How to Convert 18” Doll Patterns to 16” CPK Patterns

Converting patterns are fairly easy. Most of the patterns available to purchase today are for American Girl Dolls and similar 18” dolls. Cabbage Patch Kids are a little shorter and chubbier. Since OK factory ‘Kids are the chubbiest, I like to use them for my models. That way, the outfits are sure to fit.
First, I like to copy all my patterns with a copier/printer so that I can put away the originals in a safe place. Plus, this way I can write on the copies without it messing up the originals.

Simplicity 7091IMG_9150For this tutorial, I’m going to use Simplicity 7091 A (Dorothy dress from the Wizard of Oz).
The pattern says it’s for 18” dolls. First I cut out the copies of the patterns.
IMG_9152Then I pin the two bodice pieces together at the marked seams (shoulder and side). Then I placed the pieces on the CPK doll to see how much I need to add to the pattern.

Bodice Front


As you can see from the photo above, in order for the bodice front center to actually meet the center of the doll torso, I’d have to add about a half inch to the center front. With pattern-altering, you don’t want to add large sections at one place, so I’m going to divide up the measurement. For instance, instead of adding a half inch to the center front, I will add 0.25” to the center front and 0.25” to the side front, as shown on the left.
I’m also adding 0.75” to the bottom because it’s just not quite long enough for my preference.

Bodice Back

IMG_9153On the back, because I will need enough extra length to fold over the fabric to sew the Velcro on, and to lay one side over the other, I will need to add at least 1” to the center of the back bodice piece. Since I added 0.25” to the sides of the Front Bodice, I will add 0.25” to the side back, and because I like to make sure there’s going to be enough to fold over, I will add 1.75” to the center back. As with the front, I will be adding 0.75” to the bottom.


IMG_9154Sleeve Band

The Sleeve Band is 1” smaller than the circumference of the arm, but I will also need 0.25” on each side for the seam, so I will need to add a total of 1.5” to the Sleeve Band, as shown below.IMG_9168



Because I have added 1.5 inches to the IMG_9159sleeve band, I will need to alter the Sleeve. Since the Sleeve is not just a rectangle or square but has a wave to it, I can’t just add 1.5” to the end or it will not look right. So I’m going to use my copier/printer to increase the size of the Sleeve. The Sleeve is 8.5” long and I need it to be 10” long, so calculating 10 divided by 8.5, gives me 1.176, that is 118%. So I will select 118% for my resize on my copier/printer.
Whenever I resize patterns, I label them what percentage I have resized them so that I don’t get them confused with the original size.


Since I added 0.25” to the bodice front center, and 1.75” to the bodice back center, I will need to add that much (2 inches) to the Collar, on each side. If it’s too long, I can always trim it, but if it’s too short, I will need to cut out a new piece of fabric.IMG_9172

Bib Front & Back

IMG_9161Placing the Center Front of the Bib Front & Back in the center of the cpk navel, the back is 2.25” too short, so I will add that to the width. I’ve decided I don’t like the design with both top and bottom Bib Bands, so I will only make one for the bottom and not for the top. Since I’m omitting the top band, I will make the Bib slightly larger and cut two to be sewn together. I’m making the bottom band 16” by 2” and folding it over lengthwise. I think it just looks better that way. These are just preferences that can be changed however the seamstress wants. I’m adding 0.5” to the Bib height, and increasing the length by 2.25”. IMG_9174


Shoulder Strap

IMG_9162Lining up the circles of the Shoulder Strap to the Circles on the Bib Front, it shows that the back circles do not quite line up. I will have to add 1” to the Shoulder Strap. If it’s too long, I can always trim it.IMG_9171



IMG_9164The Skirt pattern is a rectangle 16”x8.5”.  I want the skirt to be about knee-height to the cpk. So measuring from the Bodice seam to the knee, measures about 4.25”. Adding .25” for the seam, will make it 4.5”. I will leave the 16” measurement the same.



Here is the finished product with my adjustments. I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful.