For this blog I’m using separates that I’d previously made for other “looks,” except for the skirt. The nice thing about separates is that you can mix and match and make whole new outfits, which is what I’ve done here. The pink top came with one of my American Girl dolls. The skirt is a plain rectangle, or Simplicity 3551.
The last time I saw my eight-year-old granddaughter she made herself a straight skirt using this heart fabric. This was her first project for herself. I finished the seams for her using my serger, but she was able to do everything else herself. She has the talent to put together looks; she is a fashion-forward girl. She has the perseverance to sew. She is able to sew straight lines. I wish I had a picture of her in her skirt; this is what she looked like a few years ago.
She loves pink, so I figured she already had other pink items to go with the skirt, but she didn’t. After purchasing some pink tennies for her, I found similar pink tennies for American Girl. I figured I might as well whip up this doll skirt and send it to her with the shoes.
There was one challenge with both skirts: the printed hearts didn’t line up on the (cheap) fabric, even if I pulled and stretched the fabric. I’d wanted the hearts to follow the hemlines of both skirts. I had to re-cut both of them slightly to get them to look accurate. Both skirts have a casing for the elastic waist that is created by folding over the top of the skirt. Threading the elastic with a bodkin tool, shown here, is simple.
Finding a cute dress that includes a pattern for both little girls and 18-inch dolls is a rare find. Here is McCall’s 6875 in both sizes. I suggest sewing for your little girl first.
Since I only had my doll model available, I had to peek at the girl’s instructions for clarity. I like the way the little cap sleeves fit the bodice. The seams must be exactly 1/4-inch wide for the bodice and cap sleeve to fit together properly. With an exact fit, the lining covers the bodice perfectly.
View B (for dolls) omitted instructions to add the sash front; it gave clear instructions for the back of the sash but the bow looked cheap and sloppy made from the plain pink fabric. The seams of the sash showed through the bow. I considered finding a different fabric, but instead, I removed the back of the sash (the tie-bow) completely.
The flower on the sash front was easy to make. The directions say to pin the rose to the sash front but I didn’t want to leave a huge hole in the plain pink fabric so I tacked the rose to the sash front with a fine needle and thread.
The dress is a perfect fit for American Girl, but I removed 1-1/2 inches from the skirt bottom before adding the pink band to the hem. Due to the shape of the skirt, I had to adjust the size of the pink band before attaching it to the hem.
This pattern is a perfect Easter dress, especially if your little girl and her doll would like to match. The girl’s dress has a zipper; the doll’s dress closes with velcro.
You can hook up with marshmallowjane on Facebook here.
This blog ultimately shows the preparation for my forthcoming website that will feature digital patterns. My homework consists of sewing with patterns created by others to get my sewing feet wet. So far this has been a labor of love. I’m learning what I like, and what I don’t like.
I’m having fun visiting other 18-inch doll sites and finding accessories that will enhance my doll clothes. I have also purchased some beautiful pieces of fabric for formal wear and holiday attire. But my favorite “task” is photographing my little models.
Here are my favorite models: This is Kaiah. She will be assisting me with my doll clothes and doll clothes patterns. Kaiah has named her American Girl doll “Kaiah,” we call her doll “Mini-Kaiah.”
Although I won’t be designing clothes for little girls per se, I will occasionally demonstrate how to make matching outfits for girl and doll by featuring a manufactured pattern that is adaptable.
Here’s another view of both Kaiahs:
I also plan to feature a “Girls’ Corner” to teach little girls how to sew simple doll clothes, like aprons and skirts. (I don’t know too many boys who want to sew or play with dolls, but boys are also welcome.)
Please note: Both Kaiahs’ hair were styled by their mommy.