Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easy Doll Dress Tutorial

This is Lucy.  My daughter has a thing called treasure chest at school which is basically a box filled with weird stuff that her teacher gets from various places.  The kids get to pick something out when they do a really good job at school.  Lucy came from that box.  She is obviously handmade and while she was a bit grubby when we got her I saw her potential.  She had some ridiculous dress on that was lost when we got her and quickly replaced by a dress that my daughter made from a piece of scrap fabric with two holes cut in it.  My daughter seems to have a thing for strange handmade second had items (her blankie is a weird quilt my mom bought at a yard sale with furry bears appliqued on it) so of course Lucy now has to sleep with her.  I finally had enough of her crazy clothes and decided to put an end to it today. I made up a tutorial as I went a long and this dress can be customized to fit any doll.

Start by taking your dolls measurements.  You will need: (1) top of where you want the bodice to hit to the waist, (2) waist to where you want the skirt bottom to be, (3) bust and (4) waist.   Add in your seam allowance to these measurements.  Since this is doll clothing I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Using your bust measurements cut out two squares.  The width should be half of measurement 3 and length of measurement 1.

Cut out six skirt panels.  These should be the length of measurement 2.  They should each be the width of half of measurement 4.

Make some bias tape (you can also use store bought and skip this step).  I'm not real exact about this, I cut some strips of fabric about 2 inches wide and about 20 inches long.  Press in half and then unfold.  Press each side into the center.  Fold it in half and press.

On your square bodice pieces cut in 1 inch from the top and 1 inch from the side to take out a little rectangle of fabric like so.  Do this on both sides on both pieces.  These are the armholes.

Hem the top of the pieces.

Using your bias tape carefully trim the cut armhole edges starting at the bottom.  Sew up past the top, sewing just the bias tape together several inches, this make the strap.  Do this on both armholes on each piece.

Place the two bodice pieces right sides together and sew from the bottom sides to the bottom of the armhole on each side.  Sit bodice aside.

Stitch each of the six skirt panels together along the sides.

Press the bottom of your skirt panel into a hem and stitch.

Using a gathering stitch run a row of stitches along the top of the skirt panel.  Pull the threads to gather the skirt top until it fits the bodice.  Fold the skirt in half, right sides together and stitch the seam.

With the skirt turned  wrong side out place the bodice with its right side facing out upside down inside of the skirt.  Pin the bottom of the bodice to the top of the skirt and stitch all the way around.

Flip the whole thing right side out and you have your finished dress.

Place it on your doll and tie the ties and you know have a pretty little dress for your doll.

P.S. I know that these instructions might be a little confusing, but hopefully the pictures help.  It's really an easy quick sew.