One Pattern, Three Dresses, Part 2

I cut my linings for all three dresses from an off-white gauzy cotton I purchased many years ago in an Indian sari shop. It was inexpensive so I purchased several yards and may never run out.


Since my fabrics and linings all tend to fray, I painted all the edges with my Gail Wilson Fray Preventer. Then I spread them out on waxed paper to dry.

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The first dress I made was the pink dupioni.


The inspiration for the design came from Samy Odin’s Mignonnette book. I did modify the design a bit since my doll is so small.


Since the dress was to open in the back, I only stitched the back seam about 1 3/8″ up from the bottom edge.  I always leave more of an opening than I think I’ll need. I don’t want to finish the dress then not be able to fit it over the doll’s body. The unsewn edges were folded back the same depth as the seam allowance, then whipped to the lining.

After I sewed the side and shoulder seams, I found that the front neck was too high, so I trimmed it into a slightly lower curve. I then turned the neck and armhole seams and hemmed the dress. The lace for the neck and arm holes was gathered slightly before I whipped it on. I applied flat lace to the hem edge.

Most of these techniques were explained in the Beginning Hand Sewing Series.  Click on the Tutorial tab at the top of the page if you need to refer back to any of the lessons.


The lace, applied vertically and diagonally to the front, is not whip stitched like the edges.  It is stitched on with a running stitch through the straight edge of the lace. I just figured out that a black needle will show up better in stitch photos (slow learner syndrome again). The ends of the lace are folded under and stitched.


The dress is closed with a small hook and a thread loop. The thread loop is over the lace, so it was sewn with off-white thread. Sorry it is hard to see in the photo.


I was going to show the finishing of all three dresses in one post, but it would be too long. So each dress will get its own post. Next is the purple dupioni with an inverted back pleat and gathered ribbon trim.

Then we’ll see about getting these girls some hair.

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