Heirloom Lace Dress 18" Doll Clothes Pattern

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This “Heirloom Lace” pattern (designed to fit 18-inch dolls like American Girl® or Our Generation™) uses heirloom machine sewing techniques to create a beautiful dress for your doll. You will learn four main techniques that you can apply to this dress as well as for use in your future sewing.

This pattern begins by teaching you how to sew lace to lace, and how to sew lace to fabric, so you can create the pretty, heirloom bodice.

You will then learn about entredeux lace, and how to source a cheap and easily accessible type of entredeux lace (if desired).

With entredeux lace featuring between the sleeve cuff edge and the gathered lace, you will then learn how to sew entredeux (or fake entredeux) to gathered fabric, as well as learning how to sew entredeux to gathered lace. (These techniques are the same for sewing ungathered fabric to entredeux, and for sewing ungathered lace to entredeux. You can also eliminate using entredeux completely if you wish.)

A simple gathered skirt with heirloom pintucks and a lace insert is attached to the bodice. A gathered ruffle with more lace and pintucks finishes off the skirt. (All pintucks are optional, as is the skirt ruffle itself.) The skirt finishes with a back closure of hook and loop tape (or similar).

A special section on “Buying Lace” is also included in this pattern, as well as shortcut instructions for those who do not want to print (or follow) the instructions-with-pictures.

Recommended Fabrics: Lightweight woven cotton fabrics, like cotton, voile, lawn, and batiste. Both the white and pink dresses featured in this pattern use lawn fabrics. Ideally, the laces you would use in this pattern would be cotton (or a mix of cotton and nylon within each lace). This is discussed further in the “Buying Lace” section. I have used cotton laces in the white dress’s bodice and nylon laces around the neckline, cuffs, and ruffle. In the pink dress, I have used entirely nylon laces. (The entredeux that I have used in both dresses is from a Cambric cotton lace.) 

Supplies Needed:

  • Main fashion fabric 40" (wide) x 24" (deep) [1 metre x 61cm], lightweight woven cotton, non-stretch like cotton, lawn, voile, batiste. I have used lawn in both examples. 
  • Lace One, straight-edged lace on both long edges. Suggested lace depth of ¾" – 13/16" (20mm). Lace length of 16" (40cm). In the white dress example, this lace is not repeated between the top and bottom of the skirt. In the pink dress, Lace One is repeated. If you would like your Lace One to repeat in the skirt, then you will need an extra 40" (1m) of Lace One. Preferably choose 100% cotton lace. (Second preference would be a cotton/nylon mix in this lace, and third preference would be a nylon lace. More information is given in the “Buying Laces” section of this pattern.)
  • Main fashion fabric 40" (wide) x 24" (deep) [1 metre x 61cm], lightweight woven cotton, non-stretch like cotton, lawn, voile, batiste. I have used lawn in both examples. 
  • Lace One, straight-edged lace on both long edges. Suggested lace depth of ¾" – 13/16" (20mm). Lace length of 16" (40cm). In the white dress example, this lace is not repeated between the top and bottom of the skirt. In the pink dress, Lace One is repeated. If you would like your Lace One to repeat in the skirt, then you will need an extra 40" (1m) of Lace One. Preferably choose 100% cotton lace. (Second preference would be a cotton/nylon mix in this lace, and third preference would be a nylon lace. More information is given in the “Buying Laces” section of this pattern.)
  • Lace Two, straight-edged on both edges. Suggested lace depth of ½" – 9/16" (14mm). Lace length of 52" (1.3m). In the white dress example, this lace is repeated between the top and bottom of the skirt. Preferably choose 100% cotton lace. 
  • Lace Three, 10" (25cm) long of entredeux lace or lace you can use to cut an entredeux strip from (for example, 100% Cambric Lace). 100% cotton lace only to be used. 
  • Lace Four, straight-edged lace on one side and a curved edge on the other side. Suggested depth of ½" (12-14mm), and 36" (1.2m) long. This lace is used around the neckline (at 10" or 25cm long), and is gathered at the sleeve cuff (at 36" or 91cm total ungathered lace). Preferably choose 100% cotton lace. 
  • Lace Five, straight-edged lace on one side and a curved edge on the other side. Suggested depth of ¾" – 7/8" (18-23mm), and 80" (2.10m) long. This lace is used to hem the ruffle base. Preferably 100% cotton lace.
  • Use a cotton (machine) thread if you are using cotton laces, preferably with a 60 weight or higher. The higher the number, the finer the thread. I have used a 50 weight in the white dress (as this is what my shop had). If you are using a mix of cotton and nylon laces (or otherwise), use a polyester thread. I have used polyester thread in the pink dress. 
  • Bias binding (or you can make your own from your main fabric as I have done). You will need a 10" (25cm) long strip by 1" (2.5cm) wide.
  • A 70 needle (or lower). I have used a 70 needle. 
  • Starch. (Recommended for the best finish.) 
  • Tracing paper. 
  • Marking pen (or otherwise) for marking pintucks. 
  • Hook and loop tape, or snap fasteners. 
  • Additional embellishments. (Optional.)

Skill Level:  Intermediate

What You Get: One 43 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides full color step-by-step illustrated instructions and full-size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.

Download, Print, Sew!

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Pixie Faire and the designers featured are not affiliated with American Girl®.


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