Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Delightful Doll Dresses

When I first learned to sew using the sewing machine when I was 9 or 10, I learned to sew by making doll dresses for my dolls, first Samantha from the American Girls Doll Collection, and then Kaitlin Leanna, a $20 special from Walmart. I bought a few patterns, and enjoyed making a variety of outfits for various occasions. It was a great way to learn to sew, and I spent many happy hours dressing my dolls and playing with them.

As I grew out of dolls, I put away my doll dresses and moved on to making dresses for real people, my family, some friends, and myself. Recently, however, I borrowed back the doll dress patterns I'd lent to a younger friend and pulled out dear Kaitlin Leanna from my hope chest to use her for a model. I made 2 dresses to go with the doll my sister is giving to my niece Sara for Christmas.

I found it to be a lot of fun to design and sew these little dresses, and they took only around 1 1/2 hours each or less to complete. Doll dresses are very inexpensive to make, as they can easily be made from the scraps left-over from other projects. They are relatively simple, and are a great present to any little girl in your life.

The two dresses pictured below were made using Simplicity Pattern 9381, which I think is no longer in print, although there are still plenty of doll dress patterns available to purchase. I used the basic pattern and added little trimmings as I thought them up.

This dress was made using fabric I had made Sara a dress for previously. I added the ruffle at the bottom and enjoyed the look of the contrasting bodice, sleeves, and skirt.

Because this doll is a Christmas present, I decided to make a Christmas dress for it to wear! I used red satin leftover from dance sashes I'd made, some lace I'd gotten free, and green ribbon we'd had for years.

In a stroke of genius, the pattern tells you to tack the bow to the back on top of the closure, so that you don't have to retie it each time. I sewed on snaps for the closures, as I have not had good experiences with velcro staying sticky.

These gifts are fun to make and will thrill any little girl's soul. =) They cost almost nothing to make if you have fabric scraps, although they do take a little time, but not too much at that. What could be better?


Ella said...

I have the Samantha doll and when I was about 9, my Nana made me some praire dresses for her. I still have them and will pass them on someday to my daughter, Lord willing.

Anonymous said...

Good Job! You are very good at sewing. It certainly broadens your abilities in gift giving doesn't it!
How long have you known how to sew dresses?

PoetLady said...

They fit her perfectly, I can't wait to see what Sara thinks:)

Thanks so much again!!!

Your sister,

Anna Naomi said...

Ella: Those sound pretty! I've also kept all of the dresses I made for my doll and some that my older sister made, so that I can pass them on to my daughters one day.

Kelsey: I made my first "real" dress alone when I was 13-14. Before then, I had helped my sister make me a dress as she taught me to sew.

Maria: I'm glad! I enjoyed making them!

Sara said...

Oh my goodness! Those are beautiful! I absolutely love the prairie dress! I have six dolls (Yes, I know...yikes!) and they are soon going into a box until I get a hopechest to save for my daughters. Beautious!


Anonymous said...

Doll dresses are the best! My mother made so many for my sister and I. We truly did have families- and nieces and nephews and cousins! And they all had real, homemade clothes. Rag dolls are fun too.