Your Melody doll will feel groovy in a swing dress you made yourself with the Oh Sew Kat! School Bell Blouse pattern.
When you are fabric shopping, keep your eyes open for small scale prints that look retro. For Melody’s dress, I found this cotton fabric in a quilt store. I had no idea what I would make at the time, but I knew it would be perfect for Melody. Doesn’t she look great in this color?
This the pattern I used: The School Bell Blouse. It has two styles of blouses to make for your doll and comes in three sizes (Animators, 18 inch and Wellie Wishers). Click HERE and HERE for the tutorials to make this pattern into two cute dresses.
These cute little bows were the perfect color to accent the pleats in the front and sleeves of the dress.
Be sure to share your 60s dresses you make for Melody or any of her friends with hashtag ohsewkat.
Welcome back to Oh Sew Kat! Designs- where you can find an endless stream of ideas of new ways to sew the PDF sewing patterns for dolls I offer. Today’s post will show you a simple pattern hack of the School Bell Blouse. See how easy it is to take the School Bell Blouse pattern, and make a super sweet dress for your doll.
Make a cute doll dress with the School Bell Blouse Sewing Pattern.
The pattern looks like this and you can find it where Oh Sew Kat! patterns are sold. This post will show you how to make a dress from View A, the pleated front top (shown in pink on the cover.) Check back soon to see more fun variations with this fun pattern!
Use this easy tutorial to turn your School Bell Blouse into a School Bell Dress for Dolls.
1. To begin, cut out all of your pattern pieces. I made my dresses from View A, the pleated front version. Tape each front piece and back piece near the top a new sheet of paper. You will be extending these pieces at the hem by three inches for 18 inch dolls and 1 1/2 inches for 14.5 inch dolls. Measure from the two hem corners, and also in the middle, to create a new hem line parallel to the bottom of the pattern piece.
2. At the corner where the side seams will meet, measure out 1/2 inch to the side (less for smaller dolls if you even need any at all). Draw a line from this point, back up to the armhole to give the dress a little bit more flare in the side seams at the hem. Do the same for the back piece. Cut out your new pieces.
3. You will need to cut a front and 2 backs from view b (peplum top). These will be the lining for your dress. You do not need the facing piece. Serge or zigzag the bottom of each lining piece.
3. Now simply follow the pattern as directed to make your doll dress! I like to decorate the neckline of my blouses and dresses with crystals (found in the bead or scrapbooking section of craft stores) for some extra sparkle.
You can make it sleeveless too!! Follow the same steps as seen in THIS TUTORIAL.
Easy pattern hack to make a blouse pattern into a dress for dolls.
Or give it a retro feel for BeForever characters Melody or Julie.
Try this pattern hack to take a pattern for a top, and make it into a cute dress! See more ideas for the School Bell Blouse pattern here and here.
If you have a tee shirt pattern for your doll that you just love, it’s so easy to use that same pattern in a new way and make a super cute, tee shirt dress for her!!
Make a tee shirt dress for your doll with the Simple Sweet Tee Pattern.
If you want a great selection of hardy knit fabrics, head to your local discount store instead of your fabric store. Shop the women and girls departments for a large selection of leggings! I always buy the largest size they have on hand, since it will provide the most fabric and the most design options. Shop the end of the season for the best prices!
I found these happy emoji and lacy leggings in the girls section of Walmart. The galaxy print was found in the women’s section and is perfect for Luciana, the 2018 Girl of the Year. The emoji and lace are capri style leggings, so they didn’t have a ton of fabric, but certainly enough to make 2-3 dresses (or 2 dresses and a tee). For a grand total of $2.29, that is certainly a bargain!
My dresses were made using the Simple, Sweet Tee pattern by Oh Sew Kat!, but any tee shirt pattern you have will work. If you have a tee already made, put it on your doll and decide where you want the dress to fall on her leg. Make a note of that measurement. I decided on three inches from the longer version of the Sweet Tee pattern.
It’s easiest to use the hemmed edges of the pant leg if they are big enough. If you can’t take advantage of the hemmed edge, add 3/8th inch to your measurement for your lower hem. You can simply lay your pieces down on the pant legs, and measure them to make sure they are the same and cut them out.
Usually, I like to create new pattern pieces when I do things like this. That way, I still have them for later to use again and don’t have to recreate anything when I want to make another one. Cut out the back and front pattern pieces, and tape them to a new piece of paper or graph paper. Using a ruler, simply extend the side edges down the amount you measured in the step above of both the front and back pieces. Create a new hemline and cut it out.
Extra tip: This pattern has a straight side seam (the hemline is a perfect 90 degree angle to the side seam). Sometimes, if you extend this line down too long, it won’t cover the doll’s bum in back because she is thicker there than at her waist, where the tee usually ends. After measuring and drawing my new lines, I moved my side seam out 1/2 to 3/4th inch and simply connected this back up to the armscye, giving the bottom edge just a little more room and flare. With knit fabrics, they will still stretch and work, but having a little extra room ensures a nice fit. If your tee shirt pattern has a tighter fit, or curves inward, I strongly suggest adding this extra width to the hem to ensure your dress fits.
Lay out your pattern pieces on your leggings or fabric. I used the existing pant hems here. Cut out your pieces, paying close attention to which direction the fabric goes and where the fold lines end up. It was kind of a tight squeeze to get the back piece on the child’s leggings, and I put one sleeve on each leg to maximize the fabric I have left over for the next one. Assemble the shirt according to pattern directions. For the lacy dress, I left off the sleeves and used fold over elastic using hemming method #1 from the pattern. For the emoji dress, I used the normal hemming method #3.
Ashley Craw, of Sew and Soar, has a full lineup of her tests of the new School Dance Dress pattern that is now available for WellieWishers. She made all three versions, as well as a sleeveless and short sleeved version. A tutorial for the sleeveless version can be found HERE.
Her dresses are super cute and are for sale in her Etsy shop. Be sure to stop by and see what else she has.
It’s about time for the bitties to get some love here at Oh Sew Kat! I’ve released my first few bitty sized doll clothes patterns, with more in the works! In fact, Boardwalk Boutique is now available! I chose two simple patterns to start because they offer an easy project for young girls to learn to sew. The pieces are a bit bigger than the AG size, and these patterns are quick and easy but can be embellished in lots of ways. The top is reversible!! I do suggest you try the top and skirt on your bitty doll before adding the hook and loop tape. Depending on how “loved” the doll is, your bitty could be a little thinner than mine. This pattern is also perfect for your Bitty Twin dolls too!
Today’s Tester Tuesday features the talented Ashley Craw of SewandSoar. She has a great sense of color and style and offers trendy fashions in her Etsy shop. Be sure to check her out there and on Instagram!
Get your bitty baby doll ready for the summer heat! Find the patterns here and here. See more ideas for Popsicle Tops here and Sixth Grade Skirts here. You can also find Oh Sew Kat! patterns for Bitty Baby on Pixie Faire and You Can Make This.
If you’ve done very much sewing for our small vinyl friends (aka dolls), you have run across a pattern or two that asks you to turn something inside out. I do it all the time in my patterns! The clean finish you get from a fully lined bodice gives your doll clothes a more realistic and finished look. And usually, the pieces you need to turn are the straps, like in the HalterAlls, Boardwalk Boutique, Easy Up! or Backyard Bibs patterns. Maybe you are looking at tiny shoulders for a bodice, like the Popsicle Top or Bloomer Buddies, esp. for smaller dolls. And you look at that tiny little piece you so lovingly cut from the special fabric and think, “Huh? Seriously?” I want to share one of my favorite products with you, as well as show you, step by step, how to use it.
Use Fasturns as a tool to flip a small, doll bodice or small doll clothes straps.
You can easily use a safety pin to flip any small part of your pattern. Or you can add a ribbon or string as you sew, and then pull it to flip it right side out. These turning tubes also work great! There are so many ways to try to see what works for you. But I definitely have my favorite. I bought them in 1996 and they never let me down. I use them EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I turn a strap, tube, bodice etc. They are quick, they are easy, and they are worth every. single. penny. I promise!!!!! I love my FASTURN TUBES!! You can find them on amazon.
Introducing: Fasturn Fabric Turners!. This set, available on Amazon, is basically the same one I have. I bought it at least 19 years ago. I love these things!! I think I bought them at the time for two reasons- I love sewing gadgets, and I thought I might be making purses. 🙂 Today, I use them daily when I sew; I honestly would be lost without them! I use them to turn the straps on Boardwalk Boutique halter tops and HalterAlls, and Backyard Bibs. I use them every time I make a Popsicle Top, a Sugar n Spice pinafore, or a Bloomer Buddies top. If you make the investment in these, you won’t regret it! No more safety pins, ripped seams, and frayed edges! I promise!
Here’s what they look like: (Mine are from about 1995 or 1996 (based on the fact that I bought them in California, and son #2 was born in Virginia in 1997 so it’s a pretty good guess…) and they are still going strong because they are such high quality. Yes, they are expensive. But if you plan to sew a lot of doll clothes, you really will not regret it.
Sure, they don’t look like much. Brass tubes and some wire “thingy”s; okay, wire hooks if you will. They come in sets of three or six sizes. Here’s a step by step break down of how to use them to turn a doll’s bodice (like Bloomer Buddies, Sugar n Spice, Popsicle Top etc.) or turning a doll strap like Easy Up!, Backyard Bibs, or HalterAlls especially for smaller dolls. The smaller the doll size, the harder it is to turn the bodice or strap. Instructions are beneath each set of pictures. (Please note, these photos were taken of a 14 inch doll sized WellieWishers™ top.) . The steps match the photo numbers.
1. Stitch the neckline and arm holes as the pattern directs.
2. Choose the largest Fasturn tube that will easily slide into the opening or strap.
3. Insert the Fasturn into your opening so it comes out the other side.
4. Feed a wire hook into the tube (make sure it’s longer than your tube is- there are two sizes of hooks) and fold the end of the fabric over the opening in a single layer, turning the wire in a clockwise direction to “screw” it out the top through your fabric. The fabric is now hooked.
5. Ensure the top of the wire doesn’t catch on the side of the tube, (I guide it with my finger as I start to pull) and slowly pull the fabric into the tube, pulling gently towards you.
6. As you pull, the fabric will start to feed into the tube and resist a bit. Pull about 1-2 inches (until it feels like you may be forcing it) and then pull your fabric back up over the tube (right side out) to expose the part you are pulling out. (Note, most straps will simply turn right side out as you continue to pull.)
7. Now you can see what you are doing more clearly; pull the tube towards you and away from your fabric. (the hook is still secured to the fabric.)
8. Turn the wire in a counter-clockwise direction to twist it out of your fabric.
9. Carefully continue to pull with your hands.
10. Continue to pull the fabric until it all slides out towards you.
11. Pull the final fabric through and… ta da!!
12. Press your flipped fabric! Whoo hoo! Wasn’t that so much easier?
How to flip a doll clothes bodice or small doll clothes straps with the easy to use, FASTURN tool.
You can also view a quick video on YOU TUBE, that shows how to turn a tube, and fill it with cord in just one step. Have you bought a set of Fasturns? How do you use them? Respond in the comments below and share your ideas!
The School Dance Dress is a simple sewing pattern that will give your WellieWishers dolls a long sleeve dress to keep them warm in winter, but still dressed up. Choose holiday fabrics for a festive look! Enjoy a few more tester photos of this pattern. Visit my Inspiration Gallery to see even more School Dance Dresses.
Jenny stitched up this beautiful set of Playtime Peasant outfits! Her young daughter helps her design for her dolls. I think she keeps her mom pretty busy, but you have to love these cute results!! What a lucky little girl she is!! She made the belt by simply braiding ribbons, and turned the shirt into a cute dress by adding 3 inches!! Nice work!! Love the variety of looks from one, simple pattern.
With a few simple adjustments, and the right fabric, even a beginner can create this same look! Here’s my version using Vera Bradley fabric. Read on to see how easy it is to step up my simple SUNSHINE DRESS pattern to a super trendy look!
Make a Sunshine Dress without the Sleeves Tutorial
1. Choose your fabric and cut out the following pattern pieces: 1, 2, 3, 4. (back, front, lining back and lining front. If you want to use princess seams, use the pieces the pattern specifies for that view instead of piece 2 (front).)
2. To make my dress, I used luncheon sized napkins I bought at the Vera Bradley outlet. (Yes, Virginia, there is a such a thing, and yes, it is truly amazing!). The napkins have a bound edge, and I decided to use that as my dress hem. The pieces just barely fit! I used two of my four napkins to make this one dress. It’s a little shorter than the pattern piece by about an inch, which okay, as I want a shorter sundress.
3. Follow the pattern instructions and sew the shoulder seams of both the dress and the lining. Finish the bottom edges of your lining before you attach it. Line the pieces up with right sides together, pin, and sew the neck and sleeve edges.
4. Carefully pull the back pieces through the shoulders to the front, flipping the pieces inside out. If you’ve never done this before, see my TUTORIAL. To make it easier, use a FASTURN set (*affiliate link – Tutorial here). Press for nice smooth edges. With RST, line up your side seams, opening out the bodice pieces as well, and sew one long seam from the hem of the dress to the hem of the bodice lining. Fold the insides together and press if needed. Finish the back edges and hem according to the pattern directions. I skipped the hem part, as mine was already finished! That made this quick project even quicker!
5. Once my dress was done, I added the pink sparkles (from the craft store) with my iron to complete the look.
Ta da!! I used a dress pattern I already had on hand, to create a trendy look by leaving off the sleeves and shortening the length a little bit. With a little imagination, a simple little pattern can go a long way!