Tag Archive | Simplicity

Samantha’s floral dress Simplicity 1179

Samantha was the last doll to get a new dress for Me- Made- May.  Now all my dolls are wearing hand-made for the month.

Samantha got view D from Simplicity 1179 designed by Keepers Dolly Duds for Simplicity.  Her dress made from a quilting cotton.  Like previous doll makes, I switched out the button closure for Velcro.  I really should have tried the dress on my doll before finishing it.  It is a touch looser than expected because I really didn’t consider where her back seam should be for switching the closure out to Velcro.

I like this view much better than the view B that I made for Rebecca back in February.  I recommend being slow and cautious when doing the pin-tucks on the sleeve.  As far as I could tell, there was really not a great method of marking them.  I marked it on the back like usual, but the pin-tuck covers the marking as one is sewing.

I really didn’t have a great match for lace on the front bodice so I left that off of Samantha’s dress.  However, if Samantha gets a light lavender pinafore that should complete her outfit off quite nicely.

With the weather picking up and hopefully no rain, I should be able to get pictures of the back log of projects.


Rebecca’s Blue Dress- Simplicity 1179



So moving along in my American Girl doll collection, it was Rebecca’s turn for a new dress.  So Simplicity 1179 is another of the Keeper’s Dolly Duds patterns for Simplicity.

I honestly don’t know what the light blue fabric is, but based on drape, I think there is some rayon in it.  This was probably a bit light for the pattern.  The white fabric used for the sleeve accent and collar is a quilting cotton.




The pattern instructions are well done and easy to follow.

I probably err on the side of simplicity as I didn’t use all the buttons that the pattern request.  My version is missing the buttons on the sleeves, and on the collar.  I reduced the number of buttons on the placket to three because I used a 3/8 inch buttons instead of 1/4 buttons.  That was mainly because I wanted gold buttons.

I used Velcro to close the back of the dress instead of buttons which are mentioned on the pattern.  I have probably about 20 yards left from the 25 yard roll of Velcro I bought from Etsy last year.


As always with Keeper’s Dolly Duds patterns, the pattern is well drafted.  However, it may just be me, I feel like the waistband is a little low.  I know it is a dropped waist style; but Rebecca looks like she has a saggy waistband in the back.  I think the next time I make this pattern I may take in the waistband to see if that helps out the saggy backside.


As Samantha is still needing a new dress, I may come back to this pattern and try out either view C or view D.


Grace’s New Outfit- Simplicity 8282

dsci0097I picked this pattern and several of the other American Girl patterns from Simplicity in early December.  Honestly, the teal dress on the pattern enveloped just jumped out as one to make for Grace.

I decided on view C (supposedly a tunic but looks like a short dress) with view D’s sleeve.  I used rayon challis left over from my McCall’s blouse.  And I paired it with view A’s leggings from a denim knit found at Wal-Mart.


Now for instructions, they were clear but not simple.  First thing I noticed reading them was that it had you inserting the sleeves in on the round on the top.  That is so not what I want to be doing is inserting tiny doll sleeves in the round.  I refused to do that so I modified how to construct the top.

I gathered and attached the front and back pieces to their respective yokes.  Then I attached those pieces at the shoulder seams.  Next I worked on the yoke lining.  After I had that together, I attached the yoke lining to the front at the neckline, clipped and top-stitched.  I basted the bottom of the yoke lining so I had something to turn under when I pressed the yoke area.  After pressing, I top-stitched the bottom of the yoke pieces.

I stitched the sleeve lining to the sleeve at the hem then pressed and top-stitched.  I put the sleeve into the dress bodice in the flat and used my serger to finish the seam allowance.  Next, I closed up the side seams and serged.  I gathered; applied the bottom ruffle and finished the seam allowances.  The back of the dress was closed up to the back opening.  Lastly, Velcro was applied.

There is probably a better order of instructions but hopefully this helps someone else out in trying to think of how to change the instructions.

If I had thought about it more, it may have been nice to finish the neckline with a bias facing.  It would then make the yoke lining optional but the top would have a clean finish using the yoke with the lining and serging the ruffle, side seams, and sleeves.  Another option would be using the burrito method.  I had thought about the burrito method but couldn’t at the time work out how to use the method with small doll clothing.


The leggings had better instructions and I followed those.  The leggings went together in an hour and a half including cut to putting them on the doll.

I found a piece of leather cord in the beading stash that I used for the belt.

Last point I have about the pattern is a couple of the views have 1/8th inch elastic as required notion.  Honestly, I am not sure if that is available.  I think one would have to use elastic cord to get the 1/8th inch otherwise, the other option is to add extra to the seam allowances needing elastic (if possible).  I didn’t use any of those views but felt that it was important to let anyone looking at this know there could be hard to find notions needed for the pattern or adjustments because of it.



Simplicity 1163

So I tried really hard to get a photo of the skirt without Lala on it and it was near impossible without locking him in his cage.  Pictures with bunny it is then.

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This is the present I made my mom for Christmas.  I used the size 22 for a start (37 in waist); then adjusted it for a 44 inches total.  I divided this evenly between the front and back.  At the back I added to the center back about 1 inch (for 2 inches total) then the rest went to the side seams.  The front I did slash and spread some and then added the last on the side seams.

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The skirt does have pleats on the front wrap (to be honest they do get lost in the print of the skirt).  Otherwise, the skirt went together fairly fast.  I think after I finished the pattern alterations, it only took two evenings to sew everything together.

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I did used a little bit thicker waistband and elastic for the skirt.  I serged the bottom then rolled it twice for the hem.

Cute 1950’s- Simplicity 1086


This is another one of the Keeper Dolly Duds for Simplicity patterns.  This is the second one I have used.  There are four out I think: one for Civil War era, one at early 1900s (aimed at Samantha and Rebecca dolls), one for the 1940s (Molly dolls), and this one is the newest aimed at the new American Girl doll  set in the 1950s (Mary Ellen) debuting at the end of this month.

As always, here is my reminder.  My Molly doll is from around 1993-ish so she is a little larger than the current dolls you can buy today.  I didn’t make any alterations for size on the patterns and it fits her fine.



The top is view F from the pattern which is a sleeveless button down top (which uses snaps to fasten).  I absolutely adore the top.  It went together so easily.  The arm is finished with a strip of bias (pattern piece is provided).  I used thin Velcro that I have for the fasten and left off the buttons and snaps.  I also lined the pockets so I wouldn’t have to try to fold under the seam allowance.  A quarter-inch is fairly small so lining worked better.



I actually finished the Capri pants last month.  Molly had to wait until last week for her top.  In the mean time she had her Capri pants on with another top I made.  I used an olive-green cotton twill for the pants.  There are darts on the front at the waist and elastic in the back of the pants.  They went together fairly easily.  I didn’t add the tie to the waist as the twill is a bit thick.  I didn’t notice that the hem was split so that is why she doesn’t have a split hem in her Capri.  I think the next time, I may make a little larger hem but that is personal preference.


Last Blue Floral Doll Dress- Simplicity 1391

DSCI0191This time I tried out Simplicity 1391 for Cecile.  The pattern was designed by Eve Coleman from Keeper Dolly Duds.  This pattern contains three dress views, one jacket, one bonnet, one apron, and a pair of pantaloons.

I decided to make view B’s dress.  I did not have any coordinating trim in my stash so I left that part off.  The blue floral cotton is a fairly busy print but after my dress was completed I do feel like it is lacking something special that the trim would provide.  The dress is a little plain without the trim.  I think I still have some of the navy linen look fabric that I can use to make her the coordinating jacket.


I had not tried out any Keeper Dolly Duds pattern before.  Since this was my first and I knew I wanted to put it on Cecile, I did not make any alterations to the pattern.

Interesting items to note about this pattern is the back bodice of the dress has darts.  I haven’t seen that used before.  The other item is the neckline facing.  It was fiddly to sew but give the dress a beautifully clean look on the inside.  I definitely will keep that pattern piece in mind when another doll pattern needs a neckline facing and it isn’t provided (example: coat in Simplicity 4347).

The dress came together easily and the directions were pretty good.  The pattern recommends three-eighth inch buttons which I did not have so I subbed in Velcro instead for the closure.


In the pictures Cecile is wearing her chemise, hoop skirt and pantalets (all from American Girl) as well as a petticoat that I made for her.  I really like that the dress still fits well over all that stuff.  I think that this dress would also fit my older Kirsten doll well as long as she doesn’t have on too many undergarments.

I still have a tiny bit of the blue floral cotton left.  So the actual last item from this blue floral cotton will be a pair of Janes shoes whenever I get around to making them.

Autumn Chambray- Simplicity 2246

Looking a little more towards autumn, I thought a denim chambray dress would work out well.  Early fall I can pair it easily with ballet flats or heels.  Late fall it would look cute with colored leggings and boots.  All around it should be a dress that I get a lot of use out of even to work.

This should be the dress that almost didn’t happen.  It seems like it was destined to be plagued with difficulties.  I had planned this for the end of July for the pattern stash contest.  The knit dress I made in July took longer than I had planned for, so I didn’t start this dress until August.


First night was tracing the pattern and ironing out the denim chambray.  There was a complication with the ironing; it was Lala.  Somehow, he felt that he had to sit in the middle of the fabric and dig it up.  Definitely not getting the wrinkles out.  I kept telling the bunny that he has to smooth out the wrinkle not put more of them in.  Lala was just not into getting wrinkles out no matter what I did.

I traced out a 14 in the bust and shoulders then graded out to a 16 at the waist and hips.  This time I resisted the urge to grade out further in the hips.  I looked at the finished measurement of the hem and saw 51 ½ inches there for the 16.  I figured the hip measurement couldn’t be too far from 50 inches.  The pattern diagram didn’t really show too much flare at the bottom.  I am happy with keeping a size 16 down to the hem and that was with trimming off about 2 inches and doing a 2 inch hem.

As always I strayed from the instructions order a little bit, so on the second night of working on my dress I did all the stay stitching, bust darts, and shoulder seams together.  The following night I set in the sleeves and pockets.  Since I was working with chambray, I decided it was best to flat set in the sleeves before closing up the side seams.  I wasn’t sure if the chambray would be as easy to set when the side seam were finished.  The button placket was very easy to put on the front.

Now it was time for the closure.  It was a tough decision between snap or buttons.  But I decided to use buttons.  First off, I didn’t want to type cast my dress as a western as snaps probably would have.  Most importantly, I thought the pounding in the snaps would upset Lala.  I didn’t need him running through the house thumping a warning of danger.  When a friend popped a party balloon by accident, it took two hours for the rabbit to stop thumping danger warnings and running around the house in a panic.


So I brought buttons one weekend then decided I didn’t like them.  Another trip to the fabric store and I got buttons I liked.  Then I came down with pink eye.  So button holes were just too much detail work when I was sick. I like to do all my button holes in one sitting if possible.   I decided to make a maxi skirt instead.  Then after feeling better I decided to keep to a simpler project and made the Tilly & the Buttons’ Coco dress.  Finally after two weeks of delay, I come back to finish off this dress.  My little Pfaff Ambition made perfect button holes for this dress (all 12, never had to pick one out).  Machine sewing the buttons was a different story.  Two buttons broke and I didn’t have extra buttons.  The local fabric store didn’t have the ones I had purchased.  I wasn’t going to take the 8 buttons off and replace them with something different.  So I had to wait until Labor day weekend and try at a different fabric store.  I was able to get more buttons like the ones I had!  So this got finished after Labor day.

My second hard decision with this dress was the sleeve length.  Summers in Kansas can be way too hot and humid.  Heat index becomes the weather person’s catch phrase.  And it can be like this up until October.  So part of me felt that the wiser decision would be the short sleeves which means I may get to wear the shirt dress more.  But I really like the look of the ¾ length sleeve which means it will probably be limited to the autumn and spring times.

In future versions (if that happens), I may look at changing the arm scythe slightly.  It fits well, but certain movements make the sleeve feel restrictive.  I think this is because the denim chambray doesn’t have stretch.  The pattern may be perfect in a shirt style woven cotton with some stretch?

I did a quick google shopping search to see if there were any chambray dresses similar to what I made.  I did find a couple and the price varied from $99 to $300.  I did my search back in the beginning of August when I started my dress, so most likely the dresses have come down in price since then.   I was able to make my dress for $40 in materials.