I found this neat pattern on threesisterz.blogspot for a simple Drawstring dress for the 18” dolls. I did make a few changes of course. I drew out the pattern except I only cut my length 7.5” long as I want to add a band to the bottom of my dress x 22” wide. For the armholes, I measured 1-1/4” straight across the top of the neckline and 2” straight down toward the bottom hem line – make sure you have followed the layout on the threesisterz blog.
Then, my fabric wasn’t wide enough to cut one long piece so I split my pattern under the arms, added a ¼” seam allowance to each side then sewed one side together. I put the center back on a fold.3742
Chalk mark ½” along front and back necklines for casing. Cut the bottom band from coordinating fabric at 4” x 23” long. Press in half with wrong sides together and sew along bottom of dress. Press towards dress.
Sew the other side seam. Press to back and topstitch band.
Cut two bias strips 7” long by 1” wide. Fold strap in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Gently press the fold to create a center crease. Open the folded strip and lay it flat, wrong side up. Fold one of the straps long raw edges in toward the center fold and press a crease into this folded edge. Repeat for the other long raw edge.
With the right sides of the garment facing you, lay the wrong side of the bias underneath so the fabric reaches the center fold line of the bias. Sew the bias to the fabric edge using a basting zigzag.3746
When you have finished, reset your machine to a normal to shorter zigzag. Turn the free edge of the bias to the front, encasing the garment. Stitch again, on the right side, towards the bottom edge of the bias.
Cut off excess trim. Repeat on the other armhole.
Serge across the necklines to clean finish. Press on the chalk lines and topstitch.
Cut two, 20” of ribbon or trim and thread one ribbon through each neckline.
Burn ends of ribbon to prevent fraying.
Find the center front and center back on the dress. Lightly tack the ribbon/trim at the center back and center front to prevent ribbon/trim from pulling out.
Cut 1” wide ribbon 32”. Fold in half with wrong sides together and sew all four sides.
Insert about 1-1/2” of the unfinished edge of the ribbon into a slider.
From the right side, sew close to the slider using a zipper foot.
Trim close to the stitching line.
Burn ends of ribbon to prevent raveling.
Pin belt to center back. Sew a belt loop from heavy thread to help keep the belt in place.
As you can see, the dress can be worn with or without the belt.
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