Today I’m going to show you how to make this traditional Lebanese doll dress, which has been popular with Sunday School teachers, as it makes a super costume for Bible Characters like Esther, Ruth, Mary Magdalene, and Sarah. It really looks a lot like the old testament characters’ outfits, even though it’s basically an Arabic costume in terms of its design.
A word of warning: this costume requires a very narrow seam allowance, so I sewed mine entirely by hand. If you only use a sewing machine for yours, I recommend you cut it a little wider than the pattern allows, as it really is quite a narrow seam allowance of 1/8 inch or even less in places.
Of course if you’re sewing for the very skinny dolls, like Monster High™, Ever After High™, or Liv dolls, you probably don’t need to make any seam allowances at all.
When I made this costume, I included the undergarments, shown here, which actually go with the traditional Lebanese style of clothing:
Those gathered-ankle trousers could be used for the trendy modern sweat pants that everyone loves these days. So if you want just a “joggers” pattern for Barbie™ or similar-sized fashion dolls, I recommend using the undergarments pattern you see there.
And these are the patterns and tutorials you’ll need to make that outfit:
- Pattern for Lebanese outer robe
- Tutorial for making Lebanese outer robe
- Pattern for Lebanese undergarment robe
- Tutorial for making Lebanese undergarment robe
- Pattern for sherwal pants (or gathered ankle trousers/joggers)
- Tutorial for making sherwal pants
- Pattern for Lebanese hat and veil
- Tutorial for making Lebanese hat and veil
You may want to read through some of the helpful links I have below the division line. They can help you with sewing snaps, hemming, printing patterns, and more…
Coming soon: easy-peasy sewing lessons for the beginner doll sewists. I’ve been getting requests for tutorials that even the brand-new sewists can make, so I’m working on a series of easy-to-sew patterns and tutorials for just that sort of person. These beginner tutorials will be suitable for both children and adults. I plan to begin posting those easy-sew lessons and patterns this fall, so stay tuned for more news about that.
I’ve also got a playlist of tutorials for the beginning sewists on my YouTube channel. It includes video tutorials showing you how to do a basic straight stitch when sewing by hand, how to use the whipstitch to hem a garment, how to sew on snaps, and even how to design your own doll clothes patterns, for those who are new to design and alterations.
If you have any questions about my patterns, instructions, or about sewing for dolls, in general, just submit a question.
Please be aware, however, that I may not be answering emails until mid-August, as I’m on a business trip right now, so if you need answers to your sewing questions right away, you’ll probably want to search elsewhere.
Remember that you need to enlarge my patterns to fit an American-sized sheet of printer paper (8.5 x 11 inches or 216 x 279 mm), without margins, before printing. Feel free to pin, like, or tweet about my free patterns and tutorials.
Need help printing my patterns? This link will take you to a tutorial showing you how to download my free, printable patterns.
If you’re wondering why I make patterns and tutorials without charging a fee, please visit the “Chelly’s Books” page, and that should explain my general motivations. Overall, I love to sew, design doll clothes, and embroider, and I think it’s important to share my talents with the world, so others can learn to do what I do.
And in case you haven’t heard, I have also designed commercial patterns for Lammily LLC. They have some new dolls in their line, including a new male doll, so you might want to visit the Lammily website to see what they’ve got going on.