This pattern by Genniewren Designs, is an 18-inch doll-sized recreation of the iconic wedding dress worn by Lady Diana Spencer on her wedding day back in 1981.
The dress features a paneled bodice with a lace overlay in the center front and back. The bodice seams are highlighted with lace trim. The dress has a scooped neckline with a lace and fabric double ruffle, large puffed sleeves featuring a deep double ruffle of fabric and lace at the cuffs, and a full gathered skirt. The neckline and sleeve cuffs feature matching fabric bows.
The detachable train is 44" (112cm) long. Like the original wedding dress, the train features three panels. The panel seams are highlighted with lace. The train is gathered into a waistband, and edged all round with lace.
A separate circular tulle petticoat emphasizes the fullness of the skirt without the bulk of hoops.
The veil consists of three layers: a long "train" veil edged in lace, a short, shoulder-length veil at the back, and a blusher veil at the front. The veils are attached to a ribbon band that fixes to the doll's hair with small combs or clips. The cover photograph shows the veil worn with a purchased metal doll-size tiara.
Be sure to check out the companion Royal Wedding 1981 patterns to find Diana's Bouquet, The Groom, and a Machine Embroidery Design Set for the Groom's uniform.
FABRIC RECOMMENDATIONS: The dress should be made from medium weight woven satin or taffeta fabric. I recommend crepe backed satin as it is a lot more forgiving than the less expensive satins due to the weave. Illusion net or tulle veiling is recommended for the veil. Fashion net or tulle is recommended for the petticoat.
Dress and train:
- 1.75 yards (1.5 meters) of 44" (112cm) wide taffeta or crepe-backed satin fabric;
- 1.75 yards (1.5 meters) of 44" (112cm) wide lining fabric (I recommend lightweight cotton or polycotton lawn); OR you can separate this out to ¼ yard (0.25 meter) of cotton or polycotton lawn for the bodice lining and 22" x 44" (58cm x 112cm) of silky lining fabric for the train lining;
- 1.5 yards (1.4 meters) of 4" (10cm) wide embroidered tulle/net lace for the neckline and sleeve ruffles;
- Approximately 15" x 8" (38cm x 20cm) of lace fabric for the center front and center back panel overlays (depending on the size of the lace pattern repeat you may need extra fabric to fussy cut matching sections);
- 3.5 yards (3 meters) of 1/4" – 3/8" (6mm – 9mm) wide lace trim for emphasizing bodice and train panel seams;
- 4 yards (3.6 meters) of 1/2" (1.2cm) wide guipure/Venise lace for edging the skirt hem and the train edge;
- 1 yard (1 meter) of 1/2" (1.2cm) wide insertion-style lace for the waistline and cuffs;
- Four small snaps approximately 1/4" – 3/8" (6mm – 9mm) diameter. I prefer to use the square nylon heirloom snaps as they are less visible when the train is removed from the dress;
- One invisible zipper at least 13" (33cm) long.
- 3 yards (2.8 meters) of 28" (72cm) wide tulle or soft netting fabric cut into 4 x 27" (69cm) squares;
- 10" (25cm) of 1" (25cm) wide organza or lightweight satin ribbon;
- 14" x 2" ( 36cm x 5cm) lining fabric for the waistband;
- 2.25 yards (2 meters) of narrow 1/4" – 3/8" (6mm – 9mm) wide lace to edge the hem edge of the top layer of the petticoat.
- 1.5 yards (1.5 meters) of 44" (112cm) wide lightweight tulle veiling or illusion veiling;
- 2.5 yards (2.25 meters) of ½" (1.2cm) wide guipure/Venise lace for edging the long veil;
- 5.5" (14cm) lightweight satin ribbon or organza ribbon;
- 2 doll sized hair combs or sprung/alligator hair clips approximately 1" – 1.25" (2.5cm – 3.5cm) to secure the veil to the doll's hair.
Combined trimming requirements:
If you wish to have all the narrow trims matching then you will need to purchase:
- 10.5 yards (9.5 meters) of ½" (1.2cm) wide guipure/Venise lace for the skirt hem, train edge and long veil trim;
- 5.75 yards (5.25 meters) of ¼" – ⅜" (6mm – 9mm) wide lace for emphasizing the bodice and train panel seams and edging the top layer of the tulle petticoat;
- 2 yards (1.8 meters) of 8" (20cm) wide embroidered tulle lace for the center front and back panels, neckline and sleeve ruffles;
- 1 yard (1 meter) of ½" (1.2cm) wide insertion-style lace for the waistline and cuffs.
- You will also need a purchased doll tiara to complete the original historical look, as Lady Diana Spencer wore her family tiara on her wedding day.
NOTIONS AND TOOLS YOU MIGHT FIND USEFUL
- A pressing cloth is necessary to prevent shine spots on your fabric when pressing bulky seams. I use a silk organza pressing cloth as it is semi-transparent and allows me to check alignments of seam allowances, hems, etc. before pressing.
- A mini iron is useful for getting into those tiny areas when pressing the seams on dolls' clothes. These can be found in most quilt stores, or online.
- A sleeve board is ideal for pressing dolls' clothes rather than using a standard size ironing board. A mini tailor’s ham and sleeve roll will also help. If you do not have a small sleeve roll, you can use a tightly rolled washcloth inserted into the sleeves when pressing the seam allowances open.
- Tailor’s chalk, chalk pencil, dressmaker’s carbon paper, washable or air dry marker pens for transferring pattern markings to the wrong side of your fabric.
- Fray blocking fluid.
Skill Level: Intermediate
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