This pattern includes 2 dresses on one PDF for 18 inch dolls.
Each dress requires 3/4yd. of fabric. I used cotton for the white dresses pictured, as it is easy to wash. I recommend finding fabrics at the thrift store (See the red velvet dress- it was a 1 yard remnant that I bought for $2) Both dresses can be made from a large pillowcase.
You may wish to use trims on your dress. Again, I recommend checking out the thrift store for bags of trim at a really cheap price.
Each dress requires a closure (snaps and buttons work best; you may opt to use a small bit of elastic to snag the buttons of the closure, as shown.)
Sew with 1/4inch seam allowance on all seams. I even used 1/4inch for the hems of the sleeves and bottom of the dress.
Assembling the Pattern
Print the pattern actual size. For directions how to do this, click here.
Puzzle Time! Cut the patterns from the printer paper and assemble by matching the line letters and notches. Use the shaded area to tape the pieces together to get a true size.
Cut the pattern from fabric. 3/4 yard will do, or a pillowcase… whatever you have on hand.
Matching the notches, sew the sides to the front piece with right sides facing.
Matching the notches, sew the back pieces to the side pieces.
On the sleeves, fold up the bottom 1/4 inch and hem; on the machine or by hand, depending on the fabric and ideal final look. Fold the sleeves in half, with right sides facing, and sew from the underarm to the hem. The final look is designed to be a 3/4 length sleeve. For a short sleeve, cut the length of the sleeve as desired, or add length for a long sleeve when cutting the pattern from fabric.
Turn the sleeves right sides out and sew to the dress body, matching notches. This is kind of an awkward seam. Start by matching the seams between the front and side, with the seam on the sleeve. Pin these seams together. With the sleeve on top of the dress body, sew the sleeve to the dress. Adjust the sleeve as you sew. See the video below to see how it’s done.
Slash the curves of the underarm seams to give the garment some flexibility. Careful not to cut the stitching.
Beginners: Sew the neckline (as directed below) before sewing the back seam.
Sew the back seam, matching notches. Sew from the black dot (located on paper pattern piece) to the hem at the bottom of the dress. Leave the top part open.
Fold back the tabs of the back and press into place. This will leave a small area to help slip the dress onto the doll. You will need a closure (or closures) to secure this area.
Fold down 1/4 inch of the raw edge along the neckline and hem into place by machine, or by hand. It can be helpful for beginners to do this before closing the back, but it is up to you. A trim can be added to hide the stitching, and, just for fun.
Put the dress on the doll and determine where you will sew the seam. 1/4 inch seems to work pretty good for my dolls. I chose to serge the edge before hemming, but that is not necessary. You could also apply a trim to the hem to fanci-fy it.
Hem the bottom of the dress, by machine or hand.
Apply closures as desired. I found that an elastic loop and button worked well. It would be especially pretty to put several of these down the back opening.
Sew the dress sides to the dress front, matching notches with right sides facing.
Sew the dress backs to the dress sides, matching notches and right sides together.
Press the pieces as flat as possible. There are curves at the waist that may buckle the fabric slightly. Slash the curved seams to eliminate some of the curves.
Sew the facings together, paying attention to which way is up. Match notches and sew sides to front with right sides together. Then sew the back pieces to the sides. Press it out flat.
Sew the facing to the dress body with right sides together. Sew only the top seam, not the sides! Slash the curves. Careful not to clip the stitching! Turn right side out and press well
Sew the entire back seam.
Prepare the collar by pressing in the short sides 1/4 inch. Then, press down the long sides 1/4 inch. Fold the entire piece in half and press well. Allow to cool before handling.
Place the middle of the dress front at the notch on the collar and sew the bottom edge.
Put the dress on the doll and measure for the closure. I used a pearl snap, because I thought it was cute… and snaps are super simple with a pair of snap pliers.
Measure for a hem. I used a 1/4 inch hem, and it worked just fine. I chose to serge the hem before turning and machine stitching.
The fabric I used for this project was a curtain panel I found at the thrift store. Funny enough, it was lined with white cotton and contained tulle to make it puffy. I used the tulle for the veil in Dress A. You never know what goodies you can find in the housewares department of the thrift store!!
Enjoy!! Happy Sewing!