Last November, I entered a photo of a doll to Doll Observers' monthly challenge. Inasmuch as the theme was based on the color gold, I decided to use Christmas wrapping ribbon to make my red carpet dress for my Barbie. Super simple, this dress consists of two lengths of 2.5 inch ribbon joined at the side seams and a third length of crushed wired ribbon attached to the neckline. Because the ribbon was sheer and my doll more prudish than singer Rihanna, I made a simple skirt out of an opaque gold ribbon. It too, consisted of two lengths of tape (front and back) pinched in over the curves of her butt and opening at the side. Before submitting my photo, I played with the hemline. Like a Victor&Rolf couture dress, you can add as much "movement" as you want, or simply create silhouettes otherwise impossible.
I made a second dress for another doll, this time noting down exactly how simple it is to concoct such a spectacular "couture creation."
sheath dress. For the sake of uniquely working with ribbon, I created my sheath dress using 2-inch wide black satin ribbon. That is wide enough for any 12-inch doll's basic pattern. But it will force you to make a dress with a center seam. So you might just want to use regular fabric for your foundation. Finish the edges, but leave the center back seam open.
For the petals, I used 5/8-inch (15.87mm) black satin ribbon cut into 1-1/4 inch strips.
One more thing.... you'll notice my petals are unraveling. They are suppose to. But if the fray bothers you, use a fray control product on your petals.
2. Decide the length you want the dress to be and cut strips. Glue these strips to the top horizontal ribbon. This keeps them from moving while you work.
3. Cut enough horizontal strips needed to cover the torso. Weave each horizontal strip in and out of the vertical strip. Pin each row to the end vertical strip.
4. Place on the doll to check the fit. The last horizontal strip is likely to be unstable. I glued a strip over it on the back of the garment. It doesn't completely stop it but the strip doesn't move as much.
5. Take a length of 5/8-inch (15 mm) ribbon cut to the length of the back of the dress. Glue base, then stitch it to the side edge up to the top of the loose ribbons. This provides a base to put hook & eyes, snaps or Velcro.
6. Take another piece of 5/8 (15mm) ribbon, cut to the width of the top of the dress. Fold in half and glue baste in place to the top of the basket weave. Fold it over and stitch down. I put a small bow for back interest.
The end result was a bit too straight for my taste, so I carefully bent the ribbons under the bust a little to each side and hand stitched in place. This adds a bit of shape, and if you do this carefully, it is not noticeable.
Cut the length needed to wrap around the body plus a little extra at the opening.
From there, it is a question of adding a row of tape which I pin to the row above. As you work, you will need to stop and adjust the tapes for fit. I worked with the dress on the doll. From time to time, stop and check the fit. Adjust the pins until you have arrived at the desired length.
I measured out two vertical strips of tape which are pinned then stitched to either edge. This hides the horizontal rows and provides a finished surface for hook & eyes or snaps.
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