February is Black History month, here in the United States, and as I said in a previous blog post, I’m having a tough time finding images of African American dolls on my old vintage (and, indeed, even my newer) commercial doll clothes patterns. To join that discussion, look back at the blog post I did on Martin Luther King Day.
But I did find this pattern, a Simplicity 7208 doll clothes pattern, that has an adorable picture of an African American baby doll in a little yellow bunting. How cute is that?!
Baby buntings can be a lot of fun to make, but today I want to talk about the halter top pattern that you see both yellow arrows pointing to in the image below:
I have a similar halter top pattern on this website, and when people message me asking about a pattern that will fit most dolls, I always tell them that my halter top pattern is the most versatile of all.
That’s because of the way a halter top closes.
Take a close look at the image that the lower right-hand arrow is pointing at. This shows the closure of the halter top pattern.
Typically, a halter top is tied at the neck, but the closure at the back can be a ribbon tie, snaps, or even a horizontal strip of Velcro that makes it possible for the halter top to fit very slender dolls or dolls with a wider body. By sewing your Velcro horizontally, you create a sort of one-size-fits-all closure that can be made tighter or looser, depending on the doll.
That’s why my halter top pattern will fit the little 14.5″ American Girls Wellie Wishers, as you can see here:
But it can also fit the 18″ dolls like my Kaya:
That’s right — I’m using the exact same pattern for both dolls! The only thing that’s different is how they close in the back…
For this 18″ Madame Alexander doll (shown above), I used a series of snaps right along the edge of the garment at the back, but for the smaller dolls, I used a horizontal strip of Velcro, so the back closure could be made tighter for the smaller torso.
And as you can see in the image below, it even fits my little 12″ baby doll, but I have to tighten the neck strings a bit, and it’s a little longer on her, fitting more like a dress than a halter top:
And yes, these are all photos of dolls wearing halter tops made from the exact same pattern!
If you’d like to download the PDF sewing pattern for this halter top, you can find it here. That link says it’s only for 18″ dolls, but that’s not exactly true. The exact same halter top pattern is used for each of the dolls you’ve seen in this blog post, and they range in size from 12 inches tall (30.48 cm) to 18 inches (45.72 cm)!
Do you have a favorite “versatile” doll clothes pattern that seems to fit every doll you make it for? Please tell us about it in the comments!