Dress Pattern for Bellybutton Barbie

This was the first Barbie dress I designed from scratch, many longs ago. It was by necessity and was jumping into unknown waters for me. Up until then I had been using commercial patterns to make outfits for my daughters’ dolls, but at some point four of their nine Barbies were the new bellybutton kind and couldn’t fit into the clothes of the others. The only premade clothes they sold in stores for 1999 Barbie were jeans and short skirts, and we wanted princess dresses! There were no commercial patterns for the new shape yet.

Something had to be done.

Then I shared it on the internet, in case there was anyone else out there in the same fix. And I guess there was 🙂

Those were made with the older pattern. I’ve updated this for 2023. It’s basically the same, except the dart was modified just slightly and the shoulder seam eliminated. It’s all just so much easier without shoulder seams. (Or if your scrap of fabric is too small, you can add one back in.)

Scant 1/4″ seams are allowed. By scant I mean if there’s any doubt, to make the seams smaller than 1/4″, not larger.

I used a Sharpie to mark on my presser foot where 1/4″ actually falls, then I stitch with the edge of the fabric on the near side of that black line, not the far side.

Updated in 2023.

Someone motivated me by asking for a Princess Peach gown pattern.

First I made one the way I thought it should be, with just the original pattern in pink, to which I planned to add darker pink swags on the hips like Cinderella’s gown, a jewelry finding tacked on the bosom and a darker pink border.

Then I found out the decorative inset in front is that important for Peach, and that her hip “overskirt” actually goes all the way around, not like Cinderella’s two little panniers. My brain melted but I will, eventually, probably, finish this.

Got as far as a bodice inset, and that’s on the new pattern.

Both long and short sleeves are included.

That’s how the bodice pieces work.

There’s a skirt shape, too. It doesn’t have to be this long and you don’t have to make it that full.

Download in pdf to print:

That pdf won’t open on my phone so I’m going on faith. Here’s a DOCX file just in case:

There are simple instructions on the pattern.

I’m also PLANNING to get some good picture instructions up here again! That’s on my list. If you could see how I’m living right now! Oh, in the very best way, in my very own place, enough said 🙂

But I don’t have electricity or a computer, and I have cell signal on rare occasions. Just Ivy Draw and Google docs to compose my masterpieces… proving this really is my creative life, right here. If you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way.

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  1. Janel,
    I’m new to your website and I love what you show so far. I am in a huge dilemma. My 7 year old granddaughter is wanting a “Princess Peach” Barbie dress to be made by, you guessed it, her Nana. I have struggled for over a month now trying to figure out how to piece-meal a pattern. I figured out how to make a princess full length skirt. You cut a 18″ diameter circle with a 3″ diameter whole opening in the middle to be gathered for the fullness of the skirt. You can make the hole larger for more puff but you will need to lengthen the skirt by making it a 20″ diameter circle. Then you make about a 3″ seam opening just off the center opened circle to get the skirt on and off (or sew 1/8″ elastic all the way around and the child can slip the skirt on an off. I did the slip this way. Here’s my problem, I need a high neck fitted bodice with short puff sleeves. There is a insert in the front bodice part, but I can always just make it on the fold and sew the “almond” shape insert on top of the fabric. I tried the wrapping the Barbie with plastic wrap and then masking tape to draw on the darts, waist, bust points and cross line, neck, sleeve opening etc. and it just doesn’t work for me (I guess I’m not very talented). Can you help with a bodice front and back that can be attached to a long full length skirt with princess bellows around (like a Cinderella dress)? Thank you in advance, Debra Black

    1. Oooh Princess Peach, that sounds like great fun and should come out really pretty! You need a fitted bodice, then the first question is, which Barbie body?

  2. Hello,

    I would like to make this dress (short sleeve) but there is not scale in the pattern. Could you update it please?

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