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Free Pattern for Dropped-Waist Dress
Directions for Sewing Pattern

Directions for Dropped-Waist Dress Pattern
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picture of the free dropped-waist dressDirections for Free Dropped-Waist Doll Dress Pattern
By Sally Robertson

Copyright 2002 Sally Robertson

This dress pattern is designed to fit loosely to accomodate the variation in sizes of the dolls.

Pattern Pieces

Cut a piece of calico 5 1/2" by 44" for the skirt and cut the bias trim for the collar 16" by 3/4" on the bias.

The following links will take you to images that contain the free pattern pieces. Just click on every link, print the page, and then use the "back" button on your browser to come back to this page. It is very important that the pages print at the right scale. Each page has two 2" lines drawn on it. If those lines are off, the size of the pattern will be off.

These images work for the two computers and printers I have, but they may not work for your computer and printer. If you cannot print the images to the right scale, just send me a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a request for the dropped-waist dress pattern pieces and I will mail you a copy of them free. (Sally Robertson, 23709 Emerald Trail; Deer Trail, CO 80105)

Use the back button to come back from each of these pages.

Free Pattern Directions

All seams are 1/4" unless otherwise noted. Pre-wash fabrics such as calico and broadcloth to remove sizing and to shrink them.

Materials: 5/8 yard of calico. 1/4 yard of white broadcloth. White and colored thread to match calico. 6" of Velcro.

1. Cut the collar from the white fabric. Cut a piece of calico 5 1/2" by 44" for the skirt. (My favorite way to cut the skirt is to tear the fabric crosswise across one end. Then measure 5 1/2" and tear across the fabric again. Cut the selvage off the ends.) Cut the bias trim for the collar 16" by 3/4" on the bias. (The easiest way to cut the bias trim for the collar is with a rotary cutter if you have one. Otherwise, place the wrong side of the fabric up and draw a diagonal line across the fabric for one edge of the bias trim. Measure over 3/4" from the line and draw another line. Then cut on the lines.) Cut the rest of the pattern pieces from the calico.

2. Working with the bias strip, turn one of the long edges in to the center and baste. Then turn the other edge in to the center and baste. This will leave you with a strip that is about 1/4" wide. Pin one edge of the strip on the collar 5/8" away from the outer edge of the collar. (Cindy Henry Macedon has given us a tip for the placement line of the trim. She set her machine to the longest stitch length and machine basted the placement line.) Leave the inside edge of the strip free (it will not lay down flat on the collar). By hand, sew the trim down on the collar with a slip stitch on the outer edge only. Then press the inside edge of the trim down with an iron. Pin. Sew with a slip stitch. Press again when you are finished sewing and take the basting threads out.

 

3. Pin the collar and collar lining together, right sides together. Sew up one side of the back, around the outer edge of the collar and down the other side of the back with white thread. Clip the corners off and cut little notches around the outer edge of the collar. Turn right side out and press.

 

4. Fold the front bodice in half lengthwise and press very lightly to mark the center of the bodice. Fold the facing portions of the back bodices toward the wrong side of the material at the notches and press. Pin the front bodice and back bodices together at the shoulder seams, right sides together. Sew with a 1/4" seam. Pin the front facing and back facings together at the shoulder seams, right sides together. Sew with a 1/4" seam. Press seams open. Zig-zag around the edge of the back and front facings so the edge will not ravel.


 

5. Fold the collar in half lengthwise and press very lightly to mark the center front of the collar. Pin or baste the collar onto the bodice with the center of the collar directly on the centerline of the bodice, the wrong side of the collar pinned to the right side of the bodice. (This is important. If you sew the collar on crooked it will stand out like a sore thumb; yes, I have done it!) Pin the collar to the bodice all around the neck edge. The back collar edges should be about 3/8" away from the edges of the back bodice. Then pin the facing over the collar. Sew around the neck edge. Clip the seam well. Turn the facing to the wrong side of the bodice. Press the collar down around the neck edge. Pin the facing to the bodice on the shoulder seams. Then sew short seams right down the two shoulder seams (stitch-in-the-ditch technique) to hold the facing in place. Pull out the basting threads (if dye from the basting threads stain the white collar, use rubbing alcohol to remove it).

 

 

6. On the bottom of each sleeve, starting and ending at the two notches, run a row of gathering stitches 1/8" from the edge of the fabric. Run another row of stitches 1/2" from the edge of the fabric. Gather the sleeves up so that they fit across one long edge of the sleeve band. Pin the bottom edges of the sleeves to the sleeve bands and sew 1/4" from the edge. Pull the gathering threads out.

7. Zig-zag across the free long edges of the sleeve bands. Fold the zig-zagged edges of the sleeve bands toward the wrong side of the sleeves so that they overlap the seams between the sleeves and sleeve bands by 1/4". Sew right down the seams between the sleeves and sleeve bands (stitch-in-the-ditch).

 


8. On the top of each sleeve, starting and ending at the two notches, run a row of gathering stitches 1/8" from the edge of the sleeve and another row of gathering stitches 1/2" from the edge of the sleeve. Pin the center of the sleeves to the shoulder seams, right sides together. Gather up the sleeves so that they fit in the armhole and pin in place. Sew the sleeves to the bodice with a 1/4" seam. Pull out the gathering stitches. Clip the seam. Zig-zag across the raw edges of the seam.

 

9. On each side of the dress, pin the front bodice and sleeve to the back bodice and sleeve, right sides together, folding the armhold seam toward the sleeve. Sew with a 1/4" seam, going back and forth across the sleeve band seams 4 to 6 times. Clip the seams under the arms. Zig-zag across the edges of the seams.

 

10. Zig-zag across both back edges of the skirt. Zig-zag across the bottom of the skirt. Starting and ending 1 1/2" from the back edge of the skirt, run a row of gathering stitches 1/8" from the top of the skirt and another row 1/2" from the top of the skirt. Matching the center fronts of the bodice and skirt, pin the skirt to the bodice, right sides together. Gather the threads to fit across the bodice. Sew with a 1/4" seam. Pull out the gathering threads. Zig-zag the seam.

11. Sew the back seam in the following way: Starting at the bottom edge of the skirt, sew a 1" seam for 3". Sew back and forth over the top of the seam so it will hold when the doll is dressed. Press open.

12. Sew a 1/4" wide piece of Velcro from the neck to the bottom of the bodice to close the dress in back.

13. Turn up the skirt hem 1/2" and sew.

Thank you so much for trying my free doll dress pattern. It is such a joy for me to be able to provide this pattern to everyone at no charge. I know there are many ladies who are surfing the Internet looking for free sewing patterns, not just for doll clothes, but for all area of sewing, quilting and crafting. As I can free up more time from work I intend to put other free patterns up on the website.

Currently I am working on two patterns I would like to add to the website. One of the free patterns is for a baby doll quilt. It is a star pattern that is made without having to sew any of those irritating little triangles. Those darn triangles just love to distort as you sew on the bias and my technique eliminates all of those problems.

The second free sewing pattern is for a smocked doll dress. I am in the process of creating a method of pleating by hand without having to buy iron-on smocking dots and designing a dress that everyone can sew. The pattern is not really exactly a pattern, it is more like a book about the design elements that go into a smocked dress with a free pattern included. I will have many large pictures of what works and what does not work, i.e. what is pretty and what is ugly.

Model is a Dress Me Doll© from The Martha Pullen Company.

Infinite Freedom

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where all have the resources they need to sew...
and no strife or war can touch anyone who wants to sew.

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