When I was finalizing the PDF file for my free pattern, (The Four Season Skirt– Did you get yours yet? It’s my free gift to you when you sign up to receive the Oh Sew Kat Chat! Click here.), as I was taking photographs of my Animator dolls, I realized I didn’t have very many colors of tops to go with the cute skirts. And even though white goes with everything, only one doll could wear it at a time! In one weekend, I set out to create a rainbow of tops for my dolls (in two sizes) and I had a little fun at the same time.
Read on to find FOUR WAYS to dress up a doll top or the bodice of a dress. These hacks work with any pattern that has a flat front, like the Popsicle Top, the Sugar N Spice dress, the Easy Up! Jumper, and the School Bell Blouse with peplum. These hacks will work for any size doll, but the measurements may need to be adjusted due to size.
I used my own reversible Popsicle Top pattern. It takes very little fabric and stitches up quickly. Here I’ll show you a few ways you can take this simple look and “Step it Up”.
The first thing I did was to choose two different shades of each color. Normally, I line most of my doll clothes using a white layer cake from Kona Cottons (easy to manage and easy to grab!) Because the Popsicle Top is reversible, I can get two tops at once. By using similar colors, I don’t have to worry about a red peeking out from behind a blue, and when I go to mix and match, I’ve got two greens and two yellows to choose from so now I have a better chance of having something to match.
Yes, it involved a ton of thread changes…but in the end, I have this fabulous rainbow of Popsicle Tops!
As I worked my way through my rainbow, I wanted to STEP IT UP a bit and try to make the tops look a little different (read fancier), while still being simple, monochromatic pieces. After all, I’m using them to show off cute skirts, right? I picked a few decorative stitches off my machine, and added the stitching before the front is sewn to the lining. (I pieced the backs to the front, then did my decorative stitching, then sewed the front and back together together.)
Use a piece of tailor’s chalk to draw a smooth line on your top that is not in the seam allowance. Follow it with a cute daisy stitch or something similar. Here I added a ring of flowers around the neckline. My machine was acting up with a little “jump” stitch every so often. Ignore that. 😉
And here I added the stitching parallel to the hem line. By using the same color of thread, I get a tone on tone look with a little added detail for interest.
I also made some mistakes- but I saved them! This next blue top was supposed to look just like the one above…but I stitched the pieces together incorrectly and the stitching was on the inside of the front. (Of course!) I trimmed it off, added ricrac, and then stitched new pieces back on and added topstitching, to not only give a cute pieced look, but to fix that silly mistake.
This yellow top ended up being one of my favorites. It also appeared to be a mistake. As I put my fronts to backs, I realized the darker yellow front was wider than the pale yellow. I’m not quite sure how that happened, possibly during my cutting marathon. The pattern piece must not have been exactly on the fold. I figured out how much too big it was…and stitched that with wrong sides together, then pressed it open and flat, to make a faux placket.
If you want to add this cute look to your top, simply move your pattern piece 3/8-3/4th inch from the fold when you cut your bodice piece, and then stitch your seam at that same 3/8-3/4th inch with wrong sides together. Press this fabric flat and topstitch down each edge to hold it in place. (3/4th inch works great for 18 inch dolls). It’s an easy way to dress up your simple top and STEP IT UP! (It will also make your neckline and hem a little more bulky- stitch slowly to keep your lines straight.) See how cute this looks on a dress HERE.
Pretty lace is always a classic…so I used that to dress up my simple tops as well. So What color will you make your Popsicle Top?
Or will you make it in all of the colors? Hop on over to my Inspiration Gallery to see more of this versatile pattern! And check out this POST which shows how to make the Popsicle Top into a cute crop top!
Share your stepped up Popsicle Tops with hashtags #ohsewkat and #popsicletop.