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Cap Sleeve Dress with Circle Skirt Pattern
to Fit American Girl Type 18 Inch Dolls


New as PDF Ebook





American Girl 18 inch doll, Gwen, and Floppy.


18 Inch Gotz doll, Emily, with Floppy

Clothes Patterns for 18 Inch Dolls and Bitty Baby

Here are instructions for making cap sleeve dresses to fit 18inch (45cm) American Girl, other American historical dolls, Corolle dolls, Gotz Precious Day Girl Dolls, and dolls with similar body types.

Sewing Directions to Make Cap Sleeve Dresses to Fit American Girl and Similar Dolls

This is a basic "day dress" pattern with just 3 pieces - bodice front, bodice back and skirt. The sleeves are part of the bodice. If making short sleeves use the pattern as drawn. If you wish to make the shorter cap sleeve dress as shown in the photos cut the sleeve length by one half inch before hemming. The skirt is a little trickier to cut out - follow the instructions closely.


Bodice Assembly


To assemble the bodice, sew the back to front shoulder seams. Sew the bias strip to the neckline right side together and turn to the inside and tack at shoulders. Hem the sleeves by turning the lower edges up twice. Sew the back bodice to front bodice at underarm and side seam. I press the lower edge of the bodice ¼ inch to the inside and lay it over the top edge of the skirt and then blind stitch in place.

You’ll need one third yard (one third 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.
Pattern pieces for cap sleeve bodice:
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.


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 vertical 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.


Circle Skirt Construction

To cut out circle skirt like on the dress above, fold a 20 inch length of fabric cross wise - the cross wise fold is shown at top edge in the photo below.

circle skirt detail

From the center point along the folded edge, carefully drawn a line 10 inches out in a semicircle then cut out semicircle. (If you opened out the cut skirt you'd have a big circle 20 inches in diameter.)

But you need to cut-out a small semicircle to make the waist. The circumference of this waist cut-out should be 14 inches. Try first cutting out a circle 1.5 inches from the center of the fold, if this is not quite long enough to match the lower edge of the bodice make the cut-out a bit bigger.

circle skirt with waist cut out

When you open out the fabric it will look like a donut shape.

To form the back seam of the skirt cut down 2 inches on one of the folded edges from the waist edge and blind stitch raw edges.

After finishing sewing the bodice attach to the cut out circle skirt edge, like in the finished dress photos at the top of the page.

If you wish, sew on a waistband of one-eighth inch wide satin ribbon over the lower edge of the bodice, or decorate the basic dress in any way you want.


Idea for belt: Fabric belt tied with a square knot - like we tied our scarves in Girl Scouts. (Right over left and under, left over right and under.)

To hem skirt, roll a narrow hem which means turning in one eighth seam twice as you move along the hem.

Close back of bodice with a narrow Velcro strip.


Now, your doll is set to go out in her new dress.


Article and photo credits Susan Kramer


More …

- Fiesta Circle Skirt

- Short Sleeve Dress with Circle Skirt

- Cap Sleeve Dress with Circle Skirt

- Cap Sleeve Dress with Gathered Skirt

- Sleeveless Dress with Circle Skirt

- Clothes Patterns for 18 Inch Dolls and Bitty Baby

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Dolls sitemap with many patterns
page created July 13, 2016; updated April 12, 2021