During the ages of 3 -7, many girls go through the stage of wanting to have outfits that match their dolls. That is probably why American Doll is so huge! But with a little time, we can create that "matchy" look for our girls without having to spend tons of money!
My niece Clara turned six recently, and I wanted to make her a dress with a matching doll outfit as her birthday gift. She lives out of state, and since I couldn't try the outfit on her as I was making it, I decided a shirred sun dress would be the most forgiving for fit -- and last the longest as she grows!
Lier on ikat bag gives excellent measurement instructions for making shirred spaghetti strap dresses. Her tutorial was wonderful to follow! Check out her tutorial here. Another tutorial I found after I finished making this dress was on Ucreate. On that site, Dragonfly Designs gives exact measurements for size 4 and size 6 shirred dresses if you don't want to do the math for those sizes. Click here to check out Ucreate's tutorial.
For the doll dress, I just measured the chest of an 18 inch doll, and multiplied that by two for my width. For the length, I measured from her armpits to right below her knee, and added an inch for the top and bottom hemming.
(If you don't know, shirring is done with elastic thread. It is super easy to use, so don't be afraid. Disney on Ruffles and Stuff gives a great tutorial for how to shir if you need some help!)
Since I couldn't try the dress on Clara, I was nervous about the straps turning out too long or too short, so I decided to make four long straps that could be tied in bows over the shoulder so her mom could tie them to make the dress fit perfectly.
And for the finishing touch... sweet pink rick rack along the bottom hem. I think that was my favorite part!
The fabric used for this dress came from JoAnns in the juvenile apparel fabric area. I love how it is cotton, but thicker than quilting cotton. It also is wrinkle resistant! Love that. :)
Now Brooklyn wants a dress for herself and her doll Josiah (remember Josiah from the doll sleeping bag tutorial and de-tangling doll hair post??? lol).
But first, I need to catch up on a couple of other birthdays I've missed. Time needs to slow down!!! :)