I had this random scrap of darling sparkly purple fabric that I used a few years ago to make princess crowns for my daughters birthday party. I think I even made an apron for a friends daughters birthday out of it. Needless to say I am a scrap thrilled and I need an intervention.
My oldest daughter has this amazing affection for her doll, Muffin. She becomes thrilled beyond words when I make her little things so it seemed necessary to use this scrap for its final project, a lovely little dress for her doll!
This project was simple because I just used my small quilters press to get a general idea of the dolls size. I guessed that a piece measuring about 9x10 would be about the right size.
I cut the pieces out of the fabric and actually tossed the rest! (You should all be very proud of me)...
I have to admit that I do not enjoy working with doll sized pieces. In an effort to reduce the amount of work I have to do I ironed all of my creases first.
I ironed about a half-inch crease on the left and right of both pieces. Then ironed the top about a 1 1/4 inch down, large enough to be a pocket for the ribbon. Then I ironed up the bottom hems.
I work with both pieces simultaneously, so that when I am done ironing I can jump straight to my favorite part... sewing.
With my creases all nice and pressed, I start to sew the parts that need to be sewn separately on the individual halves. First the bottom hem, then the ribbon pocket.
Take notice that the bottom hem is sewn so that the creases ironed in to the sides are open, and on the ribbon pocket, those creases are sewn inside.
I don't plan to do a lot of finish work on this little tiny dress. As a matter of fact, I plan to spend more time on this blog post than I did on the dress its self. Sewing those creases inside the ribbon pocket makes the piece appear to be more finished.
Once I have sewn the hem and ribbon pocket on both halves of the dress, I measure for the arm hole. From just above the shoulder to under the arm, taking the arms movement in to consideration, there is about 3 inches of space
With the dress halves right sides together I marked 3 inches from the ribbon pocket. Then, i opened that crease and sewed straight down, starting at that 3 inch mark. This part is tricky to explain, but it was necessary to achieve the finished look, without doing the finish work.
Now, open your dress and sew a narrow topstitch down both sides of your seam, with the crease open underneath. This will make a finished edge in the dolls armpit, and have a pretty top stitch on the finished dress. If your doll is much smaller, this will not work.
The first side is much easier than the second. When you sew the second side the dress will be almost complete and it will be a circle so it may be harder to make a nice straight line.
The dress is almost complete! All you need to do is feed the ribbon through! I like to use one long ribbon and feed it though both sides, leaving only one bow to tie over and over again.
I slipped the little dress on the doll and tied a pretty bow for my sweetie. She was thrilled! Mommy wins this round!!