Dutch Doll Dress Pattern
for 18 Inch Dolls
American Girl, Gotz, Corolle
designed by Susan Helene Kramer
optional collar (directions below):
Here are pattern pieces and sewing directions to make Dutch dresses for 18 inch dolls such as American Girl Dolls or other full bodied heritage, historical and play dolls such as Gotz and Corolle dolls. The dolls in the photos are my 18 inch American Girl, Gwen, and 18 inch Gotz, Emily, with our doll house companion, Floppy. Gwen is wearing a petticoat under her dress for a bit of fullness. (Scroll down to petticoat and crinoline heading at this link, if you want directions to make petticoat.)
You may use the pattern for yourself or gifts but not commercially.
You can try printing out the patterns from this page to see if they stay 1 inch square, otherwise make the graph paper and copy.
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. The only exception is that the center back seam is left open and each seam at center back can be turned in twice - 3/8 and 3/8 inch to form a hem which is overlapped and a velcro dot sewn on at the neckline.
Note that on the bodice front the center front is a fold line. And the top of the sleeve is a fold line.
General Sewing Instructions
Here are instructions for making dresses to fit 18-inch (45cm) American Girl Dolls and other American heritage dolls.
You’ll need one half yard (one half meter) of material for the dress, and one-fourth yard (one-fourth meter) white or contrasting material for skirt front pleat.
For the front and back bodice you'll need one-fourth yard contrasting material. Also, to finish, you'll need 10 inches (25cm) of half inch (1.25cm) gathered lace for the neckline, and 1 yard of one-fourth inch (6mm) satin or cross-grain ribbon for the waistline and front tie.
Pattern pieces include one-fourth inch seam allowance.
For the skirt, cut fabric 31 inches (77.5cm) wide and 8 inches (20cm) long for skirt to just below knee or 9.5 inches (24cm) long to just above ankle length.
If you are adding the inset panel to the front of the skirt it should be cut 9 inches (22.5cm) wide.
Cut a 10” (25cm) long by 1” (2.5cm) wide strip on the bias of dress material to finish neckline.
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.
Using the bias strip sew one long edge to right side of neckline. Clip curves. Fold bias strip to inside of neckline, turning in once and blind stitch to wrong side of neckline.
To finish back seam of bodice, turn in twice on each center edge and hand or machine stitch to make a ¼” hem. Overlap waist edge ¼” and tack together.
To make optional collar pattern and sew it
Cut 2 extra front bodices on the fold. Draw a line from the outside shoulder edge to the center waist and cut out the 2 pieces. Sew the collar down from shoulder to center point; turn right side out, press and lay over top of good side of front bodice. Sew onto front bodice along neck edge and shoulder before joining bodice back and front pieces.
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 doll’s hand and lower arm; about 5 inches (12.5cm).
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.
Here are directions to make contrasting panels, like pleats, on doll skirts.
main fabric 31 inches (77.5cm) wide and 8 inches (20cm) long for skirt to just
below knee or 9.5 inches (24cm) long to just above ankle length.
For the white fabric panel cut a piece of fabric the same length as the skirt and 12 inches (30cm) wide.
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.
For back closure sew on a velcro dot at neck edge to keep one side of back overlapped.
Now decorate the dress if you wish. Top stitch cross grain or satin ribbon to waistline.
Article and photo credits Susan Kramer
Inspired by doll of Laura Ingalls Wilder
E-patterns by Susan Kramer
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page created April 4, 2012
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