& Costumes Website
full size pattern (1 square equals 1 inch (2.5cm), will fit specialty
dolls such as 15-16 inch Kathe Kruse, 16-17 inch
Sasha, 17.25-inch Natterer Sunihil,
18 inch Magic Attic, 16.5 inch Theodor Recknagel
Dolls, and other similar slim collectible and antique dolls.
This pattern is for all styles of the dresses: sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve.
This pattern is my original design and may not be used commercially.
Pattern pieces - quarter inch seam allowance included
Dress front- Cut one on front fold.
Dress back - Cut two pieces.
Sleeves - Cut two with sleeve top on fold.
Skirt - Cut a length 30 inches wide and 9 inches long for a finished skirt length of 7.5 inches as in this dress on the 16.5 inch doll.
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.
Seam allowances of 1/4 inch are included.
series of patterns will fit specialty dolls such as 16-18 inch Kathe Kruse, 16-17 inch Sasha, 17.25 inch Natterer Sunihil, 18 inch Magic
Attic, 16.5 inch Theodor Recknagel Dolls, and other
similar slim collectible and antique dolls.
The photo at right is my 18 inch Magic Attic doll, Rose, and below, wearing the same dress and pattern is my slim Kathe Kruse play doll.
1. Magic Attic Dolls - For 18 inch dolls such as Magic Attic cut out the patterns and sew just as in the sewing instructions, except when adding lace at the end of the sleeves cut 3 inches off the length of the sleeves.
The overlap at the center back seam is one quarter inch.
Make the finished skirt length 7.5 inches.
2. Sasha and Kathe Kruse play dolls - For 15 to 17 inch dolls such as Sasha, and my 15 inch Kathe Kruse play doll Sabine in the photo, the skirt length will be 5.5 inches.
Also, and this is very important, the overlap in the center back seam is 1 inch.
Again, if you are going to sew lace to the lower edge of sleeves then cut 3 inches off the lower end of the sleeve pattern.
Hints and tips for making doll clothes and costumes
- You'll need 10 inches of ribbon and 10 inches of lace for the neckline and 10 inches of ribbon and 10 inches of lace for the sleeves. Follow directions for attaching lace and ribbons to neckline and sleeve hem.
- Press, pin and sew doll clothes in that order.
- Sew hems on clothing by hand for a fine dressmaker's touch.
- Choose smaller rather than larger prints for dress fabric, keeping in mind the scale of the doll. I like to use quilting material.
- Make the dresses from cotton and natural fabrics if you'd like to keep to historical time periods.
- Use washable materials and trims. I use the softest and closest weave cotton I can find.
- If the clothing is for a child's doll, use velcro closures rather than buttons or hooks and eyes for safety's sake.
If you are adding an appliqued front bodice decoration as shown in the lower photo, sew it on first. I used the corner of an special handkerchief for this applique.
With right sides of back and front bodice facing, sew together at shoulders. Press seam open.
Roll in neck edge and blind stitch on wrong side of neck line.
To finish back seam of bodice, turn in twice on each center edge and hand or machine stitch to make a one-fourth inch hem.
Instructions for attaching ribbon and lace to the neckline and sleeves are here. This is a closeup photo of a bodice with ribbons and lace.
Roll in lower edge and hem by hand or machine. (I sew sleeve and skirt hems by hand.)
Gather along dotted line of sleeve, (I use quilting thread for strength) just loose enough to slide over dollís hand and lower arm; about 3.25 inches (8.5cm).
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.
Sew back seam of skirt leaving 2 inches at top open as an extension of the center back bodice opening for ease in dressing doll. Roll in the raw edges above top of back skirt seam and blind stitch. When dress is completed sew a velcro dot just above waistline and at neckline to overlap bodice back one fourth inch.
Either gather one fourth inch from top edge of skirt or make small pleats as I have - see photo detail below - to fit bodice lower edge.
To make hem, turn up lower edge twice and blind stitch.
How to sew bodice to skirt
I make this a half inch seam for both skirt and bodice, because of gathered top edge of skirt at waist, and so bodice and skirt do not pull apart with use.
Fold under one half inch along lower edge of bodice and lay over top of skirt. Join together with topstitching. This technique forms a nice flat seam.
For back closure sew on a velcro dot at neck edge and just above waist to keep one side of back overlapped.
Now decorate the dress if you wish
Looking at the close up view of this dress, note that I used both white and pale pink 6-strand embroidery thread to top stitch a line just above lower bodice edge and also just below waistline over pleats to help keep them flat.
Have fun making your doll dresses!
Article, Patterns and Photos by Susan Kramer
Baby Christening Gown
E-pattern by Susan Kramer
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page created February 13, 2010; updated October 23, 2014