Welcome, everyone, to the first in a series of tutorials on doll ball gowns!
Today, I’ve got a gown for you that’s inspired by Miss Cerise Hood! I love all of Cerise’s dolls–they never disappoint! I especially love her Legacy Day doll, but I wanted to make her something that she might wear to Thronecoming, a red carpet event, or a fairytale ball. I decided on a dress with an extremely dramatic train, and I also made the conscious decision to make it without a hood. I love the Ever After High Hat-tastic Tea Party webisode, partially because Cerise gets to let loose and not worry about keeping her hood up and people finding out her secret. I wanted this dress to be like that–something that she could let loose in and feel elegant and beautiful while wearing.
Without further ado, here’s her whole look! (If you only came for pictures, you can scroll down to the bottom for a lot more)
A BIG NOTE: I sewed all of my seams by hand, using doubled thread unless otherwise noted.
I’m going to go section-by-section, starting with the skirt. I’m also going to be demonstrating using different colored fabrics than I used for Cerise’s specific dress (this “demonstration dress” will eventually become a dress for Poppy, and I’ll post pictures once that’s through. 🙂 )
I knew that I wanted something dramatic for Cerise, so I wanted a super, super long train. Chad Alan has an amazing tutorial for one already, so I figured why reinvent the wheel? 😉 Here are my modifications:
–I made the skirt a separate piece. I stopped at 2:06 in the video and, after I had cut it up to the center, I sewed about a 1/4 inch hem around the waist, then inserted some 1/8 inch elastic using a safety pin. Then I sewed it closed just like he does in the video. 🙂
–I made train even longer than the one in the video
–I sewed a hem all the way around after it was stitched closed.
Now that we’ve got the skirt out of the way, the rest is pretty easy.
For the bodice, you will need a piece of fabric (I used satin) that is 4 1/2 inches by 5 1/4 inches. Lay it down folded in half with the right side on the inside. (In other words, it should be inside-out)
Now, we need to close up that hole. We’re going to do it using the mattress stitch, which is very easy and quick.
Now, pull the thread through and repeat on the opposite side.
Now, we need to add some velcro closure. To do this, we’re going to first try it on the doll, checking in the back to see how much overlap there will be.
As you can see in the above picture, I could tell that I needed to sew one piece of the velcro on the edge of the fabric, and the other piece needed to go about 1/4 inch in from the edge.
To sew the velcro, I’m going to using a running stitch and just stitch down one side and back up the other.
Before doing the next part, it is really, REALLY important that you do this step. Lay down your piece of fabric with the velcro in the upper right hand corner. Now flip it over, so that your knot from when you sewed the velcro on is in the left hand corner, but the velcro is on the other side.
To make this piece in from the edge, you can take a stitch through the FIRST LAYER ONLY to get the thread coming from the right place. Now, sew the velcro on as before in the upper right hand corner.
My Froggy Stuff (which is my absolute go-to place for all things doll) has an awesome tutorial for a doll dress that talks about taking in darts. I’ll come right out and say it–I was clueless on how to do darts until watching this video! 🙂 I took in my darts just like she did in the video–except I did mine by hand, and I only had to do one set of them.
Here’s the bodice with the darts…isn’t it a great improvement?
Finally, we’re going to create the peplum. To do this, we are going to make several running stitches up the center of the bodice.
Now, grab your starting knot from the underside, and tie it in a tight knot with your other thread (you may need someone’s finger to help you get it tight).
TA-DA!! Now you have your peplum top!
I put a simple tube skirt on Briar for now, while I make the rest of the outfit. 🙂
Now, we’re going to make the gauze wrap. You’ll need a piece of organza or other “floaty” fabric that is about 8 by 3 inches. Also, I used regular (NOT doubled) thread for this hem.
First, fold over about a 1/4 inch of the fabric. Bring the needle through both layers of the fabric.
Finally, we’re going to make the necklace!
For this, you will need some very small seed beads, one larger one (two if you want a bigger pendant on the necklace), and some jewelry wire. I used 32-gauge, but it was slightly flimsy, so something ever-so-slightly thicker might be better. You’ll also need scissors, and optionally some needle-nose pliers.
First, measure out about 8 1/2 inches of wire.
For the next step you’ll need a double bead…it seems like all bead assortments have one of these…it’s two beads that have been molded together. If you don’t have one, just use two normal beads.
Next, thread 13 small seed beads onto each doubled wire.
Finally, we have to fasten off the ends. To do this, take your wire end and thread it back through the second and third beads, like in this last photo. Trim the wire, and you’re done! I was able to just drape it on the doll’s neck, but as I said earlier, thicker wire would be better and make this method more effective.
And that’s about it! I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and please send me pictures if you make it! (firstname.lastname@example.org). 🙂 Also, please subscribe over on the side bar if you want to see more tutorials! 🙂
Here are some more pictures of Miss Cerise!