American Girl dolls are no fun without a change of clothes (or three!). When I made Annabel's pillowcase dress over the summer, I knew she'd be getting a doll (now named Elise) for her birthday. It was my intention to make a matching dress for her new doll friend. I'm not one to be all matchy matchy, but in this case I couldn't help it.
Granted, it's now October and Annabel probably won't wear it again until spring, but that's okay. She is thrilled that Elise has the same dress. I even added the ribbon trim at the bottom, just like on Annabel's. The best part? You can make this in less than 1/2 an hour!
To make this dress for an 18" doll you will need:
Cotton fabric for dress
Coordinating 3/8" ribbon
Download and print this pdf
Step 1: Print and cut out the two pattern pieces along the solid lines. Tape the pieces together, being sure to match up the notches. Place the pattern on a fold as indicated on the pattern and cut around pattern. Repeat so you have front and back pieces of the dress.
Step 2: Assuming 1/8" seams for the armholes, notch along the curves, press and stitch. Repeat three times so all four armhole sections are sewn.
Step 3: Cut 2 20" pieces of ribbon. Wrong side up, turn neckline down 1/4" and press. Center one piece of ribbon on center of top, leaving 1/8"of fabric showing above. Add a few stitches on the ribbon at the center to tack in place. Repeat for other side.
Step 4: Fold fabric and ribbon down. Press and pin. Repeat for other side.
Step 5: Stitch along bottom edge of neckline as indicated in photo. Repeat for other side. Be careful to not sew into the ribbon as it will be need to be cinched it up when it's on the doll.
Step 6: Right sides together, sew the side seams with a 1/4" seam allowance. If you have a serger, you can use that, or you can sew a narrow zigzag along the edge to help avoid fraying.
Step 7: Fold hem up 1/4", press. Fold another 1/2", press, pin and stitch along top edge of fold. Be sure to sew around front and back of dress.
Step 8: Turn dress right side out. Place ribbon on top of hem seam and pin in place. Sew around dress along top edge of ribbon, tucking end under when where they meet. Leave an extra inch of length for the overlap when measuring circumference. I put the ends on the side seam of the dress. Repeat for bottom edge of ribbon.
You're done! Isn't she pretty? At $32 a pop for an American Girl outfit, I think so! This pattern can be adapted to make a longer dress, or narrowed and shortened to make a classy shirt with ribbon ties. The green dress in Elise's closet is also from this pattern. I used some scrap Amy Butler fabric from eons ago. Annabel was a very lucky birthday girl in that her grandparents gave her this lovely closet from Target to keep all her American Girl stuff organized. Have to say I'm pretty happy with it. Granted, our bedtime routine is now twice as long; now Annabel and Elise have to change into jammies.
Aaaaaand this is what happens when you're at school and your little brother messes with your stuff.
Yup. Broom Broom!