Saige Dresses for Success

I loved making this dress. I want to rave about Matilda’s Closet who designs and distributes this pattern in PDF form. Although this pattern is on the complicated side (I didn’t know how to put it together without reading the directions), the pattern directions were easy to follow and so were the photos.

A closeup of Saige's dress with a large collar and pleats down the front

Since this is a close shot, I’ll interject a note about these buttons. I have a beautiful collection of buttons, and I have more pink accessories than I could ever dream of using. But I was surprised that I had no tiny pink buttons, except for buttons with four holes. I prefer two holes so I used these. You might notice that my sewing stitches on the buttons are all horizontal. No matter how you stitch your buttons, I suggest that all buttons be stitched in the same direction. This way, the precise direction of the thread adds to the design. In addition, the stitches look better if you overlap the button threads as little as possible.

I love these little hoop earrings (or demi-hoops) that are made by 2 Sisters Sew Crafty. These earrings are classy like plain hoops can be, but the ends of them are straight so that they fit into the doll’s pierced ear and head. I think I got the pearl bracelet from Carpatina awhile back. I don’t see it now but the site has some pretty jewelry.

Here’s a full shot of the dress that only looks good with long hair that is pulled back or off the neck due to the size of the collar.

Full view of this dress for success

The two pleats above the waistband and the two below the waistband are simple to create. The pattern pieces are marked with notches on the pattern edges. The marked fabric pieces are folded so that the notches meet, creating a fold for each pleat. This same method is used at the skirt part of the dress. When the top and skirt are sewn properly to the waistband, the pleats line up. If you look at both these top photos of the dress, you can see the pleats. If you go to the Matilda’s Closet pattern, you will see other photos of this dress. The pleats are much easier to view on the dresses made of solid fabric.

A view of the dress off the hanger reveals more of the construction. These attractive tabs are inserted into the side seams.

Dress off hanger

The side zipper (four inches long) can be spotted below. I also hand-stitched a strip of one-inch bias tape to cover the seams of the wrong side of the waist band. When I can, I keep the inside of my doll clothes tidy. In general, both finished and covered seams hold up better than unfinished seams if a garment should need laundering.

Off the hanger with view of zipper and liner band

I haven’t used other patterns by Matilda’s Closet, and I don’t know her personally. I usually favor “vintage-styled” doll dresses, but I adore this dress pattern.

I originally planned to try out patterns by a few doll clothes designers before creating my own. But I’m having so much fun sewing that I’ve gotten sidetracked. I’ve come across various patterns in PDF form, all of them good in one way or another. I’m impressed by the pattern pieces, even the ones that are hand-drawn. I enjoy looking at dolls styled by designers, bloggers and AG lovers on Instagram. I love American Girl (and Madame Alexander), and I’m having a great time styling these beautiful 18-inch dolls.


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9 thoughts on “Saige Dresses for Success

    • Oh, I didn’t know that an African American doll was being considered. I’m a little nervous about that. I have two Madame Alexander dolls that have varying degrees of black qualities. I’ve seen others that I don’t care for. It’s hard to picture an African American doll with the little American girl lips and teeth. The AG face has changed somewhat with the production of Grace, so I’ll be curious about what they come up with.

        • As AG dolls go, Addy isn’t very pretty, IMO. I’m happy to see an African American doll but I hope they give us a black doll with prettier features. I think that Saige is really stunning, but a couple dolls later we see Grace, and she’s significantly different from Saige.

  1. I haven’t tried the PDF patterns yet. I’m sewing again after a 40-year hiatus as my granddaughter got an American Girl doll for Christmas. Made a sari right away as her mother is Indian. Your doll dress is beautiful and so perfectly finished. Thanks for sharing the sites for accessories and buttons and your interest in sewing for dolls.

    • Susette, I actually got back into sewing for a similar reason. I tried making a dress for my granddaughter and her doll to match. This wasn’t an American Girl doll. The doll was a weird size. My project was a challenge. At that time I got the idea to make digital patterns, but there are people way ahead of me. There wasn’t much in digital form a few years ago. I’m having a lot of fun trying patterns by other people, and I need to get myself together to create my own. Sewing felt very awkward to me at first, even though I sewed a lot as a young girl and woman. PDF patterns make sense because you don’t have to leave your house to get a pattern, if you’re someone with a few yards of fabric.

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