Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas gifts on a Budget: Make your own Barbie Dresses

Okay, next on the list is small, sweet, and could possibly save your fingers from hours of prying bitty doll clothes onto stiff plastic Barbie arms.  That is, if you make some of these simple barbie special occasion dresses.  The key is to keep it free of pant legs and arm hole openings and then your little princess can put them on and off all by herself. 

Really what started me making these were that my 5 year old asked for Barbie clothes for christmas. But knowing her, i know she only loves the long fancy dresses, and as i looked around i was paying $20 for maybe 2 long dresses and the rest a bunch of shirts tops and shoes that would get lost.  So, i thought, maybe i will try to make one, how hard can it be?  Turns out, not hard at all!  And, i am using up all these little scraps of fabric that i have lying around.  I have made three so far, and none have taken me longer than my baby's naptime.

What you need:

Sewing Machine
Fabric Scraps:
1- 5 1/2 X 2 inch piece of fabric
1-10X (however long you want the dress) piece of fabric hemmed
measuring tape, and scissors.

$3 for velcro


For my smaller piece of fabric i fold it in half or in thirds lengthwise to keep from having too many raw edges to deal with.  Then i fold over the ends of each length (see above picture--white stitching on the blue fabric) and hem, so if i have no raw edges that will need to be sewn after the dress is assembled.  Next, the dress will need some darts to make the waist line small, so in the center of the smaller piece of fabric 3/4ths inch apart mark 2 lines for darts {NOTE:  these measurements are for a barbie doll, but you may need to make your own measurements for another fashion doll.}

Next, take the fabric you have for the skirt part of the dress and the side that isn't hemmed sew a basting stitch, and pull the strings to gather the fabric until it is about 5 inches (or about the length of the bottom part of the top of the dress.)  Then sew wrong sides together, and turn inside out and sew the skirt part from top to bottom, leaving the top part of the dress open for a velcro closure.  If you sew up past the skirt, then the dress will not be able to pull up past Barbie's booty :).   Cut velcro to fit up the length of the top part of the dress ( I couldn't find very thin velcro so i also cut mine in half lengthwise). Stitch on the velcro (or you could get sticky velcro to make it even easier) and you're done!  Add any other embelishments {I added a big white bow to mine}. You could do ribbon straps or halter, add ruffles or flowers.    Once, you get the basic idea down the possiblities are endless, so let out your inner designer and try out some new fashions! 

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