Thursday, 23 February 2012

Reversible Dolls Dress Tutorial

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When I first decided to make dresses for Rascal's dolls, I was a bit intimidated by the idea of sewing such small fiddly seams. I put my thinking cap on and came up with the idea of making reversible dresses, (which have the added bonus that you get two dresses for the price of one).

These are really easy to make, I hope you have fun making them and that your child gets as many hours of joy out of them as Rascal has from hers.

The doll that this dress was designed for is  roughly 13 inches tall. That said, She is generous and shares her dresses with her friends.

A couple of notes before we start:
I have included a 1/4 inch seam allowance in the pattern
For the purpose of this tutorial, I have assigned the pink elephant fabric as the outer and the aqua butterfly fabric as the inner.

You will need:
to download the pattern here
two largish scraps of fabric
poppers or velcro
Optional extra if you are using poppers is a few small strips of light weight interfacing

Start by cutting out your fabric.
Ensure that you place the front piece on top of a folded piece of fabric with the fold located where marked. Cut 1 piece of the outer fabric in this way and 1 piece of the inner fabric.
Using the back piece pattern cut 1 piece of the outer fabric and 1 piece of the inner fabric.

Flip the back piece pattern over. CHECK that you have positioned it the opposite way to the piece that you have just cut. DOUBLE CHECK and only then cut 1 piece of the outer fabric and 1 piece of the inner fabric.
This is what you should have cut out
Now you can start sewing:
Start by placing the front and back outer fabric pieces right sides together and sewing the side seam.

Do this for both back pieces.
Repeat these two steps for the inner fabric pieces.
Press the seams

Place the outer fabric and the inner fabric right sides together.

Starting from the back edge, sew around the dress pieces. Ensure that you leave a gap of about 3 inches to turn the right way out.

If you are going to use poppers to close the dress, it is an idea to iron a small strip of light weight interfacing along the back edge of the inner fabric, just to give the a bit of extra strength (this is not essential, but I would recommend it).
I will try to improve this photo, but hopefully you can just make out the interfacing on both pieces
Notch the curves and clip the corners

Turn the right way out and push the corners out.

Top stitch all the way around

Overlap the shoulder pieces slightly and stitch. I tend to hand stitch this, but you could use the machine if you want to.

I am aware that this is not the prettiest way to do the shoulders and that there are neater, more complicated methods, but show me a 3 year old who complains and I'll maybe think about changing my methods!

Add poppers or velcro for closure.

Stand back and congratulate yourself for making a beautiful reversible dolls dress. You could fancy it up by adding a ric rac or lace border along the bottom or using plain fabric with an applique design- the possibilities are endless!

As with all my tutorials, I'd love to hear how you get on. If anything is unclear or  you need extra instructions don't hesitate to get in touch.

Now that you've made the dress, why not go and make a couple of matching dolls nappies?

Good luck and happy sewing!

I'm sharing at Our Creative Spaces and Creative Friday


  1. These are just have really inspired me to get sewing on some of these for my twins...they are just getting into dolls.
    Very easy and clear tutorial too...thanks so much!

  2. Just thought i would add that i am now following you on pinterest and GFC...hope you don't mind me pinning this!

  3. what a fantastic idea! i've always been a fan on two-in-one items!

  4. Good work! Looks very clear to me.

  5. Fantastic - so cute! You make it look really easy too. Thanks for sharing :) Lisa xx

  6. Very cute...will be making this for my girls also makes for good practice :-)

  7. This is a fantastic tutorial! I recently came across some commercial doll clothing patterns that I saved from when my girls were small and I shuddered at the memory of the blood, sweat and tears that I shed while attempting them! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Cool idea, do they come in my size?

  9. LOVE it! Thanks for the tute. Think I might be too much of a woos to try poppers though. Maybe mine will be the velcro version ;) haha

  10. Thank for sharing this fabulous tutorial!!! I'm pinning!!!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this! I've just cut out my fabric and I'm now making my own doll dress. I have just learned how to hammer on poppers and have been putting them on everything.


    1. Great to hear that you are getting some use out of my wee tutorial! Good luck with the sewing. Poppers are fun aren't they?!?

  12. Hi, I'm featuring your Reversible Dolls Dress Tutorial today...

  13. Ok.. I have looked all over this page, and I cannot find the pattern to download.. I feel pretty dumb, seems everyone else hasn't had a problem..
    Can someone tell me where I can find the pattern to download?
    Thank you,

    1. Sorry, I don't know exactly what was going on, but there was a bit of a problem with the link. I think I have sorted it now. Just click on the "here" in the first line of the "You will need section" and it should take you to the pattern in google documents.
      Any further problems, please don't hesitate to get in touch. If worst comes to the worst, I can email you the PDF.

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