Christmas Doll Dress The Prudent Homemaker


When each of my girls have turned 5, I have bought them an 18″ doll for their birthday or Christmas. This year, I bought this doll for Elsa. Her older sister has this doll (also a Madame Alexander doll). I wanted a similar looking doll (one with brown hair and brown eyes) but one that was also distinctly different in some ways so that they could tell them apart. However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the outfit that came with this one. Elsa had requested a Christmas dress for a doll, but instead of making it for her baby doll, I made it for this doll that she will get on Christmas. I’ll be making some doll shoes and socks to go with this doll as well.



Christmas fabric 15″ by 44″ (more if matching patterns; I used a bit more to cut the bows where I wanted them)

Small amount of black broadcloth for collar

Tiny bit of fusbile interfacing to line collar

Black grosgrain ribbon 7/8″ (22.2 mm) wide by 40 (101.6 cm) inches long

Velcro, snaps, or buttons to close dress

Pattern from A Closetful of Doll Clothes (note: Butterick has several Retro doll dress patterns available right now that are similar in style; pattern sales should be happening soon)


Sewing Machine


Sewing pins


Copier to copy patterns or tissue paper to trace patterns


 Christmas Doll Dress Detail The Prudent Homemaker

This is the same pattern I used for yesterday’s doll dress. I used a bit more fabric to allow me to match the bows for the back bodice pieces and sleeves, and to cut the front bodice so that the bow would be centered.

For the ribbon, I pinned it in place on the center of the finished dress, and sewed it in place on the top and bottom along the front bodice, leaving the rest to hang freely. I then tied it in the back in a bow. Both ends are cut on the diagonal to prevent fraying.


2  1/2 hours


The plaid fabric came from my grandmother’s stash, and so was free to me. I bought the black broadcloth, interfacing and black ribbon at 50% off. The ribbon was purchased by the roll at $0.50 for the whole roll. Michael’s and Joann’s have sales on ribbon like this on a regular basis and especially this time of year. The black velcro was given to me from my mother-in-law.

I cut a matching hair ribbon that I had on hand and tied it around her head. 

Total cost: $ 0.15


Christmas Doll Dress Detail 2 The Prudent Homemaker


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  1. I love your gift a day series! I purchased a naked, but pretty 18″ Madame Alexander doll for $0.50 at the thrift store. I put a home sewn dress on her.

  2. Beautiful the dress and the doll! I love making Christmas gifts for the children! I wondered which doll of the 2 links is this one? Blessings from Kansas!

  3. Beautiful the dress and the doll! I love making Christmas gifts for the children! I wondered which doll of the 2 links is this one? Blessings from Kansas!

  4. That is so very pretty. I am sure she will enjoy it very much. What a beautiful dress. You have a real talent. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. BEAUTIFUL! Makes me want to break into my dolls again and doll house (that my talented father made for me one Christmas). Go back to a simpler time, my childhood. 🙂

  6. The doll and dress are so beautiful, Brandy. I love the attention to detail in the bow placement. It’s so professional looking, and most likely better made than the clothes the doll came with. Elsa is one lucky little girl!

  7. People aren’t willing to pay the real cost in time that doll clothes take to make. They are too used to poorly made sweatshop clothing unfortunately.
    I have run into that problem more often than not – and people get mad when you give them the breakdown of the time and materials – like my time and skill isn’t worth anything 🙁 Just because it isn’t a college degree does not mean it is worthless!!

  8. My daughter was given a couple American Girls dolls from her Grandma and I had LOTS of fun making clothing, food, furniture and accessories for them 🙂 I refuse to “get rid of” any of it and have it all saved in the basement for when she has kids. I also saved the thousands upon thousands of Legos my son has to give them to him when he has kids as well.
    I am off to JoAnns today to pick up the fusible interfacing I need to start my daughter’s T-shirt quilt for Christmas + embroidery floss. I have coupons to keep the price reasonable.

  9. As a child, I LOVED playing with dolls. In fact, the gifts that Brandy has featured for her little girls would have been exactly what I would have wanted for Christmas too. However, my daughter had absolutely no interest in dolls at all, much to my disappointment. She LOVED stuffed animals, instead. I guess you just can’t win sometimes!

  10. I love your choice of fabrics. At first I thought you embroidered the bow at the collar, but then noticed it was in the fabric. I loved making doll clothes for my girls when they were little. I knitted some and sewed some. I also made special Christmas dresses for my grand-daughter when she was small. Those were such fun times together. At 23, she is certain I couldn’t possibly choose clothing that she would like and now I must stick to non-clothing items. Thinking about making her a sewing kit–as she brings me mending but sometimes could do a quick repair herself!!

  11. Oh I have ALL of her Build A Bears too – Grand parents spoiled her quite a bit – She is the only on one side and the first granddaughter on the other. I got rid of the darn Beanie Babies though (except the one she always had to sleep with)

  12. That doll has such a pretty face and the dress is beautiful. It’s good to know that there are little girls out there that still play with dolls. I always enjoy your gift series Brandy. Been sewing and knitting here too.

  13. To be able to see the Madame Alexander doll, with the lovely dress you made, brought back happy childhood memories to me. For Christmas, I, sometimes, received dolls that had small wardrobes which my mother had sewn. It must have been special as I so vividly remember these gifts. I gave my own daughter a Madame Alexander doll, “Heidi”, which she kept in pristine condition. Now it has been passed on to the daughter of one of her friends. Just a note to your readers – I have seen Madame Alexander dolls on Ebay for quite low prices.

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