Sewing our Sanity

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Lonely Doll Dress

Dear Monica,

Katy at No Big Dill hosts a great series called Once Upon a Thread and guests post their creations based on a favorite children's book.  I wanted to play along last year and picked out a book and bought the fabric....and life happened.

 So, this year when she announced OUT Chapter 4, I was ready!

One of my very favorite books growing up was The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright.

I loved the black and white photos of a doll in a real world, doing real things.  It was very intriguing to me as a child.  And of course, Edith could be very naughty and got into all kinds of mischief. 

So, I decided to make a dress for my own naughty girl, Natalie.  Who we sometimes call "Naughtalie".  

I used a pattern I picked up at the thrift store for $0.75.  At first glance, the dresses look really busy and very out of date.  But the bones of the dress are classic.

In keeping with the book cover and the dress Edith wore, I chose a pink and white gingham. And I scoured the internet looking for on that was 100% cotton.  I found it at and ordered it in blue too, just to have on hand.  (I do that a lot but you can never have too much fabric right?!?)

Originally I thought I would make little flutter sleeves, but Natalie wanted "NO sleeves!!" So I just made the basic dress.  I was going to add some extra length but forgot when I was cutting it out and didn't have enough fabric.  With the cotton eyelet lace I added to the hem, to mimic a petticoat it turned out just the right length.  

The pattern called for a sash, but since I was going to add an apron to the dress, this would be just too many ties going on in the back.  And the finished dress was HUGE!  I wanted her to be able to wear it with or without the apron, so I took in about an inch on each side seam. 


I love vintage style clothing for little girls.  It is really timeless.

I needed to sneak in a black and white photo! ;) 

or two.




  1. Dear Emily and Monica!!!
    I feel like I know celebrities!!!!Beautiful little girl . I have searched the internet for a "Alice in wonderland" dress for my 11 month old granddaughter. Would try to make it but I am a perfectionist and it just wouldn't be perfect. Nevertheless, I finally found one on etsy . Had to pay a fortune for it . Next time, can I call you? Ellie Woosley

    1. Yes! Next time you need something for your granddaughter, let us know!