Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Quick Sewing Project: Doll Dress From a Baby Onesie

Here is the quick craft project I promised last Friday.  Better late than never, I guess.  When I made Kat's new dress last week, it was quite a bit longer than it needed to be, so I cut a few inches off the bottom before hemming it.

With that extra strip of fabric, I decided to make a coordinating dress for Kat's American Girl doll (whose name I can't tell you, as it changes almost weekly).

I'm not really skilled enough to try to duplicate the jumper-type dress I made for Kat.  Maybe with enough time I could, but I wanted this done in time for the big Easter celebration with her step-dad's family this weekend.  So instead of a jumper, I used the leftover fabric to make a skirted t-shirt.
I scouted around a little, but couldn't find a plain white t-shirt -- or a colored one, for that matter -- that would fit an 18-inch doll unless I ordered something online.  Instead, I used a newborn onesie.  If you can find a premie-sized onesie, it might fit even better. 

The fabric I cut off Kat's dress was too long; had I gathered that much fabric, it would have fanned out like a square dance dress.  Nothing wrong with that, but not the look I was going for.  Because I wanted the underside of the skirt to be "pretty", too, I cut two strips of fabric that were the same size and that wrapped around the doll approximately 1-1/2 times. 

With right sides together, I sewed them together along the bottom edge.  I turned them right-side out and pressed.  This created a self-hemmed, self-lined ruffle. 

I sewed the ends together and formed a ring.

I machine basted the top edge and gathered it to fit the cut-off onesie.   I thought about keeping the snap part of the onesie, but it was just too long for the doll (onesie on the ground, onesie on the ground, lookin' like a fool with your onesie on the ground...) so I cut off that part.

With the right sides of both the onesie and the ruffle together, I sewed the ruffle to the onesie.  Once attached, I flipped the skirt into place, folded and hand-tacked the seam in the back so it didn't show as much, and pressed the entire dress.  Because the skirt is doesn't stretch, the dress has to be put on the doll from the feet up.

And...that's it.  Simple as can be.  Assuming you have a scrap of fabric and some thread on hand, the total cost was $2 (for the onesie that came in a 4-pack for $8).  It took an hour to assemble. 

Here's the doll modeling her new dress.

BTW, the doll got purple-framed glasses this school year because Kat got purple-framed glasses this school year.  The doll was a gift from her grandma and great-grandma on her step-dad's side of the family.   They buy an American Girl (or Boy) doll for each grandchild that is their "mini me".  I think this is such a wonderful idea that I thought I'd share it in case anyone wants to start a new tradition in their family.
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