Barbie Best Fashion Friend Strapless Dress Pattern

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

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.

Two bodice pieces stitched

(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. 

Barbie Best Fashion Friend long strapless doll gown for home sewing

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!

Comments 15

  • THANK YOU! Thank you!! Thank you!!! I am a beginner sewer, my daughter has this doll and we can’t find outfits anywhere. I had no idea how I was going to make “new clothes” for her. This is so unbelievably helpful!

  • I cracked up on “grandma sewing for a doll you don’t have “! That’s me – and I always end up having to make over. Finally bought my own Barbie and borrowed an American Girl from a friend whose girls were too old to play, but couldn’t part with their memories. Pattern is great and very flexible for other styles. Thanks so much. I also gathered some tulle strips for the skirt and added a sparkly belt.

  • This dress is beautifully crafted! I however, do not have this size of a doll. I’m trying to master clothes for the 1.6 Barbie and Newer sized Skipper.
    How would I modify this pattern for 1.6 Barbie?

  • Thank you so so much for sharing your awesome work and pattern with everyone. I’m a beginner at sewing and have two little girls with tons of Barbies that need new cute dresses. This is so helpful. Thank you again.

  • Thanks so much. Clothes or patterns are hard to find for the 28 inch doll.

  • Do I just butt the pages together and tape for the pattern? Or do I fold paper to edge of marked lines and tape?

  • That is really, really kind of you to share. We can’t get these sorts of dolls way down here in NZ unless we go online and I’ve just discovered this type of doll whilst browsing around. I’ve picked one up for a small fortune on eBay. More to send it that to purchase it 🙂 :-)Discovering your pattern here has really made my day and I can’t wait for my little ” American” girlfriend to arrive.

    Maururu mo to atawhai

  • I’m looking for a pants pattern and a top pattern for the 28 in Barbie dolls. Can you help me? Thanks Jan

  • Thank you for the lovely patterns! I made the bodice for the 28 inch Barbie dress and almost cried when it was too small for my doll. I rechecked the doll and it turns out she is 32 inches! (Rapunzel). I did a little math, resized the pattern by 140% and tried again. It worked out almost exactly right. Darts lined up nicely and overall fit was good. The only adjustment I still have to make is that the back needs a bit of trimming down. So, if you have anyone trying to outfit 32 inch Rapunzel, they might try this approach.

    • That’s cool information! Glad it’s working out for you. Maybe it’ll help someone else, too.
      I wanted a 32″ Rapunzel, but my 28″ Barbies just barely fit into a handy storage space, and a larger girl wouldn’t fit. So sad since she’s so pretty and there seems to be nothing out there for her. I wonder if you could try enlarging the peasant pattern the same way?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *