Thursday, 13 February 2014

Lily's First Dress

Who's Lily? Lily is the doll my daughter got for Christmas. A sporty, wholesome looking doll, but one with no dresses. Obviously I had to make her one!

My daughter chose the fabrics for this dress - and another I haven't made yet - from my ample stash. And judging by her choices (yellow dots with yellow lining, and blue linen with a cerise lining for the as-yet-unmade dress) all the cute, girlish fabrics she didn't pick may be nearing their use by dates.  

This dress is fully lined - fancy for a doll - and the bubble skirt is a real bubble skirt, with the outer much wider than the inner skirt:

It closes with velcro in the back.

The velcro I bought seemed too wide, so I sewed it at half width, with stitches going along the velcro edge aligned with the fabric edge, and also along the half way width of the velcro. After stitching I cut the excess velcro width away, leaving some nice narrow velcro for the next dress. 

The pattern I used was this one, McCall's 6853, which is intended for standard 18" dolls. The pattern looks like good value as it includes two different chairs and a heart-shaped cushion as well as a couple of dresses, and both the dresses are appealing. The McCall's site I've linked to describes the pattern as including shoes, but it doesn't.

Which is all well and good, EXCEPT that the pattern is for an 18" doll. I'd estimated Lily to be about 18" tall when I bought the pattern, but she's an inch shorter and a lot skinnier than the average 18"-er.  It's a bit embarrassing to admit this, but I ended up taking Lily's measurements so I could grade the pattern down! Wouldn't want to make baggy doll's clothes, would we! Talk about crazy...

The pattern adjustments went well except that I'd forgotten to measure the height at which Lily's neck turned into cloth - obviously not a regular adjustment for humans but one that a doll like this will always need :).  And hence the white band you can see at the top of the dress, which perhaps you generously assumed was a high-necked singlet?

Even with an exercise in grading, I found sewing for a doll this size lot easier to do than for a Barbie!

Don't worry, normal programming is scheduled to resume shortly.

Back soon with grown up sewing!

- Gabrielle xx


  1. That is one fancy doll dress! I hope you will be taking Lily's measurements every time you sew for her in case she puts on weight. (I thought you were also preserving her anonymity by cutting off her head in the photos until I got to the last one... Now THAT would be crazy!)

    1. But of course - who knows how she'll change as she gets older!

      Actually the crazy thing I WAS thinking about anonymity and photos of children! In thumbnail form I thought the doll's face looked quite childlike, and the idea that people might be drawn to look at the post to see more of felt really "off". Even though it IS just a doll. Probably very nutty and over-the-top, but I've been thinking about the topic so much since reading Justine of Sew Country Chick's post...

  2. Priceless and love the dress!!

  3. You are too funny with your dress fitting for a doll. A doll, Gabrielle! But I admire your commitment. Miss M has no interest in dolls, well not after the first few minutes anyway, so I've escaped this corner of hell. Itty, bitty clothes... Just too fiddly :)

    1. I know! It's ridiculous!

      Well, this size of doll's clothes is do-able compared to Barbie clothes!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Emma, I'm going to be held accountable for at least one more so I hope it's not too boring to read about!

  5. A very sweet dress. I can't believe it's lined. I am also intrigued by a pattern that comes with chair patterns as well!


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