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Page 5e. How to Make a Ribbon Waistband &
How to Make Contrasting Panels in Skirts

Costume & Clothing

Susan Kramer
Dolls sitemap with many patterns
Doll dress designed and made by Susan Kramer

5. Attach Lace to Finished Side of Skirt Hems
5. Contrasting Top Stitch
5a. Decorative Edging Stitch
5a. Decorative Stitching on Ribbon Trim
5b. Horizontal Trims
5b. How to Attach Lace and Ribbon to Sleeves
5c. How to Attach Lace to Underside of Skirt Hems
5c. How to Gather Skirts
5d. How to Hand Sew Doll Bodies and Clothes
5d. How to Make a Lined Bodice
5e. How to Make a Ribbon Waistband
5e. How to Make Contrasting Panels in Skirts
5f. How to Make Rolled Hems
5f. How to Sew Skirt to Bodice
5g. How to Sew On Sticky Tape Closures
5g. Press then Sew Doll Clothes
5h. Ribbon and Lace Collars
5h. Stand Up Collars
5i. Vertical Trim
5j. Circle Skirts

  • 5e. How to Make a Ribbon Waistband

    A ribbon waistband is so attractive on a doll pinafore or apron. In the photo below you can see how the proportion of ribbon fits with the scale of a doll pinafore that I made for an 18 inch full-bodied doll, like those in the American Girl series and the Gotz, Pleasant Day, and Corrolle dolls.
    Ribbon waistband on doll pinafore by Susan Kramer
    The ribbon I used is a fabric satin ribbon that is one inch (2.5cm) wide. It is important that you use a washable fabric ribbon so it doesn't fall a part when washed.

    I also use washable cross grain ribbons but I don't think they look as fancy as the satin ribbon. But cross grain is perfectly suitable for an outfit for a trip to the city or other nice occasion.

    The heavier the ribbon the better it will hold its shape as a waistband, and the nicer the drape will be in the bow in the back of the apron / pinafore.

    Waistband construction

    - Measure the waist of your doll and then add the amount you'll need to tie the bow. For the outfit shown in the photo to fit the full-bodied 18 inch dolls, the waist is about 12 inches. I used a one yard (one meter) length of ribbon for the waistband and bow. It is all one piece.

    - Hem the center back seams or the pinafore before beginning the waistband.

    - Gather the waist of the pinafore and gather a second row just below the first line. This makes nice small and fairly even pleats coming down from the waist and the fabric lays nicer.

    - On the inside of the waistband temporarily attach a safety pin to the center point.

    - Fold your ribbon in half and temporarily attach a safety pin to the center point, also.

    - Line up the inside of the ribbon on the gathers on the inside of the pinafore, matching center points. Use silk pins to attach the ribbon and then remove the safety pins.

    - Sew the ribbon as pinned over the gathers the whole length of waistband and let the ends of ribbon hang loose, temporarily.

    - Fold the ribbon up and over the waist, pin in place all along the waist and then sew in place with small stitches to form the waistband. If your ribbon is 1 inch wide the waistband will be one half inch high when finished, as in the photo.

    - Hem the ends of the ribbon by rolling in the raw edge and hand stitching with tiny stitches. This is a nice professional finish and prevents the cut edge of ribbon from raveling.

    Now dress your doll and tie the bow for a nice finish to the outfit!

    Article and photo credit Susan Kramer

    5e. How to Make Contrasting Panels in Skirts

    Here are directions to make contrasting panels, like pleats, on doll skirts. The model here is Emily, my 18 inch Gotz Precious Day Doll.

    For the white fabric panel cut a piece of fabric the same length as the skirt and 12 inches (30cm) wide.
    18-inch doll dress skirt; photo credit Susan Kramer
    Stitch the sides of the white fabric to the sides of the printed fabric along the 2 seams from the waist to the hemline. This forms a tube.

    Now, with skirt turned right side out bring each of the 2 edges of printed fabric to meet at center front so the white fabric is folded behind like a pleat on each side of the center front seam.

    Baste the white fabric to the print fabric at the waistline. Now you can see you have a ‘kick pleat’ in front.

    Make an opening 2 inches long at the top of the center back for ease of dressing. Roll the raw edges of the opening and hem.

    The most important part of inserting contrasting panels in the skirt is making a nice sharp crease where the panels meet, and carefully aligning the top edge of the pleat so the underlying panel does not show at the waistline.

    Article and photo credit Susan Kramer

    Books for teaching toddlers to teens by Susan Kramer - ballet, rhythmic dance, meditation and yoga, kinesthetic lessons, crafts

    All doll reviews and content on this site are copyright Susan Kramer
     and may not be copied in any manner without express written permission.

    How to Sew Cloth Dolls and Costumes plus Traceable Patterns
    Book by Susan Kramer
    How to Sew Cloth Dolls and Costumes by Susan Kramer
    Medium Doll Clothes
    with Full Size Patterns
    Ebook by Susan Kramer
    Medium Doll Clothes with Full Size Patterns - ebook by Susan Kramer

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    page updated March 14, 2009
    Dolls sitemap with many patterns