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Regency Christmas Dress for 18-inch Dolls
Celebrate Christmas with your doll, Jane Austen-style, with this Regency-inspired Christmas dress.

The dress is designed to fit 18-inch dolls with a soft body, such as American Girl, Our Generation, My Life As and similar dolls.

We used embroidery designs from the Christmas Embellishment Set and FSL Battenberg Victorian Bracelet.

A doll in a finished dress with embroidery and lace shawl.

For each dress you will need :
  • embroidery thread, either polyester or rayon , (we used red color),
  • about 1/2 yard of solid-colored light-weight fabric, such as light-weight cotton, cotton-polyester blend, silk, etc., (we used checkered polyester tafetta for the skirt and red velvet for the bodice and sleeves);
  • small amount of lighter weight fabric (we used red batiste) for the lining of the bodice,
  • water-soluble mesh embroidery stabilizer,
  • light-weight cut-away mesh stabilizer,
  • either sew-on snaps or ultra thin Velcro tape,
  • chalk pencil,
  • small rotary cutter or scissors,
  • sewing pins,
  • iron,
  • #12 universal needle,
  • fray check glue,
  • printer and paper.
Patterns and Sewing Instructions:
We used the patterns and sewing instructions from the Regency Style Dress for 18-inch Dolls, with just slight changes. Please follow the instructions on that page, with the changes explained below.

Print out the templates and cut them out.

Note: Seam allowance of 1/4" is included in the templates.
The Bodice:
Cut and sew the bodice following the instructions from the Regency Style Dress for 18-inch Dolls.
Set the finished bodice aside for the time being.
The Skirt:
We made embroidery on the skirt. Trace the skirt patterns on the fabric with the chalk pencil, but do not cut them out. Mark the position of the embroidery on the skirt parts.
Upload the files from the Christmas Embellishment Set into the machine. We used the design of a tiny poinsettia, but you can choose any other design. Embroider the design on the skirt parallel to the hem line.

Cut out the parts along the side margins. Cut the waist and hem sides with 1" allowance from the chalk lines. This will help to align the embroidery
Pin the parts together aligning the embroidery. Then remove the excess fabric along the hem and waist lines.
Stitch-outs of the poinsettia design on the skirt.

Attach the skirt to the bodice as described in the Regency Style Dress for 18-inch Dolls instructions.

Sew the back seam of the skirt aligning the embroidery.

Put the dress on a doll. Fold and pin the hem line to the desired length. Press. Finish the hem.
The dress on a doll.

Freestanding Lace Embroidery:
For further decoration of the skirt and for the shawl, we used the FSL Battenberg Victorian Bracelet design. The instructions on how to embroider this type of lace are included with the design. We usually recommend to use cotton thread for Battenberg lace. However, for this skirt and for the shawl we used embroidery polyester thread. We used red both in the needle and bobbin.
Hoop 1-2 layers of water-soluble mesh. Embroider the design 5 times for the skirt and 5 times for the shawl.
Cut away the excess stabilizer. Wash away the remainder. For this project, you need very soft lace, so we recommend soaking the lace in lukewarm water for a full hour, rather than half an hour, as usual.
Stitch-outs of the lace design.

Starting with the center of the front, pin the lace to the skirt, below the embroidery. Then, using the same thread with which you made the embroidery, topstitch it to the skirt.
Close-up of the lace topstitched to the skirt.

For the shawl, stitch the short edges of the lace pieces together by hand.
Put the outfit on a doll. Cut a 22"-long piece of 1/2" wide ribbon, tie it as a belt.
The finished dress and shawl on a doll.

Have fun!

Back to Christmas Embellishment Set and FSL Battenberg Victorian Bracelet.
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