One-Hour Doll Dress

Naked dolls haunt all doll collectors. Every doll should have something to cover their birthday suits, even if it is something simple and quick.

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This 3 1/4″ (8.5 cm) German all-bisque flapper doll was a gift from a dear friend over a year ago and she was still naked until today.

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To make a simple dress for her, I chose 1 1/4″ silk ribbon and some tiny antique trim. By using ribbon, I won’t have to bother with hems.

I measured around her hips to find the widest part, but added extra length to go smoothly over the wire joints.

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I cut the ribbon to 2 1/2″ long and painted the edges with my favorite Gail Wilson’s Fray Preventer. You could use Fray Check, which can be found at your local craft or fabric store, but I find that it stains the fabric too much.

While it was drying, I threaded two needles, one with blue and one with off-white thread. I cut the thread a little longer than usual so that I wouldn’t have to rethread my needles.

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I ran a gathering thread at the top of the fabric and at the waist. To mark the waistline, I folded and finger pressed the ribbon where I wanted it to fall.

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After sewing the two gathering threads, I pinned the dress on the doll to see how much to pull in the gathers. Then I knotted the ends of the threads.

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Next, I couched the trim over the gathers. To couch a trim, bring your needle up on the sewing line, under the trim.

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Then put it back in over the trim, making a bar of thread to hold the trim in place. I placed my stitches about 1/4″ apart.

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Since the dress fits under the doll’s arms, she needs straps. So I cut a piece of the trim and folded it in half. Then I folded the dress in half to find the center front.

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I tacked the strap down at the center front, then placed the dress on the doll to measure how long the straps should be and where I should stitch them in the back.

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After I stitched the straps, I finger pressed the back seam allowances.

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To stitch the back seam, I folded under one side and slip stitched it to the seam allowance on the other side.

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It’s not fancy, but it is BLUE and she is no longer naked.

It would have taken me less than an hour if I didn’t have to keep stopping to fast forward through the commercials on last night’s Project Runway.


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