Monday, May 13, 2019

How to sew the side seams on a sleeveless lined doll dress

How to line a sleeveless doll dress bodice by valspierssews


Doll dressmaking can be frustrating if you are trying to create dresses that make the doll look like a mini person. Have you tried all sorts of methods that apply to people clothes and had no luck.

Are you struggling with 1/4" hemmed neck and armholes or facings and wondering why the dress just looks wrinkly or bulky? 

The question is... to line or not to line.

Can you line a bodice? YES
Can you line a skirt? generally NO. Using a petticoat gives a much better look.

If you love making doll dresses from pretty cotton fabrics that quilters use then lining the bodice with a similar fabric gives a lovely smooth neat finish.


  • Don't get carried away with trying to fully line a bodice so you can't see any exposed seams.
  • These days clothes rarely have a separate lining. 
  • Historically outfits were lined to stop perspiration spoiling the fabric. 
  • You should be lining doll clothes to create the best look. 
  • Just line the bodice but leave the sleeve seams and side seams exposed.




How on earth do I get the side seams enclosed?

Here's how I use lining to create neat a very neat finish both inside and out for a sleeveless dress.
You leave the side seams for last so they are hidden between the main bodice and the lining.
This method eliminates the need for neck and armhole facings or fiddly 1/4" hems.

Start by sewing the shoulder seams for the main and the lining. Baste the collar in place on the right side of the main bodice.

Place the main and lining right sides together and stitch the back and neck and around each armhole.

Turn the bodice right side out and press it.

The hardest part is working out how to do the side seams.


It is a matter of pinning the main sides together and the lining sides together.



If you would like to download a full PDF tutorial showing the process step by step then I invite you to sign into my Free Resources Library.

You will find this tutorial in the How to sew doll clothes module. It is called "How to sew the side seams on a lined doll dress bodice".
There are lots of free patterns for doll sized things as well as tutorials and tips.

I love this little dress. You could make a whole summer wardrobe for your doll with this one design. Just use different fabrics and add some different trims. This is my 1804 The 18" Dress.  There are lots of variations with sleeves and collars and skirt lengths included in the pattern. Buy it NOW




Happy Doll Dressmaking
Val