A friend from my doll club recently asked me if I could dress her antique doll. She is a sweet, dolly-face, German doll, simply marked "Made in Germany" and then the number 12. She stands approximately 19" tall.
This is what her dress originally looked like:
A sweet, toddler girl's dress made from a sheer cotton voile and trimmed with cotton lace. The collar is not separate but rather the lace is sewed onto the fabric in a way to make it look like there is collar. Clever!
I won't lie...I had a hard time cutting into this little dress. It was so PERFECT! No stains or holes...it didn't look like it had ever been worn. Perhaps it had been sewn for a special occasion, or maybe it was only worn for Sundays? I guess we'll never know. However, it did make up into the sweetest little doll dress!
Once I drafted the bodice and sleeve patterns, it was fairly easy to put together. I didn't have to hem or gather the skirt, since that had already been done. The bodice is lined with a sheer, white voile, and the gathered sleeves were strategically cut from the dress so that I wouldn't have to hem them.
Close-up of the sleeve detail:
I decided to close the back with tiny snaps under decorative buttons. The buttons are also antique...taken from an old slip.
I'm very happy with how this all turned out. I'm always a little nervous when making that first snip into an old garment--making a wrong cut cannot be corrected! Which is why I first always make a mock bodice from some old fabric, just to make sure everything fits well before cutting into the good stuff.
Not visible in the photos (because I totally forgot to take pictures!) is the adorable, full slip I made for this little lady from a pair of antique, lace-trimmed ladies bloomers. I still need to make the doll a pair of bloomers as well, but I wanted to get her back to her owner with her new dress since she'd already been in my possession for a couple of months. I will make sure to show a picture of those once I get them completed.
And the best part about this project? I get to keep the leftover fabric from the dress to make something for one of MY dollies!