Prairie Dress with Bloomers Sewing Tutorial

Get the pattern here. See the video here.

The Basics:

Cotton, non-stretch, fabric is recommended.

This pattern requires a closure for the back of the dress and elastic for the bloomers.

Sew all seams using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Print the pattern:

If you are having difficulty finding or downloading your pattern, see Etsy’s directions here. For best results, print the pattern actual size. For directions to do this, click here. Cut out the pattern pieces and tape matching sides together at the shaded areas. Hash lines will mostly match; although not perfectly.

Sew the Bloomers:

Matching notches, place the bloomers pieces with right sides facing and sew the front seam as shown in the picture below. The front is the side with the single notch (circled in red).

Unfold the bloomers and fold down the waist band about 1 inch. Press with an iron and sew, making sure the elastic will fit through the casing.

Fold up the leg openings about 1 inch, press with an iron and sew into place.

Using the doll, measure the waist and thighs for elastic and cut.

Insert the elastic to the waist and legs of the bloomers and pin into place.

Fold the bloomers, matching raw edges of the back, and sew. You may want to sew a ribbon into this seam to indicate the back of the garment.

Match the raw edges of the crotch area and sew.

Sewing the Dress:

With right sides facing, match the shoulders of the front and back and sew as shown in the pictures below. Open and use an iron to press flat.

For the collar:

With right sides facing, sew together two collar pieces. Clip the corner and slash the seams, as necessary. Turn right side out and press well.

Pin the collar to the neckline of the bodice, matching notches.

Place the bodice pieces together with right sides facing, collar sandwiched in between.

Sew as directed below.

For the Bodice:

Place the bodice pieces with right sides facing and pin.

Sew the back and neck as shown in the picture below. Cut the points and slash the curved seams.

Turn right side out and press well with a steamy iron.

With the collar


Fold up a hem on the sleeves and sew. The length of the sleeve is up to you and the size elastic you are using. For this tutorial, I made the sleeves extra short by folding up 1.5″ of the hem. If you want to install a ruffle instead, do that now.

With a needle and thread, create a running stitch on the cap of the sleeve (between the black dots noted on the pattern).

Pin the ends of the sleeves to the armhole (front and back). Pin the middle of the sleeve cap to the shoulder seam. Pull the threads of the running stitch until the length of the armhole and the sleeve match, with gathers in the middle. Pin the gathers into place and sew.

Measure the doll for the right size elastic at the sleeve.

Use a safety pin or barrette to thread the elastic through the sleeve casing. Use pins to secure into place.

With right sides facing, match the sleeve elastics and seams. Sew the underarm seam, securing the elastic into place at the sleeve.

Press out the skirt piece and fold down a hem. The length of the hem should be determined by the style of the dress and the height of the doll. Measure accordingly.

If you choose to install a ruffle, do so now. This pattern does not include a pattern piece for the ruffle because it is a simple rectangle measured as follows: The length of the ruffle is approximately 2x the width of the skirt. Measure carefully to determine the ruffle length (include the hem measurement when cutting).

Sew the hem of the skirt or ruffle.

There are many ways to make a ruffle on a skirt. Below are directions for the way I learned as a beginner. If you have your own method, use it here.

With a needle and thread, make a running stitch along the top of the skirt to attach to the bodice.

Pull the thread until the skirt width is the same as the bodice. Pin the ends of the skirt into place on the bodice before carefully pinning along the gathers to secure.

When the gathers are pinned into place, check to make sure they are relatively even.

Fold the dress so the back openings overlap about 1inch. Pin the back into place.

Once the back is pinned, Match the skirt raw edges together (right sides facing) and create a seam.

Sew the skirt and bodice together, making sure the back pieces overlap.

Apply a closure to the back. If you are good with the buttonholer on your machine, now would be a good time to use it. Other closures could be hook and loop tape or snaps.

Happy Sewing!

See the bonnet pattern here:

Published by lessismorelifestyle

Do you like saving money and learning new skills? Less is More Lifestyle focuses on crafting projects and recipes that save money!

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