Tutorial: How to sew with the free monster high doll pattern for shirt Dress

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One way of sewing a doll dress by using the Simple Dress for Monster High free Pattern found Free Pattern for Monster High doll

You can sew by hand or by machine! I would only recommend machine sewing for this tiny dress IF you already are skilled with machine sewing – sewing small can be tricky.

Hand stitching is a good choice, and if you like glue, fabric glue might help you in some places.

If the video doesn’t make any sense, here is a pictured tutorial  in this post, just click it:


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Print out the pattern. Vertical A4, no borders. Make sure the sizing is right by comparing the guideline with cm and inches, if they don’t match, try rezizing the pattern on printer settings. Cut out the pattern pieces, iron your fabric. Fabric that does not fray easily is best, lightweight cotton is nice for these small dolls. Put the pattern on fabric, center front on fold.

 

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Draw around the pattern. I am using tailor’s chalk here, it washes out easily. On light fabric, you may also use pencil or colored chalk, but save your fabrics and dolls from using sharpies or any felt tipped pens! they may stain your fabric and the doll, watersoluble pens more easily. Also mark the lines noted in the fabric, these will help when sewing.

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Cut out the pattern pieces, and cut little notch marks on the guidelines. Careful to only cut half way to the seam allowance, or you’ll end up with holes in your final garment!

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Also, while you’re cutting you may also cut the eases on armholes and the neckline. Again careful to cut just the seam allowance, no more. Cut them maybe 5mm apart. You might not need to do this if you sew really carefully by hand (or use stretchy fabric), but they are essential when sewing by machine.

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Now, this is a different way of doing the neckline from the video! In the video, I’m simply turning the fabric back by itself, here we have the help of a lining/turning fabric. You can trace around the pattern, or if you have changed the neckline design, put your cut out fabric on top of another piece of fabric and trace around the neckline and little down the backline.

 photo IMG_5797.jpg This is how it looks, also remember the markings that marks where the back seam will be folded!

 photo IMG_5798.jpg Now, trace around to make about 2cm wide piece. Cut out.
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Sew zigzag around the longer edge, or use fray stay/ fabric glue to ensure the edge doesn’t get frayed. If you have found fabric that does not fray at all, you don’t need to do this. Put aside.

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Now, we sew the sleeves. First, fold back the edge of the sleeve (the opening), and sew it. Repeat to the other sleeve.

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As you see, the armhole is so tiny compared to the sleeve, could this be right?! Yes, yes it is… This is why we cut those tiny slits, to make it fit.

There are may ways to sew doll sleeves, and this is the style I found out my Draculaura’s original dress was made. Sewing on the right side, on top of the armhole. Turn back the armhole seam allowance (might get tricky to get all those slits stay back, you may use fray stay to save your nerves).Put the sleeve underneath, also right side up. Pin to place. Be careful to match the ends, or your dress won’t sit right. There is slightly bigger seam allowance on the sleeve, so use that to your advantage.

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Sew over the armhole, try to stay as close the edge as possible. Here you can see I didn’t quite manage to stay in line.

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Also check your seam underneath to make sure your stitching reach the sleeve.

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To secure those tiny slits in place, I sew over with a tiny zigzag, the other edge touchingthe armhole fabric and the other the sleeve. You could also just sew zigzag and leave the straight stitch out altogether, but remember if you make a mistake with zigzag, it’s harder to rip apart and with tiny sewing like this you may harm the fabric so much that you have to cut out new pieces altogether.

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Okay, back to the neckline (you can choose if you sew neckline or sleeves first…) put your turning piece on your dress piece, right side to right side. Pin on and sew.

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You may sew the angled edge to the back seam as far as your turning piece goes. It helps turning it later on, making a nice neat edge.
I’m not sure if I’m making any sense here (English is not my first language), I will propably have to make a video of what I mean here.

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Turn back the neckline, the tiny slits will help settling the rounded edge. Pin down and sew a securing stitch on top of it.

 

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Then, sewing the side seams. fold the piece right side to right side. Pin down, make sure your markings meet, at least pin from the start of the sleeve, be extra careful with the armpit part (it will either tear or not fit properly if it’s not met) Remember the little notch mark you made at the waist? It helps you to make sure your waist meets. Sewing the side seam reveals how precice you sow the sleeves on.

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And sew… hopefully your vision is better than the one in this picture 😛

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Then, turn the hem and the back seam (this step is also a little bit different from the video, just try out which works best for you) back, and sew. If you’re a fan of fabric glue, you might also just glue them. Don’t ask me if that works, I’ve never used glue.

Now turn the thing inside out, and test on your doll!
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Now, you can choose if you want to sew velcro all way to the seam (easy way… the dress will be open the whole way)
But I chose to sew the back seam over the bottom shut by hand, stitching where the red pin is here, and add velcro only on the top
 photo IMG_5816.jpgAnd, if you do sew the bottom shut, it will be easier to sew velcro by hand.  which I did not do but somehow managed to sew by machine.

AND YOU HAVE MADE A DOLL DRESS!!! Don’t worry, if the first one isn’t perfect, just sew another! You will learn to become better with practice.
Next tutorial, I will make an evening/ party dress without sleeves, using the same pattern, so follow this blog or twitter to know when that will be on-line… most likely on youtube as well even though I do not have a good video editor atm.

 photo IMG_5819.jpg You can add decoration to your dress, like beads for buttons! Anchor earrings available at etsy

 photo IMG_5820.jpg And it is a shirt dress for a reason, you may cut it a bit shorter to make a shirt! Here it is worn with Draculaura’s dress

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Search for cute fabrics with small prints to make the same style look completely different!

I have made a few dollhouse/ fashion doll clothes prints available here: Miniature fabric prints by merineiti
If you have an idea for a print, just let me know and I see what I can do 🙂

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