Oh Sew Kat: Sunshine Doll Dress Pattern

Back in December, I was invited by Lo from Seams Sew Lo to participate in a blog tour featuring Doll Dress patterns created by Oh Sew Kat.

I thought this blog tour would be a great opportunity to do some garment sewing, even on a small level! Below you can see the doll my mom bought me for Christmas as a mini model. Her name is Ellie.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I decided to make a pink party frock for Ellie, complete with a white lace trim and a coordinating hair bow. My mom says she looks very pretty (thanks, Momma!).

Sunshine Dress Pattern by Oh Sew Kat
For this dress, I selected the Sunshine Dress for 18" (American Girl and similar) dolls. I thought the basic shape would be a good template for developing different styles -- as a pattern maker, I love basic foundation patterns that can be modified into more complex styles.

Now, since I consider myself a sewing educator, I wanted this post to be informative as well as cute, so scroll down for photos of the construction process. 

My first step was to print out the digital PDF pattern from Oh Sew Kat. Whenever you print out PDF patterns, make sure that you are printing to scale (100%) and be sure to check the reference 1" box to make sure that everything is printing at the right size.

The next step was to cut out the pattern pieces. It's so quick and easy to cut out pattern pieces for doll clothes!

Next, I laid out the pattern pieces in the most efficient arrangement I could - to minimize waste. Note that the Front pieces need to be cut on a fold, and the Backs and Sleeves need to be cut as 2 opposite pieces. This is best accomplished by folding a piece of fabric LENGTHWISE (fold parallel to selvedge), placing the centers of the Front pieces on the fold.

Next I traced around the pattern pieces. I used this disappearing ink pen, but pencil or chalk will work just fine too.

*IMPORTANT* Do not ignore your notches! These little triangles help indicate where seams match up. When tracing the notches, I mirrored the notch to make a convex "V" shape along the contour of my pattern pieces.

Then you cut around your pattern pieces, being careful to cut out the notches.

And then it's time to sew! At this point, it's time to grab coordinating thread and any notions needed for the project.

The following photos are the construction steps...

First Sew Shoulder Seams

Second, sew necklines of Main dress and lining. After sewing the neckline, I understitched the seam allowance to the lining

I wanted to give the dress some detail, so then I top stitched this lace trim to the neckline

I hemmed the sleeve with a 1/8" fold and then top stitched the lace to the hem

Laying sleeve onto dress body to see effect

Inserting sleeves traditional requires easing the sleeve cap into the armhole. Stitchline at sleeve cap is a long stitch to help easing (and is sewn at a smaller distance than seam allowance)

Matching center of sleeve cap to shoulder seam

Easing and pinning sleeve to arhmhole

I took a picture of this to show that puckers happen...even to the most experienced sewists

Sleeves attached! Looked a bit plain, so I decided to do some more embellishing

Marking placeholders in chalk

After handsewing more trim and planning placement of buttons

Almost done! Just needs a hem and closure at the back.

All ready for Valentine's Day

Matching Bow

Thank you for looking!

Phew, apologies for the photo overload!

Overall, I had a lot of fun sewing this pattern, which fits Ellie very nicely! Ellie is actually a My Life As doll and measures similarly to the American Girl line of 18" dolls.

Oh Sew Kat's directions were very clear and a pleasure to follow. I encourage you to check out her Etsy shop to see her other adorable patterns. 

So that's it from me. Many thanks to Lo from Seams Sew Lo for allowing me to join this blog tour! Check out the other stops of this tour at the links below. There is even a giveaway at the bottom!

  1. January 15th: Seams Sew Lo (Intro)
  2. January 16th: Seams Sew Lo
  3. January 17th: Kathy's Kwilts and More
  4. January 18th: Sew Haute Blog
  5. January 19th: Seams Like Style
  6. January 22nd: Elli & Nels
  7. January 23rd: Quilts by Joanne
  8. January 24th: Granma Texas Sews
  9. January 25th: Stitched by Jennie
  10. January 26th: Sewing with D
  11. January 29th: Our Play Place
  12. January 30th: Cross Stitches Custom Clothing
  13. January 31st: Hazelnut Handmade
  14. February 1st: Dear Daydream Sewing & Design
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For more reading....

To learn about my DIY Wedding Dress, please click here.

To read more about Janelle of Dear Daydream Sewing & Design, please click here.

If you are new to sewing, consider a sewing class with Janelle, or read blog posts related to learning to sew.


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  1. Great post with all kinds of good hints and tips. Well worth reading.

  2. The trim and bow make this dress absolutely beautiful!

  3. I love the matching bow. I agree version A does seem plain without embellishments and you did a great job there.

  4. Very pretty with the embellishments!


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