Update May 19, 2018 –
The bridesmaids of Prince Harry and Meghan had a similar design – but instead had a boat neck line without collar, and without cuffs on the lower ends of the sleeves.
On the left is Gotz 18 inch doll, Emily,
and on the right is American Girl 18 inch doll, Gwen in Royal Bridesmaid Dress
Here are instructions for making
short sleeve bridesmaid dresses to fit 18inch (45cm) American Girl, other
American historical dolls, Corolle dolls, Gotz Precious Day Girl Dolls, and dolls with similar body
types. The model above on the left is my 18 inch Gotz
Precious Day doll, Emily. And the model on the right is my American Girl doll,
This design is my interpretation of the bridesmaid dresses worn by the children in Princess Kate and Prince William's wedding.
Under the skirt I made a half slip and a crinoline. Directions for these is below dress pattern.
You’ll need one third yard (one quarter meter) of material for the skirt.
For the front and back bodice, you'll need one quarter yard contrasting material.
Also, for neckline facing, you'll need a 10 inch (25cm) long by one inch (2.5cm) wide bias strip, and as much pre-gathered lace, and embroidered ribbon.
Pattern pieces for bodice and sleeves: The grid is 1 inch (2.5cm) squares. Pattern pieces include one quarter inch seam allowance. You may use the pattern for yourself or gifts but not commercially.
Try printing out the pattern pieces to see if they stay 1 inch square:
To make your 1-inch square (2.5cm) grid graph paper
First, take an 8.5x11 inch piece of plain paper and draw 1 inch squares - I do this by drawing horizontal lines 1 inch apart down the page, and then verticle lines 1 inch apart across the page.
Next, looking at the .jpg image you want to enlarge, copy what is in each of my squares into your larger squares.
If you'd rather have a full-size pattern click here to buy the inexpensive e-pattern version in an ebook.
Cut fabric 42 inches (105cm) wide and 9 inches (23cm) long for skirt to just below lower calf or 9.5 inches (24cm) long to just above ankle length.
General Sewing Instructions
Bodice Sewing Instructions
With right sides of back and front bodice facing, sew together at shoulders. Press seam open.
Baste right side of lace to right side of neck opening.
If you are lining the bodice cut front and back bodice pieces from lining material and sew together at shoulders as above.
To finish back seam of bodice, turn in twice on each center edge and hand or machine stitch to make a on quarter inch hem. Overlap waist edge on quarter inch and tack together with a sticky dot.
The circumference of upper arm is 4.5 inches so I made the cuff 5 inches long. Cut a piece of material 6 inches long by 3 inches wide, Fold in half lengthwise then fold long edges toward center and press.
Fold the extra width to form a pleat as in the photo and baste in place before sewing on the cuff.
Along armpit edge gather sleeve with basting stitch just inside the one-quarter inch line to fit armhole and with right side of sleeve facing right side of front and back bodice (which are just joined at shoulders and now lay out flat) stitch together with one-fourth inch seam. Clip curve. Repeat for other sleeve.
With right sides of sleeves and bodice facing, sew together sides of bodice and underside of sleeves at the same time. Repeat on other side.
How to sew bodice to skirt
Sew back seam leaving 2 inches (5cm) open at top of seam to match back seam of bodice. Roll in raw edges and blind stitch hem. (This is for ease of dressing doll.)
Make 8 even box pleats as in photo below:
The waist seam should match the bodice lower edge. Sew skirt to bodice. I make this a half inch seam for both skirt and bodice, because of pleated top edge of skirt at waist, and so bodice and skirt do not pull apart with use.
When dress is completed sew a velcro dot just above waistline and at neckline to overlap bodice back one quarter inch.
Turn right side out. On outside topstitch just above waistline on bodice all the way around.
I added 2 rows of one quarter inch wide satin ribbon to form cummerbund. When dress is complete add a large bow to the back at the waistline.
Just below calf finished skirt length is 8 inches (20cm).
Petticoat and Crinoline
Cut a rectangle 42 inches wide and 7 inches long so it is not longer than skirt of dress. Gather waist to eleven inches and sew a satin or cross-grain thin ribbon over with tails long enough to make a square knot. To make smooth hem fold up lower edge on quarter inch and over lay with same ribbon. Sew side seam.
Cut a rectangle of nylon net 42 inches wide and 14 inches long and fold up so hem at lower edge is fold edge.
Gather waist to eleven inches and sew a satin or cross-grain thin ribbon over with tails long enough to make a square knot.
Article and photo credits Susan Kramer
ebook of full size patterns
Baby Christening Gown
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page created May 2, 2011; updated May 26, 2018