Free pattern for a basic strapless dress that can be made any length.
Note this is for the LARGE 28-inch Barbie doll, not the regular size 11.5″ ones. Those patterns are elsewhere.
Download and print the PDF pattern here — FREE for personal use
Lay out the pages like this. Butt the edges of the paper up to each other but don’t overlap, and tape them. Then cut out. Scant 1/4″ seams included. “Scant” means just barely 1/4″, exactly but no more.
Instructions for Sewing
Cut two bodice pieces. One can be the fabric and one white for the lining.
Cut one skirt piece on the fold for the front and two pieces separately for the back.
The shorter lines are for shorter skirt lengths. When I get around to testing those I’ll post a picture or you can always send me one.
Lay the two bodice pieces right sides together and stitch up the back, along the top and down the other side. Clip the corners right up to the stitching.
(In the first test I used same fabric for the lining; the later test has a white lining.)
Turn right side out.
This little white doohickey that I use often but have forgotten the name of works great for poking out the corners.
It’s nice to iron it at this point.
Stitch up the darts taking care to make both of them the same height. I included a seam allowance of 1/4 inch, or a bit less than half the width of a presser foot, so what I do is start at the bottom of the dart and try to sew up really straight until it runs off the fabric.
Bodice is done.
Sew the skirt side seams together, then fold over and zigzag the back edges. That’s because I’m still in fast-and-easy doll clothes mode. Or do it some better-looking, more professional way.
Arrange the gathers so the skirt is the same width as the bottom of the bodice.
In that picture I had too much fullness in front and not enough on the sides. Try to make it more even.
Stitch on some Velcro or snaps.
Try it on the doll and pin below her butt, making sure the skirt is hanging right and that there’s enough room to get her out.
Carry it to the sewing machine and put the needle down through that point before removing the pin, then smooth the back of the skirt down from there and stitch down that seam to the bottom.
Again that’s not the “right” way but I’ve tried adding tabs like the commercial patterns so many times but they just never seem to come out right for me and the skirt ends up hanging all stupid or with puckers in it. So now I get the whole thing formed and on the doll, THEN finalize the back of the skirt.
If you are one of those grandmas trying to sew a dress for a doll you don’t have (this is not a good idea) then just leave the back of the skirt open all the way down, with a couple pieces of Velcro at thigh and knee level.
And then put a hem.
And here are some beautiful photos shared by Marisa Goodwin on a comment on the Feedback page. I lost the attachments last time I shredded this site while trying to fix a problem (sigh) – but then found them again and I think this is really the best place for these photos. Thank you so much, Marisa!