A Dress for Dolly & B’

Christmas is such an exciting time of year and we feel especially blessed to be able to experience it through the eyes of our grandchildren.

Belén proudly introducing me to her doll, Caroline

Belén proudly introducing me to her doll, Caroline

This year our oldest grandchild, Belén, asked Santa Claus for an American Girl doll named Caroline.  She was absolutely ecstatic when she brought her doll to brunch on Christmas Day and proudly introduced us to her.

Belén's American Girl's Caroline Doll

Belén’s American Girl’s Caroline Doll

It just so happens that Santa gave us a tip as to what Belén wanted for Christmas, so Nana decided it would be fun to make B’ and her doll matching dresses.  I had a darling pattern from Olive Ann Designs that I had made a sun dress from and it included a matching doll dress pattern for an 18″ doll.  I decided to also make Eloise a matching dress, so she did not feel left out.  I ordered coordinating long sleeve knit tops for the girls and allowed a little extra ease in the patterns so the dresses could be worn as jumpers.

Pattern from Olive Ann Designs

Pattern from Olive Ann Designs

Each of the dresses is trimmed with a gathered row of ruffled fabric at the hemline and around the neckline.  In order to make several yards of ruffled fabric for trim, I used my roll and shell hemmer foot (#64) for my Bernina sewing machine.  It was a very fast and easy way to finish both edges of the ruffled trim.

Hemming the ruffled trim with my rolled hemmer foot.

Hemming the ruffled trim with my rolled hemmer foot.

Next, to simplify the process of gathering the trim, I used my Bernina Ruffler Foot #86 and set it on setting #6, which creates a pleat every sixth stitch in the seam.  It was almost magical to watch it quickly transform a long hemmed strip of fabric to a ruffled trim.

Using the ruffle attachment to gather the trim fabric.

Using the ruffle attachment to gather the trim fabric.

I made a couple variations on the pattern itself to simplify some of the suggested finishing steps.  If you are interested to know these, please comment and I will forward this information to you.

Belén was excited when she opened her package to find a new dress for her and she quickly tried it on with her knit top.  Then she opened a package with a matching dress for her doll and she was thrilled – as you can see…

Belén discovering Caroline's matching jumper.

Belén discovering Caroline’s matching jumper.

Eloise is 2 1/2 and has very strong opinions about things. Although she seemed to like her jumper, she was not in the mood to put it on, so here is a picture of her coordinating jumper.

Eloise's jumper with her red knit top

Eloise’s jumper with her red knit top

On the other hand, Belén danced around with her doll and was thrilled that they she and Caroline had matching outfits – and that made it all so very worthwhile.

Belén and Caroline in their matching outfits

Belén and Caroline in their matching outfits

What kind of sewing did you do for Christmas?

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and send the best holiday greetings your way!

Happy Sewing,

Jane

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