Friday my oldest daughter had a birthday party to attend. Together this friend and her do a lot of doll playing. So she wanted to give her something for her new doll, which she received for her birthday. It was an American Girl Doll and this gift request came on Wednesday.
There was no time for anything but something homemade. I had never sewn an outfit for a doll before. But I went online and figured it couldn’t be THAT hard.
I did it! And now that I’ve done it, next time it will be even easier.
I’m no pro at this, but I’ll tell you a little how I made it happen.
I started by downloading a free pattern for a pillowcase style dress for a doll, by Liberty Jane Patterns. It’s a simple pattern that looks more complicating than it is. But most of the free pillowcase doll patterns I found came with matching outfits for a girl, and I didn’t want to mess with that many pages of patterns to sort through. I chose a pillowcase style because I wanted something basic, to fit my sewing skills.
Plus I already planned on making a matching skirt for the birthday girl, and that was all the fabric I had on hand. I was after all starting this project Thursday night at 11 p.m.
The You-Tube tutorial on the site was most helpful. Instead of sewing ties, I took a shortcut by using ribbons. And instead of using a rubber band to accent the dress and provide its form, I took it a step further by sewing on a more permanent tie. I did so by sewing a ribbon on the back of the dress, and then put velcro on the front parts of the tie that had a permanent bow sewed on. This way it could be adjusted, similar to the band style in the pattern.
I printed out the page with the pattern for the dress. But in the end, the dress was too short. I’m not sure if it was me or the pattern. Maybe both. Either way the pattern was a good place to start.
To make up for the dress being too short, I made matching shorts to go under the dress. To do that I cut out additional fabric using the original pattern minus the cut outs for the arms, and made it into a skirt with an elastic waist. Then I cut a slit in the middle of the skirt and sewed the legs together to make shorts. It worked beautifully!
Here’s the doll dress, with the matching lazy days skirt for the birthday girl.
And yes, my daughters instantly requested these for themselves and their dolls as well – plus dresses for themselves. I supose more sewing is in order. Which is fun for me.
For more homemade good times with American Girl Dolls see our Homemade American Girl Doll birthday party.