Monday, January 27, 2014

Bitty Baby Party Dress

Little c turned four, so of course Bitty Baby needed a party dress!  I ordered a pattern especially made to fit Bitty Babies, but it unfortunately did not come in time .... so I used a pattern I had for 15 inch dolls that looked like it should fit.  Almost!  So if you decide to make this, be sure to read all the instructions before cutting out your fabric.

Simplicity has come out with a line of retro patterns and this set of doll patterns is one.  It's a reprint of the original from the 1950's - and some of these clothes look very much like ones I had for my baby dolls!  

I used satin backed taffeta and cut it so the satin side would be the right side.  And why not just get satin, you ask?  Regular satin is pretty thin and I wanted something with stiffness so the skirt would have body - like a party dress should!  To add more sparkle, I also used a sheer fabric over the back and front skirts.

Here are the changes I made:

I put the sheer fabric on top of the skirt pieces and then sewed along the top for gathering.

After the front bodice was attached to the front skirt, I pinned on a satin ribbon.  I machine sewed along the very top of the ribbon and used hand sewing to tack it down in several spots along the bottom.

There are a few places that called for single fold bias tape.  I cut a 1 1/2 inch piece of the satin on the bias, ironed the edges under 1/4 inch and used that.  For the elastic channels on the pant, I used a one inch piece.

Here's where the problem happened!  Even though I did a rough fitting with the pattern pieces, it did not quite fit.  Bitty Baby is apparently a bit chubbier than the 1950's dolls!  So when I tried it on, the back edges met exactly - no overlap for the snaps.  I made a tab by cutting a long piece of satin, doubling it over right sides together, and sewing it on three edges.  I turned it right side out, ironed it, and sewed it onto the left side of the dress back.  I then sewed on pieces of Velcro to the new tab and to the other side of the dress.  Not too elegant, but it works.  For the next dress, I'll just make the front and back bodice and skirt pieces a tad wider.

To finish, I sewed three rosettes along the ribbon.  When making the pants, I just made the pattern as is and it fit fine.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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