls

If you have a little one to shop for this holiday season, you really need to check out the improved Target toy section for the best toys around. They have a wide variety toys that touch on a group of core themes: Explore, Discover, Active, Imagine, Create, and Build!

Have you checked out Our Generation dolls yet?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for #CollectiveBias and the #TargetToys campaign. All opinions and photos are 100% my own.

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19 thoughts on “Our Generation Dolls from Target’s Online Toy Emporium & a No-Sew Doll Dress Tutorial

  1. Shaun

    Uhm, SUPER CUTE! So crafty lady! I’ve been eyeing these dolls for a while and I think the doll and a few accessories may appear under the tree this year! I’ll get a head start by crafting some extra clothes!

  2. Yona Williams

    That is such a cute dress. I bet people who have sewing skills really have a lot of fun making doll clothes for daughters and granddaughters…I know I would if I could.

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  4. Trish

    This is adorable. I might use it in a DIY doll program I’m doing. I do have a question though: did you do anything to the raw edges of the armholes to prevent fraying? Thank you! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jen

    I used your tutorial to entertain my 9 year old daughter after I had foot surgery and knew I wouldn’t be able to walk. The directions were so clear and easy to follow! Unfortunately, my hot glue gun broke and I didn’t have enough glue for the other size, but we adapted it to the sewing machine and it was just as easy. It was her first time sewing and she did a wonderful job! Thank you for the idea!

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