Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter princess doll dress refashion

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

You may remember that my (Jessica's) daughter got her own American Girl doll for Christmas this year! Both of us were super excited, and personally I could not wait to get sewing on some doll clothes! I made her 48 pieces of doll clothing for Christmas (you can see a bunch of them here), and of them all, this winter princess dress is her very favorite. I think she tore Marie-Grace's official dress off as soon as she opened the box so she could put this dress on her.

I mean, what little girl could resist? The white fur, the sparkly pink velvet, the jeweled belt...it was the "fanciest" dress of all according to my daughter. And the best part? I refashioned a baby dress, some none of those complicated intricate details of the dress were sewn by me!

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress




I started with this dress that I bought at the thrift store for $0.99. Now even though this particular dress came from a thrift store, these kinds of holiday and seasonal dresses are all over the place on clearance right now so you should be able to find one like it. Just make sure that the back has a zipper or button closure.

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

This one is a winter/holiday dress, in a baby's size 3-6 months. It was made of this fantastic stretchy sparkly pink faux velvet and fake fur trim. Not my favorite combo, but you know who loved it? My daughter!

Here's how I refashioned it into a winter princess dress:

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

1. Try the dress on your doll to get an idea of how long it will be. Try and choose a dress that isn't longer then floor length on your doll. Usually anything 3-6 months and smaller works great.
2. Cut the sleeves off the dress.
3. Try your dress on your doll again, this time you'll be measuring where to take in the sides.
4. Pin the sides of your dress in along your doll's waist. this will make a doll sized bodice. You can also pin up the shoulder seams if you need them to be shorter (which I did).

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

5. Take your dress off the doll, and make sure all of your pinned sides match at the seams and aren't wrinkled. Now is also the time to cut off the ties if you dress has them. You'll put them back in later!
6. Now you'll cut off the excess on either side, but don't sew the sides up yet! Leave yourself about 1/4 inch for seam allowance.
7. Take the sleeves you removed and try them on your doll. They will likely need to be taken in along the arm and shortened at the shoulder. Pin them to mark where they need to be taken in while still on the doll.
8. Take the sleeves off your doll, and check to make sure the places you pinned match and aren't wrinkly.

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

9. Cut off any extra fabric on your sleeve, leaving about 1/4 inch seam allowance.
10. Cut arm holes from your bodice, and cut down the shoulders to shorten them. Pin the new shoulder seams together.
11. Match your sleeve up with your new arm hole, to make sure they're about the same size.
12. Sew your shoulder seams closed. Because my dress was made of such a stretchy fabric I used a zig zag stitch.

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

13. With the right sides together, begin to pin your sleeve into your shoulder seam, making sure that the sides match up at the front and back.
14. Once the sleeve is completely pinned in, this is what it will look like.
15. Pin in both sleeves, then lay out your dress to make sure that the sleeves are even!
16. Sew in both of your sleeves, once again I used a zig zag stitch.

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

17. Now you can finally pin up the sides of your dress, all along the side and the new sleeve seam.
18. Pin both sides carefully, making sure as you go that you don't need to make any last minute adjustments.
19. Now is the time to insert the ties if you had any, just pin them back into the side seams of the dress at the waist.
20. Sew along each side, then turn inside out. You're done!

Here is the finished dress finished and turned inside out:

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

Marie-Grace had a really good time modeling her new dress. And I'm pretty sure my daughter hasn't taken this dress off of her since these pictures were taken either. I'd say that's pretty good for $0.99 and an hour of work!

refashion a baby dress into an American Girl Doll (18 inch doll) winter princess dress

I feel like these instructions were maybe a bit confusing, so if you have any questions please feel free to email us and I'll try my best to answer them!

If you loved this doll refashion, you can also check out our tutorial for making an American Girl doll skirt with only one seam! Or you can crochet a doll scarf or doll leg warmers. Can you tell what I've been busy doing lately?
~Jessica


10 comments:

  1. Omg. You're brilliant! Adorable:)

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  2. Excellent tutorial - thank for sharing. Great photos of each step :-)

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  3. The dress is gorgeous and I love that it's made from and existing dress:@)

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  4. 48 pieces of doll clothing! WOW!!!! I've linked to your tutorial for this dress over at Craft Gossip: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-size-a-baby-dress-down-to-fit-an-18-doll/2014/01/06/
    --Anne

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    1. Thank you so much Anne! We love Craft Gossip and are always super excited to be featured!

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  5. Wow, this dress is adorable and to think you recreated it from another dress. What a perfect dress to find. I am going to look for something like it so I can make one for my grand daughter. I made her a bed for Christmas and she loved it.Now I should make some clothes.
    Not 48 pieces however. lol!
    Thanks for the tutorial.
    Have a wonderful week,
    Bev
    @ Eclectic Red Barn

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  6. This is such a great idea! Some of those American Girls outfits are super expensive and this one is beautiful!

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  7. I really like your new dress. I think this is my new preferred outfit too :) I wish I could have abilities like yours and I really like how you published this on my birthday!!!! I really wish I could get one of your outfits I just really like them :)

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  8. Amazing! I actually just tried to do this this weekend (before seeing your post!), but it didn't work out so well. I started with an 18 month dress though, so I think that was the problem. I'm going to give it another try with this post!

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  9. I love how you tackle these refashions!!

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