This is a fantastic opportunity to make your daughter a dress and at the same time she can make an identical one for her doll. This is a lovely pattern from Ellie May Designs for Mccalls Kwik Sew It is available from Jaycotts.co.uk KWIK SEW K221
There are other patterns
For fabric look at the cotton and cotton blends at MinervaCrafts Cotton fabrics there are lots to choose from in all sorts of designs and prices
After you have pre-shrunk and ironed your fabric take the pattern out of the envalope and run through the instructions before you do anything else.I love the "technical stuff to read for optimum sucess" section which I do urge you to take time to readnot. It tells you how to choose the correct pattern size and which pattern pieces you need for each design. It also gives cutting layouts which is important if you are to fit all the pattern pieces on to your fabric the right way up with no wastage!
Measure the position of each flower, and take a tiny amount of fusible web, place it on the spot where the centre of the flower is to be placed and press it on carefully with a hot iron. You may need help here. This will make it easier to sew the applique in place without it moving around.
Whatever machine you are using refer to your manual and choose one of the stitches recommended for applique. Test the stitch on a spare piece of fabric first and adjust the stitch length and width to get the best effect. I shortened both the stitch width and length.
Then slowly and carefully stitch all the way around each flower shape. The interfacing together with the type of stich will stop the fabric from fraying.
Go right round each piece, pivoting at the inside of each petal.
The instructions tell you to sew a small button to the centre of each flower, but as I already have some guipure lace trim I snipped off three small flowers and stitched them by hand to the centre of each applique. I chose different colours, you could make them all the same if you wanted to.
Now that the front is decorated stitch the front to the backs at the shoulders right sides together and overedge or zigzag the seam.
You will need bias binding to finish off the armholes. You can buy bias binding ready made but I always feel that the quality is inferior to hand made. So fold your fabric on the bias - that is, if you were to cut out a true square of fabric, the bias runs diagonally from corner to corner. Find the bias of your fabric and cut out a strip about one inch wide.
Put it face down on the ironing board and fold the long edges to the centre and press. There you have it, hand made bias binding, it is so much simpler than going to the shop to buy some!
Stretching the bias binding a little pin and stitch it along the crease line nearest to you all along the armhole. Press the seam towards the binding. Fold it in half and pin. Top stitch close to the edge of the binding catching all the layers.
This is how the finished edge should look. You may if you prefer fold the entire binding to the inside and have none of it showing, it is entirely your choice.
This is the top stitching being done. It will hold the binding in place.
Now it comes to fitting the yoke and I am afraid that you will have to change your thread colour too. This takes seconds on this particular machine, the drop in bobbin is so easy to use and the automatic needle threader saves frustration over threading the needle by hand.
Join the side seams on both the yoke and the yoke facing by stitching the backs to the front. Press the seams open
You now need to attach the wider edge of the yoke to the top of the dress. Start pinning, keeping the edges together and matching the shoulder seams. It will seem like the two pieces will never fit together but do not worry, be patient , it will fit together I promise! I would also tack the pieces together before machine stitching as it holds it in place better than pins. Take care not to get any tucks in the underside or the facing will look very amateurish. If you do make a mistake, take your seam ripper and unpick the stitches you are not happy with and do it again.
Press the seam up,towards the yoke.
Take the facing and stitch a narrow hem along the widest edge.Press.
Top stitch close to the yoke edge catching in all layers.
Stitch the side seams and the back seam up to the marking. Turn in a very narrow hem on the back openings. Overedge stitch or zigzag stitch the seams.
Turn up a narrow hem along the bottom of the dress and turn it up again forming a double hem. Press checking that it is even and top stitch in place.
The instructions tell you to fasten the back with velcro, and that is fine but I love to use non sew poppers. These are the ones I used Non sew poppers from Jaycotts.co.uk. they come in all colours and sizes. They do come with a tool to attach them with but I like to use these metal pliers Pliers for non sew poppers and rivets they are again from jaycotts.co.uk.
The non sew poppers can be used for almost any project where you would otherwise use a button. They can also be used purely for decoration. They are great for closing bags too.
This is the back of the dress showing the poppers in place. If this doll is for a very young child then do make sure that they are firmly attached or consider using the velcro instead.
The dress looks amazing and would look fantastic made for your child too. It is a very easy style to make and wear and would look great in lots of other colour combinations.
I am certain that you could be creative and make different appliques instead of the flowers and stitch them on in a different design. A row of smaller flowers would look good around the hem or around the yoke for example