Grace is the American Girl doll ‘girl of the year’ for 2015 and is a special doll for us (having flown all the way from the USA to the UK!). We took her along to Goodwood Revival and she had to dress the part as the event has a vintage dress code. I made her this outfit to match my daughter’s 50’s inspired dress and red cardigan. If you want to create a similar vintage look for your dolls, then read on. This the first in a series of doll sewing posts, so watch out for some more!
Before I start talking about sewing – for anyone who’s not heard of the Revival, it’s a great day out – with classic cars racing at full speed around the Goodwood racetrack. If you like vintage fashion then it’s an essential day out – the majority of people dress up for the occasion and everyone looks super stylish. They also have a vintage fairground for the kids (big and small!) which makes you feel transported back in time.
How to create a vintage doll outfit
To make the dress I used the Simplicity Dolls Clothes pattern number 1484. If you’re in the UK it’s on Amazon, Sew Essential, Hobbycraft and other online retails, so you shouldn’t have too many problems finding the pattern. I used dress ‘A’ which has a simple round neckline and a full skirt. The black polka dot fabric is cotton and you should be able to pick up something similar easily. The secret with dolls clothes is to keep the pattern on the fabric small – so larger dots would have looked out of scale. The Simplicity patterns are easy to follow and have clear instructions for every step. I missed off the ribbon on the bottom of the skirt, but added a cute red bow on her waistline.
Underneath the skirt Grace is wearing a black netting skirt with red lace trim – to give the dress that classic 50’s silhouette. I made this by repeating the skirt part of the dress in the netting fabric – but instead of a plain hem, I added some red lace. Then I made a channel at the top – wide enough for some thin elastic. I then threaded through the elastic to gather the top of the skirt and tied it to secure.
The jacket is made using the same Simplicity pattern as the dress – it’s part of outfit ‘C’. As I wanted it to look more like a cardigan than jacket, I used a red jersey fabric for the outer. I loved the polka dot fabric so much, I added it to the lining, which contrasts well with the red. I only added one button at the top to keep the jacket simple.
The outfit is finished off with a red ribbon and small polka dot hair clip. She wanted her hair in a classic up high pony tail and wore her little black ballet pumps to complete her vintage outfit!