How To Make a Babydoll Dress


The babydoll dress became popular when Carroll Baker's character wore one in the 1956 flick "Baby Doll." Meant to provoke images of a child-turned-woman and a kind of sexy innocence, the babydoll has remained a fashion mainstay since the film's release, although it's no longer relegated only to the bedroom as they were once intended to be. Babydoll dresses have made a leap into the mainstream and are now often seen during the daytime.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pattern or butcher paper
  • Pencil
  • Pins
  • Material
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Do some research. Decide what kind of dress you'd like to make. Look in fashion magazines and surf the internet. Remember, a babydoll dress can be formal or casual as long it maintains an empire waist and an above-the-knee hem.

  • Go to the fabric store and pick out a pattern. Remember you can use any empire waist pattern and simply cut the dress so that it falls above the knee. Or you can make your own pattern. Start by sketching a design of your dress front and back.

  • Take your measurements. Have a friend help you. You'll want to measure your hips, waist, upper arms, bust and length from shoulder to knee to make sure your dress is accurate.

  • Purchase your pattern or draw it on butcher paper. It is usually easier if you design it in four parts (if doing it yourself): the front of the bodice, back of the bodice, front of the skirt and the back of the skirt. Measure the pattern against your body to ensure a proper fit.

  • Purchase material. Most babydolls are made of cotton, but you can experiment with other material like silk or satin (although satin can be very hard to work with due to its slippery nature). Other easy materials include knit, jersey and rayon.

  • Pin the pattern to the material and cut out the pieces.

  • Assemble your dress. Begin by pinning the bodice together first and then sewing it. Make sure your seams are straight. A sewing machine can greatly reduce your risk of failure. Follow by pinning together the skirt and sewing it.

  • Sew the bodice and skirt together at the waist.

  • Hem the skirt. Hold it up to yourself and figure out where you want it to end. Then trim it and fold and pin it up about 1/8 inch on the inside of the dress. Sew the fold in a straight line.

  • Hem the collar and sleeves by folding and pinning them in 1/8 inch and sewing the folds down in a straight line. Use a ruler to make sure your folds are straight.

  • Embellish if desired. Add some rhinestones to the collar or tie a ribbon and sew it to the top of the bodice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Making a dress is very difficult for a beginner. Try experimenting with a smaller project like doll clothes before diving in.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Digital Sophia
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