This little dress comes with matching knickers / panties. Dolly is about 15-16" tall (38-40cm), but I think you could easily adjust it for a slightly smaller or larger doll. You can find more about how to make the outfit after the jump.
Panties or knickers. I've written up in detail how to make these in this post. You can get the free PDF pattern here. It should open up as a pdf which you can download and print. Make sure you print it actual size, not fit to scale or anything else. However, it is drawn on half inch graph paper, so if it doesn't look the right size (on A4 paper) it would be easy to redraw square by square onto a new piece of graph paper. As a guide, the centre front (the fold) of the knickers is exactly 9 squares, or 4 1/2". Because I used half inch graph paper, I have to measure it to give you that in centimetres. It measures approximately 11.4 cm.
Back view of finished knickers.
If you do want to add an appliqué to the back, in practice it's probably easier to do it before you start stitching the front and back together. However, I was making the whole thing by hand so it didn't make a lot of difference. My description leaves adding the appliqué tll the end. You'll find a template for the heart appliqué in the pattern for the dress bodice - see below.
Here they are with the seams sewn and the hems turned in.
I used the same approach, of simply threading shirring elastic round the legs and tying it off.
Here they are almost finished, with 6mm elastic threaded through the waistband, and shirring elastic sewn into the legs, not yet tied off but left in a bow ready for a fitting.
In order to further tie in the knickers with the matching dress, I decided to add a little appliqué heart to the backside. The dress flares open at the back, so you get cute glimpses of what's underneath.
I used the same material as for the skirt to make the little heart. If your material was more substantial than mine you could use a single layer and just turn under a hem all round your single layer, but mine was a pretty thin polycotton (more or less like quilting cotton), so I made it double thickness.
With right sides together, I seamed round all but a little bit of one side, to allow for turning it the right side out. You can see the 1/4" seam allowance on the pattern on the picture below.
I then clipped the curves, and pressed the unsewn gap away from the edge along the seam allowance. This meant that when I turned it the right side out, it was easy to push that extra bit of seam allowance back to the inside. You could stitch up the gap if you wanted, but there's no need, really, as you can do this as you attach it to the material.
You can make add your own bought appliqué, follow my method as for the heart - or you could look at my how to make appliqués post.
First print out the bodice pattern. This is one piece, that you will cut on the fold of the material, the fold being the centre front. It also includes the template for the heart appliqué.
It should open up as a pdf which you can download and print. Make sure you print it actual size, not fit to scale or anything else. However, it is drawn on half inch graph paper, so if it doesn't look the right size (on A4 paper) it would be easy to redraw square by square onto a new piece of graph paper.
I originally planned a simple dress which opened down the back and fastened at the neck and waist with buttons and loops, comprising a bodice and a gathered skirt. The initial plan was for the bodice to be stripey, to match the knickers, and for the skirt to be made of the same material as the little heart applique on the knickers.
However - that's not what happened to mine in practice, so I give you two alternatives. The stripey material was not actually fully stretchy but it had a bit of 'ease' in it - maybe a bit of elastane or something. So I planned to use it with the stretch going round the body, and I'd cut a piece of material to take away with me, as I wanted to make the outfits while we were all on holiday together. However, I'd underestimated the amount I would need vertically, and I was a bit short of the length of the grey and white striped material for the bodice length. So I had to add further bits of the red fabric to make a sort of yoke.
You may like the look of this, so my pattern allows for that as well as the simpIer bodice. I don't necessarily recommend this, the idea was to have another very simple dress, but the fancy yoke made it less so. My pattern can be used to cut a complete bodice, without a separate yoke. However, I've also included the cutting line for the yoke, if you want to split the pattern as I did, and add the yoke if you like the look. If you cut the pattern to do this, don't forget to add back some seam allowance for the joining of the two fabrics. I added about 1/4" to both the bottom edge of the yoke and the top edge of the bottom part. You could also make the yoke go right over the shoulders without a shoulder seam, but you'll then need to join the pattern pieces for the front and back yoke together and overlap them by the seam allowance.
The design of the bodice without the yoke is that it is made all in one piece which goes round from centre back to centre back. Then the armholes form 'U's. It can be cut on the fold using my pattern. All you then need to do to form the bodice is to sew up the shoulders.
Front view with shoulder seams made:
Back view with shoulder seams made:
You could attach the skirt before sewing the shoulder seams, it doesn't really matter. The skirt is a straight rectangle - mine was 16 cm long by 62 cm wide, but you could adjust to fit.
That piece needs to be gathered then attached right sides together to the bodice. As you can see, I've sewn up the shoulders here by the time I came to attach the skirt,
How much finishing of seams you do is up to you. I was trying to make very simple outfits in a hurry. If I took too long, maybe Dolly would have had her day.
After attaching the bodice, sew a small double hem on each side of the back, from the neckline down to the bottom of the skirt.
Turn under a tiny hem at each end before you start so it won't fray. Then attach right sides together all the way round the neckline.
Iron the trim upwards so it forms a sort of stand-up collar. Over sew just near the edge where it joins the neckline to keep it standing upright.
Then do the same round the armholes. I made these less gathered. You can not gather them at all if you like, then they will make straight mini sleeves rather than ruffled sleeves. However a tiny bit of gather can make them ease round the armholes. You probably won't be able to sew round the armholes by machine as the circle will be too small. If this bothers you, i.e. you don't want to do this tiny bit of and-sewing, you could attach the trim before you make the shoulder seams, but you'd then have the sleeve trim seam at the top.
Finished back view:
Finished front view:
And here's Dolly wearing her new dress.