Does your fashion doll have somewhere special to go but nothing dressy to wear? Well, we have the solution to her problem. This dress is so easy to make a child can do it, but it is dressy enough to wear to a movie premier or the ballet.
Step 1: What You Will Need
This dress is a sheath with a cape. The way the fabric falls makes a sort of collar-shaped front over the bust.
Picture 1: You need a piece of fabric that looks great on both sides. This fabric shows the same, front and back. You can also use satin which shows shiny on one side and flat on the other or any other. Satin-backed velvet would be great too.
You also need a matching piece of ribbon and a sewing machine.
Step 2: Measure Your Fabric
To determine the width of fabric you need, simply lay your fashion doll on the end of the fabric, rolling the end over the doll like in the photo. Make sure the fabric reaches all the way around the bust and hip area of your doll since these are the largest areas. You need to add an extra 1/4 inch (seam allowance) to your measurement to allow room to sew the dress together.
To determine the length of the fabric, you need about 1 1/3 the length that you doll is tall. Our fashion doll is about 12 inches. Our final dimension ended up at 16 inches.
Cut your fabric with a rotary cutter or scissors.
Also, measure your ribbon. Your ribbon needs to be as long as your dress is wide.
Step 3: Sew Up Your Dressy Dress
Picture 1: My daughter sewing the dress.
Picture 2: You need to sew your ribbon onto the bottom of the dress. Place ribbon on the bottom edge of the fabric and sew across the top edge of the ribbon.
Picture 3: Next turn the fabric inside out (ribbon on the inside). Starting on the ribbon end, sew this into a long tube, stopping about 2/3 of the way up the strip.
Picture 4: When you reach the 2/3rds mark, reverse the stitch to lock it in place. Most machines have a reverse button which allows you to back up a few stitches and then sew forward over the stitches again. This means that the dress will not come apart as easily.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Turn your tube right side out and pull onto the doll from the feet up to her armpits. Fold the un-sewn section down to make the "cape" section of the dress behind the doll. If you do not like the cut edges showing, sew another strip of ribbon along the end of the cape section.
The straps you see on the dress in the finished photo are molded onto this doll, she is wearing a bathing suit under her dress. :) Fortunately, they match the dress nicely.
She is dressed! Now she is ready for her BIG night out.
Tips for Mom or Dad or those with a little more experience:
It is best if mom or dad irons the bottom hem of the dress flat to make the ribbon lay right but it is not necessary.
You can adjust the fit of the dress if it is loose by turning back wrong side out and taking a slightly larger seam in the bust area but make sure it is not too tight because it will not fit over the hips of your fashion doll (unless yours is differently proportioned than mine) :)
You can obviously hem all the cut edges of the dress, but, for a child's project simpler is better.
I hope your youngster enjoys the dress!