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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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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