Sunshine Dress Pattern Hacks

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.

Sunshine Dress Sewing Pattern for Dolls

Make historical fashion outfits for your BeForever Character dolls with Oh Sew Kat’s Sunshine Dress pattern.

Melody American Girl Doll in Green Sunshine Dress

Find the tutorial to make the Sunshine Dress sleeveless HERE. See more photos of Melody’s outfits here.

Find the Sunshine Dress sewing pattern HERE.

Make an easy, Hawaiian inspired MuuMuu doll dress for your 18 inch doll like Nanea. Easy Sunshine Dress beginner sewing pattern tutorial by Oh Sew Kat! Visit for a free trial skirt pattern. #nanea #ohsewkat #sewingpattern #dollclothes #easy #18inch

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.

See more ideas for the Sunshine Dress pattern here and here.

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

70s Style Calico Top for Julie Albright from Bloomer Buddies Sewing Pattern

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!

Make a 70s inspired doll top for American Girl doll Julie Albright with easy sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat. #ohsewkat #bloomerbuddies #julie #1970sfashions #dollclothes #sewingpatterns

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.  🙂

Sewing patterns for 18 inch dolls by Oh Sew Kat! Easy doll dress, top, and bloomers in one easy pattern. #ohsewkat #sewingpattern #dollclothes #easypattern

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.

Make a calico 70s style top for Julie American Girl doll with easy PDF sewing patterns by oh sew kat. #ohsewkat #bloomerbuddies #juliedoll #sewingpattern

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.

Doll scarf tutorial by ohsewkat. Easy sewing pattern for a doll headscarf 70s style. #70s #headscarf #bandana #americangirl #ohsewkat #sewingtutorial #easypattern
Doll clothes sewing pattern tutorial by ohsewkat for doll clothes for Julie BeForever doll. #easypattern #sewingpattern #tutorial #americangirl #dollclothes #ohsewkat

What other outfits will you make for your Julie doll or her friends?  Find more 70s inspiration here in my Inspiration Gallery, as well as here and here.  Don’t forget to visit and follow my Julie inspired Pinterest board!

Make 1970’s fashions for your dolls with the Oh Sew Kat! Bloomer Buddies Sewing Pattern.

Sewing patterns to make your own doll clothes, easy patterns for beginners by oh sew kat. #ohsewkat #juliedoll #dollclothes #sewingpattern #easypattern #tutorial #70sdollclothes
Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Gingham Peasant Dress Outfit Tutorial for Julie Albright- A BeForever Pattern Hack!

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.

Make a 70s peasant top and skirt outfit for Julie doll

Click here to see other outfits I’ve sewn for Julie.

Make your own Doll Clothes for BeForever Doll: Julie

1970s doll dress skirt and top for Julie BeForever Doll

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!

Make a 1970s doll gingham skirt and peasant top for Julie BeForever Doll with easy sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Download your PDF sewing pattern and print on your home printer to sew this afternoon! #ohsewkat #americangirldolls #juliedoll #sewingpattern

Find the patterns HERE.  Find more fashions for Julie (all made with Oh Sew Kat! patterns!) here and here.

Make a 70s outfit for Julie American Girl Doll Clothes with easy sewing PDF patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Blog with craft tutorials and free skirt pattern. #ohsewkat #dollclothes #70s #dress #Julie #sewing

Make 70s themed doll clothes for your Julie Doll.

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Julie Albright’s Sunshine Dress Tunic Top

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.

Make a fashion outfit for your 18 inch Julie doll with easy, sewing patterns from ohsewkat. Beginner level PDF learn to sew patterns. #dollclothes #sewingpatterns #1970s #ohsewkat #juliedoll #18inchdoll

See more ways to make the Sunshine Dress here and here, and find more fashions for the 70s and Julie Albright here and here.

Make a 70s outfit for Julie American Girl Doll Clothes with easy sewing PDF patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Blog with craft tutorials and free skirt pattern. #ohsewkat #dollclothes #70s #dress #Julie #sewing

See and save more great sewing ideas for the 70s and Julie with me on Pinterest!

Find the Sunshine Dress Pattern for 18 inch Dolls here (other sizes also available.)

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!

Step it Up Series: How to Sew a 70s Sunshine Dress for Julie – A BeForever Pattern Hack!

The Sunshine Dress, with its three variations and classic A-line look can easily be adapted to look like it came from the 70s era with just a few minor tweaks to the pattern.

Make a 70s doll dress for your BeForever Julie Doll with this easy sewing pattern.

Make a 70s style daisy trimmed groovy dress for your Julie doll with easy sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Try this easy pattern hack today! #sewingpattern #dollclothes #ohsewkat #juliedoll #18inchdoll #easysewing

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.

Sunshine Dress sewing pattern for 18 inch dolls
  1.  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!
  2. 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 hereIf 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.
  3. 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.) .
  4. Optional:  Add lace (again by hand?) around the neckline.
Make a 70s style daisy trimmed groovy dress for your Julie doll with easy sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Try this easy pattern hack today! #sewingpattern #dollclothes #ohsewkat #juliedoll #18inchdoll #easysewing
Make a 70s style daisy trimmed groovy dress for your Julie doll with easy sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Try this easy pattern hack today! #sewingpattern #dollclothes #ohsewkat #juliedoll #18inchdoll #easysewing

Make a 70s inspired dress for your 18 inch doll.

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.

Make a 70s style daisy trimmed groovy dress for your Julie doll with easy sewing patterns from Oh Sew Kat! Try this easy pattern hack today! #sewingpattern #dollclothes #ohsewkat #juliedoll #18inchdoll #easysewing

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 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.

Sewing patterns to make doll clothes by Oh Sew Kat!