Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March's Tutorial Tuesday - the Stella Inspired 18" Doll Dress

The Stella Inspired 18" Doll Dress

I am excited to bring to you this free tutorial to create an 18" doll dress inspired by the Izzy and Ivy Stella.  A big, huge thank you goes out to Tanya Buetow for helping us to create this darling doll dress tutorial for you.

We are currently sewing up the Stella dress on our Sew-Along Blog.  You can check out those lessons here.  

Both of my little girls will be wearing a Stella for Easter and in their Easter baskets they will both have a matching doll dress.  They are going to be so excited!  I can't wait to see their faces.
Remember, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

Use the coupon code TutorialTuesday to save 20% off all individual fat quarter and ¼" elastic purchases at www.whimsicalfabric.com through Monday, 4/7/14.  Enjoy!!

To make this darling 18" doll dress you will need the following;

Fabric A - 1 fat quarter (2 if using a directional fabric)
Fabric B - 1 fat quarter (2 if using a directional fabric)
Fabric C - 1 fat quarter

9 inches of ¼ inch elastic
Marking Pen or Tailor's Chalk


1. Cut the following.
Fabric A
Bodice - (2) 6 inches x 9 inches
Sleeves - (2) 4 inches x 7 inches
Skirt Panel - (2) 8 inches x 9 ½ inches
Skirt Panel - (2) 8 inches x 3 ¾ inches
For Non-Directional Fabrics Only
Fabric B
Skirt Ruffle Panel - (2) 8 inches x 5 ¾ inches
Ruffles - (14) 1 ½ inches x 12 inches
For Non-Directional Fabrics Only
Fabric C
Sash - (2) 3 inches by 18 inches
Hem Band - (2) 1 ½ inches by 18 inches
2. Download from our website, print, and cut out the armhole template below.  
Click here to "purchase" the FREE template.
3. Finish both of the edges of each ruffle strips with a rolled hem or very narrow hem.

4. Mark the placement of the ruffles on the 8 x 5 ¾ inch skirt panel from fabric B. Space the ruffles 1 inch apart.

5. Gather each ruffle strip to fit the skirt panel.  I used my machine to gather the strips by adjusting the tension and stitch length.

6. Pin and stitch until all the ruffles are attached to the skirt panel. You will be sewing 7 ruffles on each panel.

7. Attach the larger skirt panel from fabric A to the right side of the ruffle panel and the smaller skirt panel from fabric A to the left side. Use a ¼" seam allowance.

8. Now, attach the two full skirt panels to each other using a ¼" seam.  Set aside.

9. Lay one of your Bodice pieces wrong side up with the 9" edges at the top and bottom and the 6" edges at the sides.  Grab the Armhole Cutout Template you printed and line it up on the right most side of your bodice like the picture below.  Trace the curved cutout line onto your fabric.  Flip and repeat on the left most side of the bodice.  Do the same on the other bodice piece.  Cut out the armholes on your bodice pieces.

10. Repeat this step with your Sleeve pieces.  The sleeve pieces should have the 7" edges at the top and bottom and the 4" edges at the sides.

11. Sew the sleeves onto the bodice front and back with a ¼" seam allowance.

12. Finish off the sleeves using a rolled hem or turning under ¼ of and inch and stitching. You do not need to add elastic to the sleeves.

13. Make a casing at the neck for the 9 inches of ¼" elastic leaving a 2 inch opening to insert the elastic. * I add the elastic and close the opening as the very last step.

14. Stitch the front and back bodice side seams together using a ¼" seam.

15. Gather the skirt to fit the bodice.  Pin and sew together with a ¼" seam. You want the larger panel to fit on one half of the bodice and the ruffle/smaller panel to fit the other half. * Pretend the sleeves are attached to the picture below.

16. With right sides together and using a ¼" seam, stitch the two sash pieces together.  Press open the seam.  

17. With right sides together, fold the sash in half lengthwise & press. Cut both edges off at an angle.

18. With right sides together, stitch using a ¼" seam.  Be sure to leave a 3" gap or so for turning.  * I use a safety pin near the ends to help in turning after it has been stitched together.

19. Turn right side out and press. Top stitch around the sash.

20. With right sides together and using a ¼" seam allowance attach the edges of the 1½" x 18" hem band strips together to form a circular band.   

21. With wrong sides together, fold the hem band in half lengthwise and press. Attach the hem band to the bottom of the skirt using a ¼" seam.

22. Press the hem band seam up towards the top of the dress.  Top stitch if desired.

23. Pin the center mark of the sash to the center seam of the skirt front. Stitch the sash in place from one side seam of the dress to the other side seam, starting with the edge closest to the skirt. Your stitches should be right over the top of the stitches you did when you top stitched the sash. 

24. Do the same on the top edge of the sash.

25. Insert your elastic in your neck casing and close the opening.
Make a special little girl happy by making her and her doll matching Stella dresses!
Happy creating!
Danielle Storm

If you would like to purchase supplies from Whimsical Fabric you may do that here.  Don't forget to use the code TutorialTuesday to save 20% off all individual fat quarter and ¼" elastic purchases through Monday, 4/7/14.

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