I designed this dress to fit the 21 inch Lalena cloth doll. It is a simple dress, only requiring a knowledge of basic sewing skills. The dress is a plain, prairie style dress but can be embellished with ribbon and lace if you wish. It can also be made with fancier fabric but I used cotton calico, as you can see in the picture.The pattern and instructions for the bonnet and apron will be in my next article. This pattern is free for your personal use but you may not use it commercially.
Materials you will need:
1/2 yard cotton calico fabric
1 hook and eye or snap
9 inches of eyelet trim for the collar
All pattern pieces include a 1/4 inch seam allowance except the center back seam which is 1/2 inch.
Lay out your fabric folded as it came from the bolt. Pin the pattern pieces close to each other on one cut end of the fabric. This should leave a 12 inch to 13 inch wide by 45 inch long rectangle of fabric after the pattern pieces are cut out. This rectangle becomes the skirt.
Start by sewing the bodice back to front at the shoulders, right sides together. Press the seams open. Fold each end of the eyelet trim, to the wrong side, 1/4 inch and tack down. Fold the entire neck edge to the inside 1/8 inch and baste. Pin the eyelet trim along the neck edge, right sides facing. Leave 1/2 inch at each end without trim. This is the center back opening. Stitch eyelet on, then fold eyelet base with neck edge of dress to the inside and stitch down with hem stitching on the wrong side.
Using a long basting stitch, gather the top of both sleeves and pin the sleeves to the bodice, right sides facing, easing to fit. Stitch the shoulder seams. Stitch bodice side seams and sleeve seams. Leave the back of the bodice open.
Baste the waist of the skirt and gather it. Pin the skirt to the bodice at the waist, right sides facing, easing the skirt to fit the bodice around the waist. Stitch the skirt to the bodice.
Pin the center back seam with he waist seams matching. Start stitching the center back seam 2 inches above the waist and stitch down to the bottom.
At the top end of the center back seam turn under the seam allowance on both sides 1/4 inch, twice, and tack it down. Attach the hook and eye at neck edge.
To hem the sleeves turn under bottom of each sleeve 1/8 inch, twice and hem stitch in place. To hem the skirt turn under the skirt bottom 1/4 inch, twice, baste and then hem stitch.
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.