For your free patterns and tutorial videos, please scroll down to the second set of bullets.
We’ve seen today’s free pattern on ChellyWood.com in the past, but the older version of this pattern used a ribbon for the strap, and I’ve never posted it for Francie before. Here’s the earlier version on my Queens of Africa doll:
In today’s rendition of the pattern, I’ve included a strap pattern, so you can make the straps that match your dress’s polyeter bodice and skirt.
The tutorial for making the dress will only show you how to make this dress with a ribbon strap, so to create the polyester straps, I recommend that you go to this tutorial for making my longer sundress, and forward the video to timestamp 1:30 to see how to make your straps.
You’ll see that my Francie also carries a purse or bag… I used 1/4 inch satin ribbon for the purse’s strap, so you should be able to follow the guidelines in this tutorial video to make a purse like mine.
However, you’ll notice that my purse is a little wider across than the one in this tutorial video. You can always experiement with different cuts of fabric to come up with one like mine.
And my purse has a black Dritz snap holding it together, as you’ll see in View 4 below:
I don’t know what to call that little bias tape trim that I placed along the edge of the bodice. It reminds me of this McCall’s 7599 dress (for people), which has a contrasting band and contrasting straps. This McCall’s 7599 pattern isn’t one I own, but I understand that it’s a modern variation on a dress style that was popular in the 1950’s.
I did a little research to see what different dress makers and fashion experts call this decorative band. I found it’s quite popular in wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses these days. Some websites call it a “turnback cuff” and others call it a “contrasting faux collar band,” especially if it has that little break in it, like what we refer to as the collar’s space (between the points).
In this close-up image, you can see that I’ve sewn the band across the top and at the space area, but I haven’t sewn it to the dress’s bodice along the bottom of the bias tape. I wanted it to be sort of like a collar or a fold of fabric. But I suppose you could sew it to the bodice along the bottom of the bias tape too.
The top part of the back is the opening of the 1/4 inch double-fold bias tape. This allows the bottom part of the bias tape to have a very defined folded edge.
If you wanted a band that matches your dress, you could always make your own bias tape from the same fabric. But personally, I like the contrasting look of the white bias tape on the purple garment.
Now today’s free pattern was made to fit Barbie, and as you may already know, Francie’s measurements are different from Barbie’s. She’s a little slimmer, especially in the bust area.
So I created a full Velcro closure, from the top of the garment to the bottom of the garment, at the back.
Other than that, sew the garment exactly like you would for Barbie or Queens of Africa dolls, but when it’s time to add snaps, just add 3/4 inch wide sew-on Velcro instead.
This draws the back of the straps together, too, so they’re not too long for your Francie doll. I really like how this looks on the doll, at the back. The dress is just as beautiful from the back view as it is from the front:
The purple pinstriped polyester fabric that I used for this dress was part of my purple “scrap pack” that I bought from Fabscrap. If you’d like to learn about the amazing opportunity to purchase fabric scraps at a reduced rate and help save the earth from textile waste, click here to see my video or click here to learn more about Fabscrap from this charity’s founders.
And no, I’m not getting paid to make that plug for Fabscrap. I just believe in their cause!
Today’s patterns will fit these dolls:
- Queens of Africa Dolls
- Momoko dolls
- modern and Made-to-Move Barbie dolls
- vintage Barbie dolls
- vintage Francie dolls
- Liv dolls
Here are your free, printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making the outfit shown at the top of this page:
- Free printable PDF sewing pattern for an 11 inch fashion doll’s business sun dress (note: cut the skirt without the fold and cut the bodice without the dip at the top)
- Tutorial video showing how to make the dress (shows it on a different doll, but the steps are almost identical — read notes above for variations)
- Tutorial video showing how to make the straps (see timestamp note above)
- Tutorial video showing how to make the purse or beach bag
- How to do a whipstitch
- How to sew snaps on fabric
- How to do a backstitch
- How to gather fabric
- How to use bias tape
Adding a band at the top of your doll’s dress is considered an “alteration,” and in case you haven’t heard, my Creative Spark class, “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” is available on the Creative Spark platform. This class will teach you how to make alterations to the doll clothes patterns you already own.
For any class on Creative Spark, there is no subscription. Instead, you pay one price for easy access to all 40+ videos in that class series, which you can keep going back to, for as long as you like.
There’s no specific time limit to your courses. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you.
I also have a class on “How to Design Doll Pants Patterns from Scratch” on the Creative spark platform as well.
In this class, I’ll teach you how to design your own leggings, trousers, jeans with a fly front, and even overalls!
Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:
To honor the trademark rights of the doll companies mentioned in this blog post, I am including links to their websites here. Please feel free to visit their website and consider purchasing one or more of the dolls mentioned.
Queens of Africa dolls are products offered by the Slice by Cake company, which holds the trademark for them (™). They were designed by Taofick Okoya. Please visit the Queens of Africa website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys, books, and fashions.
Momoko dolls are products offered by Petworks, which holds the trademark for them (™). Please visit the Momoko Dolls website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys.
Barbie, MTM Barbie, Francie, and Vintage Barbie dolls are products offered by Mattel, which holds the registered trademark for them (™). Please visit the Mattel Toys website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys.
Liv dolls were products designed and distributed by the Spin Master company, which still makes dolls and toys today (although the Liv dolls are no longer in production at the time of this blog post). The Spin Master company held the trademark for the Liv Dolls (™). Please visit the Spin Master Toys and Games website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys and games. Please be aware that the Chelly Wood animated doll is a Spin Master Liv doll that has been re-painted and had its wig colored to appear to look like the real doll clothing designer, Chelly Wood. This was done as a creative project by Chelly’s daughters, and the Spin Master Toys and Games company was not involved in the doll’s makeover in any way.
Disney Princess dolls are products offered by the Disney corporation, which holds the trademark for them (™). Please visit the Disney Toys website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys.