This month, Kat’s Pattern Pick of the Month is the SUNSHINE DRESS. This pattern is available in three sizes (18 inch, 16 inch animators, and 14.5 Wellie Wishers) and as an a line short sleeve styled dress, it offers lots of options to sew it up in different ways for your dolls.
Easy Pattern Hacks for the Sunshine Dress Sewing Pattern by Oh Sew Kat!
Click on each link below to go right to the instructions for the Pattern Hacks.
Make historical fashion outfits for your BeForever Character dolls with Oh Sew Kat’s Sunshine Dress pattern.
Nanea’s muumuu dress was part of a four part series of blog posts in adapting Oh Sew Kat! patterns to make Hawaiian inspired fashions. Find the MuuMuu tutorial HERE and see more ideas for Nanea HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Here is an easy 1970s style top to make for your American Girl doll, Julie. Julie is the BeForever character from 1974. I was seven years old in 1975, and I had a top that looked just like this one, red fabric and all, but the print was of mushrooms. I used “Little Ruby” fabric for this imitation calico top and the Oh Sew Kat! Bloomer Buddies sewing pattern.
Make a retro 1970’s themed outfit for Julie and other dolls with this easy sewing pattern from Oh Sew Kat!
This outfit was inspired by THIS PIN. For this outfit, I didn’t make any adjustments to the Bloomer Buddies pattern. In order to be more authentic, next time I might add a seam allowance and make the front open with buttons. That will stay on my “to do” list for now. 🙂
It’s easy to add pockets to any pattern, especially square pockets. I add the pockets after the front is complete, before I add the sleeves as it’s a little easier to work with a flat item than a rounded one.
Figure out what size you want your finished pocket. On this blouse, my pockets measure one inch square. Add 1/2 inch to the width, and the length for seam allowances. I cut my pieces 1 1/2 inch square. With right sides together, sew three sides of the pocket, and turn right side out. Press well, folding the unfinished edge to the inside.
I put my top on my doll, and use scotch tape (the magic, transparent kind) to hold the pockets in place. It’s easier to sew over tape than pins that are longer than your pocket! Use a top stitch or edge foot if you have one to get nice topstitching around the three lower sides of the pocket. Complete the top as directed by the pattern.
Make a calico top for Julie and her friends- inspired by the seventies.
Complete the 70s inspired look with an easy headscarf. Find the full tutorial HERE.
Free tutorial and pattern for a 70s retro headscarf for dolls.
I’m really enjoying sewing for Julie Albright, the BeForever character from 1974. I think I’m attracted to her collection because I was seven years old in 1974 and I had very similar things- like her purple coat (mine was blue) and the sneaker skates (mine were bright yellow with orange stripes).
When I saw THIS PIN, I just knew that this peasant style outfit would be easy to recreate with Oh Sew Kat! patterns. Be sure to follow my Julie board when you stop by my Pinterest page.
Make a 70s style gingham skirt for your 18 inch Julie doll and her friends.
Click here to see other outfits I’ve sewn for Julie.
Make your own Doll Clothes for BeForever Doll: Julie
The top is simply the Playtime Peasant Top, sewn in white with long sleeves. For the skirt, I used the overskirt that comes in the Sugar n Spice and Everything Nice bundle. I cut the gingham fabric skirt longer by 4 1/2 inches, but didn’t make any other changes. Add a little lace at the bottom, and ta da! A perfect, pretty bell skirt! Add a red or gingham ribbon to complete the look. This outfit will be perfect for the Christmas holidays!
As it is such a simple dress, The Sunshine Dress sewing pattern has so many options. There are many different ways to style it up to create just the look you want. Here, I used it for the 1974 BeForever Character, Julie Albright.
Find tutorials for other ways to sew Oh Sew Kat! patterns for your Julie Doll HERE. Click here to see more Sunshine Dresses.
Make a tunic top for your 70s Doll – Julie
This top is very simple. I only made one change to the pattern- I cut off about 1 1/2 inches from the hem. I added a little bit of crochet trim, and Julie has a perfect tunic to wear with her bell bottoms.
I used this photo from Pinterest for inspiration. Here’s another one. Based on the first photo, I am using View C, the princess seamed option, but I really think that any of these views can be easily adapted to create this daisy trimmed look. The second photo definitely looks like View B.
Start with the Sunshine Dress pattern. This pattern has had a recent update. Check your file and make sure that it says Copyright 2018 at the bottom of the front cover. If it doesn’t, you can find the updated version where you purchased the pattern, or contact me.
Raise the neckline by quite a bit- I used almost a half inch for the 18 inch size doll. Don’t forget the lining piece needs to match too!
Skip the top stitching after assembling the dress front. It would be covered by the trim. If you want your trim to disappear into the seam at the shoulders (and not go down the back), you need to add it over your seams before you stitch the front to the backs as I did here. If you want the trim to go over the shoulder and down the back, it will be attached after the dress front and back are joined but before you do the hem. I just attached mine to the front (to conserve my trim mostly). Add the daisy trim with transparent tape to ensure you have the look you want; you can follow the seam lines if you have them, but if you don’t, put the trim where you think it should go. Stitch in place. I used a machine and just carefully stitched down the center of my flowers. You can also add your trim by hand. If the trim was wider, or for a real girl and would be washed, I would put a row of stitching down each side to hold it securely.
Raise the hem by an inch or even more. Dresses for girls were short then too! (I usually do this after the dress is sewn together unless I’ve done it before and have a good measurement. Once the dress is done, it’s easy to (use a ruler) and trim off the right amount for right look for the era.) .
Optional: Add lace (again by hand?) around the neckline.
One final note. I do not profess that this pattern is historically accurate. I found an image on Pinterest and used my own pattern, which looks very similar. However, in the world of child’s play, “close enough” is usually enough to save you a few dollars at the American Girl Store if you have a young friend pleading for Julie Albright or items from her time period and collection. When my daughter was very young, and a new doll was released, I usually kept her focused on who she already had with just a few new doll dresses to fit the new era or theme. The one that comes to my mind is when Elizabeth Cole, Felicity Merriman’s best friend was released in a beautiful pink, ball gown. I was able to make and buy a few colonial dresses for my daughter’s Mia doll, and off we went to Williamsburg happy as can be. Elizabeth never did join our doll family by the way. 😉
Use the Sunshine Dress PDF sewing pattern by Oh Sew Kat! for BeForever Julie Dolls.
PLEASE NOTE: The Sunshine Dress has been updated since it was first published. The current version has Copyright 2018 on the bottom of the cover page. If you are unable to get the updated copy from where your purchased it, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of where and when you purchased the pattern and I will get you the updated copy!
See other ways to make clothes for Julie here and here, and more ways to sew the Sunshine Dress here.