18″ Doll Dress and Tote

kitty dress and backpack

This Christmas, my sweet niece Stella was the recipient of some of my homemade gifts. Stella’s still very much into her American Girl doll, Julie, so I decided to try my hand at making a doll dress.

After a bit of searching, I found this dress pattern from All Things with Purpose. Several years ago, I had edited a book titled All Dolled Up by Joan Hinds about making clothing for 18″ dolls, so I had some idea of what the process would be.

kitty dress on Julie

While the pattern recommended using a tie to close the dress in the back, I decided to add some narrow strips of Velcro to make it easier for Stella to secure the dress. I also added top stitching around the neck and armholes, just because I think it makes the dress look more finished.

kitty dress detail

Since I had plenty of kitty fabric left, I decided to make a little backpack for Stella to use. This pattern I got from the book Because I Love You Sew by Trish Preston. The book was one of the many awesome swag items I received at the OHCraft sew-in in October.

The backpack was meant to be used by a small child. But it wasn’t until Stella received the bag that she realized it fit Julie perfectly! Her little face just pokes out of the top.

backpack with Julie

The closure on the backpack is a bit unusual. The straps cinch the top closed, form the straps of the backpack, and then lace through tabs at the bottom of the backpack and are tied with a bow to secure. That’s a bit complicated for a seven-year-old, but hopefully Stella will get the hang of it.

backpack closure


Merry Christmas, Stella!

Leave a comment


  1. Adorable – doll AND niece!


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