How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses: Easy Drafting Anyone Can Do

As a doll sewing enthusiast, you know how important it is to stretch every dollar when it comes to sewing patterns. And if you're anything like us, when we find a way to hack an existing pattern into something new, we get excited!

So that's what we're sharing with you in this tutorial - an easy way to turn almost any doll top pattern into a fun A-line dress.

drafting doll top into dress sewing pattern

For the purposes of this tutorial, we will use our Tribeca Blouse as an example, but you can easily use the techniques you'll learn to transform almost any top into an A-line dress with a triangle hem. All it takes is some very simple drafting anyone can do, even if you've never drafted anything before!

But if you DO want to try this with the Tribeca Blouse, you're in luck! It's on sale and you can get it for half off during the month of June! Click here for the listing.

For this tutorial, you will need:

  • Front and Back Tribeca Blouse pattern pieces (or whichever pattern you choose). For the Tribeca, discard the bands, we will not be needing those.
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Tape
  • Large piece of paper - enough to accommodate a dress pattern.

Ready? Let’s do this! 

Step 1: Draw 2 vertical lines, 2 inches apart. Then draw a horizontal line right about where the waist is on a dress. Label left vertical line as CF (center front) and right line as CB (center back).

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 1
Step 2: Tape front and back pattern pieces with their corresponding vertical lines. The bottom edges should be on the waist line.

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 2
Step 3: On the CF line, measure down 8 3/4” from the top edge of the front piece. Mark and label A.

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 3
Step 4: From the waist line, mark 1/2” away from the side seam. Label B.

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 4
Step 5: Place the ruler at an angle from the bottom of underarm to the 1/2” mark (B) and draw a line. Label this line C.

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 5
Step 6: Draw a horizontal line from mark A to C. Line should be perpendicular to the center front. Label this line D.

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 6
Step 7: Find the center of line D and mark this as E.

how to sew doll tops into dresses step 7

Step 8: From E, draw a vertical line 1 1/2” downwards. Mark and label F.

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 8
Step 9:  Draw an inverted triangle by connecting F to A and C. Front dress is done.

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 9
Step 10: Now for the back, repeat all steps as the front. Begin with the center back line measuring at 8 7/8” from the top of the bodice. The rest of the measurements are the same as the front.

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 10
Step 11: When you’re done, your front and back should look like this...

How to Sew Doll Tops into Dresses Step 11
To sew the newly drafted dress, follow sewing instructions according to the pattern but skip steps 11-15. Lastly, hem the dress 1/4” seam allowance.

The finished product will look like this...

sew doll tops into dresses tribeca blouse finished

Just cinch the waist with a belt or ribbon and you're all set!

See how easy that was? Try this drafting technique with other tops. You will have a collection of new dresses made from other pattern tops before you know it!

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