Easter is just around the corner, and my daughter always looks forward to it. Not because of Easter egg hunts or the Easter Bunny — but because she gets to dress up in a fancy new outfit. She loves the frills and colors and overall girly-ness of Easter fashion. When Walmart challenged me to share an Easter project this year, I thought I’d make an Easter dress for her favorite My Life As 18″ doll so they can both dress up together.
Tutorial: DIY Easter Dress for an 18″ Doll
- Fat quarter of fabric
- Narrow grosgrain ribbon
- Coordinating thread
- Safety pin
- 18″ doll for fitting
Fold your fat quarter in half lengthwise. Walmart has a ton of inexpensive fat quarters in their fabric section in a ton of colors and patterns. Use this pattern to cut two the front and back of the dress along the fold.
Unfold the fabric and lay the pieces right sides facing. Pin along the left and right edges. Sew together, then press the seams open.
You may be tempted to skip the iron on this project, but trust me — at this size and scale, pressing seams and hems before you sew will save you from pulling your hair out trying to hold pieces together with just pins.
Use the pattern to cut two small strips of fabric for the arm holes.
Fold and press each strip in half lengthwise. Unfold it, then fold both sides 1/4 of the way to the center so they meet in the middle. Finally, fold them in half again and press.
These narrow tubes of fabric will cover the raw edges of the arm holes. Slide the raw edges between the layers of folded fabric and pin.
Sew along the arm hole fabric being sure to overlap and sew every layer. Cut off any excess left at the ends.
Now for the top of the dress. Fold the top edges down 1/4″ and press. Fold again 1/2″, press and pin. Sew hem. It’s important to leave a 1/2″ seam allowance here, because this hem will create the “pocket” for your ribbon straps.
At the bottom of the dress, fold 1/4″ hem and press. Fold again 1/2″, press, pin and sew.
That’s it! The sewing is complete.
The final steps involve threading your straps. Cut two 14″ strips of narrow grosgrain ribbon. The type of ribbon is important so it won’t fray.
Use a safety pin to thread each piece of ribbon through each hem pocket at the top of the dress, and gather the fabric along the ribbon.
It may resemble a boring sack on the table, but it is indeed a dress.
Simply slip the dress over your doll’s head and tie the loose ends of the ribbon at the shoulders. Then cut one last 18″ piece of ribbon to tie around her waist as a belt.
How cute is she?!
If you can sew straight stitches, you can make this dress. It really is a simple sewing project, and if your daughter is anything like mine, she’ll appreciate being able to dress up her favorite doll for Easter.