The trim makes all the difference with vintage Simplicity 16 inch baby doll clothes #pattern #1844

The image shows the Chelly Wood doll (a Spin Master Liv doll that has been re-designed to look like the real doll clothing designer, Chelly Wood, with her white hair up in a bun and her blue apron over a white shirt and black trousers) -- she stands holding up a truly vintage pattern for the Simplicity 16 inch baby doll clothes pattern number 1844, which was published in or around 1956 (the copyright date). The front of the pattern says it will fit dolls that are 16 inches tall.
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

When I was a little girl, any doll dress that had lace, rickrack, or ribbon trim was always a favorite of mine.

My cousin and I would “do a pick” for doll clothes before we started our play time. That’s where you lay out all the doll clothes on a bed, table, or floor, and take turns picking which doll clothes were part of your doll’s closet collection.

The first to get chosen were always the doll clothes with special trims! A silk ribbon, a swatch of lace, or a zigzagging line of rickrack always made the cut first.

Why is that? To most little girls, the trim makes all the difference!

Let’s look at my vintage baby doll clothes patterns from Simplicity (pattern #1844) for example. This pattern would have fit the 1950’s versions of 15 to 16 inch Betsy Wetsy and Tiny Tears.

Look at the photo below. Which outfits would you pick first?

The image shows a close up of the cover of vintage Simplicity doll clothes pattern number 1844 which has a copyright date of 1956. The photograph has been enhanced with enlarged numbers for each view. In View 1, a baby doll wears a baptismal dress trimmed in lace around the hem with a zigzag of lace about four inches above the hem; each zig zag in front is topped with a tiny blue ribbon like the tiny blue ribbons on the ruffled sleeves and collar. In view 2 a little white dress made of rose-printed fabric is trimmed inn lace about an inch above the skirt's hem, and above each puffy sleeve, we see a pink ribbon tied in a bow. In view 3 a red coat has a little round collar trimmed in rickrack to match the rickrack trim around the matching red bonnet. In view 4 the doll wears a white shirt, a pair of yellow gingham overalls, a matching gingham jacket, and a matching yellow gingham bonnet. In view 5, we see a slip trimmed in lace around the hem, collar, and sleeves. Beside it, a smaller dress or slip has a similar lace around the collar and sleeves, but the hem is trimmed in 1 inch eyelet and tiny pink ribbons. These two slips also come with unadorned white underpants. In view 7, we see a pink baby bunting which is trimmed with ribbon or bias tape (or both).
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

I think I know my cousin well enough to guess that the fight over who got to pick first would be all about the baptismal dress shown in View 1! It’s simply elegant with lace trim and tiny blue ribbons.

Personally, the last thing I would pick would be the yellow gingham outfit in View 4 because it’s just so ordinary.

I mean, gingham is fun, but overalls? That’s what you put your baby in for an everyday event like going to the babysitter or playing outside. Even the bunting is more fun, with its ribbon drawstring at the bottom and its pretty white trim at the collar and sleeve cuffs.

I adore the dress in View 2 with its tiny pink ribbons at the shoulders. So sweet! That would have been my number 2 pick. If I didn’t get the baptismal gown, I’d definitely choose the rose dress next!

And I was a creative thinker, even as a child, so I would have considered the slip in View 6 as a sundress. As such, it would have been my choice for my number 3 pick.

As long as I already had a dress to go with it, the little coat in View 3 would have been my number 4 pick because how cute is that tiny white rickrack around the collar and bonnet? Adorable!

You could always pair the red bonnet with the pink and white dress in View 2 as well, so the jacket-plus-bonnet is a good choice for a later pick.

What lesson can we learn from this? The next time you think an outfit you’re sewing is too plain-looking, consider adding a little trim! Some tutorial videos that might help are listed below:

To close, let’s all do a pick! If you were choosing one of the outfits from the cover of my vintage Simplicity 16 inch baby doll clothes pattern number 1844, which one would you pick? Ask your “inner child” what she would pick and have fun with it by leaving a comment telling us your “pick” for playtime!

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Chelly Wood and the website are not affiliated with the pattern company or companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly finds inspiration in the doll clothes designed by these pattern companies. To purchase patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick, or other pattern companies shown and discussed in this blog post, please click on the links provided here. These links below the “Disclaimer” section do not help raise money for this free pattern website; they are only offered to give credit to the company that made these patterns.

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