Dress with Circle Skirt Pattern
to Fit American Girl Type 18 Inch Dolls
Here are instructions for making sleeveless
dresses with circle skirts to fit 18inch (45cm) American Girl, other American
historical 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, Gwen.
Important Note: my Corolle doll (not shown) has fabric and vinyl arms so this dress is not the best for her. Check to see if your doll's fabric body portions will be covered by the dress. As you can see my Gotz and American Girl dolls have vinyl arms so the dress covers all their fabric torso skin.
Fabric for bodice
You’ll need one third yard (one third meter) of material for the bodice which includes lining.
Fabric for circle skirt
For the short skirt shown in the photos you'll need a piece of fabric 20 inches (50cm) square.
Pattern pieces for sleeveless bodice: The grid is 1 inch (2.5cm) squares. Pattern pieces include one quarter inch seam allowance. Try printing out the pattern pieces to see if they stay 1 inch square:
You'll need to cut a bodice of good fabric, and one for bodice facing.
You may use the pattern for yourself or gifts but not commercially.
Bodice Sewing Instructions
With right sides of back and front bodice facing, sew together at shoulders. Press seam open.
Repeat for bodice lining.
Then place good side of bodice and facing together and sew all edges except waist seam. In the photo notice all edges are sewn together except at waist for ease of turnning right side out. Be sure to clip curves and pointed corners before turning right side out.
After turning right side out press bodice and add embroidery to front if you wish. In dress above I traced on 2 small cut-out hearts and embroidered them while bodice was still flat.
Next, blind stitch side seams together by first butting edges together.
Sew a sticky tape closure at center back seam - no buttons for doll clothes played with by children, please.
Examine this photo for help:
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.
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 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.
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.
I sewed on a waistband of one-eighth inch wide satin ribbon over the lower edge of the bodice.
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 and skirt with velcro dots.
Article and photo credits Susan Kramer
- Doll Making Books and Ebooks by Susan Kramer
Baby Christening Gown
E-pattern by Susan Kramer
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page created December 6, 2010; updated November 7, 2014; July 28, 2016